#haulternative

Reconsidering fast fashion and setting an example

Most people know that cheap fast fashion is produced neither ethically nor fair. The collapse of the Rana Plaza building in 2013, which led to the deaths of over 1000 people, demonstrated that in a most alarming way. For many people it was a sad wake-up call. It also marks the start of the Fashion Revolution. It’s a movement that fights against the bad working conditions in the fashion industry and also calls attention to the environmental consequences of that industry.

Low wages and bad working conditions for a 5€ t-shirt

To be honest, I never really thought about the consequences of my fashion consumerism until I came across the documentary “The True Cost”. Of course I knew, that a t-shirt for 5€ cannot be sustainable nor fair. We have all seen the devastating photos of the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh. It is not a secret that the wages of the workers are extremely low and the working conditions are extremely bad. But have I changed since? No, because it never affected me! That’s what “The True Cost” gets so damn right. It is moving and also educating. Afterwards, I really felt the need to change and was also kind of ashamed of my behaviour. That is why, I take part in the fashion revolution week. I want to draw attention to an important topic and maybe cause some people to reconsider the fashion industry.

On the website of the Fashion Revolution you can find a lot of different ways to take action and be a part of the movement. One of these possibilities is the #haulternative. As you might know when you’re a constant follower of mine, I’m currently on a shopping ban, so I do not shop anything at the moment. And you don’t need to buy new things to update your wardrobe.

Try second hand!

It is a great way to extend the life cycle of clothes and you can prevent them from landing in landfill. I haven’t bought anything second hand in a while, because I really don’t need anything, but I am a huge fan of charity shops and online platforms like Kleiderkreisel, or Kleiderkorb. These are German websites but I am sure there are similar websites in every country. Currently, I am sorting out my closet and selling the things online. So far I am not very successful but I hope that my unloved clothing pieces will make someone else happy soon.

Fall in love again

£285 of clothes. That’s the amount of clothes an average British woman hoards but will never wear. Before you buy something new think of this and look through your wardrobe. Maybe there are long forgotten treasures you might fall in love with. I am currently trying on all the unworn pieces and I try to figure out if I actually like them.

Bad working conditions don’t affect me, so why care?

Humans are supposed to be the superior species. So why is it, that we treat each other and our environment so horribly? Even if the bad working conditions don’t affect you specifically, shouldn’t we care for our fellow humans? Isn’t empathy what is supposedly differentiating us from animals? But even if you don’t reconsider the fashion industry for the sake of the workers in Bangladesh, you should change your behaviour for the sake of the planet, our home. Our earth is not made for the massive consumerism we are burdening it with. Much of the clothing we buy gets thrown away without being worn once. Pesticides used on cotton plantages are polluting our environment. 2720 litres of water are needed to make a t-shirt. Humans are destroying the only home they have and it is on us to take action now! Better late than never.

How can you do more?

  • Be curious! Inform yourself, check out Fashion Revolution and watch “The True Cost”. It’s so informative and shaking!
  • Spread the word! Tell your friends and family about fashion revolution, but do not lecture them! In my opinion lecturing someone can often lead to the contrary effect.
  • Also, check out my blog post on how buy less and how to buy better! Reducing your consumerism and buying things that you will wear not just for one season also sets an example for ethical fashion and against the fast fashion industry!

 

DIY Cat Tote Bag

How you can easily design your own tote bag

I love cats. Unfortunately, I don’t have a cat, so I feel the need to express my love for cats with my style. For a while I have been on the hunt for a nice cat bag, but failed to find one. That’s why I decided to create one myself and here I share how you can make one yourself.

The making of this bag was quite easy and I am acutally really happy with the result.

All you need is:

materials for a DIY tote bag design
Materials for your DIY project
  • cardboard
  • a pencil
  • scissors
  • textile colours
  • a paintbrush
  • and most important of all: a plain tote bag (you can buy one in most crafts stores or online)

 

Find your design

First of all, you need to find your design. I wanted a cat bag, so I searched for “cat silhouette” online and quickly found what I was looking for. For me, that was easier than drawing a cat myself. Of course you can design your bag as you wish and it can be a dog, dolphin or whatever you desire.

cat-stamp-DIY

Create a stamp

Next, we need to create a stamp. Therefore, I transferred the cat silhouette onto my cardboard and cut it out. Depending on the shape of your object, you might need tiny scissors. I had to use manicure scissors to be able to cut out the shape properly.

cut out the cat stamp

Afterwards, I cut a stripe out of the cardboard and glued it on the cat (you can best see it on the photos). And now we have created our own little stamp.

The fun part

Next step: Apply the textile colour onto your stamp and start stamping! I would advise you to experiment at first with the amount of colour you need to apply to the stamp. In my case the cardboard did absorb a lot of colour so I could be generous with applying, but if I was too generous, the colour would smear over the edges of the stamp.
The second difficulty I had was that I didn’t press the stamp tightly enough to the fabric, so the colour didn’t transfer evenly to the fabric. It depends on the result you desire. I wanted the cats to be filled out completely.

My technique got better and better with every cat that I printed on the bag.

DIY-cat-bag-stamp
Applying the colour onto the stamp

Before you know it, you have finished your bag. Almost: Now you need to read the instructions of your textile colours on how to fixate it. In my case, I had to wait for 24 hours and then iron it through a cloth.

And it’s done! I am really happy with my DIY cat bag (even though the lilac cats are hard to see) and I am tempted to make another one, maybe for my cat loving friends.

finished-DIY-tote-bag
The result

So I hope you enjoy my little DIY and have fun recreating it. If you do, tag me on Instagram, twitter or send me your photos. I’m looking forward to receive photos from you!

DIY mug design

How you can create your own coffee mug

As you might already know, I am a cat lady. So I like everything related to cats. Currently, I am building on my cat mug collection (unfortunately, it consists only of two mugs at the moment).

Recently, I saw a crazy cat lady mug in a store. I liked the shape of the mug but not the design. The lettering was too bold and boxy, so I didn’t buy it. The idea stayed in my mind, though. So, I decided to create my own mug design and here I will share with you how you can do the same.

All you need to create your own mug:

  • a plain mug
  • porcelain colours
  • a fine brush
  • imagination
Materials you need to design your own mug
Everything you need to design your own mug

Firstly, you need to find the perfect plain mug. This turned out to be not that easy for me. Many are too small, too square or way too expensive. Or maybe I am just too picky. In the end, I found the perfect mug for me. In a crafts store, I bought porcelain colours in gold and black and a fine brush. Now, the only thing that you still need is imagination and creativity to design your own mug. I found inspiration on pinterest. If you need inspiration, too, try looking for “mug design” or “DIY mug”, for example.

Designing your mug

I wanted a hand lettering design for my mug. As I haven’t tried hand lettering before, I used an online generator to get a template for the writing. Next I transferred the template on to the mug using a pencil, so I roughly knew where I should start painting.
I started writing very carefully as painting with the porcelain colours on the mug can be a bit difficult (at least it was for me). But it gets easier with every letter. To make to mug even prettier I painted golden dots (which was a lot easier than the lettering).

DIY mug design ideas

 

Finishing the mug

The next steps are dependent on your porcelain colours. Therefore, you should read the instructions and stick to them. For me it meant to let it dry for at least 4 hours, put it in the oven afterwards, set the heat to 160° C and bake it for 90 minutes. Now it should be waterproof and dishwater safe. I haven’t put it in the dishwasher yet, though.

(Side note: I had taken photos during the process but my SD card decided to break, so I lost them all..)