A Blanket For A Cape

Habitat blanket Decke Köln Cologne poncho capeI’m in my room and right in front of my desk stands a Panton couch. Draped above it lays a cotton blanket which I snapped at the last Habitat sale. The colors reminded me of Turkish hammam towels which I always thought of really stylish. Have to get some one day, too. Considering my freezing toes the blanket seems so appealing but I can’t put it on my legs, it would get tangled in the rolls of my desk chair. Annoying!

So I throw the blanket around my shoulders which has led me to recognize how stylish a cape at home looks. A home cape, tadaa. I feel really regal and it warms me so good without bulking me up.

I’ll tell you about the reasons of my cold flat. Differently to housing in many countries, here the option to regulate radiators exists. And we have comparatively well isolation, not as good as in Sweden but mostly better as in the States. The downfall is that with isolation which prevents homes getting below zero degrees celsius people have come up with stupid ideas, at least for a warmth loving Iranian like me.

All the years I live here in Germany there has always been one constant, no matter what place I lived or stayed. Landlords and house owners love to shut down radiators exactly at 10 pm (if you’re lucky maybe at 11 pm) and not turn them on before six in the morning. It’s very common!!! Can you imagine?

Oh, people here are so ecofriendly and like to refer that you’re not supposed to sleep in a warm bedroom. That maybe but I am also not supposed to shiver under my goose down duvet while I try to fall asleep.

Who needs to heat at day anyway? A normal person is out then… working, at uni, doing stuff in general. I need me a cozy warm home at night when I’m done with my daily business. No no, I think this whole affair is pure stinginess disguised as being eco.

It’s hard cold winter, with turned off radiators my flat cools down badly every night. And see, this is one of those nights were I work deep into at my desk. I’m already dressed warmly but more layers and I can’t move anymore. It’s already so shameful looking like a potato betraying my Pinterest board of dreamy home looks.

At least I have my big red blanket and I’m so happy about it.

Is there anyone out there with similar sensibility to the cold? I am sure not the only one misusing her blanket as a cape. Though as I seem to be the only one under my friends freezing that much all the time. I thought I would share this with you internet. Maybe there are fellow sufferers amongst you.

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Replays Comeback On The Eco-Friendly Jeans With New L.I.F.E Laserblast Technology

Campaign Replay Laserblast L.I.F.E EcoWarrior Aleksandra Orbeck-Nilssen

 

Since last week Replay has launched its new eco warrior campaign to promote their newest take in eco-friendly jeans. As you can see in the above image they take the campaign name really serious and show off a beautiful girl FEMEN style wearing the new Replay Laserblast L.I.F.E in the boyfriend cut being arrested by some pretty highly harnessed policemen. This is clever as it also transports the sexual vibe which alway comes in very handy in advertising denim.

Of course there is also a male counterpart, fortunately for us styled the same way:

Enok Groven Campaign Replay Laserblast L.I.F.E EcoWarrior

Ain’t this some piercing eyes? Reading through the press material it turns out those two are more than just pretty faces, they’re actual environment activists. Nice! And Replay supports their causes.

The cutie here is Enok Groven, founder of Fashion Against Climate Change, and the female protagonist Aleksandra Orbeck-Nilssen who is also an actress developed the Nanofasa Conservation Trust.

Replay also produced a cinematographic clip full of half naked, good looking people. It is advertisement but feels more like a Woodkid video clip located in a wonderfully green forest. With showing the aggressive movement I like that the viewer gets a good impression of the jeans look and fit. The male ones look en vogue, a little tight but not too much with a low waist. Interesting that Replay decided to not go mainstream in the female department. Right now where everybody is calling for the high rise Replay stays ‘conservative’ and only releases low waist. And the video proofs they’re not kidding marking the cut low waist. Watching it I was surprised not to see any butt cracks!!!

So what is it about this new technology that makes the new styles so eco-friendly? A few years ago Replay sold organic cotton jeans which are sadly nowhere to be found anymore. Using organic cotton fabric meant less pesticides in the growing process. But there are more ways to get jeans eco-friendly. As we all know creating distressed denim wastes and pollutes a lot of water in the process. First a lot of hazardous chemicals need to be used for coloring, bleaching, washing and printing. Then comes the sandblasting which is highly harmful for the factory workers.

Replay states that its Laserblast technology relies on a coloring technique using natural pigments of mineral origin giving the fabric a used look right from the beginning. For distressing they use laserblasting instead of sandblasting which is then followed by stone washing to soften the look.

I hopped over to the website and compared the looks. I have to say that I like the end results of the new technique much more than the regular distressed style. It seems more refined and smooth.

The price point is still very high but I think this brand makes a good step in the right direction and I appreciate that. If the end results harm the environment less and are beautiful, why not?

Now let’s hope that they’ll also make a comeback of the organic fabric then I will be completely sold.

 

Gift Wrapping – The Eco-Friendly Way

Watercolor Birthday Card and Ecofriendly Gift wrapping

Let me show you my take on eco-friendly gift wrapping.

  1. Create a greeting card yourself. This might scare you but it is not difficult or time consuming. Just take some piece of paper or card board and write something nice. Even scraps would do as we live in the fortunate times of hipstery where unperfection is considered as artsy. If your just a little bit talented paint something on one side. Watercolor will always look beautiful. Then you will have invested your time in being creative and have more for actual gift shopping. Believe me, this will be appreciated.
  2. Now to the wrapping. Use brown kraft paper from a roll or news-paper if the present is bigger. A simple all-time classic I remember well from my childhood when Müsli-loving parents of classmates were already on the clean environment bandwagon. If the present is nice and tiny you can also just rip out a page of some glossy magazine like Vogue. Once packed it will look like regular wrapping paper.

    ecofriendly wrapping - rip out magazine page
    This is a nice print… Rip out a page and cut to liking.
  3. In the end just tie everything together with some hemp twine. There you have it then: a perfectly wrapped present with a bow and no bad conscience because as everything is biodegradable.

May the lavish decadence of gifting each other take on but from now on more in zen with nature and our wallets.

The Coolest New Swimwear Label

Hey folks, a new player of stylo beachwear arrived in town!

mymarini outfit fuchsia red bathing suit swimwear one piece

mymarini one piece flitter shop grau bathing suit swimwear

mymarini outfit bathing suit swimwear one piecemymarini one piece mymarini flitter detail shop mymarini outfit bathing suit swimwear one piece

Look at those swimsuits! I’m in love with them. The brand is MYMARINI, ethical swimwear made in Hamburg. A friend of mine which is befriended with the designer Mareen Burk hinted me to them.

I wish this label was already out two years ago when I was on a desperate month long hunt for a cute bathing suit that ended with buying a cool yet disappointingly low quality one from Anthropologie for 200 Euros!!! I knoooow that is a lot of money but you would have done the same after months and months of fruitless searching.

At that time options for girls refusing to wear a bikini were somewhat limited. Since then it has become better with labels popping everywhere. But it is still tricky to find a suitable swimsuit as it is a little known fact that there has to be put a certain amount of craftsmanship into the design of a non-wired swimsuit in order that nothing wiggles around. This will not happen with the MYMARINI pieces assures us the designer as all of her suits are double-lined which firms and acts slightly slimming, yay. The price point is almost as high as my Anthropologie one but the quality is way better, for sure.

I like that she uses ecofriendly fabric from Italy, you can read about it here, and prefers to produce everything in Germany by herself and her team so it is hundert percent ethical.

In fact Mareen has a background as graphic designer and surfer babe and this really shines through in her pieces. The best stuff has always come from people who now what they’re doing and develop stuff which they actually want to use themselves. Her designs are sleek and chic but still sporty enough to have fun at the beach. Personally I do like the focus on a high waist which gives everything also a little of the retro vibe that I adore so much.

This image is from the Facebook site:

mymarini outfit bathing suit swimwear one piece

And below a dreamy campaign pic of the brands bikinis photographed by Gordon Timpen.

My Marini Bikini Campaign pics by Gordon TimpenAnd after clicking through all the product pictures I noticed that the brand uses beautiful, fit models but doesn’t (over-)photoshop them. This is cool! First, it looks cool and second, it lets you better imagine how the suits would fit on yourself. Ain’t that great?

UPDATE: The site offers free shipping to the US!!!

 

One Year Anniversary Of Rana Plaza Collapse: A Great Web Docu And How High Street Retailer Practices Affect Us

Web Docu The Guardian Bangladesh Rana plaza Fashion Revolution Day

While we speak of high street retailers let’s remember the people who died one year ago at the collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh.

