Thursday, April 4, 2013

Being an Optimistic Realist

The 2 words which best encompass the ideals within 'i give 2 hoots' are 'Optimistic Realism'. Optimistic Realism is a term used by Martin Seligman, the positive psychology guru. Optimistic Realists 'are cautiously hopeful of favorable outcomes, but they do as much as they can to obtain the desired results'.

I want to share my optimism regarding the many ways people can be apart of the slow fashion movement, yet I recognise that we need to be realistic about it too. Even though I am on an 'only eco/ethical/recycled clothing path', I do appreciate that it is difficult to do and it is a process. So by being a creator, enthusiast, nostaligic or minimalist you are engaging in a type of slow fashion.

Recognising our positive choices is so much more productive then complaining about what we are not doing. But I do hope that the blog will act as a reminder and encourage us to be mindful of our purchases.

I have compiled some images which signify my successes and not so eco or ethical fashion choices.

A few of my slow fashion successes .....

My favourite dress and refashion.   

I designed and knitted these shorts for my sis a while back. They are still one of my favourite creations. 

This jacket is one of my favourite second hand finds. 5 years ago I found this jacket and it is still going strong:) 
photo: Michael Dooney

My not so sustainable fashion choices   
In areas of basics and sportswear I have struggled in the past.

When I first came to Europe I bought a few clothing items (like thist-shirt and cardigan) from some popular chain stores...though I did make the shorts.
photo: Michael Dooney

Sports wear is a weakness for me. I just love a lot of the sports wear around, especially the pinky/purpley items. Extra feminine!
This year we are running in the Berlin marathon, so I need to make some comfortable, (non chaffing) clothing. 

We went snowing boarding this year. I could only afford the cheap & cheerful stuff. Soccer was the same, cheap & nasty boots!

I am getting married at the start of next year and I will be making my wedding dress, bridesmaid dress & hopefully (given that I am organised) my man's suit. I definitely can not afford to purchase sustainable fabrics, therefore I am not having an eco wedding:( The image below is kind of close to the colour that I have for my dress.

So there you have it, my flaws and proud moments.

What are some of your successes (or not so successful) sustainable purchases?


  1. I cannot WAIT to see your wedding dress! And thanks for continuing to blog about "giving two hoots." I find it fascinating and so necessary!

  2. I have a gorgeous patterned 70s dress I bought for $10 at an op shop 10 or 15 years ago. I didn't wear it much until the last 2 years and now I wear it once a week. I also have a navy organic wool wrap dress from a NZ "ethical fashion" brand, Untouched World, that I bought when I was there on a conference last year. I am taking good care of it and it is so versatile, I can see myself wearing it for decades.

  3. Love that phrase - in fact, completely perfect. Takes the overwhelming feeling out of giving a shit about something!

    Could you source vintage fabrics for your wedding outfits? I'm sure you could dye curtain lace to that beautiful coral colour, and given that your fella is trim you could recut a suit for him from a larger suit! Obviously not going to be organic but definitely a cheap up cycle?

    My best 'keepers' have been a pair of 80s poly georgette full length pleated culottes (errr...I've made them sound gross but they're actually terribly chic) and a heavy crepe 70s-does-30s cocktail dress, which were both a steal in op shops nearly 10 years ago and have survived endless wardrobe purges (and my changes in size/style). Interestingly, both are manufactured fibres, which I tend to scoff at these days but they both handle beautifully and continue to look great. Unsurprisingly, both are black.

    1. Thanks for the ideas! Your keepers sound like real keepers:)

  4. Those knitted shorts are AWESOME, and I love your vintage jacket! I recently found a company in San Francisco that sells all organic/eco-friendly fabric. They usually have a 10 yard minimum but I contacted them for prices on remnants and was able to pick up a bunch of 3-5 yard pieces of different organic cotton knits-yay!

    1. It goes to show that it is always worth asking! Good idea:)

  5. I LOVE those knitted shorts so much!!! Can I order them from you????

  6. This is a very cool blog concept. I'm very proud of the quantity of me-made items in my wardrobe but I fail on two points. I'm not a knitter so have to buy my own knitwear and I'm not up to making jeans yet. I don't think anyone can live 100% sustainably but it's inspiring to see people trying to make changes towards a slow fashion mentality in their lives.

  7. I love your realistic expectations on living sustianable\eco\organic.
    50% of the fabric I source for my home made items is through op shops. I'm just about to finish making a dress from a bed sheet. Not to everyone's taste but I love it!