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This will come as no surprise but I love Maryam Nassirzadeh, she’s such an inspiration explosion right now? I seriously browse her feed of outfit trials in bathroom mirrors daily and if I could have a fraction of her wardrobe… Also, if I could meet all the inspiring people in her life, see all the places, hang out with her kids Anaïs and Lune <3 <3.
I won’t tell her story as you probably already know it (if not, in short: she launched her eponymous store on Lower East Side in 2008 and since, her world has become this recognizable, feminine universe made up of progressive designers and, since six-seven years, her own label; all eclectic, emerging, irresistible, perfect in a messy combination with each other. I want it all and am happy at least I get peeks of it on social media. Thanks Maryam for making the world more inspiring.

Irene Guarenas by Thistle Brown in Maryam Nassirzadeh's own brand's summer 2018 collection

Sunday is Earth Day–a day dedicated to preserve our planet’s health taking place on 22 April since the 1970s (history class here), it engages about a billion people, i.e. a major day–and this year’s theme is plastic.

I know it’s not the most exciting subject, and to me, initiatives like charging 5p or 10 cents for plastic bags in grocery stores don’t feel like a real solution but rather a sign of how far we have to get… anywhere.

As with most earth threatening things, our plastic consumption patters have to be considered from a long-term perspective, perhaps beyond our lifetimes, which make them tricky for us humans to grasp.
This is however only partially true. The planet is already suffering from plastics in the oceans and our eco systems, and it already affects our health.

So, perhaps we have to consider that seemingly foolish 5p campaign after all, and other initiatives aiming to solve the plastic crisis. And as it turns out, that campaign is hugely successful. The levy on supermarkets and other large retailers in the UK is reported to have resulted in a 90% decline in use. That’s really impressive. And similar initiatives have been successful in  DenmarkHong KongSouth Africa and Botswana.

Plastic is really hard to clean up once it’s already out there. So even if it might seem like a drop in the ocean, we have to start using less of it (instead of thinking PET-made jeans will solve the major problem). The equation is easy: We need to make sure less waste ends up in the oceans and eco systems.
And we’re not just talking PET bottles and plastic bags in grocery stores. It’s also about the polyester clothes you wear, most likely the make up you put on your face, the toothbrush you throw in the bin. 

So, what can we do as individuals, right now? Pebble Mag has a list of Seven essentials zero waste kit that perhaps is easy enough for us to comprehend (and it has a thought-provoking first sentence: In Britain we get through 7 million coffee cups a day.)
Earth Day has a Plastic Calculator that allows you to calculate your plastic consumption and make a plan to reduce it. (It’s really gentle in regards to categories, not including for example the mentioned clothes and makeup.)

But, then, beyond the individual responsibilities, maybe you’re wondering about polices around the world to tackle this enormous issue?

Well, staying in Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May recently declared a war on plastic. Her 25-year environmental plan has however been criticized for demanding too little.

The EU has also recently declared a so called aggressive clean-up plan targeting single-use plastics. The EU wants 55% of all plastic to be recycled by 2030.

In December last year, nearly 200 countries signed a U.N. resolution to monitor plastics disposal in the oceans and 39 countries committed to reducing the quantity of plastics going into the sea.

California has banned single-used plastic bags (still the only US state to have achieved this).

China has strict plastic policies and has recently announced that it refuses to be the “world’s garbage dump”, effectively banning imports of plastic recyclables from other countries since January this year.

Kenya has implemented the world’s toughest plastic bag ban: four years jail or $40,000 fine.

African countries are generally better than European at entirely or partially banning/taxing the usage of plastic bags, although poor waste management arguably make the prospect of a plastic waste-free society unrealistic.

France has passed a new law to ensure all plastic cups, cutlery and plates can be composted and are made of biologically-sourced materials. It will come into effect in 2020. This law has also been criticized, as biologically-sourced materials are not necessarily more environmentally beneficial.

Chile was the first country in the Americas to ban plastic bags in all coastal cities.

These are just a few of the examples of what policies are being implemented.

And what to make of all of this? Well, albeit my general sense of everything being too late (unfortunately, it’s my go-to feeling and yes, I’ve inherited it from my mom) I choose to quote Joseph Curtin in the NY Times

”The cultural impact can be game changing. As was the case with smoking indoors, the use of plastic bags becomes less socially acceptable over time once the government moves to restrict them. Reusable bags become the norm quicker than one might imagine, and shoppers seamlessly adapt their daily routines to the new reality. Action aimed at plastic bags can pave the way for further measures to address free coffee cups, lids, stirrers, cutlery, straws and takeout packaging.

Policies are definitely needed. And as individuals, we should at least be able to stop buying a million plastic bottles a minute. 

“Eventually you end up with a lot of garments, fabric rolls etc.,” says co-founder Jockum Hallin about his decade-plus brand Our Legacy.

There are different ways of acting sustainably as a fashion brand. One way is to make use of old collections and samples, making sure less things go to waste. That’s what it’s all about in the end, isn’t it? Closing the loop or at least making some u-turns. Embracing the fact that waste is produced and trying to level up.

WORK SHOP is a retail platform created by menswear label Our Legacy. Its Stockholm outlet is sort of like a crafts studio meets testing kitchen meets retail store, a messy and filled to the brim hybrid space with, well, amazing stuff. Press samples and garments from previous collections are either sold at reduced prices or deconstructed and rebuilt into new pieces, with the help of hand paint, prints, patchwork or whatever else ideas the Our Legacy team might have at the moment (and some ideas are transferred to future main collections). It’s also full of one-off vintage reference garments and cute gems like ceramic coat hooks and cassette tapes. And a tiny genderless kids’ collection with printed long-sleeve t-shirts and an odd Hawaiian shirt. Irresistible indeed.

The latest pop-up WORK SHOP opened in London the other week, and before that the WORK SHOP did a 50 day stunt in Los Angeles.

If you’re in London’s East End or in Stockholm, don’t miss out.


Our Legacy WORK SHOP in London and Los Angeles
Our Legacy WORK SHOP in Stockholm

Our Legacy Work Shop London
4 Garden Walk

Our Legacy Work Shop Stockholm
Rödabergsgatan 6

Lisa is wearing an upcycled Box Long-sleeve, WORK SHOP DNA merch made from residue fabrics in Portugal, printed by hand in Stockholm. And a pair of corduroys from The Cords.

Visit OurLegacyWorkshop.se

Recommended reading

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