thrifted

Sustainable Shopping: A Swedish Stockings Review

Sustainable Shopping: A Swedish Stockings Review, the artyologist

Today’s post is brought to you by a combination of my favourite things: books, vintage, tea and ethical fashion! These pictures are actually from two months ago, but after a delay in posting, I decided that they were perfectly suited to Fashion Revolution Week, so here they are now!

It is so satisfying to create a completely ethically sourced outfit, but, unfortunately, that is easier said than done, isn’t it?

Since I started dressing ethically, a few years ago, the one thing that I am constantly reminded of when shopping is that it is so incredibly hard to do! I wish that I could just walk into any store, find whatever clothes I liked and that I wouldn’t have to ask, “Who made my clothes, were they made sustainably and are they made to last?” I hope for that day, and that is why I care so much about Fashion Revolution Week (which is this week in case you didn’t realize!) But until that day comes, it can be hard to figure out how far to take the commitment to shopping sustainably: Do you sometimes buy things that are not made ethically? Do you go without if you can’t find a sustainable option? Do you rely on secondhand for everything? What about basics? (like socks and underwear. . .  they are kind of necessary!)

Swedish Stockings Review, the artyologist, books and outfit

When I made the commitment to dress ethically, I originally wanted to buy everything 100% ethically, whether it was secondhand, made by me, or bought from a fair trade brand. However, Canada, especially small town Alberta, is not a hotbed for ethical shopping. Some things are easy to find- you can easily source secondhand clothing, or even ethically produced clothing online, for example, but there are other things that are harder to find.

One such item is hosiery. I wear tights almost every day in the winter, and pantyhose other times throughout the year. But hosiery, especially pantyhose, is one of those fashion basics that is made very cheaply, and very unsustainably nowadays. It is one of the biggest fashion “consumables” that is contributing to making the fashion industry the second most polluting on the planet (after only the oil industry). I can find hosiery that is made in Canada, but it is more difficult to find good quality hosiery that will last more than a few wears without getting a run or pills. Nowadays, you are lucky to get a pair of pantyhose to last even a few wears, before you’ve got to throw them in the trash, and most pairs of pantyhose are worn only once. When I say that I want to shop “sustainably”, I don’t just mean that I want to buy “Made in Canada” (which is nice), but that I also want to buy items that aren’t creating a cycle of waste. Wearing something once, and then having to throw it out because it can’t be repaired, is not a sustainable way to dress. It’s actually ridiculous, when you think about it.

Swedish Stockings Review, the artyologist

Enter, Swedish Stockings. My mom heard about this company and told me about it last year. I debated over ordering some pantyhose at the time, but as I had just stocked up, (on some cheap ones that didn’t end up lasting very long) I decided to wait. Well, in January, when my black opaque tights got a hole in them I finally decided to place an order.

This company is based in Sweden, and is the maker of “eco friendly pantyhose for women”, with a goal of revitalizing the entire pantyhose industry. In order to do that, they have come up with some great ways to make the hosiery industry more sustainable.

  1. They make their pantyhose from recycled nylon. Most pantyhose are made out of petroleum (aka: nylon and polyester) which is extremely polluting to the environment, both when it is made, and afterwards, as it doesn’t biodegrade. Yay . . . our throwaway pantyhose is literally covering the earth. Who else wants to live on a landfill? They use nylon industry waste, diverting it from the landfill, and their stockings contain 76% – 97% recycled content.
  2. The company has a recycling program to close the loop of stockings waste in the fashion industry, so you can send them any brand of old pantyhose and they will recycle them. They don’t make the old ones into new tights, as the technology to separate and break down textile fibres has not been invented yet (get on with it scientists!) but they take them and melt them down for fibreglass industrial tanks. In this way they have diverted millions of pairs of pantyhose from the landfills.
  3. Sending them your old tights to recycle is nice- but wait- it gets better! If you send in three or more pairs, you get a coupon to spend online! Now that is really a win-win situation, is it not? That’s what I did- and I also ordered 2+ pairs in order to get free worldwide shipping.

Anyways, they’ve got tons of more sustainability cred, but I won’t write it all out here. They’ve got a page here, with certifications and a bunch of other great facts- so just hop over there to read more, as it is quite interesting. It is so wonderful to find a company that seems to really get the whole sustainability thing- and is actually doing something about it.

