A Plea for Hemp

Years ago I was on a trip in the northwest of the Netherlands with my family. During one of our walks we passed a field with a very tall crop. Strangely enough, its tops looked exactly like those of a cannabis plant. As these are not uncommon in the Netherlands, we joked about the revenue their farmer must make. I remember there was a big sign on one side of the field that explained this was industrial hemp. When I looked it up back then, I found out that even though it was indeed a version of the cannabis plant, it contained too little THC to provide intoxication when consumed. While learning more about sustainable fashion, hemp keeps popping up as a very promising material. Still, it doesn’t seem to be commonly used at all. I decided to do a little research and it turns out that this amazing plant has a rich and political history.

Lees verder “A Plea for Hemp”

Christer Falck on ‘Norske Albumklassikere’

Christer Falck is one of the initiators of an exciting new crowdfunding project in Norway: Norske Albumklassikere (Norwegian Album Classics). Together with his friend John Richard Sternberg he presented the project on the crowdfunding platform Bidra.no last January. Their goal is to give new life to classic Norwegian music albums by producing them on CD in a serial crowdfunding format. We interviewed Christer about the intriguing project that has already turned into a great success.

Lees verder “Christer Falck on ‘Norske Albumklassikere’”

Reflecting on Crowdfunding

In January (2021) I started as a research assistant within the CROWDCUL project. The first time I remember hearing about crowdfunding was during my studies at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. It must have been 2012. I followed the bachelor program ‘Arts, Culture and Media’ and attended a lecture on the topic by Kunstraad Groningen, the local art board. Crowdfunding was new and exciting, a promising possibility for cultural producers to realize their ideas independently from governmental funding. The Dutch crowdfunding platform www.voordekunst.nl, that focused specifically on art projects, had just been launched.

Lees verder “Reflecting on Crowdfunding”

Compostable Panties

Learning more about recycling clothes for my last article, I realized there’s basically no good way to get rid of clothes that have really reached the end of their life. You can always repair clothes, swap, sell or upcycle them, but I’m talking panties that have unintended peepholes and that have lost all stretch, or socks that have largely dissolved. Together with camisoles, these are the garments that I typically wear completely out and throw in the bin. Of course this isn’t the crux of today’s global fashion problem, but I still wonder: Is there a way to prevent my peephole panties from ending up in landfill?

Lees verder “Compostable Panties”

What Dyeing Does

Exactly one year ago I visited a talk on sustainable fabrics during the opening weekend of De Wasserij, a fashion-hub in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. One of the guests was Andriana Landegent, an entrepreneur who, with her company Ecological Republic, was one of the first to supply 100% biological and naturally dyed fabrics to the fashion industry. During that talk I realized that even though certain fabrics are made of biological materials, they probably underwent a chemical dyeing process. This changed my perception of sustainable clothing once again. Dyeing fabrics is a nasty business. Luckily, some amazing innovations are changing the game!

Lees verder “What Dyeing Does”

How Our Clothes End Up in Landfills

Millions of tonnes of textile waste end up in landfills or incinerators each year (BBC 2020, Fixing Fashion 2019). There is no recent or reliable data on exact global numbers, but NBCLX (2020) talks about ten million tons of clothes for the US alone in 2015 and CBC News (2018) mentions three times a baseball stadium a year in Canada. I can’t even grasp the amount of clothes we’re talking about. Almost all of these garments are chemically treated and a big part is made of plastic-based materials. Needless to say that they cause a big threat to our environment. These enormous numbers got me wondering though. How do so many clothes end up in landfills? When I can’t resell or swap garments, I usually bring them to charity shops and almost everybody I know does the same thing. How is it possible, then, that so many clothes end up in landfills?

Lees verder “How Our Clothes End Up in Landfills”

Reduce the Impact of Your Wardrobe

I’ve been reading again and again that the fashion industry’s biggest climate impact is actually made in the consumer phase. Knowing about the immense amount of greenhouse gasses and toxic pollution that the production phase entails, this surprises me. What is so harmful about taking care of our clothes? What surprised me is that on top of washing and drying, even wearing our clothes has an impact.

Don’t despair though! There’s things you can do.

Lees verder “Reduce the Impact of Your Wardrobe”

My thoughts on wearing (second-hand) leather

I used to think it was fine to wear second-hand leather. Over the years I bought some amazing leather and suede skirts in thrift shops. Truth be told, I also own a leather jacket which I bought new some ten years ago and I still buy the occasional pair of leather shoes. However, when I would see somebody in a fur coat, I would be shocked. Even if I knew it was second-hand. A conversation I had a while back made me reconsider this. Why should a second-hand fur coat be different from brand new leather shoes? I couldn’t convince myself of an answer. Ever since, I’ve been wanting to look further into this topic to create a well-informed opinion. Fortunately, leather was elaborately discussed last week in the course ‘Fashion and Sustainability’ that I’m taking, by the London College of Fashion. A great opportunity for me to learn more and share my thoughts with you.

Lees verder “My thoughts on wearing (second-hand) leather”

Manifesto

I grew up in the North-West of Europe, in the Netherlands to be precise, where capitalism and consumerism have been leading principles since the nineties. Me and my sisters must have shared over twenty barbies and every birthday and Christmas there’d be piles of gifts to unpack. Buying cheap clothing was the accompanying norm. I would go and buy clothes with my friends during school breaks. We’d have small budgets and want to buy a lot, so we’d only go to fast-fashion chains like H&M, Coolcat, Bershka and later Primark. We didn’t consider the quality of garments, or how often we would wear them. At the time, we didn’t know any better.

Lees verder “Manifesto”

Organic vs Sustainable (or Responsible) Cotton

Hema is a Dutch brand where I love to buy my undergarments. It has been a household name in Netherlands for decades, known for its nice stores and good quality products. Most garments either have a label that says ‘biological cotton’, or ‘responsible cotton’. This gave me the impression that my undies were honestly and sustainably produced. The other day I was in one of the stores and my eye fell on these labels again. I wondered: what is the difference between biological and responsible cotton?

Lees verder “Organic vs Sustainable (or Responsible) Cotton”

Maak een website of blog op WordPress.com

Omhoog ↑