Current Fave: H&M Lyocell Jacket in Powder Pink

Last night, I was searching through my favorite lifestyle blog, The Everygirl, and I came across this super chic pink jacket from H&M.

 

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Image created and owned by H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB

I’ve coveted a light pink jacket ever since Lorelai Gilmore sported one, oh so long ago…

Image result for lorelai gilmore pink jacket

While looking at the H&M jacket’s product description, I noticed the fabric was called “lyocell” and the item was tagged as being “Conscious.” This certainly peaked my interest!

Looking into this further, I discovered that lyocell is one of the most eco-friendly fabrics on the market. It is made from repurposed wood pulp and can be altered to match many different textiles, including suede, leather, and silk. Because of the (natural) chemical processes necessary to make the fibers, Lyocell is more expensive to manufacture than other eco-friendly fabrics like cotton, but it is naturally wrinkle-resistant. So at $49.99, a new eco-friendly jacket in the color of my dreams would clearly be a savvy purchase!

So, on to the “Conscious” label on the H&M site:

I’ve always been a huge fan of H&M for providing a full range of sizes at affordable prices, but I didn’t realize that sustainable practices were at the core of their mission. As stated on their website:

H&M’s business concept is to offer fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way.

Searching further, I came across my favorite thing on the H&M website (even more than lyocell pink coats!), the company’s sustainability reporting page. I was blown away by the transparency offered to the public, including all GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) sustainability reports, a Supplier Compliance list, and a Working Conditions statement.

The label of “Conscious” refers to a collection of clothing showcased for being produced in this excellent manner with sustainable fabrics (there are also menswear and kids Conscious collections). In H&M’s own words:

Conscious is the name for everything we do for a more sustainable fashion future. Hundreds of Conscious Actions – big and small, short- and long-term – are dedicated each year to make sure these commitments are put into practice. Our Conscious fashion collection is just one of the many examples of what we do for a more sustainable fashion future.

This all sounds well and good, but looking at the other pieces from the Conscious collections, I noticed that they were arguably more expensive than the lyocell jacket, to an unreasonable amount ($99 for a kids dress!). Therefore, since my jacket was clearly a bargain and a steal, how could I not buy it?!

Plus, H&M offers a Conscious Home collection, which is extremely affordable and offers a $4.99 organic cotton cat-printed tea towel. Sold!

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Image created and owned by H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB

Eco-friendly production from a company that values ethical working conditions and produces goods in all sizes and at an affordable price point–count me in! As per my routine, I’m off to my closet to find one thing to donate so that I can justify adding my jacket.

Stay savvy!

–Kim

(For a slightly more cynical perspective on H&M’s Conscious line, see this wonderful Quartz article. It’s not enough to dissuade me from the excitement of the pink lyocell jacket, but the author, Marc Bain, brings up some interesting points about the inherent contradictions of running a large chain and being sustainable)

Happy Earth Day! Giving Gifts Sustainably

Happy Earth Day! Since April 22, 1970, people worldwide have spent this holiday celebrating the progress we’ve made towards a more sustainable world and reminding us that the work is far from over. This year, the Earth Day Network has organized the March for Science in Washington DC (with cities around the country holding their own marches). The event includes teach-ins and messages from speakers such as Roger Johnson of the National Farmer’s Union and Bill Nye the Science Guy (click the link for an excellent interview with Nye from National Geographic). Join the excitement from home with this March for Science live stream!

 

All of this Earth-celebrating has inspired me to share about sustainable gifting. As my family knows, I am not one for wrapping paper. In fact, for Christmas this year, we were able to wrap gifts for both my and Andy’s extended families and friends without purchasing a single decorative item. Here are my hints and tips for wrapping gifts that should make all Earth Day celebrators proud:

1. Save your shopping bags

 

By Loicvdh4470 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

How great is it that clothing stores use paper bags instead of plastic? Make the most of your purchase by refurbishing its bag and tissue paper. If you don’t like the company logo, over it up with origami, a cute drawing, or stickers–or, better yet, remember that the wrapping is the least memorable part of a present.

2. Use the news

From http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Bundle-Stack-Newspaper-Old-Newspaper-Jute-Rope-1853667, CC0 Public Domain

No matter how many times I contact my local ad and periodical agencies, I can’t seem to get rid of junk mail. Around holidays, make a collection of your weekly periodicals, and use them for wrapping paper. Some people prefer to stick to the comics and funnies, but a cute add for pet supplies has the same effect.

Pro tips:

3. Use pretty fabric scraps, scarves, and ribbons

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From https://pixabay.com/en/scarves-polka-dot-floral-colorful-91349/, CC0 Public Domain

As part of my most recent move, I went through all of my accessories and set aside those I hadn’t worn in years. This included lots of scarves and other fabrics with festive prints that were plenty useful but no longer my style. Taking inspiration from concepts such as LUSH’s Knot-Wraps, scarves serve a double purpose: Reusable wrapping and a thoughtful gift, all in one!

4. Collect extras from the community

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From https://pixabay.com/photo-76536/, CC0 Public Domain, Editorial Use Only

I am obsessed with online yard sales on Facebook. It’s super easy to find your local sale and join the group, and I wish I had started earlier! Around holidays, birthdays, and other festive gift-giving times, check your local page to see if any wrapping supplies are up for grabs. Some people will even give you stuff for free! Just make sure you never give your personal address and meet in a public place for pickup.

5. If you must buy paper, either go to your local dollar store or support a local business

Here’s where you decide if you’d rather be sustainable economically or environmentally.

If you don’t have the time or materials for the above recommendations, or you really just want to wrap your presents with regular wrapping paper, you have two good options.

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From https://flic.kr/p/cQiSXd, CC 2.0

First, you could buy supplies at your local dollar store. Chain gift stores charge much more for wrapping paper than it costs to be made. And whatever the quality of the wrapping paper, its entire purpose is to be torn off and disposed of, so buying gift-shop paper is akin to literally throwing away money. Instead of throwing away $5-$10 per roll, throw away $1. However, buying from larger, chain stores without knowing how their products are made is not always an environmentally-savvy situation.

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By Etsy Brand Design Team (Etsy.com) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Your other option is to support small and local businesses by purchasing your wrapping supplies on Etsy. You’ll be spending more money, but at least you know exactly where and to whom your money is going. Generally, smaller retailers have a smaller carbon footprint.

Pro tip: Check out this list of festive holiday paper from Etsy, brought to you by The Neotraditionalist. Many of the shops have non-holiday items for sale, too!

6. Remember, the gift inside is what’s important, not the wrapping

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From https://pixabay.com/en/book-gift-cord-gold-cord-golden-1667828/, CC0 Public Domain

‘Nuff said.

Stay savvy and Happy Earth Day!

–Kim

Featured image by { pranav }https://flic.kr/p/bAAXTs, CC 2.0