Friday, 26 April 2013

Let's Talk About Bangladesh....

I am just so profoundly saddened after waking up this morning and hearing about what has happened in Bangladesh, with the factory collapsing and killing at least 238 people.

And, I am really trying to make sense of it.
WHAT has happened to us here in North America to make us think that getting cheap clothing is worth another human being's life?

WHY do we feel that we are so entitled to pay next to nothing for what we wear- even if that comes at a cost to someone else on the other side of the earth?

And, you can be sure- there IS a cost. It is paid by the employees that work 10 hour work days with no relief. It is paid with the unsafe work conditions that those workers have to walk into everyday. It is paid by the mothers that need to leave their families and travel to the city in order to send money home for their loved ones to survive.

It was paid by the 112 human beings that died in the factory fire in Bangladesh a mere 5 months ago.

Has anything changed since THAT tragedy? Sadly, it appears not.

Friends, we NEED to stop demanding that we only pay a few measly dollars for each of our items of clothing. (I am in no way implying that more expensive clothing is free and clear, btw...many of the pricier-brands use the exact same factories...just with a higher mark-up) Instead, we NEED to start demanding that the health and safety concerns for our brothers and sisters in poorer countries be a priority for us, our governments and  for these clothing companies.

So- what can WE do?

Again, I do not claim to have all of the answers. I am merely a hairstylist/mother who has a heart for the oppressed and mistreated in this world.

It was in reading about Bangladesh and the conditions/ treatment of it's workers a few years ago that caused me to begin my Never New second-hand lifestyle. I just didn't feel right owning any article of clothing that contributed to such things. 

So, I decided that I would simply not buy anything new. I wouldn't support an industry that could cause such tragedy. It's not an easy choice, and I am not saying it's for everyone. But it works for me. (Other posts on deciding to go Never New here and here)

YOU could check the tags of the clothing you buy. Know where these places are, and how they treat their workers. Try to purchase only locally-made apparel or items made in countries that don't cut corners and put their citizens at risk.

YOU could simply choose to BUY LESS. The less we buy, the less that needs to be manufactured.

YOU could buy second hand now and then. Buying second hand cuts back on new clothing that needs to be manufactured AND it reduces waste to landfills. It also allows you to be creative and original in what you wear. ;)

YOU could raise awareness by talking about these issues with others and asking questions. We need to get educated about what is going on in our we contribute to we can start trying to prevent it....

To read more about this tragedy and the specific clothing brands involved, check out George Stromboulopoulos' post 'Fast Fashion, Western Retailers & The Bangladesh Building Collapse' here.

To read one of my previous posts on the benefits of the Slow Fashion Movement, you can check that out here.

Blessings friends.

I really hope you've been inspired begin to question where our stuff comes from and how we can try to make a small difference....


Tuesday, 23 April 2013

10 Spring Street-Style Hair Trends....And My Green Tips For Each

I figured it was about time for another post on hair.

I came across Flare's post on 10 Street-Style Hair Trends , and decided that I could add a 'Green' tip to each trend. :)

First of all, let me say how much I LOVE reading about 'Street-Style'. As a stylist, I have access to all the newest trends as soon as they come out....but most trends will never make it to the streets of Hamilton, for instance.

So, here are the Top 10 Hair Trends for Spring according to Flare. And I do agree with, and love, most of them.

1. Un-done Hair

This may be one of the easiest styles to 'Go Green' with. No flat-irons, curling irons or wands needed. Simply rake your fingers through your hair and go. You can spray you locks with a Salt Spray, if you wish- Here is a recipe for an all natural, DIY Salt Spray:

Sea Salt Hair Spray
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons of sea salt or coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon of oil (coconut* or olive oil works well)
  • 4 – 5 drops of vanilla essential oil)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of alcohol (vodka or rubbing alcohol

Put the salt and the water in a pot, and heat it just until the salt dissolves. Remove from heat. Add the oil, vanilla, and alcohol and let it cool. When cool, pour into a spray bottle. Spritz on hair. Do not rinse.

2. Short Styles

There are SO many adorable short styles out there right now...think Michelle Williams or Rihanna... Short hair tends to get greasy quicker than long hair, likely because the oil has longer to travel on longer hair. To 'Go Green' with short hair, opt for a natural dry shampoo every other day instead of washing it every day to save water.

3. Ombre Hair

The trick to the ombre hair trend is to make it look like your ends have been lightened by the sun over time. It should be a natural look. For a 'Green' Ombre look, try using lemon juice on your ends of you locks when you will be out in the sun.

4. Top Knots

Possibly my favourite style trending right now. This style is the ultimate in 'Green'. No heat needed, no washing (so you save water). just grab a hair elastic, some bobby pins, and you are on your way to looking fabulous. Check out my previous post on top knots. 

5. White Blonde

Well, I have to say friends, I am having a tough time coming up with a 'Green' tip for achieving the ultimate in blonde hair. I suppose if you DO go for this trend, you can save on water by using a natural dry shampoo.... With hair this light you could go with  baby powder, or I suppose cornstarch or even flour would work!! Just dust it on your roots and brush through.

