Fashion

Willa in the office GREEN

Entrepreneur Willa is dusting off boring sustainable fashion

Rachel founder Rethink Rebels

Hi!
I’m Rachel
You have gifts to
change the fashion 
industry and my job
is to help you
using them.

Read more

We have seen eachother briefly during the soaking wet Climate March in Amsterdam last March. She walked as an activists, and screamed with slogan such as “Let’s get rid of CO2!”. This is not a marketing thing that you often see. Or greenwashing. This is real. This is genuine. Willa is a fighter. She speaks about diversity, feminism and has a sustainable mindset. This woman dares to stand up for those who can’t, fights climate change, is a mother of beautiful son Eloah and oh she also runs her own company W. Green Agency; A sustainable Branding & Communication Agency. Who is this power woman? I want to know more about her and decide to meet her. This is not that easy because she is very busy, as you understand…


Willa Stoutenbeek en Rachel Cannegieter

On the morning of our appointment, she is already enjoying the sun at Coffee Bru in Amsterdam East with a latte. Fabulous as always. I quickly sit down, order a nice fresh juice and fire the first question directly at her.

Sustainability & Fashion, how did this ever start?

“Sustainability has always been present. From the age of nine I was a vegetarian and activist. The real problems started when I went to high school. I just didn’t fit in, the system I didn’t understand. I had ADHD and a high IQ, but school did not succeed.

willa stoutenbeek klein

When I was older I started working in fashion, an easy choice, because both my parents were also working in this industry. I was always the odd one, politically left-winged, with my father making the link between Vivienne Westwood and me. In 2010 I got myself a job at Spice PR, a fashion phenomenon with brands like Nike, Vogue, Bijenkorf, Bulgari, Iris van Herpen and more. This agency is one of the most known in the PR world. After a few years I decided it was time for something new and started working as marketing manager for BlueBlood, the Amsterdam jeans brand that went bankrupt at the start of the economic crisis. I lost my job because of the bankruptcy and got burned out. But in the end it came out much better.

W. Green agency office
Willa in the office GREEN

At the age of 27 I started my own sustainable branding and communication agency, now almost 10 years ago. Quite a daring step and ahead of the time. But here was really my heart “.

What do you want to achieve with W. Green Agency?

“My passion is to lift sustainable brands to a higher level. If we get this space, we can deliver something we have done for Yoni, Afriek or Ace & Tate, for example. For example, we saw that Yoni, a brand that focuses on organic tampons, could express itself much better on social media, so we tackled that. The photo below clearly shows that Yoni is much more than a tampon or simple sanitary napkin, there is really a story behind it.

Yoni organic period products

We are being approached because people think this branding, brand identity, visual identity, positioning and holistic approach are right and want that for their brand too, that’s pretty cool.

W. Green agency stands for Ethics & Aesthetics. Both the inside and the outside of a brand must fit properly. Sometimes this collaboration works better than the next. The more confidence we get from a brand, the better it can come into its own. And you know it’s not about my own ego, I do this for ‘the greater good’ because everyone has to see that sustainable brands are the best choice.

Can you tell more about Ethics & Aesthetics?

Sustainable brands focus more often on the ethics, so on the inside, but much less on the aesthetics, the outside. This is actually due to the fact that the ‘outside’ is perceived as too superficial. However, a consumer decides in a split second or they trust the brand and want to buy it or not. This choice of whether to buy the product is often made based on the outside, and then people zoom in deeper.

Ethics & Aesthetics W. Green agency

Often sustainability has something dusty and if something on the back is 100% sustainable, but has not been designed well enough on the front with aesthetics, then it is by definition not sustainable, because it is not sold. So if your brand is something for which there is no market, you are wasting resources, energy, water, etc. and then it is not sustainable by definition.

A PR agency has a showroom. What do you think about this?

“Years ago showrooms still had a good function, but that really disappeared. In addition, a showroom is simply an extra room that you have to heat and maintain for just a few visits a week and that is not really sustainable.

Moreover, I would like to add that the W.Green Agency does not have the image of a PR agency. PR is really a last layer and with our agency we go much further and deeper. We really want to help build a sustainable model and thereby make sustainable choices for the brand. This goes from office level, business model to branding and communication level. Think of the printer that you choose, the energy supplier, etc. With us it is certainly not a last “PR” layer that we throw over it, no we want lasting impact. ”

How do you combine work with a family?

