#whatiwore 2018w45 + Sunday links

Brain food, brain food, what a good idea:

1. Urbanism and fashion industry, oh, yes: Is NYC’s garment district unraveling? and How Manhattan Became a Rich Ghost Town. And, in similar vein, some innovation in how to get their fashion to people (still moving parcels around but at least not with new garments): WeWork Is Getting Into Workplace Fashion With Rent the Runway.

2. Today is the Best Time in Fashion: “Fashion has become closer to modern art. Whereas both forms were once ruled by strict classical ideas, the space is now free with untrammeled creativity and multidirectional experimentation, where people can both celebrate beauty as well as ideas that challenge traditional notions of beauty.”

3. When politics and ethical/sustainable fashion might or might not come together: Made in USA and the Rise of Nationalism.

4. What the ultrarich do if they have similar long term vision of future as I do: How tech’s richest plan to save themselves after the apocalypse.

5. Structural disadvantages in the industry: The Most Diverse Fashion Season Ever on the Runway, but Not the Front Row and What it’s really like to be black and work in fashion.

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What I was writing about a year ago – #100wears: Ginta’s gray cardigan.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w45 + Sunday links.

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The weather is confusing, there is a lot of work (at work, ha), the blog is a bit backlogged, and my links are very USA-centric. Yes. How are you do doing?

#whatiwore 2018w43 + Sunday links

Here, feed the brain:

1. While most articles about uniform dressing emphasize reduction of decision fatigue and tech millionaires, this 2014 piece turns the argument on its head and talks about uniforms as ‘a stance against trends’ and ‘a consistent recognizable foundation’: The Case for Uniforms. The most inspirational example mentioned is Diane Pernet from A Shaded View on Fashion.

2. On disinhibited creation: Why you should make useless things.

3. I’m such a sucker for ‘look at this person who single-handedly and with great dignity revived an old industry and is doing great’, so: A Legacy of Production at Valley Oak Wool & Fiber Mill. Also, the microscopic-precision handiwork for high fashion as a solution for the youth unemployment (and stupid non-jobs of the digital economy): Teenagers, Forget Engineering. Your Future Is Craft.

4. And I cannot resist a detailed history of a classic and local working class garment when boy fashionistas are fangirling about them: The Other Fisherman Sweater.

5. For our scary future section, How to edit a human. This one comes with a side dish of the dirty business that science often is, in this case making clear also the difference in opportunities for worldwide recognition that funding/location bring to labs and research groups, or how a bunch of genius Lithuanians won’t ever get a Nobel.

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What I was writing about a year ago: An Educational afternoon – The True Cost and Upcycling Barcelona.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w43 + Sunday links + Old #ootd.

Other old posts you might enjoy: Adventures of the spring 2017 capsule and The wardrobe ins and outs of spring 2017.

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Do you have any favorite type of stories among the sustainability usuals? Are you more touched by stories of independent wool farmers in West or underprivileged women’s cooperatives in South? Materials, dyes, sewing – which stories you save for special weekend moments of enjoyment? Share some of your favorites, please.

#whatiwore 2018w42 + Sunday links

The Friday outfit is a story of comfort vs. stupid ideas about what’s appropriate… That hoodie, well, actually two of those – organic cotton, made in India, stamped with the corporate identity of the company C works for – appeared in our home after a work event that C went to. First I tried to get him to discard both of them because ‘you don’t need them’, then I accepted that he really was using it around the house, then I started to wear the other one myself noting how warm and fluffy it is… and on Friday I went out on the street with it.
Only to the swimming pool and back, and it was raining, but I had sworn to myself not to wear this one outside… But knowing winters in Barcelona and how all I want to wear to the pool – and that’s three times a week and just down the block – is something comfy and adequate for weather, it will now be my gym uniform. And it has a hood to make up for my unwillingness to blow dry my hair. A win for the ‘relax and be casual’ team.

Lesson learnt I consider myself a tiny step closer to: Letting go, of course, and following the sirens of comfort.

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Now that you are all comfy, under a blanket and with a cup of warm something, here:

1. The typical reminders of all the offshoring problems and onshoring complexities: Why Is It So Hard for Clothing Manufacturers to Pay a Living Wage? and American Manufacturing Doesn’t Have to Die. And just to put a sinister spin on that, out of the Dark side a big consulting company: Is apparel manufacturing coming home? The ironic part is that for them – and people they serve – it’s not about ethics but about a balance between production/shipping costs and timing. So their conclusion is that producing in Mexico for US market or Turkey for EU market makes a lot of sense (and customers love it, too) but not really on situ production, that would be waaay too expensive…

2. In the news of ‘animals we are not exploiting yet that have a great potential’- New Artificial Spider Silk: Stronger Than Steel and 98 Percent Water. Be calm, it’s about replicating ‘the spider technology’ not cramming masses of spiders together and making them work for us, no, we do that mostly with mammals, humans and otherwise, not spiders. Not yet, at least.

3. History time! And about the seasonal wares, no less. The Trench Coat: Before, During, and After the Trenches and From Cavalry to Coco Chanel: The Cardigan Unbuttoned.

4. To bring you back – or for the first time – to William Morris and ‘Some Hints on Pattern-Designing‘ (1881) among his other writings, here are some guidelines from him:

“We ought to get to understand the value of intelligent work, the work of men’s hands guided by their brains, and to take that, though it be rough, rather than the unintelligent work of machines or slaves, though it be delicate;
to refuse altogether to use machine-made work unless where the nature of the thing made compels it, or where the machine does what mere human suffering would otherwise have to do;
to have a high standard of excellence in wares and not to accept makeshifts for the real thing, but rather to go without;
to have no ornament merely for fashion’s sake, but only because we really think it beautiful, otherwise to go without it;
not to live in an ugly and squalid place (such as London) for the sake of mere excitement or the like, but only because our duties bind us to it;
to treat the natural beauty of the earth as a holy thing not to be rashly dealt with for any consideration;
to treat with the utmost care whatever of architecture and the like is left us of the times of art.

I deny that it can ever be our own to do as we like with; it is the property of the world, that we hold in trust for those that come after us.”

5. And I encourage you, yes, repeatedly, to do some pattern play. It’s not 19th century anymore and any basic image editing software can bring you and your doodles a lot of joy. Here is one way to do it: Pattern Play with Jeanetta: How to Create a Pattern in the style of William Morris. As a proof, my 5-minute pattern from mandalas that were in my 2017 agenda:


Or how this:

Becomes that:

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What I was writing about a year ago: #100wears: Veja Taua… Oh, I miss them dearly! And I am stalking some random leftover pairs on Amazon hoping they will still be there when my October salary comes in. Those sneakers were so good, I’m now ready to buy two new pairs and just have them sitting in my wardrobe waiting for the current Wata to wear out. After three pairs worn to shreds, I think that’s an informed decision.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w42 + Sunday links.

Other old posts you might enjoy: We shall swap again and May Swap recap.

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Have you had any comfort vs. ‘propriety’ dilemmas or insights lately? Which one do you typically gravitate towards?

#whatiwore 2018w41 + Sunday links

Here, your little brain attic needs more stuff:

1. Trust your own judgement in aesthetics! Surviving your critics.

2. I’m not sure if this is relevant anymore. It might be that fast fashion collabs with big names has given way to influencer collabs long ago, but still – in 2012 people were writing op-eds on Making The Case Against Fast Fashion Collaborations.

3. A little PSA for those residing in Spain and decluttering: (just in case you were in doubt) you don’t have to keep the boxes of electronics in case the guarantee… the only case when you need the box is to return the recently bought item to get your money back during those 15 days when that can be done. Sources (in Spanish): 1, 2.

4. And to provoke a bit, here you have GoodOnYou asking Is Silk Sustainable? and answering with a suggestion to snack on some crunchy larvae after turning their cocoons into silk. Just to order a bit: Is conventional silk vegan? NO. Can it be? Yes, but it’s more expensive. Would silk worms enjoy high quality of life if we’d just leave them alone? According to human criteria, not really. Is animal welfare the only concern about silk? No, human welfare is also not that cool in conventional silk production, including child labor. Solution? Look through your grandma’s wardrobe or your favorite local vintage shop for second-hand silk.

5. This article is a bit of hodge-podge of data, but the graph of reminding how chemical-intensive is apparel production is nice:

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What I was writing about a year ago: Autumn capsule = 3 months and 7 dresses.

What I was wearing a year ago (see if any items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w41 + Sunday links (looks that a year ago the weather was even more ridiculously balmy).

Another old post you might enjoy: How I pack or #whatiwore 2017w16.

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What are your favorite animal welfare issues? The ones worth talking about? For me, industrial farming is a clear-cut issue: close that shit down and consume maybe a little meat if you are one of those ‘I just can’t quit it’ people, but honey and wool are my new favorite enmeshed issues I have no clear opinion about. They combine animal ‘exploitation’ and husbandry at its best, ha! And it is possible to do it very well and very badly… also, if we end up truly killing off all the bees, we – especially those of us not willing to live only on potatoes, rice, wheat, corn and the New World veggiesare fucked alright. Go, read Generation A.

#whatiwore 2018w40 + Sunday links

And a spoonful to maintain the highbrow credentials:

1. When classics talk about frugality, contentment, and how growing income tends to expand desire for consumption: Regrets for my Old Dressing Gown, or A warning to those who have more taste than fortune, a Denis Diderot essay from 1769.

2. On modern art: $1.4 Million Banksy Painting Shredded Immediately After Auction, So What? and Banksy’s Shredded Art Piece Is the World’s First Created During Live Auction.

