Sustainable Brand Highlight: The Girlfriend Collective

Today I am sharing my second sustainable brand post. The Girlfriend Collective is an activewear company that recycles by taking back any old Girlfriend Collective wear. You get some store credit for recycling plus you can feel better about your environmental impact! The paloma sports bra is by far my favorite product of theirs but everything I have tried on has been super comfortable and flattering.

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Windbreakerpaloma bra (my absolute favorite sports bra), running shortpink t-shirtleggingsbodysuit

I got the sports bra and leggings in rose quarts and absolutely love them! I seriously wear sports bra every other day. Also that pink tie dye t-shirt looks so comfy plus proceeds are donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

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They also offer a microfiber filter that allows you to catch microplastics that come off of your clothing in the wash. This is actually an issue that I was not aware of so researching the company shed some needed light on yet another plastic problem. Overall I think they are a great company and definitely worth checking out if you need any workout clothing (or just comfy, durable clothing).

Erin

Why I Committed to Posting Every Day for a Month

The month of October was incredibly hectic but I managed to post every single day. This has been a goal of mine and once I got started I was determined to do the whole month. The primary reason for this goals is that I have so many different things I want to write about and share but often don’t make the time to do it. By posting every day I forced myself to spend time creating posts about things I have really been wanting to talk about.

I love fashion, books, adventure, plus I enjoy sharing random lifestyle posts. Something that has really frustrated me in the blogger world is that everyone talks about “finding your niche.” I know that in order to be successful in anything you need to think about your audience and what they want to hear. When I listen to podcasts or read posts about how to be successful in blogging it seems to be a mix of talking to your audience and being authentic, but most importantly, finding your niche. You aren’t supposed to really focus about more than one or two things if you want to be successful. I really struggle with this because I love so many things and since I love them I want to share them with others. I don’t want to put myself in a box. I don’t want to just share my outfits or just share books. I love these things but can’t help but love other things just as much. This is part of the reason I struggled with making a decision about graduate school I felt like it would put me in a specific box and I would not be able to stray from that. I want to live a life full of many things, not just a few. I am not going to talk about my decision-making process for grad school in this post but it does give some insight into why I felt the need to post every day.

Since I did not want to write about just one thing, I needed to produce more of all the things I wanted to share. It does seem like talking about something different every week or month would not be as relatable to readers. People tend to look for specific advice from different people and if they don’t know what they will find from your site, why spend the time? My thought was that if I post consistently every week in each category that I am interesting in writing about maybe I can work around this. If your job is to blog this is feasible but as a grad student just the thought has been a little terrifying. I started posting every day at the end of September just to challenge myself and as we got through the first few weeks of October I decided to stick with it through the month. It felt good to be accomplishing a goal and I enjoyed dedicating some time every week to thinking about my blog.

Going forward I want to continue this as best I can but I do think I will be taking Saturday’s off. It is just a little too much to be focusing on both my blog and grad school every single day. I love them both but my health and relationships are definitely falling to the way side. I have been continuously sick since I left for Vermont (October 1st)… so the entire month. So I definitely admit that I am in serious need of some focus on my mental and physical health. Since I have been really liking the routine of posting everyday I am not totally giving that up right now, just giving myself one day to not think about posting. This may change in the future but I will probably do another check in around the holidays. I would love to hear any thoughts you have on the blogging world and how you have felt in response to the idea of committing to one or two things (in the blogging community and in life in general).

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Thanks for following along!

Erin

Shopbop Sale: Sustainable Edition

I just wanted to start by saying this post was way harder to put together than I was expecting. I thought Shopbop would have a decent amount of sustainable clothing options (they do have some) since they carry so many different brands and I thought that I would be able to find some of those in the sale. Overall I did not find that much and very few sustainable companies had items on sale. It made me so sad and it really made me realize that we have such a long way to go as far as pushing this industry to being as environmentally friendly as possible.

A part of pushing the industry toward sustainability is sharing brands and clothing that are already working to achieve this mission. I am a big fan of Shopbop and have shopped their sales in the past but since I am really trying to change my shopping habits, to better impact the environment, I decided I need to start sharing more from brands that are actively working toward sustainability. I am doing brand highlights but I have started to do my best to share sustainable options in round ups. Todays Shopbop sale round up is focused entirely on brands working toward sustainability.

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Cropped jeans, wood earringspink skirtblack t-shirt dresspink dress, white rompergingham swimsuitjeans, yellow dress, denim shortpink and white striped dress

Happy Halloween!

