It’s the fabric of our lives

What does the word “fabric” actually mean?

Thanks to the cotton industry’s marketing campaign, the word “fabric” conjures up our past & present lives – and clothes, curtains, carpets, upholstery, and more. We use the word in many ways.  It’s the “fabric of social life” or the clothes we wear or the “fabric of the universe”.  It’s the past that’s woven into into history. We wear it, sleep on it, sit on it, drive on it. Gloves made from fabric protect us from thorns and dirt and cold. In fact, we use “fabric” so often it’s become ubiquitous. 

Thankfully there are different fabric compositions, known as cottons, polyesters & other synthetics, wools, silks, and vegetable fabrics such as hemp, jute & flax.  Ultimately thought it is the stuff that covers us, protects us, becomes our past present and future but I ask now: What is it, really?  How does it become a shirt or glove or hat or something from the past that cannot be rewoven? 


The glossy beginning is easy to understand.  Fabric starts like most things on earth: There are the seeds that grow into plants. Next, the plant creates a fiber. It’s the cycle of life, beautiful and natural. But, in cases of fabrics like Modal, a “seed” is made from vinyl acetate and methyl acrylate – these are also precursors to PVC pipes. Modal plants are “grown” in chemical plants (that can explode) in Texas or run without any environmental protection in China.  In either case, once the plant is grown, we rip the stalk and process the fibers until we can spin it into yarn, knit or weave the yarn into fabric, and wind on machines until there is enough fabric to complete a bolt. We’ve gone from a seed (real or synthetic) to a processed bolt of fabric, which has been created for easy next steps in the process: transportation, measured for cutting & ultimately sold. 
 

Wait, but isn’t the purpose of this writing to weave a modern day yarn into an impactful and meaningful fabric lesson for our lives and in so doing explore messages of modern day fashion?  So, let’s get back to it.

Fabric has been used and written about in such great books as Dante’s “The Divine Comedy”. Also, Leo Tolstoy spoke of it.  Poets especially like the term for its vivid imagery.  The British poet Wilfred Wilson Gibson lived at the crossroads of the 19th and 20th century.  He wrote, “Come, for the House of Hope is built on sand bring wine, for the fabric of life is as weak as the wind.“  Is he referring to fabric as a tapestry made from the wind? Which wind is he referring to? A weak light breeze off the water in summer?  What kind of material looks like weak wind? Could you imagine a winter coat made out of a fabric described as weak wind? 

~~~Buy the warmest winter coats available because they are made from Modal, a fabric that will protect your body from the elements of wind, wet & cold. But Modal is a synthetic fabric made from the seeds of chemical plants in Texas. Against your skin it will feel like a toxic fabric that is as weak as the wind. ~~~~~~

Would we all be happy if all our clothes, all the time, were the delicate color of eggshell?  I’ll just have to say it – too vanilla – too boring for this world. Where would New Yorkers get their clothes if everything was white? Fabrics have to be drowned in dyes, which require more chemicals, processing, water, people, resources transport & waste to produce.  Remember, we don’t want to live in a vanilla world of fashion.  Where would Versace be without color?

Turns out there is a lot of waste in our weaving of fabric into life’s history.  The biggest culprits that come to mind:  Water - CO2 -Toxic chemicals – not to mention good old fashioned landfill waste. There’s so much of it that it’s a topic for another time.  Just know that it is in 100,000’s of metric tons, millions & billions of tons of all of the waste.   

“The future is a hundred thousand threads, but the past is a fabric that can never be rewoven,” claims author Orson Scott Card on fabric in his book Xenocide. What is he alluding to? Perhaps he means that you can’t rewrite history and the future is limitless. But I interpret his words to mean that cotton is grown from a seed that needs 400 gallons of water to grow, it takes tremendous resources to create enough cotton to make a t-shirt, none of which can be returned to the earth. Not the water, energy or t-shirt itself. As we look to the future, we should be thinking about our use of resources – that can’t be rewoven.  Fabric can be but by switching from industrial growing practices vs. growing organically we can “reweave” the story.  Organic cotton takes the same amount of water to grow as non-organic but it doesn’t use all the bee killing fertilizer & GMO properties used by BIG AG. 