3. Sometimes style advice for men is much better done (and useful for pretty much everybody): Six Suggestions For Developing Personal Style.

4. Yes, your hate of social media makes all the sense in the world: 10 Things Instagram Users Probably Don’t Know About Instagram (and its Use of Your Photos). Also, More Than Merely a Downtime Activity, We are Addicted to Social Media “Likes” and Instagram is supposed to be friendly. So why is it making people so miserable?

5. And for general education: How Russia Helped Swing the Election for Trump.

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What I was writing about a year ago: September Clothes’ Swap Recap.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w40 + Sunday links.

Other old posts you might enjoy: Is There a Winter in Barcelona? A Winter 2017 recap and To All New Arrivals (Winter 2017), We Love You.

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What have you learnt lately? Anything I should read? Where is the world going?

#whatiwore 2018w39 + Sunday links

Here, feed the gray cells:

1. Because in moments of low spirit I like old and wise people telling me that ‘it’s pragmatic to be optimistic [because you going one with a cause might as well be turning it into a self-fulfilling prophecy towards success]’ – Conversations with History: Howard Zinn. Who was Howard Zinn?

2. When fashion gets even faster – Super Nova: Fashion Nova gives the people what they want, and what they want is very tight. Interesting question, though, about the ‘redeeming’ quality of body inclusiveness and the unmentioned contrast with very ‘white’ aesthetics of most sustainable fashion brands.

3. I’m a sucker for proper England/New England preppy, so here is some menswear eye candy: Drake’s Goes Collegiate.

4. ‘Made in EU’ or ‘Made in Italy’ (or any other EU country) does not necessarily mean rosy working conditions, just so you know: The NYT On Italy’s Invisible Labor Class and (the actual piece) Inside Italy’s Shadow Economy.

5. And the plastic shit that will haunt us forever… Plastic Soup + Your Synthetic Clothes Are Hurting The Environment + More than ever, our clothes are made of plastic. Just washing them can pollute the oceans. Point for reflection: much of synthetics consumption in more sustainable circles is driven by the fitness culture, as exercising in natural fabrics is so paseé… them not being ‘performance fabrics’. And synthetics pick up smells, so the urge to was them is more intense. And then you have the heaps of fast fashion poly, see the Fashion Nova piece above or Material Guide: How Sustainable is Polyester?

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What I was writing about a year ago: Summer 2017 capsule ins and outs.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w39 + Sunday links.

Anther old post you might enjoy: Constant Gardener: Edit your wardrobe!

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When you think a year back from now (or go back to your spreadsheets, wink-wink), how different is your wardrobe now? How much of what you are wearing now were in rotation a year ago? Has your style changed? Your needs and lifestyle? Or garments just wore out?

#whatiwore 2018w38 + Sunday links

Feed the bra-a-a-a-ain…

1. A little altar to Alexandra Elbakyan: Meet the woman who put 50 million stolen articles online so you can read them for free (2016), Science’s pirate queen (2018), Honourable Theft (2018).

2. So, “the government in Bangladesh raised the minimum wage by more than 50 percent last week, the first increase in wages since 2013 [and] garment workers and union organizers are outraged” because it’s still so below any reasonable living standard: Bangladeshi Garment Workers, Unions Say New Minimum Wage is a “Cruel Joke,” Call On Brands to Pay More.

3. One of those happy here-is-an-exciting-innovation-but-we’ll-see if-you-ever-hear-about-it-being-scaled-up-after-all-this-publicity news: Wrangler Implements Potentially Revolutionary ‘Dry Indigo’ Foam-Dye Tech. Not that innovation in dyeing is impossible, just that dyeing also rivers in faraway places is cheaper… and nobody was bothered until now.

4. Just to be clear: if you see a cheap-ish virgin cashmere garment, you do not want it! Why? Tragedy of the Common Cashmere.

5. I never bought into the skinny pant obsession, so I find this list hilarious and very true: Practical Reasons to Wear Wide-Leg Pants. After all, what is a skirt if not one very practical garment with one wide-leg?

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What I was writing about a year ago: Six months of blogging and adjusting expectations.

What I was wearing a year ago (see if any items coincide): #whatiwore 2017w38.

Anther old post you might enjoy: Journey on Hobbit feet.

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What are the trends or must-have garments that you never understood? Is there a garment you’d happily start a boycott of? And was there anything you thought impossible once and then ended up wearing? Remember, around 10 years ago there was the whole thing how leggings were not pants? And then we just accepted it somehow… I still struggle, but I will concede that once you see something a zillion times it imprints in your brain as normal.

#whatiwore 2018w37 + Sunday links

Brain food for everybody:

1. Just for fun, a reinterpretation of the Hans Christian Andersen classic: Be kind to your tailors. And if you want a more serious reinterpretation, Clarissa is here to help: The Dangerous Old Woman, parts one and two.

