Hi everyone! My name is Eline Reynders — Eline Rey for the Instagram lovers out there. I’m a twenty-five year old living in the sweet province of Limburg. During the week, I work fulltime as a Content & Conversation Manager and in my spare time I’m a self-employed blogger and content creative. A digital kid from dusk till dawn? I certainly am, though I love to disconnect from time to time and then you will find me at a tennis court or just strolling through nature.
Why I started blogging… Well, that’s quite a story. Got some time? In the last year of my first college education, I lived for about three months in the south of France for my internship. Back there, I created my first (super unprofessional) blog. The goal of this little website was to inform my dear family and friends of the stories that happened in la douce France. As soon as I graduated, I stopped writing. Not long after that celebration, I decided to go for a second professional bachelor where I fell in love with the ‘storytelling’ class. One of the first things the professor asked us at the beginning of the year was: “Has anyone in the room experience with blogging?”. Nobody rose their hand. Me neither, since my internship blog was not a real reference to me. That same evening, right after class, I re-started a blog with just one goal: improving my writing skills. And that’s exactly where it all began. From a blog which was only there to improve my Dutch writing skills in 2013… to the personal (life)style platform that it is now.
Enough about me, let’s talk fair fashion! First of all, a big shoutout to my all-time favorite social medium, Instagram, where I got to know LN Knits the same year I started my higher education in Antwerp. That’s almost 5 years ago. At that time, Ellen Kegels hadn’t got her wonderful flagship store just yet. She did organize open showrooms or had pop-up shops from time to time, so that’s where I fell in love with the very first fair fashion piece I bought: the electric blue Mini Maria scarf. An item that I still wear during fall and winter: see here.
I started changing my mindset about (fast) fashion gradually. Two years ago I made the first switch. Back then, I wanted to make sure I had a nice balance within my closet: partly sustainable pieces, partly fast fashion. (Un)fortunately it was only last Christmas I didn’t want to make any compromise no more. It was my boyfriend who proposed to watch ‘The True Cost’ together. After seeing this confronting documentary about the biggest drawbacks of the textile industry, I was heartbroken and the switch within my mind was suddenly an obvious one.
Nice to know: even in the past, I never experienced the urge to buy a new piece every single week. That’s a big win already because shopping in a sustainable or slow way has everything to do with creating a new mindset and changing your shopping behavior. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it.
Furthermore, fair fashion should be the norm, not the exception. It’s as simple as this: if you buy fast fashion, someone somewhere is paying the price for you. For those who do not realize it just yet: the textile industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. And large companies active in the fashion domain have completely brainwashed us so that we constantly long for ‘something new’. Did you know that in 2017 an item of clothing was worn for about 4 times average? I was shocked by the number. To make a very long story short: a fast fashion garment has a super short product life cycle, meaning that factory workers in economically disadvantaged situations work in awful conditions to create products that are considered disposable. As a consumer, our job is to educate ourselves and know the truth behind what we are consuming.
LN Knits completely fits into this picture, from a to z. The brand’s products are not only made in fair conditions and with natural materials, the brand even provides an honest job for more than 350 women in Peru. On top, I recently discovered that the LN Knits team tries to limit the surplus of the yarn by reusing the basic colors through the seasons ánd by spinning them into beautiful yarns so that you and I could make an LN piece ourselves. I totally love that slow vision.
What I love most about the brand is, first of all, the fact that founder Ellen Kegels chose to become self-employed in her early twenties. People with an entrepreneurial spirit and a great passion for their job: I like that. My parents also chose to become independent at a very young age and I have been (partly) self-employed for two years myself. Besides, I find it also incredibly nice to have been following the growth of this knitwear label throughout the years. The collections are getting bigger, new models are making their appearance … But the team never loses sight of their values. And that’s why I’m a fan!
Most of the time you will find me combining my LN Knits pieces with beautiful casual garments, so that my knit can really stand out. One of my favorite effortless looks, on weekdays, is without a doubt my recycled Mud jeans and cool Veja sneakers. (I am actually wearing this combo right now!).
Congrats! You reached the end of the article and I am super duper glad you did. There’s only one tiny message I would like to spread. Are you interested in slow or sustainable fashion but don’t really know where to shop? Or are you a fast fashion shopper who wants to change her/his habits? I am currently working towards one goal myself: by the end of this year, my closet would only consist out of ethical, eco-friendly or slow fashion pieces. And of course I adore to share my journey with all of you. On my life & style blog and my Instagram you will find a lot of information and inspiration regarding sustainable fashion. The goal is not to point a finger at someone, as I’m not a saint either, I just want to inspire you all and exchange knowledge about the wonderful industry of fair fashion.
Can’t wait to talk soon!
All pictures by the talented Elke Wendrickx
Go check her out! (click here)