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Sustainable & Ethical

Ethical and Sustainable Fashion Shopping can be fun and good for the soul  but it is not always straightforward and simple as it requires some research. Before we get into serious research stuff – Let us focus on you First.

What are you passionate about? The environment? Small carbon footprint? Handmade Fabrics? Fair trade? Locally sourced materials? No child or slave labour?

What you care about and what you value is different for everyone else. It is not easy to check all the boxes that make a product Ethical and Sustainable but things can become simpler if we narrow down what your priorities are  and what is available to you.

Ethically sourced Silk Top. To Shop the look Click on Image

It is important to know that the companies you are supporting and the clothes you are wearing did not harm the environment or people.

But lets not fool ourselves – the clothes themselves need to be attractive and something we want to wear. No matter how environmentally friendly they are if they don’t fit or the colour runs – we are not going to be happy with the! We need to find out –

What is most important attribute of an outfit for YOU.

These include:

  • price
  • durability
  • comfort
  • style
  • colour
  • material

Indigo dyed Fabric

Some of these may overlap. Before embarking on your shopping spree it is always a good idea to make a list of exactly what outfits you are looking for. Jeans, tops, dresses, work wear or party wear.

Online shopping can be the easiest and many brands have a transparent trail that will let you know exactly where the clothes were sourced, right from the material to the stitching. You can chose from the ones that share your values and ethics. Check out the brands mission and vision page.

In India we are specially lucky as we have an abundance of craft bazaars where we can buy handmade products directly from the producer groups.

In Delhi we have the Nature Bazaar at Andheria More and Dilli Haat at INA.  It is very cool experience talking  to the people who have made the products and are selling them right at your door step. You don’t need to travel to remote parts of the country to buy a Jamdani or a Chanderi. Often the crafts people are happy to collaborate with customers to produce one off custom made designs for a small fee. If the clothes you buy from crafts people don’t fit perfectly please get a tailor to alter it to your size. Our crafts people need us to make a living and when we buy from them we also give them valuable feedback so that they can improve their products and making them more contemporary and market friendly.

When looking for Ethical and Sustainable clothes do not be too hard on yourself remember every small step you take makes a big impact.

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Want to give back to society?

You don’t have to wait to become rich and famous to follow your heart and contribute by taking one step at a time.
Giving your time and talent to a cause is the most selfless act and shows outstanding character and resolve to make a difference. Reading a book to an underprivileged child in your community can be a great way to giving back to society. 

 

Are you passionate about improving the lives of children? Do you get concerned when you see kids on the side of the streets on your way to work or the shops? Well, there are several opportunities available for working with marginalisied children and  you can do this in your spare time.

There are many community groups and organizations working with children in your city. You will be surprised to find them very close to your place of work or even where you live.

You can help in the by offering to teach, mentor, spend time with the children sharing your experiences of travel and basic life skills such as dressing, manners, health, and hygiene; creative activities using art, drawing, painting, music, and dance. If you enjoy reading you can do this with children in a school library; if you enjoy sports and can spend couple of hours in your weekends playing football.

Here are a few organisations you can consider consider for volunteering:

Salaam Balak trust is focused on educating the poor and disadvantaged children of India. Options include opportunities in teaching life skills and non-formal education, creative expression & talent, multimedia, communication, healthcare, formal education (such as teaching English or Mathematics) and more.

You can also consider contacting an organisation local to you and find out more, these organisations are always happy to meet you and give you suggestions about how you can help.

While it is very hard to completely change a child’s life but even small effort can go a long way.

To find out more click on the links below:

http://vidyaschool.com/

www.nazindia.org/about.htm

https://www.volunteeringindia.com/volunteer-delhi.html

karmmarg.org/

 

 

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Can you make your wardrobe more ethical by adding Sustainable fashion? Time for some awareness.

Do you know that the clothes you are wearing have had a long history before it landed in your wardrobe?

One of the aims of sustainable fashion is to make this journey transparent.

Do you know what this term means?

Sustainable fashion is the concept of considering the long-term environmental and social impacts of what we wear each day. The term is hazy so it gives flexibility to shoppers to choose what really matters to them personally.

Sustainable Fashion encourages you to take a minute to think – What matters to you?

In recent years shoppers have realized that there’s far more to the fashion world than what you see at first glance.

This is a good thing, as it has on one had made people curious about what material their clothes are made of;

Farm to Fashion story available for Mulberry Dress. To Shop the Look. Click on Image

  • who makes them?
  • Where was the material sourced?
  • What the environmental impact has been?

So what does it really mean for fashion to be sustainable and ethical?

