Who Made My Clothes?

Today, April 24th marks the fourth anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment building in Bangladesh, which killed 1,134 factory workers and injured a further 2,500 people.

It is also the start of Fashion Revolution Week, an ethical movement that began in the UK whose current focus is #whomademyclothes, a campaign which encourages consumers to demand greater transparency in the fashion supply chain.

So, do you know who made your clothes? How was it made and where? These are the questions we should be asking ourselves.

“Once you educate yourself, you’re left with choices” ~ Yvon Chouinard

Here are three ways to get involved with Fashion Revolution Week, and shop mindfully in the process. One way is by organizing an evening where you swap clothes with your friends or go hunting for gems in a thrift / consignment store – like I did. I bought this top seven years ago from a consignment store and I bought this pants from H&M a year ago. H&M offers clothing donation services, where you drop your clothes off at stores in exchange for a voucher.

One of the most eye opening statistics to emerge on the topic of sustainable fashion is that the average piece of clothing in our wardrobes is worn just four times. Before purchasing an item of clothing ask yourself: Will I still love this in a few months? How can I mix and match this with something I already own? Do I own something similar? What is the cost per wear? Where was this made? How was it made?

Did you know almost 70% of the clothes we throw away could be prevented with better care habits? Wash your clothes with care. If all it needs is a little patching or a stitch or two, take the time to mend it instead of throwing it away. By doubling the useful life of clothing from one year to two years educes emissions over the year by 24%.

Think before you impulse buy this week lovelies. Buy less, choose well, make it last.

Nikki

Hair by Billy Disciullo

Photos by Andrew Swaine

Empowering Women through Fashion + Give Away

“If you get, give. If you learn, teach.” – Maya Angelou

I have been fortunate enough to surround myself with phenomenal women who continue to inspire, challenge and support me. As an Indian girl growing up in South Africa I have our foremothers to thank for paving the way forward for my generation. Their bravery, determination and suffering during the apartheid era only strengthened their sense of comradeship with women across the color lines. Over the years I have learned of these women who as mothers, sisters and daughters effected change and played vital roles within the Indian community and the country as a whole.

Although we women have come so far, we still have a long way to go. As an educator I am always looking for ways  I can pay all the advice, support and teachings I’ve received and have been blessed with forward. We know that when women emerge as positive and powerful role models for the younger generation, society as a whole benefits.

One of the reasons why I started blogging was to inspire women to inspire girls through fashion.   I think fashion has the power to bring positive change. As the largest consumers of fashion, we can inspire and empower the next generation through what we choose to purchase.

When Rhode Island based jewelry designer Nicole D’ Andrea reached out to me, I knew that this was a brand I wanted to craft and share my story with. It’s her mission statement– not to mention the chic aesthetics of her jewelry design that resonated deeply with me.

This is her mission statement: “To inspire and empower women with words of strength. Wear these words to remind yourself of how strong and amazing you are. At the same time know that you are empowering other women. We donate $1 of each product to the charity “Live your Dream” to help educate and empower women”.

I believe that both men and women have a critical role in empowering women because if not us then who if not now then when?

GIVEAWAY

So, to do my small part I am honored to partner with Nicole D’ Andrea Jewelry @nicole_dandrea to gift one lucky follower a ­­­­­­­­­­­­­piece of jewelry valued at $42.00.

To enter:

1.     Follow @nicole_dandrea  and @nikkilivinglife2.0 on Instagram

2.     Tag a friend in the comments below to enter (each friend tagged is an additional entry)

3.     Repost my post

The winner will be announced on Sunday April 23, 2017 and will be contacted directly by Nicole D’ Andrea Jewelry   via DM on Instagram. Good luck!

On top of the giveaway, @nicole_dandrea is also giving away a discount of 20% on all orders with the coupon code “NikkiLove2017”.

Thanks to Nicole’s beautiful jewelry, you can literally wear the Women’s cause on your wrist. Because fashion can be far bigger than style, it can also be about making a powerful statement about who you are and what you stand for.

Spring Break in London

I can’t believe that Spring Break is here. Andy and I were reminiscing about our trip to London last April. We had an amazing trip and could not have picked a better time to visit. The temperatures were mild and the city’s parks were green and blooming. The weather continued to get better during our stay in London. The temps were in the upper sixties during the day but lower in the early mornings and evenings hours. Come rain or shine I knew that we would fall in love with London. We did pack our umbrella however we never used it. We had 6 glorious days of sunshine.

London is notorious for being pricey. Although Andy and I did splurge on our accommodations and a couple fancy dinners we managed to make the most of our stay without going bankrupt. Here are a few insider saving tips:

  1. Walk, Walk, Walk

One of the cheapest and best things you can do in London is just wander around and see the sights. We took advantage of the beautiful weather and walked almost everywhere. One of our favorite walks is along the Thames. During our walks we passed many  iconic landmarks like the London Eye, Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe, HMS Belfast, Tower of London and of course Big Ben. Walking also allowed us to really take in all the beautiful architecture and gave us the opportunity to familiarize ourselves to our new surroundings.

2. Free Attractions

London is great for sightseeing because so much is free. It makes sightseeing on a budget really easy. Some of the free attractions and landmarks include top art galleries and museums including Tate Modern, National Gallery and British Museum. Don’t miss the Changing of the Guard which is, yes you guessed it is FREE. Buckingham Palace was a short walk from our hotel so Andy and I got to the gates 45 minutes early. We had an amazing view and got to take so many incredible pictures as you can see. The changing of the guard takes place every other day at 11:30am. We also met a sweet couple from Chicago who gave us some great lunch recommendations.

  1. The London Pass

For attractions that were not free, Andy and I bought a London pass for two days of sightseeing. The London Pass covers over 32 destinations and offers free public transportation. The London Pass gets you in free (often with fast-track entry) to more than 60 top London attractions including the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, London Bridge Experience and the Thames River Cruise.

  1. Cheap Eats

London is a haven for affordable lunch spots. From bakeries to pie shops to deli sandwiches, there’s something for everyone. Our favorite fast food chain was definitely Leon. Leon had  many healthy, fresh, Mediterranean inspired menu choices. We ate at least 3 meals at Leon. We also loved food shopping at Harrods. It was an amazing experience. One afternoon we picked up a few treats and had a  picnic in the park.  Andy’s favorite meal was definitely breakfast. He enjoyed the full English breakfast. One our third day after a few hours of walking we decided to go to Victoria station for a cup of coffee and pastries.  We sat back, relaxed and did some people watching. It was so fun. We even saw comedian Eddie Izzard shopping.

  1. Get an Oyster Card

A visitor Oyster card is a smartcard which is used to pay for public transport like the Tube, London Overground, and most National Rail services in London as well as buses.  However, you have to try the Black cabs at least once. They are one of London’s iconic symbols. Our cab driver was a great tour guide and a wealth of information.

My best advice for travelers to London is to explore the city and its amazing sights at your own pace. Don’t try to do  everything in one week because not only will you be rushed but you will also miss out on the wonderful experience of re-discovering London again and again. I can’t wait to return.

What are your Spring Break plan Lovelies?