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  • InLifestyle, Sustainable Fashion

    3 Sustainable Living Podcasts That I’ve Been Loving Lately

    You are what you surround yourself with. You’ve probably heard it before, but, trust me, it’s true. When I first started my sustainable fashion journey, I didn’t have anyone in my life to talk about it with. Yes, I had a few close editors and a great friend group that loved to hear about my journey. But there was no one that completely got what or why I was so committed to this new purposeful fashion journey. There was no one to swap sustainable shopping tips with or grab a coffee and talk about our latest thrift finds.

    Then I found sustainable living podcasts.

    Podcasts truly changed my sustainable lifestyle journey. With them, I had the ability to surround myself with advice. I could go out, grab a coffee, and listen to like-minded people. Or drive to work every morning with a virtual passenger telling me all about mindful shopping, the progress of organic cotton, and more.

    Now, I’m not saying that I didn’t talk to my friends and family about all things sustainable. If you know me even just a little bit, you know that I love to talk about my passions. (I’m not saying that I get drunk and talk about fair wages for garment workers… but okay, yes, that happens sometimes.) It’s just really nice — especially at the beginning of going sustainable — to have something to open your mind up to new topics.

    I listen to a lot of different podcasts, but there are three that I instantly listen to as soon as I see that there are new episode. Green Dreamer, Conscious Chatter, and Wardrobe Crisis are my go-to podcasts. I love the spirit of them, the positive advice, and the incredible interviewing skills. Because, let’s just be honest, there’s nothing worse than listening to terrible interviews. All of the hosts are knowledgeable but approachable, serious but proactive, and don’t pretend that they’re perfect. Each woman is on their own sustainable journey, just like you are.

    No matter where you’re at in your sustainable journey, these podcasts will be the support and encouragement that you need. By all means, surrounding yourself with people IRL is incredible. But if you’re not there yet, or you’re just looking to learn a little more, then these podcasts are for you.

    Here’s a little bit more about my favorites…

    Green Dreamer

    This podcast covers everything from fashion to farming to mindfulness with one main theme — sustainability. Most of the podcasts are done interview-style by Kaméa Shane, who is an incredible interviewer.

    Kaméa summarizes what you’re hearing while you’re hearing it so that you don’t get lost along the way. I absolutely love how diverse the topics are and knowing that I’m going to learn something new with every single episode. Also, stay until the very end, because the five rapid-fire questions at the end are just as great as the rest of the episode.

    My favorite episodes (so far) are… 101 Ways To Go Zero Waste With Kathryn Kellogg, How Mindfulness Can Lead To A Healthier & More Sustainable World, and Everything We Need To Know About Microplastic Pollution Right Now With Rachael Miller.

    Conscious Chatter

    While this podcast does have a heavy focus on fashion, it’s got a little bit of everything else sprinkled in-between. Each brand spotlight goes way beyond the product or service and into a bigger conversation about the world. The podcast takes an interview style but has a little storytelling and action steps that we can actually take to make a difference.

    Kestrel picks thoughtful topics every single week. From her own personal sustainable clothing brand to the flower industry to publishing living wages, this podcast will have you binging the entire 150+ episodes and waiting every week for more. You’ll become obsessed in the best possible way and feel inspired to do more in your own personal life and your community.

    My favorite episodes (so far) are… Remake + Made In Mexico, Able, Living Wages, + The Importance Of Publishing Them, and Farmgirl Flowers + The Dirt On The Flower Industry.

    Wardrobe Crisis

    This is the heaviest of the three, conversation wise. The conversations are deep and the experts are wise, but, no matter where you’re at in your sustainable journey, you’ll be happy to be a fly on the wall in the conversations. Even as someone who has been into sustainable fashion for a few years, I still am surprised by the guests and brands that she highlights. Topics include everything from the green carpet, upcycling, and politics and fashion.

    Clare Press has written two books — Wardrobe Crisis and Rise & Resists — about, well, fashion and activism. I haven’t read them yet, but you better believe that they’re on my to-read list. She talks in an informal conversation style and adds in the most lovely commentary. Like mentioned before, it’s a little bit more fast pace than the others, but it’s worth the listen.

    My favorite episodes (so far) are… Fighting Fashion Waste With Redress’s Christina Dean, and Outland Denim’s James Bartle On Fighting Human Trafficking & Creating Positive Opportunity.

