Little green dress

little green dress a spotlight on eco-friendly fashion

If this is your first time catching a Little Green Dress spotlight – welcome to the series! First up was Rubypearl, which you can catch up on here. Then I featured Kimmi Designs, and last week’s feature on Pondhopper Studio can be found right here.

I was ‘window shopping’ on Etsy for some summer clothing and started to notice that there are some seriously talented people creating beautiful fashions that are eco-friendly. And I wondered, what would it look like to spotlight all of them in one place? [ like here?! ] So I started the Little Green Dress series highlighting all the awesome I found.

Ohmyheart I couldn’t believe it when I stumbled across this listing from Cheryl at Green Market Vintage – and I had to reach out to get to know her :

When I dug a little deeper in her shop and found these jackets I kind of lost my mind –

Tell me about you & your shop:
I began on etsy with a Vintage Button Bracelet shop – but morphed into a clothing seller as well when I realized that it’s much more fun to shop vintage clothing when I could look for gems in all sizes. That’s how Green Market Vintage was born.  I am able to stretch my brain with the business & marketing ends, express some aesthetic sense for staging & design & more recently I employ my sewing skills to create the Green Market line of upcycles and fringes. Having long enjoyed photography – I find it fun to take silly snaps and colorful compositions for my product listings. Best of all, I love to do my work with the greenest possible footprint. Green Market Vintage sprung from an opportunity and its evolution continues to be a natural current in our family life. My beautiful daughter [ below ] is even my model!

What made you start an eco-friendly clothing business?
I started making recycled fashions because I am unstoppable as a maker and  when you make a lot of things you have to sell them or you become a Hoarder. I make recycled fashions because I believe I have to do my part to reduce waste and intervene in the demand for more new materials being manufactured. I also really do love using what I have on hand or can find. I am very proud to be inventive and resourceful. I prefer the re-use of existing materials, & embellishing with vintage & bohemian style supplies.
What are some of your favorites from your shop?
I’m pretty proud of a few Corset dresses that I have made that turned out SO GORGE!
And I feel pretty crafty about my fringe skirts that reuse animal skins that were unwanted or cast off.
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Get your cowgirl on with some fringe

Do you have an eco friendly mantra that you live by?
Reduce, ReUse, Recycle. And then : Re-invent and Re-make. Aim for sustainability.

5 dirty little lies your brain tells you that get in the way of change

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Change can be a mother effer.

I’m not even talking about change that happens to you that you had no choice in. Or change that happened slowly, quietly creeping up on you until you realize it’s here [ ta da! ].

No – even when you really really really want to change something, and you think about changing it all the time; you daydream about the day that you can say ‘yes. here i am. i have arrived’ – even that kind of change can be really effing hard.

And when you’re not getting ahead, and you really really want to – you might blame someone else. Or complain that you ‘have no idea why this is happening’. You tell everyone all the reasons you’re stuck; even when they haven’t asked and you distract people from your lack of progress by pointing out someone else’s problems. You tell yourself it doesn’t matter. You worked really hard, you deserve to keep fucking it up for a while because it feels good in the moment, and you don’t really know how to stop.

We tend to feel quite a bit of self-doubt and guilt while we’re busy failing at change.

But maybe it’s not your fault. Maybe you’re built that way. Maybe it’s your brain. That magical, powerful globular goo stuck in your skull that’s capable of dreaming up just about anything – it has habits of its own and tells you these dirty little lies that can keep you stuck in your habits and keep change just out of reach.

  1. Keep your eyes on the big picture :

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You are capable of seeing life in big picture mode – visioning what success looks like, and how it will feel. For some of us, the big picture is actually easier to see than the steps it takes to get there. It sounds like this :

‘ I’m going to stop polluting, and live in harmony with nature ‘

‘ I’m going to get rich, fall in love, and it’s all gonna be so so good ‘

Those are awesome goals. But not SMART ones [ Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Timeline oriented ]. Even if you forget acronyms – these dreams are lofty, with no clear path to get there.

If you want to break free from your big picture daydreams, try focusing in on one long term vision. Write it down. Ask yourself – where would I start? And then what? Lay the path and start your journey. For a minute, forget about the end of the tunnel and notice where you’re at and how far you’ve come so far. Forgive yourself for not being further along, breathe in and find some peace in now.