2. A weird article linking casual dressing and loss of humility understood as empathy: Dress Up. What we lost in the Casual Revolution.

3. And a couple of articles on the casual revolution in tennis, this sporty mix of class and fashion: The Most Fashionable Rivalries in Men’s Tennis and The Tennis Dress Code Racket.

4. And in the feminist news of the industry: Female-Focused Manual Workwear Is Still an Emerging, But Also Evolving, Market.

5. I cannot resist the idea of completely locally produced clothing. And here you have somebody actually doing it: Rebecca Burgess, the founder of Fibershed, at Conscious Chatter podcast Episode 118 | Fibershed + Regenerative Textile Systems.

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What I was writing about a year ago: Summer 2017 capsule heroes and lessons learned.

What I was wearing a year ago: #whatiwore 2017w37. This is the rare occasion when no garments coincide, as a year ago it was the Mykonos edition and this week was clearly the week of the WAG set.

Anther old post you might enjoy: My minimalist well-being routine.

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While I’m not doing formal seasonal capsules anymore, I sill think in seasons… and this one is getting a bit too long. Are you in the autumn mode already? Or is it a summer forever for you too? By now I am craving scarves and cardigans.

#whatiwore 2018w36 + Sunday links

A random update on… self care: Wednesday (btw, most weeks the outfits go in chronological order Monday to Friday) was difficult for some reason, so I wore a crumply garment with a hole to work, because that was the only thing I did not totally abhor at that moment. The poor old kaftan is really disintegrating – seems that a #100wears feature just destroys garments – but it was either that or staying naked at home. So, in case you need this sometime, take this as my permission slip to be sub-optimally put together if need be. Clothing are just drag anyway. Do what you have to do ♥.

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And, here, have a spoonful for the brain:

1. In line with my Wednesday mood, in defense of not being too polished: Fear Not the Rumples and Sang Froid in American Style, both focused on menswear while I’d say that womenswear need such chillax even more. Although my version of chill is much more chill then what the authors suggest…

2. And the other side of the dress-up / dress-down tension for those who want to dress up but have ‘nowhere to go’ and fear judgement: Put On Your Happy Suit and (a Reddit thread) I love to dress up, but I have nowhere to go…

3. On how much of what you might believe about the prehistorical social structures might be wrong: How to change the course of human history (at least, the part that’s already happened).

4. Have you ever stumbled across just the thing you wanted – a book, movie, album, item – and then just couldn’t get it (because they would not ship, or stream, or it’s out of print, etc.)? I had just that disappointment when reading Fashion Is “an Extremely Wealthy Industry Founded on Unpaid Work” over at The Fashion Law describing a qualitative research book by Giulia Mensitieri… just to discover, as far as I’ve been able to google, that the book only exists in French – Le plus beau métier du monde: Dans les coulisses de l’industrie de la mode. My French is not that good…

5. And a bit on creative work and showing up inspo, in line with the Ira Glass quote below, Be Friends with Failure by Stephen McCranie.

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What I was writing about a year ago: (in perfect synchronization) September swap + my outgoing pieces.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w36.

Anther old post you might enjoy: Style ebb and flow, me and others.

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When do you – if ever – relax the requirements for put-togetherness? I know that sometimes and for some people it actually might work the other way around: that getting put-together on the outside does a bit for the inside too. Are you one of those?

#whatiwore 2018w35 + Sunday links

Your brain will thank you:

1. When a retail giant tries to clean up their act, it’s very complicated to begin with: Walmart Tried To Make Sustainability Affordable. Here’s What Happened.

2. The fashion industry cannot continue doing the same fast fashion thing. And changes needed are massive, not just tweaks in design, dyes or packaging. St. Kate dixit: Towards a future framework for fashion + how ‘greener’ fashion is not really changing much as far as the paradigm stays the same: A dizzying spin on green growth.

3. The fascinating topic on why are we as species so bad at understanding climate shit of our own making: Your brain on climate change: why the threat produces apathy, not action + Climate Change, Disbelief, and the Collision between Human and Geologic Time + European perceptions about climate change + Climate change and ideology.

4. Ha! You and me already knew that women’s fashion is pocket-challenged. Here are some people who actually went out and measured the differences. And I made a Pinterest board dedicated to the topic.

5. Archana’s post on house plants was probably meant to inspire… kind of scared me instead. I sometimes forget that plants are people too. However, I did my first-ever replant this weekend of the jade plant (?) the previous tenant had left behind. It is knotty and used to abandonment, but at least it has more space and a properly holed pot now:

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What I was writing about a year ago: #100wears: The Red Denim Jacket.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w35 + Sunday links.

Anther old post you might enjoy: Baby Steps: Detoxing A Wardrobe Takes Time.

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Do you have green thumbs? Or at least try to develop them? Or has the plant fashion filling Instagram left you indifferent?

