Portland

5 Simple Steps to Making Your Wardrobe a Little Bit More “Green”

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After talking to some friends about how they view sustainable fashion, I found out that a lot of them wanted to know what small steps they can take to reduce their carbon footprint. You can make some very small and easy changes in order to reduce the amount of waste we contribute when it comes to our clothing. I decided to narrow it down to 5 things but let me know if you’d like to see a few more tips and I’d be happy to share. I hope you guys find this post helpful.

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1. Take care of your clothes

The simplest thing we can do is take care of the items we already have. Read labels and wash accordingly. If it says hand wash, just do it. You’ll be so happy with how many extra times you get to wear that item. You can find some great recipes to make your own laundry detergent here and here. Also, line dry whenever possible. If you can avoid dry cleaners, please do. It’s not good for the planet or your health. If you must, look for an eco-friendly “wet cleaner” who can do them same job without all of the harsh chemicals. Another great tip is to learn how to do basic sewing. Simple things like fixing a button or a zipper, repairing a rip, or fixing a hem can increase the lifetime of your garment.

2. Repurpose

Once you grow tired of an item (and it will inevitably happen) turn it into something else you can use. Check out ReFashionista when you get a chance. She’s a huge inspiration when it comes to turning older style clothing into fashion-forward street wear. It’s amazing what you can do with some imagination. You can also find tutorials on YouTube that can show you different projects that only involve a single piece of clothing.

3. Donate/Swap/Sell

This tip actually came to me from my friend, Ryan, who previously did a guest post on here about thrifting. For every item she buys at the thrift store, she brings one the next time to donate. This does two things: One, you participate in the thrifting life cycle and provide other people with a chance to take home that bizarrely printed kaftan that you had to have last summer. Two, you get a chance to get rid of items you know your no longer going to use. Another great idea is to hold a clothing swap party and have your friends bring over some well-maintained items that they no longer use. You can trade items you really like and the rest of it can be donated to your local thrift store. The last tip is to sell clothing that is in excellent condition, a sought after brand, currently on trend, or a staple item on websites like Ebay.

4. Talk to your local boutiques.

Boutique owners and buyers are great to talk to. Let them know your interested in sustainable fashion. If it’s already a boutique that sells sustainable fashion items than they might be able to give you information on other designers and labels you might like to try. If there is a certain designer or label that your interested in, let them know. They may be able to become a stockist. As a consumer we make our voices heard by buying the products we love.

5. Be conscious of new purchases.

When buying brand new item, try to buy items that are made of organic textiles or through sustainable manufacturing products.  Some other things to think about are whether or not the item is made in the US as well. Buy items that will be staples in your regular wardrobe. Lastly, try to purchase from local stores so you can show your support for your local community.

All images courtesy of We Heart It.

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“Homestead” by Caroline Onzik

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This past week was the senior collection fashion show for the Art Institute of Portland. I checked out everyone’s collection and was blown away by the amount of talent and hard work that I saw but one person in particular really stood out to me. Caroline Onzik created a collection based on utilitarian work-wear from the 1930′. The collection was both beautiful and functional. She stated that her inspiration was from the outdoors and always wanting what the boys had. “I really just wanted it to be utilitarian, something that a woman can put her hands and all of her tools in the pockets, and she won’t blow out the knees because they’re reinforced, but she also looks really good with all that functionality,” says Onzik. “For some reason women have had to make that choice between good-looking and functional since the beginning of time.” The looks were created with recycled denim which was an important aspect of Onzik’s collection. Caroline stated that protecting our planet was a big focus for her and that doing something sustainable was necessary.


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Onzik’s collection was filled with reconstructed denim that looked effortless and fresh and jumpsuits that were reminiscent of Carhart work wear but for a fashion forward young woman.  As someone who isn’t the biggest fan of western inspired fashion, I was in love with the styling that made the looks more downtown and less hoedown. The camel colored jumpsuits with leather details were absolutely beautiful and the ankle boots tied the looks together in a way that made them seem like I could see a number of women wearing these looks while hanging out around town. Caroline Onzik created a stunning collection that embodies what functional fashion is all about. I’m excited to see what else she has in store for us.

Images courtesy of Portland Fashion Week.

Quotes courtesy of The Oregonian

TGIF

This past week was filled with long hours and not enough sleep so I’m definitely looking forward to the weekend. Luckily, the sun is out and it helps make long days go by faster. Over the week, I’ve found some great new blogs and designers that I can’t wait to share with you in the upcoming week. With that said, I’ve complied a list of links of articles and blog posts that I can’t wait to explore. I hope you enjoy them as well. Have a wonderfully productive (or relaxing) weekend!

  • Need to take a weekend trip somewhere warm? Check out this guide to LA. (via The Coveteur)
  • I’m thinking about redoing my apartment in the near future so these tips for sustainable interior design will come in handy. (via Apartment Therapy)
  • This fashion editorial is a beautiful representation (and maybe somewhat stereotypical) of Portlanders. (via Marrow Mag)
  • These diary entries are amazing examples of the difficulties of growing up. ( via Rookie Mag)
  • A great guide to finding your signature style using spring trends. ( via Clementine Daily)
  • Ron Issac’s Trompe L’oeil painted constructions shows the beauty of melding fashion and nature together. (via I Need a Guide)

TGIF

Weekend mornings are my favorite part of the week. I get to take my time waking up, make myself something slightly fancy for breakfast (ok, not really but it’s something better than what I blindly reach for on my way out the door Monday through Friday), and lounge around outside for a little while. With my weekend morning traditions comes my favorite part: reading all of the articles and blog posts I added to my Reading List throughout the week on my Macbook. It’s so nice to be able to devout some time to reading about things that inspire and fascinate me.

With that said, I’m planning on making “TGIF” a weekly installment where I post all of these findings in a hope that it may inspire or fascinate you as well. Some of the links will be related to sustainable fashion but not all of them will because life requires a bit of variety and I’m more than happy to oblige with that particular requirement. I hope you all enjoy it and have a weekend filled with whatever brings you the most happiness.

  • These prints are to die for. They are absolutely amazing and inspire me to make the most of this spring and summer. (via Honestly WTF)
  • Fashion Revolution Day came out of the tragedy of the Rana Plaza Collapse last year (via EcoSalon)
  • It’s time for me to get my summer reading list together and this list gave me some great ideas. (Via BuzzFeed)
  • Amour Vert, a sustainable fashion brand located in San Francisco, is making me want everything and anything in tangerine. (Via Amour Vert)
  • Mixing menswear pieces into my wardrobe just got a little bit easier. (via Refinery29)
  • Stella McCartney has committed to becoming “Wildlife Friendly.” Like we all need another reason to love her. (via Ecouterre)

 

Embracing the Unexpected.

I wear black almost daily and I love it. I like the way black works with my skin color and hair. I like the way it wears so well in the city. Mostly, I like the way it can be worn in any fashion and with whatever accessories I feel drawn to that day. Sometimes I feel uninspired by it though. This feeling usually occurs on a spontaneous, albeit much needed, sunny day in Portland. I start to feel misplaced, like i showed up to the beach in a head to toe snow suit.  On these days I long for something clean, colorful, and easy-to-wear. I want to take advantage of what the bright skies have to offer. As Portlanders we treat unexpected sunny days as a second chance at a missed opportunity and blithely rush out into the streets to hang out with friends, take a walk around the park, or just plain sit in the sun.  So in honor of impromptu sunny days in April, I’ve included some items by sustainable designers that might help you embrace everything spring has to offer.

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Portland Fashion: Ms. Wood

Alicia Wood is the type of designer that represents what the Portland fashion scene is really all about. While we don’t have the same type of industry backing us up as New York City or LA, we take pride in the artistry behind the things that we do. Ms. Wood is the name of her design company and she creates beautiful clothing that is both fashion-forward and functional. Her husband helps her create the wooden pieces behind some of her shoes and they work together to create one of a kind pieces that are sure to resonate well with Portland women.

State of Style did a great job representing the Portland fashion scene and highlighting one of it’s top contenders. It’s important to include how fashion works in our everyday lives and the hard work and dedication that these designers put into it. State of Style provided an insider look into Alicia Wood’s home and design space andgave us some insight into how she balances her life without sacrificing her personal style. Portland fashion can’t be summed up with designer names, it comes from an acute understanding of how important hand-crafted details are along with supporting local designers who put their heart and soul into the work that they do.

You can check out Alicia Wood’s work at http://www.mswoodboutique.com/index_home.php