                                                                 

All of this “processing” of fabric in poetry and everyday fabric is giving me whiplash.  Let’s bring it back to looking at the fabric of our life.

Fabric is bold like tapestry. Flimsy like gauze. As strong and beautiful as silk. People use it for power.  We protect ourselves with it. We hide ourselves with it. We make statements with it. Famous writers use it to describe our past and our future as a way to describe time moving.Ultimately, it is the substance that covers and defines us.  How we choose to wear it, to blanket our world and reuse what we already have will weave a future of weak wind, unless we consider both the origin and life cycle of all the fabrics in our lives.  What's in your closet? 

Ok…where was I? 

xxoo Lara

 

[i] http://www.quotes.net/quotations/fabric

[ii]  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modal_(textile)) 

 

Learn how to make repairs

There is a tremendous stigma about older clothes that needs rethinking.

 Making garments last should be a source of pride 


Even paying for repairs by professionals is (most of the time) more economical compared to replacing items.

  • Try learning to repair socks and getting shoes resoled. By doing this, you can make those clothes you love and wear regularly last longer, reducing the chances of buying new pieces of clothing that have a future in the back of your closet.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in 2014, more than 16.2 million tons of textiles were generated, but only 16 percent of clothing and shoes were recycled.

If all else fails and repair is out of the question then here are a few ideas to keep those items out of the landfill.

  • Use old handbags for your daughters dress up time or as a bag for extra toiletries.
  • Repurpose leather belts into a dog collar or fill an old pair of boots with sand and use it as a door stopper.  Be creative with how you can use them.  Etsy is also a great source of inspiration.
  • Support local businesses in your neighborhood like tailors & cobblers.  Not only do you extend the use of your items but bring valuable dollars to these mom and pop stores.

Finally, many of us have a closet full of old handbags, leather jackets & shoes.  If you are like me there are some that have been repaired more than once. Sometimes the item is just too far gone. What can you do?

  • Donate to artists and DYIers so they can "reclaim" the leather into new functional items.  A quick google search will yield local donation centers.
  • Have you seen Palomino Jewelry?  Katie uses reclaimed leather & hardware from old handbags to create her jewelry designs.  Check out Palomino Collection here

Do you have old furs that are taking up space in your closet and you want to rid yourself of them?  Donate between January and April 22 (Earth Day) those furs to Coats for Cubs that use them in the rehab of orphaned animals around the U.S.

 

The Wrap Up: Double Wear: How Sustainable is my Closet

A project I worked on with Rachel @Slowfashionmom.  You can follow all 4 parts of my blog part 1  part 2: part 3 part 4   and see Rachel’s You tube here

          

This project was a lot of fun to do.  The point was to dissect outfits that I wear.  Who made the apparel?  How long have I owned them? Is it a good outfit?  It's not that my closet is anything great mind you. What if it was like Barbie’s dream house closet?  Now that’s a closet!  But mine, well, just an ordinary closet unfortunately. 

But that’s the point right?  To show, to encourage, to teach how your closet can be more “green”.  Right now, the apparel & fashion industry is the 2nd most polluting industry on Earth.  Yes. Right up there with polluting oil and gas industry.  The only way to change that is through the choices you and I make about how we dress & adorn. 

So what are my takeaways? 

  • Quality over Quantity - When buying clothing, accessories & shoes buy the highest quality you can afford.
  • Shop in your closet – Strive to wear what you already have at least 30 wears.
  • Ask for better standards – Talk to your favorite store and let them know you care about how your clothes are made and from what material they are from. i.e. Ask for organic and no sweat shops.
  • Buy less – If you shop less, you’ll have more money to buy quality (see #1) but don’t feel guilty when you do shop just buy “right”. i.e. Shop OneSavvyMother.com because you know the products are made right and stylish.   

