Black Friday Reflection

Black Friday Reflection

Black Friday. Where does this day of craze and rock bottom price tags come from?
The first claim is dated way back to the 1960’s when Philadelphia police officers dubbed the day after Thanksgiving “Black Friday” because of the chaos in the streets. People from all over were coming to kick off their Christmas shopping and take advantage of the good deals. Some also say that it has to do with retail stores turning a massive profit on this day, going from being in the “red” to being in the “black”. (Learn more about Black Friday here.)
Either way, South Africans have adopted this day of the year, giving the silly season a proper welcome.

If you follow me or know anything about me, you’ll have come to find that I am not the biggest fan of excess, fast fashion or clever marketing tactics. I was not hyped or phased by Black Friday at all, in fact, I avoided the Somerset Mall as best I could. Did my husband and I take part (and advantage) of the great deals available? Well yes, we did. But if I could explain the difference between the way we did it and the feeling I get when I see people pushing and screaming, huffing and puffing until Game’s doors came cracking down. 

I have decided to group the different types of consumers I have watched on phone recorded videos and news feeds to make more sense of this insane day. Bare with me…my findings are as follows.

1. Along for the ride.
These are the people who have fallen for the clever marketing and sales strategy behind this day. They get hyped up and join the crowd as people start to gather before midnight to get their hands on any deal really. They are the ones who don’t plan on buying anything, they just want to check out the fuss but then walk out with deals they just could not resist. In my research I found many people confessing that if it were any other day of the year, they wouldn’t dream of buying what they bought, they wouldn’t be prepared to save for it. Essentially, Black Friday was the reason for their exploding shopping trolleys. Buying things they don’t need, with money they don’t have, as seen below.

2. The planners.
This is me and my husband. We knew exactly what we needed, and been needing for a long time. We needed a casserole pot as well as coffee mugs. Because I am all about quality over quantity, I urged my husband that we wait until we have enough money to buy a quality pot that could last generations as well as mugs that wouldn’t chip and crack after a few months causing us to spend money again. He decided that “Black Friday” was a good way of getting what we needed and getting some discount on it. So he surprised me with these items and it also doubled as an early birthday present. We didn’t fall for any marketing schemes that drew us closer, instead went right for what we needed and didn’t buy excess while doing so.

3. The actual customer.
This person is someone who has little money, a big family to feed and support and has to make it happen somehow. They are the ones that will elbow you out of the way for a jumbo pack of diapers because they know that the little person at home is counting on them. These people are the ones who I feel buy smart because they know what they have, don’t have and desperately need. Why then not save up a little for Black Friday, save some well earned money on essential items and have a joy-filled holiday season?


My conclusion…We need to be sure what in this world is leading our happiness. Are we feeling content after a massive shop where we get to bring trillions of things home that we don’t need but found absolute pleasure in buying them on a great deal? Or do you also feel that sense of, “Shucks, I went overboard and allowed my eyes to feast, and my “wants” to lead me to debt and excess!”
Don’t let consumerism become your trademark. Choose well and buy less, you’re life will feel lighter and you’ll have more space for the important things.

Happy planning, Jessica. x

Photo content by Local Truth Photography


Black And White

Black And White

In a world where Pinterest and Instagram are alive and online 24/7 in every home, it can be hard to stay true to yourself. Especially when it comes to style. There is so many avenues of inspiration and they’re easily accessible, which isn’t always the best.
I only recently decided that JESS|GREEN was going to be a blog, the original intention was an online store, but while waiting on my doodles to come to life, I wanted to get going with this platform. Designing it was fun at first, I drew inspiration from absolutely everywhere, trying to be as ‘me’ as I could. But a few months in, it became hard to stick to ‘me’ and my style. The more I Googled, “best blogs”, the more confused I was. This famous blogger had a side bar, this well known stylist didn’t, South Africa bloggers were all about colour and then the Australians are monotone. Confused!!
But then I started trying something that, again, was not ‘me’. I tried to be as different as possible. I decided that if it was already done, I wasn’t going to do it. HA HA! You know the feeling of trying to fit a square into circle and it just won’t budge? That was me.

I finally came to my senses, stopped comparing my online profile to the rest of the world’s, and decided that the only Jessica Combrinck there can be, is me! Allowing myself to organically get to this point was tough, yes, but here I am.
Of course, we will continue to draw inspiration, and yes, there are a million people who love black, white and grey at the moment, but if you are one of them, embrace it. Don’t copy and paste your style from Pinterest, instead, get to know yourself better! Know what you like in black and what you like in white, what you can’t stand in grey and how minimal or rose gold or blush you want to be! Let yourself grow, organically!

