Silje Isabel, an ethical brand

Sustainable Fashion

Silje Isabel, an ethical brand

Silje Isabel is a new environmentally friendly clothing brand with production in Norway and Peru. I use exclusive materials such as organic cotton and alpaca wool in the garments.

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The cotton is 100% organic and grown in Peru. Colors are either natural cotton colors like off-white, coffee and avocado or GOTS certified. Since it has not been used artificial colorings, the garments in natural colors will be good for people who suffer from allergies caused by chemicals used for dyeing clothes. I also collaborate with a Fair Trade company in Peru called Aptec, they employ women in impoverished areas and learn them how to knit. This helps them generate an income in regions where it’s hard to find work.

 

Please visit my website to see more of the clothes:

http://www.siljeisabel.no

or press like on my Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/siljeisabel.no/

 

 

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Suffering with your self

I randomly watched this somewhat cheesy American TV show Dr. Phil, and there was this anorexic girl on it and she was starving herself to death. After coping with a heavy depression and suicide attempts I know that what you’re feeling is often portrayed though other channels such as eating disorders, self-harm or just loosing control of your body. It was quite hard the intervention they had with the girl, but sometimes that’s what you need. I had it with myself, I was so sick and tired of the life I had it was either die or continue on an unknown path. I chose the last one. It was hard and it’s not something you can fix in an instant, but you can’t live on a diagnosis you have to continue without it and not define yourself as it. It’s easy to avoid reality when you have a disorder, but it’s not worth it and you’ll never become whole doing so.  I did so many things when I was a kid, I starved myself (I tried to be bulimic, but I was bad at it as I couldn’t force myself to throw up) I self-injured myself by cutting my arms sometimes legs, I ran away planning on living in the woods; I had lots of weird solutions to my “problem”. The problem was that I thought I was a bad person. My grandmother says bad things happen to bad people, so I believed it and blamed myself. But you reach a point where it’s make it or break it, and I made it. I realized that I had some people who believed in me and had my back, and they held me up while others tried to break me down. I’m not going to list the people that made my life miserable because I’m over it; I’ve cut them out of my life. Sometimes you’ve got to be harsh and kick out the bad (by not giving them a 100th chance) and let new people into your life.

Madrid

Madrid, en fantastisk by i hjertet av Spania. Vi dro dit ved morgengry. Jeg pakket ferdig baggen min og presset den ned i korgen på sykkelen, jeg ble nesten litt overrasket over at jeg ikke tippet overende. Det var herlig, den kjølige morgenluften var frisk og vekket meg opp. Jeg møtte jentene ved et drosjestopp, de var litt sent ute. I mellomtiden latet jeg som jeg ventet på noen for å avstøte fulle menn som var på vei hjem etter en natt ute på byen. Bussen var ikke av samme kvalitet som de i Norge, men det gikk fint å sove med solbriller på. Jeg hadde tatt med meg mye nistemat, ostesmørbrød, kirsebær, kjeks, gatorade og vann. De andre hadde glemt å ta med seg frokost så jeg ble matmor på turen. Jeg var klar til å se byen hvor faren min hadde studert under Franco. Det kriblet i magen da jeg merket landskapet forandret seg til åkre, vidder av åkere nesten uten bygninger.  Alt var gult, men man kunne av og til se et enslig oliventre.

Vi visste ikke hvilke busstasjon vi kom til å ende opp ved. Heldigvis hadde Jenna med seg en reisebok om Spania, og vi fant ut at det var veldig mange i Madrid. Vi måtte spørre flere om hvordan vi kunne komme oss til sentrum. Den ene foreslo en 45 minutters busstur, men metro viste seg å være raskere. Madrid var ikke slik jeg forestilte meg, det var koselig, gammelt, og spennende. Været var også mye bedre, jeg kunne faktisk gå rundt uten å svette slik som jeg gjorde i Valencia på grunn av fuktigheten. Vi satte oss ned på en kafé ved Puerta del Sol for å orientere oss litt. Hele tiden tenkte jeg at – her har faren min bodd. De siste årene har vært en reise i hans fotspor, jeg visste ingenting om ham, men nå kunne jeg se noe han hadde sett. Jeg prøvde å forestille meg å bo der under Franco, å oppleve rasisme på grunn av hans latinske utseende. Det var mer mangfold i Madrid, mennesker fra alle nasjoner og som hadde flere kles-stiler. Jeg så for eksempel min første spanske goth med nesten to meter langt hår.

Hostellet vi overnattet i lå veldig sentralt, men vi hadde litt problemer med å finne frem. På veien så vi en bokforhandler, som var ganske så spesiell. Den var laget av bokhyller montert til en mur med vinduslemmer som man kunne låse.  Ingen av oss hadde sett noe slikt før. Men den økte vår følelse av byens koselighet.

