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HOW TO SHOP SUSTAINABLE CLOTHING

Where to shop sustainable fashion

When we started transitioning into a more eco-friendly lifestyle, we found very difficult to shop for clothes that would respect our values. See, in most places, there is this mall- culture where you go to the mall to shop, to meet your friends, to entertain the little ones, to just walk because outside is too hot. Most of the shops you find at shopping malls are big fast fashion brands- at least in Dubai. The pricey rental market in big cities doesn’t let independent fashion designers get started in this kind of prime real state property.

So, how and where can we shop for sustainable clothing then?

We have prepared some tips and tricks for you. But first of all, a disclaimer. You are starting a very special journey and it is indeed a journey. Do changes bit a bit and don’t stress if it is not perfect. Eventually, you will reach your destination: a closet with clothes you love and that represent who you are as a person.

WHAT MAKES A GARMENT OR FASHION ITEM SUSTAINABLE?

  1. The materials
  2. The way people doing the pieces get paid and treated
  3. The designs
  4. The impact

Let’s navigate them!

1. Eco-friendly Materials

1.1 Whenever possible buy natural fibers. Avoid synthetic.

There are so many amazing natural fibers like linen, hemp, cotton, wool, silk, etc … the fact that they are natural means that they will biodegrade. Synthetic fibers are basically plastic turned yarn… but it is plastic and will not decompose. Actually, with friction, they bring another big problem into the picture.. microplastics.

They are big NO-NOs. Just avoid them and if you need to use them, make sure you wash your synthetic items in a guppy bag.

1.2 Look for Organic Fibers

Another step towards sustainability is to buy natural fibers that are grown organically. That means that the plants didn’t use pesticides, chemical fertilizers, etc… Take into account that those toxins stay within the fiber and eventually you are in touch with them all the time. That is why sensitive skin needs organic fibers. Did you notice that most babies’ clothes are organic? Well, those same organic fibers can be used for adults too.

If you are vegan you might want to avoid wool and silk for example but there are alternatives that are eco-friendly and yet look fantastic. Cupro for example is a by-product of the cotton industry that makes a silky yet 100% cruelty-free fiber. For that reason is called vegan silk.

1.3 Use dead stock or recycled fibers, fabrics, or things!

Yep! Recycling or Upcycling is a good thing to do. Not much of the clothes though get recycled or upcycled. So we need to start getting more conscious about what or who or how can we give a second life to our textiles or actually to pretty much anything. See some examples of our catalog.

From gorgeous dresses made out of recycled coffee bags to beautiful candles made out of recycled oysters, from bottles of plastic to a Kimono, from sitting in the backyard of a furniture factory to glorious bag, oh! and the vintage dress is made out of deadstock fabric from Gucci… The possibilities are endless. We need to open our minds and realize that nothing is really waste. We decided when something becomes “waste”.

1.4 Support innovative materials

There are some awesome materials out there that might change the face of fashion for the better. And you can support them by shopping the sustainable products created with them. We have orange peel scarves, swimwear that will biodegrade with its fabric Amni Soul-Eco (Fluity Co2), shoes, and bags made in wine leather (Vegea), Pineapple leather (Pinatex), or Cacti leather (Deserto). They are improving these materials to make them better but they are already amazing in my humble opinion.

2. The way people doing the pieces get paid and treated

Sorry if when writing about this part, I get heated. It is not acceptable that garment workers are risking their lives working in buildings about to collapse, or are forced to work non-stop with no breaks just because of productivity ratios. It is not fair that after working 12 hours, they can barely survive on their salaries.

I want to believe that we- as a society- are better than all this. We should not allow this type of modern slavery to happen in this day and age. It is high time we learned something from what happened at the Rana Plaza and held brands & manufacturers accountable.

If the t-shirt you are buying is such a bargain, probably is because they are not paying enough to their workers. Today you are on one side of the chain- you are the buyer-, how would you feel if you suddenly are on the other side?- the maker.

3. The designs

Yep! Design is quite important when working in sustainability. When you as a designer are starting to conceive your collection think of ways to maximize the materials you are going to use. This way you will reduce waste.

3.1 Zero waste design

When you use Zero waste design principles you try to work the patterns in a way that there is no waste.  They will place the different pattern pieces in a jigsaw-like arrangement and use creative pattern cutting. But there are other ways, like whole garment knitting, 3D printing, collaborative supply chains, and digital sampling. Don’t miss the conversation we had about Digital Fashion and CLO during this last Fashion Revolution Week.

You might think oh! so there is not that much waste! Well, think about yarn waste, the waste from cutting out patterns, the waste from overproduction, the post-consumer waste… It adds up, right? We need to find ways to use that “waste” and incorporate it into a circular model.

We have at our showroom very cute zero waste dresses and tops. Feel free to ask for them via chat or WhatsApp, as they are normally 1 or 2 pieces of each so they don’t make it to the website.

