So its Plastic Free July again, we have really got to the point where we need to do this. I have been trying to eliminate plastic from my life for some time, since last Plastic Free July in fact and I am 80% there.
Reusable shopping bags, shopping in the fresh produce section only, picking out things with no stickers and New Zealand produced, realising that I was buying single use trash every time I buy a product from the supermarket, changing of habits, where I buy and how I buy, being more prepared with food for my week of work and knowing what I am comfortable asking for "No plastic, thank you".
I even managed to find an Indian restuarant willing to fill up my own take away containers, thanks India Gate at 102 Princes St, Dunedin. Although the first time I still did get some sauce for my Onion Bahji in a small plastic container, now that gets refilled until it dies than I will ask them to just put it in the container with it. Whats my Favourite curry?... Palak Paneer the medium heat is excellent!!!
Reusable water bottles, beeswax food wraps, jars are all awesome things, Bin Inn at 126 Crawford St, Dunedin has some great fill your own options, just remember to take your own bags, jars and bottles to fill and get them tared first. They do provide plastic bags only on site so Take Your OWN!!!!!
Food wise I am working on making alternatives to bread like the Life changing loaf of bread which I love, but it can be expensive to make as it has a lot of nuts and such in it. I also need to find Psyllium husk plastic free, I haven't been able to source that yet, everything else is easy to find though.
Food processors are amazing things, I love my tiny little Kenwood I found at the Restore Dunedin for $8. Second hand is better, its small but it works. I love making my own nut and seed butter in it, SO YUM! and coconut milk/water/flour, there are some great resources here that I have been using at Wellness Mama the next thing I am going to try is making some coconut kefir milk/yoghurt.
The only place I still need to change a few things is in the bathroom. I only use coconut oil, baking soda and apple cider vinegar on my hair and body apart from my teeth which need some special attention for the rest of my life to keep them well. After years of not really caring about my oral hygiene I now need to to keep a healthy mouth, Ive just had 5 teeth fixed and still need a couple of crowns, I must clean between each tooth everyday with floss and an inter dental brush, time consuming put important for the longevity of being able to eat. And these brushes are not very strong they break after a couple of days when you need to brush between every tooth, I wish someone made them from bamboo and they were bio degradable. I also don't enjoy homemade toothpaste and use Vicco Ayurvedic Toothpaste and some small Sensodyne's my dentist gave me. I also want to change my razor, I still have the same handle I've had since I started shaving moons ago and only buy the heads, but I want to change this to something less plastic. This will find me I am sure.
These are the things I wish I could find non plastic versions of, but being at 80% I'm actually OK with and can't pressure myself to change everything all at once as that would be very hard with all of the OTHER that happens in my life, small steps are OK too, in fact its probably the best way as to not shock the system. As I type on Sunday night there are 2 loaves of life changing bread proofing and nut/seed butter freshly made for my week.
Best of luck with your own Plastic Free Life journey, take it easy and don't pressure yourself it's a great start that your even thinking about challenging yourself to try.
The Plastic Free July website has lots of info to help you out.
Here's also a support group you can join via Plastic Free JULY - Support Group
and Plastic Free New Zealand
Don't forget to take 3 for the sea too, when your out and about, Pick it up and take responsibility for the prettiness of your country New Zealand and the welfare of our oceans and wildlife.
Aroha NUI Kaitiakitanga.
How do you feel about New Zealand right now? Do you think we are in good shape as a country? Do you want to do something to change the way we function? Well artist Tess Sheerin thinks New Zealand's worth loving and has started a mural tour of the country to raise awareness of water pollution and it's damaging effects on marine life. She spent some time in Dunedin in May 2016 creating this mural at 56 Timaru St, Dunedin. Its in the supermarket car park. I hung out with her on the last day and watched her finish the mural and sign it off, which was pretty special! She's pretty awesome, and highlighting a prominent issue facing our environment and consumers at present.
Where does it go? when you finish with that wrapper/takeaway cup/bottle and drop it on the street? when we consume so many things that we have 5 Gyres of plastic pooling in our oceans, letting our marine and bird life eat plastic, treating our planet like one huge rubbish dump, well this landfill needs to be mined and returned to resource, I say!