“It is sometimes tough. Motherhood and W.Green Agency are both a full-time job and finding a kind of balance without sacrificing anyone is a challenge. Eloah, of course, always comes in number 1, but clients also should be given the attention they deserve. In addition, I am very critical, both in work and daily life. That is sometimes difficult for others but also for myself.

TEDx Amsterdam Willa Stoutenbeek
Willa and Eloah

For example, our son Eloah does not eat sugar, meat or fish, and I started giving vegetable snacks instead of fruit snacks. Look, if at some point he decides to eat it all, that’s fine, but I just think about everything very well and read about it. Then I make a choice, and then I stick to it and I am not easy to leave the field. If people around me think differently about this, it can be difficult for them. That is why I express myself with these 3 words Sweet Enfant Terrible. ”

What do you think about the future of the earth?

“I’m not sure. My hope is still there … “, Willa is emotional, and so am I. Fortunately, we have sunglasses on.” I hope we realize that we are now ruining the earth for future generations and that its occurrence is extremely urgent. As a consumer, you no longer have to hide behind apologies that the government or companies should just do it. But we really have to take action ourselves. ” Noticeably the combative activist comes up again.

Fashion Shouldn't cost the Earth

If you have to wait for companies or governments you will be disappointed. Only a few companies take this responsibility and the Netherlands is roughly 14th in terms of sustainability, while we are in 3rd place as the richest countries. I find that bizarre. We are now trying to “live life” for our son. As an optimist, the glass is always half full, but I hope we will make a good choice with the next election. Let us come into more contact with ourselves, know our place in the ecosystem and ensure a sustainable world. Not only do it for yourself, but also for future generations. This allows us to enjoy this world.

When I walk home I feel that I am touched and inspired. Willa, this sweet enfant terrible is a beautiful person. It is pure and real, without frills or layers. I think it’s nice that she dares to be vulnerable, honestly admits that she’s not quite there yet and that she sometimes has trouble making sustainable choices. Like me. Then I realize that during this conversation Willa has taught me that becoming more sustainable is a process and that it is great to grow step by step more and more …

Do you want to know more or do you have questions for Willa or Rachel? Feel free to do that in the comments below. Do you see mistakes? Let us know! Do you want to stay informed? Sign up for our Newsletter or social via Facebook andInstagram.


5 Tips For A Sustainability Report People Actually Read

Rachel founder Rethink Rebels

Hi!
I’m Rachel
You have gifts to
change the fashion 
industry and my job
is to help you
using them.

Read more

Why no one is reading boring sustainability reports? Well, maybe because it’s wrapped in dense corporate documentents that no one cares to read or feel involved in? (including the sustainability professionals from within…). As Mud Jeans does everything different, they completely tackled that boringness and made this sustainability reporting a nice to read filled with rich storytelling features.  We share and highlight 5 tips derrived from their report.

Reporting on sustainability of your organization becomes more important than ever. Investors globally continue to be concerned about climate change risks and the transition to a low-carbon economy. (Read here) But also citizens and potentially customers want to feel good about the companies they buy from. (Read here) Let’s dive into Mud Jeans’ sustainability report and learn why it’s actually being read instead to end up as desk (top) filling material.

Sustainability report Mud Jeans

MUD Jeans is a Dutch jeans brand, BCorp certified, selling circular jeans with recycled and organic content. Their goal is to make 100% zero waste & recycled jeans by 2020.

1. Transparency & Traceability

The first thing what strikes us immediately is that full transparency and traceability is given, no holding back or excuses to share. For instance; they work with 3 supply chain partners only. But also it includes names and locations of factories, locations and even it’s owner names. Also for each product/process each appointed certificate is named and explained. To start the report with interesting environmental rescues, saves and figures are presented. It that shows the massive impact this business makes in a positive way.

Some highlights

WATER: As we might know already, on average about 7000 liters water per pair of jeans is used. MUD Jeans uses 1500 liters of water to produce one pair of jeans, saving 5500 liters per jeans. This amounts to nearly 300 million liters of water in the past 3 years.

