{eco travels} sustainable belgium: brussels eco fashion landscape

when an airline recently lost all my luggage {somewhere in the beautiful country of iceland they surmised}, i knew i wasn't going to purchase any new items. first of all, the optimist in me hoped they would find my belongings {after all, i don't own a lot, and the suitcases contained, well, nearly all the clothes i own}; secondly, as an ethical consumer + minimalist, i understand our constant demand for new goods has implications.

80 billion pieces of clothing are produced annually for the international fashion market, with u.s. consumers purchasing an average of 62 garments and seven pairs of shoes a year.

my action plan involved making a list of the things i really needed: my list added up to two items: a jacket and sneakers. and so i headed straight to my fave secondhand shops in paris where i purchased a vintage jean jacket. i stumbled upon a flea market and bought a pair of baskets for one euro to keep my feet warm and cozy on rainy days. i did have some summer items at home that i decided to pack for an upcoming trip to belgium. layering is an important part of being an eco fashionista. need warm clothes? layer up and voila! 

80 billion pieces of clothing are produced annually for the international fashion market, with u.s. consumers purchasing an average of 62 garments and seven pairs of shoes a year. that's each and every year. with this comes a tremendous environmental impact + human rights violations that garment workers are exposed to daily in the name of cheap fashion as fast fashion companies pressure apparel factories to keep up with this demand.

i know i don't need a lot, and what i do need, i can find in secondhand/thrift shops + vintage boutiques. as i traveled through brussels, i had the opportunity to explore the eco fashion landscape of pre-loved apparel. eco brussels has a lot to offer!

the solution to fast fashion? it actually costs nothing, my friends. slow down: only shop when you really need an item. and if you do need to add a piece to your wardrobe, consider buying vintage + gently used apparel instead. here's how to do it in brussels:

1/ melting pot kilo: vintage clothing by the kilo. great selection with a clean milieu, chill music + cool vibes, oh and super prices. pick an item, pop it in the basket to be weighed at check-out + voila, weight will determine the price of your piece! fab textiles for home sewing also sold here. / 54 rue haute, brussels 1000 / +32 2 511 88 94

2/ les petits riens: celebrating 80 years of working with the homeless. proceeds from sales benefit those working to overcome social + economic obstacles. tidy space with vintage treasures interspersed. do not miss that box in the front + center of the shop with vintage finds, including beautiful 60's dresses, offbeat designs + colorful graphic textiles, for only one euro. 188 rue haute, brussels 1000 / +32 2 537 30 26

3/ spullenhulp: if you've decided to move to belgium, this is the place to shop for everything you might need in your new abode. a division of les petits riens, proceeds from sales benefit those working to overcome social + economic obstacles. clothes, furniture, decor + home goods sold. 101 rue americaine, ixelles 1050 / +32 2 537 30 26

4/ oxfam tweedehand: oxfam opened its first charity shop in 1948, and ever since then, they've been selling both new + used goods in an effort to fight poverty + transform lives. books, toys, clothes, they've got it. vintage + gently used items sold here. proceeds fund oxfam's programs + action projects including empowering survivors of violence + creating access to clean water in rural communities. did you know that oxfam has on online vintage shop? if you're in town, visit their brick + mortar shop at 243 rue haute, brussels 1000 / +32 2 502 39 5

5/ foxhole: while you can find a variety of shops big + small on rue haute, this one is off the beaten path. rare vintage pieces + rue des riches-claires 4, brussels / +32 476 95 88 72

oh, and this post does have a happy ending; my luggage was eventually found + i was reunited with my vegan + vintage attire! which means my zero apparel purchases in belgium were well worth it. that means i can use all that money i saved for more travels in the future!

until next time, stay green dear hearts!

{simple pleasures} rébellions quotidiennes: everyday rebellions

In fact, everything we do counts.
— Gloria Steinem

in fact, it does count: journalist, political activist + feminist organizer gloria steinem said, "the problem is the feeling that we're divided from politics, that our vote doesn't count or what we do doesn't count. in fact, everything we do counts." 

this summer, boys + girls, remember to pack a reusable water bottle because plastic is not the ocean's friend, and we like the ocean; if you have to purchase a disposable water bottle, be sure to recycle your empties. if you'r adding new summer apparel to your wardrobe, definitely shop off the beaten track + pop into a thrift shop or vintage boutique to get some of that pre-loved style that is kind to the environment since it'll end up as a part of one of your fine ensembles, and not in a landfill. ready for a thrifting adventure? paris thrifting starts here, chicago thrifting starts here.

little deeds + big deeds alike count, if you're interested in learning more about the american government, don't feel overwhelmed, click on over here for more info; want to learn more about current bills in congress in the u.s.a. and the simple actions you can take to become involved? dive in to issues big + issues that don't have vast media coverage here. for those that have the opportunity to have their voices heard by legislatures, there's a way to find information + become an engaged citizen. 

