Miseducated Guesses

I wish more posts stated that we really don’t know for sure what the future holds. We simply cannot.

Science cannot prove anything true. Science – even the most significant breakthroughs – can only prove previously held truths false.

We search for patterns and past truths to minimize the unknown. We make educated guesses. A new curveball can be around any corner. The media speculates 24/7 with seemingly no repercussions, as of late. I wish more people admitted we just. don’t. know.

And maybe not knowing, is not so bad.
Keep looking up.

– allison

Miseducated Guesses (4.20) available on Spotify

Miseducated Guesses (4.20) available on Apple Music

Our Plastic Closet

Did you know most clothing is made of plastic? Petroleum-based fabrics have been the most popular choice for the past few decades but we are seeing a shift due to consumer demands for cleaner and safer alternatives.

This talk goes into depth about how microplastics are affecting our environmental systems, what can we do to help, and what’s needed in the fashion industry to solve the problem. Recycled plastic water bottle clothes make for clever marketing, but the long-term solutions will be much more holistic – from design to recycling. This virtual meeting was presented live by Sustainable Fashion Circle and VICENZI on April 8, 2020.

We explore ~

– What are the differences between microplastics and microfibers? – When and why did fossil-fuel derived clothing infiltrate the fashion industry (taking over 60% of our garments purchased)? – How do microplastics make their way into the environment + what is their impact? What can we (consumers, designer/entrepreneurs, activists, students) do now in our choices and actions to minimize the harm and avoid adding to this problem? what to buy, how to care for it, questions to be asking.. We’ll explore future-focused solutions, including material innovations and regulation on the fashion chain, from textiles to laundry

Our Panelists:

Georgi Annenberg, MSc Graduate & Sustainability Consultant

Georgi earned her Master of Science degree in Sustainable Environmental Systems from Pratt Institute. Her thesis, Dirty Laundry, explored the potential solutions to microplastic pollution from synthetic clothing for the city of New York. Her research led to collaboration with the Surfrider Foundation and Sierra Club’s Plastic Committee and she continues to raise awareness about fashion’s impact on the environment through articles and podcasts. https://ourplasticclothing.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/georgina-…

Mary Bemis, Founder and CEO of Reprise Activewear

Mary is the founder of Reprise, a line of stylish and plant-based activewear with a mission to educate and empower people on a holistic health journey. The brand exists to offer consumers the best in nontoxic performance materials after Mary realized her entire workout wardrobe was made out of plastics. Mary launched Reprise via a successful Kickstarter in 2018. https://repriseactivewear.com https://instagram.com/repriseactivewear

Billy McCall, Co-Founder and CEO of Kintra Fibers

Billy is a materials scientist behind Kintra Fibers, a research and development lab creating 100% compostable and high-performance fabrics—starting with biodegradable fiber which is low cost and performs like nylon and poly without harmful effects on the environment. https://kintafibers.com https://instagram.com/kintrafibers

Moderated by Allison Vicenzi, Founder/Designer of circular fashion brand VICENZI and Co-Founder of the Sustainable Fashion Circle meetup in New York City. https://www.vicenzi.co https://instagram.com/allison.vicenzi 

Ides of March

Made a new Spotify playlist for March, an undeniably confounding month thus far. Songs I’m “social distancing” with during this unprecedented moment in our history. Discovered through family and friends, algorithms, and TikTok. If you have one you think belongs on this, comment or DM!

Keep looking up, staying strong, making things (even if that’s a playlist, or a dinner).

– allison

Ides of March (3.20) available on Spotify

Ides of March (3.20) available on Apple Music

Clotheskeeping Workshop in Brooklyn

Thursday Feb 27th6–9PM__Dusty Friends595 Manhattan AvenueBrooklyn, NY__Learn about the art of Clotheskeeping, featuring sustainable laundering and closet maintenance practices for modern and vintage fabrics and garments. We will demosteaming, light mending, washing, stain removal, storage and lots more.

Have a special garment with a cleaning or mending problem? Please bring it in for our on-site care clinic!

Join us for an information-packed evening with The Conscious Closet author Elizabeth Cline; designer Allison Vicenzi, founder of circular clothing brand VICENZI; and ReMade In Brooklyn director Linnae Hamilton.

This edition of our Clotheskeeping workshop series is presented partnership with Dusty Rose Vintage as part of ReFashion Week NYC.

