Sometime last month, I complimented this girl on her neck scarf and asked if she thrifted the piece because it was unique and stood out to me. She quickly replied with a grimace, “No. It’s from (insert brand name here – irrelevant). I like to buy new things — unless it’s vintage fur.” There were so many things that turned me off from this response, as would be an obvious reaction via my blog’s clear message and stance. Whenever I meet someone who is this misinformed I want to make sure that they understand the impact they are having by what they choose to support. If you are a lover of fashion, it is important to be aware of the circumstances in which you are involved in as an avid shopper. Being a blind and passive consumer is a huge epidemic in our country. Here is a quick overview via short answers given to three general/ commonly asked questions.
What is the issue with the above mindset? Most people have this misconstrued and erred view of sustainability as an unappealing way to dress because it means a wardrobe obtained by thrifting and clothing made out of hemp and recycled plastic. Knocking down this misconception, brands like Susi Studio, Matt and Nat, The Reformation, and Vaute Couture are examples of cute clothing that abides by eco-friendly practices. Green initiatives and innovations are the newest fashion trends. In addition, when it is revealed to you how fashion is the 2nd most polluting industry, on top of being one of the most corrupt industries, the impacts of your choices don’t become something to waive off. To further educate yourself about the truths of the fashion industry, check out the documentary, ‘True Cost.’
What is ethical and sustainable fashion? Ethical companies have practices in place that treat their workers fairly and pay them deserved living wages. Ethical companies that are above and beyond, also leave out animal skin, fur, and all byproducts in their clothes. Sustainable companies tend to create new textiles out of recycled fabrics to make their clothes, such brands include Reformation. They also suggest for their customers to apply eco-friendly clothing care efforts that have less of an impact on our environment.
What can we do as lover of fashion to better this situation? I doubt many of you have considered opting out of buying new things altogether – I don’t think I’ve even considered doing so. However, please note there are ways to go about it that won’t sacrifice your style or expression. We have to fix the way we shop. We must change our mindset. Whatever fashion means to you, we all have a responsibility as inhabitants of Earth to do whatever we can to save her. Invest in timeless pieces (slow fashion), go thrifting for trendier stylish pieces (check out apps like Poshmark and Depop or visit your local consignment store), and support sustainable and ethical brands such as the ones I listed in the first answer.
Photography by Neivy.
Details*: Thrifted sweater dress|| Vaute Couture Boater Hat || Black leggings (old) sustainable options: here and here.
*100% Vegan. 100% Cruelty-free.
When I first started my blog, each outfit included different clothing items with little to no repeat pieces. I wanted to keep it fresh and inspire a unique style that was reflective of what I wore daily and expressive of who I am overall. The latter notion has not changed, however sometime halfway through this blogging journey my overflowing closet was making me realize I was buying way too much while always feeling like I had nothing to wear, insinuating loud and clear that I had a shopping problem. Around the same time, I started learning about the issues that our environment faces due to fashion waste and pollution. I suggest you check out ‘True Cost’ an incredibly informative and thought provoking documentary about the effects that fast fashion and the fashion industry overall have on pollution and human rights. Since then, I have been shopping less and less for the reason that I wished to downsize and minimize for a less crowded closet to make way for mindful consumerism and to help with reducing the anxiety levels. I’ve wrote about this previously, and you could read more about it here and here. To explain the lack of posts: I became accustomed to relying on the high from buying and styling new clothes that suddenly when it came to my shrinking then static wardrobe, I felt unmotivated and at a loss; I also didn’t think that people would find my outfits with repeat items at all interesting. This past year, I made an effort to work on motivating myself when it came to sharing my clothes despite not having a closet that constantly produced new clothes. Over the past year, I have filtered out a lot of the clothes that I do not absolutely love. It was difficult for someone like me as I take waste very seriously – I was not trying to throw anything away. I sold and donated a lot of what I could, then found clothing recycling centers for older unwearable clothes.
