Textile industry

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.


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.