Thursday, April 27, 2017

Sustainable Fashion Updates

Since it's Fashion Revolution week, I thought it would be the perfect time to share some updates from two amazing organizations who are addressing the problem of textile waste head on. 

First up is Redress. The application cycle has just closed for this year's Eco Chic Design Award and judges are reviewing submissions from applicants to determine a list of semi-finalists to be released on May 2nd. The second round of judging will determine a list of finalists which will be released on May 25th. Stay tuned to see who will be in the running to be a finalist for this year's Eco Chic Design Award Grand Final in September 2017.

Meanwhile, if you check over at the Eco Chic Design Award website, you can find out what the Grand Final Alumni are doing these days. Here are just a few of those alumni who have gone on to create sustainable collections of their own. 

It doesn't stop March, Redress published their first book Dress (with) Sense, a guide to becoming a more conscious consumer of fashion. It's divided into four sections which outlines what you buy, how you wear, how you care and how you dispose of your clothes.

One last project that Redress is involved in is the launch of a new clothing collection, BYT. Redress founder and CEO, Christina Dean is working alongside Michelle Bang former COO of Redress to transform fashion's surplus into an affordable LUXE wardrobe. Look for details about their launch in September 2017, to coincide with the Eco Chic Design Award Grand Final. I can't wait to learn more about this exciting brand.

The second organization addressing textile waste and raising awareness is Swapaholic (formally known as Swagalls). You may remember an interview with founder, Raye Padit which I brought you here on the blog. I thought it was time for an update.

When I first spoke with Raye, he shared details about his Kickstarter campaign to raise money for his organization. While that campaign didn't reach it's goal, he shared his vision for the company in a follow up conversation we had. The Kickstarter campaign was all part of the plan to communicate the business, it was not the ultimate target. In that regard, it achieved great success. The campaign showed that people in Singapore are interested and it gave him the drive to continue with his goals. Since then, he's developed the website and it is now live since April 1st. He's also been focusing on physical events so that people can experience what clothes swapping is. 

Most recently, he's collaborated with Fashion Revolution in Singapore to host a Swapaholic extravaganza this weekend. If you're in Singapore, you should consider stopping by. Details can be found on the Facebook event page.

It's so inspiring to know that there are like minded people around the world trying to address these issues. My hope is to get something going here in my own community in Hong Kong.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Fashion Revolution Week 2017

For the past three years, Fashion Revolution has devoted this week to raising awareness to the issues in the fashion industry. Those are issues of sustainability and environmental impacts as well as ethical issues of garment workers' rights in the fashion industry. 

This movement, stemming from the Rana Plaza tragedy four years ago, has quickly become a global movement. This just goes to show how dire the consequences our fashion choices have on the world.  If you didn't know (and almost everyone these days does - thanks to NGOs like Redress), the fashion industry is the number two most polluting industry in the world.

If you don't believe me, just check the hashtag #whomademyclothes on Instagram today, Fashion Revolution day. When this movement first started three years ago on this day, people were asked to join in by wearing their clothes inside out for the day. I did. Then another year, I joined in by writing about a Fashion Haulternative: why I wear vintage. You can look at that post here.

For more information, click over to the Fashion Revolution website and look at more resources there (like these infographics, facts, tool kits, etc).

This year, I've set myself a steep goal to dedicate three posts to eco-fashion related topics on my blog this week. It's adventurous only because that means making sure to post three times this week. I've started with this introduction and a link to all the resources. I'll follow that up with a post about two really cool organizations that are doing something about these problems and finally, I'll share a collaboration with a US brand with socially conscientious practices.

Next week, I'll finish up my Fashion Revolution posts with an outfit post related to redressing one article of clothing.

Stay tuned!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Corset Style

Hand-me-downs, or  hand-me-ups as I like to call them, are not just for kids. My girlfriends and I love to swap clothes or hand things on that we don't wear anymore. It feels just as fun as shopping only with less guilt. And who would argue against that?

I love hand-me-ups because often times they are pieces that you might not normally get for yourself. Hand-me-ups are surprise thoughtful gifts because the person who hands them your way thinks you'd look good in it or it makes her think of you. Take this leather corset, for example.

This leather corset has actually been handed up twice and lucky me, I was the final recipient! It came from a super talented lady Nicolene Aagesen, whose photography I love (check out My Camera My Rules).  She handed it to our mutual friend Akiko, but it was too big for her so she handed it to me! It's perhaps a bit more of an edgy piece, not one I'd immediately pick for myself, but when given the opportunity, I was happy to wear it.

I really don't know how to describe this look. Something about it makes me feel like it's a little steampunk or industrial. Or maybe I belong in a saloon in a western movie. It's definitely 90s (the hat maybe?) I don't know. Whatever it is, I love the delicate pale pink tee mixed with all these more edgy pieces like the leather corset, the choker and my leopard print satchel which gets daily use. Anyone have any thoughts?

I really am a child of the 90s as I realize I become more and more entrenched in the style of that decade. And, my favorite places to shoot are these grungy corners of stairwells and back alleys.

Lately, I'm also really loving the grungy bedhead look. I can't tell you the last time I styled my hair in the morning. It's get up and go these days.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Style Minute: Socks

Socks are having a major moment right now.

I remember when they were making a scene about three or four years ago. Socks with sandals, peep toes and pumps were the trend. I still have fun socks in my dresser from that moment.

Check out these sparkly gold socks. The picture does them no justice.

This time around, they're broadening their horizons. Socks need not be confined to occasion. Sport socks can be pulled out and worn with dressy shoes or boots. Socks can be worn with flats (like I did above). And, the socks are taking on some of the fishnets trend happening right now, too. 

