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Hello October!

I’m writing this on a rainy September day with a little kitten (not mine, unfortunately) curled up beside me and a cup of tea in front of me. I’ve lit a candle, Ella Fitzgerald is playing in the background. I have manufactured all the major #fallvibes and am loving it. 

Although I prefer warmer climates, I do enjoy the fall season in Canada. We are so lucky to have four seasons to enjoy, and as much as I wish winter wouldn’t last so long, I’ve started to realize that spring and summer are so sweet because of winter. I thought about this a lot when I recently marched for the Climate Strike in Montreal - will we even have four seasons if we continue to consume our way to a more stuff-filled future? 

OCTOBER 

Yikes - sorry, that was dark, and not fun and spooky Halloween dark. I’m not normally one for doom and gloom, so there’s a reality I’d like to embrace instead: celebrating the fact that we already have what we need. 

As cliche as it is, the air of cozy Thanksgiving and gratitude is a great time to extend this appreciation to our closets. Even though I’ve added some new pieces to my closet this season along with a few souvenirs from my recent trip to Europe (Missed those vlogs? Catch my adventures in Greece if you missed them, Italy vlog still to come!), I still love to show major tlc to my current closet. Not only because it means I enjoy wearing my older pieces because they’re still in great shape, but it also translates to a longer garment life when it’s time to consign or donate them. 

Did you know that  extending the life of our clothes by just 9 months reduces the garment’s footprint by 20-30%? I may have used this stat already, but I thought it was especially fitting for this month’s slow fashion tip. 

Here’s why this helps: 

Not only is this a productive way to spend additional indoor time (love that you can do this while watching Marvelous Mrs. Maisel or your fave Youtubers ;), but the more you show proper love and care to your clothes, the longer they’ll last and the more you’ll want to wear them. I’ve mentioned taking clothes to a tailor or seamstress, handwashing or taking coats to the cleaners, but in this newsletter, I really want to dig into the mending and laundry tricks that may seem mindless, but are so meaningful. 

If you’re looking for a great article on slow fashion garment care, there’s a great one from the Guardian here.

When it comes to mending, here are two easy fixes that usually leave our clothes in limbo: 

Darning: I’ve only darned casual clothes like leggings and socks, but even this has been immensely satisfying. It’s not complicated sewing so can even be done while lazing around on the couch. Here’s the darning video tutorial I watched and loved it - easy and fast. NB: I didn’t use a darning egg, you can use anything round or semi-round here like a lacrosse ball, or glass jar. 

Sewing on a button: Another super easy and effective fix that doesn’t require couture-level sewing skills. It’s also a great way to change up a blazer or shirt’s look if you’re feeling tired of it. I love this
infographic button-sewing tutorial.

When it comes to laundering, a couple of easy tips to keep your clothing lasting longer while staying fresh (did you know that the average washing machine uses 13,500 gallons of water a year? That’s as much as you’ll drink in your entire lifetime): 

  • Don’t wash clothes after every wear: this can obviously be difficult depending on your climate and personal body temperature, however there are things like armpit guards, or simply wearing a silk slip under dresses and skirts that can help avoid getting more soiled with body contact. 

  • Spot wash: Rather than washing an entire garment if it gets dirty or a stain, spot wash by hand in the sink. 

  • Air dry: Not only does this reduce energy consumption, but there’s truly no better smell than freshly hung clothes. In the winter, simply set up your drying rack in the living room and make sure you include extra drying time into your outfit planning!

  • Steam out clothes for a fresher, cleaner garment. 

  • Hand wash your natural fabrics like merino, silk, linen.

  • If you must wash in your machine, wash at 30 degrees celsius (with the exception of items like underwear, bedsheets, towels etc. which need to be washed in hotter temperatures for sanitary purposes) 

They might be a bit more time-intensive, but I’ve found that these small acts of meticulous garment care have become a really pleasant part of my housekeeping routine. Do you have any mending or laundering tips? I’d love to know.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT 
My slow fashion take on this season's trends - what they mean in terms of shape, colour, and style personality. Watch it here.
Part two of the fall trend series and a favourite video to film - I tackle the season's trends by shopping my own closet! Watch it here.
WHAT I'M LOVING THIS MONTH
My favourite fall shirt is back, but in black this time. Made in Canada, I am slowly trying to convert all my shirts to Power of My People, an incredible made in Canada brand. Get yours for 20% off using my code ALYSSABELTEMPO :)
Another way to show your closet some love is to participate in a fun closet challenge - this one: #12daysofglam, is from my friends @citizennestyle and @peaceflaghouse in Toronto. Find the details online or on Instagram and join in on the prompts and the challenge!
Thank you so much for reading, I am always grateful to be included in some small way in your day. Wishing you a beautiful month of October! xx
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