Behind My Love Of Fashion
I’ve always seen fashion as art, and I owe it in large part, to a trip to London with my Dad. My Dad? My farmer Dad you might be asking. Yes. My Dad is the reason why I like high-end fashion! So, when people inside of my various circles ask me why I love fashion so much, I tell them, “It ALL started with my Dad in London.”
Here’s the backstory on this crazy fact about me.
When I was a teen, my Dad was working with clothing companies like Patagonia, Esprit, and Nike to assist them in transitioning some of their supply chains to organic cotton for their product lines.
Why does cotton need to be organic?
Cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed chemical crops in the world. The reason is that cotton is regulated as a fiber crop, not as a food crop. Therefore, it is allowed heavier applications of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. However, it ends up in our food supply by way of cottonseed oil, and it’s fed to dairy cows. Ed Brown has a quick video explaining the issues with cotton relating to pesticide usage:
My father (featured in the video above) was the founder of the Sustainable Cotton Project, which helped chemically-dependent cotton farmers, transition to organic practices. The project also assisted in aligning organic cotton farmers with markets in the U.S. This increased farmer profits, and most importantly, cleaned up both the environment and the clothing aisle. Since he was well versed in cotton production, he provided farm tours for high-level executives and designers, to demonstrate first hand, what industrial cotton was doing to our Californian farmland. He coordinated farm tours on buses, that drove from the Patagonia headquarters in Ventura, Ca., to the Bakersfield area located in California’s agricultural breadbasket. As a young kid, I went on many of these tours. It was during this time, that we met and worked with manufacturers, clothing brands, CEOs, cotton farmers, fashion writers, models, fashionistas and even went to fashion events.
Pause! I can hear my fashionistas chirping: “ooh fashion events, which ones?” Just keep reading lovelies!
The largest and most shape-shifting experience for me relating to eco-fashion was traveling to London for fashion week on behalf of my father’s work with Esprit. This trip was 90% work, and I got to sit front row (mall clothes from the cow town I lived in) at London fashion week. I loved the rush of the fashion show and the marriage of beauty, music, creativity, and fashion. I can still close my eyes and see the fierceness of those models stomping down the runway. I was able to attend all the meetings and was practically on my Dad’s hip the whole trip. We did manage to adventure quite a bit together outside of our meetings. We visited Stonehenge, crowded Irish pubs, major London landmarks, took photos of me in the red phone booths, and nearly crashed a million times driving on the wrong side of the road. Truly, London was an adventure, even without the craziness of Fashion Week.
Classic Style, Savvy Shopper
Prior to London, I liked looking cute. I tip my hat to my Mom, who was a natural beauty and always took pride in her appearance. I also loved going clothes shopping, simply because it was the thing that I did most with my Grandmother. She had superb taste, but we lived in a cow-town that didn’t have access to much when it comes to fashion. Despite this, she knew the tricks of buying classic timeless pieces. I credit my beautiful Grandmother for teaching me how to embody style when you don’t have access. Between my Dad’s adventuring and passions with changing the clothing industry, my Mom’s effortless casual fashion, and my Grandmother’s classic style and shopping savvy, a formidable eco-fashionista was created.
Lover of Repurposed Fashion
I’ve never had the resources to purchase couture on my own. But, I’ve been fortunate to have stylists and some endorsement contracts, outfit me in couture for events and photoshoots. Because of this, I became smart about buying quality items. The truth is, buying cheap stuff is expensive, for some of the same reasons that buying cheap foods is expensive (more on that here), but also because cheap stuff doesn’t last. Therefore, you have to buy cheap stuff over and over again! Why do that, when you can save your money, and buy quality?
Some of my favorite items were purchased long ago. I make sure I take good care of them and then pair them with new things. A new accessory can change the way an old blouse looks, just like new shoes can make your favorite jeans look new. When you experience quality and study fashion trends there are some items that really NEVER go out of style.
The other trick is thrift and vintage shopping. While I do buy some key items that are trendy and in season, there’s nothing like buying a great piece at a quality store that values the materials, the labor, and the attention to detail. When you go to vintage or to high-quality thrift-stores, these classic items have oftentimes been lightly worn, and are ridiculously inexpensive. The racks at some of my favorite vintage stores in L.A. are filled by local designers and stylists! Vintage stores make it easy to find classic items while reducing, recycling, and reusing! Simply put, by buying used and high-quality pieces that last, I put Mother Earth ahead of my need to please the fickle fashion gods.
Question rampage: Now that you know who’s behind my love of fashion, who is responsible for yours? You also know how I have fun with fashion without breaking the bank or compromising my values. Share with me how you do it in the comment section.
Are you wondering what my closet looks like? Stay tuned, I’ll do a closet tour soon! I’ll also be doing some thrift and vintage store hauls, so you can peek at what goodies I find from your favorite designers, in the most random places.
Tell me fashionistas, what did I leave out? Do you have any fashion questions for me? Want to know what I was wearing for my recent singles? Check out my get the look blogs here: