The first question, without fail, that I always receive after stating I’m an eco stylist is: “huh?”
I understand people’s confusion; after all, I did basically make up the title to describe what I do. [For those still out of the loop, it consists of the same duties as a 'regular' stylist ie personal wardrobe consultations, shopping tips and guidance, special event & editorial styling, retail consulting, and more..] It combines two things I’m very passionate about: helping people look and feel their best while supporting independent artists, small businesses & charities and you know.. the Earth.
It’s really a win win situation for everyone involved. My clients are able to build a sustainable wardrobe that makes them feel like 1 mil bucks AND a few family size bag of chips, I get to show people how easy it is to be eco friendly while remaining current and avoiding the kitchy ‘granola hippie look’ [though if that's your style, ain't nuttin wrong with that. rock that tie dye peasant skirt gal!] plus I help introduce talented independent artists to conscientious shop owners who in turn make the artist’s product more available to the masses. Have I mentioned how much I love my job yet?
However, many people are still intimidated by the thought of having a ‘green’ wardrobe. Many jump in full bore, scalping their closet down to the bare min while making grandiose claims to strictly adhere to a Mama N approved shopping guideline from here on out. Others don’t know what actually constitutes ‘eco friendly’ and view that type of consumerism as too high maintenance to even begin. In every case, I like to compare creating a sustainable wardrobe to practicing a healthy lifestyle. If you are currently scarfing down spicy Doritos and 5 cheese pizza on the regular now, going on a juice fast is a very bad idea. You will become bitter and resentful after a [very] short while, and next thing you know you’ll come out of a binge blackout with the crumbs of everything on the dollar menu surrounding you. Ditto concerning a new workout plan.. sure Tracy makes it look easy waving your arms around like a crazy person for an hour, but thinking you can do that noise every day after only lifting your phone to check Instagram is unreasonable and unsustainable.
The same goes for having an eco friendly closet. The best way to approach the process is educating yourself on what actually constitutes a ‘green’ item so that you have those guidelines on your radar when you’re spending those hard earned monies [hint: start with quality vintage and second hand items, handcrafted pieces, as well as products produced locally and in fair trade fashion]. You’ll be so proud of yourself for finding an item that looks amazing on you that also earns a high five from Mama N that you’ll be inspired to make it a regular occurrence. It’s all about positive reinforcement.. AND allowing yourself ‘cheat days’ aka purchases. If you find something you absolutely love, but it doesn't fit the green mantra.. it's not the end of the world if you bring it home. Just make sure that it's the highest quality you can afford and a classic style that will get loads of wear. It’s like ordering the dark chocolate fudge cake for dessert after a long, stressful week. You What About Bob your way through it, knowing that it’s a definite indulgence but with slight health benefits from the dark chocolate.. and that you’ll walk to run your errands tomorrow instead of driving. Which in turn makes you notice new sights in your neighborhood, appreciate nature and gift your body with some much needed Vitamin D. SEE? Positive reinforcement.