2. You are made to fight, flee or freeze :

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Your brain is always on alert. Interpreting the world around you and categorizing everything in files; ‘safe’, ‘tasty’, ‘sexy’, ‘threatening’ … so you know what to do. Problem is, most of us see change as somewhat threatening and that’s why we hold back. I know you may not buy this – but if you were 100% comfortable during a change, it wouldn’t be a change. It would be a ‘be who you already were some more because it’s awesome’. And when you become uncomfortable, when your everyday becomes unknown because you’ve had to leave some habits behind, or when your change becomes painful as you grieve what you’re letting go, your brain reacts.

In your most primal root of yourself there are three responses your brain switches on to respond to threat: Fight – destroy the threat, before it destroys you; Flight – run and hide; and Freeze. Freeze is the lesser known response, but the most common. When you freeze you may be tuning out completely. Slowing your body, and locking your mind safely away with your daydreams while you wait for the danger to pass, hoping that you are as unscathed as possible when it’s over. Or you may be tuning in fiercely – studying your opponent, and planning your next move. So when you’re facing change, and that point in change when the rubber hits the road, you may very well freeze instinctively because little alarm bells are ringing in your brain saying ‘i don’t know this place, and i don’t know if i like it’. And you guessed it, if your brain flips the freeze switch, your change is on hold.

The way out? Resiliency. Working to consciously notice that you’ve frozen and reminding yourself that it’s ok. Building safety nets around you with people, places, and things that bring you joy. Taking deep breaths, counting to ten, doing whatever you do to recall that you are magnificent, you are safe, you are going to come out the other end of this ok.

3. You are capable of multitasking [ or screwing up several things at once ]

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Can you ride a bicycle while chewing gum? Sure. But most tasks are more complex when paired up. And we – magnificently flawed human beings we are – believe with every inch of our soul that we are so incredible and amazing we can accomplish everything at once. So we try. And we fail.

That little brain of yours is truly amazing but can only really solidly focus on a few things at a time. Some things your brain accomplishes without you even knowing – You are [ hopefully ] breathing, digesting, and blinking just fine. If you had to think about those things to accomplish them, you’d be exhausted. And some things [ like habits ] your brain can do with little thought. But big things [ like changes – especially changing the habits that you don’t have to think about anymore ] require some serious intention and attention.

So if you’re no further ahead than last week, last month, or last year, and this is STILL important to you – try cutting out other things first. ‘ What the heck!? To change one thing effectively, I have to change a bunch of other things first? ‘ – Maybe. But pick the easy things. That you barely even care about. Declutter your day, and your mind, and you’ll likely find a little extra focus for the change that matters.

4. Feelings are for suckers :

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It’s time to face it. You’re an emotional being. And your brain can get busy with feeling all the feels. There are going to be days when you feel like you’re killing it. And there are going to be days when you firmly believe that this change is so heavy it’s going to kill you.

Your brain doesn’t always know the difference – so it’s your job to wade through it all. Notice how you feel. Acknowledge your emotions. But teach yourself to recognize which ones are helping and which ones are not. Learn the difference between the emotions you should sit in for a while, and the ones you should move through. Figure out what triggers your negative feelings, and what triggers the feel-goods; then build an environment and a routine that steer you toward your positive emotions and away from the muck.

5. You will always make a smart choice:

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I’m really sorry – I’m not exactly saying that we’re stupid, just that we spend a lot of time thinking we’re smart, and forgetting that we are impulse driven creatures. We will almost always choose convenience now over long term gains.

So on the way to change, your old habits will creep up and look much more convenient than the work you’ve been putting in. And more often than not your brain will give in. You’ll take 3 steps forward and then 2 back. And the cure? There isn’t one. Forgiveness. Forgive yourself for being human. Celebrate the one step forward you’ve sustained all along. Believe with all your heart that it’s ok because you’re a person and you’re meant to fuck it up over and over again along the way. It’s normal. And you’re not alone – everyone else is really busy fucking it up too. So keep trying. Because you’re worth it.

 

Little Green Dress

little green dress a spotlight on eco-friendly fashion

I’m back with another feature for the Little Green Dress Series! If you missed the first one featuring Rubypearl, you can catch it here. You can also check out last week’s feature on Kimmi Designs.

I was ‘window shopping’ on Etsy for some summer clothing and started to notice that there are some seriously talented people creating beautiful fashions that are eco-friendly. And I wondered, what would it look like to spotlight all of them in one place? [ like here?! ] This series is what came next.

