Posted on September 28 2018
Green Beauty and Conscious Consumerism go hand and hand. We have been loving learning more about other topics that fall under the umbrella of Conscious Consumerism; one of them being Ethical Fashion.
We have partnered with Portland's very own Ethical Fashion guru Ellie Hughes for todays blog post and are so excited to be sharing an exclusive interview with Ellie! Be sure to check out Ellie's blog, Selflessly Styled, to read her experience traveling with some of our favorite skincare products and to read more about her recent trip to the Philippines.
What was the first sustainable fashion piece you ever purchased?
Oh my, this was years ago so I am struggling to remember exactly which item was first, but I think it was a tee shirt and rain coat from Everlane.
What was your transition from fast fashion to slow fashion like?
My transition was simultaneously very fast and very slow: It was fast in that I quit cold turkey, the very day that I watched The True Cost Documentary on Netflix I decided that I would not make one more purchase from a fast fashion company. However, the transition was slow in that it took me a very long time to build up a small wardrobe of ethically made items. My closet was still full of old fast fashion items for a long time as I made the transition.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is looking to change their fashion shopping habits?
First of all, yay! Yes, do it! Secondly, don’t feel the pressure to run out and purchase a bunch of brand new ethically made items all of a sudden. The best place to begin is by using what you already own, pay attention to your personal style, and once you need to make a purchase support a brand that’s making things the right way. (I have some more thoughts and tips on this topic in this blog post!)
What has been the most challenging part of your ethical fashion journey?
In the beginning, the biggest challenge was finding ethically made items that fit my personal style - I had zero idea where to shop! But now my biggest challenge is quite the opposite: there are so many wonderful ethical brands and I want to spotlight and support them all! However, a huge focus for me is curating a content and minimal closet instead of constantly accumulating. It’s a challenge to balance supporting these great brands while still combating excess consumerism.
Are there any pieces that you have struggled finding ethically made options for?
Running shoes! I have found great fashionable sneakers, but no actual performance running shoes from ethical brands. (This is my current excuse for not jogging, haha!) Also, though it isn’t for myself, I do struggle to find a variety of plus sized options for friends. There are a few, but not many. I think the ethical fashion space is starting to notice this gap and work towards inclusive sizing, but there’s still a lot of work to do in that area!
Current top 3 favorite ethical fashion brands?
Only three?! Gah, this is hard! Okay.
Vetta Capsule: I have been obsessed with this brand since day one. Their designs are always so innovative and the quality is superb. Plus they’ve got killer aesthetic.
Sseko Designs: I might be biased since I work for their headquarters in Portland, but the latest collection is SO good and several of my closet staples are from Sseko.
Miakoda: This vegan/sustainable loungewear brand has won me over big time. I love every single item of theirs that I’ve tried and they have the sweetest owners!
Favorite spot to grab a bite in Portland?
Mmm. So many. We are so spoiled here!
For dinner: Tusk
For brunch: Besaws or Broder
For treats: Pip’s Donuts (even named my dog after them!)
What is your favorite thing about blogging in the ethical fashion realm specifically?
I absolutely love the community! I have heard bloggers in different niches talk about the competitiveness, and that couldn’t be farther from my experience as an ethical fashion blogger! Everyone is so supportive and collaborative!
Any advice to those working to build a wardrobe that is full of pieces they love and feel good in?
Take it slow. Add items to your closet thoughtfully and one-at-a-time. Pay more attention to yourself and less attention to trends. Don’t be afraid to take style risks and try new things, you might just find your signature “look” that way!
How is your minimalism journey going? Anything minimalism specifically has taught you?
I feel like after years of working towards this, I finally have a mindset of “less is more” and I don’t feel like mass marketing tactics work on me anymore. Everything in our home is either regularly used/needed or has significant meaningfulness to us, and I love that!
Minimalism continues to teach me that “things” will never fill any void I’m feeling, and usually, the impulse to accumulate is merely a distraction from something else that needs emotional attention or adjusting in my life.
Do you have a favorite blog post on Selflessly Styled?
Oh that’s a hard one! From a styling perspective, I loved the challenge of wearing just 5 items for 30 days (yes, I actually did that!). From a mindset perspective, I really loved voicing thoughts on the privilege of shopping ethically.
One thing that blogging has taught you?
There’s a quote by Banksy that says, “If you get tired, learn to rest not quit.” That has been such a theme for me as I continue onward in my fourth year of blogging. There have been seasons where I’ve been able to research, photograph, and post a blog post multiple times a week, and there are other seasons (like right now!) where I am posting maybe once or twice a month. I get tempted to quit when I feel burnt out or tired, but I am learning to allow myself space to slow down without quitting.
It’s also taught me to put myself out there without fear of what people think! As a fledgling blogger, I used to be shocked at the negative pushback I would get since I was talking about something that I truly believe will make the world a better place, but I’ve learned to let those comments go (after some introspection to see if I need to change anything I’m doing!).
A huge thank you to Ellie for sharing some of her experiences and thoughts with us!
We love hearing how others are working to make more responsible and educated purchasing decisions, leave us a comment below on how you are working to be a more conscious consumer!