In order to contain the personal element and authenticity that is my blog, I’m going to share my personal style journey of curating a closet that brews inspiration from combining the pieces I already have. Stay tuned to get closely acquainted with my closet.
Photos courtesy of Neivy.
Three repeat items via this outfit are my boots from Will’s Vegan Shoes, a faux shearling aviator style jacket from ASOS, and my trusty bag from Matt & Nat.
Details*: ASOS Jacket (yes it’s 100% polyester) – options here, here and here || Sweater from Korea || American Apparel Pants || Will’s Vegan Shoes Boots || Matt & Nat Purse (I have an old version).
*100% Vegan. 100% Cruelty-free.
Nowadays there is a surplus of fashion brands for consumers to choose from, especially with the international market and social media constantly presenting them to us. Most people would assume this makes shopping easier as fashion has become more accessible with quicker ways to get what we want. On the other hand, shopping only among sustainable and ethical brands has made selecting pieces for my closet easier. Allowing myself to shop from the endless list of brands, I would become overwhelmed by all the available options. For example, I often had a difficult time sifting through all the existing brands to find the right piece.
As a way to deflect that, years ago I began thrifting as a fun way to discover unique and affordable pieces for my wardrobe. This hobby turned into habit, and after realizing the effect clothes have on the environment being the 2nd leading pollutant in the world, I have come to appreciate thrifting even more. It’s the most sustainable way of purchasing clothes as an everyday consumer.
Of course the other viable and ideal option is supporting brands that have conscious efforts in place whether it is being animal-free, incorporating environmentally friendly practices, or providing fair wages and healthy working conditions for their employees. As I run an eco-conscious vegan fashion blog, I diligently research and make efforts to be aware of all the ethical and sustainable brands out there. It’s become a must to support and showcase these brands on my blog to always provide you all with the best possible options.
Burberry is claimed to be one of the first to have created the trench coat in the late 1870’s. The brand has since become a household name in fashion, and trench coats a staple fashion piece. Trench coats are the perfect transitional coat from fall into the coldest months of the year. Here, I’m wearing one by Reformation, a brand I respect for their active efforts as an eco-conscious label.
The dream shoe is made out of recycled plastic bottles and named after my favorite writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson. These babies remind me of my tap dancing days (yes, I wore a leotard and tap-tap-tapped away in my shiny black shoes). When I initially committed to this lifestyle, I found that looking for vegan-friendly and eco-friendly shoes was to me the most difficult wardrobe item to shop for, given my shoe obsession and the limited selection of them coming into this lifestyle. There are indeed a lot of options now for vegan shoes, but most of these brands that carry vegan options may not follow eco-friendly nor ethical practices. Then earlier this year, Susi Studio launched and assuaged my shoe needs and melted away my wardrobe worries. On top of being a brand that has beautiful and well-designed shoes, their consciousness for the environment and the workers makes them an all-around brand.
Photos taken by my best, Kathleen Carla.
Details*: Reformation Trench Coat || Reformation Shirt (old) || Ripped Black Denim (old) || Susi Studio Emerson Shoes || Vegan Suede Choker borrowed from Kathleen.
*100% Vegan. 100% Cruelty-free.
A few days ago, I bounced around San Francisco in ripped denim and a cozy sweater – my go-to look for extra comfort. Before heading to dinner around the area, we caught the gorgeous sunset.
The burst of colors that vibrantly bleed across the dimming sky relays an instant release of calming emotions. Also an indication that darkness will fall, this is the time for me when inspiration cascades and an overwhelming flow of ideas fill up my head. Sunsets are the beginning of that.
Sunsets and dusk, represent to me a stillness before dark. The end of our busy days transpire with the early stages of a sky to be painted in darkness. We stall the beauty of our thoughts, waiting and meditating until night-time settles.
Djuna Shay is a brand run by an innovative and driven mother-daughter duo that specializes in creating textile designs for vegan clothing. Together, they hope to make waves in the fashion industry to promote change through beautiful artwork displayed on cruelty-free clothes.
As a part of their brand, they created a collection called, ‘The Lonely One’s’ Club, with each design to support a cause that advodates for different endangered species.