    I love to listen to these three podcasts on my way to work, running errands, and even at the gym. What I love the most about them is that they inspire and uplift the listener, even though the topics may seem heavy. Surrounding yourself with positive conversation in just one click? It doesn’t get better than that.


  • InLifestyle, Thrifting

    3 Ways To Leave Your Privilege At The Thrift Shop Door

    The last time that I was at the thrift store, I saw people from all walks of life. There were mothers with small children, husbands sitting in the for-sale couches while their wives shopped, and teens running through the aisles looking for the best over-sized sweaters. There were conversations starting with, “do you think this will work?” and “OMG how cute is this!” over by the fitting rooms. Some people were looking for work attire, others for day-to-day clothing. Everyone had a reason for being at the thrift store that day, but they all had different levels of privilege.

    Everyone gets into thrifting for their own personal reason. For me, it was to save money, and then eventually that turned into trying to save clothing from the landfill. But others might be thrifting because it is their only choice. When you step through the thrift shop doors to see what you can find, you’re not alone — you’re bringing your privilege with you.

    Privilege by definition is a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group. If you thrift to find cute clothing, to save a few bucks, or basically any other reason beside you absolutely have to, you are bringing privilege with you. It’s important that we keep this in mind when running through the aisles looking for new clothing or poking a little fun at outdated items that you might find on the shelves.

    Of course, thrifting is for everyone. That’s what makes it so much fun! Anyone can walk in, save some clothing from the landfill, and find some seriously great deals. It’s just important that you realize that not everyone in the thrift shop with you is there for the same reason and be mindful of everyone’s reason as your filling up your cart.

    Thankfully, there are three super simple ways to leave your privilege at the thrift shop door. Of course, not everyone’s privilege will be the same. It’s more of a spectrum than a do-I-or-don’t-I answer and will fluctuate throughout your life. But these three ways will help you use the privilege that you have to everyone’s advantage.

    1. Remember that you don’t have to buy everything that you like.

    Just because you see a bunch of items that you like doesn’t mean that you have to buy it. It’s as simple as that. If you’re shopping with privilege, you’ll likely be able to fill up a cart and buy a handful of items that you find. That doesn’t mean that you need those items in your life though.

    The best way to combat this privilege is to think hard about why you want to bring an item home with you. Will it make your life better? Do you have a place for it? Will it get a good amount of use? Or will it be better off with someone else? Asking yourself these questions will help you decide if buying the item is meant to be or if it’s not the right match.

    2. Be mindful of other shoppers.

    By all means, get excited when you’re at the thrift store. Skip down all the aisles and get excited to be there. Just remember that there are other people shopping who might not be as excited as you. We are all on different paths to the thrift store. Some people are there because they can’t afford anything else. Others are there to resell or find a great hidden gem.

    3. Bring a bag of donations when you go to the thrift shop.

    Some people use the thrift shop as a place to dump their unwanted items. But if you’re really looking to drop the privilege, you’ll bring something with you when you come to shop more than just once or twice a year. And if you really want to make a difference, you’ll bring some items that people actually want. Not just your out-of-date sweaters or t-shirts that you’ve already worn to death.

    I heard the motto, “give what you can, take what you need” earlier this year, and it really resonated with me. It’s not about the charity aspect. It’s about keeping the thrift cycle alive and not just taking from it. Especially, if you don’t necessarily need those items.

    The thrift shop is a place to experiment with style and find incredible deals. Most importantly, it’s a place to have fun while doing it. The truth it that almost everyone is shopping with privilege. When we can drop it at the door, be mindful of why we’re there, and take only the items that we truly need, the thrift shop experiences is more enjoyable for everyone involved.


  • InLifestyle

    What Marie Kondo Gets Wrong About Style

    Marie Kondo is taking the world by storm — again. First, it was with her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Now, it’s with the brand new Netflix show. Both forms of entertainment entail, well, tidying up. Cleaning out your kitchen, garage, and even your closet in a Kondo-like way that entails throwing everything on the floor and folding in a very specific way.

    But Marie Kondo’s idea of keeping items that “spark joy” is by far the most memorable part of both the book and the show. The Japanese organizing queen tells people to hold every item individually and see if it “sparks joy.” If it does, you keep it. If it doesn’t you thank it for being in your life and put it in the giveaway pile.