  • Support Eco fashion – Put your money where your mouth is and move away from luxury designers until they change their dirty ways. Support the young industry of Eco fashion designers & retailers instead.
  • Buy Consignment – Go thrifting for jeans, jackets & shoes. You can buy great items for a fraction of the cost of new and you'll be supporting #30wears.

Leave us a comment about how you'll make a difference and opt in with your email address so we can stay in touch.  We’ll give you $25 towards a purchase at One Savvy Mother. 

Thanks for reading #greenyourcloset and shopping onesavvymother.com. 

Be sure and check out @slowfashionmom on Youtube or catch the first four blogs in this series:

Leather & Fur:  Definitely not vegan but is it “eco fashion”?

The answer is no.  Don’t be fooled by the man behind the curtain. Plain and simple, this sort of behavior is harmful and irresponsible.  However, given all that; it is not going away because we don’t have the alternatives – yet. Think of it as driving a gas powered car, and not a Toyota hybrid but a Cadillac Escalade – all 12 cylinders.  People do it and if you have one now – don’t throw it away. But please commit to buying something a bit less next time- is what we should be focused on.   And beating the drum, buy the best quality you can afford and plan on holding on to it for atleast 40 wears.  

So, the truth is out. I’m not a vegan nor am I 100% responsible – at least there are now more choices and alternatives than back when I started wearing these items and I can’t just bear to “throw them out”.  I’m going to wear it until there are holes in it and then I’m going to seek out additional uses for it after that.  

So what is the consolation prize for wearing all this leather?  There is none.  Perhaps since the boots are the first pair I bought in 4 years and are the only pair in my closet I can get something? A girl has to wear shoes right?  My last pair has been retired after 4 years.  Not gone, just being preserved in the attic waiting for styles to change back again. 

So don't fret.  This is a marathon not a sprint.  No one is perfect but if you are considering how to #greenyourcloset I hope that we have helped you gain some confidence and ideas. 

Breakdown of what I wore:

Leather jacket with fur – Made by Guido Lombardi in Italy.  Purchased in 2011.  25-30 wears & still going. Fur is fox and although super warm my conscious does not allow me to forget about the bad conditions that animal had to endure.   I would not buy fur again. 

Brown floral jersey – Made by New York 77 Made in France 70% cotton 30% rayon. Purchased in 2013.  20 wears & still going.  

Grey Slacks – Made by Crea Concept in Turkey.  93% viscose.  These were gifted a year ago but today was the first time I could fit into them.  (Thank you Bar Method workout). I noticed after arriving to meet my colleague, that they had a tiny pin hole on the front of the thigh.  Not sure what I’ll do with them.

Suede Wide Belt – No name – passed on from a previous owner – I’ve only worn it a handful of times.

Black Leather books – Frye Boots – no information on sourcing – gifted 2016

Socks- Made by Able Made New York Haute Style -100% cotton owned since 2016

 

This was the 4th set in a 4 part series - Double Wear - A peak into our closets.  Be sure and check out @slowfashionmom Youtube video series. to see the other half.  

Thank you for reading & watching.  Please leave a comment.  

need a pair of camo socks for your marching days. You know where you can find them here:

What I wore to the Women's March

Marching clothes have to be comfortable & fit right, bear up to the weather, and be stylish. Two weeks before the march I went to my closet and had a look around.  I started by taking anything out that might work for my purposes then eliminated from there.  Taking stock of what I was missing, I thought about how important those missing articles were & then started putting together outfits.  This process took several weeks. 

We were traveling ultra-light so I doubled up on day 1 and day 2 bottoms.  I chose a pair of black jeans because I could wear them to the march, later that night for dinner & the next day.  Although I should have known better I purchased them new about 6 weeks ago.  What's my excuse?  I don't have one. It's rare for me to go shopping and for the record I own 4 pairs of jeans – 2 of which are 6 years old & the 3rd pair is 2 years old. The Schoen Yu are the 4th pair. 

