Re-birth of clothes – how second hand fashion slows down fast fashion

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I love shopping, believe me I was a first shopping queen when it was not even a show on tv. I could spend a fortune on new clothes. 

I love to be fashionable.  

What I love is the process of wandering around, look around. I love to feel the fabrics, the cut of the clothes. After touching and feeling the clothes I make my choice and buy my favorites. 

With the advance of the Internet and their multiple shopping sites, it was exiting to see all the look books and customized offerings I really liked. But I was more reluctant to actually buy clothes online. I have thought of the reasons, I think I just missed the feeling sense. I can not feel the fabric between my fingers. 

Sadly, the competition from the online stores forced many owner based little shops to give up. The cities see in majority just chain stores for clothing. As their costs and rents for the city locations are increasing. The chain stores need to attract many customers to have the desired sales turn over. 

Et voila the fast fashion was born. 

Almost every other week new trends are introduced. That the quality of the fabric and the cuts get sacrificed in run of margin improvement is understandable – but not a favorable turn. 

So it turned out that the once shopping queen lost interest in shopping. But the wish for fashionable clothes remained. 

After almost 2 years of abstinence I found a new shop and saw to my satisfaction more and more popping up. Which is literally meaning, because they are called pop up stores! 

Stylists, designer or other collectors rent a room for a few weeks to sell designer cloth second hand. Even permanent Second hand shops for high quality cloth opened. 

 I like the idea that a fashion piece have a chance now of a longer second life – To slow down the fast fashion. 

And I enjoy shopping again. The Second Hand Fashion gave my office look a chic vintage touch. I’ combine the key pieces either Boho style or an vintage Coco Channel look. 


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Beefsteak Tomato from seeds

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I grew up with the impression that you can not grow tomatoes from seeds!

Now I proved myself wrong and it was a full success.

For years I heard that growing tomatoes from seeds is not worthwhile, it is cumbersome, you need to graft the seedlings.

On the other hand I read recently a lot about heirloom seeds and in that context about the variety of old tomato sorts.

This year I gave it a try. 

When I did seeds shopping at my favorite heirloom seeds collector and trader I ordered seeds for the sort beefsteak tomatoes. I fell in love with this huge fleshy tomato sort some years ago. Its taste is sweet and it has more flesh than regular tomatoes you can find at the grocery’s. So it makes the perfect tomato for a tomato morzarella salat with some fresh basil leaves on top.

 

Early in February I ordered the seeds. Still in February I’ve put the beefsteak tomato seed in a pot on the window sill. About two weeks later the first spout appeared.

 

Again a few weeks later I could separate the individual spouts. Each in its own pot but still had them at night in the house. And later in spring in a small glasshouse on the terrace near the house wall.

By May they had grown to be 12 healthy tomato seedlings to be plant in real soil.

tomato into the soil

 

Later in summer I could harvest huge and delicious tomatoes for dinner.

beefsteak tomato

 

Later in summer the weather was very wet and the rain hurt the crop. The plants itself were resistant during summer rain. But as I still have no real protection for tomatoes the fruits got late blight – at the end of summer.

 

 

 

 

 

Blackberry and Sorbet

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A few years ago a wild blackberry moved into the yard. First it played hide and seek and grew in other bushes.

 

We argued for a few years about the proper place. The blackberry offered its fruits to convince me that it was worthwhile to have a place for it. I had enough fruits for a delicious breakfast.

 

I was looking for good place to cultivate the blackberry. We agreed on a shady corner at the outside storage. But I insisted that the blackberry had to leave the bushes alone and had to stay in its corner. That eventually was accepted by the blackberry and it was going to thank me with plenty of berries. Unfortunately too much for it strength. I had to organize a gutter for support.

 

This year the crop is fantastic and exceeded the donation of the other years. We both are more than pleased by the arrangement.

 

Enough to make a delicious sorbet with rose petals and basil.