    While the idea is great in theory, I see it as being extremely flawed. No item can hold your joy. In fact, as Brooke Castillo, a brilliant life-coach and the host of The Life Coach School Podcast, explains, joy is an emotion inside of you while pleasure is what comes from an outside source. Basically, you are in control of your joy and pleasure is an outside force. That’s what I think Marie Kondo gets wrong when it comes to style.

    Clothing does not hold or spark joy. You control your joy. Giving that kind of power to a clothing item is dangerous. It gives the clothing power over you. If that item sparks joy in you, you’ll never want to give it away. Because now you have an emotional attachment to it. You are stuck thinking that you owe you joy (even if it’s just in the tiniest sense) to that item. In reality, clothing will never give you that feeling.

    You give yourself the feeling of joy.

    By all means, let your clothing give you pleasure. It should! Finding your personal style should bring a great sense of satisfaction. I am a huge proponent of finding pleasure in your sense of style. Feeling that sense of pleasure in your personal style is how you know that you got it right. That you’ve found the style that best matches you.

    The problem is when we confuse pleasure for joy, which is what I believe that Marie Kondo has done. Like I stated before, pleasure comes from the outside while joy comes from within. The Collins English Dictionary says that “a pleasure is an activity, experience, or aspect of something that you find very enjoyable or satisfying.”

    “Seeking too much pleasure outside of yourself can be at the expense of joy,” Brooke Castillo says. “So many of us try to compensate for our lack of joy with pleasure.”

    My best friend was at one point in time Kondo-ized. She would walk around the thrift store with me, holding onto items and seeing if they brought her joy. Spoiler alert: a lot of things brought her joy. She was no closer to finding her personal style and walked out spending a pretty penny. While she thought that she had joy, she really just had an abundance of pleasure.

    I by no means think that my friend was trying to compensate her lack of joy with pleasure. She was, however, confusing the two. She got a great feeling from the items that she was holding, but it wasn’t joy — it was pleasure. My friend found an aspect of the clothing satisfying, but she would need to — and does — create her own joy.

    Finding your personal style is no easy feat. It takes time and patience, so it only make sense that people would want to announce that something “sparks joy” to make things a little easier to hold on to. But I believe that it’s a cop-out. You are selling yourself short by looking for joy outside yourself. Instead, build a wardrobe that is so spot on that you can actually see yourself in every single outfit. The real you. The truest form of you.

    Because the joy is already inside you. You don’t have to put it on every morning.

    I do agree with one aspect that Marie Kondo teaches though — respecting and honoring your clothing. The act of valuing an object is important to me. Do I thank my clothing every time I put them on? No. But I do honor them enough to mend my clothing items when it tears, instead of throwing it into the landfill. That’s one lesson that I can definitely get behind.

    So next time that your holding an item in your hands, don’t ask yourself if it brings you joy. Manifest that joy inside yourself, put on the outfit, and see if you can see the joy in yourself. That’s the only way to master your style.


  • InLifestyle, Sustainable Fashion

    Here’s Every Single Reason That I Chose To Make A Minimalist Closet

    I sat here for a while trying to decide how I wanted to introduce my minimal wardrobe journey. Did I want to jump right into how I started cleaning my closet out? Tell you about the brands I want to keep? Maybe the ones that I want to toss? There are so many aspect that I want to share. But instead, I decided to start with why I chose to make a minimalist closet. Then I realized that it wasn’t just one thing. The decision is a whole culmination or my life and what I’ve learned while living purposefully.

    As you might already know, I started my journey to live more purposefully at the beginning of 2017. The journey first led me to a year of only thrift shopping, which taught me so much about my own personal style. Then came stocking up on sustainable brands and exploring what Fair Trade truly means. Halfway through that, I decided that I wanted to downsize.

    The first step is to define what a minimalist closet means to me. Some people think that means only having 40 items. Others think that it means a cool ten pieces that go with everything. After taking a deep, hard look at what others have done and how I life my life, I decided on a goal.

    My goal for my minimalist closet is to only have what I wear.

    Boom. Simple as that. I knew from the very beginning that I didn’t want to set a strict number of items. That seems too much like a punishment for me. I’m going to walk through exactly how I started my minimalist closet journey in another post. This one is all about the why. Because no matter what you do in life, there should always be a reason.

    minimalist closetGuys, I’m going to warn you right here. There are a lot of reason why I decided to make a minimalist closet. It’s not like one day I just woke up and said, “hey, it would be really fun to give all my clothes away!” My entire life was leading up to this moment. I wholeheartedly believe that. So there are a lot of reasons on this list, so grab a coffee and buckle up.