{eco apparel: wearing an entire ensemble pieced together from vintage + pre-loved items, all for less than $10; all thrifted pieces, all vegan ensemble. mint green halter dress circa 1960's, $4; woven straw clutch, $3; stacked resin tortoise shell bangles, $1; all from st. vincent depaul thrift in chicago + an oversized wooden ring found at a paris flea market, $2.}

{eco style} vintage paris: for the thrifters at heart

i've been perusing some of paris's best vintage boutiques + thrift shops. this, eco boys + girls, is the way to pre-loved {aka, pre-worn or gently used apparel}. here we go, being green made easy:

chine machine

buy, trade or sell at chine machine. expect a rad selection, a line for the fitting rooms, and crowded quarters on top + bottom floors {because they know where to find the good stuff in paris} 

montmarte // 100 rue des martyrs, 75018  // 01 80 50 27 66

second location // 10 rue des petites ecuries, 75010 // 01 77 17 03 62

vintage system

the owners of pretty box {a swanky, by-appointment-only vintage boutique that opened in 2002} have now brought us vintage system. expect a quaint atmosphere + unique items scoured from far ends of the earth. 

le marais // 17 rue barbette, 75003 // 09 80 79 95 05

mad vintage

expect ample room to stretch out at mad vintage {this place is extra large}, a well-organized selection of every possible style of clothing you can imagine {arranged by color, style + season} and no waiting in lines for the dressing rooms. this is a place you'll score at. every single time.

le marais // 66 rue st denis, 75001 // 01 40 39 06 14

le marais // 46 rue st denis, 75001 // 01 49 27 09 44

le marais // 139 rue saint martin, 75004 // 01 44 59 38 18

le marais is calling

vintage désir

looks like a hair salon, acts like a vintage shop. don't mind the "coiffeur" sign out in front. they know what's going on inside this svelte venue. vintage landslide within. 

le marais // 32 rue des rosiers, 75004 // 01 40 27 04 98


kilo shop

choose, weigh, take away. verrerie locale: someone with a passion for organizing is in charge over yonder because this is one mighty tidy shop. mix of new labels + vintage labels. big space, big selection: beautifully + systematically organized {with super signage}. saint germaine locale requires imagination: put your latent anthropology skills to work by digging for a would-be treasure; don't expect fancy digs there. ready, set, thrift.

125 bvd saint-germain, 75006 // 01 43 26 00 36

69-71 rue de la verrerie, 75004 // 09 67 13 79 54

39 boulevard saint-michel, 75005 // 01 43 54 15 03


staff is fantastique here: they are multilingual, multitaskers + multifriendly {i just made that word up}. verrerie locale is jam-packed with great vintage finds + eager vintage hunters on the prowl in this slender space, and they mean business. be strong, the selection is worth it. itsy bitsy upstairs space hold more bins with more treasures {priced as marked}. keep your eye out for the bin at the front of the shop filled only with $1 finds. only the brave may approach this highly-trafficked area.

52 rue de la verrerie, 75004 // 01 42 76 03 72

61 rue de la verrerie, 75004 // 01 42 78 00 76

20 rue de rivoli, 75004 // 01 42 77 63 43

a r o u n d   t o w n

espace kiliwatch

something old, something new. this sizable space mixes threads from new designers with vintage treasures. 64 rue tiquetonne, 75002 // 01 42 21 17 37


this dutch vintage apparel chain has finally landed in paris. the folks at episode want you "be responsible + get used."  i suppose we can acquiesce. 12-16 rue tiquetonne, 75002 // 01 42 61 14 65

vide-greniers the empty attic

these vintage menageries came highly recommended by a fellow lover of rummage sales + antiques, and now i'm in, too. clothes, books, toys, furniture: everything vintage under the sun in one place, and on many dates. check schedule + locations for some of that antique lovin'.

remember, eco friends, only shop when you really need something, and try finding a pre-loved piece at thrift shops + second-hand stores. otherwise don't shop at all: get outside + explore this great, green planet of ours. 

until next time, stay green dear hearts! ♥