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Beauty
Long-lasting clothing: How to make your garments live fulfilling life PDF Print Write e-mail
beauty
Written by Kristi Kuusk   
Monday, 28 February 2011 11:29

313567oun584b7oHow do you take care of your favorite clothes to keep them looking fresh and neat up to the possible maximum period of usage? 

 

Here are some simple tips that could help clothing maintain its look and last longer:

 

 

 

- Read care labels and act accordingly. These instructions are based on the materials used, so following them is at the very core of taking care of the costume.  If you are not sure what all the symbols on care labels mean, have a look at this online clothing label guide and learn them.

- Wash clothes in cold water. This is good for the textile and the environment in so many different ways. Most of the materials today will get clean in cold-water temperatures.

- Hang clothes to dry rather than using dryers. This process helps to prevent shrinkage and also saves energy.

- Zip up zippers before washing otherwise they can tear your other clothes in the machine.

- Take care of stains immediately!  Waiting only makes them worse. 

- Fix holes as soon as you notice them.  It takes no time for holes to grow, and yet it's so much easier to fix the small ones.

- Wash clothes less frequently.  Garments don't need to be washed after every use. Estimate each item's need for a wash individually.

- Avoid bleaching and starching. 

- Don't tear off the tags. It may break the textile. Cut them off with scissors instead.

- Wear aprons. Cooking grease and food tend to get splashed on clothes easily.  Find a classy apron and make protecting clothes an adventure.

 

Add your practical experience in comments!

 

Source of information:

http://www.garmentcare.info/make_clothing_last/ten_ways_to_ensure_long_life_for_your_clothing.html

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/8-ways-to-make-your-clothing-last.html#

Edited by Karen Plumley

Image: africa / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Last Updated on Monday, 28 February 2011 11:42
 
Sustainable soft materials of the future PDF Print Write e-mail
beauty
Written by Kristi Kuusk   
Monday, 07 February 2011 11:19
DSCN2812-crop-500x300

Today we have a general idea about what is sustainable in textiles and what is not. For example, we know that cotton is kind of OK, if it's not manufactured under unsustainable conditions (child labour, water waste, etc…). We believe that synthetics are not so sustainable because of their oil origin, even if the impact on us is not obvious (see previous article about toxics in fashion).

Basically, natural textiles are generally understood to be sustainable. On the other hand organic fibres are difficult to handle and therefore take more energy and work to process and to take care of than oil-based synthetics. There are deep discussions about which is ultimately better. To make us even more confused let's add the variable of life length of the garment. A long-worn dress of ANY material beats a super eco outfit that is just used a couple of times. So, the question of sustainability in fashion can be considered from diverse angles. Today I'll discuss some inspiring eco fabrics that might change our mindsets along with our understandings of what is sustainable.

 

Eco Fabrics

Cotton can be grown and harvested in various ways. One type of cotton whose sustainability we can be sure of is Fairtrade certified cotton. It is produced according to ethical standards and serves the interests of farmers as well. Organic cotton is another sort of fabric which mostly supports African farmers.

Hemp is a very interesting ecologically-sound material that doesn't need much water and hardly any human intervention to grow. It can easily be combined with cotton or with added elasticity to achieve a softer feel, or with silk to create a smooth cloth.

Linen is made from flax and is also a traditional fibre crop that needs few chemical fertilizers and not as much pesticides as cotton.

Wool can be organic if it's produced using sustainable farming practices and as long as toxic food is not fed to the animals.

Recycled polyester is made from used plastic bottles and is used mostly for fleece jackets and sports clothing. 

Wild (raw/tussah/peace) silk is cruelty-free, as the cocoons are gathered after the moth emerges. This is an excellent alternative to the conventional way of making silk: (see the article on this topic).

Tencel and Modal are interesting new materials made from eucalyptus and beech wood using nanotechnology.

Bamboo is also a fabric that is made of a crop that grows fast without any need for fertilizers or pesticides. 

Crabyon is another innovative fibre made from crabmeat. It is mixed with cellulose to create a new generation of biological, antibacterial fabrics and yarns.

 

These materials mentioned have their drawbacks such as toxics released while processing them or the amount of water used, but in comparison to conventional fashion fabrics, they are clearly a step forward.

 

 

Edited on 16.01.2011 by Will MacCallum

Last Updated on Monday, 07 February 2011 11:48
 
Environment-Friendly Garments: Introducing Organic Fashion for Women by MuMu PDF Print Write e-mail
beauty
Written by Kristi Kuusk   
Monday, 27 December 2010 17:04

Environment-Friendly Garments: Introducing Organic Fashion for Women by MuMu

 lily_dress_red_and_whiteAs a nice tradition, I have yet another organic fashion brand to introduce this year: MuMu in Greece! I hope that seeing such fabulous, environment-friendly garments will cause us to rethink where we buy our clothes, and misconceptions such as "ecological is ugly" will melt away faster than snow in the sunlight. A growing number of ecological fashion designers and producers are slowly emerging in every country!

