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How do you deal with the dark side of fast fashion?

I know that it’s hard to keep wearing your clothes for a longer period with the same love you did when you wore it for the first time. I also know how tempted you are when you see all these new stylish garments in the showcases. New trends inspired by the catwalks are coming out every week! Moreover, fashion bloggers and influencers are churning out their new outfits so intensely, that you feel “out of trend” if you haven’t shopped for two weeks. The goal of fast fashion is for consumers to buy as many garments as possible, as quickly as possible. This doesn’t seem to me like a sustainable lifestyle, so some time ago, I changed my mindset about shopping clothes. I also stopped being completely blind to the ugly truths of the fast fashion industry.

Things that fast fashion industry doesn’t want you to think about

So how are the popular clothing brands able to mass produce their products so swiftly? They use sweatshop labor in Bangladesh, Vietnam and other developing countries. In these factories, mostly women and children work hard long working hours for less than $3 per day in horrific and dangerous conditions. I’m sure you’re already aware of that, but in case you’d like to find out more details, you can spend hours here. Another truth is that fast fashion is a disaster for our planet. Negative environmental impact, water pollution, the use of toxic chemicals and increasing levels of textile waste makes fashion one of the dirtiest industries in the world. Clever campaigns of some popular brands make us think that they are OK and even doing good in the world. But as long as they’re still selling clothes as cheaply and as quickly as they are, these “green” initiatives aren’t going to make a difference. But it’s all about the profit, my friends, that’s the deal breaker.

The change starts with you

Well, we can’t expect these fast fashion giants to change their business model. What we can do however, is to start with ourselves and change our shopping model! It’s tough to make big changes overnight, but we can be more mindful and minimize our excessive consumption patterns. So, how to start? First of all clean your wardrobe and I’m sure you will realize you have a lot more things to wear than you thought. When you go shopping, prefer quality over quantity. What I’ve learned during the last years I’ve been sewing is to be really picky about the fabric quality and its composition. Check how the garment is sewn, you can see that some clothing is just garbage designed to fall apart after one wash. Stop with the impulsive shopping. Buy only clothes you are 100% sure about and you know you’re gonna wear it for a long time. Also, it’s always a good thing to support local brands and designers who manufacture or handcraft their products with care and love.

Finding an ethical way to shop fast fashion brands is tough, but when we buy clothes more responsibly, we send market signals to change the system for good. The more demand for sustainable clothing we generate as consumers, the more supply there will be. So let’s start treating our wardrobe consciously! Will you join me?

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Self-Development

9 end of year reflection questions by Pure Peggy

It’s the end of the year and everybody starts talking about New Year’s resolutions and the goals they’re planning to achieve in 2018. But first, I believe we all have to take the time to reflect, because reflecting is a key part of growth. By being self-aware and reflective you are more capable to navigate your life allowing you to choose the actions, people, carriers and environment that leave you feeling fulfilled and aligned with your true purpose. Let’s take a look back to see how far we’ve come and what we’ve learned along the way. I’ve put together 9 (my favorite number) questions that will help you with your self-reflection. I encourage you to join me and complete this short exercise with me. You can find my answers in today’s Instagram post.

  1. What were my best accomplishments this year? (name at least 3 things you have achieved and you are proud of)
  2. How did those accomplishments make me feel?
  3. What were my biggest challenges or difficulties I faced this year? How did I overcome them? What have I learned from them?
  4. How have I changed as a person this year? Where can I see progress in my self-development?
  5. What have I done differently this year?
  6. What am I truly grateful for this year?
  7. How much fun have I had this year? Do I feel fulfilled?
  8. Who has impacted my life this year? Who has helped me or been influential?
  9. Is everything I have done in alignment with my true purpose?

I didn’t include questions about our failures, mistakes and weaknesses. I believe if you’ve come up to this point, where you answered the above questions (at least in your mind), you are not wandering through the dark and you are able to give yourself a flashlight to acknowledge those things as well. I’m sure that all the bad decisions and mistakes we made are the part of our journey because from there the experience comes. The only thing you have to do is always to do your best! Make 2018 YOUR year!

With Love, Marketa.
   

 

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Fashion

Be smart when packing for a summer holiday

You’ve booked the flights, found the dreamy apartment to stay and have researched the best bars and restaurants, but the biggest task is yet to come – the packing. By living in the different country than my family I can say that after all these years of hopping between Greece and the Czech Republic I learned how to pack like a pro. Packing at the last moment can be stressful especially with the luggage allowance rules. To make things easier I would like to share some tips on how to pack for summer holidays.

All you need is plan

First of all, make sure you have a weather app which gives you a detailed forecast a week ahead. Then think about your scheduled activities day by day and evening wise. This will help you to figure out specific outfits rather than just picking random pieces. Lay all your items on the bed and put together the final icon of your looks. Stick to your goal of not over-packing and get rid of anything you are not putting on for sure. There is no space for what ifs because every inch of your suitcase counts. You should take only things you love and you know you will wear. Ideally, mix every lower body garment with various upper ones in order to create more outfits with fewer items. Also, keep in mind that a few well-chosen accessories can add variety to your outfits and transform them from day to night. Let’s have a closer look at what are the essential items to pack for this summer holiday.

Basic items

Regardless your style, I believe there are at least three must-have items you need to pack with you for summer holidays. Between your chosen tops and other upper body garments, there should be a plain good cotton fabric white T-shirt. You will find it super useful for teaming it with shorts and covering up burnt shoulders. A maxi dress is another must as you will appreciate its versatility. While having a morning coffee in a harbor, walking on a promenade during a sunset or even travelling to your destination, you will look fashionable and feel comfortable at the same time. For instance above I’m wearing a statement stripe dress with ruffles and a side split. The last item I would include in this category is a denim jacket. I know you expect hot summer nights but it’s good to think proactively and to take one piece of practical outerwear with you.