CO2: On average 8% of global greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions are produced by the apparel and footwear industries. MUD jeans emits 61% less CO2 than other regular denim brands. 61%! This amounts to 700.000 kilos of CO2 avoided in the past 3 years.

Recycling: 12.000 Jeans are saved from landfill in the past three years.

MUD jeans SDGs

Within MUD jeans’ circular denim, they contribute to achieve the above mentioned SDGs

2. Aligning with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

In 2015 all United Nations Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This agenda provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and planet. At its core, 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been set. These are an urgent call for action by both developed and developing countries in global partnership. “Ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests”, according to the UN members.

Did you know that during the integration of these 17 goals during the COP21 in Paris, the owner of MUD jeans Bert van Son got the opportunity to share their story during COP21 at l’Université de la terre!? Being a BCorp organization, and contributing to several SDGs, MUD jeans is making sure to use their business as a force for good. SDG12 – Responsible Consumption and Production is closely aligned with Mud Jeans’ mission and vision. This goal aims that business activities are developed within a sustainable way of consuming and producing. 

For example with their award winning Lease A Jeans concept, they offer customers a sustainable way of consuming and both it’s sustainably produced. They are creating awareness about the current state of the world in particular to fashion and apparel and they share why they do things in a different way.  Sustainable fashion means long lasting, high quality products that don’t need to change every season. Therefore they set a goal to grow until they reach a production level of 500.000 jeans/year and from there on they will stabilize their growth.

3. Storytelling

Throughout the report pictures and rich stories are being told to inspire the reader. Like above mentioned Bert’s story on his mission on COP21, but also the pictures of the makers are proudly presented and explained. Or on the part of Fair Factories whereas Mr. Habib Ben Mansour, owner of Yousstex International the garment supplier, likes to say that MUD Jeans makes ‘noble products’.

Personally I love the story on a team trip to Spain: “Two years ago, in 2016, Team MUD drove to Valencia in Spain to bring our first 3.000 returned Lease A Jeans to the recycling factory. During this tour we followed the recycling process and witnessed how new denim fabrics were born.” They include some personal pictures of this trip in the report to get a good feeling of how much fun they had, how inspirational it was for them including the interns and it’s clear how much they love to do what they do. 

And that is the power of storytelling: to really inspire and talk to the hearts of the readers. Make them a part of your story and part of the journey. 

MUD Jeans I made your clothes

4. Define Bold Goals

Definately MUD jeans is not afraid to set some heavy and bold goals with a clear time frame. Like their extensive 2020 goals:

– 100% of all components of MUD jeans are designed for recycling

– All fibres used in MUD jeans are preferred fibres as stated by the textile exchange preferred fiber or material benchmark

– By 2020 we want to develop one jeans fabric which is 100% recycled. Ambitious: we know!

– For 2020, through an LCA (Life Cycle Analysis) we will map the complete consumption of water throughout the supply chain and set specific goals concerning reduction.

– We will expand our take-back scheme beyong the free-shipping zone and include more shops to increase the volume of jeans recycled.

…and many more! SMART goals have been set. Now the readers will likely follow seeing you accomplishing these goals!

5. Interact with your stakeholders

Not only does MUD jeans interact with its consumers, retailers, supply chain partners and workers, academia & NGOs (such as Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation, Circle Economy, B Lab, AMFI, Saxion, Fontys), influencers and other denim brands. As we see Bert or his colleagues always interact with their audience during a talk, showing pictures and movies. But also sharing pictures from MUD jeans groupies the love to brag with. Also there is an enormous internal interaction going on at team MUD as well. Did you know they have wednesdays and fridays company runs, drive electric and bake their own bread?

What we really loved to see is their organised webinar to go into detail about their first sustainability report. Eva Engelen, CSR manager at MUD jeans explains it future forward: “With our first sustainability report, ever, we will look at the past and the future. As a circular denim brand and BCorp, we have a big impact, of that we are sure. However, being a scale-up we have not been able to precisely measure this impact, which we will do in the near future. Modern transparency is what we live by. In this light, we are extremely proud and excited to share with you how we strive to be more sustainable and circular.” Check out this webinar! Check out MUD jeans full sustainability report here.

