Project Manager, Editor-in-Chief, Fashion entrepreneur @Goshopia, SEO & Digital Marketing freak, writer, podcaster, storyteller and curious mind with a love affair with life and nature. Follow me on Social Media!
Coronavirus has put in place some new habits like washing hands thoroughly, social distancing and wearing a face mask. We all need to exercise proper caution and act as the tight, caring community we are – at least in Dubai. Selfishness has no space here. The only way to stop COVID is by all being responsible.
This pandemic has shown us how interconnected we are. Much more than what we thought we might. I remember those initial days when reporters talked about this weird virus in China… and it seemed so far away, yet in no time it spread all over the world. It is scary and it hides a lot of lessons for us as earthlings.
We all saw how nature and even some animals came back to the cities and villages, how pollution decreased, how the air seemed better and we could enjoy the blue sky through our windows. At that moment, maybe at the apocalyptic sight of empty cities, we all pledged to be better citizens and take better care of Mama Earth. The whole pandemic seemed to be a call to action.
Yet now, when humans are starting to get back to normal life, we are seeing rivers and oceans full of gloves and masks. It breaks my heart. Haven’t we learnt anything? Disposable masks and gloves need to be properly disposed of, otherwise, they can help spread the virus and on top of that, they add pollution to the equation.
Fabric Face masks seemed to be a good alternative. They are not throwaway products and you are to keep them and reuse them. But are all face masks effective?
FABRIC FACE MASKS VS MEDICAL MASKS – WHICH MASK SHOULD WE WEAR?
When we think of medical masks the most protective one is the N95. It blocks 97% when worn correctly. But N95s are expensive and require special training to fit properly. They are also limited in supply, so should be reserved for doctors, nurses and hospital staff.
After the N95, we have the surgical mask. They are single-use and block around 62-65% of particles. These masks because of their disposable nature and their popularity are the ones that mean a high risk of pollution and contamination if they are not properly disposed of.
But not all face masks are the same. A study showed that some fabric masks achieved 79% filtration as compared to surgical masks (62% to 65%) and N95 masks (97%). But other masks filtered as little as 1%. The best-performing masks were constructed of two layers of high-quality, heavyweight cotton, and those with an especially tight weave and thicker thread. A double-layer mask with a simple cotton outer layer and an inner layer of flannel also performed well. The inferior performers consisted of single-layer masks with light fabric.
If the fabric face mask has a pocket –like ours– to insert a surgical mask, then they are more protective than the surgical masks, as it has the best of both worlds.
From Goshopia we wanted to help stop the pollution and contamination so we started using our own face mask that together with designer friend Aleli, we have improved over and over to make it safer, better and more comfortable for all family members including the little ones.
Mind you, they are not medical masks. They are fabric face masks. They are adjustable, reversible, washable, have a pocket to add a filter and come in different fabrics to chose from. To have them fitting properly we have 4 sizes. Due to the nature of the product, they can not be refunded or exchanged.
CHILDREN WEARING MASKS
As you might know, masks are now not compulsory for children under six and as a mum, I do not recommend you put them in very small babies that might not be able to remove the mask themselves or children that might have breathing difficulties. Check your paediatrician to know what would need to be required in those cases.
Children, I am afraid, are not immune to corona, but they seem to have milder symptoms or even be totally asymptomatic. That does not mean that they can not transmit it, and it is as contagious as if the virus is on an adult. That is why doctors say children should wear a mask to help stop COVID. But let us face it, some children might not tolerate the mask, so parents get creative. In my case, we have a “Mama and me” masks. We go matchy-matchy and she likes that.
Other ways to make it fun is to have a mask for their favourite stuffed animal and show with them how to put and remove safely the mask. You can also have fun prints on the masks. In our case, they can select what print they might like more. You can show them pictures of other children wearing masks or draw one over their preferred book character.
If you decide not to use a mask for your children, then ensure they are at least 2 meters away from other people at all times and do not touch surfaces, play equipment etc.
HOW TO USE AND TAKE CARE OF FABRIC FACE MASKS
Once the mask is on try not to touch it or touch your face.
Masks should fit well, cover the nose and mouth securely and stretch from ear to ear.
When at home, remove from behind and avoid touching the outer surface which is potentially contaminated.
Wash face masks after each use.
Keep it in a safe place while eating, driving or when not using it.
WHAT DO WE NEED TO LOOK FOR IN A FABRIC MASK?
Following what the CDC said, make sure the mask is thick enough. How can you check? Hold the mask against the light and see if you can see through. Below we list what we consider is important when buying a face mask.
Allow for breathing without restriction.
It must fit snugly but comfortably.
Be secured with ties or ear loops – ours have soft ear loops that you can adjust with a bead.
Have multiple layers of fabric- ours are 3-ply.
Be able to be washed and dried without damage or change to shape.
Have the possibility to add a filter for added extra protection.
Still do not forget they are not medical. If you are sick, have to be around sick people or need to visit high-risk places such as hospitals etc… always use the medical ones.
You know we are big fans of linen clothes as it is one of the most sustainable fibers out there. Not only that, it looks gorgeous, classy and elegant. And even more than that, linen is like wine… with age it gets even better! For some reason, there is this idea that linen is difficult to take care of and we want to show you that it is not that difficult at all. Just a little bit of care will go a long way and your linen clothes can last literally a lifetime or as you later will learn a couple thousand years. 🤣
Before we get to the tips on how to take care of your gorgeous linen clothes, we want to invite you to have a look at the impressive selection of linen clothes we have available at Goshopia.com. All of them are pre-shrunk and available in plenty of sizes. Remember we have Free International Delivery!
Now, let’s learn more about this amazing fiber: Linen.
What is linen?
Linen is a woven fabric made from the fibers of the flax plant. For nerds out there that like facts like me, flax in ancient Greek was called λινόν (linón), in Latin linum and the scientific name for the plant is Linum usitatissimum. It is one of the oldest, most eco-friendly textiles in the world. Linen in its original color is off-white, but this fiber can take dyes very well.
We see linen today in clothes, and home coverings such as tablecloths, bedsheets, cushions, napkins…that is why the term “linens” are used for these coverings even though they might not be made out of linen specifically.
What is great about linen?
Linen is soft on the skin and it is able to absorb and release moisture really fast. That is why it is great for warm and humid weather or the summer.
Linen fabric breathes well, helping to regulate your body temperature.
It repels dust and dirt.
Super durable fiber, yet gentle on the skin. Imagine if it is durable that in 1881 when they found the tomb of the Pharaoh Ramses II, who died in 1213 BC, the linen wrappings were in perfect condition after more than 3000 years. Same with the curtains of the tomb of Tutankhamen. That is what I called really vintage! 😁
It is not too elastic, which means that it doesn’t stretch much but tends to wrinkle, so we need to take care when folding and storing it.
Flax grows everywhere. It doesn’t require pesticides or harsh chemicals to grow. The plant has other uses besides fashion.
It is smooth and lint-free and it gets softer the more you wash it.
It has high conductivity and doesn’t accumulate static electricity. No funky hair when getting dressed!
Linen can withstand high temperatures and has only moderate initial shrinkage. In any case, all the Goshopia linen clothes are pre-washed so there is no shrinkage.
