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Choosing style over labels.

Last week I was paid a visit by a sweet student, who is writing an assignment about sustainable fashion to finish her education in design management. She was gathering together some material about my experience with the capsule wardrobe system, and so I was actually re-inspired after her visit. Her assignment is meant to prove that sustainable fashion is not only about choosing to support sustainable brands. Don’t get me wrong; it’s also about that, but sustainable fashion is many other things too. We went through my entire wardrobe item for item and so she discovered, that the brands I have in my wardrobe varies a lot. I’ve got items from sustainable brands like People Tree and Everlane, but I do have things from H&M’s conventional collections too. So how does this match my approach to sustainable fashion?

I sidste uge havde jeg besøg af en sød studerende, der er ved at skrive en afsluttende opgave om bæredygtig mode på kandidat uddannelsen i designledelse. Hun skulle indsamle noget materiale i forhold til min oplevelse med capsule wardrobe konceptet, og i den forbindelse blev jeg faktisk lidt inspireret på ny. Hendes opgave skal nemlig vinkle og påvise, hvordan bæredygtig mode ikke kun har noget at gøre med, at købe bæredygtigt eller støtte op om bæredygtige brands. Misforstå mig ikke; det har i høj grad noget med dét at gøre, men bæredygtig mode er også andre ting. Vi gennem gik mit skab produkt for produkt, og når man kigger ind i mit skab og de mærker der hænger dér så er det en blandet landhandel. Der er både tøj fra bæredygtige mærker som People Tree og Everlane, men der hænger skam også ting fra H&M’s konventionelle kollektioner. Så hvordan stemmer det overens med bæredygtighed?

blazer – Inwear / jumper – Gestuz / jeans – Everlane / boots – Bianco (2ndhand) / bag – vintage

Style over labels and trends

Of course, this can’t necessarily be transferred to reality in a 1:1 ratio. I think you need to find a balance that makes sense to you. For example, I do compromise sometimes in order to support secondhand concepts or sustainable brands. But as a starting point, I choose style about labels and trends. It is more crucial to me that I radiate a particular style, that I choose good quality and that I feel amazing in the clothes I wear than the outside world being able to see where my clothes come from. Sure, I have a Calvin Klein logo sweatshirt in my wardrobe (which I love btw) and I would be lying if I denied that a vintage Chanel 2.55 was not high on my wish list. Besides that I freakin’ LOVE my vintage Levi’s jeans, because they are iconic; they were originally made as the most durable form of workwear and today they are a timeless classic. But both labels and trends often come with an expiration date, and it is the one I try to navigate away from as far possible. My style is timeless and not one I’ll be tired of next week. Therefore, a basic cotton shirt from H&M can in the long run be as sustainable as one that comes directly from a sustainable brand; because the crucial thing is that you invest in clothes you don’t consider as something disposable. In addition, I have 3 shirts from H&M that I have had for several years and they still stay in shape. There are, however, things like basic t-shirts for 10 bucks I would never buy (they end up getting worn out after only a few washes), so it’s also about learning a thing or two about good quality. You can learn more about that right here. And of course it is clearly better to support sustainable production wherever you can – but I hope you understand my point, that long-term clothing in itself is really sustainable too.

Be creative with what you have

You know that I practice this through the capsule wardrobe concept. When you have a capsule wardrobe, you get the opportunity to re-invent your wardrobe and “shop” things you have already that’s just been stored away from last year. Besides that, I enjoy collecting inspiration on Pinterest, and I save any looks that are based on things I already have, so I force myself to style my clothes in new ways. I also have my Steal Her Style series on Youtube, which I know you guys love, which is exactly about recreating looks of my style icons only using things I already own. Being creative also means upcycling clothes you already have. I have, among other things, made this video where i show you how to revamp an old t-shirt with some lace fabric. So sustainable fashion is also about being creative with what you already own, rather than constantly looking for new things to add to your wardrobe.