It can mean many things: On the one hand it depends on which practices and policies are adopted by company.

Very few companies can afford do it all (as in, meet all the criteria of an ideal production model), which means that it’s pretty much up to you to weigh the pros and cons and make shopping decisions based on what’s most important personally.

On the other hand it has brought to light the atrocious working conditions, poverty wages, and pollution

that is intimately connected to the world’s garment industry.

It can be very confusing, trying to sort one’s way through the maze of terms and certifications that are all claiming to make fashion a better industry for all.

Recycling is a good way forward

So instead of throwing away that tee shirt you ruined in the wash, could you make it into something? Could it become a cute tote bag, a pillow, a bunch of cleaning rags, or a heating pad through some careful stitches? The idea is what we all learned in elementary school:

 

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Do you have a Passion for fashion?Do you care to make a positive environmental and social change? Are you looking to take the first step towards sustainable fashion?

You hold the key to doing both -Sustainability and Fashion at the same time. It is really not that hard – you are not expected to participate in a protest march or join Green peace – though, you could- if you like. It is a great way to meet new people.

Mulberry silk – Indigo.

Every journey towards the path of sustainability starts with the first step. One tree saved; one worker in healthier working conditions or fewer pollutants in the rivers.

The key to making a lasting commitment is to understand your own passion and values and then convert these into actions. Even the big names in international fashion are getting into Sustainable Fashion.

Vivienne Westwoods Sustainable collection

Buy less, choose well and make it last

This quote by Vivienne Westwood is self explanatory.

Here are some simple ways to get you started:

Sustainable clothes are well-made of a high-quality materials is more eco-friendly because they last longer and do not need to be replaced so often. I know it is hard, but resist buying things with impossibly low price tags and lose the buy-and-toss behaviour.

Cheap in fashion simply doesn’t exist. Those clothes you bought impulsively might have been cheap to you, but once you add to them their real cost someone else had to pay with their health or damage to the environment. Not so cheap anymore

Start looking at your clothes differently.

Does this piece look great on me?

Is an important question but Should not be your only question. How about asking these as well?

  • Who made these clothes?
  • What materials were used?
  • Were the materials sustainable?
  • Where did they come from?
  • Where were they made? 

Production of Mulberry silk

Being interested in the answers to these kinds of questions is the best first step towards changing the story for both the people who make our clothes and the environment.

Loom Tree is making clothes from sustainable materials, sourced from NGOs like SEWA and Sasha. We also run a community development project in Bihar and West Bengal. A mulberry plantation has been set up with a sericulture project. Hand spun mulberry yarn and handloom woven mulberry silk fabric is also being produced and will be in our stores soon.

To read about our Sericulture Project click here.

Do you like the story? please share your views in our comments section.

Natural coloured mulberry dress. Click on image to Shop the Look.

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Silk is an ingenious way to harness the wonders of nature

Why bother making your own silk? The Answer is Sustainable fashion!

Creating our own brand of Sustainable fashion and a keen desire to create products that are environmentally friendly while supporting local communities led us to the path of making our own silk. We wanted to gain a better understanding of what goes into the production of silk and how can we develop a product that truly helps people and adds value to the environment.

Sericulture a viable employment opportunity for women in Bihar

We chose to work in the state of Bihar as it not only meets all the ecological requirements needed for sericulture but also has high level of poverty and unemployment. The labour intensive nature of this project brings about a large amount of employment and up-skilling opportunities for women and men.

The process of sericulture aligns with the 3 major Millennium Development Goals set by the UN like; eradicate poverty and hunger; promote gender equality and ensure environmental sustainability.
Let’s break it down  :

Benefits:

– Generates employment throughout the year, with an estimated 11 person days’ employment for each 1 kg of raw silk production.

Employment, both on and off-farm activities

– Maintains and strengthens rural economies: more than 80% of the gross value of silk fabrics returns to the local area of production  benefiting the farmer, cocoon growers, yarn reelers  and weavers.

ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY:

– Mulberry is a perennial crop. It contributes to soil conservation and provides green cover

– Waste from silkworm rearing is recyclable for agricultural use

– Dried mulberry twigs and branches can be used as fuel

– Mulberry can be cultivated in areas of often unused land, e.g. hill slopes, watersheds.

natural mulberry

click on image to SHOP the look.
PROVIDES EMPLOYMENT FOR WEAKER SECTORS OF SOCIETY:

– 60% of those employed in sericulture are women Low InvestmentThe investment needed to start sericulture activities is low and silkworm rearing can start within 6 months of mulberry planting

– Sericulture can be practised with very small land holdings; 1 acre dedicated to sericulture can support a family of 3, without the need to hire labour.

indigo mulberry

Click on image to SHOP the look

Achievements so far:

  • Mulberry plantation on 20 of acres of arid land.
  • Established nursery with 4 Lakh saplings planted distributed to the local farmers
  • 50 local farmers trained
  • employment generated for over 100 people.
  • 1000 kg of silk yarn produced
  • Garments ready for sale

image source

 

 

 

 

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Every culture has its own special folk medicines that are passed down through the generations, and recent medical studies have confirmed that many of the herbs used in these home remedies are effective.