#Freestyle2020: Reselling in your free time (Updated!)

Have you been sitting on a pile of stuff you want to try and sell? Let’s do it! Allison made $2.5K+ in the last year reselling things she was no longer using and flipping a few excellent (but not her size) things she discovered when thrift shopping.

So, aside from making some travel-funding / side-hustling / loan-repaying extra cash, why is reselling important?

  • You bought things. You might have worn them a lot, you might have worn them not at all (tags still on, oh boy!). We all have. Shopping is a giant rabbit hole. We don’t always get it right. That’s OK! What can we do now? All we can do is find the next best place for these things.
  • Shopping and selling secondhand is the MOST sustainable way to approach fashion and style. This is worth repeating in bolder typeface: 
Secondhand things are the most sustainable.
Regardless of origin or materials, choosing something that already exists is the easiest and most proven way to get what you need while helping to repair our planet. Reselling is more sustainable than dropping in a bin or at a thrift/donation shop because you are creating value. You are connecting with someone who agrees on the value, and you are extending the useful life of your thing or things. Unless you have a local person or group looking for the items you want to get rid of, actively seeking your donations at the time you are ready to let go, we suggest reselling to keep things moving. It’ll be easier than you think.

THE PROCESS (Read through all steps before beginning)

  • Choose 3-5 items you’re “over” (or maybe were never really into in the first place)
    • Some ideas for what to list: Things that no longer fit you right, things with tags on that you’ve never found a way to wear, things that recall sour memories or that were purchased for a purpose that is no longer relevant to you, things that had a high original price tag that you don’t really love, things you bought final sale and couldn’t return.
  • Make account on Poshmark
    • NOTE: Do not register using your Facebook account if you plan to deactivate Facebook anytime in the foreseeable future. (FB account needs to be active to link to Poshmark.)
    • You can use their app or desktop version for posting. I prefer to list on the desktop and update or reply to “Likers” on the app. I use it on my iPad only so that I am more intentional about when I check in.
  • Take at least 3 photos of each product. We suggest a frontal flat lay, close up of detail, back view. Use a clean background, a hanger or dress form if you have access to one. Steam out wrinkles and remove lint.
    • Did you buy this online or within the past ~5 years? Chances are the e-commerce images are still available. Search for stock photos, save the ones your need, and remember or write down the title of your item in case members search for it by name – include these in the listing. (This is not a legal recommendation ~ technically we do not have licenses to these images to reuse.)
  • Mark any condition or include close up images of imperfections. Don’t let this stop you from listing. Have your starting price reflect the condition. You can always mark it down.
  • Include a photo of the tag with materials and maintenance info and add this line to the notes: “See photos for materials and condition”
  • Follow the prompts for brand, size, color (important for the search algorithm!), set a price, write a short description. EVERYTHING CAN CHANGE. Just get it listed. The goal here is speed, not complete accuracy.
    • You will be surprised how quickly people will find your listing and even purchase, long before you would have thought the listing was “good enough.” Get it up, see what happens, revise accordingly.

Whew! Did you list your items? Send us a link with your closet so we can share your listings and get you sales faster! You can find me at @AVICENZI.

What will you do with your new snack money?

P.S. We want to make this post more visually appealing and useful, pulling real stories from the community. Share your screenshots and progress and we will feature!

P.P.S. Do you have hacks or secrets that worked even better for you? Please share here in the comments or on Instagram @vicenzi.design #freestyle2020

Jan 2020 ~ One Thing We’re Into

For the past year, I was an AMC A-Lister paying $23.95/month for the privilege to see up to three movies a week. Some weeks I maxed that privilege out. Heated seats, recliners, free popcorn rewards. Unlike fallen competitor MoviePass, I was allowed to see the same movies more than once. It was a great year! Below are my favorites from 2019. I highly recommend reading movie screenplays to learn more about the direction and better understand the characters, the intentions, the choices. You pick up on small but meaningful details when you watch the movie next.

I would also include the epic Once Upon A Time In…Hollywood on this list, however Mr. Tarantino is notoriously secretive about his scripts and it has not been been released nor leaked yet. I also wish I could find Peanut Butter Falcon to read. A joy to watch.

Smack-dab in the middle of awards season, now is a good time to review some of this year’s best written movies.

