This month's wrap-up includes packing tips and tricks, on-the-go travel essentials, and pattern inspiration for 'Me Made May'.
Apologies in advance for this late, and rather hodgepodge monthly review. I have been a bit absent this month. My mind was certainly elsewhere, physically and mentally, during April and I haven't dedicated as much time as I usually would researching for this wrap-up.
The start of the month was all about preparing for my first trip home to Oz in three years, and doing my best to avoid Covid. The middle few weeks were a bit of a whirlwind - flying, wedding, eating, beach, more eating, and more flying. And the final week was focused on catching up on some much needed rest, and a stressful wait for my lost luggage to (hopefully someday) return to me.
However, I have managed to pull something together. I do hope you can take something away from this wrap-up, and I will be back better and more focused for May.
Wrap-up of this month
10 packing tips and tricks
While I haven't taken a long-haul flight in years thanks to Covid, I have travelled a fair bit during my lifetime. Pair that with my super organised personality, and I have become a pretty good packer.
So with travel being back on the cards for many of us, and summer just around the corner, I thought I would share some of the tips and tricks that I have learnt over the years.
Write a packing list: This is the first thing I do, starting weeks in advance. Things are likely to pop into your head so why not jot them down?! This may also help you identify those things that you may be missing. I create a simple list in the 'Notes' app on my phone.
Start to pack as early as you can: By this I mean simply popping things aside or in your bag as you think of, or come across them, and know that you won't need until your trip. This kind of works like the packing list, helping you to not forget things.
Plan and photograph your outfits: I pull out all the pieces I want to take and lay them out on my bed. I then go through and create outfits, photographing each, to ensure I am able to wear each piece with multiple items. This is not only a timesaver when you are away as you can simply flick through your photos when choosing what to wear, but also goes a long way in ensuring that you don't overpack.
Washing and ironing: I like to ensure all the pieces I am going to take are washed and ironed. While I acknowledge that they will get crushed again anyway, this just lessens the effort when you arrive (especially for linen).
Packing shoes: I like to pop shoes in some sort of bag to stop them from getting my clothes dirty. I had a couple of recycled plastic garment bags that I received an online order in lying around, and I found these perfect for storing my shoes. Shoes are also good to position on the bottom of your bag as they tend to be the heaviest items, so there is less chance of them crushing your clothes, and they also create a good stable base.
Stuff your shoes: Fill every available inch of space and stuff your shoes with things like rolled up socks. This will also help your shoes retain their shape.
Get rolling: Roll lightweight garments, and pieces that are prone to wrinkling.
Items in easy reach: If you know what you are doing when you arrive (for me, that is usually sleep) keep those relevant items in easy reach on the top of your bag. You are bound to be tired when you arrive, so you may appreciate not having to rummage through your bag.
Cosmetics: We have all probably been in a situation where something in our toiletry bag has leaked. Therefore, I always double bag my toiletries and opt for solid cosmetics where I can (e.g. bar of soap, solid deodorant and cleanser). Lush is great for this!
Stick to carry on: As I have just learnt the hard way, I highly recommend avoiding checked luggage altogether if you can. It is feasible if you pack well, plus it will save you time as you avoid having to wait for your bags at the carousel. But, if you do check bags, be sure to pack your essential and irreplaceable items in your carry on (just in case)!
5 less wasteful travel essentials
Unfortunately our zero-waste habits can take a bit of a back seat when we are on-the-go travelling. So here I share some of my favourite items that I always carry with me to help ensure I am that little bit less wasteful.
Reusable drink bottle: A must wherever you go! When it comes to air travel, simply take through security empty, and fill up at the gates and again on the plane. I love my stylish Thermo Bottle from Two Thirds with whale image.
Reusable coffee cup: With Covid restrictions lifting, many places are beginning to accept these beauties again. My go-to is the lightweight and easy to use Ecoffee cup.
Reusable tissues: Best described as a stylish pack of modern day hankies, LastTissue have become a super handy addition to my bag.
Lip balm: Not only does 4peoplewhocare lip balm come with a recyclable tube made of cardboard, but it’s refillable. An essential all year round, but especially when you are spending significant time in the dehydrating environment of an airplane.