Shorts & Skirts

If there’s one summertime staple that will never, ever go out of style, it’s denim shorts. They’re cool enough to wear in the daytime or smarten them up with a pair of decent shoes and a nice top for the summer night adventure. Then take soft printed shorts or a playsuit, which definitely is no longer just for lounging poolside or walking on a beach. At last think about a romantic night on which you may like to wear a cute skirt or a dress.

Shoes & Bags

Now, we’ve got to the critical part of vacay packing – shoes, I have one thing to recommend. Save the space and don’t bother to pack high heels. Take a pair of walkable wedge sandals which will work also for a semi-fancy dinner or bet on heel sandals like I did. Depending on your mood and style consider taking also a pair of light colored sneakers or dressy flat sandals. Approach your main bag like your day-to-evening walkable shoes: one item you can wear all day to the beach, but enough classy to carry out on evenings. For the nights you want to dress up, have a small stylish handbag.

Accessories

Pick up some retro shades like these Urban Owl metro retro sunglasses and add a touch of timeless old school glamor to your look. If you forget your fancy sun hat at home or you want to avoid it getting squashed in the luggage, you can always buy one at a destination. Leave your most expensive jewellery at home so you won’t end up worrying about it falling off in the sea or locking it in a safe. Besides what you wear on day to day basis, take a pair of colorful earrings which will add interest even to otherwise simple outfit. The same way will work a summer scarf which you can tie around a handle of your bag or wear it on your head as a part of your hairstyle.

So what is your destination for a summer holiday? PS: Don’t forget to pack your bikini!

Greek version of the article is available here!

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Lifestyle

The Rewards Of decluttering Your Life

I started to think about the clutter issues a few months ago while I was moving to a new place. I realized I was surrounded by things that I didn’t need or I didn’t even like. I categorized all the stuff that had no value to me as clutter and I got rid of them. But this was just a beginning because there are so many areas in our lives that need to be cluttered up. Every time I search for something in my handbag, I get mad about the mess I accumulate inside. It keeps reminding me that decluttering is not a one-time action, but maintaining things relatively clutter-free is an ongoing process I still need to work on!

Reasons you need to declutter

You may think that it’s not a big deal because everyone has some extra stuff, right? But too much junk can actually be harmful to your health. No doubt that clutter invites chaos into your life, it can distract you or weigh you down. In a messy environment, it’s harder to focus and process information, so you have to expend more energy to do everyday tasks. It also stresses you out as according to researchers there is a link between clutter and depression. This extra stress caused by clutter could be the thing that leads you to overeat. The bottom line is that however innocent the whole situation might seem, the cost of ignoring the clutter can be higher than you imagine. By devoting a little of your time to get rid of the things that aren’t functional and don’t make you happy anymore, you’ll reap the rewards of pleasing living areas, reduced stress, and a more organized and productive existence.

Time to take a massive action

Just look around you and start the process in order to simplify your life with easy items like useless receipts and similar papers. If you are one of those people who get super nostalgic getting rid of a train ticket, take a photo of it before you scrap it and throw it away. You can digitalize almost everything, so your memories can live in the cyber space forever without being a physical clutter. Then go room by room and drawer by drawer. You don’t have to do it in one day, but make a plan with milestones and deadlines. An important thing to keep in mind is, that every item needs a place where it “lives.” You never lose anything when you put it where it lives.

Going over all the things you have, you may find asking yourself questions that hold you back like “What if I need this one day?”. Instead of that think about questions that will work for you. My favorites are: Have I used this recently? Would I miss it if I lost it in a fire? Would I keep it if this was someone else’s stuff? Would I buy this today? If you are still not sure after that, I suggest you apply the method of the “unsure box”, where you put everything you are not sure about. You will keep that box for a month or two (write an exact date on it). During that period you are able to take anything you need from that box and these are the things you will keep. After the expiration date is over, you have to throw the box away with the remaining items as it is without opening it again.

If you find it difficult to get rid of something because you spent a lot of money on it, remember that the damage has been already made. It’s gone and just because it was expensive, it doesn’t mean it’s worth keeping. You will not miss it and after a month you won’t even remember that you had it. You don’t need to throw it away, you can donate it to somebody who will utilize it.

When it comes to downsizing your wardrobe get a friend, family member or significant other to help you with it. They will hold you accountable and give you an honest opinion. Put all the clothes you have in one pile. That way you will see the number of clothes you have and you will probably get overwhelmed. How much of that do you actually wear? Hold up each piece and ask some tough questions. Besides the cliché ones, like “When did you last wear something,” come up with hard-hitting questions that may make you feel a little uncomfortable, but definitely will bring the result you need. An example could be: “How did I feel the last time I wore this?” or “Is this a representation of my ‘fantasy self’?”

Since I’m on a massive mission to declutter, I was excited to discover the Kon Mari Method by Japanese organizing guru Marie Kondo, whose book can walk you through her extreme strategy for simplifying, organizing and storing your belongings.

Clutter prevention

Now when you have done some decluttering, the good news is that you will be able to control your purchases easily. If you don’t know what you have, it costs you money. Try to keep your space airy and do not accumulate new things. Be smarter of what you are buying, because that’s where it all starts anyway. Don’t buy anything you are not sure about, don’t buy “good deals” and don’t buy back-ups! Be honest with yourself to find out the reason you are buying that because maybe you are doing emotional shopping or you are buying it because it’s cheap. You don’t want to bring these items at home because half a year later you will face the question whether you should get rid of it because you don’t use it. Take care of the things you have and you love, simplify your life and be more minimalistic. Be pure 🙂

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