Little Women by Greta Gerwig

Marriage Story by Noah Baumbach

Honey Boy by Shia LaBeouf

Booksmart by Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel, Katie Silberman

Parasite by Bong Joon-ho

Jojo Rabbit by Taika Waititi

Jul 2019 ~ One Thing We’re Into

Preparing to see John Mayer kick off his Summer 2019 Tour in Albany led to a discovery of YouTube and its magnanimous capacity. (I mean that seriously.) At a recent conference, I learned 70% of content consumed on YouTube is recommended by the algorithms as “Watch Next” (rather than found by searching). I finally got a taste of that programmed discovery magic.

Starting at 22:29, here is a beguiling “Angel from Montgomery” cover. Click play and it will start there automatically. Enjoy!

Might as well finish out the concert after that, and even go back to the beginning and hear it all over again.

At-home composting for apartments, houses, anywhere with a freezer

The stages of compost

Sustainability is a spectrum and there is no wrong way to get involved. If you’re thinking you want to find real, tangible ways to make a difference in helping the environment and preserving natural resources, composting is the best place to begin. Not only will you dramatically decrease your (inadvertent) contributions to toxic waste streams but you will also discover the magic of circular, closed loop systems as all your food waste transforms into healthy soil in your local community. It’s free, it’s simple and it’s not as gross as we thought it would be! The Back-Up: According to a Drawdown research of 100 solutions to reverse global warming, reducing food waste is #3 and having a plant-rich diet is #4. According to an Earth Angel presentation at Good Stuff, 1/3 of the average New Yorker’s waste comes from organic materials (i.e. compostable). Comparatively, textile waste is only 6%. This stuff matters.


Here’s how to start composting today:

  • Take an old brown paper bag and rip off the top portion. You can tear that part into smaller pieces, as these paper bags are also compostable when torn up. Find a spot in your freezer that can hold your new compost vessel (about the size of a shoebox).
  • To start filling the vessel, look inside your fridge and on your counter at your produce. Is anything spoiled? Add it to the bag!
  • Next time you’re prepping food, sweep the parts you don’t eat into the bag. Same goes for apple cores, banana peels, carrot tops. Add them in whenever.
  • If you’re eating a meal at home (whether you made it or take out), toss the parts you won’t or don’t eat into the bag. Put back in the freezer.

What goes in?

All fruit and vegetables and their skins are compostable. Nut shells, egg shells, even human hair or nail clippings are healthy additions to the soil. Small torn-up parts of paper, cards, and napkins (not with text on it unless it’s soy-based ink). Flowers and plants (unless they are diseased — that’s not healthy to bring into the soil), some compostable food containers (if they are not lined with plastic and soft enough to rip).

Where do you bring your frozen compost?

  • Search your local listings for compost drop spots. Farmers markets, greenmarkets, some areas have a weekly neighborhood drop spot, and some areas have compost-specific bins (for example, we found brown bins in NYC, green bins in ATX) — you can drop off at any time and trucks will empty them. Request a bin for your building if you have ~10 or more units and get your neighbors in on the compost party! We use a local drop spot and try empty the bag 1X per week. Some weeks don’t have enough to dump, or we get busy and miss the window. It can keep in the freezer a long time. (With no smells or critters!)

Circularity is a beautiful, calming, and healthy process. We are big fans of closing the loop: knowing where our stuff comes from and where it belongs next. This interconnectedness is no different for our “food stuff.” Composting helped us understand what is “food” vs. a “food-like object” (often harmful to soil, and our bodies) and thus rely less on packaged, processed goods. We don’t feel as guilty if we overbought produce because at least it can become food for another living organism (plus, noticing the patterns of over/under-buying helped us budget better for next time).

Do you compost? Share why or why not in the comments.

Further discovery:

What happens next to your compost deposits? Watch this video from Lucy Biggers

What you cannot compost:

  • Check your local rules.
  • Some systems do not accept meat, dairy, oils (or oily foods like chips).
  • Be mindful of this confusing trend: packaging that is marked “compostable” is often not meant for consumer composting. It would require access to industrial compost, which many cities and towns do not offer. Check with your local experts (bring it with you!) and keep this in mind when choosing packaged goods (if recyclability is something you are interested in).
Local soil made from local compost in NYC.

Local compost after it transformed to soil, a process that takes 3 months. This was a gift from the Lower East Side Ecology Center in NYC, as a thanks to all local residents who compost at the GrowNYC dropspots. Looked good enough to display!