I stumbled upon Pondhopper Studios’ shop where Lorraine makes one of a kind clothing with the mindset of ‘no rules fashion’ and sewing outside all the lines. I was super excited to get to know this fellow Canadian more :

Tell us a bit about yourself

While I have always loved all things creative, I really disliked sewing classes at school – the need to follow patterns and rules exactly just didn’t work for my free spirit. Many years later, my young son asked if I could take the motif from his favourite (and threadbare!) T-shirt and sew it onto a new t-shirt. After I had dusted off my sewing machine and combined the two successfully, my aversion to sewing turned into a fascination with the possibilities it offered.

Everything in my shop is designed and handmade by me in my tiny studio crammed with collections of fibers, clothing, jewelry and ephemera stored in beautiful old suitcases and vintage apartment mailboxes. Tools, cameras and books jostle for space along with hastily written ideas on scraps of paper. Pieces in my shop are inspired by my addiction to rescuing otherwise forgotten and discarded items. I love the surprises and uniqueness that come from materials that have a story, a past life, and a soul of their own.

 

How did you  decide to start a business making eco-friendly fashions?

My son’s request coincided with my growing awareness around the dark side of fashion: from environmental impacts, to unsafe working conditions in many factories and the sheer wastefulness of fast fashion. While it is a very small contribution, I felt I could be part of the solution by using salvaged materials destined for the landfill to create one of a kind designs with my newfound fascination to sewing.

Little green dress a spotlight on eco-friendly fashion pondhopper5

https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/208044445/upcycled-clothing-upcycled-fashion?ref=shop_home_active_6

I am now completely obsessed with creating clothing and accessories using discarded items destined for the landfill. I love that they have past stories and imperfections, they work perfectly with the visible stitching, asymmetry and artful tattering I love to incorporate into my pieces.

Where does your inspiration come from?

I am constantly searching for existing ephemera and fabrics looking for a second chance, whether recently discarded or from another century. From gently softened and faded everyday cottons to vintage brocades, velvets, laces and trims; from retro fabrics and modern day plastics full of attitude to lost trinkets that hold untold stories in their aged patinas.

I combine these salvaged materials and marry them together with an abundance of stitches. I like to incorporate imperfections and asymetry to enhance the personality of my designs and love the way raw edges gently fray and soften over time. Each item is a unique, one of a kind piece created spontaneously without patterns, and includes artful tattering, raw edges and visible stitching.

You can find Pondhopper Studios at:

Shop: www.pondhopper.etsy.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/thepondhopper
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pondhopperstudio
email: thepondhopper@hotmail.com

Come back next week for another Little Green Dress feature. Would you like to be featured? Comment below

 

Little Green Dress

little green dress a spotlight on eco-friendly fashion

I’m back with another feature for the Little Green Dress Series! If you missed the first one last week featuring Rubypearl, you can catch it here. I was ‘window shopping’ on Etsy for some summer clothing and started to notice that there are some seriously talented people creating beautiful fashions that are eco-friendly. And I wondered, what would it look like to spotlight all of them in one place? [ like here?! ] This series is what came next.

I caught my breath a little when I saw this photo from Kimmi – by Kim McCormick and I HAD to get to know her

Tell us about Kimmi and how you came to start an eco-friendly fashion business

All aspects of environmentalism are super important to me so the decision to use recycled, reclaimed, upcycled materials just fell into place for me. I’ve always loved thrift shopping and when I started designing and couldn’t really afford all the beautiful laces I’d see in the fabric stores, I remembered all the lace curtains and tablecloths I’d see in the thrift stores. I started practicing with those and very quickly I discovered I preferred working with vintage pieces I’d discover because of the different qualities and history each piece has. This proved to result in one of a kind dresses which is very appealing to me and I think a lot of my customers, especially the brides. Everybody is one of a kind, their dress should be one of a kind for such a special day.

[ oh my gawd i almost died when i saw this dress ]

little green dress a spotlight on eco-friendly fashion kimmi Peter Jensen and Lyrel Media1

What role do you see yourself playing in shifting people’s perspectives about fashion and the environment?

I hope to show people the importance of sustainability in the fashion industry in particular, create an appreciation for ‘slow fashion’. help educate people to realize the huge, devastating, impact, ‘fast fashion’ has on our environment. I hope to show people the possibilities of using existing materials, and we have HUGE piles of existing textiles in the thrift stores! to create new clothing. to use what we already have. I’ve loved participating in Eco Fashion Week to show my creations and see what other artists and designers come up with using the same kind of supplies as well. I feel when people can see the possibilities, it opens their perspectives.