Single Use Plastic - it's everywhere or that's what it feels like to me. We had a lengthy chat about it and she told me about the harbour clean up she had organised the weekend before, I wish I'd been here to help. Thanks to Our Sea's Our Future and Keep Dunedin Beautiful for helping Tess out with that, there is now less plastic in our harbour Dunedin, which I think is great, I am always picking up trash on the streets and I get looked at funny by a lot of you in passing, well actually if you'd stop putting it there we wouldn't have that issue. It was only yesterday I spotted a sign stating that Dunedin has a littering policy and that you will get fined, who's policing that eh? and what are you doing to reduce your consumption today?
The murals will grace walls in Queenstown, Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland.
You can follow the tour on FACEBOOK!
NZWL co-ordinates and supports clean-up events and public awareness campaigns that concentrate on waterways, lakes and coastal areas around New Zealand.
So far they have teamed up with like-minded initiatives; Our Seas Our Future, Keep Dunedin Beautiful, New Generation Rotary Queenstown and Anti Plastic Population.
I'm looking forward to the future of Tess's work and to see what she gets up to, you never know there might even be a collab in the mix!!
Shaping our future and sharing our skills to help others wake up to the world, that we need to care for our environment and be the kaitiakitanga that we are here to be!
Pollution art its the next big thing!
<3 your work Tess
Arohanui and good luck with the rest of the tour!
<3 Senorita AweSUMO
Everywhere I go I feel like I'm surrounded by trash. From the supermarket to the street and sea, it's everywhere and it feels like a never ending pile of consumption that is going to take humanity to some strange apocalypse.
How can we not have the consideration to pick it up or ask someone if they want a straw as part of our psyche already, to have kaitiakiatanga over our Earth as a first and foremost in our days and our hearts? Do you ever go there and ask yourself how am I sitting with the Earth and myself. I was challenged to think about it recently and I've sat with it everyday since, just contemplating that scenario for a while.
I think I do pretty well with how I sit with the Earth these things are a must in my life...
Reusable shopping bags
My clothing is handmade/secondhand/free and visibly mended, my shoes are generally hard wearing investments like TrashFootwear.
But I still have somethings I need to replace and find alternatives for, being a glutard bread is something I miss and have to replace with other options so I stop taking home plastic. And I need to start making my own coconut milk, which is easy I just need some cheese cloth to make that happen.
My car, well it's at present my one sacrifice because I don't currently have a fixed abode I need that, I need to be mobile enough to work and sleep. This scenario is not going to change for the next year at least and I am comfortable with that to the point I wish I had something mobile to live in now! But house sitting and friends spare rooms will get me there. So if you need a house sitter get in touch, I'm good with animals too!
and how do I sit with myself?
I sit well, there are improvements to be made for sure, like making more of an effort to maintain my daily practices of stretch and movement. So I had a Sunday night dance party last night. So fun!!
To create more quiet space for myself in meditation and Qi Gong time.
To achieve the goals I have set myself in work without hurting myself daily.... the hardest task so far!
To clear the clutter of my past and thrive.
This I promise myself to be present for everyday! And here I am making promises to myself which I know I can keep. Do something today that your future self will thank you for!
All of this is prompted by the amount of trash we have inundating our lives daily, in every purchase you make there is usually some throwaway involved in that, Have you ever measured how much you take home when you shop. Looked at how fast your bin fills up?
Do you know where it goes? If not, then investigate!!!
SO I have changed the way I look at purchasing food as it's my last thing I need to shift to be more zerowaste in my life as well as my art.
I ask myself can I purchase this piece of plastic trash and throw it away? It is single use! Is it glass? Is it recyclable? even that isn't a great solution at the present with how that system works. Am I ok with paying money for trash even if it does have something delicious on the inside? Hard task when I LOVE food and am presently time poor!!
Shift your thinking and wonders will follow!!
Shop plastic free, I dare ya!
Pick up a peice of trash on the street and put it in your nearest bin.
Ask for no straw, or actually even better hospitality, get reusable ones that you can wash.
Take your own keep cup on flights. < always getting funny remarks but they still pour me a cup of tea.
Take action and ask your council what it's doing to improve its systems to acheive zerowaste goals. Because if we don't demand it by showing them we want it, it will take forever to shift.
Conscious consumerism is key. Don't be afraid to voice it!!! You are a powerful human with Earth rights! Hold them precious, feed them with love and beautiful thoughts. Live lightly!