Questions about sustainability reporting and/or MUD jeans? Write them down in our comments below. Do you like this? Perhaps you like our previous article on Australian fashion brand Maggie Marilyn ditching plastic polybags.  Do you see mistakes? Let us know! Do you want to stay informed? Sign up for our Newsletter or social via Facebook and Instagram.


Chiara Indiaan in je Kast en Rachel

The Dutch Marie Kondo, Chiara Spruit, makes your wardrobe sustainable

Ever heard of the so-called Konmari method of Marie Kondo? Netflix hero Marie Kondo is so popular that it has already become a verb. I Marie Kondo, You Marie Kondo and we all Marie Kondo. Something like that. Marie Kondo is a cleanup guru in the USA. Totally at ease she will go through your pile of clothes with and you can keep it whenever you feel a ‘spark of joy’, everything else you say ‘thank you’ and say goodbye to. But there’s more! We know Chiara Spruit in the Netherlands. 

The consumer society in which we live consists of a repeated principle of buying, storing and throwing away. It is also called take-make-waste. We secretly no longer know what we actually have and no longer cherish our things. Chiara wants to change this and does this in a very personal way.

Chiara Spruit Marie Kondo style

I meet her during a circular fashion show at CIRCL and ask her a few questions about her way of working. First of all, she tells me where her name comes from. She calls herself Indian in your closet. Indian, because she was adopted from Colombia and in your closet because that is her favorite place. 

What are your tips & tricks that make people happy about their wardrobe again? 

“The first step really starts with yourself, what kind of person you are and what suits you and what makes you happy? What are your strengths and lesser points? Then you may wonder if you are going to shop sustainably, vintage shopping, swapping, borrowing or all in a mix. In addition, I think it is important that people cherish what they have, but also realize that there is a story behind every item of clothing. A piece of clothing that you buy in the store usually has no story. I’m trying to explain to really look at a piece of clothing and find out what feeling you get from that piece; does it give you a ‘spark of joy’? Yes or no? 

For example, think of that beautiful blouse with buttons from your grandma on it, you’ll never throw something like that away. I really look at a piece of clothing and ask myself ‘how you can I make this unique’. See, a basic is a basic. But a unique piece of clothing teaches you to look at the time spent on it. Five or ten years ago they were not really talking about sustainable fashion. I already did what I did. Learning to look at details and to cherish clothes has been introduced to me as a child”.

Chiara Indiaan in je Kast en Rachel

The basis for a sustainable wardrobe is self-knowledge. Chiara barely hears this in the media (do you want to know more about this? Then read the article with Clare Press).

Together with Chiara you gradually get closer to yourself, she also calls it peeling the layers of the onion until you are really on the core. Who am I, what do I want, what do I feel comfortable with? Not your partner, your employer, your children or whatever: no, it’s about you.

What about business clothing?

 “If you work for a corporate company and you have a meeting, it is nice that you have a nice jacket and pants. But a jacket and pants are very different if you wear this with a leopard belt or banana socks. This is, of course, just an example, but try to make things your own, and like this, you don’t have to buy a different (expensive) suit every time.

Always try to change something small, then it feels that it’s like new. If you can create a wardrobe for yourself that contains clothing that suits you, what you really wear, that you have an overview, and enjoy: then that is really sustainable.

How does a wardrobe session work?

“There are various options. You can book a workshop with a group of girlfriends, but I can also visit you at home. During a wardrobe session, I work thoroughly. It’s all about you. During a wardrobe session, all layers of the onion are peeled off to get to the core. Who are you? I make many sincere compliments, identify qualities and inspire people. A wardrobe session involves taking steps. A wardrobe is an accumulation of years and expresses itself in a certain world of thought: how did you see yourself versus who you are now? Change is slow, but I do try to set change processes in motion. For information, the prices are between 79 (workshop with girlfriends) and 500 euros (private wardrobe session of a day).

How do you see sustainability yourself?

“I am a proponent of sustainability, but whether I am a world improver? I think so, but we have to do it together. I can really only improve the world if people actually pick up my story. We improve the world together. Somewhere there is a bit of a smudge on my profession. As a stylist, you are often busy disapproving. This is out of fashion, this is no longer possible, you are too old / too young / too fat / too thin, etc. This is of course not really a sustainable idea and that does not suit me.

Do you have an ultimate shop tip?