It might have some small lumps as it is a natural fiber. This texture is part of its beauty.
It is two to three times stronger than cotton and dries at a much faster rate.
The natural fibers also hold dye colors better than some other materials, and thus the fabric is available in almost any imaginable color.
Linen is also naturally anti-bacterial. That is why it was a popular choice for bandages for centuries and a favorite for windows and accessories.
It has inbuilt insect-repellent properties so you shouldn’t need to worry about moths or other similar creatures. It is hypoallergenic, so a great fit if you suffer from allergies.
Comfortable yet, linen clothing has developed a cool and elegant look & feel that allows wearers to make a subtle but eye-catching statement wherever they go.
It is easy to style and matches denim and cotton very well.
Ancient cultures realized that even though the refining process was time-consuming the fibrous stems of the flax were lightweight, durable, moisture-resistant, and could be turned to threads and later be used to weave. Initially, and maybe because of their properties and cost to produce, only royalty or wealthy families wore linen clothes. Archaeologists keep on finding linen from the Neolithic age, Ancient Egypt- where it was sometimes even used as currency- and Phoenicia. Linen has been mentioned even in the Bible as what angels wore (Revelation 15:6). In the Middle Ages, it got more popular especially for clothes in contact with the skin like shirts, chemises, waist-shirts, lingerie, and detachable shirt collars and cuffs. The inner layer of cloth garments as for example dress jackets was traditionally made of linen, hence the word lining.
How is linen produced?
Linen stems had to be collected by hand, remove leaves, roots, and blooms. After that, they were “retted”, leaving them at the river banks for bacteria to eat the exterior part of the stems. After the fibers were the only thing left, they were combed, stiff fibers removed, spun into thread, transferred on spools, and sent to the weavers. It is laborious to process- even in this modern age- hence it is a pricey fiber.
On a curious note
Did you know that linen was used to print banknotes too? Yep! in 1923 in Bielefeld (Germany) printed their bills in linen. Paper made of linen can be very strong and crisp. Oh! And it is not the only one! The United States and many other countries print their currency on a paper mix made from 25% linen and 75% cotton.
How to take care of our linen clothes
Generally, linen is an easy to care fabric. You can machine wash it or dry-clean it. Still, it is best to always check first the manufacturer’s care label and take into account any special instructions before cleaning your linen garment. If your linen clothing is a blend of linen and cotton or rayon, the care instructions may be different. The fabric content of trim or lining can also affect the method of cleaning.
For example, our Lucca or Aurora dresses are a blend of linen and rayon. They are part of the Slow Fashion Philosophy, so only a few units are produced.
If machine wash, use a delicate or short cycle with lukewarm or cold water. You will extend the life of the fabric if you hand-wash your linen clothing in cold water. Steer clear of harsh laundry detergents when washing linen clothes. Better use a mild detergent for delicate fabrics. Always remember to separate your whites and colors—new linen dyes have a tendency to bleed in the wash.
If you decide to hand wash your linen clothes just put them in a clean sink with cool water and mild detergent. Gently agitate, drain the soapy water, rinse the sink and refill with cool water until the water is soap-free.
Also, do not wring linen to remove excess water as the fibers might stretch a bit and you will get extra wrinkles. It is better to roll each item in a towel to remove moisture.
If you have stains, put immediately some water and soap or even dishwasher if it is a greasy one!- to make it easier to remove them later. Normally we should use cold water for linen but if the stain is of wine, the recommendation is to boil the garment to remove the stain. Take into account that hot water might shrink slightly the linen.
When it comes to bleaching, you can use bleach on your white linen garments only. But avoid over bleaching as this can cause yellowing.
You can also take them to the dry cleaner. We recommend you do this with garments that are more structured, like tailored items such as linen jackets or suits. This is not due to the material itself, but due to the way they are constructed and the lining they might have. Check the label first.
Once cleaned, it is better to air-dry your linen garment on a padded hanger or lay flat on a drying rack to avoid wrinkles. Avoid using the clothes dryer. If in a hurry, you may tumble dry on low for five minutes but take them out before the clothes get too dry or you will have a hard time ironing.
When ironing, add a bit of moisture or steam. Set your iron on the linen setting -normally the highest- and iron while the garment is still a bit damp. The heat from the iron will dry the fabric and remove wrinkles. Turn your garment inside out before ironing. Use a press cloth between your iron and the fabric to prevent your linen fabric from taking direct heat. You can use also starch or sizing if you want clothes to keep their shape and be very crisp. You can iron white linen on both sides, but dark linen should be pressed only on the reverse side or you might get some shine. To avoid that you might just use a press cloth.
We better hang our clothes or even roll them. This is better than folding them. When we fold our clothes always through the same area, we might create creases. Then when we are ready to use them, they have the folding lines and that is not cool. With a hot iron, we can remove the creases, you can add steam or a bit of water to soften the crease before applying the iron.
The only thing with linen might be the wrinkles, so these are some handy tips to prevent them from appearing in some garments. Think that it is part of the nature of the textile and it is difficult to avoid them 100%. At the end of the day, we are pretty flexible and linen is not so much. Still, there is a casual & cool vibe to linen clothes.
If you are using a jacket, you might want to remove it while driving or during extended periods of sitting. Maybe you can hang your jacket on a hanger in the car and in your office until you need to wear it again.
With pants, we can not remove and they tend to wrinkle in different areas. Then you can gently lift your pants from the knees as you sit down. This will minimize fabric stretch, sag, and subsequent wrinkles.
If you have a wrinkly situation and no iron close by, wet your hands a bit and using them as makeshift irons rub the wrinkles off stretching them out by pulling the fabric in opposite ways.
We always tell you to wash your clothes when they are really needing it. In the case of linen, most probably they need some airing and some ironing but are not really dirty as yet. Just add some steam or moisture to remove the wrinkles before the next use.
Linen vs Cotton
Linen is just as easy to look after as cotton, but it is way more durable- Remember the mummies!- It gets better with each wash, unlike cotton which can become threadbare as the fibers weakened. Linen uses fewer resources in its production, so it is a more eco-friendly fiber. If you are to choose cotton, try to buy organic cotton instead of conventional cotton. It is better for you, for the environment, and for all the workers in the supply chain, including the farmers. Check this GOTS certified Cotton tops.
Father´s day is around the corner and now more than ever it is a good time to appreciate their support and their role in our lives. I love my dad and see how important my husband is for my daughter. You can tell how happy she is in the image on top! (Yes, this is my family! Behind companies, there is always a person that does a little dance when you purchase and that is us!). On this special day, we can gift them something meaningful and practical. Here you have seven gift ideas for all the eco dad´s out there.
As usual, you know we only recommend things that are respectful with our 3 S´s philosophy: Slow Fashion (meaning no mass production and exclusivity), Sustainable Fashion (using natural products that will biodegrade), Socially Responsible (because we believe fashion can be a force for good!). So, now, let’s get to our list!
7 FATHER´S DAY GIFT IDEAS
1. A Toilet Bag, like Henry´s Toilet Bag. This cute bag comes in 2 colors and it is made of vegetable-tanned leather. It has good capacity, so all the shaving products and tools get to be all together. Get yours here! It is only 375 Dhs.