#whatiwore 2018w34 + Sunday links

Nom-nom-nom, said the brain:

1. What have the shops done after the (partial) free plastic bag ban in Spain: (in Spanish) ¿Se está aplicando la normativa de cobrar las bolsas de plástico en España? A spoiler: not that much.

2. I am a sucker for unintended consequences, so: The #MeToo Movement Finds an Unlikely Champion on Wall Street.

3. Heh! Why Does Every Lifestyle Startup Look the Same? The clock is running out on this minimalist aesthetic… This: “Rather than being descriptive of the product itself, startup minimalism indicates how that product will be purchased and delivered to the shopper: digitally, easily, inexpensively, and with a smile. It promises no bullshit and no imposition on your busy schedule.”

4. This is a nice working hypothesis for the woo-woo wellness boom: How did wellness become our new religion? And if you want solid reasons to hate Goop, here, you are welcome – Dr. Jen Gunter: I Snuck Into Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Summit To See Just How Bonkers It Was and Goop Forced to Pay $145,000 and Refrain From Making Unsubstantiated Medical Claims.

5. And time for some art! I am a great admirer of William Morris‘ pattern work (and political activities), as for me it brings together just the right dosage of ornamental and ordered. For brainy activities, here you have his writing archive. And for the artsy part: (a) William Morris and wallpaper design at Victoria and Albert Museum; (b) Morris’ 1981 Some Hints on Pattern-Designing; and (c) solid Pinterest-y advice on How to Create a Pattern in the style of William Morris.

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What I was writing about a year ago: Is Sustainable Fashion a Privileged Affair? Yes, and…

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w34 + Sunday links.

Other old posts you might enjoy: My Wardrobe, Part 1: What Do I Have and How Did I Get Here and My Wardrobe, Part 2: How I Build and Track My Seasonal Capsules.

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How has your week been? Autumn wishlists ready and colder weather items suddenly seeming so appealing? Or are you the one who wants summer to go forever?

#whatiwore 2018w33 + Sunday links

Feed the brain, feed the brain…

1. Occasionally consumers do have enough power to move something, that happens rarely, though. The title should be ‘If people with money get angry with somebody, they might kill their brand’ instead of Stop buying crap, and companies will stop making crap.

2. Not only Paul Manafort‘s shady deals went on trial, so did his taste in clothes: Did Paul Manafort Secretly Dress Like Steven Seagal? Somebody with time on their hands could write a whole set of papers about (a) the gendered aspects of such ‘taste trials’, i.e., how garment or home décor accumulation is ridiculed because of its association with femininity, a collection of sports cars wouldn’t have raised such amount of scorn; (b) the glee with which media dissected his extraordinary sartorial spending; and (c) how lifestyle aspirations can turn around and become evidence against you.

3. And some more symbolic sartorial politics from USA: The presidential love of denim – an illustrated guide. D-oh, those are not mom jeans, those are president jeans!

4. An unexpected take on mental health and medicating oneself down to the population average: “This is the reason I take these meds, right? So I can live a life that seems relatively normal. Except for one thing: I don’t want to be normal”.

5. In the local news, taking into account that many undocumented migrants in the big Spanish cities end up as street vendors of fake goods and knickknacks constantly harassed by the police and earning criminal records that then make ‘papers’ nearly impossible, there is activism around these issues and much of that involves garments. (In Catalan) Roba que dignifica vides + (in Spanish) the union of street vendors who have launched their own garment line + (in Spanish) and, as an alternative to those economic activities, there is also a cooperative dedicated to African-inspired fashion and catering: Diomcoop / Diambaar. So if you want a waxprint-y something made in Barcelona, those might be the people to get in touch with.

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What I was writing about a year ago: Capsule wardrobes trans-seasonally and beyond seasonality.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w33 + Sunday links.

Another old post you might enjoy because the swap is coming: Why We Swap and How.

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Are you ready for the September swap? Oh, yes, it has been too long… And if you are not in Barcelona, make your own! I have plenty of tips here, y también en castellano, por supuesto: He organizado seis intercambios de ropa y ésto es lo que he aprendido.

#whatiwore 2018w32 + Sunday links

Brain-food, brain-food, what a good idea…

While the focus here are classic male fashions, the attention to detail and the knowledge involved are fascinating: How To Judge Quality In Clothing.

And a counterfactual rant about how little women’s fashion actually cares about their consumers comfort (not to talk about the workers): 15 Infuriating Things We All Hate About Women’s Clothing. You would have thought that after all the memes about pockets, the industry would have got the message. Here, I made a little Pinterest board of them, you are welcome! For example, part of Sanjukta’s business is to put pockets on your garment for 10€. Résistance forever!

A call for a new dress reform: The Jumpsuit That Will Replace All Clothes Forever.

