Tag Archives: REI

My sustainable “fashion” of 2017 revealed (and how much I actually spent!)

One of my favorite things when it comes to my sustainable lifestyle is the clothes. More specifically, I love stepping out of my house, going about my day and suddenly realizing that everything I have on is sustainable, ethical or, simply, old as dirt.

It gives me such happiness to know that I am representing my lifestyle with my appearance. As I am writing this I am wearing 10 year old boots and socks, made in USA jeans, underwear and sweater, favorite scarf and of course handmade in Chicago glasses.

Sometimes people are scared of sustainable fashion, thinking it looks a certain way or that enjoying frumpy Salvation Army 2 dollar sweaters is mandatory in order to rock a sustainable wardrobe. Ok, some eco-warriors may look like that’s key, but truthfully there is something for everyone! Yes, there are as many sustainable styles as there are brands and shoppers. Also for men, there’s an abundance of made in USA, fair trade options.

With that said, let me share with you the fashion, or let’s get real; “the regular clothes” that I got myself in 2017. I said in a previous post that I had shopped less than I did in 2016, but turns out that was a lie! Now that I am listing all my treasures, I see that I have bought more items and spent more. (What?!!) I blame it on maternity leave.

Everything from 2017:

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1. A Swedish scarf from Mamma Louise. (USA)

As a Swede in USA, it’s nice to sometimes show off my Swedishness with fabrics from Sweden. I wasn’t back to my pre-pregnancy weight this spring so I treated myself to a scarf! (One size fits all, wink-wink.)

Made by small business owner and currently Sweden-based Louise, whom I’ve gotten to know through blogging. It’s an organic cotton, infinity scarf with Dala horses and stripes. I paid $55 online.

2. A tote bag from Seabags of Maine. (USA)

The day you see me with a diaper bag from Babies R’ Us is the day Trump doesn’t suck. In other words; polyester diaper bag – no thanks. Instead I went for a new, super practical, eco-friendly, use for everything, tote bag.

The cool thing about this bag from Seabags of Maine, is that it’s made from old sails in Maine (duh). Some may refer to the material as “recycled” but actually it’s reused, or upcycled, if you will. No energy consuming recycling process is needed to turn sails into bags – just washing, handcraft, threads and needles. And New England-made rope handles. I paid $160 online.

3. A soft t-shirt from California. (USA)

This is an American Giant 100% slub cotton, made in USA crew neck T. Well made and comfortable. I paid $36.50 online.

4 & 5. Two summer plaid shirts from PrAna (India)

I got these two 100% organic cotton, certified fair-trade shirts at our very favorite co-op REI right here in Houston. They were both on sale and I paid only $47 for pink and $37 for blue!

6 & 7. American-made underwear. (USA)

I actually REALLY needed some new undies so I went with several from Hanky Panky and two from Brook There. Both brands are made in the North East from domestic, organic cotton. Hanky Panky’s boy shorts are my absolute favorites (fit, style, fabric) but I will give bonus points to Brook There for being a zero waste operation. I am not sure how much I spent all in all, some undies were on sale, but about $35-40 per pair online and $65 for the bralette so about $275. A bit of a treat and splurge :)

8. Black tights. (USA)

This was an impulse purchase walking through an outlet with my mom and an almost newborn baby! Ann Taylor had a sale and black, made in USA, 100% cotton tights were only $10. No brainer.

9. A Via 74 striped Dress. (USA)

This is a great, A-line dress from Via 74 with long sleeves and stripes. It is polyester which naturally isn’t my preferred fabric but it is made in USA, has pockets and I fell in love with it the minute I saw it. Had. To. Have. I paid $35 online.

10. A Nordstrom Rack bargain cardigan. (USA)

I found this long cardigan at The Rack when I was there looking for a new pair of jeans (see number 11). It was hanging alone in the clearance section and it was meant for me! Brand is Pleione. I paid only $34.

11. A pair of Paige Jeans. (USA)

I actually needed a new pair of dark blue jeans for the office (I never really liked the 7 pair I have and they’ve got “white knees” in them now) and was lucky enough to find a pair at Nordstrom Rack! Paige is the brand; made in USA of imported fabric. I paid $79.

So I spent, all in all, (drum roll please) 768 American dollars and 50 cents. 2016’s total was eight garments at a total of 597 dollars. Not bad!

How did you do in 2017? Do you know how much you spent?

I love keeping track here on the blog! I also love that when I went to collect all my “new” clothes for the picture (above), most of them had just been washed, hanging on the drying rack. A sign that I didn’t make any stupid purchases :)

Yay, sustainable fashion! And a BIG YAY for made in USA clothes, you guys. Who said it can’t be made here and be affordable?

Style of the summer: Fair-trade, 100% organic, made right (THERE!)

