All posts tagged: 3things

Upcycling – old to new

Previously: Recycling clothes. Continuing my 3things pledge to become an ethical fashionista, I have been on the challenge to discover the wonderful world of upcycling. Upcycling is the process of converting a somewhat useless product into something of value. In the world of fashion upcycling can also be referred to as reconstruction, refashion or reclaiming. There is even the term ‘trashion’ (trash+fashion). The best part about upcycling is you can use nearly everything in your wardrobe again and make it into something new. WHY you ask? Why not!? Why not use something you already have and make it into something new? It’s exciting, it’s crafty and there is a definite sense of achievement when you realise nothing went to waste when making that item. Best of all it can be virtually free if you use something you already have. Upcycling yourself involves at least some basic sewing skills for small things, and a sewing machine for the more complex things (or be willing to pay a tailor or your Mum to do it for you).You …

Recycling clothes – seek and you shall find

Previously: Becoming an ethical fashionista The road to my becoming an ethical fashionista has challenged the way I  look at fashion and shopping. It can no longer be about satisfying an immediate want and going to the cheapest fashion store to buy it. I have to consider what my ethical choices are and the first consideration should be looking at what already exists – second-hand or vintage clothes. With so much waste in the world, fashion certainly contributes with its ever changing trends encouraging people update their wardrobe constantly and subsequently throw away old, out of fashion clothes. But where do these old clothes go? Either the bin (I hope not!) or to goodwill clothes bins for recycling. Firstly, let’s get two things straight. I might refer to things as ‘second-hand’, ‘recycled’, ‘op-shop’ or ‘vintage’ – what’s the difference? The only difference is, specifically referring to something as ‘vintage’ refers to clothes typically from the 70’s and earlier (and are almost ‘in demand’ for their uniqueness) they are usually harder to source. Most of them …

Becoming an ethical fashionista

As I have mentioned before, I recently made an ethical fashion pledge via Oxfam’s ‘3things to change the world’ initiative. Whilst I later expanded this to becoming an ethical shopper (in all facets of my consumerism), the fact still remains – I love fashion and I can’t give it up, so I had to find an ethical and sustainable way of being involved in fashion. How can being an ethical fashionista ‘change the world’? Ever wondered how clothes from the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and so on are still found in good condition today? Do you think most of today’s mass produced clothes will last that long? Ever wondered how many new clothes you’ve bought, and subsequently how many old clothes you ‘threw out’? Hopefully most of you give old clothes to charity, but in the UK in 2009 it was estimated that 63% of people’s old clothes go to landfill.   Most of these clothes are perfectly fine, or at least most of the fabric is still in perfect condition. Ever wondered how a top …

The tips and tricks of avoiding Palm Oil

The first battle in the fight against unsustainable Palm Oil will be spear-headed today (23rd June 2011) in the Australian senate. The Truth in Labelling Act was first introduced by Nick Xenophon back in November 2009 and is calling for the mandatory labelling of Palm Oil in all food products on Australian shelves. Xenophons bill has not only backed what environmental groups have been saying for years but is also supported by many health organisations (including the Heart Foundation). Xenophon has recognised the consumers right to know what they are buying and the effects that these products have on their health, and the planets! I discussed in detail the effects of palm oil production and consumption in my previous article but in summary, the production of Palm oil is leading to mass clearing of important south-east Asian rainforests (homes and habitats), astronomical carbon emissions and after all that is an unhealthy oil due to its extremely high level of saturated fat. I think it is safe to say that those are three damn ugly side-effects for a product that is …

What’s so good about ‘Organic’?

Organic is the latest buzz word around town and if you’re not sure what it is, you at least know it’s healthy… or something like that. So what does organic mean? According to the BPA (Biological Farmers of Australia): “Organic produce is grown and processed without the use of synthetic chemicals, fertilisers, or GMOs with a focus on environmentally sustainable practices”. To be certified organic in Australia there are three main focuses: Soil fertility – methods such as crop rotation, green manure crops and composting to maintain natural soil fertility. Pest & disease control – mechanical and natural methods of pest and weed control. No GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) This means no artificial fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides are permitted creating a more natural product. An organic farm must also adhere to these practices for a transition period of a few years before being certified organic. Aside from your food being chemical free, you’re also supporting sustainable agriculture which also supports a better ecosystem. To ensure you are not buying products that have misleading claims of …

Ethical shopping – it’s all about reading the label

I made a pledge via 3things to choose vintage/pre-loved clothes over brand new ‘sweatshop’ cheap clothes. In hindsight it was an odd thing to choose, but I knew that I was going the easy route of shopping at super cheap fashion clothes stores without considering where these clothes came from, who made them, in what conditions and at what cost to the environment. What I’ve since decided is I’m going to expand this pledge to something bigger – to shop ethically and not just clothes, but everything I consume. So before I can fully become an ethical shopper and fulfil my pledge, I first had to find out what it all meant. What is ethical shopping (or being an ‘ethical consumer’)? One of the biggest key words here is “considering” – and consideration is all about respect, concern and thoughtfulness. Considering how the product will affect other people or animals Considering whether the production of the product has been made using sustainable practices Choosing products that are of good quality Choosing products that are themselves …

Sugar free and dairy free cake? Possible!

Is it even possible? I didn’t think so – and when my naturopath told me I had to remove sugar from my diet I went through a very difficult addiction withdrawal period. You might know that sugar is ‘bad’, but did you know why? Sugar is empty calories (high in calories but not filling, which means you eat more) Sugar overconsumption suppresses your immune system Sugar can cause inflammation (which promotes aging and disease) Sugar plays with your insulin levels (which can cause hypoglycaemia) I was pretty much suffering from all of these issues, and sugar was one of the causes. It had to go. But did my diet have to suffer? Fortunately, after one week of withdrawal hell I had stopped craving sugar and survived on the occasional crepes with maple syrup (yes, maple syrup is allowed!), but fast forward 3 months later and now that little craving for something sweet has crept back up on me. I must resist I keep saying to myself and was about to give up the idea of …

Ems 3things for Oxfam

Whether being green is something that consumes your life or it is a guilty after-thought… there are always changes you can make to tread lighter on the planet. That’s the great thing about sustainability… every step you take in the right direction is a good one. As Kat said in her gorgeous article 3things can change the world, a simple change can make a big difference! Got to admit, I am writing this article just after watching Avatar. Other than Fern Gully I can’t think of another movie that makes you hate capitalism and or consumerism more. Well, at least I have a theme! Here is what I have pledged to the Oxfam 3things website… So what exactly do my pledges mean? Pledge #1 – Stop using any products that contain Palm Oil This pledge was borne of the research I did for my article on palm oil. To sum up, 40% of all packaged foods in Australia contains palm oil and to meet this demand Indonesia and Malaysia are clearing rainforests at record rates …

3things can change the world

“Changing the world, 3things at a time” – this is Oxfam’s latest initiative, and we like it. It’s such a simple concept: choose three things that you ‘pledge’ to do to make a difference, no matter how big or small. The best thing about this concept is it’s not putting too much pressure on people to be eco warriors – just making a change to “make the world a better place” as 3things put it simply. So last week, I chose my 3 things and pledged them on the 3things website. What to choose? Though I try to be a good little greenie, I’ve still got so much to learn, so I decided to push myself with things I’m keen to achieve (but haven’t have the right motivator to do so) – which I assume is the goal behind 3things, to motivate people to change. 1.      Buy organic produce This is something I keep saying I’ll do, but not quite following through. It means going to an organic store that is only open for a …