What are a couple of your favorite items from your shop?

little green dress a spotlight on eco-friendly fashion kimmi4

Photography by Photography by Lyrel Media and Peter Jensen
 https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/418190417/ivory-lace-wedding-gownalternative?ref=shop_home_active_17

Do you have any eco-friendly mantras that you live by?

So, eating organic foods is pretty important to me. My husband and I started working in a local co-op, here in Seattle, many years ago and have helped it grow into on of the biggest organic co-ops in the country; PCC. It’s been mostly my husband working on that one, he’s worked there for almost 30 years! Me, I’m too much of an artist to stay in any kind of ‘traditional’ job setting for long! But I truly love the slow food movement : from the organic farmers to all the restaurants here who support them and create really delicious food.

To find more on Kim and her beautiful fashions, check out her shop on Etsy at Kimmi

Little Green Dress

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I am so excited to be kicking off this series! I was ‘window shopping’ on Etsy for some summer clothing and started to notice that there are some seriously talented people creating beautiful fashions that are eco-friendly; whether they are using reclaimed materials, recycling or upcycling fabrics or sourcing new materials that don’t come with a hefty environmental impact. And I wondered, what would it look like to spotlight all of them in one place? [ like here?! ] So I started to reach out to the shop owners, tell them just how rad I think they are, and ask if they wanted to buddy up for a spotlight … and here it is.

First up is Trish Hurless with Rubypearl from Texas

ruby pearl little green dress spotlight on eco friendly fashion

Tell us about Rubypearl

Rubypearl uses collected fabrics, scarves and trims to create one-of-a-kind dresses for women and children. A lot of the materials used are very old, which I feel creates an aura of history for the dress. The dresses are timeless and will be worn for years which adds your own history. Each dress is different and is a piece of art.

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How did you decide to start making eco-friendly fashion and make that a business? 

Ten years ago, when my daughter was one, I was laid off from my job. I wanted to work from home and have my daughter with me so we put our family on a budget and I put my skills to use. I began making women’s and children’s clothes for a friend’s boutique and needed fabric to practice pattern making. I visited a neighborhood thrift store and stocked up on sheets and that’s when the idea of re-purposing fabrics hit me. It was inexpensive, eco-friendly and fun to hunt for materials. A few years later I joined a friend who was creating Rubypearl dresses and we worked together for a while before she left for other ventures. I’ve been making and selling them ever since and also still have my original children’s clothing line, Sadie Loves Kiki, in addition to a new one, Rosa Rebelled. I’m very busy lol! All three of my lines use re-purposed materials.

I asked what some of her favorites are and Trish told me it’s really hard to choose [i agree] so I’ve picked some of my favorites from her current stock in her etsy shop:

‘Some dresses conjure a specific decade’ like this Vintage Sunset Slip Dress,

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‘some are edgy’ like this Rubypearl Black Widow Corset Dress

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‘and some are just downright funky’ like this Rubypearl I Love Pink Slip Dress.

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So it depends on your mood.

Do you have any eco-mantras that you live by?

I thrift as much as possible. When researching for my business plan I came across some astonishing statistics on wastefulness, especially clothing. I’m not a die-hard but I try to only acquire things I absolutely need or I will get lots of use out of. Thrifted whenever possible!

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Check out Rubypearl’s Etsy shop for more.

If you’d like to be featured in my Little Green Dress series, let me know

 

3 WAYS TO kick off earth day like a boss

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Make every day Earth Day – not just today. It can be the day when you think about the earth, think about your actions, think about your impact … but by the time you make any decisions about changing anything, the day’s over and everything goes back to normal. Or it can be your Nature Lovin New Year’s when you set some new goals for the year to come and set yourself up for the trial, error, fail, repeat cycle of breaking some habits and setting new ones.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few ideas:

  1. Take on food waste. Food waste is a nature-no-no for a few reasons :
  • Wasting food means that you are also wasting the energy that went into that food’s production, transportation, packaging, storage, and sale that got it to your home to begin with
  • Food waste in the landfill will biodegrade eventually, but the concentration of rotting food landfill will release concentrations of gasses that pollute the air
  • Nature made people, and we have people who are hungry. Good food that can nourish your neighbor should not end up being tossed in the trash.

easy ways toreduce food waste

Food waste is also a financial-faux-pas since your money is much better off in your bank account than in your garbage can.

