Look Good, Do Good, Feel Good

Despite what Donald Trump tries to tell you (not that anyone is really listening to him, anyway), climate change is very real. Our environment is suffering and will continue to suffer if we don’t make big changes as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, when it comes to industries that threaten the state of the environment, the fashion industry is second only to the oil industry. The way our clothes are sourced and produced, combined with the high turnover rate of our garments, are slowly ruining the world around us.

Think about what you’re wearing right now. Do you know where each item of clothing on your body at this very moment actually came from? This may be news to you, but clothes don’t just magically appear in stores one day. A lot of time, materials, and human labour go into producing a garment; in fact, the fashion industry is actually the most labour-dependent industry in the world.

Most materials and processes by/from which clothes come aren’t sustainable. We just can’t keep mass producing items of clothing in the same way that we do now. Resources will be depleted and the environment will keep taking massive blows because of it.

It gets even worse when you think about the people that are making your clothes. Women in countries such as Indonesia are forced to work shifts of up to 24 hours in garment factories where they don’t even get paid enough to be able to buy a sufficient amount of food to give them energy to keep working. What kind of fresh hell is that?! Why are we letting this happen?

And then, as if all that isn’t bad enough, we as consumers have the audacity to get rid of clothes after only wearing them a couple of times! While the whole “out of sight, out of mind” mindset is nice and easy, take a sec and think about where your clothes are ending up after you get rid of them. Sure, some might end up in landfills; but those are filling up fast and are running out of room to hold more waste. A lot of waste actually ends up at the bottom of the ocean, destroying ecosystems, killing marine life, and polluting our water.

But here’s the good news: there are super easy fixes to these issues!

Did you know that if you expand the lifespan of a garment an extra nine months, you’ll reduce its carbon footprint by 30-40%?

Instead of buying a cheap jacket at the beginning of winter and getting rid of it a few months later when the weather warms up again, why don’t you commit to saving up for a more expensive coat? Investing in an expensive piece of clothing will actually save you money over time because you won’t have to keep replacing it the way you would a cheap garment; you’ll also reduce the amount of waste you generate.

Try to shop from sustainable and transparent brands. Labels such as Everlane make a point of sourcing sustainable, ethical materials, and showing consumers exactly how much money was spent at each stage of the supply chain, making you feel good about how much you’re spending on their clothes. Brands like Reformation use only sustainable methods and materials, and are completely transparent about their manufacturers and the manufacturing process. Shopping from brands like those ensure that you’re purchasing clothes that weren’t harmful to any workers or the environment while they were being made.

The fashion industry is amazing, dynamic, and super progressive on so many fronts—don’t be part of the reason it falls behind in environmental consciousness.

Want to know more?

Here’s a podcast

Here’s an article

Or two!

Here’s a great doco if that’s your thang

And here‘s a list of some awesome ethical fashion brands (plus ethical menswear!)

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My Favourite Fashion Instagrammers

As a whole, Instagram is basically a booty-shot, fitness-model-filled, selfie-laden hellscape. And look, maybe you’re on there for the booty shots and heavily edited selfies and videos of fitness models yelling protein ball recipes at you. No judgment. But personally, I like my homepage to be filled with fashion weeks and runway shows and Maria Grazia Chiuri’s latest creative genius. So if you’re looking to add a little fashion to your feed, take some inspiration from this list* of my favourite fashion Instagram accounts.

*Watch this space for updates

Camille Charrière

@camillecharriere

Camille Charrière is easily my favourite fashion influencer. She’s a Paris-born, London-based freelance fashion journalist and full time fashion goddess. I’m absolutely obsessed with her cool-girl casual style and how she makes every outfit look utterly effortless—so obsessed, in fact, that I wrote an entire essay about her as a journalist and a microceleb. Her closet is universal and stylish, but made unique by key statement pieces like an acne fuzzy jacket, checkered wide-leg trousers, or a mustard velvet suit jacket.

Signature style: warm, neutral tones; long, ankle-grazing coats and dresses; chunky jackets and sweaters.

Monica Ainley/de la Villadière

@monicaainley_dlv

If you’ve followed Camille Charrière, you’ll inevitably run into Monica Ainley’s account sooner or later. She’s a fashion writer and co-hosts the Fashion No Filter podcast with Camille (which I listen to religiously, obviously). I’ve loved loved loved Monica’s timeless style since the day I hit the follow button, but the look that sealed the deal for me was her wedding outfit: a white tailored suit by Joseph. A suit! For her wedding! I have an embarrassingly huge girl crush.

Signature style: a mum from the 1980s. But not a regular mum. A cool mum. Who wears a pantsuit to her own wedding.

Caroline Daur

@carodaur

So basically, I don’t understand 95% of what Caroline Daur is saying in her Instagram stories since she speaks a German-English hybrid, but I watch them on repeat anyway because I don’t want to miss out on one of her killer outfits. She’s a fashion/beauty/fitness/travel/lifestyle/food blogger, i.e. a modern Renaissance woman and everything I aspire to be.