Samme dag som vi ankom Madrid dro vi for å se slottet. Det var mye større enn det i Norge og hadde en egen kirke. Vi kjøpte billetter til å se en del av slottet, det var spekket med gull, fløyel, krystall-lysekroner, statuer. Alt var overdådig. Da det var tid for siesta dro vi til et sted for å spise, alt var bittelite og dyrt. Etter et litt mislykket måltid spanderte jeg is på oss, som vi brakte med oss på veien til El Prado. Køen for å komme inn gratis var helt enorm, men den beveget seg fort. I luken fant vi ut at vi som studenter kunne komme inn gratis når som helst. Inne i El Prado leide vi lydguider og begynte vår ferd gjennom en labyrint av bilder. Det var så mye å se, og hodet mitt begynte å bli fult allerede etter å ha vært gjennom noen av salene. Vi ville se alt, og merket ikke hvor fort tiden gikk, og vi hadde bare en og en halv time til det skulle stenge. Det siste kvarteret ble nesten hektisk, for vi ville se de mest berømte bildene. Jeg fikk sett bildet av Goya ”Saturn som spiser sin sønn”. Det bildet har skremt meg siden jeg var liten og så det i et blad. Men vi bestemte oss for å komme tilbake neste dag for det var fortsett mye å se. Det var heldigvis ikke som Louvre som er helt gedigent stort. Dagen etter så vi et marked og  et annet kunstmuseum, La Reina Sofía. Der fikk jeg sett Guernica, bildet av Picasso som fremstilte bombingen av byen, byen hvor familien min kommer fra. Bildet var som et spørsmål ”hvor kommer jeg fra?”. Det første var ”Hvem er faren min?” Jeg har begynt å danne meg et bilde av ham, men av fortiden… Hvordan mine baskiske forfedre havnet i Peru vet jeg ikke. Jeg ville vite hvor de dro fra, hvilke havn, hva slags båt, hva slags farer de må ha møtt ved å krysse Atlanterhavet. Og hvorfor hadde familien min et våpenskjold?

Det var så mye jeg ikke visste om fra faren min sin side av familien. Jeg visste heller ikke så mye om de danske genene mine; tippoldefaren min var visst dansk. Mens jeg skypet med moren min fant jeg det som mest sannsynlig var en forfader, han var en vagabond som drømte om å bli kunstner, og han var flink. Det sto noe om han i et dansk leksikon på nettet. Det var mormor sin side av familien som var kunstnerisk, og kanskje kom det fra ham…

Education is the best!…or is it?

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the educational systems in different countries. In Valencia I’ve met Germans, French, Danish, American etc who’ve told me about education in their countries (mostly because I’m asking). In nearly all countries you have to choose one thing, if you decide not to continue you have to start from scratch. In Norway, if you study humanities or social science, you get one year in the middle of your bachelor to choose a different subject. And the first semester of your bachelor you study philosophy, ethics and academic writing, to prepare you for studying at a university. I did this semester in Mexico. I’m so lucky! But still I think Norwegians don’t appreciate the great system we have, we always complain. Nothing is ever good enough. I’ve had the chance to study so many different things and still I’ll get a bachelor in the end. And we pay almost nothing for our education. Of course Norway is an incredibly expensive country. Our money goes to housing and food. I don’t come from a rich family, though people think everybody from Norway is rich. I work every summer holiday to get enough money. I’m neither lazy nor snobby. But I do live better here in Spain than in Norway.

Another thing that irritates me is the bad reputation the Waldorf Schools have. People say the strangest things: that we can’t write, we play with dolls without faces or with rocks. I didn’t know that in most countries they can’t go to high school through the Waldorf system, they have to take public exams or go to a public high school. I went to a Waldorf School in my city Stavanger, and I wouldn’t change my education there for the world. I’m so happy that I didn’t have to take a year over again at a “normal” school. If you’re wondering what a Waldorf/Steiner school is you can google it, it’s too much for me to explain in just some sentences.

Those of you who do get to have an education, please be grateful because not everybody is as fortunate.

Spain

Hola,

I’ve now been a bit over a month in Valencia. It’s a beautiful city. It took me 2 weeks to get all of my classes’ sorted, Spanish people aren’t exactly known for efficiency. But now everything’s settled. I’ve got five classes: Spanish theatre, lexicography, Spanish grammar, Image analysis and Roman history.

They’ve got something called Valenbici here; you pay 18 Euros for a year and can use the Valenbici (which is a bike). There are stations all over the city, its great, except I’m like shit scared. I saw a guy get hit passing a pedestrian crossing. Here in Valencia the yellow light lasts almost longer then the red. Yellow here means you can cross it; you just have to «watch out» for pedestrians. And some don’t, they’d rather almost run you over. In Peru I was used to run over the street because there they don’t have crossings, but the Spanish are just as bad. And the other day I saw a bus crash into a car in a roundabout.

I really like it here, but I’m still thinking about the next place I want to live or go to. I think I’ll never be satisfied. I feel I’ve got an inner conflict going on because a part of me would like to slow down and live a place more than 6 months, which has been the maximum throughout 3 years now. I think I have to tranquilizarme un poquito (calm down a bit). I’m still fucking 21 and most people here are older than me, well people from northern Europe. But it’s also the pressure of figuring out what to do with my life. I’ve done one year and a half of such a mixture of studies, but now I’ve landed on two things: architecture or art. My heart lies within the arts, but I’m still a bit scared of going such an uncertain road. I’ve told people that when I’ve finished my art-bachelor I would like to become an engineer, a petroleum geologist. They can’t really believe I would want to do something that different, but I’ve got two years to see If I want to do it or not, or maybe I’ll try architecture.

As this has become a bit of a travel piece I strongly recommend coming to Valencia!

Besos

Horoscopes and predicting the future

I love predicting the future, mostly because I’m so frustrated with my own present. My friends and me used to read my tarot cards, and we loved reading horoscopes. I guess if your path is laid out for you it’s easier, I wish it were so. My way in life changes so often that my friends and family have a hard time keeping up. I don’t blame them. Sometimes I wish the cards could make decisions for me, but its up to me to make them. I find it kind of hard, to really listen to your heart and figure out what you want to do with your life. But I must say I’m truly privileged being able to choose what I want to do.  Not everybody has that opportunity, and I owe it to myself, and them, to use it.