Sustainable Shopping: A Swedish Stockings Review, the artyologist, vintage style outfit

So, what did I think of the tights? I got the black opaque Lia Premium in both tights and leggings, and a pair of Elin Premium in the colour “medium”.

I am wearing the Elin tights here. When I took them out of the box, they were so tiny they looked like they were made for a small child. I was wondering if they would fit, as they were so small, but they stretched out fine. The yarn was thicker than regular pantyhose and it didn’t feel fragile as I put them on. They did have great elasticity, as when I took them off, they shrunk back down, and weren’t stretched out at all. But- this is an honest review here- I wasn’t as happy with the Elin as my first impression promised. The second time I wore them they got a run, and the fabric started pulling away from the seams in the gusset in the crotch. It was disappointing, especially since they cost more than a regular pair of pantyhose, so I decided to email Swedish Stockings and share my frustrations. Their customer service was great, and they said that the Elin is their most delicate pair of pantyhose, and so I decided to try out a sturdier pair instead. I am going to try the Irma, which is a 30 denier, and I am hopeful that they will be better, since I have tried “support hose” from different brands before and been happy with the quality.

As for the other pairs I ordered, I wore my Lia leggings and tights quite often during the winter. Now that it is spring, the 100 denier is too thick and opaque so I haven’t been wearing them anymore. I decided to get both the tights and the leggings, because in winter I wear boots all the time, and the feet on my tights always get worn out. I wore the leggings in my boots, since you couldn’t see that they were footless, and then saved the tights for open shoes. This way I preserved the feet on the tights, rather than wearing them out with constant wear. I am super happy with the Lia tights and leggings as they are very good quality. After a few wears, they started stretching out a bit, so I gently hand washed them and they sprung right back into shape. They haven’t gotten any snags or runs, and they haven’t started unraveling anywhere either. They are quite strong and are wonderfully opaque- although they are a little bit shiny- so if you want a matte stocking, these would not be the ones for you. For comparison, I got a pair of cheap footless tights last fall, and they turned out to be a total disaster. The Lia is high waisted, so you don’t have any lines under your skirts or dresses, but the cheap-disasterous-footless-tights were low rise, which was both uncomfortable (very bunchy feeling) and impractical, as you could see the line where they ended on my hip. The fabric on the cheap leggings also snagged very easily and the hem started unraveling the first time I started wearing them! So- all that to say that I am extremely happy with the Lia tights and leggings.

Swedish Stockings Review, the artyologist

I will definitely be buying from Swedish Stockings again in the future. In fact, it will probably be difficult for me to not just keep buying! (They have quite a few that I love. . . the Rut Net is calling my name. . .) And, I will continue sending in all my old pantyhose too, in order to keep it out of the trash, in my endeavour to live as zero waste as I can. It is so great to find another company that I feel good about buying from; you’ve got to buy clothes, so why not buy them from a company that is doing something worthwhile, right?

As for the rest of my outfit, while it isn’t 100% ethical, I’m getting there. I would love to be able to know #whomademyclothes – all of my clothes- and not have to wonder whether they were paid a living wage or work in a safe environment. I hope for a day when I do not even have to ask this question, because it will just be given that all clothing is ethically sourced – but we aren’t there quite yet.
In the meantime, I do what I can: wearing vintage and thrifted clothes, making my own clothes, investing in quality and seeking out sustainable brands, like Swedish Stockings. Is my wardrobe 100% ethical? No, not yet, but small changes do make big differences!

I think that since this is my last post for this Fashion Revolution Week, I will close with this great quote by Orsola De Castro, the founder of Fashion Revolution.

I don’t think it’s possible to have 100% within (your) wardrobe clothes that were designed or made sustainably or ethically. I think that is going to be very difficult, (at this point in time) but I think it is possible to make sustainable and ethical choices about all of the clothes you have in your wardrobe. So, somehow, you can refresh with love and turn them into something they weren’t originally. . . .

Have you ever heard of Swedish Stockings? Will you give them a try? What are your thoughts on balance in trying to shop ethically vs. also needing to have clothing even if it isn’t ethically made?

ps. I purchased the stockings myself, and haven’t been compensated in any way to write this post.

