Sustainability has long been on the lips of experts, activists, bloggers, vloggers, and even moms (and dads) wanting to encourage their families to develop eco-friendly habits and awareness of their global impact which small purchasing decisions can make. Eco-conscious trends are now taking the fashion industry by storm, as the drivers of consumer spending habits change. Savvy shoppers are more educated about fashion supply chains, from farms to factories to retail stores and our wardrobes, and what very real impact our consumption has on the planet – from climate change to fair trade practices.
In this month’s sustainability-focused issue, we have indulged in going green. We all want to make better choices when we choose to shop and naturally we also want to feel transformed and beautiful through the purchases that we make. Sustainable choices for your wardrobe can easily be achieved using the simple but empowering choices we made to transform hardworking homemaker, Angela Im.
Im is mom to 9-year-old Isla who she diligently home schools, while also encouraging eco-friendly behaviors in and outside the home. From attending local clothing auctions, where ladies buy previously-loved items for charity, to zero-waste efforts when it comes to cooking, Im is never far from a sustainable act!
Embracing the philosophy of living sustainably, where less is always more, we started with a haircut. Less hair and beautiful woody highlights framed Im’s face beautifully, allowing attention to be drawn to her dancing eyes and infectious smile. Hairstylist, Ken of Catherine De France salon in Sanlitun, once again brought our vision to life, first by softening Im’s brunette tresses with a brighter brown and adding color with a few highlights. Ken finished the styling with a blow-dry and curls for an elegant but fun look.
Im doesn’t often dress up or wear makeup, and remarked how little she frequents the hair salon or mall for some retail therapy, so we went all out with a simple but striking palette for her makeup; slightly smokey eyes with pink lips, and a little gloss for a touch of glamour.
To add a little ‘zen’ to our eco-conscious photo shoot, we opted to dress Im in the yoga pants with matching tank top from eco-conscious activewear line, Teeki. The soft and durable yoga gear is made from 79 percent recycled plastic bottles. We love the idea of using a material that is increasingly polluting our oceans to create pieces that women use to move, meditate, and reflect in. Im is a bright and positive soul, and so we matched her contagious smile and energy with a little red number from my very own wardrobe for the second look.
To breath a little life and fun into the dress, we secured the eco-friendly services of designer Amili Ma, who is currently running a number of workshops, teaching people how to mend old clothing. Ma uses motifs, embroidery, and all kinds of embellishments to transform clothing that’s been stuck in the back of the wardrobe or pieces that you just can’t bear to let go of, but which are a little worse for wear. Using an assortment of red buttons, Ma created a heart motif on the dress, drawing attention to the little patch of skin at the back. The simple but whimsical design showcased the dress while adding a new dimension. We accessorized with a beaded necklace I bought in Malaysia back in 2012 and a yellow statement piece from Chariots Jewelry, who donate one hundred percent of their proceeds to their partnered charities.
The colorful and minimalist backdrop was generously provided by M Woods art gallery, where Swedish artist Nicolas Party’s first exhibition in China, Arches, celebrates nature and landscapes with hand-painted murals and a purposeful engagement with physical space and color. M Woods is currently running educational workshops for kids with specialized programs to help introduce the world of contemporary art to children and young adults. This imaginative and inspiring space perfectly partnered with our sustainable fashion shoot.
Be more sustainable with your fashion, buy less, spend less, and love what you already own using imaginative and creative tools. Have a rummage through your closet (or someone else’s) and further cultivate an eco-conscious mind without the need to give up on style!
Get this look
Catherine de France Salon
East Avenue Building G/F 10 Xin Dong Lu, Chaoyang District. 朝阳区新东路10号逸盛阁首层 (8442 5120)
WeChat ID: TinaChariots
Amili Idea Embroideries
WeChat ID: aimili120100
Teeki Yoga Pants
www.teeki.com, WeChat ID: TheresaRe
D-06, 798 Art Zone, No. 2 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District. (8312 3450)