Here are some from around the world:

In India Turmeric has a very revered position, it is used in rituals and beauty treatment.

Did you know it is not only a tasty spice but a medicinal material used to treat high blood sugar levels? Studies have shown that the active ingredient in turmeric – curcumin – reduces and stabilizes the levels of sugar in the blood, as well as helps the pancreas secrete insulin when blood sugar levels rise. Half a teaspoon a day has shown excellent results.

Mustard Seeds are used to battle muscle pain in England.

Soaking in a hot bath with mustard seeds is a traditional English remedy for muscle pain. The unique build of the mustard causes the body to secrete toxins through the skin pores, improve blood flow, relax tense muscles and help heal damaged tissue.

 

In Germany Chamomile tea has a very special place in the battle against gas.

This is an old German remedy that now has science backing it up. Stanford University researchers found that sipping 2 glasses of chamomile tea a day can reduce that bloated feeling. Chamomile reduces the secretion of cortisol, a hormone secreted during times of stress, which causes stomach cramps.

 

Russians use garlic when they need to battle colds, the flu, and most other infectious diseases.

A study conducted by the University of Florida recommends consuming one clove of garlic a day. According to the study, garlic contains organic composites that help fight viral infections and consuming one clove of garlic a day can decrease the risk of infection by 43%.

 

Does your family have any special Home Remedies? Please do share these with us at

#LoomTreeHomeRemedies

 

 

 

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The humble Coconut Oil that Indians have been using in their cooking and beauty care for centuries is storming the international beauty scene. They have recently discovered how amazing the properties of coconut are! And we can say told you so!

To recap:

This do-it-all ingredient can be used to moisturize skin and remove makeup, but that’s just the beginning. Here are all the ways you can incorporate coconut oil into your beauty routine.

Makeup remover

Just a teaspoon (or less) can take off a day’s worth of makeup with ease, no matter the staying power. Massage a dollop of warmed, liquified coconut oil straight onto skin and watch as makeup melts away, then rinse with warm water.

  

Body scrub

Mix a half cup of sea salt or sugar with an equal amount of melted coconut oil, and then use your hands to rub it over any rough patches of skin. The scrub moisturizes while removing dead skin cells. The result: skin that’s baby soft. Add a little more salt or sugar for the extra tough skin on your feet and elbows. On its own, you’ll step out of the shower with a faint tropical scent, but you could also add lavender oil.

Shaving cream

Ran out of shaving cream? Coconut oil to the rescue! Just warm the jar under the water and smooth onto legs before shaving. Your razor will glide smoothly, allowing for a super-close shave, and your legs will be moisturized from the oil in the process. Tip: shave outside the shower. The oil is very slippery, so you’ll have an easier time holding onto your razor if your hands are dry.

Highlighter

Glowy, fresh skin is in! But if that doesn’t come naturally for you, just dab a little-liquified coconut oil onto the tops of your cheekbones, cupid’s bow (the dip above your upper lip) and just above eyebrows for hydrated skin that looks lit from within.

Under-eye cream

The skin under your eyes is thin and delicate, making it prone to fine lines, puffiness, and dark circles. If you hate the idea of dropping big bucks on expensive eye cream, then sub in coconut oil. Just rub a pinch in between fingers to warm it up before patting it underneath your eyes.

People from many diverse cultures, languages, religions, and races scattered around the globe have revered the coconut as a valuable source of both food and medicine. Wherever the coconut palm grows the people have learned of its importance as an effective medicine. For thousands of years, coconut products have held a respected and valuable place in local folk medicine.

Coconut oil is of special interest because it possesses healing properties far beyond that of any other dietary oil and is extensively used in traditional medicine among Asian and Pacific populations. Pacific Islanders consider coconut oil to be the cure for all illness. The coconut palm is so highly valued by them as both a source of food and medicine that it is called “The Tree of Life.” Only recently has modern medical science unlocked the secrets to coconut’s amazing healing powers.

How do you make use of coconut? Please share with us.

#Loomtreecoconut

 

 

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