schoen * Yu black jeanslabel from my new jeans

Buying sneakers from consignment Since my last pair has been relegated to walking the dogs and too embarrassing to wear anyplace else I needed a pair of sneakers. My winter hiking boots seemed too military for a march and I'd need a pair of sneakers for springtime anyway. Going to the consignment store in my neighborhood I found a pair of white Adidas kicks in my size which was amazing.  They had clean soles having never been worn. Does this balance on out the new jeans? 

Into my closet I went: After I bought the sneakers I was all set because the rest I found in my closet. I switched at the last minute to something a bit warmer than my original plan. My base layer is a hand me down from my mother.  This is literally a base layer, see through, cotton turtleneck.  Embarrassingly holey and runny I haven’t found a replacement so I keep wearing it, it’s that good.  Next I had a zip up loose fitting cotton black/grey top I purchased 2 winters ago for a ski trip (it was casual but edgy).  Made in U.S. but not name branded this is what I use as a sweatshirt. I was thinking layers.  

Poncho vs. winter coat: The forecast was calling for milder temps than your typical January (Climate change?).  So, I decided to bring a poncho for ease.  I chose the Shupaca alpaca wool gray that makes even the slummiest outfit chic, plus it's warm, very lightweight & water resistant.    

Accessories: You can't travel with a kid without carting unnecessary items so I packed along the handy & cool cross body clutch aptly named "in the clouds" dubbed for its large zipper pulls in alternate color.  I carried ID, health card, cash, tissues, a package of crackers & a very small barbie doll.  Strapped under the poncho no one was the wiser.  I also used it at dinner and the next day too.  I'd rename this indispensable.  I added my Zaya bracelet and I was off to the races, er, march looking and feeling strong.  Day 1, I wore Able Made Haute socks & Day 2, I wore Ozone sheers.  

Ultimately, our trip was a quick one but we didn't buy one bottle of water (water bottle was toted around too), carried only one small suitcase for two of us, only had one new piece of apparel, wore clothes multiple times, and tried to step lightly on the Earth as we marched loudly for our rights.  

 

 

Caption: . Heading over to Independence Way 

Clothes for 2 days, sneakers, underwear/socks, nightgown, clutch & NT cork make up bag

Want to see more information on these items?  

Shupaca Poncho

Hester Van Eeghen Clutch

Able Made camo Socks

Ozone Sheers

Zaya bracelet

NT Designs Cork makeup bag

Double Wear - Part Two - Workout clothes

Double Wear – How sustainable is my closet

A look at Athletic Wear 

 

I don’t know when it started, but I have mostly skipped the trend of wearing athletic wear all day long.  I saw it, mind you – on others- just not on me.  I didn’t work out and I didn’t like
the look.” Although I owned one pair of “yoga” pants that I wore when out walking the dog, I never really thought much about it.

 

According to Vogue (Jan 7, 2016 The 5 Golden Rules of Athleisure: Is It Really Acceptable to Wear Yoga Pants All Day Long?) there are rules and trends for wearing athletic wear.  Since there are Official Rules, it’s now a societal norm to be seen all day long in your workout clothes.  Even if you’re a mother of 3 running around with toddlers and living in Los Angeles I still think it’s an ugly trend. 

Vogue Athletic Wear

The Bar Method changed everything: I joined The Bar Method in October 2016.  For those of you who don’t know (me included, circa September 2016) a bar workout consists of a teacher and students, a few props (mainly a ballet barre) and a lot of isometric strength training (keeping your body still while you painfully work one muscle group). I joined one day on a whim and found I really liked it, so I’ve stuck with it.  The women who work there and lead classes are friendly and don’t mind when I fall over (bad balance). I have even struck up a few casual conversations with like minded folks in class. I hope to continue with this workout place. 