Love Senorita AweSUMO!! <3 <3 <3
Senorita AweSUMO activated a much needed question here in Dunedin during iD Dunedin Fashion Week 2016, to ask consumers and designers attending iD Fashion Week if they really know where their clothes are coming from?
Senorita AweSUMO was pleasantly surprised by the result. We do care but we find it hard to source.
DISCLAIMER: Senorita AweSUMO takes all responsibility for this action at iD Dunedin Fashion Week on behalf of Fashion Revolution.
Wow, what an interesting week I've been having, but before I get into that I'd like to announce that I have been asked to join the Fashion Revolution working committee for Australia and New Zealand. This is a voluntary role which I am super excited about. It feels really great to be able to be part of an international movement of amazing people, I feel like the majority of us are female which is very telling as this is an emotional subject that mostly affects other woman in our human race. Which I find incredibly disturbing and feel that we as the more fortunate have a responsibility to do something about. I do include myself amongst the more fortunate even though a lot of the time I don't feel like I have much myself. I work hard to achieve my goals and I know these many woman work hard to clothe the rest of society, They need help to be heard, We are here to achieve that through positive narrative and actions.
Actions speak louder than words sometimes, and as a craftivist I just can't help it. I use my hands and textiles to make a point and do it in style.
Exhibit A) #whomademyclothes Korowai for Robbie Burns, iD Dunedin Fashion Week 2015, Fashion Revolution Day 2015.
And now we (Just Atelier) bring you UNSTITCHED: Local Fashion Revolution an open invite to the Dunedin community to engage with their clothing again via a positive action. We are creating a central city pop up where you can experience so many things. We are bringing you this space in conjunction with Urban Dream Brokerage Dunedin which is an amazing initiative started in Wellington to utilise empty shop spaces for projects such as ours. But we have already hit a Wall literally, We had a space in Wall Street Mall brokered for us which was an amazing space we were happy with and excited to be near some large name brands. Not because we want to name and shame them but because we felt like they are the ones that need to have this conversation the most.
But the brand of Fashion Revolution has scared them, they have not been able to open their conservative minds and have a conversation. We know this is an incredibly hard one to have especially for brands that couldn't answer the question of who made their clothes? But that proves to me that this action is much needed. Especially now as we awaken to the realities of the fashion supply chain and the consumer voice becomes louder. It is something to be wary of indeed, but not a conversation that should be shied away from as this shows us that brands are not willing to make the necessary changes to sustain themselves into the future, the face of the industry is changing albeit slowly but surely. Its inevitable but to get there we must talk about the problems and spread awareness.
The Wall St Mall tenants cold not see this and asked us to leave, which we happily complied with knowing it wasn't worth an argument. We only wished to hold space for conversation and skill sharing amongst our local community.
I've enjoyed the controversy this has brought as that's what sparks motion, but I certainly don't believe that Dunedin's public are ready and willing to protest outside retail stores. If anyone's got the balls to do that it's Senorita AweSUMO but i'm not planning on it any time soon, i've got enough on my plate organising and staffing our pop up for the week.
So our space is no longer in the Wall St Mall but at 19 George St, just north of the Octagon. We are super happy and it has great street frontage visibility, especially seeing as we are operating for the first week of the school holidays, We envisage a lot of participation and hope that passers by will enjoy spending some time whilst we hold space for learning and sharing.
Below is our daily menu of activities, book into our workshops through Just Atelier
We hope you'll join us to activate your own Fashion Revolution.
Ah Thank You Christine Dean, Founder and CEO of Redress, an NGO with a mission to promote environmental sustainability in the fashion industry. I can't say it better than this right now. Perfection!!!!
Published April 30 2014, but still exactly the message that needs to be heard by the consumer.
Wear the Change you want to see in the world!!! We definitely have the power as humans to change the situation!
Senorita AweSUMO has some amazing GOALS lined up for 2016 and beyond.
The first being attending the UNSCHOOL of Disruptive Design in Melbourne Jan 23 - 29th and I am super excited about it! This is going to be so great! I'm also totally excited about a weeks holiday, first in 3 years, woop!!! Hanging out with my sister who I haven't seen in too long!!!