MuMu is a brand of organic women's clothing that was founded in 2009. The designers at MuMu create breezy, light, handmade dresses that are produced locally in Greece with fair-trade principles and 100% organic fabrics.

The Cyclades Islands of the Aegean Sea, with their blue skies and cobalt-colored waters, provided the inspiration for MuMu’s Spring/Summer 2011 (SS11) collection. In it, we find solid colors, polka dots, and a very fine lappet voile with lovely self-patterned fabric.

You can browse MuMu’s designs at www.mumusyros.gr. The entire SS11 collection will be available to buy online in March.

MuMu is currently looking for retailers to sell its lovely products, so if you know somebody wishing to promote an ecological garment brand, visit the website for contact information.

 

 

 

Additionally, if you know of a similar ethical brand in your hometown, please e-mail me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Edited on 20.12.2010 by Karen Plumley

Photo credits: MuMu

Last Updated on Saturday, 01 January 2011 20:47
 
Introducing: MUST PDF Print Write e-mail
beauty
Written by Kristi Kuusk   
Friday, 03 December 2010 21:21

Can you imagine a fashion brand that acts sustainably, tastes like truffles and smells like coffee?

Some time ago we introduced you to an amazing start-up fashion brand in Poland, Papayalove. Today we go even more up to the North and present a brand started from a MA thesis in Estonian Academy of Arts in 2010 spring - MUST. The designers behind MUST Mood (the company name has meaning in English as well as in Estonian, straight translation would be "Black Fashion") are Evely Kink, Kaisa Kottise and Triin Kaiv.

Creators of MUST are not surprisingly concerned about over consumption problem in fashion industry. They want to help buyers to make smart decisions by offering nice and ethical products that wouldn't be disposed too fast. MUST aims to be organic slow fashion brand ("slow fashion" is the sustainable opposite to the widely known term "fast fashion" that cherish quality over quantity) with all the tailoring work done in Estonia by high-quality professionals.

IMG_7397-vi IMG_7471-vi

The brand is aimed to stimulate five senses that all complement each other. Besides the beautiful collection there are also special music (from Stereo Spectrum), aroma (in a form of a soap that smells like toasted coffee), taste (truffles of coffe-chilly), video clip (from Mollusk Production) which you can see: http://vimeo.com/15739313

The designers use organic materials in their creation. Mainly silk, but also hemp, bamboo, cotton and Merino wool. For their first collection they ordered fabrics from USA and India. For the following collections they have decided to order the fabrics from Europe, which makes more sense economically and environmentally. Nevertheless, due to climate and more and more furthering production from the area, it is hard to find local ecological materials, besides linen, in the region of Baltics.

These lovely pieces are available in some small design shops in Tallinn (Estonia), but MUST also takes orders in the internet. Just to have an idea the price range of the garments is about 130-400 Euros.

 IMG_4373

Find MUST on Facebook as Must Mood.

 MUST_2 IMG_9641

If you run or have noticed similar good-goaled brand in your hometown, please send me a hint to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Photo credits: Kristina Õllek, Merli Antsmaa, Evely Kink, Kaisa Kottise

 
Can I boil you alive? PDF Print Write e-mail
beauty
Written by Kristi Kuusk   
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 17:02

Silkworm_Moth_by_pcburgerHey, can I boil you alive to get a good quality yarn from your cocoon?

Science nowadays allows us to grow jackets out from our own skin to replace leather taken from animals. Sure, to develop such concepts takes time and we can't deny animal tissue's good properties to our body and to its appreciated protection from cold. Then, what should we consider, wear, to be sustainable?

Animal welfare is one of the main problems in fashion area social impacts among labour exploitation, in particular child labour and poor working conditions, trade inequities. Some natural fabrics such as wool, leather, angora are either by-products of the food industry or from animals bred for their coats. However, there are concerns over the welfare during breeding, capture, rearing, transportation and slaughter of these animals. This doesn't surprise you I guess.

But did you know that conventional silk production, for example gasses, boils or even roasts silkworm cocoons whilst still alive to ensure a high-quality yarn. While in the creation of "peace silk", moths are allowed to emerge from their cocoons to live out their full life cycle. The silk is degummed and spun like other fibre, instead of being reeled. I would prefer that!

Basically, when an animal sheered for its wool is not injected with any hormones, and feeds on organic substances (either grain or grasses not treated with pesticides) the product is considered organic. Organic wool also refers to the process of making the sheered wool fibre into a spun yarn and textile. In order to be considered organic, the process does not include the typical bleaching and chemical processing. The organic manufacture of wool is very sustainable, but in order to comply with certification programs it is typically on a relatively small scale. (Earth Pledge, 2009)

As follows to dress sustainable, in the animal welfare point of view, we, first of all, need to care where the clothes, yarn we use came from, how the animals were treated, what the whole process looks like and then already using common sense decide if it's the kind of garment we'd like to own.

Some videos to "shake" the mind (click on the image to see the video):

If you have a video about animal welfare in fashion you have noticed, please do include it in comments!

Image credits: The-Dork-Side & pcburger

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 November 2010 18:20
 
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