The Truth About Polyester

The Truth About Polyester

Reading this title, what does your mind picture first? A plastic bottle? Or a ‘to die for’ coat? Surprise surprise, you can actually start thinking about both, as they are really one in the same.  On this rollercoaster clothing design journey of mine, I came across heaps and heaps of information that the normal everyday girl wouldn’t know without searching for it. It caused a ripple effect of change. Changing the way I shop for clothes, the way a shop for food, and lifestyle products. This massive lifestyle change hasn’t come to it’s full fruition yet, but I can say this much (with confidence) we are not your average household. Polyester is a word you have read a couple of times on the washing tag of your garment. Have a look at the tag of the garment you’re wearing right now. Just like food packaging, every clothing brand should have a label stating what the garment is made of, (as well as where it was made). More often than not, you will find 100% or some percentage of polyester, nylon, viscose, rayon etc. It has come to my attention that most women don’t really care what their clothes are made of or know where these textiles originate from. Google it!

Ever wonder why you are so sweaty, or over heating in your favourite blouse? Why you are smelly at the end of a long day at work, rushing to the shower, or making sure you’re using the best roll on on the shelf to hide this problem you have accepted to live with? Well, I hope it all makes sense to you now. 100% or any percentage of polyester is basically telling you the content of plastic in your clothes. Now imagine taking cling film and wrapping yourself in that, how would your body breathe? Imagine going for a run, or standing in the sun? The amount of heat building up with nowhere to go will cause your internal thermometer to hit the roof. Choosing to consciously check every label BEFORE falling in love with a garment is a strategy I use every time I look at clothing. I have become frustrated many times for taking too long to find a certain necessity, but waiting and searching for a 100% natural textile garment is something I try my absolute best not to compromise on.

100% natural textiles…
…do not prevent perspiring but it breathes so your body heat has somewhere to go.
…last longer in it’s original state, where polyester will lose it’s beauty after a few washes.
…will biodegrade once worn out, where polyester is plastic so when you are tired of the garments look and it ends up on a rubbish dump, it will stay there until kingdom come.
…are more expensive than polyester but they will last longer, where polyester as I’ve mentioned, loses it’s look and forces you to replace constantly.

If we adopt a mentality of buying more consciously and with thought, we won’t need to spend thousands of rands on new clothes every year. Of course this way of thinking walks hand in hand with knowing who you are and what your personal style is. If you keep falling for the latest trend or fad, you’ll be shopping every week thanks to fast fashion.

Love your purchases, Jessica.

As a whole, the textile industry occupies roughly 5% of all landfill space. The clothing that is discarded into landfills is often made from synthetic or inorganic materials which prevents these textiles from being able to degrade properly.

Buying clothes you ABSOLUTELY love!

Buying clothes you ABSOLUTELY love!

Eek, the struggle is real. I have been shopping for a (preferably local) jacket for the past three weeks, which doesn’t sound awfully long, but when your wardrobe is in desperate need of one and it’s kind of chilly outside, then three weeks is forever! Nevertheless, I am still looking. But while on this jacket hunt of mine, I realised that even though I know exactly what I’m looking for, I have no clue what I want! Please say this makes sense to someone out there? I blame this problem on the heaps and heaps of choices we have when walking into clothing stores, as well as Pinterest, erg. Who would’ve thought so much inspiration could lead to so much confusion. Bleh. Regardless, I could spend hours scrolling down their home page. (Insert in love face.)

But seriously though, don’t you feel like the more options you have in front of you, the harder it is to make a decision. It’s like there’s an undiagnosed ‘the-grass-could-be-greener-on-the-other-side’ illness that I’ve been hit with, because mercy me, I could possibly be sitting without a jacket this winter. H E L P !

These days, it’s hard buying clothes we absolutely love don’t you think? Let me give you a scenario: there are five black blazers, that look almost identical but they’re not, this one is shorter, that one has a different zip or button. So which one do you choose? The one you absolutely love? The cheapest one, which usually ends up being the one lacking quality. The best fit? What if that’s three of them? This dilemma usually leaves me paralysed to make a decision and I walk away with nothing afraid that if I bought at least one of them, I would go home thinking about the other options and regret my decision.  This is literally the space I find myself in often.
BUT, there is hope at the end of this fashion dilemma tunnel. Be content! That’s what keeps speaking to me. Jessica, choose the one you notice first, the one that caught you’re eye when you walked in, the one you won’t stop thinking about when you go home. And once you’ve bought it, BE CONTENT! (And stop looking.) Sounds like boyfriend advice. That’s for free. 😉

Happy deciding, Jessica.