“Yes, of course! Book a session with me: Indian in your closet and turn your own closet into your favorite clothing store! I want to make sure that you will be happy again from your own store, just at home. You don’t have to search for externally, everything starts with you!

Do you want to know more or do you have questions for Rachel? Or Chiara? Feel free to do that in the comments below. Do you see mistakes? Let us know! Do you want to stay informed? Sign up for our Newsletter or via Facebook and Instagram.


Sustainable Vogue March 2018

Fashion magazine Vogue favors sustainability. You too?

Every day we receive a large portion of negative messages from fashion brands. Advertising constantly tells us that we do not have enough of the right things, that we are not thin enough, not young, not beautiful, too old, too fat, too ugly, too poor, too unfashionable, too incomplete, or that we are completely out of fashion. We are constantly fed with the feeling of; “we just aren’t enough”.

We are constantly fed with the feeling of; “we just aren’t enough”.

Well you know, I have had enough of that in the meantime, you too? Enough of discrimination, lowering self-confidence, enough of ‘just not right’, enough of not being part of it (where actually?), enough of plastic, enough of dirty oceans and seas, enough of (having to) consume too much, but how should we do it better actually?

Clare Press, known as the first sustainable editor at Vogue Australia, comes with a positive sound to take action in a good way. She tries to inform people about sustainable fashion and how we can change that ourselves.

FashionforGood Clare Press Rethink Rebels

At the end of 2018, Clare Press was in the world’s first sustainable fashion museum, Fashion for Good in Amsterdam, for the European launch of her book “Rise & Resist, how to change the World”. 

Amsterdam is the first to choose a sustainable fashion museum; Museum Fashion for Good. 

Fashion for Good (Rokin, Amsterdam) was opened in October 2018 and offers everyone the chance to learn everything about the history of good fashion, sustainable products, and the latest fashion innovations. Stories behind the clothes that you wear are told here. In addition, it shows you how you can take action and have a positive impact on the fashion industry. This makes the city of Amsterdam the first to choose a sustainable fashion museum.

Clare Press Nimue Smit FFG Rise and Resist Rethink Rebels

Photo: Giullia Squillace

During the launch, Clare says positivity is the only way to convince people. Ultimately we all know somewhere that we are not terrible. We are intrinsically good and we really do not want to pollute the environment with our t-shirt, let alone propagate child labor or exploitation. But where do you start as a consumer? Shouldn’t the clothing brands themselves just take action? “People want sustainable solutions,” says Clare. “And this opportunity is a huge one for designers and companies.

There is more attention for sustainability on TV  Fortunately, more attention has recently been paid to sustainable fashion in programs such as “Genaaid” on NPO3 and VPRO Tegenlicht “Future Fashion Pioniers”. But how are you actually going to start? How can you tackle this problem? When I interview Clare, she says that it is useful to always choose your own passion as the starting point. Remember what you think is important.  “I really care about the environment and it’s important to me that a brand focuses on that,” Clare explains. “Everyone has their own moral compass and ideas about what is good for them or not. It’s such a big problem that people can feel overwhelmed and then lie on their backs and do nothing anymore.” According to Clare, the most important thing is to start small. Think about what motivates you the most and then you can expand that more as a consumer. Want to know more about this? Then read the following article; These are the tips for a more sustainable life. 

Actress Emma Watson also prefers sustainable fashion In addition to TV, nowadays more and more actors, celebrities and the likes are opting for sustainability. In March 2018, for example, actress Emma Watson (known from the Harry Potter series) contributed to Vogue Australia, which was all about sustainability.

Sustainable Vogue March 2018

This sustainable edition of Vogue created the new (and at the time non-existent) job of Clare Press: Sustainability Editor-at-Large Vogue. Clare says about this “I am a bit of a special case, it is not common for a journalist and fashion editor to write about sustainability. It is my job to keep the conversation about sustainability as much as possible, and to build a sustainable future, “says Clare. Of course, I could not resist asking Clare about her tips for sustainable shopping, here they are:

Clare’s tips to shop sustainable:  

  • Download the “Good on You” app for free. Super handy, fast and gives you all the (sustainable) information you want to know about your brands and clothing. In addition, it also offers alternatives when your own brand scores lower than hoped.