When somebody decides to translate the message into action, it becomes news: New University Rules Encourage Scientists to Avoid Air Travel. Here you have my bits on the topic: My Sustainability Fails in March and then trying to take some action in June – Train Travel Long Distance in Europe.

When the job of an activist is done and a huge milestone is achieved, there is always aftermath: It’s been two months now [since the Irish abortion referendum].

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What I was writing about a year ago: The Future of Riga Capsule.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w32 + Sunday links.

Another old post you might enjoy: The Minimalist Wardrobe Masterpost: What Do People Do and Why?

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My crumply top season is still on, survival is still the priority and wearing any garments feels awful… How is your summer going? Ready for some cardigans and blanket scarves? Already making Pinterest wishboards full of skiing sweaters?

Also, my first KonMari consulting client ‘graduated’, so I have some free time on my hands. Get in touch if you are interested in some life changing magic of tidying up!

#whatiwore 2018w31 + Sunday links

A random update: As you might guess by the crumply texture of my blouse on Friday, it’s August in Barcelona and I’m almost past caring. Getting dressed – as in wearing *anything* – is an everyday struggle. I reassess my life choices every time I have to put on a bra. I try to walk in shade, move slowly, avoid chub rub and heat stroke, plan my day according to AC availability… and I’m exhausted already on 5th of August.

I’ll be working from home next two weeks, because even my university closes for two weeks in August, so next week’s #wiw post will probably consist of the bare minimum needed to dash out for more watermelon and trips to the swimming pool two blocks down.

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Now find the coolest spot available and feed the brain:

You think that fashion is somehow getting ugly? Well, you are not alone: Fanny packs. Prairie dresses. Luxury shower shoes: Is fashion trolling us or what? And it’s not the first time either: Plug Ugly (1996).

The n-th reminder of what’s wrong with fashion industry and how raw denim revival is a thing now: In a disposable age, luxury is something old, worn, and beautiful + what an expert review looks like: Japanese Denim for $68. Too Good to Be True? + how all this ‘break it in and make your own fades’ outlook makes denim a niche for sustainability interest (and how it is possible to clean up the denim manufacturing if one wants to): You Buy Free Range-Eggs. So Why Are You Still Wearing Dirty Denim?

How Can You Tell When A Fashion Brand Is Greenwashing? Well, a good indication is a fluffy language with no facts… Telling about how the products will make you feel instead of how and where they are made, for example.

How I feel about millionaires making their own space programmes, yuck: Narcissists in Space.

Although I’m formally a millennial, there are still internet things I had no idea existed (and what weird things those usually are, too): The nightmare videos of childrens’ YouTube — and what’s wrong with the internet today.

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What I was writing about a year ago: My take on “formal” and dressing up out of a capsule.

What I was wearing a year ago (see how many items coincide!): #whatiwore 2017w31 + Sunday links.

Another old post you might enjoy: Let it go, let go (of non-serving restrictions).

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Are you getting any extreme weather that precludes all other style desires? I’ve also noticed that the heat activates my body dysmorphia… Not because it’s the bikini season (my work is by the beach, so I see not only the beautiful, bronzed and breezy but also the burnt, exhausted and disheveled) but because how it feels to inhabit this body in heat. It feels too abundant, too fleshy, too wet and not contained properly… I’ll have to go back to my own advice about body kindness. How about you?

#whatiwore 2018w30 + Sunday links

A random update: I’m finally reviving and migrating my photo blog into this space, so there is a bit of reorganization going on in the Categories section and, if you are a WordPress or RSS subscriber, you have received a couple of posts that don’t look much like my usual content. Photo posts won’t be part of blog’s main section and have their special section instead, but feeds pick up all new posts and I haven’t found a way of filtering them. If they are not your cup of tea while my regular content is, I suggest you drop the feeds and follow my Facebook page or Instagram instead.

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What better reason to stay someplace air conditioned than to claim that your brain needs food?

If you have been anywhere near progressive media, you’ll know that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is our new darling. Hey, she even got George exited: A Revolution Has Begun. Meanwhile, if you want a couple of reminders about about what was is so great about Bernie (and how socialism is nothing new for US), here Bernie Sanders and the History of American Socialism and Why Bernie Sanders’s History of Racial Justice Activism Matters.

Ditch the tea bags! Or at least make the burn test of those baggies, because at least most conventional ones not only make your tea taste worse but also aren’t compostable: (in Spanish) ¿Hay plástico en las bolsitas de té? Unless you enjoy infusions of plastic and bleach…

In case you do festivals (I know, a bit too late maybe; rethink our festival waste and make a to-do list for next summer), How To Do Music Festivals Ethically and Sustainably and How to be Zero Waste at Music Festivals. As always, it comes to down to questioning what is really needed and not purchasing stuff for only one occasion. As with cheap airlines, read the rules carefully as the whole reason of existence of big festivals seem to be making you throw away your homemade sandwich so you can go buy theirs for 10€! The same goes for water, alcohol, etc. And I don’t think many European festivals will let you in with a glass container you can easily kill somebody onstage if you are a good thrower.