Swedish Stockings Review, the artyologist, vintage books

Sustainable Shopping: A Swedish Stockings Review, the artyologist, vintage books and outfit

vintage books, the artyologist

Sustainable Shopping: A Swedish Stockings Review, the artyologist

tea and books, the artyologist

Sustainable Shopping: A Swedish Stockings Review, the artyologist, vintage style

An Easter Bonnet with a Ribbon Upon It

An Easter Bonnet with a Ribbon Upon It, The artyologist

I did not spend my Easter in the laundry room. However, I did not want to brave the cold weather for photos, so my laundry room had to serve as an impromptu photo studio for my Easter Sunday outfit this year! It actually worked surprisingly well, though, so you might just see more of this location in future posts, especially since I refuse to take any more photos out in the snow.

Anyways, regarding the outfit, which is probably what you want to hear more of, (though I could keep talking about the laundry room if you’d like. . .) I like to wear an “Easter bonnet” each year. Actually I like to wear them every other day of the year too, but on Easter it just seems more appropriate to wear your most outrageous hat, don’t you think?

An Easter Bonnet with a Ribbon Upon It, the artyologist, vintage pillbox

This navy blue tulle 1960’s pillbox with a random blue ribbon decoration, won for this year’s outfit. It is my most ridiculous hat, and it is all the better because it only cost $1 from a thrift store. (Some people might say that $1 was too much…) It was as flat as a pancake when I found it, and required steaming it back into shape, but I’m so glad I got it because it’s the most hilarious hat I’ve ever worn, it vaguely resembles a cake, and every time I wear it, I love it all the more, simply because it is so over-the-top.

I did originally want to wear a new (much less ridiculous) hat I bought last week, and a sundress, but this year Easter came early and Spring has come late and so, instead of sunshine and flowers, we were dealing with snowstorms and bitter winds. Thus, that outfit will have to wait until the weather warms up a bit more. And so for Easter Sunday, this was my “It’s still Winter out there so I am wearing this navy dress, but I have put a lace jacket over top to make it feel a bit more like Spring is on the way” outfit.

I really don’t have much else to say, so that’s all for now- I hope you all have a wonderful week!

An Easter Bonnet with a Ribbon Upon It, the artyologist, silhouette

An Easter Bonnet with a Ribbon Upon It, the artyologist, vintage style outfit

An Easter Bonnet with a Ribbon Upon It, the artyologist, pearl button detail, vintage hat

An Easter Bonnet with a Ribbon Upon It, the artyologist, vintage pillbox

A Peachy Keen Valentine’s Day Outfit

A Peachy Keen Valentine's Day Outift, the artyologist

Yes, I had to give this post a title like that, because there is just so much peach in this Valentine’s Day outfit that I really couldn’t do otherwise, could I?

I used to think that I didn’t like pink, because I don’t own very much of it, (I keep saying that every year when Valentine’s Day rolls around. . ) I have realized over time, though, that it’s not that I don’t like pink, but that I am not drawn to cool toned pinks; I love warm peachy pinks, corals, and tawny dead shades of pink.

My mom and sister found this adorable fabric, of which there was just enough to make a gathered skirt, in the thrift store last summer. I’m not one for novelty prints, so this is about as novelty as I get, but how could I resist when it has little dancing people and bunches of flowers on it- and also what better thing could there be to wear on Valentine’s Day? In keeping with the Valentine’s theme, I also decided to wear this pendant with handwriting on it- something about it feels romantic, and my cameo earrings, which have always been a romantic kind of jewellery as well. My Brave Leather belt finished off the look- and also kept the peasant style top and gathered skit from looking frumpy. I tried the look with a narrow belt, but this one looked better: never underestimate the power of a wide belt! 🙂

A Peachy Keen Valentine's Day Outfit, details, the artyologist

I’m getting a bit tired of the cold and snow, to be honest, and I have been forced to spend most of my days indoors lately. Yesterday it finally warmed up enough to run errands without my face freezing off, which was so nice. The cold weather is getting to be a bit of a drag, but on the other hand, if I’m inside I can wear whatever I feel like, without having to worry about layers and toques and scarves. . .  So, when planning what to wear for Valentine’s day- I decided to ignore the fact that it is still Winter, and as a result this outfit is quite Springlike. I am not going to go out in these sandals though! (I repeat: these sandals will not be worn in the snow!)