<3 <3 <3 exploring and refreshing, but probably too hot!!! Being able to bring home knowledge and tools to achieve the long term goals I have in mind for this so called 'zerowaste' city.
I want to make that a reality! I want this city to take bigger steps towards a better system and I know I can help facilitate that.
You can keep up with my adventures on instagram and facebook!
I'm still fundraising to pay my Fees and passport costs for the UNSCHOOL so if you can help me out or know someone else who can then please pass my PLEDGE ME campaign on. There are some aweSUMO rewards and you can see extensive images here on my website of those.
I have my first intern coming to work with me in February which is aweSUMO, Liz is from CPIT and has been exploring multiple pattern methods of which include basic block making, men's and women's tailoring and drapery/ moulage free form work. Within this I have also looked into the work of Japanese pattern tutors Shingo Sato & Hisako Sato of which explore innovative pattern & garment construction methods. I have also looked into work by fashion designer Julian Roberts and his methods of subtraction pattern cutting, "hollow construction" and "zero waste" of textiles. She has to complete a project whilst here so I am looking forward to sharing that journey with you all!
During iD Dunedin Fashion Week Senorita AweSUMO will be at Toitu with a little showcase and talk about my work.
Who Made My Clothes? Global problem, local solution. Thursday 17 March , 2-3pm in the Auditorium at Toitū Otago Settlers Museum. Entry by Koha.
And on Sunday the 12th I will be judging the Curtain Banks event Raise the Curtain.
The Dunedin Curtain Bank would like to invite 13-21 year olds to register for the Raise the Curtain Fashion Show. Held during iD Fashion Week 2016. The aim of the 2016 iD Fashion Curtain Bank Event is to raise funds and to increase the profile of the Curtain Bank while supporting fashion design, recycling/reuse and arts in the city by encouraging students of different ages (13 to 21) to participate in designing, making and possibly even modelling their own outfits. The best part is the outfits will be made with recycled curtains!Students will be required to choose curtains from those put forward by the Dunedin Curtain Bank. They will then take these away and create a design and make an outfit. Outfits will then be modeled at the event during iD Fashion Week (12th-20th March 2016).
Registrations can be found here you have until the 14th Feb https://docs.google.com/forms/d/111UByJ3AT8wPxnLzMl8cECzwp_QQJjoV9VC2Q9bYYzg/viewform?c=0&w=1
I will also be giving a short presentation about my work on the 14th at the Curtain Bank.
I might also have some other things in mind for iD Dunedin Fashion Week, but will leave those to your imagination.
Just Atelier are planning some great events for Fashion Revolution WEEK here in Dunedin and hope we can get you and your children involved in this most fabulous of revolutions! We hope to use the Urban Dream Brokerage project to take ourselves into the central city and explore Fashion with a drop in Space. We are looking for some volunteers with sewing/making skills to help us out that week, If your interested in helping we would love to hear from you.
We are also working towards the Vogel Street Party Fashion Show on October 8th. With the theme of connections this event is going to be amazing. Get in touch if you have a skill to share.
I am looking forward to helping you all understand this global problem more this year and exploring that idea with you.
But for now I'm on Holiday, Hooray!!! and I need to go and pack my bag! See you in 2 weeks Dunedin. Love you!!! Fi
Hello all, HUGE thanks to all those who have pledged so far, I am almost quarter of the way there. I thought it would be a great idea to share with you some images of my rewards so you know what it is you are getting.
Here's the Link to get your AweSUMO rewards and to share it with your friends!
Let's start small with the beeswax food wraps for $45. Made from this gorgeous vintage cotton fabric and beeswax from Otago bees, you can't get any more local than that!
Beeswax food wraps are so much nicer than glad wrap and totally reusable. Just wipe them down with a cloth and hang to dry.
Next are one of my favourite things to make Not a BLUE shirt shirts. A mix and match affair of vintage fabrics, I love putting these together. Much FUN!
I got really sick of boring blue or white work shirts and decided to have a little fun and use up some smaller pieces of fabric that aren't enough to make one whole shirt! The result is something AweSUMO!
Custom made Not a BLUE/WHITE shirt can have subtle accents or be loud and proud mixes. Whatever you prefer.
Shirts, shirts, shirts. This is whats currently on the cutting block piles of fabric mixed and matched, These are MEDIUM Not a BLUE shirts!