Poached for their horns, Javan rhinos are the most threatened out of the five Rhino species. Sixty of them remain at Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia. For the Javan rhinos, Djuna Shay created this ‘Not Your Horn’ sweater to bring awareness and provide donations to fight for their survival.
15% of the proceeds from this sweater will go to the International Rhino Foundation. Visit Djuna Shay to purchase and support.
I grew up in Northern California, where Redwood trees grow in every corner. In national parks around the area, the experience is full on; you will find a serene and beautiful site with endless green scenery as you breathe in fresh mountain air. Often we take for granted our home, and as I am about to leave the place I grew up in, I am beginning to reminisce the wonderment it has to offer – a region renowned for its promising nature scenes.
My entire outfit is made up of pieces that are old, thrifted, or from ethical companies. This year, I’ve made a commitment to rid of my careless shopping habit by solely purchasing pieces I know I will wear multiple times, while selecting a majority from ethical and sustainable brands.
It is definitely fall, but here in Northern California the weather never quite goes below 50 degrees for the most part. This particular day, the weather was in the 70’s therefore I was able to get away with wearing these thrifted high-waisted shorts. I paired them with this lovely ‘Moon Phases Peyton’ top by Synergy Clothing.*
This brand has been around for nearly two decades, built on their dedication to create ethical and sustainable clothing. Being environmentally and ethically conscious is an automatic sell in my book. Through the founder, Kate’s travel journeys to Nepal and India, she was able to connect with the very people who were making and sewing clothes for a living. Most of these women were at these jobs barely making ends meet, with no other options to make a sustainable living. Big businesses who outsource their products, give little thought to the lives of these workers, which can lead to uncomfortable and often times dire circumstances for them. It was here, very early on where she realized how important it was, and how much of an impact it had to provide a specific attentiveness to the workers who would go on to create clothes for Synergy Clothing. This set the foundation for her brand to be one that is thoughtful of each step and process of creating a clothing line with the planet and the people in mind.
*Please note that they aren’t vegan as they carry some wool pieces. However, a majority of their clothing is made from organic, responsibly sourced cotton. 🙂
Details*: Synergy Top || BHAVA Belt || PACT Knee Socks ||Urban Outfitters Maxi Cardigan (old) || Thrifted Denim Shorts || Urban Outfitters Booties (old)
*All vegan. 100% cruelty-free.
Most days of the week I keep it simple because it’s more time and thought I can give myself for other important things throughout my day. With today’s post, I would say each piece that makes up my outfit can be a staple in most people’s wardrobe: a white button down shirt, a waist belt, high waisted denim, and black booties. It’s an easy combination to throw on when you don’t have the desire to waste any ounce of energy that day picking out an outfit, allowing your morning routine to run more smoothly. Understanding what outfit works for you aka your uniform will do wonders with sustainability and keeping your wardrobe minimal, and less overwhelming.
As a recovering shopaholic, I have been getting better and better at extending my sustainable practices to purchasing items from brands that prioritize and practice earth-friendly techniques and ethical principles. Two brands featured here include, Bhava and Will’s Vegan Shoes, both are companies that focus on producing conscious footwear and accessories, advocating a life that supports no harm to animals and humans.
I’m wearing the Cork Waist belt by BHAVA. They are definitely all around when it comes to sustainable and ethical fashion, keeping the planet, the animals, the workers, and the consumers in mind. You can learn more about their cause and principles here.
Wills Vegan Shoes is another wonderful brand with beautifully designed shoes from sneakers to booties. Their priority is ethics, as they create shoes that are animal-friendly while being fair and doing right by the humans who make them. Their entire line is also designed to be wearable all year-round. Way to go for sustainability.
Photos snapped by my dearest, Kathleen. iphone 7.
Outfit Details*: Free People Shirt (similar here) || BHAVA Cork Waist Belt || J Brand High-waisted Denim || Will’s Vegan Shoes Boots
*100% Vegan. 100% cruelty-free.