Get your fierce on with these stylish items

First of all, a very happy Women’s Day! Quickly before we start I want to acknowledge that I’m not a self-proclaimed feminist but I do strongly believe in equality. That’s why I want to send all of you lovely ladies my love and sincerest wishes. I hope you never forget you’re strong, loving and downright amazing. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise. Stand up for yourself, take charge of your own life and most importantly be nice to one another and support each other. There’s no need for backstabbing or gossiping because, as you know, there’s enough cruelty in the world as is. Having said that we can move on to this fierce outfit I put together for you!

Are you looking for some inspiration for a Saturday night outfit or a sophisticated work combo? This combination of beautiful ethical brands will do the trick. I know the sandals might seem a bit optimistic for this time of year but on those few sunny (almost) spring days they won’t look (or feel) out of place. If you’re not convinced, an ankle boot with a heel will do just fine too. With this outfit you’ll appear professional but definitely not boring. A slight touch of playfulness never hurt anybody.

The clothing label Anonyme Designers is without a doubt one of my favourite brands of the moment. Their feminine and elegant designs are perfect for work or Friday night drinks. Anonyme Designers supports the European Women’s Lobby, an organisation that stands up for women’s rights. With this jumpsuit you’ll look sassy and encourage women empowerment!

Jumpsuit by Anonyme Designers: € 119,- (For Belgian ethical shoppers also available at Juttu)

Matt & Nat is a sustainable and ethical lifestyle brand that specialises in (hand)bags and shoes. They stay innovative by finding new and sustainable/recycled materials without using any animal products. Their motto “Live beautifully” is simple but meaningful. Matt & Nat encourages their consumers to enjoy life with respect for humanity and the planet. If that isn’t a great motto I don’t know what is!

Matt and Nat Rubicon Handbag: € 103,95

If you love a little splash of makeup but are struggling to find an organic brand Green People is the perfect fit for you. All of their products are made without synthetic chemicals, fragrances or colourants and there’s no animal testing involved.

Instant definition Lip Crayon, colour sangria: € 11,50

The British label Beyond Skin has been on a mission to design vegan and stylish shoes since 2001. And if you ask me this cruelty-free brand is doing an amazing job at that. Who would have guessed that these sexy strappy sandals are guilt-free?

Black Felix Sandals by Beyond Skin: € 120

Belgian Designer An Buermans loves to experiment with unique fabrics. This camel-coloured jacket is handmade in Belgium with imperfect leather to obtain that vintage look. This key piece is part of a very limited edition collection. Only a few pieces were made, so don’t hesitate too long!

Jackie Leather Jacket Yellow by An Buermans: € 275,-

Helle Just Weiling, founder and owner of Grundled, wanted to design unique and affordable jewelry with a strong connection to nature through the use of wood. All of the pieces are handmade in Denmark and according to Helle: “To carry Jewelry by Grundled is to carry nature with you.”

Black Triangular Earrings by Grundled: € 26,95

Black Triangular Necklace by Grundled: € 40,-

Hope this inspires you to live beautifully!

Five unique, cool and sustainable gifts for him

Ever feel like you’re being tortured when looking for a cool, thoughtful and original gift for your partner? And not to mention the enormous challenge if you also want it to be sustainable. Stop your search ladies and gents! Because I’ve done some research for all of you out there pulling your hair out in search for the perfect gift. Here are 5 unique and sustainable gifts. I’m sure your bf will fit one of the descriptions.

If he’s a nifty design lover (who loved building stuff as a kid, and actually still does) : Makersleeve
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Makersleeve in the colour Anthracite. Photo courtesy of Martijn van Strien
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Makersleeves in the coulours Ocean Blue and Bordeaux. Photo courtesy of Martijn van Strien

The Dutch designer, Martijn van Strien, developed this clever sleeve for electronic devices that can be made on demand in just a few minutes. The digital design allows it to be customised to the specific size of your laptop, ipad or mobile phone. Martijn wants to battle overconsumption by laser cutting every sleeve after it’s ordered online. The designs are cut out in a sustainable felt fabric in the CRE8 lab in Amsterdam and are delivered at your doorstep afterwards. In the near future Martijn is planning on collaborating with Makerlabs in other countries, which will make the process even more eco-friendly. When you order a Makersleeve you have the choice to have it assembled in the lab or to do it yourself. If your partner enjoys a bit of nifty craftsmanship this is a really cool extra dimension to the present. Let’s get cracking!

Check out the clever Makersleeve here.

If he’s a selective (slightly picky) high-end spirits lover: HenTho Gin 12
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HenTho Gin in its natural habitat. Photo courtesy of HenTho Gin. Photographed by Charlotte Coenen

HenTho Gin is the one and only gin distilled in Antwerp and is a creation of The Antwerp Gin company, which consists of father and son, Hendrik and Thomas Coenen. Since they founded the company in 2013 they’ve been firm believers of small scale production, high quality goods and producing locally. Their signature HenTho Gin 12 is a robust gin made from 12 herbs and spices including fresh lemon grass, cardamom, juniper berries, black pepper and coriander. Besides the obvious treat for your taste buds, the design of the bottle and logo is impeccable. I’m afraid this bottle doesn’t come with a lock for your liquor cabinet, though!