2. A passport holder as very soon we will be able to travel back again and you want to have all the documents organized. Check this one! It costs only 350 Dhs and it comes in different colors!
3. If you are planning for a long weekend away, he will need a bag like the Frank Duffel bag. Stylish, sturdy, elegant, and masculine. It fits all his travel basics. Made of vegetable-tanned leather and with an exclusive lining. Frankie is a must-have! And it is available in brown and charcoal.
4. A laptop bag- Now more than ever our laptops have become our main tool to work and to connect with the outside world. I do not know about you, but I would not be able to do without it! Make sure it is well protected and stored. We have different options, depending on your preferences.
5. Maybe you want a small detail like a wallet. Check these beauties! They cost only 249 Dhs!
6. If he hates having stuff in his pockets- who doesn’t? -, make sure he has a Valet Tray like this at the entrance of your house. Keys, wallets, access cards all in one place for comfort and peace of mind. Only 430 Dhs!
7. And if you are not sure what he would like, you can go the safe way and buy a Gift Card from Goshopia.com. There is a special promotion now, that when you buy the 500 Dhs, they get to spend 550 Dhs and when you buy the 1.000 Dhs one, they get 1.100 Dhs to use in the shop! More value for your money and no risk. Click on the images to see the details of each and ask us if you have any questions.
There is another way to gift, by supporting a family in need in these trying times. This is possible in the UAE thanks to Stop and Help- a fantastic initiative of Heather Harris. To help you just need to complete this form. They will arrange to send basic groceries to another father struggling to feed his family. Solidarity is indeed the biggest gift! https://form.jotform.com/201315297386458
And if you want to help even further, share this initiative and tag them with the hashtags #stopandhelp#stopandhelpdads We are one and together we stand!
So, What will you be gifting your Papa/ Husband this coming Father´s Day? We hope our gift ideas list helps you figure out something really nice. Remember we have Free International Shipping to make things even easier for you!
As we are celebrating Worlds Ocean Day, it is time to reflect and really see how we are impacting the life below water. It breaks my heart when I see so much marine fauna dying because of abandoned nets, eating microplastics, and change in their habitats. Roll your sleeves and let’s clean our own mess. Tell me in the comments what will you be implementing to help and drive change.
WHY ARE THE OCEANS SO IMPORTANT?
Oceans are very important. I would even say they are key to our own survival. Yet we don’t stop polluting them in so many- and even creative ways. I would want to see that same creativity to fix the issue we created in the first place. You might not understand the importance of their role, so let me brief it a bit. It is not in vain that this issue has its own SDG a.k.a Sustainable Development Goal nr 14. It is really that important.
Oceans absorb around 30% of CO2 produced by humans. This is directly related to global warming and climate change. Yep! Unless you are Trump, you know this is happening and not a far fetched risk. They clean our air and regulate Earth´s temperature.
Around 40% of the oceans are badly polluted already. That is changing the acidity balance, affecting their capacity to capture CO2 and impacting the lives of all marine beings. This translates to impact the whole food chain, which includes us and all the coastal habitats. Oceans cover 75% of the Earth and by volume, it is home of 99% of species- most of them we don’t even know of their existence as yet.
Did you know around three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods? The fish stocks are overexploited beyond sustainability yet the fishermen are turning into garbage collectors.
An average of 13,000 pieces of plastic litter is found per square kilometer of ocean. At this pace, in no time there will be for real more plastic than fish.
THE BIG PLASTIC
When we go to the beach, it is really annoying to see all those bottles, cigarette butts and cans loitered around. If you are like me probably you will start picking up everything on sight suspicious of being abandoned. This is one of the things we can do. Organize a beach clean up meet up! Try to make it fun, invite some friends and do a barbeque as an incentive. Of course, make sure only your footprints are left behind!
But what brought that garbage there in the first place? Our dependency on plastic and our inability to dispose of it properly. So to fix that, first, let’s try to avoid plastics in the first place. Most single-use plastic is easily replaced by more long-lasting products. Unless for medical use, there is no reason for single-use products. Say no to plastic straws, cutlery, extra packaging, bottled water… We understand we need to drink water, but get yourself one refillable. We can replace pads and tampons with menstrual underwear, fabric pads, and menstrual cups. Really, get out of your comfort zone and stop acting by default.
We launched a commitment challenge to our followers on Instagram to care for the oceans. We asked them to tell us one thing they will do to protect the seas. @thermolivingdubai shared that she felt sad to see the number of masks – and we also saw gloves- around the sea. “Humans are definitely the worst virus for our planet”. This brought me back to the air of hope we have these days. COVID locked us down and immediately Nature started to breathe back again. Yet, now we are using disposable masks like crazy. Well, we don’t. We are actually sewing our own cool masks with colors, reversible, washable, and using fabric leftovers. If you want one, just send me a message here.
With the previous measures, we would have reduced the amount of plastic we use. But the one we are still getting. What do we do with it? Reuse it as much as possible and when it is time to dispose of it, recycle it. There is a lot of things that you can do with containers before throwing them away. Get creative!
But what happens with all those small mini pieces of plastic. Those are hard to get, sometimes even hard to see, yet they are here blocking our fish and birds’ stomachs. Many are coming from our cosmetics (exfoliation mini particles), and also from our own clothes. Let me explain. Fibers when washed -with the water and the friction- tend to break small particles. If you are using natural fibers, then they will go and biodegradable. But, if the fiber is synthetic, then it will not degrade, it will stay for who knows how long.
According to Wikipedia, “Polyester, nylon, acrylics, and spandex, can be shed from clothing and persist in the environment. Each garment in a load of laundry can shed more than 1,900 fibers of microplastics, with fleeces releasing the highest percentage of fibers, over 170% more than other garments. For an average wash load of 6 kg, over 700,000 fibers could be released per wash.”
When we are talking about recycled water bottles’ clothes (recycled polyester) we need to know that as the fiber has been repurposed, it breaks even more than the standard new polyester. We haven’t been able as yet to find a better use for the huge amounts of plastic on Earth, so we agree with transforming them into clothes. Hopefully, soon technology comes with a more definitive solution. I dream of a plastic eater enzyme.
So with all this taken into account, the amount of microplastics coming from our washing machines needs addressing. Some manufacturers are looking to create filters, some waste management, and water treatment centers are also looking for solutions, but the clogging and cleaning is an issue.
For this, we have a pair of solutions and a recommendation. First, we recommend you only wash your clothes when they really need it. And the two solutions might be:
Get a Cora Ball and add it to your washing routine. This cool pineapple looking object takes the name after the corals. The creator of the Cora Ball is Rachel Zoe Miller, a marine biologist, and researcher. Corals filter their food in the water without stopping the flow of it. What if we get to filter the microplastics using the same system? Of course, it is recycled plastic and can be recycled back again. It has a life span of around 5 years. How does it work? You just tossed it in the washing machine every time you have a new load. Every now and then, and when you see dirt on it, you clean it and back to work. It is not perfect, as it is able to catch around 26% of the total microfibers in the water within the washing machine. If all of us start doing this, at least we are removing one quarter of what otherwise might end up in some whale´s belly. You can get yours here.
Guppyfriend or Guppy bag. It works by you placing the clothes that you think will shed more microfibers in the guppy bag and do your laundry as usual. The thing is that with this system you will get the microplastic of only the clothes within the bag. The Cora Ball will take it from the whole load.
