Happy Autumn friends!
I’m so very thrilled to introduce and welcome my dear friend Julie Wilyat to the blog today. Julie and I met in person last year but had been “friends” via the social media channels long before. She and I have been vegan about the same amount of time and we just clicked when we met. Not only is Julie a beauty inside and out, but her love and dedication to vegan and ethical fashion is just another reason that she’s so special. I’ve been wanting to share a blog post on this very topic for quite some time but didn’t feel that I really had the expertise, and Julie does! She has attended many lectures on vegan and ethical fashion in and around the Los Angeles area and she’s even worked for a high-end cruelty free fashion company. It won’t be long before Julie launches her own company– Be Free Active Wear. Read on to learn some fun tips about how to incorporate ethical fashion into your life. Thanks for sharing your passion with us Julie!
As we enter into my favorite season, I often find myself reminiscing about school shopping and the feeling of starting new. Picking out pieces to add to my wardrobe gives me a sense of excitement and satisfies my inner fashionista. If you’re like me, this isn’t easy – especially with so much wool, Angora and silk used in clothing for cooler temps. Wearing animals skin or their hair is not cool, it’s cruel. On top of that, the fact that the fashion industry is the number two polluter of the environment makes me want to hide under the covers and wish for warmer days. But don’t fret…I have good news! There are ways to get through these troubling stats and still feel good about what you are wearing. Here are a few tips I have to share:
- Alter something you already have. Belt it, trim it, add buttons, patches, lace to it…you get my drift. I recently cut the sleeves off a denim jacket and made into a vest and I wear it ALL the time.
- Thrifting. Google local thrift stores in your area. A lot of stores give back to the community and you can find killer deals and awesome clothing. It takes a bit of digging, so summon a friend to join you and maybe donate a few things while you’re at it!
- Host a clothing exchange. This is a great way to see friends you’ve been meaning to get together with and have a potluck! And men, you can join in too!
- Purchase ethical pieces from up and coming designers. It’s so important to know who made our clothes and what they’re made of all while supporting small businesses. After watching the documentary, True Cost, my spending habits and attitude literally changed overnight.
- Be mindful. Really think about the pieces you buy. I like to incorporate the 30 wears challenge started by Livia Firth of Eco Age. Ask yourself, am I going to wear this 30 times? If so, get it!!
There are many ways to express ourselves with clothing and that is one reason why I love it so much. For me, being deliberate with what I wear and the story it tells has shifted so much over the years. I love it when I can talk with others about fashion and fabrics and where I got certain pieces and who made them.
Here are some amazing companies that I support and have confidence in and they’re all owned and founded by women (YAY!):
Vaute (pronounced “vote”) makes beautiful winter coats that are warmer than wool, for men and women, which will last a lifetime and made with technology that Arctic explorers use!
Vesta Studio is a modern women’s line featuring silky kimonos and wide leg pants (just to name a few) and using vegan fabrics ensuring that no animals are harmed.
Vetta Capsule just launched their fourth capsule featuring 5 items that you can wear over 30 ways! And, everything is made in NYC.
Be Free Active Wear by yours truly. Launching in 2018, our goal is to promote movement while wearing eco friendly, comfortable active wear.
Ace Backpacks for the minimalist who wants a chic piece to carry plus made in the USA. Their Kickstarter is set to launch this month.
Nicora Shoes This third generation shoemaker uses hi-tech Kind Leather and makes all of her shoes and boots in the USA.
We are all connected in so many ways including what we wear and how we spend our money. Whether you want it to or not, what you wear makes a difference!
A vegan for nearly eight years, Julie runs the website Mr Hairy Pants, a fun loving account of her travels on the road as well as her beloved kitty cats. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter. Julie is also the Founder and Creator of Be Free Active Wear, an eco-friendly line of clothing made for women and expected to launch in 2018. Be sure to follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.