Very relevant for the ethical shopper easily lured into ‘get this fashion trend made by disadvantaged women in…’ and everybody who has ever had fantasies about ‘building a school in Africa’: The White-Savior Industrial Complex.

And in the to-do list of skills to be acquired goes Radical Listening: A Manifesto.

What I was writing about a year ago: How to survive summer heat in Barcelona.

Another old post you might enjoy: Heirlooms in the age of fast fashion: Do they still make any?

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The migration of the photo blog and making space for it on this site was also very useful for me to get in touch with my limits. I tried to do it all on my own, had to do recur to backups several times, and got to a point when the site was actually down for a couple of hours yesterday morning and I wasn’t able to do restore the backup on my own. Well, the helpful people at SiteGround did their job and everything is back to where it has to be, but the conceptual doubt remains: is it better to look for experts immediately or trying on your own first? What do you do? If you are on my camp with a ‘but of course I should be able to do this on my own’ attitude, power to you but make sure you have a good backup service in place before you start tinkering.

#whatiwore 2018w29 + Sunday links

Because anger is better than apathy, feed the brain:

On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs: A Work Rant by David Graeber – “This is a profound psychological violence here. How can one even begin to speak of dignity in labour when one secretly feels one’s job should not exist? How can it not create a sense of deep rage and resentment.”

+ an additional interview with him on the same topic, The Rise of Bullshit Jobs: “Most work isn’t about producing things, it’s about keeping them the same, it’s about maintaining them, taking care of them, but also taking care of people, taking care of plants and animals. […] You realize that even a lot of these classic working-class jobs are really caring labor, they’re about taking care of people.”

A tongue-in-cheek adaptation of the Kübler-Ross model to accepting the perversity of fast fashion and breaking up with it – 5 Stages of Grief: Breaking Up with an Unethical Brand. Might be especially useful if you have an identity attachment to a brand, i.e. if you are their exact target audience aesthetically.

While the intention of the author seems to just chide the ethical consumption movement for their shortsightedness instead of proposing solutions, it is a good read to remind ourselves that (a) the typical contemporary supply chains are really complex and hard to control even if the brand wants to, unless they go off-grid and start producing in-house which raises prices, of course; (b) the forms of protest and resistance have to evolve when the target changes; and (c) it is bigger political and economic policies that set the playing field for the economic actors, those are political powers (or lack of them) that allow the corporations to do whatever they want: The Myth of the Ethical Shopper.

And the weekly reminder about haw horrific it is to work for that typical supply chain – #MeToo in the Supply Chain: Violence is a “Daily Reality” for Female Garment Workers.

What I was writing about a year ago: Lessons learnt from the Fashion Revolution MOOC.

Another old post you might enjoy: Persuasion or #fuckfastfashion, but gently.

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Which fast fashion crimes anger you the most? What was the trigger for you to start looking around for alternatives? What fast fashion perks – low prices, constant novelty, retail therapy – are you willing to give up in order to improve this? Which ones have been the hardest ones to give up?

#whatiwore 2018w28 + Sunday links

A random update: By the end of this week I was so fed up with my hair, the heat, the PhD and life in general that recurring to a feminine classic of going to a hairdresser seemed like a very good idea. I showed her this 2012 photo (July 17, btw, 6 years ago almost to a day):

There is wisdom in folk clichés, indeed. The hairdresser did this and I couldn’t be happier:

And now some material to chill your brain with incoming info:

George Monbiot on how memory bias and changing baselines – among other obstacles – prevent us from grasping climate change and mass extinctions: In Memoriam.

Archana is back! And she brings heart warming tales about composting, too.

Has it been a week or so since you added a new item it your list of environmental worries? Ha, here you have a new one: low hanging ozone. Yes, we love it when it’s in the stratosphere but – turns out! – not so much in the troposphere. And I had already put ozone under my very short list of ‘environmental fuckups humans actually reverted‘… while that is still true, it’s not the end of the story of us and ozone.

Is Online or In-Store Shopping More Eco-Friendly? based mainly in this paper by Dimitri Weideli: Environmental Analysis of US Online Shopping… Main message? It depends! Jen focuses on the driving associated with in-store shopping vs. deliveries which – isolated from everything else and assuming that the person doesn’t move their car to browse previously or to do sth else instead – are more efficient in route planning. However, there are so many other issues that are hard to assess (and Weideli tries to estimate it): which mode uses more packaging (because the store wares did came wrapped in something to the store but probably less than when they package one item for shipping), which one has a better carbon footprint (things have been already shipped in bulk to your high street or the super special lip balm from New Zealand; but what about if it’s responsibly made in New Zealand and the high street stuff is much worse in their production practices)?