    I care about this planet.

    It’s that simple, my friends. I give a shit about the waste in this world. Thinking about how many items of clothing that I have bought, worn a few times, and then thrown away/given up/lost actually makes me nauseous. People throw away an average of 80 pounds of clothing each year. I won’t let that be me.

    Where my money goes should matter.

    Every single penny you spend shows what you believe in. When you are giving your hard-earned $20 to a fast fashion company, you’re saying that you believe in them. Well, I don’t.

    When you have less, you care more.

    Hear me out for a second. When your clothes cost next to nothing, they mean nothing to you. When you work hard for an item that someone else worked hard for, the way you look at clothing will change. You’ll start to read labels, wash on delicate, and hang dry. You will cherish your items.

    I don’t want Rana Plaza to happen ever again.

    If there is even one death from the clothing that I wear, that is too much. Simple as that.

    minimalist closetThe True Cost.

    It’s on Netflix. Watch it.

    I want to be proud of what I look like.

    I would rather invest in a handful of really nice, ethically made items that have a bunch of items that will be out of style in a month. Classic staples will always win, in my book.

    I want to be comfortable in my clothing.

    Gigi Hadid looks great in crop tops, but I do not. Building a minimalist closet makes you appreciate personal style without getting jealous of what someone else is wearing. Fashion doesn’t have to mean being someone you’re not.

    It makes getting ready in the morning a whole lot easier.

    If you’ve ever sat in the middle of piles of clothing and yelled, “BUT I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!” building a minimalist closet is for you. Having only items that you love in your closet makes life so much fun.

    Trends come and go, but style is forever.

    That one pretty much explains itself.

    Some of my reasons are for the planet, and some of my reasons are selfish. That’s okay. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned since observing, planning, and acting on building a minimalist closet, it’s that everyone has their own reason. The important think is that everyone has a reason. Or, if you’re like me, you have nine.

    Living minimally truly excited me. I feel like it’s the natural next step in my journey, and I’m so happy that you’re here to go along with me. Here’s to all the minimalist closets out there. May we build them, love them, and share them with the world.


  • InLifestyle

    Where I’ve Been & My New Purposeful Home

    Let’s just cut right to the chase here… I’ve been gone for quite a while. I have one very good excuse though…

    I MOVED!

    My boyfriend and I have finally made the move to our very first home. Well, apartment, but we’re ready to turn this one bedroom, blank walled space into a warm, purposeful home.

    Beginnings are hard for me. With my anxiety, I’d rather stay in one place that I know is safe for my entire life. Needless to say, this change was a long time coming. My boyfriend and I waited and then waited some more to find the perfect starting line for us. As soon as I saw #206, I knew it was for us.

    It is nothing glamorous, but it is my happy place. It’s a one bedroom, one bath home with lots of closet space. The walls are fresh, the balcony is ready for plants to be hung, and the bedroom fits a king sized bed while still leaving plenty of room for living. The kitchen is ready to be made a mess and the living room has space for me to roll out my yoga mat.

    But there is one major thing that sold me — the walk in closet. There will be plenty of reasons for my boyfriend and I to argue, but the closet will never be one of them. You know when Carrie Bradshaw walks into the penthouse of her dreams, opens the curtains, and says, “hello, I live here?” Well, that’s exactly what I did when I saw this closet.

    Purposeful Home

    It might not be a necessity for everyone, but, as you probably already guessed, having a place for all my thrift finds was important to me. I wanted to know that I could walk around vintage shops and stock up on all the pieces that spoke to me without having to worry about where to put it.

    I might have been gone from the blog for a while, but I have a whole lot of tales for you. My journey to a purposeful life has only just begun.

    I have been talking a lot about living purposefully, since the beginning of this blog. What I should have been saying was shopping purposefully.

    My new goal is to have a purposeful home. So, while I will still be finding incredible clothing brands and showing off my thrifted outfits, I’m going to add homeware into the mix. What do you guys think? Even just in my first week of living in a new home, I’ve found tons of thrifted decor, secondhand essentials, and ways to make my home eco-friendly. I am so incredibly excited and inspired by the things that I have found.

    Basically, what I’m trying to say is that this space will change a little bit. I will continue to show off my fashion finds, but it will be so much more. I hope that you guys are just as excited as I am. Please let me know what you think!