Give your clothes the right care

Last but not least, sustainable fashion is also about taking care of the things that you have invested in to make them last as long as possible. And by this I don’t mean sparing your items from use (enjoy the things you have and USE them – that’s why they are there!), but give them the proper care when they need it. For example, I occasionally send my off to the local cobblers and have him put on a new sole, give them leather care or maybe I’ll wash the laces in my sneakers so they look clean again. I remove pilling from my jumpers and woolen coats with an old razor, send off blazers to the dry cleaner’s or hang them outside in fresh air. So taking care of your garments to prolong their life is also really sustainable. You can get all my tips for caring for your wardrobe right here.

 

Stil over labels og trends

Dette kan selvfølgelig ikke nødvendigvis overføres til virkeligheden i forholdet 1:1. Jeg synes man skal finde en balance der giver mening. Jeg har det fx okay med, at gå lidt på kompromis indimellem, for at støtte op om genbrugskoncepter eller bæredygtige brands. Men som udgangspunkt så vælger jeg stil over labels og trends. Det er mere afgørende for mig, at jeg udstråler en bestemt stil, at jeg vælger god kvalitet og at jeg har det godt i det jeg har på, end at omverdenen kan se hvor mine ting er fra. Jo vidst har jeg en Calvin Klein logo sweatshirt i min garderobe (som jeg iøvrigt elsker), og jeg ville lyve hvis jeg benægtede, at en vintage Chanel 2.55 ikke stod højt på min ønskeliste. Desuden ELSKER jeg mine vintage Levi’s jeans, fordi de er ikoniske i både udtryk og kvalitet; de blev lavet i sin tid, som slidstærkt arbejdstøj og i dag er de en tidløs klassiker. Så det er en balance, synes jeg. Men både labels og trends kommer ofte med en udløbsdato, og det er dén jeg så vidt muligt forsøger, at navigere uden om. Min stil er tidløs og ikke én jeg bliver træt af næste uge. Derfor kan en basic bomuldsskjorte fra H&M i det lange løb være ligeså bæredygtig som én, der kommer direkte fra et bæredygtigt brand; fordi det afgørende er, at du investerer i tøj du ikke anser, som noget du jo bare kan smide ud så snart du ikke gider det mere. Jeg har iøvrigt 3 skjorter fra H&M som jeg har haft i flere år, og de holder sig stadig super fine. Der er dog ting såsom basis t-shirts til 80 kr. jeg fx navigerer udenom (de er grimme efter få vaske), så det handler også om, at indlære sig lidt kvalitetssnilde. Det kan du lære mere om lige HER. Og så kommer vi selvfølgelig ikke udenom, at det er klart bedre at støtte op om bæredygtig produktion dér hvor man kan – men jeg håber I forstår min pointe i, at langtidsholdbart tøj i sig selv er enormt bæredygtigt.

Vær kreativ med dét du har

Dette ved I at jeg især praktiserer igennem capsule wardrobe konceptet. Når man har en capsule wardrobe så får man hver sæson mulighed for, at genopfinde sin garderobe og “shoppe” ting man i forvejen har, som blot har været gemt væk fra sidste år. Udover det så ynder jeg at indsamle inspiration på Pinterest, og jeg gemmer helst looks som tager udgangspunkt i ting jeg allerede har, sådan at jeg tvinger mig selv til, at style mit tøj på nye måder. Jeg har også min Steal Her Style serie på Youtube, som jeg ved I elsker, og som tager udgangspunkt i netop dette. Under dette punkt ligger også upcycling af tøj du allerede har. Jeg har bl.a. lavet denne video, hvor jeg viser jer hvordan jeg pepper en gammel t-shirt op med noget blonde stof. Så bæredygtig mode handler i høj grad også om, at være kreativ med det man allerede har, i stedet for konstant at være på jagt efter nyt.

Giv dit tøj den rigtige pleje

Sidst men ikke mindst, så handler bæredygtig mode også om, at man passer på de ting man nu engang har valgt at investere i, så de holder længst muligt. Her mener jeg ikke at man nødvendigvis skal skåne sine items fra brug (nyd de ting du har og BRUG dem – det er dét de er der for!), men giv dem den rette pleje når de trænger. Jeg sender fx gerne jævnligt mine sko til skomageren og få sat ny sål på, giver dem en gang læderpleje eller vasker snørebåndene i mine sneakers så de ser rene ud igen. Jeg fjerner fnuller fra mine striktrøjer og uldfrakker med en gammel skraber, sender blazere til rens eller hænger dem uden for. Så det at passe på sit tøj for at forlænge dets levetid yderligere, er også enormt bæredygtigt. Du kan få alle mine tips til, at pleje din garderobe her.