Signature style: schoolgirl prep meets street style.

Alex Badia

@thealexbadia

Alex Badia is the Style Director of Women’s Wear Daily and his Instagram is my go-to for fashion news (after, like, Business of Fashion, obviously). His feed is chock full of front-row views of runway shows, updates from fashion weeks, and street style shots. Plus, his own style is A+.

Signature style: bold prints and colours; layers; statement pieces.

Autumn Must-Haves That Aren’t Rain Boots and Sweaters

Even though it’s only February, I’m already craving the cool, crisp days of autumn. Autumn is hands down my favourite season; I love being able to drink hot coffee again, I love the colours in the trees, I love how cosy everything feels—I even love going back to uni (I know, I’m a nerd).

But one of my absolute favourite things about autumn is the fashion. By the end of summer I’m always totally sick of short shorts and tank tops and slip dresses. Every year I look forward to the transition into long sleeves and jeans and boots. It’s just cold enough for a blanket scarf, but still too warm to have to stack on four layers before leaving the house.

So in anticipation of the best season of the year, here’s my 2018 fall fashion wishlist.

Layered tops

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The early 2000s are making a definite fashion comeback, and while I struggle to get around a lot of the trends (let low-rise jeans die already!), I have to admit that I was pretty stoked about the whole tshirt-over-long-sleeves thing making a reappearance. As a kid, I really hated when my mum would make me wear a skivvy underneath a tshirt. But as usual, mum, you were right all along; it’s cute and practical!

How to wear it: boyfriend jeans, sneakers, and a dad cap (or a hair scrunchie—we are celebrating the 2000s, after all).

Embroidered ankle boots

Embroidered ankle boots, the love child of my two favourite current trends. I have approximately three pairs of embroidered jeans in my closet right now and countless pairs of ankle boots. If you know me at all, you’ll know I’m obsessed with any kind of funky footwear (this is often to the embarrassment of my family and my boyfriend). I just think that a fantastic pair of shoes is the perfect way to tie together an outfit. Plus, embroidered boots can be dressed up or dressed down; they’re ideal for every situation. Side note—also loving velvet boots right now!

How to wear it: these can be worn with so many different outfits and still look amazing, but I’m currently obsessed with pairing them with straight leg jeans (not to be confused with skinny jeans!).

Utility jumpsuits

As the ancient Chinese proverb goes, “it’s ugly until Rihanna says it’s not”. Jumpsuits are the perfect transition piece from summer into autumn. They’re just like playsuits, but you don’t have to shave your legs. I kind of love the utility jumpsuit. It’s definitely not for everyone, but come on—how many recent trends have looked this comfortable?

How to wear it: roll up those sleeves and pants and chuck on some cute sneakers. Add some jewellery to make it little more ~girly~.

Tartan skirts

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Alright, to be fair, tartan skirts have been a favourite of mine since I was about eight years old. I practically live in skirts during fall, and for some reason tartan just screams autumn to me—maybe it’s the whole back-to-school vibe it’s got going on? I don’t know. Anyway, you can catch me with about five tartan skirts in my closet.

How to wear it: with a graphic tee and ankle boots (bonus points if you wear contrasting colours!).

Flares

I’m so excited about this one! Don’t ask me why, but I have such a soft spot for flares—and really just 70s era fashion in general. Or maybe I just have a soft spot for Cher and her love of flared pants (seriously, though, she’s a fashion icon). Flares are just so comfortable and fun, and I love to see how the style has evolved over the years. They’re a great statement piece and can be paired with almost anything.

How to wear it: with confidence!

2018 Trend Forecasting

DIVERGENCE

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The question “where are you from?” may soon become obsolete as in today’s culture of globalisation and international travel, boundaries are broken and barriers are crossed. Differing cultures are now fusing together to create an exchange of diverse and contrasting works of art, textiles, colours, and designs, bringing forth a new multicultural revolution. We are preserving local traditions while simultaneously bringing forth a new innovation and cultural fusion. As fashion becomes a language in and of itself, there rests a certain appreciation and acceptance of cultural differences between designers, photographers, models, and consumers alike.

HYPERFUNCTIONALISM

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Fashion has always been the loudest form of silent protest and decorative trapping, crossing the line between personal, unique style and a social—if not political—statement. With sustainability becoming more important in the fashion industry, we are changing the ways in which people produce, wear, and recycle. Through expressive creative minimalism, the fashion industry brings forth convertible and versatile garments. One garment worn many different ways shows the world that less is more. One garment, endless possibilities.

