Lingerie-Talks: Redefining Sexuality with Undress Code

As a conscious lingerie brand from Poland, Undress Code for the mythical modern woman aims to decode the way we perceive sexuality, and bring change to comfort in lingerie design through honest, relatable story-telling. We had a cozy feminine lingerie-talk with Izabela Godlewska, one of the founders of UC. 

Undress Code, lookbook SS17. 

Undress Code, lookbook SS17. 

What is the meaning of femininity for you and how is it appreciated with the Undress Code wearer?

Undress Code is a brand for the modern woman, so we understand being feminine as being courageous, modern, strong and conscious, but at the same time taking care of ourselves inside out. We believe that being a modern woman is the most sexy and feminine thing that exists. As a brand, we support and promote initiatives and organisations promoting women, and have decided to form a community for women seeking conscious solutions. In this way, we want to achieve something more than just being a fashion brand: we want our products to be a symbol of the modern and entirely fulfilled women.

What defines the quality of a good underwear and basics we wear beneath our clothes?

There are two things defining good quality underwear: comfort and style that represents our personality. Style is very individual, but if we dig deeper into comfort, we should think about the materials used and how soft and nice are they to touch. We must remember we will wear them every day, not only for special occasions! We should also do a quality-check on the fit. I am a strong supporter of soft lingerie. Why should we use any wires in lingerie, if we can have pieces that are super soft and easy to forget about [when worn], but at the same time reliable? And the last thing that defines quality is the way our lingerie is sewed. Undress Code lingerie is sown together in a seamless way, which naturally grants great comfort. 

"We believe that sexuality should not be reflected in what we wear. It should be built inside and reflected in women's self-confidence."

Undress Code: Be Contemporary bra.     You’re busy, your day starts at 6 a.m. and finishes late in the evening when the only thing you dream about is to sink into your cosy bed… We’re all the same. That’s why we’ve created lingerie for modern, industrious women, that is meant to fit perfectly to your lifestyle. In the Be Brave bra you can rule the world during an active day and then later on show bits of it underneath a transparent tee at the dinner with friends. Even if you fall asleep in it, you don’t need to be bothered with the baleen bones, metal elements or pinching adjusters.

Undress Code: Be Contemporary bra. 

You’re busy, your day starts at 6 a.m. and finishes late in the evening when the only thing you dream about is to sink into your cosy bed… We’re all the same. That’s why we’ve created lingerie for modern, industrious women, that is meant to fit perfectly to your lifestyle. In the Be Brave bra you can rule the world during an active day and then later on show bits of it underneath a transparent tee at the dinner with friends. Even if you fall asleep in it, you don’t need to be bothered with the baleen bones, metal elements or pinching adjusters.

What do you think about the importance of lingerie in a woman's wardrobe? Do you think it is undervalued, not paid enough importance to?

I absolutely think that the power of lingerie is undervalued. Many women still define lingerie as pieces they buy for men, not for themselves. This way, they undervalue their identity, style and everyday comfort, just to strengthen their sexuality. At Undress Code, we believe that sexuality should not be reflected in what we wear. It should be built inside and reflected in women's self-confidence.

"Many women still define lingerie as pieces they buy for men, not for themselves." 

How did you personally find your way to lingerie world?

As cliched as it sounds, as a little girl, I always loved flicking through beautiful fashion magazines and watching fashion shows. However, it was only 10 years ago, when I discovered how fascinating and serious the whole fashion industry is, so it began as a professional dream and path for me. I did a few internships in well-known Polish fashion brands and I gained a lot of experience. 

After those internships, my career changed its direction into consulting and finance. I started studying at Warsaw School of Economics, and then worked in the Management Consulting department at Accenture. I deliberately chose it, because I always knew that brand development is not just about the sense of fashion, but also hard work and business knowledge. However, my interest in fashion won, and after a few years, I took a chance to live in Milano, studying fashion and design management at Bocconi University. The main inspiration for a lingerie brand was my experience of working at a big company, which is associated with a fast pace of life. At that time, I was looking for underwear that would meet my expectations. I didn't find it, so I decided to create it on my own. Two years later, Undress Code was launched.

"We want our products to be a symbol of the modern and entirely fulfilled women."

Undress Code: Be Serious bodysuit. 

Undress Code: Be Serious bodysuit. 

What are the defining, core values of Undress Code?

Undress Code is a daily underwear brand for women that pay tribute to their modern lifestyle and values. We create to make women happier and more confident, we work harder to be able to support them, and these are the drivers and values of our brand. 

Should we definitely wear matching lingerie in hope for some romance? ;)

I absolutely don't believe in always wearing matching lingerie. Even at our photo shoots, we mix our sets to just have fun with it and explore new combinations. It's like clothes or shoes and bags - do we always wear matching ones? 

Shop here:

http://en.undress-code.com

NO/AN: Humane Artisanal Approach Towards Handbag Luxury

Finnish NO/AN by Anna Lehmusniemi is an artisanal handbag brand boasting a purposeful, well-executed approach, whereas each bag is crafted by one single artisan throughout the process. Created as a reaction to the reckless speed of fashion industry, Nordic NO/AN believes in honest, detailed design approach and thorough, transparent craftsmanship of patiently dreamed up bags from start to the finish. The collection’s trademark matte, muted colour palette, as well as sharp graphic and geometrical lines, recalling Nordic landscape and architecture, allured us immediately. One true meticulous, quality fashion staple worth having this soon approaching spring season, that's a NO/AN bag. 

NO/AN SS17. 

NO/AN SS17. 

What were the key concerns regarding the fast fashion industry that turned into values you embrace with NO/AN?

The key concern is the overconsumption of things that do not last and are not needed. If a T-shirt costs £4,99 and a pair of jeans £12,99, there is clearly something wrong. It indicates the quality is not good and the artisans haven't been decently paid for their work. Fashion productions are also often far bigger than the demand, and so much goes to waste, or is finally sold at a very low price. As a designer, I also feel that it is important to give the design process the time it needs to create a product that is resilient. When it comes to fast fashion, this route is not the objective.

NO/AN’s values are built on honesty and sustainability. I want to create bags that can last for a long time, both quality and design wise. For me it is also very important to work with ateliers and suppliers that care about their employees, who are paid fairly. 

What's the most unique thing about NO/AN we need to know now?

The most unique thing is that every bag is made by one artisan from the beginning to the end. The bags are also signed by the artisans who made them. For me this is luxury.

"As a designer, I also feel that it is important to give the design process the time it needs to create a product that is resilient. When it comes to fast fashion, this route is not the objective."

NO/AN SS17. 

NO/AN SS17. 

Is the leather and other materials you use ethically sourced? Where do they come from?

I use natural grain leather and nickel-free metal zippers in my bags. The leather is a bi-product of the meat industry, and it comes from a Portuguese tannery that prioritises environmental preservation. The zippers are made by the Swiss brand RIRI, which are partly made in Switzerland and partly in Italy. I know both suppliers well.

What's your opinion about the fashion industry turning a degree closer to transparency and honesty? What could still be done differently?

It is clearly a growing trend and I think it is great. If the brands have nothing to hide, it should not be an issue to be open about where they produce and source the materials.

Sustainability and transparency can easily sound like something boring. I think some transparent brands could focus more on the image and to create an interesting, story-telling world around their products. For example, Everlane has executed it very well.

How do your Finnish roots pair with the aesthetics of the brand? Do you feel geography has influenced your art direction in any meaningful way?

Even though I have been living abroad several years, my design style and personal taste is still very much inspired by my Finnish roots. Actually, I think that the more I stay away from Finland, the more I take inspiration from Finland and appreciate Finnish design. Finnish design is often very minimal, but still not entirely boring. These are the same characteristics I want to communicate with my bags and NO/AN's art direction.

"Sustainability and transparency can easily sound like something boring. I think some transparent brands could focus more on the image and to create an interesting, story-telling world around their products."

NO/AN SS17. 

NO/AN SS17. 

The branding of fashion will possibly always be more fast paced — we need new images for products every season, if not more frequently. It's all production, all waste. How could this advertising process be perhaps slowed down — I would bring forward more seasonless campaign images, etc? What's your take on that?

Since I do not work with fashion seasons, I also aim to have seasonless campaigns. From NO/AN’s first shooting you cannot say directly, if it is a summer or a winter collection, because it works for both. For me brands coming up with campaigns frequently is a positive thing. It creates work for photographers, stylists, make-up artist and models. If you create digital marketing content, you do not waste materials. But if you print, it is important not to print more than needed.

I think it is important to refresh the image of a brand and collection every once in a while, even though it is a slow fashion brand. A sustainable brand does not have to be boring.

Shop here:

https://noanstudio.com

Study 34 & The New Crew: Quintessentially British Functional Knitwear

Study 34 is a quintessentially British responsible knitwear brand for the intelligent woman in the know of all things sustainable. Fun fact: it was born from a simple functionality issue - more often than not, functional garments come with all the unnecessary buttons and pockets and keyhole fastenings, leaving little space for beautiful simplicity. We took a glimpse into the world of Eleanor O'Neill, author of Study 34 clothing brand and writer on sustainable fashion, about her latest 'The New Crew' knitwear collection and passion for sustainability... 

'The New Crew' by Study 34, 2016. 

'The New Crew' by Study 34, 2016. 

How did you become interested in all things sustainable? In particular, what led to interest in fashion x sustainability?

The knowledge I have gained has come from talking to lots of people with much more knowledge than me, as well as reading – I do a lot of that!

I’d say I really become interested during my first internship in the fashion industry, which was for the global supply chain manager Li & Fung in New York. Once you’re exposed to the reality of the fashion system, you start to question things more…

What were the main aspects you wanted to improve when starting with your own responsible fashion brand called Study 34?

I think I had quite a few things on my mind at the beginning. Firstly, it was about style. I like simple, timeless, but modern shapes in knitwear and all the pieces I liked were always out of my price range – we’re talking hundreds of pounds. I wanted that aesthetic to be more attainable.

I’m really passionate about the manufacture of clothing, too. I found it quite frustrating sitting at a desk and drawing things, when I was working for larger brands, and never having the chance to improve my knowledge of construction. It seemed silly, I probably always made the same mistakes but never knew because it was someone else’s job to correct them. When I first started STUDY 34, I made everything in my studio with domestic machines and I learnt a great deal about construction during that time.

“The overproduction and consumption of badly made garments has resulted not just in waste but in clothing itself becoming a totally undervalued part of our society. It has become disposable.”

'The New Crew' by Study 34, 2016. 

'The New Crew' by Study 34, 2016. 

In the intro describing the production process of your new jumper in a British factory you mention many complex issues. In a nutshell, why is it so difficult to get something responsible manufactured in Britain?

It’s not the ‘responsible’ part that’s the problem necessarily; it’s just that when you’re starting out, you’re often working to a factory’s minimums, so it’s hard to get your foot in the door because it doesn’t make you very desirable. You often have to work with what you can get so to speak, which is often not exactly what you wanted…

Who is the woman The New Crew is aimed at?

The STUDY 34 woman is creative, intelligent and interested in the world around her. She’s busy and she needs to be comfortable and look good while she’s going about her day. 

“I’m always talking to people and getting their perspective on the fashion industry, as well as meeting people who make amazing things. All of these activities play a huge role in my day.”

'The New Crew' by Study 34, 2016. 

'The New Crew' by Study 34, 2016. 

What are the main concerns that should be addressed when in comes to fashion industry's irresponsible ways? What personally bothers you the most?

I get asked this a lot and it’s hard to answer because there are so many things to learn and as one person, you can only explore so much at one time. There are a number of things that bother me more than others, though, and the first is working conditions. That anyone can turn a blind eye to what’s happening in a lot of factories I find shocking. 

The second is waste. The over production and consumption of badly made garments has resulted not just in waste but in clothing itself becoming a totally undervalued part of our society. It has become disposable.

What's your personal link with leading a sustainable lifestyle? How big is the role it plays in your everyday? 

Every day I strive to keep learning and expand my knowledge of different areas of the supply chain, whether it’s to do with materials, water usage, design, washing etc. I’m always talking to people and getting their perspective on the fashion industry, as well as meeting people who make amazing things. All of these activities play a huge role in my day. 

'The New Crew' by Study 34, 2016. 

'The New Crew' by Study 34, 2016. 

What's the best advice you have been given in order not to give up your pursuit of creating clothing Made in Britain?

I’m not sure anyone has ever advised me NOT to give up… our textile industry has so diminished in the UK, it remains very difficult. 

How can we make this world a better place and reduce consumption?

Buy thinking before you buy and by valuing the things that you DO buy.

https://www.study34.co.uk

Sleep In Bliss: Responsbily Made Sleeping Masks by ÖÖLOOM

It’s very easy for sleep to become an insignificant, routine activity. Yet we all know that good sleep is essential for our physical well-being and sanity. I am a resident sleepyhead. So when I spotted Estonian brand Ööloom’s (literally ‘night animal’) range at the store, I was immediately in awe. A company dedicated solely to provide people with a great sleeping experience with their soft animal-shaped sleeping masks – what more could you want? To top it all off, their products are responsibly made and locally-sourced. I felt like I needed to introduce Ööloom to all the professional nappers out there. Mihkel Virkus, resident visionary and a rigorous sleeper at Ööloom, answered our most haunting questions. 