Erin

 

Sabrina Outfit Inspiration

In lieu of Halloween I went with Sabrina Spellman for my October outfit inspiration post. Because it is kind of Halloween themed I took much more from The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina since I think it brings way more Halloween vibes. Traditionally Sabrina Spellman is a witch living a normal teenage life and all the adventures the ensure with those worlds colliding. The Chilling Adventures definitely takes a darker spin and focuses much more on good vs. evil.

So I wanted to give a little history of Sabrina the Teenage Witch since I did not read a book to go with it. I found out that the TV series was based on a 1962 Archie comic series of the same name. It was released even before the TV show “Bewitched”. I am not a big comic person but I did check it out and you can read excerpts on amazon which was fun!

I chose outfits inspired mostly by The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina but I did watch Sabrina the Teenage Witch to get inspired. I might do a second post that focuses a little more on here but I had a harder time pulling inspiration since it is from a different decade (it would be fun though!).

Outfit #1: Headbands are a great Sabrina choice! I really love how much The Chilling Adventures brought the headbands.

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Headband Nordstrom, turtleneck similar, skirt similar, boots similar (another option)

Outfit #2: This is by far my favorite outfit and I think it is the closest to Sabrina Spellman from the Chilling Adventures. She emphasizes the red and black bringing the witch vibes to a tee. I definitely would not have chosen it without the Sabrina inspiration and I absolutely love it.

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Blazer Leith, tights commando (these are amazing), headband Nordstrom, boots similar (vintage), dress similar, belt Madewell

Outfit #3: Throughout these inspiration posts I try to mix my own style with the inspiration. I think this final outfit blends my personal style the best with hints of both Sabrinas (from the Teenage Witch and from the Chilling Adventures).

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Turtle neck similar, belt Madewell, pants similar (vintage), booties similar, necklace Madewell, jacket BLANKNYC (one of my fav jackets ever), hair bow Nordstrom (similar)

I hope you are getting into the Halloween spirit!

Erin

 

Recent Podcasts

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a nice weekend and are rested up for the week. It snowed yesterday. We woke up to the ground covered in snow and it was beautiful. About a year and a half ago I did a post on my favorite podcasts. I just reread my choices and definitely still stand by those. Such great podcasts with amazing hosts! Today I am doing a little bit of an update on that by sharing the podcasts I have been listening to recently. While I do still listen to those on my previous list I have some new ones that I have become a part of my routine.

Bad on Paper: This is definitely the one podcast that is a weekly routine. They have the best guests and and they read the greatest books. I read The Idea of You and American Royals thanks to them. I have mentioned it before but since I do make it part of my week I had to include it. Also Becca and Grace are just in general so fun and relatable!

Up First: I listen to this every morning on my way to work. It is a great way to get a quick news update. It is a great option if you don’t have that much time to catch up on what is going on in the world.

Armchair Expert: Dax Shepard interviews some big name celebrities and it is fantastic. They are all hilarious and have some great stories. Episodes are really long though (about 2 hours) so it is a good one for long car rides.

American Girls: Allison and Mary take you on adventure throughout the American Girl books. For someone who grew up with American Girl and loved it, this has been so fun and nostalgic to listen to. They also talk about a ton of 90’s and early 2000’s pop culture.

Others that I have been looking forward to: Drilled, Ologies (a science one!)

Up First

Erin

Week in My Life No. 6

I have been so work focused this week that I honestly can’t really think of what I have been up to on specific days. That is definitely not a good thing and is reminding me to balance more. I basically went to work around 8:00am everyday, came home around 4:00pm and worked from home until I needed to sleep. Yeah it seems a little crazy and it was but I have a bunch going on right now and am definitely feeling the pressure. Oh yeah I also have not fully recovered from being sick so when I was not working I have just felt so tired and have needed to sleep way more than usual.

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Last Sunday we went to Herm’s Inn for brunch and order a cinnamon pancake which was way bigger than I could’ve ever expected!
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The leaves were so gorgeous this week but had almost entirely dropped by Friday. It has been pretty cold here.

On Thursday evening we did go to a pumpkin patch to find pumpkins to carve today. It was a big bummer though because there was basically nothing good left so we ended up getting a couple from Walmart.

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Such a gorgeous sunset from the Smith’s parking lot! This photo definitely does not do it justice.
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Sad pumpkin patch feels. I am guessing most of the pumpkins were rotted now because we had such cold weather at the end of September and throughout most of October.

We did make Trader Joe’s mushroom ravioli for dinner last night and it was amazing. I love all their ravioli but this might be my favorite. It is in the frozen section and you heat it up in a saucepan. I am also 100% obsessed with their Harvest pasta sauce.