 

  • Blackberries
  • Handful of rose petals
  • Basil leaves
  • Rose sirup
  1. Blend all together and add soy jogourt.
  2. Pure in a metal bowl and put in the freezer.
  3. Freeze it for an hour

 

Manifesto

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Why I don’t eat meat and diary products in the western world 

 

Health reasons

The human body is evolutionary omnivore and digest animal protein as well as vegetables and fiber. Just think of the ancient roots of mankind as hunters and gatherers. The Modern concept of the paleo diet reflects that nutrition pattern. In western world the consumption of meat has drastically increased over the last 50 to 70 years. A Report states that over the last half century the meat consumption rose by factor 5. Still the generation of our grandparents had a meat dish just once a week, the famous Sunday roast. The diet has shifted to an unhealthy misbalance towards meat and processed convenient food. The body can not cope with that misbalance so quickly, in terms of evolutionary time span. The reaction are health problems, like rheumatism and inflammatory diseases. Similar is the situation with Dairy products. We need to differentiate products which are processed with fermentation such as jogourt and certain cheese sorts and dairy not processed with fermentation, milk, raw milk cheese. The milk protein needs a specific enzyme lactase that splits the protein into sugar which can be digested. In infant age the enzyme allows the baby to digest the milk. At the age of five to seven the body stops the production of the enzyme lactase. But some people, depending on the genetically roots are more tolerant to lactose. Without the enzyme the milk protein lactose can not digested anymore and ends up as metabolic slag. The lymphatic system needs to ensure the evacuation of those metabolic slags. If it is overloaded the body poisoned  itself by the slag. 

I do not want to poison my body

 

Ethical reasons

Modern meat production is an industry that treats an animal as a product and not as a creature with a soul. The methods to kill the animals are just unspeakable cruel. But not only the slaughterhouses, also the milk or egg production treats animals like things. Veterinary from Foodwatch.org estimates that as a rule of thumb every 4th animal in the food production is suffering health problems such as inflamed joints and utter or broken bones. The cages are so small that a pig can not move or lay down. Hens sit on metal mesh with crippled feet. During the fattening of life stock and it’s medical treatment several dugs such as antibiotics and hormone are used.  

I do not want to support such cruelty in mass food production.

 

Environmental reasons

The meat mass production consumes much more water than the production of vegetable food.  Statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations are impressive. Producing 1,000 calories of food in the form of cereals takes about half a cubic metre of water. Producing the same number of calories as meat takes four cubic metres; for dairy products, 6 cubic metres. And these are average figures. 

The cattle is feed with soybeans that is shipped from South American to Europe, China or North America where the mass meat production is located. Hectares of rainforest are cut down every year to plant soybeans for animal nutrition. With the disappearance of rainforest our plant looses more and more the ability to convert CO2 into oxygen. Monoculture replaces a glrown diverse ecosystem. The soil quality worsens due to the use of chemical fertilizers and pest controls. 

I do not want to support the destruction of our ecosystem.

 

Economical reasons

Modern day mass production of food such as meat is in the hands of a few huge international multi corporate enterprises. The local farmers has no chance to compete with the Big ones. The locally divers food production is replaced by an international oligarchy. The former independed farmers loose their income and needs to seek jobs in different industries if they are lucky to get one. Not only the food production is in the hands of a few but also the agricultural property. States loosing their ability to feed their people from own resources and need to import food, usually from a wealthy western country. Developing countries loosing the ability to ensure the fundamental supply on food to their people from own resources. Instead they depend for those fundamental services on the supply of multi national corporations. 

I do not want to support the mass production of food.

 

That’s why I decided to go vegan and grow my own vegetables. Just for health reasons I could reduce the meat and dairy consumption up to a healthy balance, but there are other reasons to withdraw my money and support for industrial food production.

I as an individual can only express my will with my buying power, because…

 

…I want to live a healthy live

…I want to eat clean food

…I want to live in a clean and divers environment 

…I want to to live in a society that supports the wellbeing of all people

 
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Quoting Challenge – Day 2

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My dear Halee from 2blueeyes challenged me, some time ago I have to admit, for a 3 day quoting series. Thanks to her  I can do something I was dreaming of. I’ll invite you to be my guests at a very honorable coffee round. We are meeting with three writers I admire for their savior vivre, their wit and of cause for their writings. As the gentlemen are not contemporary writers the place to meet would be an old fashioned coffee house in a style of the traditional Vienna cafes or Parisian tea rooms where the small and important things got discussed over a small black coffee or an Earl Grey tea.