WHY MICROPLASTICS CAN BE DAMAGING FOR YOU?
You might have heard that we are quite literally eating the equivalent of a credit card per week. Maybe you think that it is fine- I don’t want to judge your gastronomical choices!- but what you are eating is at the end of the day pure chemistry, dyes, petroleum derivatives, monomers, and polymers of different types and colors. They release and alter our fragile health balance, especially in children and the elderly.
So, for your own sake and the whole World´s sake… Lets put a stop on this!
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Some of you might know that today the 5th of June is World Environment Day and this year the event is hosted between two countries: Colombia and Germany. You can take part in the activities and events in this link.
This year´s theme is celebrating Biodiversity and it becomes even more important due to COVID-19. Why? Taking into account that scientists have been warning us for so long about how the destruction of ecosystems impacts our health and our quality of life, it is no wonder. Some blame the poor pangolins, some blame the bats… I blame us.
By destroying wild habitats, we are not only affecting the delicate balance that Nature has put in place but also getting in touch with species that might bring diseases to us inadvertently. Polluting water, air, and soil is not only going to affect fauna and flora but also us, humans. Why something that is so obvious is not considered is beyond my understanding.
Yet, here we are, suffering a global pandemic. A crisis within a bigger crisis we tend to forget. Life is so precious. We haven’t been able to find life in space as rich and diverse as we have on Earth. And instead of protecting it, cherishing it and connect with it, we do quite the opposite. There is room for every species because we are to live in balance in Nature. That is the issue with us… How do we keep the balance when our human greed just wants more and more of the natural resources yet brings back very little?
I’m sorry, but all this makes me angry. It deeply upsets me. And fashion, as one of the most pollutant human activities plays a big role. How we are producing the raw materials, how we are transforming them, and how we are disposing of them once their lifecycle is finished is key. We can talk about cotton and the very intense use of chemicals and fertilizers that leak into the water. Not only that, but it is also such a thirsty crop that is quite literally drinking up the Aral Sea. People will go thirsty because cotton is taking their natural resources.
We could talk about leather, even taking it as a by-product of the food industry, if the tanning process involves Chrome, that leather will hold the heavy metals not only while we are using them, but also when we are ready to dispose of them. The leather will biodegrade and leak the chrome into the soil.
The Earth can take a certain amount of mess, but we are reaching levels when the word “unsustainable” needs to come up again and again. I am sure and hopeful that if we all do our best, we can change the downward spiral pattern. You might go vegan one day per week, you might start recycling, you might avoid buying items with excessive packaging, you might want to start buying fashion with a consciousness. Whatever way you decide to go, we will be happy to be part of your journey. Don’t feel overwhelmed. Becoming more sustainable is a transition and you can do it by taking baby steps. Every little effort counts.
A friend in Bahrain is celebrating biodiversity by sharing how people are recycling. So if you have pictures of yourself recycling, send them over here with your location and she will add a flag to your location. It is a small gesture that can raise a wave of awareness.
Sustainable fashion is a movement that started back in 1962 with the publication of the book Silent Spring by Rachel Louise Carson. She was not a fashion icon but rather a scientist, a marine biologist, and a conservationist. She raised her concerns on how the chemicals and pesticides used in agriculture were affecting the environment. Her writings helped advance the global environmental movement. At that time, it was a more generic approach. But the Rio Earth Summit happened and fashion, textiles and their wasteful ways started to be displayed as “green issues”.
Some took the lead and started working towards a more sustainable fashion industry from different perspectives. These are some of the voices we admire, follow, and read because their words and their actions create change. At least within us.
OUR TOP SUSTAINABLE FASHION VOICES
Sass Brown was the founding Dean of the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation. She is an amazing researcher, writer, and educator. Brown set up herself as a designer with her own signature collection. Ethical fashion is her area of expertise. A pioneer and die-hard fashionista, she has distributed papers and spoken extensively about sustainable fashion, she has filled in as a sustainable designer counselor to women’s cooperatives, educational institutions, etc.. all this, when no one spoke about sustainable or ethical fashion.
She wrote two books that are the Bibles of Sustainable Fashion: Eco Fashion and Refashioned. In Dubai, we miss very much her energy and enthusiasm to shift things and push boundaries. As she came to give shape and launch an iconic educational institution: DiDi.
Simone Cipriani is the founder and Head of the Ethical Fashion Initiative (ETI), which is part of a joint agency of the United Nations and the WTO. In 2013, Simone Cipriani was included in Business of Fashion’s list of 500 People Shaping the Global Fashion Industry.
The Ethical Fashion Initiative goes about as a bridge, connecting underestimated craftsmen with top designers like Stella McCartney or Vivienne Westwood. According to their website,” is a leading alliance of companies, trade unions, and NGOs that promotes respect for workers’ rights around the globe. Our vision is a world where all workers are free from exploitation and discrimination, and enjoy conditions of freedom, security, and equity.”
Their mission is to move in the direction of the sustainable development goals and make a huge impact on the networks in which they work. ETI wants to bring pride to the lives of the people who make your garments. Today, through his work at the Ethical Fashion Initiative, Simone Cipriani has turned into a key representative at the front line of the worldwide development for ethical supply chains in the fashion industry.
Safia Minney is a social entrepreneur and author. You might remember her from The True Cost. This inspiring lady is the founder of People Tree, much more than just a gorgeous fashion brand. Fair trade, fair wages, good working conditions, transparency, environmental best practices, gender equality… All this is at the very core of People Tree and that is why it sets a standard for conventional fashion companies wanting to improve their supply chains.
Additionally, Safia is a keynote speaker, a consultant on everything sustainable, and a campaigner on fair trade and ethical fashion. She initiated World Fair Trade Day in 1999. She also wrote and co-authored a couple of books. Naked Fashion, The Sustainable Fashion Revolution, Slow Fashion, Aesthetics meets Ethics and Slave to Fashion.
Livia Firth is the founder and Creative Director of Eco-Age, a consultancy that empowers organizations to accomplish development by adding value through sustainability. She is also the organizer of the Green Carpet Challenge. Don´t know what is that? You might have seen celebrities wearing beautiful pieces that were sustainable. Yep! Caring is not at odds with being stylish. We need to break the stereotype that sustainable fashion is not “fashionable”. Is it familiar? Pretty much as what we intend to do with Goshopia with our 4th S. From her position, she helps raise awareness and funding to important causes. For example, she founded together with Annie Lennox The Circle. An organization where women support women and we fight together for our rights and our growth. She also produced The True Cost. One movie we will never stop recommending.
She is also Oxfam Global Ambassador, UN Leader of Change, awarded the Rainforest Alliance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sustainability and the Honorary Award of the National German Sustainability Foundation. Now we can read her articles in Vogue Arabia as she is Sustainability Editor at large. Yey!
Elizabeth L. Cline
Elizabeth L. Cline is a New York-based author, writer, and expert on consumer culture, fast fashion, sustainability and work rights. She runs an effective online clothing resale business on eBay and Poshmark. She has widely examined the clothing waste stream in both New York City and Nairobi, Kenya. Her first book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion uncovered the effects of fast fashion on nature, economy, and society. It was really eye-opening! In her second book The Conscious Closet: A Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good Cline talks about new research on fashion’s effects and demonstrates how we can use our ordinary fashion decisions to change the clothing business and improve the world. Inspiring and powerful!
Javier Goyeneche is the founder of ECOALF, launched in 2013. The Spanish fashion brand turns disposed fishing nets, plastic bottles, and coffee into garments. This company has developed consistently and now delivers a collection of outerwear, swimwear, casual clothing, shoes, and accessories. They have created more than 98 diverse reused fabrics which are exactly the same to touch as a typical fabric. They fundamentally need 70 bottles to make 1 meter of fabric and 80 bottles to create one jacket. To expand the production and brand image Ecoalf has made coordinated efforts with organizations like Apple, Swatch, and other brands.
Marci Zaroff first the first person who coined and trademarked “Eco fashion” in 1995. She is the founder of the sustainable lifestyle brand Under the Canopy and now Metawear. Her brands deal with women’s clothing, men’s wear, children, home, and accessories. Her mission is to change the fashion business through education, motivation, coordinated effort, and innovation. She wrote a book called “Eco-Renaissance,” which is about co-creating a stylish and sustainable world. This powerhouse also produced Thread and the short film “Driving Fashion Forward with Amber Valletta”.
Marie Claire Daveu
Marie-Claire Daveu is Kering’s chief sustainability official and head of global institutional affairs from 2012. In case the name is not familiar, Kering is a luxury group that holds brands like Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton… It translates to LUXURY in big caps. And there, she is in charge of the advancement of Kering’s sustainable strategy and the direction of the Group’s institutional issues. Luxury had constantly started the trends that stream down through the rest of the fashion universe. Marie Claire Daveu hopes that these efforts get seen, appreciated, and replicated not only in our industry but everywhere else. Her initiatives cover also education such as the course Kering is doing together with the Center of Sustainable Fashion and that you can join free.
But let me tell you more about this amazing lady. She has served many Ministers and Councils in France and knows very well the ins and outs of sustainability as her first degree was about Rural Engineering, Water and Forests. She has a deep understanding of the origins of the materials and how to take care of our ecosystems no matter the industry.
Lucy Siegle is an author, journalist, and presenter based in London. From The Observer, Thr Guardian to the BBC´s The One Show she has been sharing her passion for sustainable living and social justice. She has authored and co-authored four books: Green Living in the Urban Jungle (2001), A Good Life (Guardian books, contributing author), To Die For: is fashion wearing out the world? (2011) and Turning the tide on plastic (2018). Together with Livia Firth, she is also one of the executive producers of The True Cost and organizer of the Green Carpet Challenge.
Eva Kruse is the president and CEO of Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) and the Copenhagen Fashion Summit. GFA is the leading authority for industry coordinated effort on sustainability in design. Its central goal is to make sustainability in vogue, guide, and support industry pioneers in changing the manner in which they produce, market, and distribute fashion. Kruse has worked ambitiously to push this motivation globally. She was also part of the media, as editor-in-chief of Eurowoman and as a TV presenter on the Danish broadcasting networks TV2 and TV3.
In 2013, Kruse gave a TEDx Talk on the topic “Changing the world through fashion” in which she advocated all of us, that not only companies and politicians, should be at the forefront of sustainability efforts. It is very inspiring! Check it out here.
Andrew Morgan is a universally recognized award-winning movie director and producer focused on sharing stories for a better tomorrow. With The True Cost, he was awarded a Sustainability in Film Award. This docu movie that we love so much talks about aspects of the clothing industry from production to its after-effects. Water and soil contamination, pesticide pollution, disease, poverty, and death. The True Cost uncovered the global fashion industry’s dark side. Morgan was attracted to these themes. So, he began the undertaking and made a trip to thirteen nations to gather information and conduct interviews. The results are Wow!
Vincent Vittorio is one of the Co-Executive Producers of The True Cost. He is also the founder of Life Is My Movie Entertainment. It is a documentary studio creating, delivering, obtaining, and circulating captivating non-fictional films. He and his group trust in the positive impact a movie can have on society and we couldn’t agree more with them. Check his latest movie called The New Breed about social entrepreneurs and conscious capitalism.
Amy Ann Cadwell
Amy Ann Cadwell is CEO and Co-Founder of The Good Trade, a digital media and lifestyle brand covering sustainable fashion, wellbeing, money, and lifestyle. She wanted to create and utilized that enthusiasm for her passion for sustainable development. The True Cost showed her the dull underbelly of fast fashion, and it indicted her to use her graduate work in the direction of solving labor issues and advancing sustainability in the fashion business.
Of course, within this list of sustainable fashion voices, we had to include the founders of Fashion Revolution and Remake. Two organizations that we are active in and we feel deeply grateful for. They helped us open our eyes to the ugly truth of fast fashion and make us feel part of a community of people believing that fashion can be a force for good.
The lovely founder of Remake, of which we are proud ambassadors, is a social entrepreneur with a passion for building sustainable supply chains that respect people and our planet. She has been promoting social justice and sustainability within the fashion industry for over a decade already. And decided to start Remake to ignite a conscious consumer movement. Ayesha is passionate about where things come from, who made them, and what their lives are like. She has worked with brands, governments, and labor advocates to improve the lives of the women who make our clothes. As ambassadors of Remake, we have done some gorgeous events and will continue doing more when life goes back to a new normal.
Orsola de Castro
Orsola de Castro is an internationally recognized opinion leader in sustainable fashion. Her career started as a designer with the pioneering upcycling label From Somewhere, which she launched in 1997 until 2014.
Her designer collaborations include collections for Jigsaw, Tesco, Speedo, and 4 best selling capsule collections for Topshop from 2012 to 2014. In 2006, she co-founded the British Fashion Council initiative Estethica at London Fashion Week, which she curated until 2014.
In 2013, with Carry Somers, she founded Fashion Revolution, a global campaign with participation in over 100 countries around the world. Orsola is a regular keynote speaker and mentor, Associate Lecturer at UAL, as well as Central Saint Martins Visiting Fellow.
Carry Somers was inspired to act after the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh in 2013 and founded Fashion Revolution. For the previous 20 years, Carry’s fashion brand Pachacuti- gorgeous Panama hats!- had pioneered radical supply chain transparency, mapping the GPS coordinates of each stage of the production process, from the community plantations where the straw grows, through to each Panama hat weaver’s house. Championing the traditions, quality, and craftsmanship of the Andes, her collections were at the most important fashion weeks and sold in some of the world’s most luxurious stores. Carry has contributed to several books and publications, won numerous awards for her work, and met the Queen in recognition of her significant contribution to British business.
She had to be part of our list of favorite Sustainable Fashion Voices. Clare is the host and founder of the Wardrobe Crisis podcast in 2017, a podcast we love and follow. A Sydney-based, British journalist, author, and activist. In 2018, she became the first-ever VOGUE Sustainability Editor – a pioneering role in international media.
Clare is a Global Ambassador for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular initiative and is part of the Fashion Roundtable team in the UK. She has been a member of the Australian advisory board of Fashion Revolution since 2014. She sits on Copenhagen Fashion Week’s Sustainability Advisory Board and is one of Global Fashion Agenda’s Content Experts. In 2019, she was named one of the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence and won the Green Globe Sustainability Champion Award.
Founder of the Conscious Fashion Campaign and working together with the United Nations Office for Partnerships. She puts together events that drive impact to important causes. In her own words “we are facing important global challenges, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace, and justice. We know the fashion industry heavily impacts on most, if not all of these challenges. So, the potential for change when you engage the fashion industry is exponential. If we work together to shape the future of fashion, we will create dynamic impact, innovative lasting change, and deliver on our core mission to make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality and make the next decade the most impactful yet.”
She started interning with People Tree in London. From that point on, she knew the only world she wanted to live in was one where she could embrace her style without sacrificing her values. We feel you Kestrel! This is why we started Goshopia too!
Kestrel is a storyteller & conscious style maven who believes fashion + ethics can jive, and maybe even thrive together. For over a decade, she’s been enthralled with asking questions about where our clothes are made, what they are made of, and who made them. Her podcast Conscious Chatter is fantastic!
Dr. Christina Dean is the Founder and CEO of Redress, an NGO with a mission to promote environmental sustainability in the fashion industry. Christina is a regular speaker at seminars. She was listed by U.S. online magazine Coco Eco as one of ‘2010s Most Influential Women in Green’ and by U.K. Vogue as one of the U.K.’s ‘Top 30 Inspirational Women’. Prior to founding Redress, Christina was a journalist and a practicing dental surgeon.
I am sure we are forgetting someone because we love the topic and we get information from all over the place. So, no worries because we will keep on updating the list. If you want to nominate someone to be part of the list, just send us an email here.
Fashion Revolution is around the corner! This time and due to COVID-19, we will have all the events going digital and Goshopia is part of it! The 24th of April at 10:00, yours truly Araceli Gallego, CEO, and Founder of Goshopia, will be hosting a panel talk with other brilliant people from the industry. Zoom in!
And not only that, it is about to be Goshopia´s first anniversary. This year has been a rollercoaster of emotions and now with Coronavirus and the much needed social distancing, we had to cancel or postpone all our events. But we are conspiring -together with the Universe!-to do something you will love. Stay tuned for our happy event details and if you can support us and our designers in the meantime, we will be forever grateful.
THE FASHION REVOLUTION UAE PANEL
Answering the questions of Araceli Gallego from Goshopia.com, we will have:
Vino Supraja-one of our fantastic fashion designers that proudly carry our 3 S´s. We love the colorful collections that personally she sees develop from A-Z.
Sian Rowland, Founder, and Chief Storyteller at Retold, the best second-hand, vintage, pre-loved shop in Dubai.
Ashish Kumar, former buyer at Landmark, started Stitchpile in 2017 providing garment design and sourcing for different fashion brands. As he works with different factories, he has first-hand information on the supply chain impacts.
We will be talking about the impacts of Coronavirus in the fashion industry and if the UAE is mature to embrace sustainable fashion. To join it is very easy. You just have to press the link below at the specified time and be ready to sit, relax and ask your questions.
In case the time is not good for you, no worries, we will be also recording it and streaming it through Facebook Live. You will have access to the recording at your convenience. To receive it, please leave your email here.
WAIT! THERE IS STILL MORE!
Fashion Revolution UAE is going to have also a Mending workshop. Why? Because one subtheme this year for Fashion revolution is #lovedclotheslasts and indeed they do!
This workshop is taking place on the 26th of April also through Zoom. Time is still to be confirmed but you will have the amazing Natalya Konforti from Glitches & Stitches leading the class.
Also, we will be hosting our Student´s competition. We have received 21 applications and on the 24th of April, we will be announcing the 10 finalists. They will have until the 9th of May to submit their final collections. This year and due to the Covid-19, we are not able to guarantee internships for the winners, but we have great prices nonetheless. Courses, masterclasses, and mentorships from key personalities are the sought-after awards this year. The winners of this year’s Student Competition will be announced on the 11th of May.
WHAT IS FASHION REVOLUTION?
Let us not forget that Fashion Revolution Week is a homage to the 1138 people that died and the over 2.500 garment workers injured at the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh. This terrible happening took place on the 24th of April 2013 and it made it the 4th largest industrial disaster in history. Out of the pain and chaos, a new movement came about and the #whomadeyourclothes campaign saw the light. Thanks to that campaign, people started questioning the actual system.
You know we love our sustainable living community and nurture our special relationship with each one of you. In these uncertain times when we need to keep social distancing, we want you to feel we are very close still. That is why we have put together this list with the best health and wellness tips. This list is valid not only while we are in lockdown. In reality, we should really try to stick to this. Why? Just because it is good for us! And if we do it consciously, it will also be good for the environment.
There goes the list!
OUR 15 WELLNESS TIPS
As the ancient saying goes, “mens sana in corpore sano”. Something like a healthy mind in a healthy body. And it is very true as we have to take care of our mental wellness as much as of our physical health. Here you have tips for both.
1. Eat Healthy and not too much
The first healthy tip had to be related to food. If you have no time for eating healthy, sooner or later you will have to find time for being sick. We are what we eat. That is why we need to pay attention to our nutrition and nourishment. Ideally, we should always try to eat healthy food. What do we mean by that? Well, food that is not uber processed. The closer to its natural form the better. For your wellbeing we recommend you eat:
Lots of vegetables and fruits. They are loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and flavor!
Use olive oil, instead of other oils or fats. Well, I’m Spanish and this is our secret recipe for our famous Mediterranean diet.
Add some herbs & spices to spice up taste and enjoy extra benefits. For example, ginger or turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Eat enough proteins -it can boost your metabolism while making you feel full enough to automatically eat less. If we control the cravings, we will be controlling better what we eat. Nuts, for example, are delicious and have lots of magnesium, vitamin E and fiber.
Eat eggs and fish, better than red meats.
Go vegan for a few days! We don’t want to convince anyone to go vegan, but why not give it a try?
Avoid sugars, fast food, empty calories, refined carbs and above all.. avoid extreme diets. They don’t really work and they make you cranky. Just introduce little by little some changes in your diet and see the benefits.
Take probiotics and fiber. Your gut microbiota is key in your overall health. It boosts your immune system, defends your organism from other bacteria and is critical to avoid inflammation and obesity. So make sure you keep your gut clean and your gut flora flourishing.
Eat what you need. The right size portion for your body, and if possible a little bit less. Don´t overeat. Especially in times of stress and anxiety, we tend to open the fridge and stuff ourselves. Creme caramel is my sin… but don’t tell anyone!
Don’t eat at all times. Try to avoid frequent snacks. Do you really need a coffee and a cookie every 30 minutes?
2. Do Exercise
Here cardio is the name of the game. Also, try to lift weights and work your core muscles as much as possible. Did you know that reducing belly fat will lead you to improve your metabolism? Get a personal trainer, use one app or just follow some cardio classes online and burn all the extra fat and frustration.
Quarantine is not something we are used to, and the lack of movement is for sure taking its tool in our organism. While quarantining, we are doing Zumba together. It is fun and has all of us moving!- including the little one! 😉
3. Ommmm Meditationnnmmmmmm
Find a tranquil spot, sit down, breathe in deep and start unwinding… Do you need help with some guided meditation? Our friend and ambassador Stefania Brunori is an amazing yoga teacher and her meditations are fantastic. There you have a good chain of things to do… cardio, stretch and relax.
4. Take care of your relationships
I know it might sound unscientific (is that even a word?), but actually this is backed by science and nerdy studies. If you feel loved, you will live longer. So, take care of your friends and family and nurture those relationships. Everyone in your life is here to teach you something and you are also in theirs to teach them something. When you are open to this, you see the Universe sends you amazing people to learn your lessons and improve.
5. Sleep well
The next wellness tip we tend to take it for granted but as a recent mom, I can tell you that sleep deprivation is the worst thing in the world. Poor sleep can drive insulin resistance, disrupt your appetite hormones, and reduce your physical and mental performance. Not only that it can also lead to weight gain and obesity. So, what to do?
Don´t eat heavily before going to sleep or give your stomach some time to process the food before going to bed.
Avoid screens. All those bright lights will make you awake even when uber tired.
If you are seriously sleep-deprived or suffer from insomnia try some valerian or Melatonin. Melatonin is the natural hormone our body will create while sleeping.
6. Drink plenty of water
We are mostly water. For us, it is vital to be hydrated and drink enough water. See, I said water and not liquids. (I am very much against fizzy drinks). When I don´t drink water, the first symptoms for me comes as a headache.
The best time to drink water is before meals. One study showed that downing 2 cups of water 30 minutes before each meal increased weight loss by 45%. My mom has been doing this every morning for years and she is one of the strongest women I know. She will just drink 2 glasses of water first thing in the morning, go have a shower and start her day.
7. Take your vitamin D
Ideally, we should enjoy the outdoors to take our daily dose of Vitamin D. Our bodies process this vitamin from the Sun. So we need to be under it for at least 15 mins every day. If we are in the middle of the Quarantine, and we can not go out, see if there is a terrace where you can sunbathe or sit in front of the window. Vitamin D triggers the production of Serotonine, takes care of our bones, keeps at bay depression and lower the risk of suffering cancer. If you are pregnant, it is even more important as this deficiency can affect baby development.
If you are not sure if you are Vitamin D deficient, check with the doctor or have them in pills as a supplement.
8. Connect with Nature
Nothing can beat the experience of being surrounded by nature! We belong to Mama Earth and that is why this connection is so important for all of us to thrive. Hug that tree, feel the grass on your feet, the sun in your face and the wind in your hair. Ahhh! Breath in. You are alive. A little bit of fresh air and connection is all you need if you feel down, anxious or stressed. While in the house, see if you can grow some vegetables at your terrace. You don’t need anything sophisticated.
Let me tell you how I am doing it. Using the egg containers as mini pots to start the seeds. I have planted so far tomato, peppers, pumpkins, and lentils. All from food scraps! Sustainable and easy and you don’t need much space.
9. Do things that make you happy
I know it sounds cliche, but this is key. Because when we are happy, we produce dopamine which in turn makes us feel happier and inspired. Our mood is very much dependent on hormones, so we better have them on our side.
Put on some music and indulge in that hobby of yours… In my case, I love dancing, writing, playing with my little daughter and listening to podcasts. So every day I make sure I have a little bit of it. My friend Elianne enjoys baking and wakeboarding, my husband enjoys Netflix and reading… Whatever it is you love doing, just do it!
There is one book I recommend you if you are interested in the pursuit of happiness: The Happiness project by Gretchen Rubin.
10. Have a happy mindset
I know that now with coronavirus, we really don’t know what is coming next. Some people talk about the health and economic disaster, COVID-19 is going to mean for the whole world. But the truth is that we can not control what it might come, yet we can control our thoughts. Feed your mind with positivity and happiness.
And avoid toxic people that bring you toxic thoughts. It is not good for them but what is more important, it is not good for you! Just say Khalas!
11. Hug & Kiss
And caress, and whisper, and tickle, and play with his/ her hair… We are social beings and we need that physical interaction. It is part of being human. If you have your partner, your friend, your daughter… or your pet! Just make sure they know you love them!
12. Take care of yourself
All the above is already taking care of yourself, yes! But with this heading, we want to remind you that it is important to have your Me-time and do something that relaxes you. Light a candle or an oil diffuser, put your feet in hot water or in that foot massager. Just indulge!
13. Avoid the routine or not!
There is something I learned in my years around the world. We are individuals and each one of us has their personality traits, likes and dislikes certain things. Some people say that routine is great for them as it provides them with some level of certainty and control. Others need quite the opposite. Excitement and unpredictability.
Most of us live in between, with lifestyles that need some routines and happy to break them when on holidays for example. So, just listen to your inner voice and if you are the adventurer type, follow your gut and go off the beaten path more often.
14. Avoid addictions
No need to say drugs, alcohol, etc… are no good for you. Really stay away from them. The thing is that some people have some kind of addictive personality and tend to go all aboard … coffee, sugar, fast fashion, fast love, gaming… To sort these issues, you have to go to the origin. You might even need some professional help to find the way. We don’t have the cure for all of this- except fast fashion. 😉
Avoid backaches and pain, show your inner light when walking into a room as my ballet teacher used to say. To maintain a good posture at all times, place your body in a neutral position so that your pelvis, trunk, and head are in alignment. Stretch like a cat every now and then during the day if you are working on the computer for long. It feels great!
So, this is our list of sustainable wellness and health tips. It works for us and would love to know if it also works for you. Do you have any other tips you would want to share? Let us know in the comments or with the Contact us form.
LIKED THIS ARTICLE ABOUT WELLBEING?
Then for sure, you will also enjoy these about sustainability.
Today, the 8th of March, we celebrate International Women´s Day and it´s very important to join voices and keep talking about what it means. Women are half of the planet´s population. Imagine the amazing power it could bring to the economy, to the politics, to the environment, to the daily lives of our families if all of us would be equally empowered.
In the morning, I went to a very special event organized by Ana Olmeda, one of our Goshopia Ambassadors and a woman I admire for her courage and determination. It was called #IamRemarkable and was facilitated by Patricia Maroto. This is an initiative from Google that has been around for some years in other countries and finally has reached Dubai.
WE ARE REMARKABLE
Google realized women within their staff were shying away from promotions and had a hard time sharing their achievements. Something though that was kind of natural for their male counterparts. The explanation is coming out of the mindset, education and even what we, as a society, expect to be acceptable. Stereotypes and prejudices are playing against us as women. Results are appalling: We are lacking self-esteem even in areas we master.
The session went on to explain and share some experiences we had. From being not taken seriously to see how your boss rather had a male taking over your position expecting you to train him “so well he will be able to do the job the same way you do it”. I sat down there and cried with some of the stories. Stories of sacrifice, stories of overcoming health, love, and work issues, stories of immense love to our families… These women are amazing. They are not only more than “enough”. They are much more than “a lot”.
Thanks to their sacrifices and their hard work their families are living better lives, able to start from scratch in new countries and have healthy, well-educated children that will, no doubt, make this Earth a better place.
I am proud to be a woman. To be working and serving with my business, my knowledge and my experience to other remarkable women. I know the hardships and struggles. I could relate to many of the ones shared in today´s session. And this is not a matter of “Us vs Them”. Men also suffer their lot. Feminism is about gender equality. Having the same rights whether you are born boy or girl. Many people think Feminism aims to have women ruling the world when in reality it aims to have the same opportunities.
AN IMAGE WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS
SO WHAT IS NEXT?
Today we celebrate International Women´s Day and it is true we have a lot to celebrate. There have been improvements regarding gender equality. But, the truth is that we still have a long way to go for this world to become a fairer place for all of us. It is a fact that in almost all countries, women remain a vulnerable group.
The fight is far from being over. But I love how we are able to conquer bit by bit. With no weapons but our words, and facts. Walking demonstrations and having the lawmakers and politicians understand where we stand. With the support of other women and men, like what happened when #metoo came out and reached the Red Carpet.
As an homage to the 8th of March and what it represents, I am writing together with my friend Rebeca Montalvo a bit about history. Little by little, and together, we can make gender equality a reality. Because this journey we do it hand in hand with our brothers, fathers, husbands, boyfriends, and colleagues.
SOME HISTORY ABOUT THE 8th OF MARCH By Rebeca Montalvo
Women’s day is a movement based on a sense of community. Since that day in 1857 in New York when women textile workers demonstrated against low wages and endless working hours, things have changed. Not enough though to say that we have reached equality in rights and conditions.
Our predecessors in this fight for equality kept raising their voices against men’s supremacy. Some years later women reached another milestone, women’s suffrage. The importance of developing a professional career and the idea of sharing the home duties was starting to be seen as normal. But it was only in 1975 the United Nations recognized the 8th of March as International Women’s Day.
MORE KEY DATES
Another remarkable date is 1909. That year socialists in the United States declared the last Sunday in February as National Women´s Day. There was a meeting that focused on equal rights and women´s suffrage. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a lecturer for social reform, said “Women´s brains are not different than men´s. Women should be able to sidestep a stifling home life in favor of a professional career. It is true that a woman´s duty is centered in her home and motherhood. But home should mean the whole country and not only three or four rooms”. We know this kind of comment about our brains might sound offensive today. But back in the day, it was believed we were intellectually inferior. Thank God those days are gone!
In 1911 the first International Women´s Day was held in Europe. It focused on women´s rights and suffrage. However, World War I ended the possibilities for social reform for five years. After many other important events and a lot of struggle, it is in 1975 that the United Nations recognized the 8th of March as International Women´s Day.
We love the words of writer Chimamanda Ngozi “The purpose of feminism is to cease to exist.” She was the author of the famous text “We should all be feminists”. Let´s hope we get to see this day!
WHY VIOLET IS THE COLOUR REPRESENTING FEMINISM?
There is an omnipresent color in this fight: violet. We see it on posters, banners, t-shirts, pins, and other garments at the feminists’ demonstrations and ads. This is the international color of the equal rights movement and the main color that the American suffragettes adopted as a uniform in the Washington march in favor of the Equal Rights Amendment.
But the association of violet color with feminism dates from much earlier. Specifically, there is a legend that links it to the color of the shirts of the ladies that manufactured shirtwaists at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. This place in New York was as close to sweatshop as you can imagine and there, a terrible event happened: a fire. On that 25th March 1911, 146 women died burned. The terrible deaths were attributed to the bosses. They, for some reason, had locked the fire exits. It sounds similar to the Rana Plaza, right? See the little video the History Channel had on this happening that could have been avoided.
But how is violet connecting to this terrible incident? This same story tells that the smoke that came out of the factory and could be seen miles away was precisely violet.
FASHION & FEMINISM TODAY
Even though the majority of people working in the fashion industry are women, it´s still run mostly by men. “Only 14 percent of major brands are run by a female executive” (Business of Fashion survey of 50 global brands). Many of these women, who do achieve higher positions, declare that there is a moment in their career in which building a family is not compatible with professional growth. The world has been talking about this, but no consensus has been reached. Some countries in Europe have taken the lead but to this day, gender still has a huge impact in the workplace.
Women´s Day is a day to join some of the feminists’ demonstrations and claim what is left to be done when it comes to women´s rights. Politicians have the chance to see the extent of the problem and act. Feminism will work relentlessly to unite us all.
At Goshopia you will find that not only is a female-founded business. But also that most of our brands are led by women. Brave and Remarkable ladies that know what they are capable of and have taken a step forward sharing their amazing designs and slow and sustainable philosophy with you. As a collective, I can proudly say We are Remarkable! See below some of our female designed products.
Remember the women textile workers strike back in 1857 or the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire? Unfortunately, this is still a reality in many factories. Low wages, and long working hours in unsafe conditions. It is a must for us that all Goshopia´s pieces are free of modern slavery. That is how we honor one of our 3 S´s: Socially Responsible brands.
Now, from our green (and violet!) heart to yours… Happy Women´s Day!
We know how overwhelming and confusing it can be certain terminology. In sustainability, we have also our own slang and sometimes it needs a bit of explanation. That is the reason why we have put together this glossary or minidictionary about sustainable fashion terms. If you are missing any word, send us an email and with pleasure, we will add it to the list. Continue reading GLOSSARY OF SUSTAINABLE FASHION TERMS
I have been honored to be interviewed by Mariska Nell in her podcast Mama Earth Talk. We recorded the podcast during the first day of our Green Room during Fashion Forward. Being a crazy bird myself, it was an amazing opportunity to share with the rest of Mama Earth Talk´s followers. This community is amazing and it is definitely my tribe! Continue reading WE ARE IN MAMA EARTH TALK PODCAST!
Climate change is a reality indeed. Even though some politicians might decide to look elsewhere or ignore the facts. Scientists knew this was coming and were advising to do something about it long ago. Now time is of the essence and I want to share with you a very special event we got to attend and learn from a lot.
Hi! Welcome to our free carbon footprint calculator!
We are all trying to reduce our emissions but how can we control if we don´t measure first? This calculator will help you be aware of your footprint and find ways to minimize it. And don´t worry if you are far from perfect. This is a long-distance journey and bit by bit we can improve our own records. Continue reading CARBON FOOTPRINT CALCULATOR
It was a busy Thursday at the Burjuman Mall in the heart of Dubai. A fashion show including two catwalks and the appearance of the gorgeous Catriona Gray were expected and everybody wanted to have a good spot to watch or be as close as possible from the action. We were there. Our sustainable catwalk was opening the fashion show. It was our first time. Can you imagine the nerves? Let us share the experience with you. Continue reading GOSHOPIA´S FIRST CATWALK!!
We admire the passion and determination of Greta Thunberg. With only 16 years old, she has proven to have more clarity than many educated adults. And she is not only about words, but she also takes action and gives example. Just the fact of traveling to New York in a zero-emission vessel shows that 1/ she has people supporting her mission and 2/ she is for real.
If you’re on this page right now, you’ve made the wise decision to leave low-quality, cheap and quickly disposable clothes behind and enter the more ethical, and sustainable world of slow fashion. Continue reading HOW TO QUIT FAST FASHION
It might seem counterintuitive that we, an online shop, might recommend you do an audit to your wardrobe. But, we are not a typical online shop. We care for the environment and we care for your happiness. And it is possible to have the best of both worlds by just being more aware of the decision we make when buying a product. Continue reading STYLE TIP #1 GIVE YOUR CLOSET AN AUDIT