  • Check small, sustainable brands on Instagram. Search on hashtags (#duurzamemode or #sustainablefashion).

  • Buy locally and support good products. Do not buy less if you do not want to, but support the sustainable brands (eg The Faire East, Miss Green, Project CeCe).

  • Visit the Fashion for Good museum in Amsterdam

  • Listen to the various podcasts Wardrobe crisis of Clare

  • And of course read the book Rise & Resist

Clare Press Rise and Resist and Rachel Cannegieter

Do you want to know more or do you have questions for Rachel? Or maybe Clare Press? Feel free to do that in the comments below. Do you see mistakes? Let us know! Do you want to stay informed? Sign up for our Newsletter or follow us via Facebook and Instagram.


Safe Money with these sustainable lifestyle tips Rethink Rebels

This saves you no less than € 10,000 a year. These are the 7 tips!

“Gosh, are you going to Disney in America again with the kids in this short May break? What a wonderful thing. Were you not just been to Cape Town, Kyoto and Tulum? No, but nice for you to say! You work hard for it too”. I sigh a moment and pick up my phone. “Honey. I’m going to book something for the May break now. It doesn’t matter where, as long as it’s tropical, and something nice. Agree?”

Looking back, I think. Serious? I am sick of this. We try to keep up with each other at a killing pace. Both partners work, we buy too much stuff, good clothing for the kids and want to make the most fun journeys, but in addition, we are exhausted, we are tired, we have monthly sessions with the psychologist who calls ‘us kind of an epidemic’ and we have a trade in sleeping pills. Honestly. What the hell went wrong with us? And when did this happen? And how are we going to change this as quickly as possible?

As if you are only someone when you drive that car, live in that house, wear (brand) clothing and can take your children to the most luxurious places every school holiday. I simply had enough of it. I wanted to starve myself to some kind of exhaustion to see if life became very different. Whether I could do it. Whether I could stand the pressure. Whether I could stay myself or whether I just got to know myself. I wanted back to basics. And suddenly it was there; a kind of resistance to this current thinking.

Seven tips for saving money

Even with my very average income, living in a more expensive area of the country, I managed to save 10,000 euros within 12 months. I did this by changing my lifestyle extremely and living under my current lifestyle. It was not easy and required a lot of hard work and sacrifices. And if I can, then you can too. I have described a formula so that you can achieve this also.

1. Become financially independent

  • Super cliché but most of the time the clichés are true. Your own job, your own income, your own worries.

  • How much do you really want this? To save 12 months you seriously have to go for it. It is not about a sprint, but about a marathon. No one else is going to do this for you, it requires sacrifice, it is difficult and you need a degree of perseverance. The right mindset is everything.

2. Check your expenses

  • Money does not cause stress, but, if you have no idea where your money is going, or afraid to check your balance? Then you have some serious stress. Super simple solution. Block 2 evenings or a weekend and arrange a good bottle of wine. Use excel to record all expenses of each month (or use a handy app for this) and you will get insight into your cash flows. Up to the euro, you can see where your money is going and whether you want to. Write down everything. Believe me, you need wine now.

  • What do you spend on food per week? including groceries, eating out, fresh coffee, snacks at the gas station etc. What do you spend on entertainment? Netflix, telephone, internet, cinema, books, music, concerts etc. And what about alcohol and cigarettes? What are the monthly bills such as rent, mortgage, energy, water/gas/ light, car, taxes, insurance, student loans, gym, shopping, clothing etc? You are probably very surprised by how much you spend. It is the small things that make the total a big boost.

  • Don’t worry be happy. It is what it is, and from now on you will do things differently. Check how much you have to save every month to get to where you want to end up. Hey, you’re not perfect and it takes time to get there. It takes time to build this kind of consciousness and to follow everything strictly. But when you see the successes, you will automatically change.

3. Go budgeting 2.0 – needs vs. wants

  • Make a budget. Start at the top with the monthly income (average).

  • Calculate all monthly income. Do not forget the income that you receive once a year/half year/quarter. It gives a good idea of what your income looks like on average per month in a year.

  • Below you start with the fixed costs, from high to low costs. For example your mortgage or rent, insurance, car, energy/water/ light etc.

