June 27, 2014

Turning Fashion Inside Out.

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!

13 comments:

  1. This is fantastic. You really can find a lot of quality items second hand, and I totally agree--there are things I bought a while ago from those "fast fashion" stores, and I wore them a few times, and never again. Thanks for a great post!

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    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      So glad you liked the interview and YAY for being a fellow secondhand lover :)

      x
      Lauren

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  2. Love the interview! Great point about the oft-overlooked power of the consumer. It seems counterintuitive, but my wardrobe improved immensely thanks to secondhand. My friends look at 0.50 cent Junya Watanabe jeans from Value Village or the $36 Dior dress with tags I scored secondhand and say things like, "I wish I could afford that stuff." It's crazy because they spend so much more on Zara crap that needs to be replaced every three months!

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    1. Hi Ariana,

      Great point! I love that people also consider things at Zara "affordable" but for $89.00 or whatever a dress there costs, I could get 2 complete outfits, shoes and all, at a local thrift store, and that is in Brooklyn where everything is more expensive anyway!

      The other weekend I went to a wedding and was freaking out because I "didn't have anything to wear". So I went to my favorite consignment store and they didn't have anythign that was right or that fit me well. So, naturally, I freaked out, had a mini panic attack alone in my apartment, and woke up the next morning and in desperation grabbed something I already owned, a red dress, and brought it to the wedding. And guess what, it was FINE. I lived, the dress looked cute, and I didn't even notice because I was so busy having fun and meeting people. My ex always used to say, Lauren, people are going to notice YOU, not what you are wearing. As annoying as it is to admit, he is totally right. It just goes to show you that the whole belief that you have to have the perfect outfit, or buy new things, or not wear the same thing twice is a total state of mind and not at all a necessity.

      Thanks for your comment!
      xx
      Lauren

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  3. Sadly the comment I left earlier seems to have "vanished". it's a shame because I was trying to convey an extremely important message.

    In the interview you say: "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."

    Talking about zero waste AND making kids is a huge contradiction. Even though you may use biodegradable diapers and try to learn them to live low-footprint, the effects of these measurements on their entire lifespan are negligible. They will grow up, become independent adults with their own will. They will need food for the rest of their lives (steaks?), pee and poo in the sewer system, travel, shower, drive cars, buy clothes, computers, furniture, heat their houses, cook their meals, etc, etc, ect. And they may produce even MORE kids that turn into more polluting human beings.

    What are you gonna do? Deny them to drive cars or to buy plastic things? I know several people (who are now adults) who were raised as vegetarians by their parents and now eat meat in their adult lives. Usually that changing point comes around puberty when they become a bit rebellious and think that everything their parents do is just stupid.

    You may think that your low-waste lifestyle is meaningful and good for the world. I certainly agree it is! BUT if you then decide to have kids all your efforts in saving waste, energy and resources will just be....undone. UNDONE. Your whole ideology low-waste ideology is made ridiculous by this contradiction.

    The only way to stop the human-waste cycle is by not having kids! I hope you are not offended by this message.

    Have a good day, and keep on with all the good low-waste work, Toos.

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  4. Today Fashion become a passion of life and those picture really great and specially your dress so much beautiful.

    Fashion Accessories

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  5. Hey Lauren,

    I'm a huge fan of your blog! I'm not zero-waste (yet, maybe ;) ), but definitely try to live in a sustainable way and also to incorporate your tipps in my daily routines... :)
    I'll be coming to NYC for the first time in summer and it would be really great if you could give me some tipps for second hand shopping in the city!

    Thank you and all the best from Vienna, Austria
    Steffi

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  6. Hi Lauren! I am loving your blog, and I'm so glad you talk about fast fashion and the negative effects it has on our environment, and on our fellow man. But I'm curious about what you can't buy from a thrift store - like what about underwear, socks, gym clothes and things of that nature? Do you buy fair trade items or...? Any suggestions would be helpful! I buy all of my regular clothes secondhand now, but am always having trouble finding affordable sustainable alternatives for things I don't really want secondhand.

    Thanks a million!

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