Check out my first interview for Turning Fashion Inside Out's Melissa Kaplan Guarino. We talked about clothing, what I want to be like in 10 years, and of course Zero Waste. Head to her site to see the full interview! This summer i'm going to show her how I shop for clothing!!
MKG: I love your comment: “We are such a buy-it-immediately and toss it quickly culture.” And it is so true. How can we begin to change our disposable culture?
Lauren: This might sound a bit cliché, but I truly believe that we can only begin to change our culture when we begin to change ourselves. Change is a contagious and organic thing and often happens when inspiration strikes. When you and I begin investing in ethical clothing and saying no to fast fashion, and especially when we write about it, or when we learn from people like Daniel, we have the potential to inspire people that will make those little changes in their own lives. These changes add up, I promise!
MKG: I think this is especially true of fashion. Americans love the thought of getting a good deal and don’t think too much about owning something precious that lasts. Do you feel this trend?
Lauren: I HATE fast fashion. Don’t get me wrong, I bought so much clothing at places like Forever21 for a really long time. Guess how much of it I have now … none. Because, to be frank, that clothing is crap. You know what I do keep? Pieces in which I have I invested because they fit well, are not trendy, and are made with pure, natural fabrics in neutral colors. I know how tempting it is to buy a dress in a weird color or pattern for $12.99 from a place like H&M, but it’s probably going to end up in the trash or Goodwill and you will probably wear it once. It just isn’t worth it. To quantify, $12.99 doesn’t seem like a lot, but to me that is the price of the ingredients to make a homemade Organic pizza party at my house with a friend. Maybe it’s just my preference, but I’ll choose the dinner. Every time.
MKG: How do you shop for clothes?
Lauren: I shop exclusively at secondhand stores. I come from a long line of “trash pickers,” as we call ourselves. My aunt, who is magical, can find a piece of furniture in the garbage on the side of the road, fix it up, and sell it for thousands of dollars. I have the same type of skill for clothing and thrive at really intense, overwhelming thrift stores. I can sift through racks upon racks of clothing without having a panic attack or breakin’ a sweat and in the process unearth some insane gems. I once found Chanel suede loafers in perfect condition for $14 dollars. They remain my favorites. To me it is about knowing I can find beautiful, great fitting items without using any new materials. I am still flabbergasted when I learn the “new” cost of the items that I purchase secondhand. It makes me a little sick that people spend $200 on JEANS when I get mine, that look just as good, if I do say so myself, for a 1/20th of the price!
MKG: In ten years, where do you hope to be with your mission?
Lauren: In ten years I see myself as the owner of a successful business/businesses catered towards living a sustainable, low impact lifestyle. I also see myself continuing on my Zero Waste path. By that time, I hope it will be with a partner, a couple of kids, and some chickens and dogs in a tiny, minimalist, completely off-the-grid home, with a giant garden full of delicious food. Hey, a girl can dream! I also hope to continue to speak about my lifestyle and inspire people to take a critical look at their personal environmental footprint, even though it can be a frustrating, difficult, and sad process. What I want people to know, is that even taking baby steps lessons their impact.
Read the rest of the interview here!