2. Do a spring clean out :

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  • Make some homemade natural cleaning products
  • Roll up your sleeves, put in some elbow grease; you’ll likely get an accidental workout while you’re at it
  • Recycle what you can
  • Sell what you don’t need or give it away
  • Clear out some space in your home and your mind …

AND THEN DON’T REPLACE ANY OF IT

Keep it up for a month and if you don’t miss any of the stuff you decided to get rid of, you don’t need it. Let this be the first step in a minimalist trial. Spend less time buying new stuff that may clutter your new haven and more time having experiences that matter with people you love.

3. Start a 30 x 30 Challenge

KICK OFF EARTH DAY LIKE A BOSS DAVID SUZUKI 30 X 30 CHALLENGE NATURE2

 

The best way to fall in love with the Earth and nature is to spend time in it. Now that the warm weather is here, and spring is showing up in new ways every day, it’s perfect timing to start a 30×30 Challenge. Spend 30 minutes in nature, every day, for 30 days. Check in with yourself as you go. You may feel calmer, more satisfied, healthier, stronger, more optimistic, more connected to your community, more inspired to keep up your new earth-friendly habits.

How Andthenwesaved.com inspired me to crush my debt

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Anna Newell Jones is the creator of ANDTHENWESAVED.com. On her site, through her blog, and in her book The Spender’s Guide to Debt-Free Living, Anna inspired me through brutal honesty about how she stopped being someone who ‘kept spending even after the money was gone’ and got her sh*t together with a spending diet, foolproof debt repayment plan and a side of side-hustle, helping her ‘get from Broke to Badass. I didn’t follow every step she took on her journey, but the steps I did take helped me crush my debt way faster than I’d thought possible. A few of her brilliant tips:

Spending Fast – Cutting out non-essential spending and putting all savings on debt.

I committed to doing a Spending Fast for as long as it would take to pay off my credit card, student loans and car. I didn’t have a ton of money left owing on either of them [ Under $5000 each on my student loans and car, and under $1000 on my credit card ] but they were dragging me down, annoying me, and I was just so done with them.

What I loved so much about the Spending Fast was that I started to be creative again. I was going to have to if I didn’t want to go nuts. I had to figure out how to make the clothes I already owned work, how to get around without using my car so much, how to cook and eat good food with less money, and got back into arts and crafts using materials I already had. While I bought less, I realized I was meeting another goal I had of living greener by accident and I started to compete with myself to see how minimalist I could get.

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Side Hustle – Making extra cash doing whatever finds you

Andthenwesaved.com often highlights the fact that if you can make extra cash [ cash you weren’t counting on and don’t need ] you can put it straight on debt and get ahead faster. Anna lists all the random ways she’d done it which was the boost I needed to overcome any shame at being a MA graduate with a full time job who was ready to babysit, dog walk, and rake leaves for cash. I looked for part time jobs, writing jobs, ads for yard or farm work, cleaning jobs …

Before I got too far into the abyss of random tasks for cash I found a family who needed some one-on-one support for their 28 year old son. I got to start making an extra $30 – $40 each weekend for playing with someone, taking him out and having adventures. That $120 went straight to debt each month and I had found a way to get paid to have fun.

At the same time I was still making projects at home – sewing little doodads, and painting dishes, doing paper crafts. My friend Robin started a small local market outside a grocery store in town and I gathered my 5 seconds of bravery asking her if I could put in a table. Every second Friday I would go to sell [ not very many ] items and come home with $20 – $150 that I would take straight to the bank and put on my debt.

One of the vendors, Yolanda [ who is the mastermind children’s fashion genius behind  Nest and Nurture ] and I quickly became two weirdos who were meant to be friends and she approached me asking if I could help her out with sewing. Thus birthing side hustle #3.

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Debt Snowball – Paying your debts down in order of highest interest rate to lowest; continuing to include each debt’s minimum payment in your repayment plan [ along with all the extra money you’ve saved & earned ] to snowball your impact

I’d read a few ways to try to snowball debt and pay it down quickly:

  • Starting with the debt that has the smallest amount owing
  • Starting with the opposite and putting all payments into the debt with the highest amount owing
  • Consolidate it into a line of credit with a low interest rate and put all your money into paying it off

But I decided to try Anna Newell Jones’ suggestion from The Spender’s Guide to Debt Free Living and within 6 months of starting the journey, I’d gotten myself free and clear!

Disclaimer: I know I sound like a total groupie in this post and no, it is not sponsored. I’d read The Wealthy Barber and tried to follow the advice that some other gurus have, and I didn’t feel as jazzed or familiar as when I followed Andthenwesaved.com and Anna Newell Jones. So I guess I AM a groupie. A financially healthy one.

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