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SustainableBelieving

Pick it up

One of the lovliest seasons are here!
The free apple picking season.
I live in an apartment, which means that I don’t have a garden.
Lucky enough this fruitbat has sniffed her way to a wild apple tree. These babies are going to make some nice applesauce and pie. This weekend I’ll try to have time to actually climb up in the tree and pick the big ones. Isn’t it nice how the smallest of things, such as an apple tree, can make you happy.

 

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Blouse in the making

With inspiration from my red blouse I decided to try the same pattern again. It took me about half a day to make it. I can feel that it takes to long for me to both pin and sew, but that it something that will come with time if I continue.

I made a few changes to the pattern this time. It is skinner to start with – more a t-shirt than a blouse. I made lines at the breasts to make it fitted. I didn’t add short sleeves this time, but kept it even shorter. In the back I made it deeper (a lot more than the original pattern, but still not as deep as I would like) and added a line to keep it tight together. I’m considering modifying it into a straight line but now it’s two lines tied together. I love when there is stuff happening at the back.

I did screw up a bit with the neckline. The pattern showed a different variation than the one I´ve tried before so I gave it a go but it didn’t really work so I had to fix it in other ways. It got a bit bulky and crooked, but if you don´t look too close, it still works.

I am happy with it either way. It’s a fabric I like, both the silky feel and the pattern. it feels summery and nice to wear an day with a nice pair of slacks. Its far from perfect, but its an ok step on the way to something nice.

An effective change to brushwood

These are my brushes for dishwashing. When I was younger we usually had one of the heavier ones, made of brush wood,  at home and used quite a lot. So when moving out it was quite natural for me to find one. And I love it. For one, it’s less plastic than a normal one, but I also feel that they are much more effective and easier to use. Since you hold the brush itself it somehow feels easier to get everywhere and to scrub as hard as needed. And well, brushwood is harder than plastic so it makes sense.

The thinner horse hair brush with the metal clasp is one we decided to try but that haven’t made a hit in our kitchen. It’s too soft, but I still prefer it for frying pans to that they are not damaged. I have another head to change it to, but we get along so well with the other one that I haven’t gotten to it yet.

Anyhow. You should get one with brushwood if you haven’t already.

A night away

Having started my new job yesterday, I was promptly urged to join am ongoing national gathering for the organisation staff. So here I am now, in a hotel room after a lovely day of new people, a new organisation and a new work title. And I quickly want to share the take on sustainability here. 

There are bins for recycling in every room – conference and quarters. Rooms are small an uncluttered with everything in wood and metal – it looks simple and clean. They don’t provide any shampoo or soap but give it upon request to get rid of unnecessary bottles. They have ground heat and LED-lightening, plus a water-saving system according their information board. Plus, they use environmental products. The whole thing is an initiative to support and I want to give them a sustainable shout out. 

Lastberget outside of Stockholm everyone.

My new shoes are here

So, after finally deciding on Ethletics shoes, I got mine a few days ago. I feel great having pretty new shoes to use, and a shining conscience doing it. I have only used them a few days now but like them.  They are a bit weird and make my insoles poke up to give me blisters on the bottom of my heels. So I need to figure out how to change that. But they are still good. I have realised though that the Soulrebels had been better, so maybe I’ll get a pair in the spring and have two to change between.

They came in paper wrapping instead of plastic which just made me happy to start with. Then they were all pretty inside too 🙂

The red blouse

This is my red home-made blouse, barely a year old. I found an old pattern in my grandma’s fabric stash for some awful 80-ies outfits, but gave it a try. Aside from the low shoulders I like it all right. It’s a perfect summer fabric – bright and thin – that works beautifully both with pants and a high waist skirt. It has been one of my favourites this summer, but I suspect it will fall further down the drawers as winter approaches. I plan to revisit this pattern again with a different fabric – I think yellow – but with modified shoulders….