6. Embracing Your Natural Texture

Again, this is a trend that is super easy to 'Go Green' with. You can use the Salt Spray that is mentioned above, for beautiful I-feel-like-I-live-by-the-beach curls and waves. Curly and wavy hair tends to be on the drier side, so washing this type of hair less is definitely best (saving more water).

7. Candy Colours

Hmmmm...another tough one to make 'Green'. Instead of using peroxide to lighten you hair and then a chemical colour over top- I think that using  Kool-Aid would be the greener option to achieve candy-inspired hair colours.

 8. The Center Part

The center part is a tough part to pull off. It is also a tougher trend to make 'Green'. It is unforgiving and shows any trace of oil. to cut back on washing, and to save some water, try an all-natural  DIY dry shampoo.

9. Braids :)

I am desperately in love with braids right now. Maybe it's the hippie in me. Maybe it's my gypsy background. I love them. Another ultimate in 'Green' style, braids simply require an elastic, or string or a piece of twine (etc...etc...) to secure the ends. Simple, yes? 'Green'? You betcha. No heat or chemicals needed here.

10. Blunt Bangs

The easiest way to make your blunt bangs turn 'Green' is to only wash them, and not your entire head of hair. As long as your bangs look freshly washed and squeaky-clean, the rest of your hair will appear to be, too.

I hope this was a helpful post. Let me know if any of you out there have any 'Green' hair tips or tricks. I'd love to hear them.


Friday, 19 April 2013

In My Dominican Closet

It is SO good to be home. 

I love to travel and to get away, but I really do love to come home to my boys and my life here. 

And travelling to places like the Dominican Republic makes me so thankful for everything we have here that we take for granted.

I was very happy that I did not need to go looking for any 'new' thrifted items for my trip to Puerto Plata. I was going to glance around for a bathing suit or two, but a friend of mine went to Jamaica in March. She had purchased some new bikinis- and they were fabulous.  So, we did a swap. She took some of my clothes and sandals to Jamaica and I borrowed some items for my trip to the Dominican. 

Everyone should find someone that is the same size as they are (clothing AND shoes is quite the bonus!). It is fantastic! It doubles your wardrobe at no cost at all! :)

Here are some of the thrifted (or free) items that I wore on my Dominican vacation:

This photo makes me laugh. I spent all of my time in the ocean or pool, so my legs didn't see the sun as much as my upper body.

Tank- $6.99 Talize (also seen here in Cuba)
Black Shorts- $6.99 Value Village (also seen here)
Clutch- $3.99 Talize (also seen here)

Dress- $7.99 Talize

Dress- FREE from my Clothing Swap

'Nautical' Bikini Top- FREE, borrowed from friend

Tie-dye Tank- $5.99 Value Village
Maxi Skirt- $6.99 Talize
Bracelet- $7 Handmade in the Dominican

Well, that's it for today. Thanks so much for stopping by.

The moral? Look to make friends with someone who is the same size as you. It's always great to have SOMETHING in common with someone else, yes? ;)

Peace, friends. Remember to take a moment today (and each day) to focus on how blessed we are in this part of the world...

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Cow-Town Consigning & Art Battle Auctioning

I've returned from Calgary with some amazing memories, some one-of-a-kind art, and a couple of fabulous consignment shop scores.

My friend and I decided to check out the local consignment shop Vespucci. It was definitely a higher-end shop than I normally pop into. Mostly name-brand items and samples from some talented designers. It was very well organized and extremely clean, which was obviously reflected in the prices.

If you are someone that likes higher-end clothing- this is a great spot to pick up some great names at a discounted price.

Here are the items that my friend and I were oh-so-excited about....

This picture shows the bright colours in this dress the best. :) 

I feel like this dress was made just for me. I love the fit. I love the fabric. I LOVE the colours. I don't usually pay $29.99 to own a second hand dress, but I didn't mind at all. I love everything about it. I also snapped up a very soft and pretty mint cardigan. I was more than pleased since I've been searching for something mint lately. :)

Dress- $29.99 Vespucci
Booties- $9.99 Talize
Jewelry- Just One

I actually picked out this top for myself, but passed it on to my friend, Danielle, to try. It just screamed 'her' when I looked at it in the dressing room. I am SO glad that she ended up taking it home. It looks like it was made for her, as well. :)

Banana Republic Top- $39.99 - 20% off

The night before hitting Vespucci, Danielle and I attended the Gorrilla House LIVE ART- and Art Battle and auction. 

"What is an Art Battle?" you ask... It is 2 hours of watching various artists create one-of-a-kind pieces using many different mediums that they then auction off. 50% of the proceeds go to the artist and the other 50% goes to the Gorrilla House. 

We had a fabulous time and went home with some  really great pieces. 

If you live in Calgary, I highly recommend popping in. The LIVE ART runs every Wednesday night from 
7- 10pm (ish).

Here is what I snapped up:

I CAN'T WAIT to get this framed. I love the colours, they are perfect in my living room. 

I loved everything about these pieces. The colours, the texture, the metallic finishes. I was SO happy to get them up on my wall. :)

Well, I am happy to be back home in the Hammer, friends. At least for a couple of days...then off to the Dominican. I will be posting the cute thrifted outfits that I wear down there upon my return.