Outfit Post: Celebrating Fashion Revolution Week in the Royal Greenhouses

Fashion Revolution celebrates its fifth anniversary this year and commemorates the disaster in the Rana Plaza factory during Fashion Revolution Week 2018. On the 24th of April 2013 the factory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1138 people and wounding thousands. This horrific event shook the fashion industry to its core and was the beginning of the largest fashion activism organisation ever. Fashion Revolution strives to mobilise the fashion industry, consumers and governments to keep asking this one simple question: Who Made My Clothes? 
Scroll down to read how I decided to advocate for Fashion Revolution Week.
Pictures by Tomas De Preter

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This year’s Fashion Revolution Week took place from the 23rd until the 29th of April. To show my support I decided to plan a sustainable fashion shoot this week at the breathtaking Royal Greenhouses in Laeken. A lot has changed since Fashion Revolution started their pursuit towards a fairer and safer industry. With the help of the fashion consumers they insisted safer working conditions for the workers and demanded transparency in the production chain of fashion brands.

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After the collapse more than 200 fashion brands signed the legally binding Accord on Fire and Building Safety. Because of this accord hundreds of factories in Bangladesh have become safer workplaces. Even though the infrastructure has improved the workers still face verbal and physical violence, crude punishments and sexual harassment. Minimum wages in Bangladesh have increased to 55 euro a month. It’s an improvement but this minimum wage still doesn’t equal a worthy living wage, forcing the workers to live in poverty.

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We can all make a difference

Because I’m a firm believer of sustainable and fair fashion I have created a new outfit post for you this week to celebrate Fashion Revolution Week. I’m convinced we can change the way the fashion industry works by carefully selecting the brands we buy from and cherishing our garments. That’s why I purchase clothing from sustainable brands and at second hand shops. I aim to only buy what I really need or absolutely adore and try to be creative with what I already own. You could be surprised what treasures are tucked away at the back of your wardrobe or what outfits you can put together when you’re feeling inspired.

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Posing at the Royal Greenhouses

This outfit post has a gorgeous backdrop: the Royal Greenhouses in Laeken. They’re open to the public once a year during the springtime when most flowers are in bloom. It’s definitely a must-see when you’re in Belgium. It was so remarkable I’ll probably pay a visit to the Greenhouses again next year. The Royal Greenhouses are open to the public until the 11th of May. You can find more information and opening hours here: http://open.monarchie.be/

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Wondering where I got these fabulous pieces? 
I’m wearing a Tencel blouse from Wunderwerk. The German brand produces fairly and uses ecologic fabrics. Needless to say I’m a big fan!

My skirt is a second hand find I bought in a small harbour town in Portugal, Viana do Castelo, three years ago when I was there for a photography workshop. Unfortunately I don’t remember the name of this little boutique.

Years ago I picked up this oversized, pastel jumper for a few euro in a second hand shop in Antwerp called Think Twice.

My earrings were a birthday present from my boyfriend. He lasercut them out of MDF in a maker lab. Isn’t that impressive (and the cutest thing you’ve seen this month)?

During my trip to the south of France a few weeks ago I bought some jewelry from local craftsmen and –women, including this ring.

O My Bag is a beautiful brand that makes leather accessories in a fair and sustainable way. Their leather is vegetable-tanned and therefore biodegradable.

I hope this outfit post inspires you to stand up against the fast fashion industry and be creative with what you own.

I promise to write you soon!

x Sive

See you soon, Tenerife.

Oh summer, where have you gone? Your return feels like just yesterday but now autumn is at our doorstep again. I’ll be looking forward to meeting you again, hopefully sooner than later… I know, it’s borderline ridiculous how much I love summer. But how can you not be smitten with this beautiful season? The world is much more vibrant at this time of year: people are happier, nature is alive and life is spontaneous. Unfortunately summer has come and gone and in order to keep that warm feeling just slightly longer I present to you… Tenerife!

It’s only been a few weeks since I was there but it feels like ages ago. To many Belgians Tenerife is a place where the ‘oldies’ go to escape our yucky western European winters. Honestly the island has a lot more to offer than winter sun and lounge chairs. First of all it’s a great place if you want to get some surfing done during you ‘hols’. Seriously, any kind of surfing can be done on Tenerife. It’s perfect for wind and kite surfing as there’s always wind. I’m not that into sails and, to be very honest, huge kites scare me to bits but I absolutely love riding some waves now and then. If you’re in a bit of luck this island has some good waves for surfing too.

The week I was there we had four days of decent surf, which was quite good. You just need to be lucky regarding the direction of the wind. Of course supping is always an option too. The beautiful nature parks in the north are also worth a visit. I visited park Anaga, a breathtaking green nature reserve that stretches across the North of the island. Don’t make the same mistake as I did by wearing your slippery sneakers because you never know how rough or steep the paths can get. So make sure to strap on those hiking shoes and don’t forget to enjoy the scenery.

When I’m in Tenerife I also enjoy engaging in a bit of online detox. I think we all need some offline time now and again to connect with ourselves and just enjoy the moment without any distractions. We should all (including myself!) turn off that white noise once in a while and take notice of how amazing our real world is instead of obliviously grabbing onto the virtual one. Thank you Tenerife for showing me your offline beauty!

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Hope you all had an unforgettable summer and I promise to write you guys and gals soon!

 

x Sive

In The Spotlight: fashion designer Cédric Jacquemyn

Cédric Jacquemyn is an Antwerp based designer who has always been inspired by the Icelandic mindset on sustainability and integrated the ferocious landscapes into the first designs of his label. Besides his fascination for nature, Cédric is intrigued by original tribal communities and communicates the harsh reality of their extinction through his current collections.

Icelandic landscapes are an inspiration for a lot of your designs. When did your fascination for Iceland arise?

“I first visited Iceland with my partner in 2008. We travelled around the country and brought our tent. The power and the greatness of nature made me realise how small we humans are. It was quite overwhelming, in a good way. At first the volcanoes and decay of nature were my focus points, a rather negative point of view. Later on my inspiration shifted towards the potential that volcanoes have to revive nature because of their ability to fertilise soil. The disappearance of certain tribal communities around the world is visible in my designs too because the decay of nature is closely linked to the number of tribes diminishing.”

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S/S 2017 by Cédric Jacquemyn. Image by Yves De Brabander
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S/S 2017 by Cédric Jacquemyn. Image by Yves De Brabander

Nature and the environment are very important to you. How do you integrate this into your designs?

“The use of natural materials and a minimization of synthetics are key to my designs. The buttons are made from wood or horn and the fabrics I use are mostly leather or silk. It’s important to me that everything is biodegradable. Items shouldn’t last longer than a lifetime. In nature everything evolves too and the clothes we make nowadays won’t be relevant in a 100 years. That’s why nature should be able to take its course with our garments. Nothing is forever and that’s ok.”

What is your view on the future of fashion?

“I believe that environmentally conscious clothing is the only correct way to make garments in this exponentially growing world. We need to overcome the dominating rule of fast fashion and focus on true craftsmanship. You’ll notice my collection isn’t in the same price range as the clothing you’ll find on the high street. My pieces are made to last longer than one season and involve a lot of manual craftsmanship. The price people are used to paying for clothes from large chains nowadays is too low for the clothing to be manufactured in an ethical and responsible way. My goal is to surpass trends and encourage people to invest in a beautifully handcrafted, eco-friendly and biodegradable coat they will wear and cherish for years to come.”

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S/S 2017 by Cédric Jacquemyn. Image by Yves De Brabander
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S/S 2017 by Cédric Jacquemyn. Image by Yves De Brabander

What are your plans for the label in the near future?

“The label started as a menswear label but we noticed that women wore the pieces too. Because the focus shifted towards tailoring and suits, women stopped wearing my pieces. That’s why I decided to make a blazer and pants for women a few seasons back. Gradually I would like to design a full women’s line by adding a few garments every year. Growing slowly is the best option because financially the label had a hard time during the recession. As a young creative I want to keep going forward but sometimes you need to do things step by step and just keep doing what your good at. I work with a lot of driven interns and hope to extend my fixed team with professionals who have the same ideas and feel as strongly about the value of craftsmanship and the environment as I do. It’s crucial to realise that nature is so much bigger, more powerful than us. It deserves our respect.”

View Cédric’s full collection here cj-ss17_007

S/S 2017 by Cédric Jacquemyn. Image by Yves De Brabander

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S/S 2017 by Cédric Jacquemyn. Image by Yves De Brabander