Here is his break-down of CO2 emissions assuming that it is either online or in-store and not the person who went through all the stores in their city (by car!) and then ordered online, and that the product is the same (which in sustainable fashion niches it tends *not* to be):

So, if you like the in-store experience, don’t drive there! If you like shopping on-line, don’t ask for a speedy shipping and insist on the least packaging possible. And they better make it recyclable if not compostable. Or, even better, just stop shopping!

What I was writing about a year ago: Garment makers and fixers, I salute you.

Another old post you might enjoy: Vision-building for your wardrobe.

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Do you ever struggle with shopping decisions due to multiple considerations: aesthetics, ethics, CO2, distance? Which of those seal the deal for you?

#whatiwore 2018w27 + Sunday links

A random update: I’m still working on incorporating the #memade beige skirt into my everyday life. So far I’m accepting that it crumples *a lot* and that the hem will soon need a dye job to cover the bike oil stains. Yeah, I know, my wish not to save garments for special occasions take through a lot and only the true heroes persist, like so:


And even in 30ºC heat, the little gray cells need to be fed:

Just a reminder on why you don’t want to partake in the fast fashion July sales: Low Wages, Violence Against Women Continues in Indian Garment Factories.

A few long reads on revolutionary attempts? I’ve Jacobin mag‘s got you covered: Ralph Miliband’s 1990 essay on Counter-Hegemonic Struggles; How Beautiful It Was on May’68; and just to inspire to think out of the box – There’s More Than One Way to Strike the Boss.

And this: A Woman’s Work: Home Economics* (*I Took Woodworking Instead) – Carolita Johnson tallies the costs and benefits of love and cohabitation as a woman artist living in a patriarchy.

What I was writing about a year ago: How expensive is an ethical wardrobe? 2017 first half money talk.

Another old post you might enjoy: Breathe deeply, it’s clean enough.

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Have you had an experience of making or acquiring something beautiful and then struggling into making it work in your life exactly because it’s so special? What did you do? Did you accept that it will lose its luster and use it anyway or did you save it for special occasions?

#whatiwore 2018w26 + Sunday links

Here, memento mori:

What strike me most when learning about Kate Spade? On the positive note, the ‘just go and do (although you have very limited knowledge about the job)’ message. On the other, I didn’t know that it’s possible to give up the rights not only to all your intellectual property but also to your own name. Scary shit. For a context: 10 Minutes with Kate Spade, the Person; Kate and Andy Spade on NPR’s How I Built This; American Fashion Designer Kate Spade Dead at 55; Kate Spade’s Legacy Was Bringing Color and Quirk to Fashion + The Fashion Industry is Exclusive, Should We Expect its Coverage to Be Any Different? + Kering is Shuttering Tomas Maier’s Brand But His Trademark Lives On (And That’s Important).

After my take on body positivity, here you have two other bits: Body Positivity Is a Scam and Active ways to cultivate positive body image.

And bits about coherence in fashion (thanks to The Fashion Law ♥): When Is It Okay for Brands to Get Political? Ask Noah and Paris Fashion Week’s Front Rows Speak to Fashion’s Complicated Stance on #MeToo.

What I was writing about a year ago: #30wears and 18 months of counting.

Another old post you might enjoy: Get to know your fibers (and stop cutting the tags).

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As you can see, my outfits vary less in summer. I guess that’s because of lack of layering pieces. Have you had any adventures with outfit repetition, like having to explain it anybody that it’s OK? Do you think that people actually notice outfit repetition?

#whatiwore 2018w25 + Sunday links

Feed the brain (and keep it hydrated, too):

After the glitter shit, want another new environmental worry? Great, I give you *light*. Can Reducing Light Pollution Help Pollinators?

When recycling is a (low-key) crime, and how inefficient the donation system is unless stuff is sent abroad – Here’s What Really Happens to Your Used Clothes: How what you donate in the United States gets smuggled into Mexico.

And from a person trying to – still! – figure out what I think about the Academia, here you have some William Deresiewicz: The Disadvantages of an Elite Education and Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League.

One of my head explosion moment regarding garment manufacturing was that there is no garment-with-seams machines – I can’t find the link now, sorry – in a sense that it all (except the seamless knitted pieces) needs human expertise and touch to properly construct garments. Well, 3D printing is changing some of that: Robots Are Making Gucci’s $650 Sneakers, Balenciaga’s Runway Jackets.

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What do you think, what will be the next true revolution in fashion technology? Large scale 3D printing? Mass composting? Or just a coat of durable finishing à la Ghost in the Shell? My favorite 20th century ones are first nylon stockings being so durable Dupont had to rethink the whole thing to sell more than a pair per person (i.e. redesigned priming sheerness over strength) and the t-shirt – an undergarment! – becoming socially accepted as an ‘essential’.