3.2 Get creative and do accessories with your leftovers!

Scrunchies, scarves, belts, masks or even the bags that you will give your clients when they purchase… The sky is the limit. It is a matter of getting creative and trying to minimize the amount of waste.

3.3 Avoid trends, buy classic timeless designs

The absolutely most sustainable thing you can do, when it comes to shopping for clothing is to buy an item and wear it as frequently as possible, for as long as possible.  That is why we might go for evergreen designs and prints.

That doesn’t mean that sustainable fashion is boring. Far from that! But it is just that we always try to find at least 4-5 ways to style it so that we can keep the 30-wears rule. You don’t know what that is? Well, basically before we buy something we think of how many times we will be wearing it and we try to make sure whatever it is we are able to wear it at least 30 times. In reality, it is not that difficult if you go with things that suit you, your body type, and your lifestyle.

We are not against trends as long as you love them so much that you will keep using them. If you love pineapple prints, keep on wearing them when unicorns are in. Otherwise, stick to what you really love.

And if you have no clue what works well with your body type, check out our Experiences catalog and get the assistance of a stylist to understand the best colors and shapes for you!

3.4 Buy the best quality you can afford

Following the same logic as with trends, go for items that will last longer. That translates into buying the highest quality product you can afford. Think about it this way. It takes a similar amount of resources to make a garment that is glued together and will fall apart in the wash as it does to make a hand-sewn garment that is built to last.

Quality doesn’t mean necessarily buying Luxury. Plenty of times we are “buying” a status when we are buying certain luxury brands. Don’t trade quality for a flashy logo.

3.5 Circular Design

This one goes for the designers out there. When designing think about the whole lifecycle of the product. Eventually, it might need to turn into something else through recycling. Textiles are really difficult to recycle. For example, mixed fabrics – polyester with cotton- can not be recycled at the moment. Having your garment using only one material, and having detachable pieces if they are using other materials help a lot when recycling.

4. The impact

4.1 Buy local when possible

It supports your local economy, helps create communities, and reduces the environmental impact. Shipping emissions are bad for the environment and returns are even worse. That is why we try always to confirm the sizes and explain how they run in the descriptions. We even do videos to show how the fit goes!

If you have any questions when ordering, we are here to help. Our customers so far have been a great help to reduce the come and go’s emissions. They care as much as we do! #happymoment

4.2 Support independent fashion designers and artisans

We live in a global world, but there are so many people that don’t want to be part of big corporations’ businesses. In terms of fashion, we are outliers and we really don’t want to go with the herd. Buying fast fashion and seeing every other girl wearing the same, feels like a uniform.

For us, garments are much more than just clothes. They have a story and we dig to learn the story, the inspiration, the people doing the garment, why the designer choose this and not that… the connection with the pieces is so real. You don’t get any of that with fast fashion.

There are other business models that are better than fast fashion. Like slow fashion (producing small batches), or ultra slow fashion (with made-to-order) for example. These models reduce the number of items produced, getting closer to the real demand for the products, hence reducing waste.

4.3 Buy second-hand clothes

If you are in Dubai visit Thrift for Good or Retold.. in these two places you can find gems. For children, we recommend Yallah Kids.

We support them because they sell items that they have picked up here. So they circulate within the same market. But wanted to make a note on “donating”.

We know you might think that donating your old clothes helps mitigate the effects and save the planet and it is partially true. Clothing donation involves a lot of resources, like industrial chemical-based cleaning and if going to some other country, additional shipping.

Wherever it reaches, it will have an impact. A large percentage of donated clothes are not great and still eventually end up in landfills. The fact of having these clothing inundating the market might put out of business traditional tailors. This I have seen in Africa and it is really sad.

That is why we like Thrift for Good. They sell the clothes within the market, raise funds, and with that money do projects in Africa for the ones in need. They don’t displace goods or jobs.

4.4 Mend, Fix and Alter whenever necessary

One of the biggest reasons people throw out their clothes is because they don’t fit or they have some button off or need a little stitching. Get them fixed and get them back in use! They deserve it!

We can help and support you in case you are needing a hand.

WHERE CAN WE FIND & SHOP FOR SUSTAINABLE CLOTHING?

Here! Of course! At Goshopia we curate the best slow, sustainable, and socially responsible fashion. And we also offer styling advice, so don’t hesitate to reach out and let us dress you head to toe in an amazing eco-conscious fashion.

Have any questions? Send us a message! This is is our Whatsapp and you have the chat right here on the page.

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CELEBRATING WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY

What is World Environment Day?

Every year on June 5th, we celebrate World Environment Day- also known as Eco Day. Led by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), it is the most significant international environmental day. It is observed all around the world to raise awareness about the critical importance of protecting our mother nature. This month actually is pretty intense when it comes to eco days as we have also Ocean’s Day on June 8th and World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought on June 17th.

At Goshopia we are always looking for ways to raise awareness in a fun and entertained way. and this time we came up with a cool quiz to check how much you know about Mother Earth. Are you ready?

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World Environment Day Quiz

What do you know about World Environment Day?

World Environment Day is not just a fancy day. It is the need of the hour and we need to start acting pronto if we want to keep on enjoying our life on Earth.

In order to take the quiz, please insert your name and email. No worries, we won't spam you!

1 / 11

What percentage of the plants grown for human consumption are pollinated by animals?

World Environment Day Quiz

2 / 11

True or False: Rivers and lakes can be found beneath the ocean's surface.

World Oceans Day

3 / 11

True or False: The ocean produces more than 70% of the oxygen on our planet. 

World Oceans Day

4 / 11

True or False: Cigarette butts remain one of the most common types of marine litter discovered.

Cigarette Butts

5 / 11

True or False: Between 1960 and 2010, the global oxygen content of the oceans dropped by more than 3%.

World Oceans Day

6 / 11

How many times can paper made from trees be recycled?

World Environment Day Quiz

7 / 11

True or False: There's a huge rubbish patch floating about in the ocean called the Great Atlantic Garbage Patch.

World Oceans Day

8 / 11

What was the first book to call on society to become more ecologically conscious?

world environment day

9 / 11

True or False: Ants are heavier than humans.

World Environment Day Quiz

10 / 11

Plastic poses a threat to __ percent of marine creatures.

World Oceans Day

11 / 11

In 2008, a new method for popularizing environmental problems was introduced. Determine the strategy:

World Environment Day Quiz

Your score is

The average score is 81%

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World Environment’s History and Goal

The first global environment summit took place 50 years ago. It was held in Stockholm, Sweden, from the 5th to the 6th of June 1972. On the first day of the Stockholm Conference, the United Nations General Assembly on Human Environment founded United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

The following year, in 1973, the first World Environment Day is celebrated by UNEP. The organization describes the event as “a global platform for inspiring positive change.” Since then, it has become the world’s largest environmental convention, attracting millions of participants from over 150 nations. The goal is to involve “governments, businesses, civil society, schools, celebrities, cities, and communities in promoting environmental awareness and celebrating environmental action.”

What World’s Environment 2022 Theme?

Last year, the celebration was hosted in Pakistan with the theme, ‘Ecosystem Restoration.’ It started the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), the global goal to restore billions of hectares of land, from forests to farmlands, from the highest peaks to the deepest depths of the ocean.

But less talk about last year, any guesses what the theme is for this year?
Well, if you think about the protesting scientist telling us about we only have one earth, then you’re spot on!

The theme for this year’s world environment day is ‘Only One Earth.’ With the focus on “Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature”. The theme strives to foster global activism to protect our planet. In collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program, the event will then be held in Stockholm, Sweden.

Only One Earth

Why do we need a World Environment Day?

Now more than ever we need to act. No matter what the negationists say. Scientists around the world are clear. Climate change is real. And it is hapenning… as we speak actually. Biodiversity is at risk. Life on Earth is at risk. And guess, what? We, the human race, are at risk.

These eco days are great reminders. Our own survival is at stake. What are you going to be doing about it? It is true that there are so many problems out there that it might seem daunting or overwhelming to decide where to start. But our advice is just to start doing small changes. Over time, they will be not so small.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

 

The greatest danger to our future is apathy.

Jane Goodall

So, How much do you know about our world’s environment?

Here at Goshopia, we do not just promote slow fashion, and sustainability, but also social awareness to everyone. And so we have prepared a cool quiz, for you to take and see how much do you know about our Earth’s environment. Are you ready?

Our intention is that once you know…. you feel the urge to take action. Please share it with your family and friends.

And don’t forget…

There are billions of galaxies in the universe.

There are billions of planets in our galaxy.

However, there is only one Earth.

And Earth is our only Home.

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EARTHING: HOW TO GET EARTH GROUNDED

earthing how to get grounded grounding

I learned recently something that I have intuitively done since I was a little girl: the fact of being “grounded” as connected to the Earth or earthing and wanted to share it with you, in case you can also enjoy the benefits. Are you ready to be forever grounded? Quite literally so!

WHY NOW?

With the Covid-19 and all the episodes of sadness, frustration, and mental disorders we have seen, there must be something we are missing from being out. One of them, being our very much needed Vitamin D, and the other, probably this special link to our Mother Earth. Not sure in other locations, but in Dubai, families are looking to rent or buy houses with a garden in case there are new quarantines to follow. It is not only a matter of space. There is much more than.