Cotton is no longer a preferred workout fabric: Mind you when I started I still didn’t have any workout clothes but it was apparent after the first class I was going to have to invest in some new gear.  My problem of course is that fabrics that whisk sweat away from your skin and hold in your thighs like you are 18 again doesn’t equal “environmentally friendly” fashion.  Cotton is no longer used because when it becomes wet it absorbs the liquid and becomes heavy.  A no-no in today’s world.  Fabrics rich in polyester and chemicals are now the norm.  Ugh!  You won’t find much of that in my closet …or will you?  

 

Finding Compromise: I had to find a compromise and since I needed to wear something other than a shirt that rode up my belly (egad) each time I moved or a pair of pants that have seen about 200 wears and were 5 years old I headed to the Gap to find something I could add to my repertoire.  Since the Gap was exactly 20 feet away from the Bar Method class I attend and I had a few “gap bucks” it seemed the easiest alternative.  

My Outfit: I don’t normally shop the Gap except to maybe to grab a t-shirt or shorts for my kids occasionally (I don’t like their quality, style or selection) so I held only low hopes.  

  1. I bought a pair of pants & top. Nothing fancy. Nothing too over the top. 
  2. My pants are cotton & spandex.
  3. I owned 3 sports bras so I figured those would get me through each week.
  4. I forgo the socks with the silicon on the bottom to keep you from slipping …but I soon succumbed. (See above: bad balance).

Since purchasing, I wear the pants 2-3 times a week and rotate the shirts with a few cotton t’s I already owned. In this post I’m wearing my Pitbull t-shirt but I also rotate a workout shirt that my husband’s company handed out as swag a few years ago.  I rinse the pants after each wear and give them a good washing with SIMPLY CO laundry soap once a week.

 

I’m bored with my one outfit by now and often eye the pretty designs I see on others in the class with envy but alas….I’ll wait til spring to get another pair of pants and top (thinner for warmer weather).  I’d like to find a company who makes athletic wear with environmentally friendly fabric like organic cotton and without harmful chemicals.  The Gap and Athletica both strive to be responsible but do not go far enough in my opinion.  But that is an elusive goal, and I may have to compromise. 

You won’t find me in these clothes all day long but hopefully they will be in my closet for a while                               .

 

The writer attends The Bar Method in Wellesley, Massachusetts.  They can be found at www.Wellesley.barmethod.com.

This project is in partnership with an equally courageous person seeking to test her meddle with sustainable fashion.  Follow Rachel on Instagram at  Slow Fashion Mom and her Youtube channel 

Follow on Instagram One Savvy Mother or leave your email so we can keep in touch. 

 

Note: The Gap and Athletica both strive to be responsible but do not go far enough in my opinion.

Missed Part one?  Click here to read Part 1: 

Double Wear - Introspection of the closet Part 1

Welcome!  In this project, SlowFashionMom (see Youtube series link below) and OneSavvyMother are teaming up to bring you an introspection of our closet.  We’re dissecting & bisecting our closets – with the intent of learning and teaching about how we can all be more ecofriendly with our apparel, shoes & accessories.  For four weeks we'll look at how many times we've worn the clothes, how long we've owned them and what materials the apparel is.  We hope our lessons will inspire you to also look at your closet differently.  Please let us know what you think in the comments below. 

Part One: I chose my December 31, 2016 outfit for week 1.  

The day before New Year’s Eve, my daughter and I went for a stroll on Newbury Street in Boston. I wanted to find something special to wear for New Years’ Eve, and I wasn’t alone. All I saw were sales at Zara. Lined up 30-deep, ladies were queuing up to buy new “Going Out” outfits. Who wouldn’t be tempted? You’re getting ready to hit the scene, there are new trends, and the stores were all running special promotions! Even I was tempted to grab a $30 top that would be “festive” for the party I was going to. I went into a few independent retail stores but didn’t find anything that was right.  Neither did anyone else. Everyone was at Zara.  Follow the herd, Americans….or not!

Along the way, my daughter picked out something for me. The flashy, deep V neck long sleeve flowy thing begged for me to pick it out and wrap it up. I resisted!  Instead I examined it closely (I found loose seams), looked at the pattern (boring) and examined the fabric (polyester), and decided against it. 