OVEREXPRESSION

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A completed and defined coordination of patterns and colours has created a certain uniformity. This kind of synchronisation, which manifested itself in the 70s and was echoed in the 90s, has encouraged the following of a consistent theme in playing matchmaker. While the word uniform may once have evoked images of conformity and sameness, we are reinventing the word to emphasise personality and individuality. This overemphasis of both a pattern and colour obsession results in a purposeful exhibition of simplicity and perhaps a relaxed form of professional dressing.

Tweed and Plaid and Florals, Oh My!

Last week, Florence came alive in the wake of Pitti Uomo, the world’s largest and most influential menswear fashion fair. The fair is an immersive, hands-on look at the upcoming trends in the menswear industry. Brands from all over the world converge in Florence each year to showcase their ideas for upcoming seasons.

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We were lucky enough to visit Pitti Uomo this year. The thing that first struck me were the outfits worn by everyone visiting Pitti. Forget the displays; the most mesmerizing pieces were on the people walking around. Fur coats, floral suits, tweed jackets, military boots, and plaid pants all seemed to be the go throughout the week. Earth tones appeared everywhere I looked. My personal favourite look was menswear-turned-womenswear.

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I love to see fashion pushing social boundaries, especially when it comes to traditional gender norms. A lady rocking a tailored suit? Yes please. A dude walking around in a skirt? Even better. We’ve seen certain celebrities challenging our ideas of gender confinements in fashion (David Bowie, Prince, Harry Styles—hell, even Kanye West has been known to throw on a skirt from time to time), but it’s fantastic seeing regular, everyday people implementing these new ideals in their everyday lives—even if it is just for one week out of the year.

See below for some of my favourite looks from the day

 

Tickle Me Millennial Pink

Millennials get a bad rap. According to Baby Boomers, Gen Y is behind the downfall of almost every industry: gyms, home improvement stores, banks, fabric softener—even yogurt.

But if you ask me, Millennials are getting a whole bunch of stuff right. First of all, American Millennials are the most educated generation in America’s history. Millennials have turned activism from a rebellious act into a trendy hobby. We are more accepting of the LGBTQ+ community than any generation before us has been, we stand up for ideals like feminism and race equality, and we hold people accountable for their actions (can anyone say Harvey Weinstein?).

On top of all of that, us Millennials have become the catalyst and the inspiration for the hottest colour of right now: millennial pink.

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The origins of millennial pink are heavily debated, but many have claimed that it all began with Pantone’s 2016 Colour of the Year, Rose Quartz. Others say that it may have started with Wes Anderson’s 2014 film The Grand Budapest Hotel and the overwhelming prevalence of pink hues throughout the film (this theory is my personal favourite since I’m obsessed with all things Wes Anderson).

Basically, you can’t put your finger on any one exact shade of pink to define millennial pink. It actually encompasses tons of different shades of pink. That makes sense, right? The Guardian describes it as “a grapefruit shade of apricotty salmon”, British Vogue thinks it’s more of “an innocent Barbie-cum-salmon shade”, and Glamour UK explains that it’s “a pink with the blue taken out…or blush with a beige tint, or beige with a blush tint”. Obviously.

We’re seeing tons of celebrities wearing millennial pink: Gigi Hadid, Harry Styles, Rihanna, Emily Ratajkowski—Kendall Jenner even painted her bedroom wall millennial pink. The trend was an inspiration for us in our personal photoshoot. Our model was dressed in a pink skirt and jacket—possibly one of the girliest outfits imaginable—and managed to look fierce and dominant as hell.

I’m obsessed, and here’s why…

I’m so here for this trend. First of all, pink is hands down my favourite colour. I grew up in pink fairy princess costumes, sparkly pink jelly sandals, magenta Doc Martens, blush overalls—you get the picture. But I also see the popularity of millennial pink as a significant step for gender equality. We live in an era of blurred lines between genders. The traditional gender binary is becoming less and less strict by the day. We encourage androgyny and self-exploration in our youth. We urge our women to be fiercer, stronger, and more powerful; our men to be softer, gentler, more emotionally-tuned.

I personally feel like women are doing big things and have made huge leaps in claiming their fair share of what used to be (and, really, still is) a man’s world. We have hashtags, marches, and rallies, all in support of our women. And that’s awesome! I love girl power and sisterhood. We’ve finally reached a point where we can participate in men’s activities, too. You know, really manly stuff like wearing pants, voting, owning property, equal wages (okay, we’re still working on this one).

But in this, I think it’s easy to overlook men. We expect men to magically change themselves overnight, without any support or help from us or from other men. We want them to be in tune with their emotions, ready to talk about what they’re feeling whenever they (or we?) want to. We want them to be comfortable expressing a more “feminine” side of themselves without being judged or made fun of. But what are we doing to help them reach those goals?

The rise of pink as a popular colour for both genders obviously won’t fix these issues overnight. But it does represent progress and the increasing acceptance of androgyny and non-binary ideals in our society. I think that’s something Millennials are doing totally right.