This week I came across one movie called “Earthing: The remarkable science of grounding”. In the line of the type of media and documentaries that I am consuming lately, it was interesting to see that there is a real connection between us and Mama Earth. We are wired, electromagnetically to our beautiful planet. Our bodies are like they are thanks to them being bioelectrical. We are energy and energy has certain rules.

earthing how to get grounded grounding

OVER- WIRED OR UNDER-WIRED?

Same as our houses are ground-wired to avoid that, in case of a short circuit, a shock, or electrocution might happen, we need to be grounded too. It works by providing a path for the electrical current to be absorbed into the ground. Without a ground wire, your body touching the electrical device (and think the many electrical devices we have at home nowadays ) may complete the ground path.  We are surrounded by electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) and radiation waves from electronic devices like our mobiles, wifi, tv’s, computers, etc… And they are affecting our energy field whether we notice it or not. From an earthing perspective, our bodies are already short-circuiting.

But it was not like this before. In fact, we used to be connected back in the day when the soles of our shoes were made out of leather or other natural materials like straw. Since the invention of synthetic rubber and the popularization of extruded plastics, the shoe industry changed the materials used to create shoes. Ever since we lost that special connection as plastic is not a conductor and actually insulate us from this energy flow. Think about it next time when you see those big chunky sneakers.

But why is this so important? Why being grounded is beneficial for us or not?

BENEFITS OF BEING GROUNDED ?

First of all, we must admit that walking barefoot on sand, on the grass … it feels good! For some reason, it does. Not sure if it is the texture under our feet, that feel like a caress, like a gentle massage… maybe it has to do with that connection, maybe our feet need freedom away from heels, from straps and shoelaces. Walking barefoot is simply great. But of course, in bad weather or certain terrains, walking barefoot can be a pain.

earthing how to get grounded grounding

It looks like the disconnection is costing us a lot of inflammation, stress, anxiety, hormonal unbalance, circadian mess, pain, fatigue, and premature aging. Some people might be more sensitive to it, but scientific evidence is there. When we are grounded, our bodies are able to:

Earthing allows the flow of negatively charged electrons from the Earth’s surface into the body. These electrons neutralize positively charged free radicals that cause chronic inflammation and premature aging. An excess of free radicals damages our cell membranes and our DNA, leading to cancer and other illnesses.

So, what can we do to get ourselves grounded?

EARTHING TECHNIQUES

FEEL YOUR FEET

  • The first step would be to change our shoes. Get natural materials especially on their soles and avoid plastics. If you have little ones, it is especially difficult to avoid plastic, but check these earthing shoes that are handmade using vegetable-tanned leather. You can find them at our shop.

Some more kids and baby grounding shoes…

  • There are other shoes that have a copper wire across the sole, connecting our skin with the Earth. Normally they are sandals or very summery styles. If you are open to experimenting, you can try to create your own Copper-wired sandals with some old flip flops and see how it goes.
  • Try to walk barefoot. Even in busy cities, surrounded by concrete, we have parks, beaches, riversides, forests… Be intentional about being barefoot. Feel the soles of your feet and the tingly sensation when you are in the flow.

AND THE REST OF YOUR BODY

  • Try to reconnect with nature. It is not only through our feet that we can get connected. Our hands and our whole bodies also long for that connection. Get a towel and lay on the grass, gaze at the blue skies or the stars, and feel it. Hug a tree or do some gardening. It is calming and it will help you get aligned.
  • Swim in the ocean if you have a beach close by. If not, have a cold shower… it is invigorating and will give a good boost of energy. Here you have some suggestions to go to the beach and enjoy the connection.
  • Stand like a tree. The tree pose in yoga is powerful and if you imagine yourself growing roots through your feet and branches full of leaves and fruits in your hands growing towards the skies, even more. Feel how you are becoming one with the Earth? Then, you are Earthing.
  • Be aware of your breathing. Don’t need to change anything, just observe it. It will calm your anxiety and make you be present.

TRADITIONAL WISDOM ABOUT EARTHING

All this is not something new. The traditional Indian Ayurveda and Chinese medicine already spoke about how our bodies are part of the transfer of celestial energy to the Earth. The Qi, the Prana, the Chakras… all are ways to picture this energy flow.

One thing though, when there is a thunderstorm, please make sure to be insolated from the flow. At that time is the only moment when I don’t recommend you to be grounded. All the rest of the time, be one with Earth! And that means also to take care of her. Don’t abuse her resources, don’t litter, avoid being on the side of the polluters and pollutants. Together we can make a real change.

The first step is appreciating how lucky we are to be on this beautiful blue planet. It has provided enough for all of us to thrive and evolve. It is our home and so far there is no planet B. So, let’s be gentle and careful when we do our daily choices. It is in the little decisions that we can make a bigger impact.

I am leaving you here the movie documentary for you to enjoy and learn more about Earthing.

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earthing how to get grounded grounding