We looked in a high-end consignment shop, too, but didn’t find anything particularly awe-inspiring there either. Plus, I felt ignored by the sales team, who were obviously not interested in helping me shop. I am one of those rare birds that rely on salespeople’s knowledge.


 

- I went shopping in my closet. I pulled out a dress that my mother gave me 4 years ago. I had not worn since last spring, and I’ve only worn it about 5 other times. My mother however wore it allot before passing it along. Because I don’t wear it often, it feels like a special occasion outfit. I try to wear each piece of clothing at least 30 times, but this feels like a good exception to make.I still wanted to wear something special to ring in the New Year! So here’s what I did:

- I showed off my shoulders: The dress has open shoulders -- better to show off my 3 month old commitment to BarMethod classes!  And I’ve seen that open shoulders are “in” right now, too. I got to showcase a new asset, AND be on-trend. 

- I made a colorful exception: I hate wearing black clothes, but almost everything my fashionista mama hands down is black. If my mom gave it to me, I know it will be good quality, contemporary, and beautiful – even if it’s not something I would have picked for myself.

- Cotton blend: The dress label is New York 77 and material: is 95% Viscose*, 5% Elastic. Because Viscose is a more processed material than cotton, it is even more important to keep it in circulation. Another names for Viscose is Rayon.  

- I updated the look: I wore leggings (Label: Isda & Co., Material 60% Viscose, 23% Nylon, 12% Polyester, 5% Elastic) and a trendy pair of impractical leather boots (also a gift from my mother- thanks mom!). Quite possibly I've worn the leggings over 30 times. I've had them 3 years and only own 2 pairs of leggings.  I rely on them all fall/winter & early spring).  I've had these boots for 2 years and haven't found many places to wear them.  I feel guilty sitting in my closet so any chance I'm not walking a long distance I try to wear them. (No Sex In the City for me walking blocks on 3 inch heels).  They'll go out of style before my #30wears and I've told my mother not to ever buy me anything impractical again. 

  

- I bedazzled the ensemble: For the first time in almost a year, I didn’t wear One Savvy Mother jewelry! Instead, I wore a long strand of pearly glass beads that are about as sparkly as I can get. I've also owned them close to 10 years and before that they were...you guessed it - my mama's!  I paired it with my long tin can earrings I won in an Instagram contest this summer (thank you @teresamooremoore). Of course I grabbed my Lancaster clutch in white to add some contrast and enhanced the contemporary look I had going. Plus it was useful in holding phone, license and lipstick – all I needed for a fun night out! 

 

    

That’s Week 1. I'll see you for another three Tuesdays and a wrap up.  Be sure and watch @slowfashionmom on youtube and follow us on Instagram @onesavvymother and @slowfashionmom.  

*Viscose Rayon is similar to cotton but takes 11 more steps to turn it into a fiber.  If you want to learn more I rely on http://www.barnhardtcotton.net/blog/know-fibers-cotton-vs-viscose-rayon/ for my information. 

To see my partner on this project check out her Youtube series at: https://youtu.be/cj176HqjF3A

or follow us on Instagram:

http://www.instagram.com/onesavvymother/

Find SlowFashionMom on Instagram:
http://www.instagram.com/slowfashionmom/

 

Make a resolution to use less plastic in 2017

 

When I go into a grocery store these days my stress level increases.  Not only does the prospect of racing through aisles, sorting through a myriad of prices, ingredients & products make me queasy, but adding to my anxiety is the wondering how each product is made and how it came to me. What do I then do? Well of course, I study the packaging. If an item comes in plastic, a warning siren goes off in my head: this product has a problem.


I’ve put together 10 of the best suggestions for avoiding plastic at the grocery store.  If it motivates you to give up just one product I will feel that I’ve succeeded in reducing plastic in the world. 