Reusable mask: I am keen to get back to using reusable masks instead of the single use kind. My choice, is the Komodo fabric face mask with washable filter.
What are your must have travel essentials helping you be that little less wasteful?
Fashion Revolution Week 2022
Fashion Revolution is the world’s largest fashion activism movement, being formed in the wake of the tragedy of the 2013 Rana Plaza garment factory collapse, which killed at least 1,134 people. The movement focuses on highlighting and educating individuals on the issues that plague the industry, and how collective action can turn things around.
Fashion Revolution Week is the annual campaign that occurs during the week surrounding the 24 April, the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse. The week brings awareness and calls for action, while offering a range of online and in person events, prompting us to think about our clothing on a deeper level (e.g. who made it and what it is made from).
Each year the campaign focuses on a different theme. Fashion Revolution Week 2022, which fell between 18-24 April, focused on the theme of Money, Fashion, Power, looking into such things as;
the exploitation of labor and natural resources,
how wealth and power are concentrated in the hands of a few,
how profit is rewarded over people, and
the issue of overproduction and overconsumption.
For more on Fashion Revolution be sure to check out their website, and give them a follow on Instagram (@fash_rev).
Me Made May
It's 'Me Made May' time again, a sewing challenge designed to inspire and encourage individuals to celebrate everything handmade, while building a better relationship with clothes.
Want to get involved? Why not commit to one or more of the following:
Getting behind the sewing machine and making something new, or altering something you already own.
Wearing and sharing as many of your me-made creations as you can.
Styling your me-made creations in new ways.
Why not share your me-made experiences on social media, or check out what other people are up to using the hashtags #MeMadeMay #MMMay22 and #MeMadeMay2022 . In the process you will probably come across some great new accounts to follow.
5 independent pattern brands to get you sewing
There are a lot of sewing pattern brands out there, and as a beginner it can be overwhelming. While there is nothing wrong with the big 4 - Vogue, Butterick, McCalls and Simplicity - it is nice to support the local, and smaller businesses. There are some great independent sewing pattern companies popping up across the globe.
So if you are looking for some inspiration this 'Me Made May', check out 5 of my favourite:
I will include a more in-depth review of these 5 pattern companies soon. Stay tuned!
What I was reading in April
Why I’m Making All My Clothes For A Year, Instead Of Buying Anything New, from British Vogue, written by the amazing Sophie Benson (@sophiebenson), details the year of making she has embarked on. A move intended to help her slow down, reconnect with her clothes and enjoy the process of making. I personally love this idea!
To make our wardrobes sustainable, we must cut how many new clothes we buy by 75%, from The Conversation, introduces the concept of a wellbeing wardrobe, while also proposing some ways of making the industry more sustainable from;
Limiting resource use and consumption by buying fewer new clothes and considering where out clothes come from (i.e. secondhand, renting).
Expanding the slow fashion movement with a focus on mending, repairing and caring to extend clothings lifespan.
New systems of exchange that think beyond making a profit, such as swapping and borrowing.
Diversity in clothing cultures.
How to be a sustainable fashion lover – and why it matters, from the BBC, is written by a former fashion editor, climate campaigner and animal rights activist Bel Jacobs (@beljacobs_com). The article examines various ways in which we can extend the life of our wardrobes, and in turn do right by the planet. She offers a step by step guide from buying quality garments, re-encountering our wardrobes, caring and storing our clothes, to mending and repairing.
"It is now a statement that the act of caring for our clothes extends to the act of caring for our environment, and marks our gratitude by valuing the work of the people who make the things we wear." - Loved Clothes Last, Orsola de Castro
Great tips on how to check how well made clothes are, from The Guardian, offers some great tips on how to check the quality of clothing from turning the garment inside out and checking the tags for care instructions and fabric composition, to inspecting seams.
Coming up in May
5 independent pattern brands to get you sewing
Tools that will help you in drafting your own patterns
Pattern Review: Tessuti - Naia Pants
Please get in touch or leave me a comment, I would love to know about your April. Also, let me know what have you been reading, watching, and listening to.
Thanks for reading, and see you in May!
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