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Hi Everybody!

This time we have received a lot of questions around recycling, especially for children and teens, but also men, which made me realize that the latter often gets a bit forgotten when it comes to upcycling DIYing!

We've also been asked about the body confidence, having researched this topic in more depth for this series, it has become very quickly clear to me that this is an issue which sadly affects people of all ages and is in some cases an ongoing struggle. It would be really great to hear about your own experiences and advice you could share.

So here we go, hopefully there'll be something interesting for everyone reading this post.

P.S. La version en español se puede leer en el directorio de Slow Fashion Next (antes Slow Fashion Spain) modasostenible.org

Upcycled summer kimono by Naughty Shorts

Hi Dr. Slow,
I really liked your last post about "Consumer Habits" and completely agree that we have to educate our children from an early age to become more mindful consumers. I'm personally very interested in showing my two teenage daughters how to recycle clothes etc. Could you recommend any DIY projects that aren't too difficult (we have a basic sewing machine)?
Claudia, Reading (UK)

Dear Claudia
I'm glad you liked the post and I think it's great that you are encouraging your daughters to recycle! I've had a little look around and come up with the following projects which shouldn't be too difficult, let's see what you think!

1. White dress made from a pleated skirt by Life is Beautiful / 2. Upcycled panel sweater by uberchicforcheap.com / 3. Old Sweatshirt with woven back by 10awesome.com / 4. Necklace made from e.g. an old cotton T-shirt by fashionista.com / 5. Upcycled Vans by A Beautiful Mess / Pompom shorts made from old fabric by Merricksart.com.

Dear Dr. Slow,
I'm concerned about my 14-year-old daughter's body confidence, she's constantly complaining about not being skinny or tall enough etc. Even though there's absolutely nothing wrong with her, on the contrary, I believe she's a pretty young girl with every reason to feel proud of herself. It's really frustrating to see her being so unhappy about her appearance. Do you know of any websites or books that could help her?
Sue, Leeds (UK)

Dear Sue,
I'm sorry to hear your daughter is struggling with her body confidence. I guess we have all been there at one point or another and know that this isn't uncommon, especially at her age. As someone who teaches teenagers on a regular basis, I've come across this problem various times with my students. Eventually I've decided to put together a lesson plan about it, incl. some of the following material, which my students really liked, and perhaps might help your daughter to.

First of all we've discussed the following quote by British actress Kate Winslet:

"As a child I never heard one woman say to me I love my body. Not my mother, my elder sister, my best friend. Not one woman has ever said "I am so proud of my body". So I make sure to say it to Mia, because a positive physical outlook has to start at an early age."

While discussing it we all realised that sadly people at all ages, especially women it seems suffer from these kind of perceptions. Which made me think a little about the way I see myself and that maybe we, as parents, teachers etc. can help young people a lot by being a good example to them!

We also watched the following video by Dove which you might know. Looking back I reckon it was probably one of the most effective exercises we did. Not only was it a real eye-opener, but it also led to an interesting discussion about the Dove ads in general. Practically all of us admitted that when we saw the real body Dove ads for the first time we kind of struggled to see people like us in those ads, which made us realize how "brainwashed" we all or thanks to photoshopped glossies! 

Dove Real Beauty Sketches "You're 
more beautiful than you 
think" via YouTube

Furthermore, I've also been using the following links for my lesson plan, which include interesting questions and thoughts on the topic:

Body Image & Confidence by Shirley E. Eniang

I really hope you will find the above mentioned material useful in helping your daughter develop a healthy body-confidence and wish the too of you all the very best!

Colourblock shoe DIY by mesewdrazy.com

Hi Dr. Slow!
I'm interested in doing some upcycling projects. 
Could you recommend any for menswear that are 
elegant and not too difficult?
Miguel, Lugo (Spain)

Hi Miguel!
Sure, although I have to admit most of what I normally find is for women or kids, there are some great ones for men too. Here are a few of my favourites, which I hope will match your taste:

1. Shirt pillow covers by relevedesign.com / 2. Bow tie made from old necktie by makeit-loveit.com / 3. Old license plate bag by crafster.org / 4. Felted slippers by annalenaland.com / 5. Map cufflinks by bespoke-bride.com / 6. Old tennis ball wall decoration via Pinterest / 7. Mini albums made from old ties by lilblueboo.com / 8. Hanging shelf made with an old belt by blueistyleblog.com. 

Have fun!

Jack Johnson singing "3 Rs"

Hi there!
Are there any good books on recycling for young children that explain the topic and also incl. activities?
Laura, Navarra (Spain)

Hi Laura,
Good question, there are actually quite a few, here are a few which I will hopefully be of help to you:

3. ECOART (mainly crafts)

Thank you very much for all your questions and we look forward to answer more in next month's column!

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