One Rule to be an Ethical Fashionista

When friends and family ask me about being ethical or sustainable with my fashion choices, I’m usually met with curiosity and the assumption that everything I own has to be organic cotton. While shopping with my mom and sister during the holiday season, they found a coat they thought I would like and remarked, “It’s made from vegan materials.” I replied that vegan materials are not the sole reason I purchase something and that they aren’t always the best choice. “You would know that,” my sister said. As someone who supports more sustainable and ethical practices in fashion and consumption, I do my best to stay informed. But if there is one priority I have for being an ethical fashionista, it’s not having a closet full of recycled polyester. What exactly do I think is important for someone who supports sustainable and ethical fashion? It’s not having a closet full of organic and recycled materials.

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Fashion and Pantone 2018

One of my favorite things in fashion and design has arrived: Pantone’s Color of the Year. For 2018, the company selected Ultra Violet because of its attachment to mystical and spiritual qualities as well as for its unconventional tone and artistic characteristics. This color is known for being a forward-thinking one. Pantone selected Ultra Violet for its sense of mindfulness and inspiration for communities. Sounds like something we could use a little more of in today’s world, doesn’t it? In Marketplace‘s recent podcast, design journalist Kassia St. Clair brought to light, even more reasons for me to admire this color. For one, it has been linked to many civil rights movements, and St. Clair sees it as a blend of red and blue. This combination emphasizes the need for more unified messaging and viewpoints in a world where we are politically divided. I’m already in admiration of this powerful and deeply moving shade of violet, and as it turns out, some of my favorite fashion brands are as well. Ten Thousand Villages, Studio 189, and We Are Thought also happen to be fans of this Pantone Color of the Year–not too shabby Ultra Violet! Continue Reading ›

My Top 5 Sustainability Documentaries

Sustainability sounds like a huge endeavor. It sounds as though it could be unmanageable or too much to take on. Even though I’m working towards more a more sustainable lifestyle, even I feel overwhelmed at times. When people ask me, “Why do you do it?” I find that sometimes I can’t explain it other than a feeling of purpose. But that doesn’t fully express my reasoning. While looking through my DVD queue on Netflix, I found some answers that give my thoughts more clarity. Looking up documentaries on sustainable-related topics brought up more results than I expected. If there’s a few that really illustrate my thoughts, it’s these five films: Continue Reading ›

5 Lessons from Sustainability Podcasts

One thing has been adding up on my phone. It’s not the e-mails I need to respond to. It’s the number of podcasts that have added up since I started another semester at graduate school. In the past, I found podcasts as a way to stay informed and to unwind from constant textbook reading. Unfortunately, I’ve had to put podcasts on the back burner, but because of this month’s affirmations, I decided it was time to check back in with some of my favorite podcast hosts. Tuning in, I’m finding there are some ways to look at sustainability that I hadn’t considered. If you’ve seen sustainability as tree-hugging or are apprehensive that those who favor green living are judgmental, here are some of the lessons I’ve uncovered that make me think about sustainability in a different life. Continue Reading ›

Is Minimalism the Answer to Sustainability?

Now that September has come to an end and I have participated in my own version of the 100 Thing Challenge, I feel some weight lifted with fewer craft projects, books, and toiletries, and I look forward to cutting down on my wardrobe over the coming year. Reducing what I own has definitely made me think differently about what I own and why I continue to keep it year after year. I’m beginning to see that not everything in my life needs to be perfect and that acquiring more things does not make my life better. I see how minimalism means I consume less and leads to a more sustainable life. But, is minimalism the best choice to live a more sustainable life? Is minimalism the answer and most effective way to reach sustainability? Continue Reading ›