Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Musings

I want to give a shout out to those who came to the 2nd Saturday Art Walk. It was so great to see you and we appreciate the support. We have a wonderful time in Long Beach. I love chatting with everyone. It is always interesting getting feedback on what people look for when they stroll an art walk.
I was particularly interested in the feedback from this last walk. The original idea behind the formation of CCC was to concentrate on a very distinct under served market. We strayed a bit, but will be heading back to our original thought based on the feedback received. Thanks to all who shared their thoughts.
We will be back in Long Beach on September 8th. Here is the Art Walk link - http://www.artwalklb.com/

My 4 year old granddaughter, Isabelle made her modeling debut on Saturday (thanks Marek!) wearing a Chic Chix and Champagne child's upcycled sweater coat. I think she enjoyed it as she did the styling and bugged everyone all day about when she got to do the catwalk.







Sunday, July 8, 2012

MUSINGS

Greetings,
It appears that Summer has kicked in! It was 100 degrees before 10:00 AM this morning. I figure it is a good time to do a blog post because I don't do outside when it is over 90 degrees. Yes, I become a whiny wienie.
I have seen some articles recently detailing what happens to our discarded clothing (see one article below) and some statistics on buying habits. While Chicchixnchampagne was founded on upcycling this was a very sobering read. I personally am working towards buying thoughtfully. Buying form chain stores is becoming less attractive. I also have never been one that wants or needs to be in the same "uniform" as everyone else. A trend my oldest granddaughter (4 years old) appears to be following. Upcycled, one of a kind clothing is right up my alley.
I hope that as you do your clothing shopping you will consider the environment and support your local (and on-line) clothing designers. More is not necessarily better. If we have to wear clothes why not have yours reflect your personality? Think of dressing as a bouquet. Which do you prefer, a bouquet of the same flower or one where there is a variety of blossoms?
In future posts, we will be sharing some of our favorite designers.
I will step off my soapbox and wish you all a great Summer. Stay cool and check it often.

Cheers,
Peggy





Source: Eco Child's Play (http://s.tt/1fOBh)

A story posted on Slate.com last Monday got me thinking about fashion. It was an expose on what happens to the clothes we donate to thrift stores:

What American doesn’t have something hanging in his or her closet worn only once or twice, a pair of pants waiting for a diet, or even a brand-new dress or jacket with the tags still on? Common sense and everyday experience tell us that we have so many clothes that a major­ity go underused and neglected. According to a 2010 national survey in ShopSmart magazine, one in four American women own seven pairs of jeans, but we only wear four of them regularly. Not surprisingly, charities regularly see brand-new clothes come in with tags still affixed. “We see people throwing away new stuff every day,” Maui says.

There is an enormous disconnect between increasing clothing con­sumption and the resultant waste, partially because unworn clothes aren’t immediately thrown out like other disposable products. In­stead, they accumulate in our closets or wherever we can find space for them. Master closets now average about 6 feet by 8 feet, a size more typical of an extra bedroom 40 years ago.

Somehow, when we donate our “used” clothing to a thrift store, we feel like we are doing a good deed like feeding the homeless. We feel this donation is like an act of penance. The truth is American thrift stores can’t handle the volume of donations.

Slate.com continues:

Most Americans are thoroughly convinced there is another person in their direct vicinity who truly needs and wants our unwanted clothes. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Charities long ago passed the point of being able to sell all of our wearable unwanted clothes. According to John Paben, co-owner of used-clothing processer Mid- West Textile, “They never could.”

There are thousands of secondhand textile processors in the United States today, mostly small family businesses, many of them several generations old. I visited Trans- Americas Trading Co., a third- generation textile recycler in Clifton, N.J., which employs 85 people and processes close to 17 million pounds of used clothing a year. Inside Trans-Americas, there is a wall of cubed-up clothing five bales tall and more than 20 bales long. “This is liter­ally several hundred thousand pounds of textile waste, and we bring in two trailer loads of this much every day,” Trans-Americas president Eric Stubin told me. The volume they process has gone up over the years alongside our consumption of clothing…

Most of our donated clothing does not end up in vintage shops, as car-seat stuffing, or as an industrial wiping rag. It is sold over­seas. After the prized vintage is plucked out and the outcasts are sent to the fiber and wiping rag companies, the remaining clothing is sorted, shrink-wrapped, tied up, baled, and sold to used-clothing ven­dors around the world. The secondhand clothing industry has been export-oriented almost since the introduction of mass-produced gar­ments. And by one estimate, used clothing is now the United States’ number one export by volume, with the overwhelming majority sent to ports in sub-Saharan Africa. Tanzanians and Kenyans call used clothing mitumba, which means “bales,” as it comes off the cargo ships in the shrink-wrapped cubes like the ones I saw at Trans-Americas and Salvation Army. The bales are cut open in front of an eager clientele and buyers, who pick through it for higher-value finds.

Once again, while many Americans might like to imagine that there is some poor, underdressed African who wants our worn and tattered duds, the African used clothing market is very particular and is demanding higher quality and more fashion-forward styles. Paben told me that access to the Internet and cellphones has made the con­tinent fiercely fashion-forward in recent years. “There’s been a change in what you can sell there,” he says, and the bales have to be much more carefully sorted based on style, brand, and condition. As incomes rise in Africa, tastes become more savvy, cheap Chinese imports of new clothes flood those countries, and our own high-quality clothing supply is depleted, it’s foreseeable that the African solution to our overconsumption

It is not just Americans that are overconsuming clothing. GreenBiz.com reports that “Brits toss $142 million in clothing after single wearing.”

Monday, July 2, 2012

BIRTHDAY SALE

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and staying as cool as possible.
The Chic Chix have been busy working, shopping and visiting. Check out the new items in our handmade  Etsy shop - http://www.etsy.com/shop/ChicChixnChampagne and our vintage shop - http://www.etsy.com/shop/ChicChixVintage.
We are having a birthday sale in honor of our firecracker partner Alysen (for those of you who might not know, our expat friend was actually born on the 4th of July.). We are offering a 30% coupon for anything in our handmade shop (does not apply to the vintage shop). Please use coupon code ALBIRTHDAYSALE30 at checkout. The sale runs until 11:59 PM (PST) on July 7th.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALYSEN!!!!!!