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The faces of slow fashion

Kathleen Elie talks sustainable fashion

Based in New York, Kathleen Elie is a fashion blogger, style icon and a person who acts as a sustainable life inspiration. She is the creator of Conscious N Chic, a blog dedicated to promoting and showcasing ethical and sustainable living in fashion, beauty, food, travel and technology. Kathleen Elie is a fashion revolution leader and we were lucky enough to talk to her about all things style, ethics and the inspiration to do better with the sustainable fashion choices that we make.

Why did you decide to become a fashion blogger and what has been your greatest achievement?

Kathleen Elie demonstrating how she’s a leader in the fashion revolution at one of her sustainable fashion talks

The idea came to me when I was working in the fashion industry in New York. As I was creating fashion and consuming it myself, I began noticing some of the injustices taking place in our industry and it simply broke my heart. Instead of screaming wolf, I began researching the different practices that were pervasive in our industry, their causes and what we could do to make things better. I began making changes in my life and raising awareness around cheap and slave labor practices in manufacturing, because I wanted to be part of the solution, not the problem. So, my blog was born.

 

Since I started Conscious N Chic, I’ve experienced many great moments, including public speaking, leading workshops and working closely with both new and established brands. However, one of the greatest rewards has been seeing people change their lifestyles and take steps towards sustainable fashion and ethical living. I also have other exciting collaborations coming up that I can't wait to share – so stay tuned.

Why is slow fashion important?

Kathleen Elie offering priceless advice on how to get involved in sustainable fashion

I love fashion and it’s my love for the art of making clothes that drives me to do better in seeking sustainable fashion. I want better quality materials and craftsmanship, and fundamentally better working conditions for those who make what I wear. The wellbeing of the pattern makers, cutters and seamstresses matters to me and I believe it is important for us to advocate for those who can't speak for themselves by supporting slow fashion. Because the majority of fashion workers are women, it is a women’s rights issue as well.

How should we make more considered choices when curating our wardrobes?

Kathleen Elie embracing her sustainable fashion outfit

The key point I can’t stress enough is that you should love every piece in your closet. It should bring you joy and serve its purpose. When curating your wardrobe, take the time to list what you have and fill in any gaps with pieces you can see yourself wearing for years to come. Whether it’s a top vintage find or a piece by a slow fashion designer, make sure you love it.

What is your number one sustainable fashion tip?

Be knowledgeable. Learn as much as you can and then apply it to your life. I reduce, with the goal of eliminating. For example, I try to remove plastic from my life by eliminating straws, shopping bags and plastic water bottles. I'm also intentional about my shopping for clothes and accessories. I want to love everything I own so I gravitate towards classic pieces that are true to my style and timeless in some way. I don't shop fast fashion but I do shop pre-loved and ethical pieces. I appreciate pieces that have a story and are making the world a better place.

Image credits

Header image: Kathleen Elie (PR)
Image of Kathleen Elie demonstrating how she’s a leader in the fashion revolution: Kathleen Elie (PR)
Image of Kathleen Elie embracing her sustainable fashion outfit: Kathleen Elie (PR)