Julie Boulton (the greening of) — Issue #7

saving gthe world — one newsletter at a time…

I ripped a small hole in the back of one of my work dresses last week. Totally my fault. Riding home on a bike in a dress is probably not the best thing to do. (It does make for a very tricky mount and dismount also as I have a boy’s mountain bike. It’s a high bar). I need that dress. It is one of seven work dresses that I own and I wear it sandwiched between blue dress day and black dress day. So when something goes wrong, like ripping a hole in my dress from attempting to discretely mount my bike with the ridiculously high bar, I need a speedy solution.

Not so long ago, fast fashion would have been the answer. It’s a quick fix right. Chances are it would get me through the next few weeks but after that I wouldn’t like it: it wouldn’t really go with the rest of my wardrobe; it would undoubtedly fall apart; it wouldn’t be a great fit; and I would feel so very, very guilty about it that I would have to get rid of it far too soon than one should.

That was before last year, when, in an effort to wean myself off fast fashion disasters, I set myself four clothing rules (which I am trying very hard to follow). These rules are:

  1. Prior to purchase I research the company I am intending to buy from;
  2. If I am going to buy something I have to love it for a very, very long time;
  3. Organic cotton is totally worth it; and
  4. A 40 year-old can wear whatever it is she wants, (as long as it fits into the above three rules)!

What does that mean for the dress with the rip? This dress is from Kowtow, a New Zealand company that is all about environmental and employer friendly standards. This dress is environmentally friendly, made from organic cotton. I love this dress — it’s not fashion forward but it is totally fashionable, (it’s stylistic even — mot something I thought I could ever claim to be but I’m doing it with this dress people!). This dress deserves to be mended! So off to the tailor we go. This is a good thing. Actually, it is a great thing. Like so many other things out there, just because something is a little broken it doesn’t mean we need to rush to place it in the bin.

So, because of the mended rip in the back of my well loved dress, this week’s issue is dedicated to the joy that exists in repairing, reusing and recycling.

See you next week, when I am so hoping to have some exciting news about a coffee shop changing its ways!


PS. I was on the radio. I was very nervous. But I was on the radio! ABC Canberra, Sunday Brunch with Lish Fejar. Fast forward to the 1 hour 45 minute mark if you want to listen.

a (not so fun) fact

23 kilograms of textiles per person are thrown away every year in Australia.

Did you know that your old sweater can be reused? New uses for textiles include: mattress fillers, car seat fillers, building insulation, and, even, new clothes!

Amazing fact: Levis jeans were used to insulate Levi building in San Francisco!

Sydney City Council is currently considering introducing textile collection points, as part of their “Leave Nothing to Waste” plan.

“We’ll begin investigating how we can make textiles collection a common feature of bin rooms across the City’s many apartment buildings.”

If adopted, this measure should be introduced by 2019.

handy resource(s)

Check out this complete recycle/repair mall in Sweden. It sounds, and looks, amazing! The first link is for those of you who can read Swedish and might happen to be in Sweden and want to check it out. Sydney has something similar, with the Reverse Garbage site in Marrickville. The Social Outfit link is a clothing store I love in Sydney: not only do they train some super lovely people from refugee and migrant communities but they also use excess textiles donated from designers such as Ken Done to make their clothes. And, some of the fast fashion stores, like H&M and Uniqlo are happy to take your unwanted clothing to re-use and recycle, (H&M will take any clothing, not just H&M labels, and they have made a very artistic video all about it!).

Boka konferens

Välkommen till ReTuna Återbruksgalleria — www.retuna.se 
 På ReTuna blir det gamla det nya. Här upplever du shopping på ett helt nytt sätt — ett klimatsmart sätt. Genom renovering, reparation och kreativt återbruk får använda saker nytt liv och kan säljas vidare.

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Sweden opens an entire mall full of reclaimed goods | Inhabitat — Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building — inhabitat.com 
 ReTuna Återbruksgalleria, or ReTuna Recycling Galleria, in Eskilstuna, Sweden sells reclaimed or upcycled goods for a climate-friendly way of shopping.

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RG Creative — REVERSE GARBAGE — reversegarbage.org.au 
 The Reverse Garbage Creative Team is made up of an incredibly talented group of artists and designers dedicated to creative reuse, repurposing and sustainability. The RG Creative Team work exclusively with reuse materials from our Marrickville site to create reuse items, art installations, decorations, signage and designs for corporate and community events, festivals, expos, conferences, parties and more. To…

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The Social Outfit: Ethical Fashion, Sustainable Fashion, Community. — thesocialoutfit.org 
 The Social Outfit is an ethical fashion brand celebrating creativity and diversity, employing and training people from refugee and new migrant communities.


H&M group | Recycle your clothes — about.hm.com 
 We believe fashion is far too precious to end up in landfills. That is why in 2013, we launched our garment collecting initiative worldwide. You can drop off your unwanted garments — no matter what brand and what condition — in all our H&M stores across the globe. Several of our other brands also offer garment collecting.


H&M — Bring it on — YouTube — www.youtube.com 
 Don’t let fashion go to waste. Bring garments you no longer want, from any brand and in any condition, to your nearest H&M. We’ll make sure they get a new li…


Making the World Better Place/Sustainability(Corporate Social Responsiblility) — www.uniqlo.com 
 FAST RETAILING’s essential approach to Sustainability is to make the world a better place through planning, producing and selling clothing, which is one of the basic necessities of life. To remain a company that creates enduring value for the world, we will pursue appropriate management, grow with society and create the next global standard — this is the Sustainability we aim to fulfill.

i’m reading/watching


The New Better off : Courtney E. Martin : 9781580055796 — www.bookdepository.com 
 The New Better off by Courtney E. Martin, 9781580055796, available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.

Not exactly an environmental book but, then again, it kind of is. There is a lot in here about building/living in a community and developing/making the most of a sharing economy and, while that is different to what has traditionally been seen as success in America, it can be a good thing.

on the blog

If you want to read more about my self-imposed rules on clothing, check out this post below.


And where, exactly, have you come from? (rule no. 2) — Julie Boulton — www.julieboulton75.com 
 One day, a long, long, long time ago in a faraway land there lived a princess who woke up and decided to set herself some clothing rules.

snap, snap

Just waiting to be re-used by some lucky passer-by!
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