the more complete we become.
Two new books by two inspiring makers I've loved for years (exciting!):
The Act of Sewing by Sonya Philip :: Sonya Philip's patterns have always been offered in an extended size range + are great beginner sewing patterns. Sewing with secondhand fabrics is encouraged + her patterns lend themselves well to a variety of fabrics. Sonya's own style + sunny personality is a perpetual inspiration to pattern mix + to embrace vibrant color.
The Sandalmaking Workshop by Rachel Corry :: Shoemaking is often a maker's final frontier, and Rachel Corry has been a wonderful resource in this category for years with her kits + workshops. (She is offering a zoom workshop in May.) This book looks like a feast of possibility + I can't wait to catch a peek!
All lovely images via links.
Today is over 80F + the bugs haven't come out in force quite yet. I've been dreaming of having two of these chaise lounges to move in + out of the shade. A peace towel would add a little extra cushioning. When the back rests are down, they could act like benches for all of us to eat outside.
I can imagine wearing this breezy white ensemble just anywhere + adding the sweatshirt when the evening gets cool. The diaphenous, Doen dress would be a lovely barely there layer for lounging in the backyard + could be tucked into pants or shorts as well (love a versatile piece). The Cydwoq sandals would go with everything I want to wear in warmer the months to come. Just dreaming. :)
Hope you are enjoying a beautiful day where ever you find yourself.
All lovely photos via links.
I'm squeezing this just inside the weekend. We've been busy celebrating a birthday + drinking in some beautiful weather. Happy to finally be able to peruse The Tiny Mess by Maddie Gordon, Mary Gonzalez + Trevor Gordon! Been waiting years for this one.
Turning waste into clothes.
Unfortunately it's not the solution many people think it is.
David Hockney's sketchbook.
Also celebrating Nomadland's Oscars! Chloé Zhao is only the second woman to ever win an Oscar for best director + Francis McDormand is her usual no-nonsense, non-conformist, no-makeup inspiration.
Hope you've had a spectacular weekend, friends!
I recently started a new job. Suddenly I have a new situation to dress for, and I want to be sure that I'm prepared (at least wardrobe-wise). As I applied for different jobs, I considered what I would wear to each one. I would need to buy something new for a few of them, but I tried to keep my potential shopping list minimal even when I didn't have many things that fit the dress code. I reasoned that if I kept the pieces simple, repeated wearings would be less noticeable.
I was able to wear what I have for interviews, and I have a relatively simple dress code to follow at this job: solid (or simply patterned) tops + solid bottoms + comfy shoes. Two days in, I realized that I needed something warmer to wear + stopped at a shop on the way home. Almost as soon as I entered the store, I remembered something I'd already packed away for the season that would work. Out it came + nothing new was needed after all.
The pieces I have feel more "like me" than most anything I could find quickly. They might not be the "perfect" thing to wear, but they work. I have time to add things later, if necessary.
Each time I realize that I already have all that I need, it feels like a new triumph...not because shopping is bad...or because I feel that I should never add anything to my wardrobe. I just like to be quite thoughtful about new additions...and I also realize that "enough" feels pretty good. :)
This excellent article by Matt Simon offers a logical explanation of how 1100 tons of microplastics currently finds itself in the skies over the American West.
A study released this week by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America concluded that "roads dominated the sources of microplastics to the western United States, followed by marine, agriculture and dust emissions".
Microplastics- particles smaller than 5 millimeters- come from a number of sources. Plastic bags and bottles released into the environment break down into smaller and smaller bits. Your washing machine is another major source: When you launder synthetic clothing, tiny microfibers slough off and get flushed to a wastewater treatment plant. That facility filters out some of the microfibers, trapping them in "sludge", the treated human waste that's then applied to agricultutal fields as fertilizer. That loads the soil with microplastic. A wastewater plant will then flush the remaining microfibers out to sea in the treated water. This has been happening for decades, and because plastics disintegrate but don't ever really disappear, the amount in the ocean has been skyrocketing.
Sources of microplastics in the air :: and how we can think about our own actions in response:
These same plastics continue to cycle endlessly, since they don't completely biodegrade. We continue to increase our plastic manufacturing by a rate of 4% per year...even though we know better now. This makes the case for widespread legislation that works to decrease the manufacture of plastic + plastic fibers. The time is now.
I LOVE hearing from you! It is lovely to read what you share, and I truly feel that any time taken to leave a comment here is a gift. I received a comment recently that a reader noticed again that this type of (sustainability-focused?) lifestyle is not for all budgets. I could not track down which post the comment was connected to...so I am not certain if there was a particular issue which was being addressed. But...I totally hear + respect this sentiment...and wanted to see if I could say a few words in response.
I've been tempted to reveal the amounts of money we've lived on as a family of four, but I know that it is relative. I try to live in an abundance mindset, even while knowing that we have not accessed what is listed as a living wage in this country. I say this not to garner sympathy. (We have some access to healthcare. Our skin color + citizenship give us advantages. We are college educated.) I say it to let you know, treasured reader, that when I say I hear you when you say that you have concerns about the affordability of sustainability...I mean it.
This blog is meant to come at sustainability from a place where having less was not always a choice. I wanted to turn the tables...to give myself the power to see what I have as "enough"...to find a way to say that "less" can be a choice + that it can be good. I am a work in progress, but I recognize my ability to choose...maybe not always my circumstances...but my perspective.
I am aware that I list clothing brands that have price points that are higher than fast fashion price points. I often hesitate before posting these things, because I don't want to promote the "wanties", consumerism or the feeling that fair fashion is out of reach price-wise. I do think that it can be useful for us to understand what fair labor + organic fibers cost. This can serve to slow our consumption, encourage us to wear what we already have longer, to care for + repair what we have, and to value secondhand shopping.
It is this last sentence that points out what makes a sustainability-focused lifestyle both truly sustainable + more affordable. Let's take a look at a few categories:
A few perspective shifts that I recommend developing in order to increase sustainability + living within whatever means we find ourselves needing to:
I would love to hear more about the specific budget concerns this reader (or you) have. (I have written a series on budget as well.) When we have less money, we often are making more sustainable choices in many areas out of necessity. So we can give ourselves credit for choosing smaller housing, consuming less stuff and using fewer air miles. We can focus on the sustainable choices that are less costly like the ones above.
Some sustainable choices are a bit more costly, and sometimes I highlight those choices here. I like to give credit to those doing good work + moving the industry as a whole forward. For some, saving money in other areas might allow them to feel that making one of these purchases periodically is money well spent. I don't think that anyone needs to make these more expensive purchases to live a sustainable life.
Bea Johnson's 5 R's struck me as doable right where I found myself ten years ago. (We'd just returned from overseas with a few boxes...had bought our one used car to share on a credit card...and had put our savings of $5000 down on a small home.) These principles don't cost money + ultimately save money:
There is no perfectly sustainable life...just progress.
on a journey toward zero-waste, simplicity, + compassion :: daring to choose fair one choice at a time