Rules for the Quote Challenge

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog post
  • Post 1-3 quotes a day for 3 consecutive days
  • Nominate 3 blogger each day

Today’s nominees are:

Agastya Kapoor की दुनिया

TONJELILLEAAS 

Nigel Boldero… | Old School Garden
Please join me to meet Oscar Wilde, Lord Byron and Aldous Huxley. The conversation is progressing and all gentlemen agree that the world they have known is not getting wiser today. Men still doing the same mistakes and just a few seems to learn from history.
That’s when Oscar Wilde is mentioning

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.

 

Aldous Huxley agrees

Facts don’t cease to exist because they are ignored.

And Lord Byron claims

In secret we met – In silence I grieve, – That thy heart could forget, – Thy spirit deceive.

At that point of the conversation the hot black coffee was served and the topic changed to discuss the great invention mankind has done since…

All portraits pictures soured via

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/01/03/oscar-wilde-s-american-tour.html

http://doorofperception.com/2013/07/aldous-huxley-the-doors-of-perception/

https://en.m.wikiquote.org/wiki/Lord_Byron

Quoting challenge – Day 1

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My dear Halee from 2BLUEEYES nominated me, some time ago I have to admit, for a 3 day quoting challange. It was a good experience to go though all the proverbs from vocally educated wise people. I actually love reading quotes. So thanks to Halee for challenging me. By the way Mark Twain is one of my favorites to quote, especially his bon mots about Germany and the German language make me always laugh as they are all true!

And here we go.

Rules for the Quote Challenge

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog post
  • Post 1-3 quotes a day for 3 consecutive days
  • Nominate 3 blogger each day

Today’s nominees are:

Wordlovers

Nature has no boss

Brianna Sommer – For You
That was administrative preamble.

The quote that came to my mind immediately is the one I am starting with today.

When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.

According to Quote Investigator: The earliest instance located by QI was in a collection of essays published in 1972 titled “Who is the Chairman of This Meeting?” A chapter called “Conversations with North American Indians” contained comments made by Alanis Obomsawin who was described as “an Abenaki from the Odanak reserve, seventy odd miles northeast of Montreal.” (The book uses the spelling Obomosawin.) Obomsawin employed a version of the saying while speaking with the chapter author Ted Poole.
When I grew up this very quote was a sticker from Greenpreaceand almost everywhere stuck on. I am a bit sad that this true proverb seems to be out of fashion these days.  Probably we should revive this fashion again as it is more true today.

Abandon flowers from mass production

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Flowers are beautiful. In early spring flower blossoms are a source of joy. After an always too long and dark winter the first colorful buts are welcomed by everyone. People buy flowers for gardens and balconies. And they buy cheap as now there are so many offers of blooming flowers for a few cents. In the city the administration prepare the public spaces for spring. The decoration needs to be switched. I would consider a park as an organic organism. The whole park is a bigger organism consistent of various plants. According to the assembly of the plants the park would naturally look different at every season.

But parks can also look artificially like a cheap stage decoration. The decoration is easy changeable. Than the flowers act as a fast decoration tool to add color to the stage. The natural nature of a living plant is changed to be just an subject, to fulfill a purpose.

Is that sustainable to plant blossoming followers and exchange them after a few weeks to be replaced with a new sort? The old get thrown away as they are out of duty.

Industrial production of flowers or herbs is a mass market with mass production. The purpose is to have the flowers or herbs ready to sell fast and simultaneously at a certain time. For followers it means lot of blossoms buts at the same time. After the blossoming period, after a few weeks the plant is exhausted and will die.

I have tried to keep some of those industrial grown flowers alive. With primroses I had some success, but it is noticeable that in a normal environments without the nourishing chemical liquids to push for plenty of blossoms the plant is going back to normal growing pattern. If one compare that with the excessive stage it was bought it is for most people dissatisfying. As a result those plants get thrown away, as they aren’t of any use.

The plants are cultivated in mass production and in monoculture to be sold in the shops.

Since Henry Ford’s famous quote: sure, customers can have their car in every color they wish, as long as they choose black.

We have learnt that industrial production at the assembly line is best when just one sort is produced. Individual or customized design does not support the economies of scale.