 

1)SWITCH OUT ONE PRODUCT: One day I went shopping with the goal of not buying anything in plastic packaging. I came home with fresh veggies & bulk rice, beans & nuts plus a dozen eggs.  No milk, no bread, no fish or meat, no ketchup, or snacks. Well, needless to say my family was hungry that week. Since then I’ve heeded the advice of my friend and neighbor who did something similar when she decided which items to buy organic:  Think of the top 10 items you buy weekly and change your habits on just one (or more if you are feeling strong). Switch to a glass jar or buy bulk rice instead of the kind in plastic bag or pasta sauce in a glass jar instead of plastic

    2)USE REUSABLE BAGS: We are all in the habit of using big bags to tote groceries home with, but what do you do with the collection of smaller bags that are used throughout the store? Invest in reusable grocery & veggie bags. Instead of plastic produce bags, I use mesh bags that are easily washed for produce and bulk purchases. They go right back into the car after use so I have them for the next time.  No plastic bags for me.  Our town has now banned plastic bags & so has Cambridge MA, San Francisco, NYC and many other cities!  It’s coming to a town near you so get your reusable bags ready.

     

    3)Look for alternatives. I used to buy ketchup in a plastic bottle.  Now, I’ve found a tastier brand that comes in glass. Pasta sauce, salad dressing – if it’s on a shelf there’s probably a glass-packaged option. You’ll be surprised at some of the alternatives out there.  Look at the packaging as well as the product.

    4) Think outside of the Coop: Buy your eggs from the bank. NO! What am I saying? A bank doesn’t sell eggs right?  Well at least mine does. Situated conveniently in the same area as the grocery store, I zip over to the bank for a dozen FRESH eggs.  I even return the previous egg crate to be reused.  If that’s not an option, switch from eggs that come in plastic or Styrofoam carton to the ones in cardboard.  Then use the crates for a fire starter, art project, or recycle bin.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    5) Don’t buy what you can make: Bake a few loaves of bread and keep them in your freezer.  Make your kids jello instead of buying in plastic cups.  Make your own ketchup, chicken stock, pasta sauce, salad dressing – they all take minimal effort, taste better, and are healthier choices.

    6) Buy a larger container of things that come in tubs & use your own storage cups. For example, buy a large yogurt and send your kids to school with a reusable container instead. You can do the same with nut butters, hummus, jams/jelly, and more. Do you need string cheese, or will a block of cheese cut up into smaller portions work?

     

    7)Make a commitment not to buy bottled water.  This is the dumbest thing Americans do. There are water fountains everywhere. Bring your own cup or water bottle. According to Brita, the water filter company Americans throw away 35 billion plastic water bottles every year.

    8)Buy in bulk: Rice, beans, nuts, granola, flours, grains & even candy are sold in bulk. Each of is generally  packaged in plastic wrap that cannot be recycled.  Instead, use those mesh bags and bring home this less expensive alternative, at an amount that is right for your family. Now you’re saving money and the environment at the same time!

    9)Make a commitment to join in #plasticfreejuly. Sign up now and you’ll receive a reminder and tips when its time. http://www.plasticfreejuly.org/

    10)I know it’s tempting to eat your way through yummy store samples but be mindful of those plastic onetime use cups. Ask it they can give it to you on a paper napkin or ask management to try for paper cups instead.

     

     

     

    I want to wish you a Happy & plastic free 2017 and best wishes for a greener you!  Tell us what you do to avoid plastic. What are your tips?  How about asking not to take those annoying elastic bands? 

    xxoo

    Lara

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Shopping Strategically

     

    Most fashion magazines post articles at one time or another about how to shop strategically.

    If you think about it, it makes sense as part of an overall lifestyle strategy. Most people today are trying to live more eco-friendly and health-conscious lives. We work out, we update our homes with environmentally friendly products, and we’re eating more non-GMO and organic foods. It makes sense that if we’re making more conscientious shopping decisions about what we put in our bodies, we want to do the same for what we put on our bodies, too.