Interesting articles:

What to read, watch and listen to based on your enneagram. I had to include this since I just liked everything they recommended.

Carly’s Shopbop sale roundup. Such cute pieces and I am definitely having to put my foot down to keep from breaking my no-shop October!

Upcoming books from around the world. Such a good list of  books released in 2019 from around the world. This kind of thing definitely gets me out of my comfort zone and into other perspectives.

Atlantic-Pacific NYC capsule collection. I shared some of my favorites from this yesterday but still wanted to include up in my article round up since I just love it.

Kate’s Style Guide. Just love this. Kate Middleton is definitely a style icon of mine and I love that Lauren is sharing her best looks and giving similar options for all price ranges.

Fashion industry climate report. This is a great article bringing light to how companies are actually reaching goals and committing to change. It did make me really sad that Nordstrom is so low. They have great features on their website that allow you to shop sustainably but if they aren’t trying to change things it makes me disappointed.

Reading the right book. A great reminder, especially since I have been in a bit of a book slump.

New York Times best weekend reads. A round up of interesting articles and the news that we all should be reading.

A two quad figure skating routine. This 15 year old did had a stunning and historic performance. Truly beautiful!

Watching: I have been a little all over the place with show and have not been watching very much. Yesterday I did start re-watching The 100. It is a classic apocalyptic show and I love it. We also did watch all the Halloweentown movies last weekend. They are a definitely must every October. Totally nostalgic and perfect for Halloween (plus they are kid friendly!).

InstagramRachel Martino is absolutely killing it on the Halloween Instagram game. Her costumes and recreations are so amazing and have been even more excited for Halloween.

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On Friday I was the only one in the lab for most of the day so I went for a comfy look.

I hope you are having a great weekend!

Erin

Recent Finds

My goal this month has been to buy no clothing or books for myself. It is almost the end of October and I have actually been so good. I am pretty proud considering some incredible collaborations came out this month. I have been dying seeing all the amazing shoes, coats and books. It was definitely a good choice though since it is saving my bank account. I also don’t really need anything right now. Since I am not buying anything I am going to live vicariously by rounding up my favorites from recent releases. I just hope I can hold out once October is up!

recentfinds

Black GMG jacket (so psyched about the GMG coats and I have been on the hunt for a nicer black coat), pink GMG coat (so fluffy and pink!), plaid heels (Halogen x Atlantic-Pacific), pink loafer (I was so close to breaking for these), green pants (an absolutely gorgeous Halogen x Atlantic-Pacific release, the matching blazer is also beautiful), bow booties (Julia really killed it this month, the shoes she released with Margaux are amazing)

I hope you are having a great Saturday and enjoying the last of the fall colors (depending on where you are!).

Erin

Wearing Leggings to Work

While I do like to look nice, especially for work, I think there is definitely a way to both look nice and be comfortable. I am totally not above wearing leggings to work. They are so comfortable and some days I just need a little extra comfort. There are a ton of ways of making them look professional. Some of my favorite leggings for work include Spanx faux leather leggings, Zella live-in high waisted leggings and my Lululemon align leggings (olive is a color other than black that works well for professional settings).

1. Adding a great blazer. This is always a way to up an outfit. I am particularly loving plaid this fall. I also think that by choosing a long blazer it does not really look like you are wearing leggings.

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2. Cardigans. Long cardigans are a great option to wear over leggings. Paired with a nice sweater or button down and you are all set for a long day at work.

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3. Nice shoes. A nice flat, boot or low heel goes a really long way. Add that great shoe to some leggings and a blazer or cardigan and you are ready for the office. I particularly love these Vince flats but they take quite a bit of breaking in. I am obsessed with the GMG x Margaux collection and every piece is great for work!

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Thanks for reading and have a great rest of your week! I can’t believe it is already Thursday. This semester is flying by.

Erin

Sustainable Style #2: Facing Reality

The amount of pain and environmental damage the clothing industry has caused is absolutely devastating. I will admit that writing this post has been an upsetting experience so far. It has made me realize just how terrible parts of the industry are and it has shown me just how much I need to change my own ways. I will continue to see fashion and clothing as a way of expressing myself but I think there is a better way to accomplish what I want (a better way to interact with the industry). Many of us go through life relatively unaffected my the negative impacts the fashion industry can have. This often allows us to turn a blind eye to what is really going on. The most important thing we can do is recognize issues and begin to match our behavior to our beliefs.  

The fashion industry produces 4% of the world’s waste.

One garbage truck full of clothing is burned or sent to landfill every second.