To freshen up your memory I highly recommend this touching interactive web docu by The Guardian. You can decide the pace of the clips yourself while at the side bars the creators present facts in an innovative way.

The web is full of discussions about production conditions in the garment industry, but I don’t really see word spreading to the streets. Well, we should be concerned because bad conditions don’t just happen in lands far far away. Retailers like Primark are taking it up to the next level and continue their exploitive philosophy right here where you live.

In order to become even cheaper than for example H&M, wages and conditions in stores are low, too. (More info in this German docu) And that is where teenagers or students work… Nice concept…not! : get them to work for less and by luring them with fast fashion, let them reinvest the money right away in your company again!

Yes, to a certain degree the costumer is to blame as theoretically he is in charge to decide where he takes his money. But actually it is a misconception to think he is free in this decision. On one hand many people just have no time to inform themselves and then source out what not only will suit their personal needs but also meet ethical standards. I try that very often, sooo time consuming! In most cases companies simply just take advantage of the fact that humans behave in a special way and lead us into shallow consumerism. People are so detached from the whole process of production how can anybody expect them to do the right?

Also companies want us to believe that the ‘greedy’ costumer is demanding low product pricing. But that is simply not true. Nobody asked for cheap clothes which even won’t stand one wash cycle. We were perfectly fine with store concepts before and people would be willing to pay more. But have you seen shopping streets these days? There are only stores of big corporations and no matter if high street or middle sector brands, their garments come from the same manufacturers somewhere in Bangladesh or China and similar. There is little and less choice. And I don’t think that like 100 Euro for a jacket probably produced under slave conditions is cheap. Sure, it’s less than I would pay for a designer piece but at the end not that bargain… It is the companies who insist on their high margins! No matter how high or low the price at the end companies keep their margin and often this is much higher compared to actual design brands. No wonder haute couture and even prêt-à-porter make their main money through accessory business.

As governments still fail to do their job and set a regulatory framework, informed costumers have to push the more. Besides supporting local and fair brands you can always tweet or message companies via Facebook, we all know social media is very powerful. Or take part in campaigns like Fashion Revolution Day and petitions on change.org just follow them and be on track.

Speaking of Hidden Plastic

Now that I have become aware of the problems caused through the use of Polyethylene I am really surprised at which brands this stuff is to be found.

KIEHL'S Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub
KIEHL’S Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub

Under that topic I decided to post about a clear product fail of high end skincare brand KIEHL’S. Yes, a point with the finger in the direction of KIEHL’S FACIAL FUEL Energizing Scrub. This Scrub is aimed for men and it was part of a Christmas gift set we received. As my BF has amazing skin and I would never allow ruining that with sanding it down I wanted to try the scrub myself. Like always I first looked at the ingredients list just out of interest. My eyes got wide seeing it contained Polyethylene at second! range in the list. Thanks KIEHL’S for ripping my relatives off their money by selling them mostly water with shredded plastic.

I mean you can’t expect a lot of cheap drugstore cosmetics. In order to make them widely affordable they often use substitutes. But KIEHL’S is an expensive brand, playing with an apothecary image and high class store design. Polyethylene is the cheapest of all abrasive particles and at the same time the most expensive to clear out of the environment. Funny how companies propagate us more health and beauty while at long term they actually harm us.

It was not an easy decision to put out a rant like this, especially concerning a brand I once liked very much, but this issue is too important as to let it go. Cases like this should remind us that no matter which image and philosophy brands in whatever price league try to propagate,  we also should take a second or two and check the ingredients list beforehand. There are plenty of natural alternatives for micro plastic beads like nut shells, pomegranate seeds etc. Some are critical for people with allergies but at least they don’t contaminate our water and food.

So now, tell me what shall I do with that scrub as I can’t use it. I think I have to throw it away. Garbage recycling here in Germany works pretty well but still… what a waste!

Hidden Plastic

Some subjects are too important as not to be mentioned. As it is the problems that are caused by people’s use of plastic.

German television recently published a disturbing report about hidden micro-plastics in cosmetics. So you better watch out for “polyethylene” on the ingredients list and better reach for another toothpaste or peeling. Surely you don’t want to eat those plastic beads.

If you don’t bother the report is only available in German: