Yesterday, for the first time in about twenty years, I shopped at H&M. It had been accused of not caring for the environment or its workers, the complaints were loud, and unapologetic. H&M took notice, and it’s been cleaning up its act ever since Fashion Revolution began about six years ago, in response to the Rana Plaza disaster.
I rarely buy new clothes for myself, and when I do it’s at Shukr, where by the way you can get an additional 20% off already discounted items by adding the code SALE20 at checkout (US link, UK), this week. But kids need new clothes regularly, because they get worn out, break beyond repair, and they grow out of them. Thankfully we know many people with whom we exchange hand-me-downs, but even so, we always buy brand new clothes for birthdays, beginning of school, and Eids. This doesn’t mean I only shop just before those events occur, I tend to keep my eyes open for deals, because with four kids, the bills add up very quickly!
I had a couple of hours to kill, and a 50$ gift card for this particular nearby mall, so I thought I’d give it a go. I normally avoid malls like the plague, but yesterday I felt brave, armed with a tight schedule and a little extra money! I walked in and out of several stores, surrounded by enterprising families busy completing their last minute Xmas shopping. I didn’t find much, except for a onesy that they had all told me they would like if I ever came across cute ones. I had almost gone through the entire mall, without any satisfaction, so I gave H&M a chance. And boy am I glad I did! I found soft, beautiful undershirts, underwear, socks, t-shirts, and sweatpants ALL in organic cotton, for a price very similar to what you’d pay for the same old brands at Winners or any other discount store! So I stocked up! I was so glad to find these little treasures, because you can never have enough of them, kids go through half a dozen per season, and I really felt encouraged by the extra effort that H&M (unlike all other stores I had visited in this particular mall) was exerting for the environment and for public awareness on the issue of fast fashion.
At the cash register I asked if they sold reusable bags, and all they had were these little white 100% organic cotton totes that were barely sufficient to hold the socks, let alone everything else I was purchasing. Nevertheless, I picked up one, and realized they were 80% off, so I picked up two more for less than the price I had initially planned to pay for the single one without the tax. They’ll come in handy as gift bags for the next party for which I’m sure to scramble for ecological giftwrapping ideas! Paper gift bags cost more than that! We reuse paper bags too, but I particularly liked the message on it. So I thought I’d share it with you all!
I was so positively delighted with these finds, that I finally decided to do all the sewing I’ve been putting off for a few months! The message was well received!
As my readers know, I’ve been on a ketogenic lifestyle for about seven months now, and as a welcomed side-effect I’ve lost two dress sizes. But what do you do when your favorite clothes start draping from your body like curtains on a rod? You adjust them! Below you can see some of the very simple modifications I’ve made to some of my favorite pieces. One pair of super-wide legged pants became so wide that it was dragging on the floor, but instead of hemming the legs, I thought I’d give it a much needed waistline, which would allow for further weight loss, without having to make more modifications. One of my favorite skirts started hanging off my hipbones, and became a drag to pull up when going up and down stairs. There too, rather than shorten it from the bottom, I went for a couple of pleats at the waist, which allow for a better fit, and take into consideration the possibility of further weight loss. If I eventually part with these items, they’ll be easily readjusted by their new owners, without compromising the outer look. I think the pants would look great with a few belt loops and a nice belt! The skirt is now more flowy and more A lined than before, which actually works better with my lines, so I am quite pleased with the results!
Two of my favorite blouses were a bit loose to begin with, but now really needed some countenance. So I added snap buttons to the cuffs. If you like frills you could fasten your cuffs with ribbons or tiny belts (with a few little belt loops). I don’t care for loose fabric around my wrists so I didn’t opt for that route. One of my most comfortable sporty cardigans had a button missing, and of course, what are the chances you’ll find a button that looks exactly like the very special ones that the Neon Buddha features on its clothes? Highly unlikely. I searched high and low, and then found this broche that has the exact same colors AND size! See if you can notice which one it is! I love it! Now I can keep wearing my favorite basics over and over for years to come! How’s that for greatness that keeps on giving?
Please note that this blog post contains affiliate links. By purchasing at Shukr through the links provided I get a percentage of the sale, without it costing you a cent more.