Check out quality HenTho Gin here.

If you want him to look like James Dean (and obviously you do): Bambooti sunglasses
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Instant cool vibe with the Bambooti Skate Blue made from layered maple wood. Photographed by Marie Bouly
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Skate Blue. Photo by FotoBen

It’s not quite summer yet but there’s no harm in preparing him for the rays that are still to come. Bambooti is a Belgian lifestyle brand founded only half a year ago by two childhood friends: Freek Gielen and Pieter Van Moll. Using natural and renewable resources such as bamboo and wood is imprinted into their core business. Besides their dedication to nature, Bambooti supports ‘Eyes for the World’. This is a non-profit organisation that provides adjustable glasses to children with poor vision in third world countries. 2017 is a very exciting year for this young brand: not only have they decided to produce and source everything in Belgium but they’ve also started designing an entirely new collection out of stone.
Ps: Bambooti isn’t responsible for the extra attention your James Dean look-alike will get. Just saying.

Check out the wooden Bambooti sunglasses, cases and sleeves here.

If he secretly loves being cosy but would never admit it: Howlin’ jumper
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Enjoying the breeze in a Howlin’ knit. Photo courtesy of Howlin’
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Four Eyes – Oxford designed by Howlin’

If summer isn’t on his mind yet because he’s struggling to survive these last blistering cold winter months, treat him to a super comfy Howlin’ jumper. Howlin’ is a Belgian brand that strives to surpass trends with their durable knitwear designs. All collections are produced in Ireland, Scotland and Belgium. For the ‘Made in Belgium’ collection they were inspired by the origin of New Beat music created in Belgium by coincidence. Howlin’ explains: “There are many different, ‘mythical’ stories on how this new beat was born, but we like the story of a talented dj called Fat Ronny who was simply too wasted and played 45 rpm records at 33 rpm and pitched them +8 on his turntable. The result was a new robotic sound that was very bass driven”.

Well, now you also know how to impress your boyfriend with music facts while he tries on his new cosy jumper.

Check out the comfy and cool knits here.

If he likes to travel, work,… practically do everything in style: Plane industries rucksack
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With a Plane Industries bag he’ll look freakishly stylish, even when waiting for the bus. Photo by Plane Industries
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The Rucksack by Plane Industries. Photo by Plane Industries

Ben and Harry Tucker, two brothers who learnt to be resourceful and inventive from a young age. Their father, who was a farmer, taught them to reuse what was still salvageable. And so history was made: by using those skills the brothers developed a stylish collection of ruck sacks and travel bags made from airline fabrics that would have ended up in landfills or incinerators. The fabrics are extremely strong, lightweight, flameproof and stain resistant, which makes the bags perfect for frequent use, your entire life long. For the construction of their designs they collaborate with the best and oldest bag makers in Somerset, Britain.
Ps: Ladies and gents, I know it will be hard not to keep this piece of up-cycled heaven for yourself but think of how much you love him…

Check out the sophisticated rucksacks here.

Amsterdam: a dream for vintage lovers

The beautiful city of Amsterdam is visited for many reasons. I love the rich amount of vintage shops and if you make an effort you can also find some ethical clothing shops. Here are some of my current favourites:

Vintage shops:

Retro chic

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This tiny unique vintage shop has some stunning pieces from every decade of the 20th century and sells quality clothing from renowned designers. Even the shopkeeper looked like she stepped out of a romantic black and white movie.

Address: Staalstraat 2
Retro Chic

Bij ons vintage

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‘Bij ons vintage’ has two locations in Amsterdam where they sell original vintage clothes. Every piece of clothing has a tag with the decade it originates from. The shop is very neatly presented which makes it even more pleasurable to shop there.

Address: Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 150 and Reestraat 13
Bij ons vintage

Zipper

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My number three must be Zipper. They have a lovely range of checkered shirts and Christmas jumpers for this winter. A good place to fill up your Christmas stockings!

Address: Huidenstraat 7
Zipper

Sustainable and fair fashion:

Nukuhiva

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Nukuhiva has two locations: Amsterdam and Utrecht. They specialise in selling trendy brands that are also fair and sustainable. The founder, Floortje Dessing, named her shops after an island in French-Polynesia. According to her it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. “The people who live on that stunning island manage to live in harmony with nature in a way we can only dream of”, Floortje explains on her website.

Address: Haarlemmerstraat 36
Nukuhiva

I love vintage

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This cute shop mostly sells vintage inspired clothes. Not all their garments are fair and sustainable but they sell an interesting and beautiful brand called Bannou. This brand aspires to make every step of the garment chain as sustainable as possible. Designer and founder Faranak Mirjalili travels around the world to fulfil that goal by visiting the factories and building a relationship with her workers.
Address: Haarlemmerstraat 25 and Prinsengracht 201
I love vintage