ARGH next something I am super excited to make, DINOSAUR embroideries, OMG so choice!
So much excite! Thanks for the drawing book for my bearthday too, Dr R HELL. Can't wait to see your FACE!!!
These are mostly large scale embroideries. The T-Rex skeleton is 85 cm high, The Protoceratops are the smallest and could be used as a patch on clothing or a wall hanging!
So I hope you've found something useful or interesting here to reward yourself or someone else aweSUMO in your life.
here's the LINK AGAIN.
I am super grateful for the time and energy you spent in looking at this and if I could ask you to share this with your friends I would be very thankful.
BEARTHDAY HAPPIES TO YOU ALL, HAVE A GREAT 29TH OF DECEMBER, AROHANUI!
Kia ora te whanau,
I am attending the UNSCHOOL of Disruptive Design in Melbourne 23 - 29th January 2016 but I need a little help to get me there. I have a partial scholorship for my fees, which cover transport and food costs whilst on the course. I have flights and accommodation sussed thanks to my amazing family! and super lucky my sister lives in Melbourne.
So I have setup a pledge me page at the following link with some super sweet rewards.
I will be posting images of the rewards over the next month here on my blog and on my facebook page Senorita AweSUMO.
The UNSCHOOL of Disruptive Design is an experimental knowledge lab in New York City. Where they curate brain-activating events, classes, fellowship programs and knowledge transfer experiences that pop up around the world. The lab encourages people from diverse professional backgrounds to reorient the way they perceive and act in the world, learning how to maximize their capacity to influence and affect positive social and environmental change.
This is the perfect way for me to start off 2016 with a BANG! Get my brain into the sphere of social change and how I can activate my community to work alongside me in creating awareness and change in regards to our consumption rates and our textile waste.
The Un-School is a value and agenda driven organization that seeks to inspire, engage and evoke positive change in others through creative interventions and unique educative experiences. Their mission is to activate creative leadership for social and environmental change.
The unique Disruptive Design curriculum is designed to offer fresh approaches to skill development and knowledge transfer. They build classes that don't exist anywhere else and create programs that challenge the status quo.
The Un-School methodology and learning model was developed by the founder Leyla Acaroglu, and incorporates systems thinking, sustainability sciences and sociology along with design approaches to address complex problems. They develop and employ experience based knowledge transfer methods to evoke transformative change. They seek to overcome linear, reductionist thinking by developing new approaches to creative problem solving that can be applied to business, government and individual practices.
At the Un-School they work to create opportunities that empower our growing community of creative rebels, change agents, risk takers, mavericks and misfits, to develop opportunities for enhancing their capacity to create positive change.
Sounds like i'll be hanging out with some like minded individuals and growing my capacity for change.
I'd love it if you could help me get there and for this not to be a massive financial drain on me to do it, asking for help can sometimes be one of the hardest things to do especially when it comes to money. It's not always an abundant thing for some and as I grow my zerowaste textile business into a self sustaining one I need all the help I can get.
here's some easy links for you to find it.
Pledge me link
Senorita AweSUMO Facebook
I hope your holiday season is joyful and adventurous.
Its really hard work living in this body, daily. Sometimes I struggle and I know we all have our own daily battles but I feel its time I shared mine with you. I need you to understand why I can only give you so much of my day, and that if I don't live my life the way I need to I will not last, I will not last for you to keep supporting, I will not last long enough to achieve the amazing things I know I can and want to.
My body is ridiculously sensitive due to a rare nerve condition called Hereditary Neuropathy with susceptibility to pressure palsies, a pretty little mouthful of WTF does that even mean?
It means I have to take daily self care of myself, religiously to keep me upright, to stay pain free, with no headaches or sore shoulders or numb parts of my body. It means I can be available to you for a few hours a day and that the rest of the time I need to do the things I NEED to do, and No I probably wont answer the phone before 11am unless I feel its urgent. But also sometimes I can't manage to keep myself pain free or numb and that makes it hard to get through the day, its wears at you, it can be exhausting.
I have the deletion of the PMP22 gene this means....
