Lauren is gorgeous, passionate and constantly advocating for more inclusiveness in the ethical fashion community. She’s a dog mama, an entrepreneur, a podcaster, and straight up a model? Read on to learn more from this lovely lady (I know she’s taught me so much in the short time I’ve known her!)
Tell me a little about yourself? Who are you, where are you from / living, etc?
“I’m Lauren! I’m an ethical fashion content creator/podcast host/brand founder/body positivity advocate/dog mom/etc. Basically, I’m a serial project starter and I love ethical fashion, sustainability, and body positivity. I’m from Newport Beach, CA, lived in New York City for three years, and just moved to Santa Barbara, CA.”
How did you first get into ethical / sustainable fashion?
“I started a club for Krochet Kids in high school, which is this brilliant non-profit that supports female makers in Uganda and Peru. That was when I started to learn about supply chains and what makes fashion ethical or unethical. I also have always been inspired by vintage clothing and just any piece with a story behind it, so my love for vintage and secondhand goods was born from that as well.”
What’s something you really want other people to know about ethical / sustainable fashion?
“That it’s not accessible to everyone! Plus size people are being left behind in the world of ethical fashion. Most ethical brands only carry up to a size L, which is around a US woman’s size 8-10. The average American woman is a size 16. What message does that give to the world? That in order to be ethical, you have to fit into a certain size range? It’s lame and there’s only a handful of companies doing it right. That has been a huge push for me to start my own brand that is inclusive. It’s also no secret that ethically made clothes are expensive. We live in a fast fashion world and aren’t accustomed to paying what it costs to make a piece of clothing fairly. Some ethical brands also mark up their prices even higher, making it even harder to afford certain pieces. An easy solution to this is thrifting, which I love and obviously support 100%, but it’s often harder for people who wear a bigger size to find great thrifted pieces. Often plus size clothing isn’t made as well, isn’t fashionable at all, and is just harder to find. You know how trendy and seemingly accessible vintage mom jeans are? I’ve never been able to find a pair that fits me well despite my constant looking. I still get my jeans from Madewell because they’re size inclusive and they’re the only brand that fits me well. Basically, being able to easily wear ethical and sustainable clothing all the time is a huge privilege.”
Who are your inspirations (ethical fashion or otherwise)?
“I love so many people in this space! Shannon, @shannydoots, was the first ethical fashion content creator I ever followed that had a similar body type to mine. She is hugely inspiring to me. I love Marielle, @marielle.elizabeth, and I think she just brilliantly brings up the most important topics. She’s making real change. Totally unrelated to ethical fashion, but I’m also totally in love with Danielle MacDonald. If you don’t know who she is, she’s an actress known for starring in the movie adaptation of Dumplin’. I totally fell in love with her in the movie Patti Cake$ a few years ago and just think she’s such an important figure in pop culture right now.”
Do you have any ethical brands you’d recommend or tips for how to find great thrifted pieces?
“Sotela!!! I could not recommend Sotela more. They’re truly the most inclusive ethical brand out there. They recently expanded their sizing to fit up to a woman’s size 30 and can accommodate all heights. They also recently took steps to be more gender inclusive. Hanna, the founder, is a true gem.”
What is one of your current favorite items of clothing you own?
“The Madewell Momjeans are a big one. They’re not ethical, but they’re the only pair of 100% cotton jeans I’ve ever been able to fit into. And I think as long as you commit to wearing a piece at least 30 times, it’s sustainable. I also love my Big Bud Press jumpsuit, my Sotela jumpsuit, and my Doen dress. Those are pieces I don’t wear as often, but I love them all the same.”
What are you reading, listening to and/or watching right now?
“I am just about to finish Lindy West’s book ‘Shrill’. It was the inspiration behind the show that came out on Hulu a few months ago starring Aidy Bryant. I absolutely loved the show, like I’m obsessed, and I knew I had to read the book. And it totally lives up to my expectations. Huge recommend!”