Today the forecast is not bad, but even if it is cold, I don’t have to go out in it and will just sit at my work desk dressed up in this un-seasonably appropriate outfit, enjoying the Valentine’s spirit (aka- eating a chocolate tart) and staying toasty warm beside my plug in heater should the temperatures dip again 🙂

I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day no matter how you spend it!

Do you like to wear a themed Valentine’s Day outfit? Do you like the colour pink? And if so are you drawn to cool or warm pinks?

Valentine's necklace detail, the artyologist

Peachy Keen Valentine's Day Outfit, the artyologist, fifties style skirt

Valentine's Day, Brave Leather belt, the artyologist

A Peachy Keen Valentine's Day outfit, the artyologist

A Peachy Keen Valentine's vintage autograph book cover, the artyologist

A Peachy Keen Valentine's vintage autograph book, the artyologist

Time Travels (With a Very 1970’s Sofa)

Time Travels (And a Very 1970's Sofa) the artyologist

Here is my number one tip for dressing in the wintertime, once it gets very cold outside:

  1. Put on whatever you feel like wearing.
  2. Stay inside.

For the past few weeks, over Christmas and New Years, and up until this week, here in Canada we’ve been in a deep freeze (-39 C for a few days!). It’s made going anywhere, dressing up and, above all, taking photos extremely bothersome! So, what do you do when the whether won’t cooperate? Dress up in your most favourite 1970’s dress, complete with the glasses your mother wore when she was a teenage, and do a 70’s inspired photoshoot on your very of-the-era 1970’s sofa (inherited from your Grandparents) of course!

This is one of my favourite dresses, but as it is made out of the preferred material of the era (polyester) it is much too hot for me to wear, so I was happy for an excuse to dress up in it, if even only for a couple of hours. I enjoyed the process of doing a “dress up/costume” photoshoot, so I think that I should do that a bit more often.

Do you like to dress up in clothes you wouldn’t wear any other time? What styles do you like, but don’t actually wear day-to-day? And, most importantly, can you stand to wear polyester (or other synthetic) fabrics without overheating?!?

Time Travels (And a Very 1970's Sofa) the artyologist, vintage 1970's sofa and dress 1

Time Travels (And a Very 1970's Sofa) the artyologist, vintage 70's dress

Time Travels (And a Very 1970's Sofa) the artyologist, vintage 1970's sofa and dress 2

Time Travels (And a Very 1970's Sofa) the artyologist, vintage 70's necklace

Time Travels (And a Very 1970's Sofa) the artyologist, vintage 1970's sofa and outfit

Time Travels (And a Very 1970's Sofa) the artyologist, vintage 1970's sofa and dress 3

Time Travels (And a Very 1970's Sofa) the artyologist, vintage glasses

Time Travels (And a Very 1970's Sofa) the artyologist, vintage boots

Time Travels (And a Very 1970's Sofa) the artyologist, vintage 1970's sofa and vintage style

Time Travels (And a Very 1970's Sofa) the artyologist, vintage 70's glasses

A Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year to You

nativity, the artyologist

Well, here we are only a few days away from Christmas now. . . I can’t believe how quickly 2017 has gone by! I’m going to be taking a bit of break this week to spend time with friends and family, although I do have a New Year’s post planned for next Friday. Today I thought I’d just share some pictures of my Christmas decorating. This was the first year decorating in my own new home, and I had a lot of fun with it. I love collecting ornaments, especially vintage ones, so I enjoyed being able to finally display them all in my new place. (And my nativity, which I made in kindergarden, and is still going strong! 😉 haha)

Anyways, as this is my second to last post for this year, I would like to say thank-you so much to everyone who has been following along this year! All of your comments and support for my blog have been wonderful and have made this hobby entirely worth it. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour!

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”

Isaiah 9:6-7 

bookshelf-decorations, the artyologist

ornaments-over-window, the artyologist

wreath, the artyologist

china-cabinet-decor, the artyologist

peacock, the artyologist

top-of-bookshelf, the artyologist

branches-and-ornaments, the artyologist

ornaments-over-window-closeup, the artyologist

presents, the-artyologist

side-table-decor, the artyologist