I have amassed quite a collection of fishnet socks, mesh socks, lacey socks, etc. But given some of the wild colors and patterns I've been seeing, I'm inspired to dig through and get out some of the goodies from last time around (hello, Frida Kahlo socks I'm coming for you).

This time around,  socks are also expanding their outfit choices. Sure, why not show them off with skirts and dresses. But with cropped denim making it's place known, socks are finding themselves comfortable there, too.

What does this mean for me and other thrifting and vintage lovers? It means break out your vintage dresses and add the unexpected element of the sock and heel look. It also means keeping your favorites in good shape. I've had to sew up a few holes recently, but it's totally worth it.

And let's be honest, if you're a thrifting addict like me, you know what it means to make a few small repairs, especially to the toes. Don't toss a good pair because you've got a tiny hole in the toe; instead consider sewing two or three stitches to keep them around longer. Specialty socks, like vintage and thrifted finds,  are well worth it.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Working Mumma Talk: The Playdate Push

Back in August last year, I toyed with the idea of writing some posts about motherhood, especially the challenge of balancing it all with work, exercise, blogging, etc. I guess the busyness of living that and striving for balance got the better of my intentions, didn't it. I've got the week off, so I'm going to share some working mumma thoughts.  

For this post, I'm going to be brutally honest about playdates. The truth is I hate them. I don't mean that I don't want my kiddos to have friends to hangout with, no. I like that they have friends. What I despise is the whole organizing and arranging of playdates. There's so much fuss involved. Playdates are like actual adult dates, it's ridiculous. Gone are our childhood days of running around the neighbourhood or calling in on friends. These days everything is so structured and organized. Schedules are booked tight with activities and kids don't just have down time. The hubby and I make sure not to book our kids into everything so they can have hang time, but we're in the minority of parenting practices, especially here in Hong Kong.

So here's how organizing a playdate actually works. First, it starts with one of my kids saying that so and so wants to have a playdate with them. I always try to put the ball back in the kids court to organize, so I'll usually ask them to find out what days their friend is free and tell their friend what days they are open.  Then the next step is usually an email exchange to arrive at a mutually beneficial time and place. I think that this process may be unique for me because I'm a working mum.

Since I am rarely able to volunteer in the kids' classes or go along on field trips or hangout at parent coffees, my kiddos miss out on a lot of playdate opportunities. That would be okay except that these days it's a huge part of how kids actually socialize outside of school. I don't spend a lot of time trying to keep up with all the organizing of my kids' social calendar as I like to think about friendships and play happening more organically, but that can make my children social pariahs. That's the part that gets me frustrated. It's another reason to pile on guilt to an already large dose of motherhood guilt.

That part along with the fact that nowadays playdates also happen to be such to dos. Whatever happened to going over to someone's house and playing games, watching a movie, playing outside, etc. Why does it have to be like going on a date? Playdates, at least here in Hong Kong, have turned into major social outings.  Movies, trampoline parks, amusement parts, etc.  What's a working mumma to do? How can we possibly keep up? Come on mummas, can we keep things simple? 

I've read a lot lately about how kids need to have opportunities to be bored to help develop their imaginations. They're so programmed and scheduled and entertained (don't get me started about birthday parties), that they rarely have down time to make up games and stories and figure out for themselves ways to pass time and have fun.

So what do I do? I compromise. We're fortunate enough to have a healthy population of kids in our neighourhood where friendships and play can happen without much fuss, but I do recognise that I'd like my kids to develop friendships with classmates, too. Every so often, I will organize a time for the kids to hangout with their other friends (my big teenage boy does this on his own now, so that's a bonus). I don't make playdates a big deal at our house as I'm the first to say go outside and play! So far it keeps my kiddos happy and their friends, too. Not too many people are able to say that here in Hong Kong, so our house is an appealing location for playdates, at least for now. And when they do come up to me and say I'm bored, I just send them back outside and tell them to go figure it out.  They usually do.

**Pictures by Michelle Proctor Photography for my Sassy That Mama post. Read it here.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

For the Love of Classic Red

My favorite color is blue that's no secret. But the other day, my littlest asked me what my second favorite color was. I hesitated. I didn't really know, actually, and I had to give her a response. These details are very important to our children, you know.

Upon some quick reflection, I was able to say quite certainly. It's red! Of course it's red! I wear that a shade of red on my lips everyday.

Red goes so well with blue, as well. Paired together, it gives a lovely nautical vibe which I love for summer. Fresh and breezy.

I found this silk red top for a song at a charity shop in LA this Christmas along with these velvet pants from Savers. Super score. I was literally in heaven. The funny thing is the top says Made in Hong Kong. I'm always amused when I find things that come from where I'm from. These new-to-me black slides came from my girl Jasmine of Dress Me Blog Me and while they're making their first appearance on the blog, I've literally worn them almost everyday.  Having stylish girlfriends makes trading clothes so fun.

The tiled wall is brand new for Stanley Market. I love when I find new spots for pictures. Exploring the alleys of Stanley Market is my favorite part of being a Stanley local. I think I should take advantage of this Spring Break week off and do more poking around.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Right Stripes

This outfit got a lot of comments. My girls thought I looked like a referee. A colleague suggested that the Hamburgular was my style inspo for the day. What do you think?

I don't always mind the chatter about my outfits. If I'm not getting eye rolls or awkward stares, it's not a normal day. The quirkier the better I say and besides, I loved this look.

Just when I was thinking that I've been wearing more pants lately, I find a reason to fall in love with dresses and skirts again. This black and white striped number comes from one of my favorite Etsy shops, Small Needs. And, I really think it was made for me.

I think my favorite detail is the front, with the V line, kind of like a bib on the dress. I also love that the stripes are going horizontally and vertically as well.

I know it's said that vertical stripes aren't flattering, but I don't care. These stripes on this dress are just right for me.

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