I was born in the 80s and the number of internet acronyms I know ( is that even what they're called, acronyms?) can be counted on one hand. One I stumbled upon recently is OOTD, Outfit of the Day. And I dismissed this social media phenomenon as something that is definitely not my thing to post but then I thought again. Hey, why not?!
My growing belly has forced me to think about clothing and what it means to get dressed in the morning in a way I haven't needed to before. When you've gained 12 kilos in less than a year and it's all around your waist all you want to do in the morning is pull on a pair of sweatpants and Crocs. And that has really made me miss my favorite clothes! And so this post is written with the intention of not only honoring my favorite clothes, but hopefully give you some ideas where to look if you, also, are interested in consuming more responsibly as far as clothing goes. Pregnant or not!
As you work with creating textiles you can't help but develop some kind of attitude towards clothing and fashion I think. As far as fashion goes, I've always appreciated comfort over style when getting dressed.. or have I? As I think of it more closely I actually find comfort and style equally important. And of course living in the kind of climate I live in, clothes must be practical, stand up to a certain degree of wear and tear, not to mention work well in big temperature variations.
My father always used to say poor can't afford to buy cheap stuff, which is so true. My attitude towards clothing is that both as far as style and durability goes clothing needs to be timeless. And it needs to fit many purposes. And so I've grown quite loyal to a couple of brands like Fjällräven, Patagonia and of course the modern classics of denim wear like Edwin and Levi's. I've pretty much made a principal not to buy any knits as I make those myself.
One of the reasons I like Fjällräven garments is that they produce outdoor clothing (especially trousers) that are so well tailored that they are superbly functional not only in outdoor conditions but also good looking and fitting enough to wear for indoor functions. And this is important because I do not buy a lot of clothes. I buy very few in fact. I can go a full week switching between studio work, board meetings and outdoor exploring wearing the same trousers.
An added bonus with Fjällräven is that you can choose clothes that you get to play around with a little bit yourself (like the option to hem the trousers to your own needs and using Greenland wax on the garments for extra water proofness) which is very attractive to us DIY folks :)
These trousers are my cold weather hiking pants, and they have been through a lot as you can tell. They've long ago been retired from office use, as I don't wash them very often. They look a mess I know, but it's in large part because they have a heavy Greenland wax coating on them and the dirt sticks to the surface of the fabric, thus not absorbing into it; this way they seem to last longer. At the end of the season they always look like they're ready to stand up on t
heir own to greet me on our next adventure together!
There's something beautiful about old clothes and the patina they get on them. I've had this pair of trousers for years, and I think they were originally an army green but I dyed them black after a few years. That's one of the reasons I always opt for natural fibers when possible; it keeps the dye option open!
Another brand love for me is Patagonia. I'd worn Patagonia garments for quite a few years (since first living in the US in 1999) before really falling in love with the brand which happened when I heard the founder Yves Chouinard has been wearing the same shirt for a decade and actually tells people NOT to buy his clothing. Patagonia has made a commitment to the environment by encouraging people to fix their broken clothing rather than buying new stuff all the time. I was lucky to be brought up in a home where we always mended things before buying new. That is something I want to teach my kid too.
This old Patagonia jacket is actually in the middle of an experiment; I'm testing how many years it'll last in active use. We are up to years 4 now and it's still in great shape. I'll (maybe) stop wearing it when its too frail to fix anymore.
For footwear I prefer Hanwag because they have such a great sole. Hanwag shoes are my my sole mates, haha! Like I said, I do not shop a lot and so I often buy the same brand shoe because I know the sole will fit me, also when mail ordering. In this pair I've had the rubber soles fixed when they wore out, as the tops are still in pristine condition! Recycle, reuse and sometimes; refuse (to buy new)!
Another brand that promotes sending your old stuff to get fixed when they get worn is sandal maker Chaco's. They've designed a sandal for which you can change the straps for new ones while keeping the same sole (the straps will wear out before the super sturdy Vibram sole). This pair I've worn from Lofoten to the streets of Bangkok to summer hiking in Lapland, they are a decade old almost and they are still fine!
What about brands that choose to work with sustainable materials in their products then? Finnish accessories brand Costo is a brand I've been a massive fan of since they launched their first collection in 2006. Costo designs hats and accessories from industrial leftover materials and have expanded their concept while staying true to their core values: quality, ecology and style. I have many of their hats and beanies, but the one I'm wearing here is one of my favorites; Kombai in simple black. I think it fits any occasion and I just change the color of the pompom (yes, one of the design features is exchangeable pompoms!)
In my own work I actually often look to Costo's mission statement for inspiration:
"We strive to make timeless products that stay fashionable regardless the period in question. As well as we do not pigeonhole time into narrow trends and seasons, we also do not segment people into narrow genres and age groups. It goes against the prevailing throw-away-mentality, where things are made only for a moment´s pleasure. Costo is not a servant to any genre or time. We strive for style without borders. For us at Costo, style, ecology and lasting quality go hand in hand." -Costo
So this was a quick glance into my wardrobe. As far as shirts and sweaters go I made it to my eighth month of pregnancy before having to give in and finally looked at buying some pregnancy clothes and that's really was ignited the idea of doing an #OOTD for sustainable and responsible clothing. I'll be writing more about this topic shortly, so-long 'til then!