Words: Johanna Raudsepp

'Fox Girl' by Ööloom, 2016. 

'Fox Girl' by Ööloom, 2016. 

It’s not every day that we see a new brand dedicated to great and sustainable sleeping gear. What inspired you to launch a sleeping mask line? 

Quite true. You don’t see many distinct sleeping brands. I guess people tend to take sleep for granted much of the time. 

This kind of ties in with the origin story of Ööloom. The thing is, many people view sleeping as a passive act. You just close your eyes, and don’t worry about the rest of it. But the reality is that you actually go on breath-taking adventures inside your own mind. Just because you grow stronger and become rested doing it, doesn’t mean you’re doing nothing.

We think that the dream world and the human capacity for imagination should be celebrated and to that end a regular sleeping mask just won’t do. The Ööloom sleeping mask stands as an active reminder of the silliness that your brain can muster up.

Ööloom unicorn mask with packaging, 2016.  

Ööloom unicorn mask with packaging, 2016. 

Who is Ööloom?

Ööloom is a creature of the night. The friendly kind, of course. He is mysterious, but never frightening, like a hedgehog in the fog. He acts as a sort of an ambassador for the seemingly unreasonable dream-world – delivering fresh and unconventional ideas to our rational and, dare I say, dull reality. The word itself comes from the Estonian language. It loosely translates into “night owl”, a person who tends to stay up quite late. But we ourselves prefer the literal translation – “night beast”.

"The ÖÖLOOM sleeping mask stands as an active reminder of the silliness that your brain can muster up."

I love napping on couches and when I’m travelling. Where is your favourite place to nap?

Ahh yes — couches are fantastic. I’m a big fan. But I’d say it’s not about where you fall asleep that interests me the most. It’s what kind of a world you dream yourself into. I once napped into a parallel reality situated inside the imagination of a blueberry pie. It was a pretty sweet dream.

Variety of Ööloom sleeping masks, 2016. 

Variety of Ööloom sleeping masks, 2016. 

Your products are made in Estonia, using locally sourced materials. Conscious production is something we strongly care about. What is your take on it? Do you think more companies should produce ethically made products?

We at Ööloom spend a great deal of time in the subconscious or unconscious, depending on your understanding of how sleeping works. As a matter of principle, we aim to be very conscious about our actions while we are awake. 

A lot of the raw magical power of our products come from the way we make them. The sheep that provide the wool are hand-fed, the felt is hand-made from the wool and the masks are hand-sewn by a small army of lovely ladies. The love and care that is put in, reflects in the finished product.

"Many people view sleeping as a passive act. You just close your eyes, and don’t worry about the rest of it. But the reality is that you actually go on breath-taking adventures inside your own mind."

The importance of locally sourced materials for us is very much a part of the brand. It’s the cold Nordic environment that has made us, Estonians, so creative. The first Estonians that arrived here had to figure out how to build a fire on top of frozen water before they could go to bed. That’s not easy. This has made Estonians more appreciative of sleep and we believe that local materials carry that same appreciation within them.

There is definitely a trend towards more ethical ways of manufacturing. I think it has a lot to do with the ever-growing amount of information available. About the producers as well as to the consumers. It’s easier now to know where, how and by whom, the stuff is actually made. 

For us it’s a no-brainer. As a consistent brand that values happiness, we need to know that the journey of the wool from the belly of a sheep to the face of a human is a happy one as well.

Ööloom panda sleeping mask, 2016. 

Ööloom panda sleeping mask, 2016. 

You have a few endangered species featured in your line of night animals. Where did that idea stem from and will we see more in the future? 

Yes, that’s right. The “endangered species” is a category in the e-store (ooloomstore.com) for the animal sleeping masks that are no longer in active production. The reason is that we want to keep the main collection at 10 different animals, so that the already tired and sleepy person looking for a mask wouldn’t be overwhelmed by choices. We introduce new animals fairly slowly. Maybe one or two new faces a year, the most recent one being a black fox. The older ones fall out of the ‘current collection’ and remain in the ‘endangered species’ category – available only online. We just didn’t have the heart to cancel their production altogether because in our world no animal should go extinct. Imaginary or otherwise.

"It’s not about where you fall asleep that interests me the most. It’s what kind of a world you dream yourself into."

What does Ööloom dream about? 

Ööloom dreams about many things. The most common and reoccurring dream is one of total world domination. I’m not an expert in dream interpretation. But this probably reflects the ambition of the company and our own plans for total world domination – achieved not by force, but by the creative use of happiness, whimsy, and dangerously cute sleeping gear.

See more:

Ööloom sleeping masks exclusively featured in our Conscious Gift Guide.

https://ooloomstore.com

#ConsciousGiftGuide 2016: Fifteen Memorable Gift Ideas

A meaningful gift from a loved one leaves a fond memory... and we like creating memories that are painfully hard, if not impossible, to forget. It always brings more joy to give an unforgettable experience that puts a smile on the receiver’s face, and let it last for long. Yet sometimes the experience can take the shape of that perfect, pampering product, much appreciated for seasons to come. 

I assume the majority of us have a bit of a cybernaut approach to Xmas shopping — if a product we have imagined here and now as the perfect match in our imaginary wish-lists of friends and relatives doesn’t exist online, we can impatiently decide we don’t really want it at all. In this extremely packed and alarmingly stressful holiday schedule of ours, who (however dedicated to the gruesome hunt for a pile of *cough* exciting *cough* pressies) would bother to browse the shops on foot in the limited hours post office work, or on a precious weekend, mechanically zigzagging through aisles and sections and floors and piles and heaps of goodies… and we know access to the pleasant part of it — all these flavours and aromas and organic mulled schnapps and the spirit of actual *enter the C word*, does not come without unnecessary distractions — or better call it nuisances — clumsily fighting the crowds using two elbows at a time and a *slight* panic attack from the fantastic, yet nauseating merry atmosphere and piped-carol muzak on the 5th floor of a massive, labyrinthic shopping mall (do I even need to mention the excruciating pain from swollen feet?). All we want to do is moan, pardon moi, be done with the most difficult part, such as le gift hunting, and be saved by a comforting cup of festive tea and vegan biscuits in the comfort of our own home, the protective thick four walls. And then hide under four blankets, secretly hoping to wake up in 2017. 

Do not take this honest truth lightly — however early we endeavour to arrange and order the gifts, there are always those that need to be fixed at the very last moment.  Luckily, a range of ethical and conscious products are also available online, so you can skip the unnecessary shops browsing for 5 hours, non-stop. We have better things to do… like meditate and obsess-read our favourite Sunday columnists lying on our couch half passed out in a fetal position (however, we keep our eyes shut with ignorance, when it happens to bulk the same amount of time). 

To ease the stressful process of looking for that Right One — a perfect experience, a memory, a culinary oeuvre, a tangible thing, which would actually last and be remembered, not end up being a momentary joy, a quizzical, ostentatious oddity discarded a day later, I have put together a list of memorable favourites. The Right One should not be only momentary, but remembered and cherished by the receiver — if not forever then for seasons ahead — and have a fond place on their shelf or ornate mantelpiece, ideally found at the same place a year later. 

It’s difficult to cater for someone else's wish-list, but it’s comforting to know that your Fair-trade favourites all over the world are just a click away from making someone’s memory of the year. 

Ughh! The hard part — now let's be over and done with it. 

1. For those after impeccable results without much effort, Finnish brand Supermood’s Chaga mushroom infused One Minute Facelift power-drop from their Egoboost range has got you covered. I can’t get over this easy-to-use miracle product, which gives your cheeks and instant, on-the-go lift. 

https://www.supermood.fi/product/one-minute-facelift-30ml-2/

Supermood Egoboost: One Minute Facelift Serum. 

Supermood Egoboost: One Minute Facelift Serum. 

2. LUMI is another organic cosmetics brand we swear by. Last month, they launched a new Superbloom eye serum, which reduces swelling and gets rid of unwanted dark circles. In addition to the adorable packaging, it rejuvenates the sensitive skin around eye area and helps to fight even the toughest Nordic climate. 

http://luminordic.com/en/product/superbloom-eye-serum/

LUMI Superbloom Face and Eye Serum.

LUMI Superbloom Face and Eye Serum.

3. One thing I’ve learned — wearing the right basics can give great comfort for the entire day. This Sleek body by Woronstore comes in 3 most worn tones and offers just the right amount of support. In addition to the sustainably made comfort, it also enhances your cherished curves. I’ve realised I always want to keep the items closest to my body as natural as possible, and having that small luxury of sustainable fibres close to you can make a huge difference in feeling good. 

https://www.woronstore.com/products/sexy-slim-bodysuit-sleek-body-grey-melange?variant=27081713862

4. Swedish Stockings is another ethical Scandinavian brand specialising in sustainable pantyhose. Their Andrea Smoking stockings are not only 100% fairly made, but also a lot more appealing than any sister version of high street or supermarket pairs. SS's premium quality caters for the one who favours quality and always adorns herself in dresses and skirts. I am sure she doesn’t exactly want to go through a pair a day...  

https://www.swedishstockings.com/collections/all/products/andrea-smoking

Swedish Stockings, 2016. 

Swedish Stockings, 2016. 

5. Investing in good quality sleepwear can truly make a difference for those who love to lounge. Make your nights and blissful sleep last longer in this Noctu organic cotton nightie, without compromising neither the ethics nor the comfort.  Good news is Christmas is the time for sleepovers and hangouts at home, and a quality night gown lasts you throughout all the early nights of winter, helping you drift off in comfort. 

http://www.noctu.co.uk/shopall/swing-nightie-sage

Noctu Organic, 2016. 

Noctu Organic, 2016. 

6. For those, like myself, who travel frequently (to the extent it actually becomes frightening), a nice de-stressing pillow would be the best thing to wish for to cope with muscle aches and cramps. Weather for a long plane ride, or just a soothing night’s beauty sleep, this Origins lavender and citrus induced body wrap is a real anti-stress must-have!

http://www.origins.co.uk/product/15360/43378/bath-body/sensory/feel-good-hug-body-wrap/lavender-lemon-orange

7. This Moroccan Natural 24K Gold Leaf Serum pairs together 3 miraculous, highly effective ingredients — organic certified Argan Oil is packed with restorative omega fatty acids, which is designed to diminish fine lines whilst still deeply hydrating the skin. Prickly Pear Seed Oil improves the health of the skin by tightening pores whilst nourishing and softening. Rose Oil helps balance moisture levels and reduces the appearance of skin imperfections. The unique bottle releases gold leaves when shaken!

 https://moroccannatural.co.uk/collections/gold-collection/products/finest-24k-gold-serum-with-rose-oil

8. Scents are often associated with nostalgia, triggering fond memories, and I am sure this Byredo scent with a meaning is worth splurging on for that very special one… Byredo’s Rose of No Man’s Land, featuring notes of White Amber, Turkish Rose Petals and Raspberry Blossom, serves as a tribute to the nurses (often referred to by soldiers as “Rose of No-Man’s Land”) who saved thousands of lives on the front lines of WWI, their story is one of selflessness and compassion.

https://byredo.eu/rose-of-no-man-s-land-eau-de-parfum-50-ml

9. Nordic Honey from Estonia brings you organically certified honey from select apiaries, leaving out the ugly truth of chemically fertilized fields and dirty factories. As to the Christmas sets, their signature wooden lids are handcrafted by a small carpenters workshop in South of Estonia and highly durable glass jars are from an Italian glass factory. All Nordic Honey products possess integrity and are delivered to you with great care.

http://www.nordichoney.com/products/gift-box-no-2

10. Votch’s stylish cruelty-free watches from London, adorned with vegan leather straps, guarantee no animal skins were used for the making of their elegant timepieces. The timeless classics come in a variety of tones to align with your loved one’s individual personality…  

https://www.votch.co.uk/collections/the-watches/products/the-pink-and-gold

11. My absolute winter wardrobe favourites are turtlenecks... a nice basic polo neck keeps you warm and goes with literally everything, and nothing can be better than one made responsibly, caressing your silhouette in a silky smooth way. A well-made turtleneck leaves an effortless impression, yet can complement even a more affluent party ensemble. Good things, like this Peopletree's turtleneck top, come in shades of burgundy.  

http://www.peopletree.co.uk/women/organic-cotton-handwovens/may-turtleneck-top-in-plum

12. For those, who often need to deal with anxiety and find it difficult to calm down after an eventful day, this Supermood pillow mist must be the most effective natural herbal solution putting you at ease.

https://www.supermood.fi/product/sweet-pillow-scent-50ml/

13. These fun Ööloom sleeping masks are just so cute and the most precious accessory to all the night owls like me, who are extremely sensitive to luminescent distractions and keep waking up as soon as bright daylight makes an appearance. It is quite a challenge to decide, which animal to go for, and for the fun part, each of them includes a description of the animal's sleeping habits. Should I go for the unicorn or panda… 

https://ooloomstore.com/store/unicorn/

14. I have started caring about my haircare routine more than ever, and getting more accustomed to organic and Fair-trade cosmetics day by day, I even want my hair products to be entirely cruelty-free. For the holidays, Antonin B. offers a solution supporting the good cause — the eco-chic gift set contains the best-selling Ceramides Enriched Desert Hair Serum,  PeTA approved Axiology Lipstick and a Fair-trade Grand Cru chocolate surprise for all the sweet tooths. 

www.antoninb.com/en/organic-vegan-beauty-christmas-gift-set

Antonin. B. Cruelty-Free Christmas Set. 

Antonin. B. Cruelty-Free Christmas Set. 

15. MAST Brothers chocolates in trendy, nostalgic packaging, each carrying a theme of our favourite cities and featuring unique pairings, leave a symbolic, sensory memory. Hint:  we particularly adore their London-themed ‘vanilla & smoke’ indulgence — 

https://mastbrothers.co.uk/collections/all

OSOM: The First Zero-Waste, Upcycled Socks

OSOM brand socks from Los Angeles, CA, are the first zero-waste premium upcycled socks made from eco-friendly yarns that are spun from 95% clothing and textile waste. Osom socks are launched for the holiday season on Kickstarter through December 14, 2016.

The line of OSOM outdoor socks are made by collecting clothing and textile waste, grind the clothing and textile down to be re-spun into a completely new type of yarn. There is no water used in this process, no dyes, no chemicals or toxins. We do not treat the fabrics or yarns with dyes or toxins such as Formaldehyde or heavy metals commonly used in clothing manufacturing that are dumped into waterways, rivers and oceans.

OSOM's manifesto:

REDUCE TEXTILE WASTE: Each year Americans throw out nearly 11 million tons of clothing, approximately 70 pounds per American. Not only does this seriously contribute to the growing waste crisis, it is a true waste considering nearly 99% of textiles are recyclable. 

SAVE WATER: A conventional T-shirt will use 700 gallons and 2.5 ounces of pesticides to create one.  We use absolutely no water or pesticides in the upcycling process of creating the yarn and socks.

NO DYES. NO CHEMICALS:  More than 200 billion of wastewater is dumped into local rivers each year, these chemicals can be found in the food we eat.  We use no dyes or chemicals in the process. 

“As the founder of the company, my only wish is to be able to show people you can do things differently by supporting one another and understanding the natural cycles of life. Nature is our biggest master”

- Patricia Ermecheo

To Freeze The Time Through Tapestry — Retrieving Memories Through Carpet Landscapes: Alex Keha

How to connect the dots between nature, sustainability and carpet making? By reinventing cherished childhood territories from leftover textiles of her family-owned factory, Argentinian rug artist Alexandra Kehayoglou gives an answer to this seemingly impossible equation. It’s in the Studio Kehayoglou, where the hands work hard and artisanal immaculacy bravely takes shape, stopping the passing of time in ethereal still-life carpet artwork.

Carpet artwork by Alexandra Kehayoglou

Carpet artwork by Alexandra Kehayoglou

Your carpets are pure magic. How does the process of creating one begin? 

Every piece has a story behind it and the whole process that leads to the final result is rather long and complex. [In my approach], the original techniques of tufting are combined with modern technology. I try to link both platforms — the industrial and the manual — to create more experimental artworks. My greenlands, paddocks, shelters and tapestries are made up from retrieved material of the factory owned by my own family. In a way, they contain my own life experience. 

I usually have a previous idea of what I want to achieve [as a final result], but this always changes through the process. I first sketch on the canvas, then apply the tones and create textures inspired by landscapes I’ve seen. The textile is weaved with handtuft system — with a pistol that I manipulate on vertical racks to create the weft that will give shape to the final piece. Each of them is unique, with a certain texture, pattern, volume and unrepeatable palette. 

When did you start connecting and exploring the symbiosis between landscapes and rug making?

I grew up among rugs. Seventy years ago, my Greek family brought the tradition of designing and producing the carpets to Argentina. After many years of research, I decided to transform my family history into an artistic expression. 

Everything started with my diorama boxes in which I tried to freeze a scene. An artificial miniature beach landscape in which the spectator could submerge, but these were at first [merely a] model — they were small and packed in a box. When that tapestry unfolded on the floor, I realised I could create those landscapes, following the same idea of time being frozen, but this time in a human scale. Therefore I decided to keep my cherished territories from childhood safe from the passing of time by recreating my landscapes. 

How is the sustainability element represented in your artwork? What other principles do you consider to be the cornerstone of your art? 

Sustainability is present in each piece of work. I am deeply conscious about nature and that is why I hand-tuft my pieces with 100% natural sheep wool and all the materials are surplus from my family’s factory. The materials are selected carefully and then dyed to achieve the desired colours.

Alexandra Kehayoglou

Alexandra Kehayoglou

How long does it take to create one masterpiece rug? What's the most complex project you have undertaken and completed?

Depending on the complexity of the piece, the production time can take from one to several months. I pay a lot of attention to details and I am extremely tedious with each and every stitch. The most complex project I worked on was a custom-made carpet designed by Olafur Eliasson and crafted by Alexandra Kehayoglou’s Studio. It consisted of a 3D carpet, which we had to adapt to a wooden topography to create a reading space in the Art Kunz Library of Berlin. This was truly challenging, because we had to develop a new method for the carpet installation. All in all, it was a great experience; we spent almost three weeks at the Studio. We worked a lot! 

“Each of them is unique, with a certain texture, pattern, volume and unrepeatable palette.”

What makes a particular landscape inspiring enough for one of your rugs? What else inspires you throughout the process?

I guess the contemplation of the landscapes I love is the first step for the development of my work. Also, Argentinian geography has been very inspiring for me because, in a way, my personal history is tightly related to the history of that land. Walks through my parents garden with my son, road trips, sunsets, aerial views, the sea, the beach, my family, my grandmother, are part of this dialogue between nature, tradition and art. 

You also have an inspiring Instagram account. In your view as an artist, is it important to promote yourself more as a 'brand' nowadays? Don't you feel that it has made your work more commercial?

I believe all art is very much about freedom. In a way, Instagram is a great tool for any visual artist, because it allows us to choose what we want to share about our daily work at the studio — it’s sort of a visual diary. During the last few years, artists have found new ways of creating the ‘buzz’ and circulation, it’s not merely about being a part of a gallery anymore. Even though my work is sometimes related to important brands, I really don’t find my work commercial at all. In fact, it is well known that there are new models of art business arising and concurrently with them, new ways of being an artist. 

“Walks through my parents garden with my son, road trips, sunsets, aerial views, the sea, the beach, my family, my grandmother - all are part of this dialogue between nature, tradition and art.”

Alexandra Kehayoglou

Alexandra Kehayoglou

Describe the relationship between fashion and your rugs. There was a runway setup project you've done for one of the major fashion brands. Are there any other fashion collaborations you’ve executed?

In 2014, Dries Van Noten contacted my studio through a fashion producer called Villa Eugénie, who had seen my work online. They asked for a rug of 50 meters based on the same nature concepts that I work on. The design of the carpet was a pastizal (grassland/pasture). We travelled to Paris for the installation of the piece. It was a great experience because, even though the process was very intense and it had to be developed in a very limited timeframe, a new way of thinking my work appeared [as a result]. 

How can we be more environmentally aware and shape people's mindsets through what we put out in the world?

I think we should start with small actions. Every day is a chance of making things better. If we finally understand that we are not the centre of the Earth, but just a tiny part of it, as well as the trees, the animals, the rivers and seas and the mountains, our decision-making and behaviour will lead us to living a more environmentally-conscious life. 

“I decided to keep my cherished territories from childhood safe from the passing of time by recreating my landscapes.”

What's your relationship with nature? 

I was raised in a house with a big garden, so my approach to nature is quite sincere and spontaneous. As a child I used to explore the different colours, shadows, smell of the grass, the flowers and plants. Everything was special and new, my point of view was not contaminated by life experience. I remember making up stories for hours, nursing the birds, playing with mud. The feeling that time was frozen in a special moment is something I’ve been trying to transmit with my work as part of that first intuition. 

The process of creating a masterpiece: Artist Alexandra Kehayoglou

The process of creating a masterpiece: Artist Alexandra Kehayoglou

In what ways has Argentina played a role in shaping you as an artist?

Argentina offers many kinds of climates, landscapes and cultures. I decided to embrace this diversity because it’s also a part of my own identity. The scenes I create are part of native territories that carry ancestral information and I think that my job as an artist is to transmit their message through the best language I know, art. 

http://www.alexkeha.com