So excited to share the beautiful and powerful Young with you all today! I love her style, her enthusiasm and the consistency she brings to our community—she’s always ready with an encouraging comment for everyone she meets. She’s absolutely lovely and I’m honored to be able to share her interview today!
Tell me a little about yourself? Who are you, where are you from / living, etc?
I currently live in Maryland. I work full-time as a financial and securities fraud investigator, and I’m working on getting my master’s in Accounting and Information Systems. Neither aspiration really leaves room for creativity… hence my Instagram and blog. Haha.
I recently took two versions of the Enneagram personality test and both indicated that I’m Type 8 – Protector/Challenger. It’s scarily accurate.
How did you first get into ethical / sustainable fashion?
Very long story short, it started with a Korean documentary on polar bears and the loss of their natural habitat. I was so shocked and disgusted by how much damage we humans have done to the planet and wanted to do what I can to help. I learned about the adverse environmental impact of the fashion industry and slowly began integrating aspects of sustainable fashion into my life. To be honest, I learned about the inhumane aspects of the fast fashion industry after the environmental damage textile waste causes (geez, fashion seems to harm more than help at this point). So, my initial resolve was to help reduce textile waste to help the planet. Even then, I hadn’t fully embraced the ethical/sustainable fashion mindset. Once I learned about the cruel working conditions and unfair compensation for the workers in the fast fashion industry, I decided I had had enough. I used to shop like I was paid to do it, browsing my then-favorite brands’ sites for sales on an-almost-daily basis and adding items to my little virtual shopping carts without a second thought. To think, someone could have been subjected to inhumane and dangerous working conditions making a top and was paid pretty much nothing and I was feeling triumphant in my ability to buy it and get another item for free. I cringe at my past self.
What’s something you really want other people to know about ethical / sustainable fashion?
I don’t know what other people’s initial thoughts are when it comes to ethical/sustainable fashion, but mine was that it’s expensive and that it’s hard to find ethical/sustainable brands.
You can shop sustainably by shopping secondhand, so it’s not expensive at all! Also, while ethical/sustainable brand items are priced higher than their fast fashion counterparts, it’s important to keep in mind that the prices are higher because the people involved in the production of the clothes are treated and compensated fairly. The quality of these clothing items tends to be better too, so you’re paying for high quality and fair treatment of the workers.
When it comes to ease of finding ethical/sustainable brands, https://goodonyou.eco is a good place to start.
Who are your inspirations (ethical fashion or otherwise)?
Ethical fashion-wise, everyone I’ve connected with in this amazing community. Everyone’s so stylish and inspirational with their commitment to ethical/sustainable fashion. The amount of support and empowerment everyone gives one another is truly amazing.
Do you have any ethical brands you’d recommend or tips for how to find great thrifted pieces?
I feel like people usually say go with a general list of what you’re looking for. I’ve gone thrifting with a “to-thrift list” and without one. Personally, I have much better luck finding things if I go without a list. It’s a lot more fun for me too. Obviously, everyone is different. I am not a planner and I don’t really like lists of any sort, so I have a lot more fun when I go thrifting because I’m feeling creative or just because I want to. If you’re more organized than I am and like lists, definitely go with a list of what you need in your wardrobe.
With that said, here are some general tips that come in handy when I go thrifting:
- Keep an open mind. Never skip the menswear section because I have found so many wonderful pieces in the menswear section.
- Pay attention to material. I don’t strictly avoid polyester, but I tend to be more reluctant in putting a clothing item in my cart if it’s made of synthetic fiber.
- If you like the color/print/silhouette/pretty much any element of whatever you see, put it in your cart! You don’t want to have a “I should have gotten it!” moment. I’ve made a dash across a rather large thrift store for a blazer before. People stared. If you want to avoid that, drop it in your cart as soon as you decide you like something about it. 😂 Then try it on. If it doesn’t make you feel like royalty when you try it on, you can just leave it.
- Ignore the sizes. Sizes across brands vary, people donate items because they’ve shrunk in the wash, and vintage clothes are sized differently than clothes nowadays.
What is one of your current favorite items of clothing you own?
Clothing-wise, I love my Boyish jeans in The Kirby fit (Where The Boys Are). They give me an extra boost of confidence and they’re sustainably made!
I went to Italy several months ago, and I bought a vintage Louis Vuitton bag. I love that bag so much. It’s my everyday work bag.
What are you reading, listening to and/or watching right now?
Oh geez, this may not be the most impressive answer because I have not read a single book this year. LOL my goal in 2018 was to read one book and yeah… did not happen. I am trying to finish The Handmaid’s Tale but, considering that I keep on forgetting what chapter I stop at, it’s going to be challenging.
I like to listen to/watch true crime shows/podcasts. I also really like watching Buzzfeed Unsolved – Supernatural series.
I also really like Bob’s Burgers. I have watched the entire series multiple times now.
Where can we find you? Share your blog, social media, interviews, etc!
Do yourself a favor and go check out Young on her platforms! She’s an absolute gem.