Now this post may be based on fashion, but I really think it can be transferred to the way we consume it in general. If you want to be a more sustainable consumer it’s about finding a good balance in supporting sustainable concepts where it makes sense and not least making better choices in terms of good, lasting quality. It’s about generally staying away from the things that are not YOU, and don’t add a more or less unlimited form of value to your life, and so it’s more and more about quitting disposable products and gadgets you don’t really need . And remember we are (thankfully) all different – if you are fond of a large wardrobe and frequent replacements, that’s how it is. Luckily there are ways you can practice this without it having a negative effect on our environment. Among other things by buying more secondhand clothes or seeking exchange concepts, such as The Organic Club (Danish concept) or Lena Library. Find the approach that makes you happy; sustainability is for everyone, and it is not about depriving yourself from what makes you happy – quite the opposite in fact.  

Nu tager dette indlæg jo udgangspunkt i mode, men egentlig synes jeg det kan overføres til den måde vi forbruger på generelt. Hvis man gerne vil være en mere bæredygtig forbruger, så handler det om at finde en god balance i, at støtte op om bæredygtige koncepter dér hvor det giver mening, og ikke mindst at tage bedre valg rent kvalitetsmæssigt. Det handler om generelt at gå uden om de ting der ikke er DIG, og ikke tilfører en mere eller mindre ubegrænset form for værdi til dit liv, og så handler det om i højere grad, at droppe engangsprodukter og gadgets du egentlig ikke har brug for. Og husk vi er (heldigvis) allesammen forskellige – hvis du er glad for en stor garderobe og hyppige udskiftninger fx, så er det dét du er. Så findes der heldigvis måder du kan praktisere dette, uden at have en negativ effekt på vores miljø; bl.a. ved at købe mere brugt tøj eller opsøge byttekoncepter, som fx. The Organic Club eller Lena Library. Find den fremgangsmåde der gør DIG glad; bæredygtighed er for alle, og det handler ikke om at frarøve dig selv ting der gør dig glad – tværtimod.

 

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The Comments

  • Leila
    25. April 2018

    Hello Signe!
    I found you a month ago by just looking about fashion on YouTube, and your style, what you said about shopping just blow my mind!! I’m here in your blog for the first time, reading everything I can to understand how this sustainable fashion works!
    Of course there is a lot to due with my personality, but I grow up in Japan, and I believe that this concept of sustainable fashion is not there…..yet?…..and most of the time I feel tired of every time try desperately to follow the latest trend and buy as many clothes I can (even shoes), because this is the way I learned…..when now I found you I feel like a relieved feeling! Maybe you will not understand, and I don’t know how to explain, haha, sorry!
    Well, all that I want to say to you is Thank you very much for this amazing work!
    You change completely my vision about fashion!!
    You are my idol now:* Hope some day I can meet you!!

    • signeh24
      > Leila
      25. April 2018

      Dearest Lelia! I can’t describe how happy I am, that you are here and that you relate to my content! It’s so amazing to be able to inspire people all over the world like this. Thank you so much for your support! And Japan! My husband and I so want to go there some day, so maybe we could get a chance to meet, who knows! <3 Hugs, Signe

  • Yaz
    27. May 2018

    Happy 28th! Hope your day was inspirational to you as much as you are for us here. So much so that I’ve found this Gestuz knit on a secondhand site, could you tell me what size you have as it looks like it’s a little oversized. And the size of your People Tree shirt dress and blush flats too as luckily enough found them as well!! Thanks so much!

    • signeh24
      > Yaz
      28. May 2018

      Thank you so much! And how cool you’ve managed to find these items :-* My shirtdress is a small and so is my jumper <3 My blush flats are a size 38! xx