Every year the average American throws away 82 pounds of textile waste.

The minimum wage for factory workers in Bangladesh is $64.

Burberry burned $40 million dollars worth of stock in 2017.

The documentary that kept coming up in my research of the fashion industry and sustainability was True Cost (on Amazon Prime right now). It is from 2015 so I can’t believe I haven’t seen it yet but I am glad I found it now. It covers a lot of ground and gives a good overall picture of the entire industry and who is impacted. It speaks to the recent move to fast fashion, from a four season turnover to constantly changing trends. As a side note, if you are not familiar with the term ‘fast fashion’ it refers to brands that are producing large amounts of clothing and selling them for low prices. The turnover for these brands is very quick since they are built on constantly creating new trends so people will continue to buy their products. The documentary also cover factory workers and how they are treated. This has received more and more attention but the working conditions of some factors are unacceptable. No one I know would want to work in such conditions, or have their children work is such conditions, therefore it is unacceptable to allow any company to permit these standards.  The film goes all the way down to the cotton industry and how fertilizers of such farms impact people.

This documentary gives a clear picture of the dangers of the industry for people. It also interviews some people who are really trying to do a good job in the industry. People who care about other people and who care about the environment. I overall highly recommend watching it! I will give a warning that this documentary shows real footage that is very graphic.

I will do a more detailed post in the future about clothing waste and how we can best go about reusing and recycling what we have but while I was researching for this I found out some things about the waste in the industry that I just had to share. Fashion houses engage in a practice of burning unsold stock. This completely appalls me, I almost have no words and I truly had no idea about this practice prior to writing this. I know that massive amounts of clothing end up in landfills every year, even from the things we donate. The waste part if the fashion industry is a huge problem and very multifaceted. We often don’t think about the waste that is generated when producing each item of clothing. That should factor in to the overall environmental cost of an item and of a company.

It is so important to first recognize that there is an issue and then focus on remedying that. I believe that companies (especially the big ones) have a responsibility to consumers, workers and to the environment. That responsibility should include both short term and long term goals toward better practices. I know that, for a company, the problems are much more complex since a priority for most is economic success. The issue is that I see economic success as a short term, immediate reward. Companies may have strategies for the next however many years that involved growth and increase in total revenue but there is a lack of vision when it comes to potential environmental or social issues. There will be no revenue for a clothing company if our planet falls apart. This sounds extreme but as a scientist and researcher I have witness many environmental issues first hand and I know just how devastating an impact humans can have on the world. It is all a circle because damaging the environment will also have negative impacts on our standards of living.

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From the Global Fashion Agenda 2018 Pulse Report: Four Transformational Priorities for Fundamental Change

I want to end with some final, tangible takeaways.

Buy less and buy better. I have been trying to achieve this throughout the past year but it has become so clear to me that I need to hold myself to a much higher standard and really stick to that.

Eliminate waste. I have been going through my closet recently as a part of this journey to made a more eco-conscious closet and while researching waste and what happens to clothing once donated I realized that I need to try my best not to throw away. Instead I need to find new uses for things.

Advocate for a better industry. For a few years now I have let myself believe that not causing conflict was best for my own interest and journey. I used to be very vocally passionate about multiple issues and have been criticized for that. Learning about the true issues with this industry have reminded me of how important it is to speak up and advocate for what you believe in. Change happens through awareness.

Facts and information come from the following sources:

Global Fashion Agenda 2018 Pulse Report

True Cost Documentary

Forbes article: Fashion’s Dirty Little Secret

The New York Times on H&M’s Declining Sales

Reuters Article on Burberry Burning Stock

By the Numbers: The Economic, Social and Environmental Impacts of “Fast Fashion”

The Fashion Law on Bangladeshi Garment Workers

Planet Aid Article on Clothing Habits

I would really love to hear your thoughts on this subject. It can be a tough one to deal with but hearing multiple opinions is a helpful way of looking at things. Thanks for reading!

Erin

First Snow

The snow finally stuck! I love snow and although it feels kind of early I am so excited about out first real snow. So it did snow a couple of times throughout the past month but it never really stuck here in town. This weekend we had some crazy weather. It was so windy, rainy and snowy on Saturday evening. A big branch actually broke off into our driveway. Sunday we decided to take a drive up Logan canyon to enjoy the leaves, the snow and try to hike (we weren’t sure what the trail conditions would be like). The trail we wanted to do is pretty steep so we decided against it but did explore some little trails. It is so beautiful right! I truly love that transition from fall to winter.

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I hope you had a fun weekend and got to enjoy some fall weather!

Erin