'Hereditary Neuropathy with liability to Pressure Palsies or HNPP is a slowly progressive, hereditary, neuromuscular disorder which makes an individual very susceptible to nerve injury from pressure, stretch or repetitive use. When injured, the nerves demyelinate or lose their insulating covering. This causes episodes of numbness and weakness in the injured area, which are referred to as the ‘pressure palsies'. These episodes can be mild and more of a nuisance than anything, or so severe almost all movement in the affected limb is impossible. They may last several minutes to months. Because the symptoms can come and go, and most neurologists have not yet heard of or seen a case of HNPP, it can be very difficult and lengthy process to be diagnosed. http://www.hnpp.org/ '
I first found out about this when I was 21, my whole left arm went completely numb and was a useless weight I couldn't move voluntarily. It stayed this way for a few months until eventually coming back to life slowly. My mother and other members of my family also have this condition, it can effect everyone differently and to different extremes.
Now its all about prevention I have to be careful about how I move, sit, stand/walk for lengths of time, cross my legs/arms, hard/cold surfaces, the amount of sleep I get, the softness of my bed, using scissors for long periods of time, how long I sit at the sewing machine, not putting pressure on one or more of my nerves for a time, the way I use a computer. i.e. everyday things that can be taken for granted then become harder to achieve.
Fatigue is a big factor and it can hit you unexpectedly, my bed is my sanctuary, my room is my haven, my space to recuperate, meditate and rest and not speak. I require this. Nourish! I will disappear there for time!!
I get weird pains and numbness in unusual places, headaches for weeks but its not all doom and gloom, I enjoy my life and I do daily things to keep myself in a good place to keep enjoying it, long term. I love running barefoot on the beach, it's the best way to ground myself, I love to be in nature and share its presence. I LOVE! #resetbuttonpushed
I share this all with you not to receive your pity but to create understanding of invisible conditions. We all have a daily battle but we are all doing as great as we can. Do something today your future self will thank you for!
I thank my chiropractor Yewjin, my physio Hugh (Consultancy House, Dunedin) and my masseuse Janie (firstname.lastname@example.org) for keeping me upright, and helping me through my days. What you do for me is amazing and so helpful.
Daily practice is something I try and maintain to keep me grounded here and present, to heal myself daily and give ME a time. I practice Qi Gong and my own version of yoga/slow stretches and exercises to keep me mobile and functioning, movement is key! I have also recently started using hemp oil on my food and have noticed a marked decrease in nerve pain. Food is medicine, I now have learnt to treat myself well when it comes to what I put in and on my body. I had to learn this lesson the hard way though, through work related harm working in an unsafe and not very well regulated toxic industry.
I had a headache for 6 months, after 5 years of naivety working for people who couldn't care less about anyone let alone the environment. I could never prove that it was toxicity that caused it but I know that's what it was, I lived it!
The realm of headachia was excruciating, and I try so hard to never be there again!! I do for myself as much as I can but it happens at times for shorter periods. That was 8 years ago and I'm doing so great now and have been working in childcare since then, I am feeling healthy and strong regardless of all of my daily battles. I am in the process of fixing this body! Its hard work especially when I work so hard and it being the end of the year, I'm pretty exhausted. It's been a big year for me and I have pushed myself past my limits. Getting up in the morning is hard, walking is hard due to my numb sole/pinched nerve situation and has been for the last week, it's improving slowly but its tiring too. Wearing shoes is weird. My shoulder/neck is cramping irregularly and pushing itself into a headache again. Yet I still smile and what bugs me the most is these days we greet each other with 'Hi, how are you?' but we actually don't stop to listen to how people are or do we even care in that scenario. I now just tell people I'm not answering that question today and that changes the situation fairly quickly, it makes them think!
I react this way because I think we need to change our greeting unless we can give time to the answer why ask how are you, just say HI, Hello, Kia Ora and SMILE, a smile is the best alternative in my view. Let your grin out, be happy be present, be good to yourself and those around you. LOVE is the answer!
So I spend time loving myself its not selfish its nourishment and nurture of one being. So do not be offended if I don't answer your phone call, (that's what my answer message is for) change an appointment, need to stand up during a long meeting or am barefoot it's just me getting through my day the only way I can to sustain myself for the long term. To prevent long term damage I must Do for myself and I give myself permission to achieve that.
So I guess i'm asking you if you will walk beside me on my journey?
Fiona Clements. Pakeha, Kai Tahu, Craftivist, Sustainable Fashion and Zerowaste Textile Practitioner. Conscious Consumer advocate.