S U C C E S S ! So I was eyeing a 100% cotton denim jacket essential, and as described above, contemplated (procrastinated) getting it. I saved it to a wishlist and as soon as I was ready to slam the purchase it went on sale and was no longer available online. Of course no store close to me had my size in stock, bleh. Last week my husband and I ended up in Cape Town for an appointment and decided to try Canal Walk, and mercy me, behind a few jackets, right at the back, hung the last denim jacket, size 8, with MY name ALL over it!
It pays to wait, and be sure of your next purchase. I was not hesitant at all buying this garment. As sure as sure can be and I love it.

W I N ! W I N ! W I N ! 
You and a friend could be chilling hard in an original J E S S G R E E N tee! Check out my Instagram post regarding this giveaway for more details.

A Fashion Revolution

A Fashion Revolution

We are only a few days away from the 24th of April. Why does this day have so much significance you ask? Well, I would love to tell you.
Last year, on one of my research rampages, I came across a movement difficult to look past. I naturally delved further and by the end of the day, I needed to be a part of it.
Fashion Revolution is a non-profit organization, running solely on volunteers, who’s goal is to see more transparency in the fashion supply chain. For years we have been picking up speed, starting in 1975 with the birth of ‘fast-fashion’, and it looks as though we can’t stop. That’s where these guys come in, BAM, POW, TA-DA, introducing Fashion Revolution!

This was one of the first video’s made to pump this initiative and to create awareness around the fatal incident at Rana Plaza,  Bangladesh in 2013. After the crash of this unstable building, a spotlight was turned onto the fashion supply chain and what had become of it over the years. People had a glimpse of where their “must-have’s” were being made and also a rude awakening to the circumstances these workers found themselves in. Many chose to look away, but many also chose to take a stand against this modern day slavery.

Our Mission:
We believe in fashion – an industry which values people, the environment, creativity and profits in equal measure, and it’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure that this happens.

To get involved and support Fashion Revolution in making a change, head on over to their website. They have many ways for designers, brands and consumers to become a part of this global movement. They have also made a gazillion resources available to us to help in creating awareness. A practical way to get involved is to start asking the question, Who Made My Clothes? Turn your t-shirt or top inside out, take a selfie with the label and post the question to the brand, tagging them or emailing them, you can even write them a letter! This year we’ll be pumping Fashion Revolution from 24th – 30th April so make sure your posting and asking, we need more transparency from our favorite brands!

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Fast Fashion? Definition please!

Fast Fashion? Definition please!

I was recently faced with a fantastic question. Think about the last time you purchased a new item of clothing. Was it to replace an old, worn out item in your cupboard or was it a season must have? It’s scary to think about how often the latter is true. When was the last time you threw out a piece of clothing because it was absolutely finished, worn out and past the point of a pajama option?

The majority of us don’t wear our clothes long enough for them to reach that stage, because before you open your eyes, the next trend is ‘trending’. Wanting to stay “in season” we rush to the nearest major retail store and save our closet from utter embarrassment. True? Yes, 100%. If you thought that you weren’t part of ‘fast fashion’, think again.

I did a little (A LOT OF) research on fast fashion and it seems that Zara is at the forefront of this retail revolution. The founder, Amancio Ortega, opened his first store in 1975 in Spain and took a different approach to selling his garments. In as little as 2 weeks he would have new designs made and selling in his store, giving his customers fresh looks right through the seasons. Consumers knew that they would find something new every time they went back, but it also caused them to make purchases faster as they realised what they saw in store this week wouldn’t necessarily be in store the next week.
Here’s a quick clip giving us a brief background on Zara and Ortega’s fast fashion brain child.

Just information? Meh, nope. I know the feeling of being ‘in season’ with the latest trends but once we understand at who’s expense we are dressing and buying, it’s not so glamorous anymore. Along with all this research, I couldn’t help but delve into related articles on who makes our clothes. Who are the people running on the hamster wheel, rushing and running to get this fast fashion to us fresh off the runway??
If you haven’t read my posts related to this topic, do yourself a favour, it changed the way I shop completely.

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