Supporting small businesses (& noteworthy Cyber Monday sales)

Cyber Monday sales and the importance of shopping small businesses

Small businesses have the always been near and dear to my heart. Through firsthand experiences volunteering for multiple small businesses throughout the years – and most recently for a shop here in Seattle – I got to see just how much every sale made an impact to the livelihood of the business. There’s a big impact to the local community whenever small businesses in the surrounding areas thrive; the community thrives, too, and it is so lovely to see!

While Black Friday sales this year from large retailers felt lackluster (nothing short on quantity of sales, but the quality of items for sale felt like they fell flat), Small Business Saturday supporters felt like they were out in full force, regardless of sales being touted.

Whether or not you’re doing holiday shopping for yourself, family, loved ones, etc, keep small businesses in mind! A little support can go a long way, especially during this time of year. Links and sale codes below!

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Laundry hacks for keeping your wardrobe in tip-top shape

laundry hacks for keeping your wardrobe in tip-top shape

I cannot tell you how excited I was to find out how excited you were about last week’s post on the environmental impact of fast fashion! This blog has been such a delight to research and write for because I feel like I get to learn something new almost every post and share these learnings in a meaningful way. Speaking of which, today’s post is along a similar topic from last week’s. Now that we’re on the same page about environmentally-sustainable and friendly fabrics, it’s important to take the next step in caring for the clothing made out of these materials.

Specifically for colder seasons, I like to wear a lot of knits. Wool and wool blend sweaters (usually mixed with acrylic) are my go-tos. With wool being prone to piling and stretching out after multiple washes, here are a few laundry hacks for keeping your wardrobe in tip-top shape!

1. Always wash your knits on warm/cold cycle
Warm water is great for 100% natural fibers as well as natural and mixed fiber pieces. Unlike hot water, warm water wash cycles reduce colour transfer and wrinkles, which is perfect for knitted pieces. While you could technically also use warm water in a rinse cycle, there’s not particular extra benefit to your garments for rinsing on warm vs cold water, so why not save some energy (and $$) and rinse on cold.

2. Mesh laundry bags are your best friend
Mesh laundry bags are the bee’s knees! One thing I noticed that consistently happened to my knitted tops and sweaters (especially the chunky knit ones) after a spin cycle is the body and/or sleeves being stretched out. Depending on the quality of the knit, my shirts would also come out of the washing machine with twisted seams. Ugh. Nothing is worse than twisted seams. One way I’ve been able to keep the shape of tops and sweaters and reduce the amount of twisted seams is by placing each sweater or top into a zippered mesh laundry bag. This laundry hack is my favourite because it basically keeps your garment in a contained space. No flailing sleeves to get caught onto other miscellaneous sleeves or pant legs while on the spin cycle! The best part is, these laundry bags are cheap and last a long time. I’ve had my current set for almost 7 years and have yet to replace any of them.

Laundry hacks: Use a lint remover on pilling sweaters

3. Give your sweaters a whole new lease on life with a lint remover
You know when your favourite sweater starts pilling because you wear it too much and then you end up wearing it less often because it looks “shaggy”? A lint remover is all you need to give your clothes a new lease on life! It’s so satisfying to see all of the pilled lint collected once the lint remover has worked its magic. The best part is how easy it is to use– I usually do this while watching my favourite TV show or having a slow afternoon with some music playing in the background. Nothing more therapeutic and satisfying than watching all the little lint balls get shaved off and your sweater coming back looking brand new by the end of the session.

How to make your clothing last longer

Hope these laundry hacks help to keep your Winter wardrobe going stronger for longer!

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Environmental impact of fast fashion and material alternatives

eco-friendly clothing materials: wool & silk

Disclaimer: The pieces featured in the photo above are made of 100% biodegradable materials: wool & silk. The wool cardigan was provided by Minelal, and the cami provided by Frances Austen, for photo styling. This opinion piece is in no way affiliated with either of these brands, but I specifically chose to partner with them because of their use of eco-conscious material selection for these pieces.

It’s been a while since the last post, and there’s a good reason why. After reading the November 2017 issue of Fast Company, which sheds light specifically on tech + culture, one article in particular piqued my interest. Stella McCartney’s take on fashion and advancements in material technology were fascinating, specifically the environmental impact of fast fashion.

Did you know that polyester, one of the softest, cheapest, and most-used fabrics in fast fashion, is an environmental pollutant that can take up to 200 years to degrade? Even washing this fabric sheds synthetic microfibers into the ocean!

Now with this info in mind, here’s more food for thought: the fashion industry produces over 150 billion pieces of clothing each year, with 80 billion pieces being consumed by humans annually. Fast fashion has taught us that it’s ok to not invest in clothing; to constantly consume new pieces by paying less out of our wallets, but in the long run, pay for this consumption through the environmental impacts of throwing away materials that are not only environmentally harmful to produce, but also harmful when discarded.

The table below really highlights the advantages and disadvantages of natural vs synthetic materials:

natural-synthetic-fabric-properties
Source credit – 40+ Style: Properties of Polyester and Other Fabrics

With all of this said, there are some positive initiatives – even in the fast fashion space – that are doing good by advancing material technology through recycling and being more mindful of the environmental impacts of a clothing item’s full life cycle.

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