    In terms of your clothing, you’re shopping strategically if you're seeking items that have real value, that have a place in your future as well as your present, and are necessary for a flexible wardrobe.  Realistically, you can probably justify most items you want to buy if they fit into these three categories. The purchases that are more questionable is are those impulse buys, the sale items that seem good at the time, but later remind us that how much something costs is not an indication of its true value.

                Strategy #1 Does it has value?

     

    Many consumers today are looking for earth-friendly and sustainable products. One Savvy Mother’s clothing and accessories are eco-chic, and ranked for sustainability, organic materials, and fair & ethical treatment of animals and humans.

     

    We ensure that all our merchandise has great value. They will fit the lifestyle of modern, savvy shoppers, and they are produced in a fair and environmentally-friendly fashion.

     

     

    Strategy #2 Will you need this in the future?

     

    As a savvy woman, you want to make a lasting statement with carefully crafted, high-quality accessories. You also want your purchases to be usable for years to come. The eco-chic woman creates as little waste as she can. Focus less on trend shopping, and instead focus on looking for sustainable, eco-friendly attire and accessories.

     

     

    Strategy #3 Invest in quality items that complement your existing wardrobe

     

    An investment piece is different for everyone depending on your lifestyle.  It could be a unique piece of jewelry or a great bag. It could be a pair of jeans that you wear all the time, but it could even be that little black dress that you only wear once a year. When you buy quality clothing that matches your style, you'll find that your look is timeless and you won't need to replace items so often.

    You can help others switch on to the benefits of ethically-sourced, quality clothing and accessories. While you’re shopping for chic and unique, handcrafted accessories, remember that they also make great gifts, for friends and family. A gift from One Savvy Mother is also a gift to the planet.

    At the core of the lifestyle of the savvy woman is creating maximum impact, while leaving minimal impact on the earth. With our choices, we change the world.

     

    How Your Purchases Can Empower Women Across the Globe

                                                                                    

    The holiday season is a time to feel gratitude for the roof over your head and your family’s health. It is also a time that might make you want to give back. There are so many ways to share your appreciation – a thank you note to your mail carrier, an extra tip at your coffee shop, a special card to your healthcare providers (you get the idea…). This year, we ask you to consider using your purchasing power to help improve the lives of women in the Third World.

     

    Ninety-eight per cent of clothing worn in the US is made in other countries, and mostly by Third World women. When you buy quality fashion accessories that are ethically produced, you are choosing to employ skilled women, and you're helping to provide a real living wage for them. This generates national revenue for developing countries and helps end dependency on foreign aid.

    We are in a bad habit of giving cash aid to  countries for development assistance and thinking it will solve their problems. When a charity group asks you directly for a donation, it seems like an easy way to help. And heck, we have a heart and mean well, so we give money. The evidence, however, overwhelmingly states that aid in the form of cash to developing nations is making their growth slower and their poor poorer. There are better ways to help those in need. 

     

    Break the cycle and empower women to achieve real equality by embodying the “Trade, Not Aid” concept. This idea birthed the Fair Trade movement in the 1960s. It enables businesses in poor countries to employ women at living wages in safe working conditions.

    A dynamic aspect of Trade Not Aid is that it embraces the art and skills of the local women who make the garments. They get to share a piece of their heritage and history with the world; an opportunity that is only possibly through your educated purchases.

     

    The design of the products are as unique as the places in which they were made. Rather than being mass produced in a factory, these clothes preserve a piece of culture that might otherwise be lost. And, buyers get a unique piece of wearable art.

     

    A couple of our favorites are Project Have Hope’s Bone and Paper Earrings, made in the Acholi Quarter of Uganda, and Emilime’s traditionally made, exceptionally stylish, Alpaca Beanie Hat from the highlands of Peru.

             

    One Savvy Mother sources companies that believe in empowering the artists. By presenting you with beautiful items created by small scale, artisan manufacturers, we hope to help break the cycle of poverty. Keep your eye out for our designers with an eco-ranking “Trade Not Aid”,  which means it is produced by a company promoting free trade with women-owned businesses.