What does that mean to our flowers? In the garden centers you can buy a primrose these days for about 0,50 Euro Cent, for US Dollar just add 0,02 or 0,03 cents to the equation.

Now imagine the whole seller is getting a mark up, probably we have some shipping in the distribution chain. Strip another mark up for logistics. Than you are close to the production price. Not much left, just a few cents profit per plant. Therefore the production needs to be massive to give the producer his earnings! This makes clear that producer are motivated to produce plants as cheap as possible as long as the market price is shrinking. The perceived incentive to support biodiversity is minimal.

The biodiversity of all species on our planet is shrinking year over year. According to the  WWF site the annual extinction rate of species to disappear from earth is calculated to be between 0,01% and 0,1%.

How do we stop this extinction of species? Start with your balcony or yard. Buy heirloom seeds and grow your own plants, flowers or vegetable as you like. A normal grown flower plant may not look as dramatically beautiful as in a garden center, but it has its natural beauty and will stay with you and give you a tight connection to Mother Nature.

Amazon Fashion en Vogue ?

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The other day during lunch break I flipped though a Vogue magazine that was available in my favorite coffee shop.

I love vogue and Harper’s bazar to get inspirations on style. I adore the adds as well as the photo reels. I guess you know what I mean. The pictures in Vogue are for me the non plus ultra of design and style, a pice of art. 

But this time by opening the first pages, which usually have the most luxurious adds I was shocked. Between the pictures of Prada, Gucci or Armani, I saw Amazon and an other online shopping portal. What is its going to tell us about the divergence of online shops into the stylish fashion industry?

Is it the ritterschlag of Amazon and the like. 

Or is it the contrary that our famous fashion labels lost their individuality. They can be replaced by a consumer portal. 

The add suggest that the customer is no longer asking for the like as Gucci or Armani but instead looking for the Amazon fashion. The individual designer brand could become interchangeable more easily. The brand loyalty could switch to the wholesaler instead of the producer. As a result a new powerful intermediary is locking itself into the distribution chain. 

As of today the fashion labels show the trends for the next season in their courture shows, their pret a porte shows are slightly downgraded to show fashion that people could actually wear. Recently this cycle has been extended to mid season shows and ready to wear shows. The inspiration from those looks is adopted by all various fashion labels up to the fast fashion labels such as Mango, Zara and you name it. 

The fast fashion labels are still recognized as producer of fashion whereas Amazon would be a distributor or whole seller. 

The widespread internet allowed fast fashion labels to run their own online platforms as a subelement to their shops or flag stores. That vertical distribution is quite common as it is a down ward integration. 

In the case of Amazon and other whole seller they are establishing a buying power and strengthen their position in the chain. 

So far so good. But the fashion industry is not really known for their sustainable production. The production is highly suspected to be unethical at all. So what will happening to the prices in production when the competition has increased and the intermediates have more buying power? 
I would leave this necessary debate to an other post. My concern is should a fashion magazine that considers it self as “high class” support such behavior. Should they take the money for those adds? Should art not also includes an ethical lifestyle?!

Just questioning!

 Source: Vogue Germany, 10/11 2017 edition

Late New Year resolution and inventory

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Iventory The winter hit us very hard this year. All is covered with show and the temperature are unusually fierce. Even at sunny day we do not reach temperatures above freezing point. The winter greens such as kale are gone by now and my always reliable Burnett is under the snow. Luckily the forecast was good and predicted this cold temperature ahead of time. We could move all apples from the outside storage into the house cellar. The storage cellar is not heated but temperatures would not drop below freezing point. It keeps the apples fresh for some weeks. The wall storages are full of jars with canned plumes. For our daily breakfast we still enjoy fresh apples or open a jar with plums. The goal is to have sufficient supply of vegetables for winter. I would like to minimize the daily groceries to only basic items. I am still way ahead. But a change is already noticeable. 

 1. The kitchen waste mostly is used to compost and the garbage bin is almost empty. 

  1. The expenditure for food is reduced 

  2. I feel better by eating homegrown food

The plan for this year to extend the amounts of plants but also the variety. Over Christmas holidays I studies the new seeds catalog and prepared my shopping list. I need to improve my compost and fertilizers skills.