Sustainable lifestyle

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.


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

Do you want to know more or do you have questions for us? 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.


Polluted river China by Fashion Industry

Fashion Fix Above Everything? Tips for a sustainable lifestyle

In recent years we have been bombarded with the word sustainability. Sustainable food, sustainable clothing, sustainable fairs, sustainable care, sustainable sports, sustainable work, and sustainable living. But what is it anyway?

We are the first generation to experience the impact of climate change, but also the last generation that can do something about it.

As it is now, we, as consumers, have to get to work

As it is, we, as consumers, have to get to work and think with each issue: “put your money where your mouth is”. If you are aware, there will naturally change. I personally experienced it a few months ago. I came to a halt from my busy and always hurried life.

Sustainable lifestyle life and family Rachel Cannegieter

Before I became aware of everything, I wanted to make a career, raise two sweet children, and I had an enormous drive to get up that ladder as much as possible.

Which ladder am I actually trying to climb and at what price is that really?

In my world, the fashion industry, it seems as if I’m struggling hard every time and then asking myself; where and for whom do I actually do this? It’s this undefined love/hate relationship with Fashion, I assume. Unfortunately, I rang the bell too late and I ended up in a sort of burnout status. In my stressed status, I thought about life. Am I still happy with my job, am I on the right track? Who was I again? And what do I actually want to give my children? If they see me go to work so unhappy, they never get my work ethos along. Is that the example I want to leave behind? And of course, there is also the complete exploitation in my fashion industry. What do I want to give to the next generations?

The textile industry is a very polluting industry

Rana Plaza, that disaster in Bangladesh in 2013, in which more than 1100 women and their children died, because the building did not meet the requirements for textile production. Do you remember that? Did you know that there is still slavery in the clothing industry and that people have to work extremely long days, sometimes 24/7, days and weeks in a row for our must-have outfit or Fashion Fix? The textile industry is a very polluting industry. 10% of CO2 emissions come from textiles. For comparison: 2.5% CO2 emissions come from the aviation industry. We then use around 10,000 liters of water per outfit (jeans + shirt) to produce it. In addition, I have not even talked about all the chemicals and dyes to make our jeans so special. These are namely dumped in nearby rivers. This way, the entire community can see which trendy color is “in fashion” in the West.

Polluted river China by Fashion Industry

The above is just the tip of the iceberg. But of course, you can now ask yourself why we still produce nature polluting and why the working conditions in the factories are so bad?

If we continue with our consumption this way there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050

This is such a typical case of the “pointing finger”. The fashion brands blame the consumer, the government blames the companies and the consumer blames the government. My father always said if you point a finger at the other, three points at yourself. So time to get started. If we continue to use our consumption in this way, there will be more plastic in 2050 than fish in our oceans (by weight).

Tips for a greener and more sustainable existence:

·         Pay and save greener: investing, saving but also daily banking can be done at greener banks/investment companies (eg Triodos)

·         Vote for green: use your voting rights and vote for people in politics who speak about climate change.

·         Buy plants: it absorbs CO2 and you get more balanced + you become more energetic with the color green.

·         Reduce your own CO2 footprint: buy solar panels, take a bicycle, take the bus, go carpooling with your colleague or opt for an electric car. But also separate your waste, do your shopping with cotton bags (also for fruit/vegetables), become vegetarian or eat less meat.

In the meantime, I have also started to live greener and more sustainably. I have introduced five different waste bins. That seems extreme (if you come from one or two), but trust me, it is not so bad once you do it (and you’re surprised by the number of single-use plastics).

Then I went to clean up waste after a wonderful day at the beach. A real hashtag has been created for this on Instagram: # 5minutesbeachcleanup. After the beach season

I thought; hey we have to do this in our neighborhood. You know; create awareness of roaming plastic. So we did just that. Because of this you are not only enjoying the walk, but you are also doing something good for fellow human beings and nature. Below a photo of the garbage disposal in our neighborhood. It was a fantastic evening.

Neighborhood clean up together we make a better world

Honest? I’m not there yet. I am still on my way and I would like to take you on a journey in my “greener” and more sustainable life without this having a goat wool socks image. In the end, I am still the fashionista who loves fashion. Sustainable fashion.

Do you want to know more about a sustainable existence or do you have questions for us? 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.