  • Once you have calculated the fixed costs, check which monthly costs are important to you. Do you want to continue to pay this or do you stop certain fixed costs? For me, groceries, the hairdresser, beautician (difficult skin), clothing for my kids (mind you, nothing for myself that year round) and saving remained on the fixed expense list. In addition, I gave myself 50 euros a month in pocket money (so I also had to buy presents, date and other things together).

  • As you can see, I was very rigorous & very serious. I wanted to reach my goal of 10,000 euros at all costs. I really looked at my ‘need to have’ versus ‘want to have’. Hairdresser and beautician I actually thought was luxury but gave me the boost I needed to radiate enough confidence. Basically, everything I left after these posts went to post save
    The trick is always to make sure you know how much of your budget is left. I knew exactly what I spent and started working harder to reach my goal.

Safe Money with these sustainable lifestyle tips Rethink Rebels

4. Develop the habit of saving money

  • You could also see if you can go to work by bike. Or instead of paying expensive parking costs: park outside the center and then cycle to the center with your folding bike. I myself had a company car, so I didn’t have to save on it. But I had chosen the cheaper class in the lease range. This saved me 100-150 euros a month compared to colleagues.

  • Weekly shopping instead of doing daily shopping (on a full stomach with a shopping list). Cheaper supermarkets, check offers and go to the market in the afternoon (then everything goes away cheaper). We made all our food ourselves: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is quite a job but once you are in the rhythm, it works. If you cook for yourself, you can save between 5-10 euros per meal, around 120-200 euros per month. That is easy to earn and it is very nice and cozy.

  • And then about the girlfriends’ drinks. Instead of going to an expensive cafe (40-50 euros) you can convince them to meet up with someone and take something with you. They really like it and that way you will come to someone’s home again.

5. Lower your mortgage or rent

Since mortgage or rent is the largest item, it can be interesting to take a good look at this item.

  • Check with your bank/advisor whether your mortgage can be taken out for a lower interest rate. Sometimes you have to pay a fine because you break off your deadline earlier, but it can also be very interesting in the longer term. It is, therefore, a short loss for a long-term profit.

  • Take a roommate and split the costs.

  • Move to a cheaper neighborhood. Rigorous, but not impossible.

  • If you spend a weekend with friends/parents, you can rent your home through Airbnb. Sometimes look a little further than you initially envision. It seems drastic, but everything gets used. It is about realizing your goal, which you must keep in mind.

6. Sell your crap

I need cash. How do I do that?

  • By having a thorough cleaning in your house and selling everything on the marketplace. Children’s clothing, shoes, coats, furniture (they do well), books, you name it.

  • Cancel cancellation insurance and travel insurance & other subscriptions (sports, magazines, etc).

  • “Going out at home.” For example, I didn’t go out anymore, remember? We went shopping cheaper, I didn’t buy any clothes for a year … and you know, I really didn’t need it all. During the evenings with friends at home, I could immediately look inside their wardrobe and see what I could borrow. Super handy evenings!

  • Shorter showers, candles and fewer lights on, purchase LED lights

  • Comparing the energy suppliers and health costs every year. It is offered enormously and is certainly worthwhile and saved!

 

7. Find a sidekick job

Everyone wants to earn something extra.

  • See where your talents lie and respond to them! Can you play the guitar well? go teach! Are you handy? Sign up as a handyman/man. Just do it and make extra money! I did that by giving Zumba lessons and giving extra attention. Easy earnings!

  • Set yourself a viable goal with a reasonable timeline. Go for it and work on your dreams, go on that dream trip or buy that piece of art or just keep on saving and ensure a mortgage-free existence! Whatever, what you find important. You don’t have to be afraid of failing, but you have to be in exactly the same place next year as today.

For me, it has become a way of life. I no longer feel the urgency to buy things. Let me say: I don’t need it anymore. Black Friday was a non-buying day for me (just out of opposition), but I will also organize these upcoming holidays as purely as possible. I love buying presents, don’t get me wrong. But it can all be a little less and more conscious. We prefer to do something fun together, enjoy the time together. Having experiences together has become the most important thing.

Extra tips for saving money:

Books:

Stuffocation: living more with less by James Wallman

Rise and Resist by Clare Press

Netflix:

Minimalism: a documentary about the important things

The True Cost

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