 

 

School has started (soon)

Long time no see

A lot has happened since I last wrote a post. I have quit my job at the 4H farm and started studying at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. I have started a five (omg like eternity long) year program which will make me an engineer in biotechnology.
I am currently in my first week, out of two, of the program initiation.
So I am getting to know a lot of new people at the same time and trying to get a perspective of where everything is at campus.
I am enjoying myself a lot and we will see how everything feels when school starts for real, after the initiation.
This is a hard subject with a long way to struggle through, a very nice and fancy school packed with super smart people.
All these factors make me doubt myself a bit.
It also gives me fire, fire to start school and learn, to get more knowledge and maybe be able to make an impact on the world in the end.
Biotechnology is a broad subject, where you can start focusing on almost anything and trying to make it more sufficient.
There are two paths, one which leans more to the environment and the other is more about health and medicine.
I was at a lecture two days ago, where this professor told us about his work with finding a cure to breast cancer. After his research he actually found a new way of diagnostics for breast cancer, which they actually use at hospitals.
Another professor told us about her profession in polymers and her work with plastic and trying to reduce it.
She and her partners have started a seaweed plantation where they use the cellulose in the seaweed and modify it in to plastic resembling materials, which are just as to compost as which ever plant.
How cool isn’t this subject!
And there are millions of other ways in this field to start researching and finding solutions for making more sustainable.
Only your lack of curiosity and your imagination can stop you.

An easy wrap

This summer I did my first zero-waste wrapping. It turned out better than expected.

For wrapping papers I used a food magazine for its pretty pictures. It looked much nicer than using newspaper, which are a thinner material, has more advertising and can leave ink impressions. I used a paper based twine to tie it together. I´m quite happy with the results though it was hard to keep the paper down and in place while adding the twine.

The couple I gave it to sadly threw the paper in the normal trash can, along with the twine (which they cut instead of opening), so it wasn’t recycled or reused yet another time. I wasn’t fast enough to stop them, but next time I will try to be before they open. The more usage the better, especially for the twine since it’s not harmed in any way during the packaging.

DSC_0793

To do this you just need: magazine paper, scissors, twine and fast fingers.

Good luck!

Looking for new shoes – sustainable brands

I need new shoes. My current one are pretty broken so it’s clearly time for new ones. I must admit I have a lot of shoes, just not good shoes that I can actually use everyday and walk well in. I have to major problem when buying shoes: I have wide feet, I need to be able to fit my insoles, I easily get blisters, they need to be comfortable to walk a lot in and they need to fit with dresses. High-maintenance I guess. And now, I decided that I want socially sustainable shoes, preferably with ecological or reused materials.

For shoes that are suitable spring to autumn, I’ve been browsing four brands to choose between. They’re basically different sneakers.

  • Ethletic and their fairtrade converselike-sneakers. They pride themself on being vegan and using sustainable materials such as cotton grown without pesticides and chemicals, and natural rubber. They also prioritize social sustainability and work on projects where the workers together use part of their wages toward a common goal such as education, healthcare, micro-loans etc. They look nice, and white or black pair does work really nice with a dress.
  • Solerebels with their ethiopian-styled shoes. An important question for their business is fair wages and they pay four times the legal minimum wage in Ethiopia, plus they have full medical coverage for their workers and cover transportation to and from the factory for all workers. They do not base wages on quotas but instead treasure a fair and good working environment. I’m looking at their runaround freedom shoe in denim blue. They’re beautiful but maybe not perfect for dresses.
  • Indosole have repurposed soles from car tires and the shoe is hand crafted. They are a B Corp, meaning they’re pretty much fairtrade and take care of their workers. I’m checking out their JJ Shoes. But they do look a bit to pointy for my feet, so it is not my first hand choice.
  • Veja, sold though Green Laces, is my fourth consideration. They use responsibly grown cotton, without pesticides or chemicals, grown by a plethora of families and fairtrade. They produce on demand and do not have a stock that can go to waste and constantly review ways they can minimise their environmental impact. Veja works with manufacturers in Brazil and are paying a over minimum wage while working to improve workers conditions. I like these, they look super comfortable and soft, but I don’t think it will work with dresses or my style of clothing.
  • SkråmträskSkon, made in sweden with vegetable tanned leather. They are five people working in the company, doing the entire process at side and with pride. I love their shoes, they look wonderful and I think they would be really good for my feet. However, I am looking for a pair that is good for summer and nice weather. These are more an autumn, winter kind of shoe. Perhaps I will order a pair later, but not today.

After consideration on which ones would work for my feet, go well with dresses and resonates best with my social interests, I’ve finally decided on Ethletics dark blue sneakers. I will tell you how they work for me later.

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