Despite being on a shop-local-misson, when it’s fair-trade and organic, I occasionally import. This summer, I decided to import a shirt.

After all, certified fair-trade initiatives must be supported and organic cotton growers in India must get paid. In fact, because of our purchases, they make a much better, safer living than farmers still growing conventional (pesticide-covered, fertilized, Monsanto seed) cotton.

Did you know that due to debt owed to the seed producer, one conventional cotton farmer commits suicide every eight hours in India? That’s three souls per day.

When we demand organic fabric, more and more farmers can make the transition to growing organic crops. Here’s a promising read about how growing organic cotton frees Indian families from the (GMO) debt traps, if you’re interested.

Back to the shirt.

Organic cotton PrAna Gina Top

A light, airy, plaid shirt from eco-friendly brand PrAna looks and feels just right for summer and my upcoming days at the office (going back to work soon!).

100% organic cotton, certified fair-trade, soft, great fit. Also, loving me some great bonus details such as the green stitching on just one of the button holes and a hidden pocket on the right side. I paid $47 for this shirt (sale price!) at our very favorite co-op REI right here in Houston.

Fair trade organic cotton pink plaid shirt

Organic is cool.

Oh, and you might be wondering how much I’ve shopped this year, since I’ve written posts about a few new things lately! In addition to this shirt I’ve gotten a new eco-friendly bag ($160/USA/recycled fabric), a handmade scarf ($55/USA/organic), black tights ($10/USA/cotton) and a well made t-shirt ($36.50/USA/cotton). Five things in six months – that’s pretty good!

I’m wearing a size XS of the “Gina Shirt”, I’m 5’8″, 140’ish lbs.

Locally owned and organically grown – that’s the Colorado way

We spent Memorial Weekend in Colorado. More specifically Boulder, Estes Park and the beautiful Rocky Mountains National Park. Wow, it’s so pretty! And for someone living in Houston, it was a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively speaking. Seeing all the vintage shops, locally owned boutiques and organic restaurants on Pearl Street, and joints (no pun intended) like Kind Coffee in Estes Park, was a welcome change to all the BIG Picture1chains I see here in the big city.

Kind Coffee turned out to be an awesome little hut with lots of nice-to-have things that caught my attention, in addition to their organic, fair trade, yummy coffee. I ended up getting a Yay! Earth! magnet I got to take home. Because that’s how I feel: Yay! Earth!

Even the weather was better than expected. We had prepared for IMG_5102rain, rain and more rain, and sure, we did get some, but also saw some beautiful cloudy skies, snow (!), and had a full day of sunshine on Sunday while hiking (and getting lost in the snow).

My new Smartwool socks did their job with excellence; I wasn’t cold or wet at any point. They are knitted in USA of imported yarn.

As you can see I’m also sporting my American platypus water bottle and organic Prana head band. The rest of my gear is imported (North Face hiking shoes, Columbia jacket), not from China though, and it all worked as intended and kept me dry and warm all weekend.

I love leaving the concrete jungle we call Houston. It gives me hope for the world.

Platypus, Prana and Alberta Falls
Platypus, Prana and Alberta Falls
Colorado scenery
Colorado scenery

Shopping for the outdoors (Camping gear part 1)

We decided to go to one of those we-sell-anything-even-remotely-related-to-camping type stores, to buy camping gear for our upcoming trip to the Grand Circle.

We needed a lot of things, since we hadn’t been out camping together before. We spent quite a while in the store and I must say we did pretty well. We bought Platypus water containers (folds up) and Therm-a-Rest mattresses and pillows – all made in USA. I also picked up a new US-made yoga headband from PrAnato keep my ears warm. See how remotely related to camping that item is?

The big problem was the sleeping bags. They were all made in China. North Face, Sea to Summit, Marmot, you name it. Prices varied a lot between brands, from $150 to over $300, but the funny thing was that the tags inside that said “Made in China” and described the item looked exactly the same. So all brands make their sleeping bags in the same place? A super-size sweat-shop factory for sleeping bags!? Probably! No sale. Irritated hubby.

When we got home I decided to search the web a bit. It didn’t take me long to find the cool site of Western Mountaineering, makers of down sleeping bags in California.

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The next day we hurried over to Whole Earth Provision (Western Mountaineering lists retailers on their webpage) and I chose a $360 blue, shiny, fluffy sleeping bag made in the golden state. I had to take some money from my savings account but it was worth it. Oh the joy!

I tried it out on the bedroom floor when we got home. It’s mummy style so it made me very warm, very fast. Let’s just hope it works during the upcoming cold nights in Utah too. We’re hoping to do some back -country camping. We shall see and I’ll let you know.

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*PrAna’s webpage is hard to navigate in terms of which products are US made. I picked up my headband at REI. PrAna seem to be focused on organic, fair-trade products and stand by their goods. Overall I think it’s a good company, though I doubt many items are US made.