Hydrating Through Winter With Moroccan Magic

Hi everyone,

I wanted to let you guys in on my new favorite hydrating lip balms by the brand Moroccan Magic. Moroccan Magic lip balms are USDA certified organic and cruelty free, checking two things off my list of desirable brand qualities.

They are super hydrating for your lips in the dry winter months. I have dry skin year round and while winter is magical time, it isn’t necessarily the easiest for beauty! I keep these in my purse or jacket pocket for work or class, and they give a moisturizing coat to my existing lip color. A tip: lip stains work really well with these balms, because they won’t smear the product.

They come in 5 scents, and the ones I’m featuring in this post is “Rose.” The others include:

♥ Lemon Thyme
♥ Coconut Almond
♥ Peppermint Eucalyptus
♥ Lavender Vanilla

Having argan oil be the main base ingredient for these balms is great, because argan oil is known worldwide for being highly conditioning, not to mention it has anti-aging properties.

I love the scents and these are perfect for keeping my lips resilient this season! You can pick them up at your local CVS, Bed Bath and Beyond, the Vitamin Shoppe or Whole Foods. I hope you love them as much as I do! Drop me a comment about your own review. Have a great week!

-Kelly

xx

My Take on the Fashion Industry: Being A Part of the Sustainable Fashion Initiative

 

Hi everyone,

As you may know, one of my jobs is being the lead blogger and freelance photographer for a Seattle based fashion company, Fashion for Conservation. I’m sharing my thoughts on the fashion industry, because I’ve been working in it for about a year now.

I’ve always loved having my own personal style, however, I was skeptical of getting involved in an industry that is driven by mass consumerism.

I love certain aspects of fashion, but I haven’t been fully on board until I was introduced to the idea of sustainable fashion. Why are we not focusing on driving a massive industry towards sustainable practices? Why can’t our clothes be the best of both worlds; sustainable and fashionable?

Fashion for Conservation aims to combine conservation and fashion, best of both coexisting worlds. That’s what drew me in.

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Photography: Kelly Zwicker
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Photography: Kelly Zwicker
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Photography: Kelly Zwicker

The tough thing is, it is completely possible, it’s just a matter of creating a shift in thinking from big brands and the audience that keep those brands afloat and relevant. People love their stuff, their clothes, their possessions. They love the fabrics that made it all happen, the precious fibers that hold their statement pieces together.

But there’s a bigger picture here. As the earth warms and animals are in a panic trying to  migrate from their beloved habitats, are we still going to care more about how exactly our clothes are made? If we have to switch to sustainably made clothes and accessories, is this going to drastically change our lives? No. But it could for the creatures we should be aiming to protect.

In 2017, I attended London Fashion Week with Fashion for Conservation, viewing designers’ work from all over the world. Yet as I attended the shows, I started to observe the people attending, as opposed to the designs. Why? I started to ask myself if they were there for the art and fashion design, or for the entitlement.

Why can’t beautiful designs be both sustainable and a representation of art and talent?

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Photography: Kelly Zwicker
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Photography: Kelly Zwicker

I have an entirely new view of fashion from working with Fashion for Conservation. There are multiple aspects of the industry I don’t care for, but collaborating with sustainable brands and designers, or featuring animal rights activists and wildlife photographers, is what makes it worth it for me. I feel like I’m playing a part in this bigger initiative, to make fashion and conservation work together for a brighter future.

As a blogger, I aim to work with sustainable brands, or cruelty-free makeup and skincare lines. It feels better ethically to be using products that don’t support animal testing, because I love animals. I refuse to wear them and I don’t believe in fashion sacrificing them for a trend.

I see zoos differently, and tourism. I now know what elephants, the majestic and beautiful creatures that they are, have to endure in order for a tourist to ride them. I know the history of what circuses did to their animals to get them to jump through rings of fire or behave absurdly for human amusement. I’m not trying to impose guilt with these words, I’m trying to share the progress we’ve already made and how much farther we still have to go.

In reality, we could learn from Animals. Fashion for Conservation’s Elephantasia campaign celebrated the elephant. How could they not be a priority?

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Photography: Chantelle Melzer
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Photography: Chantelle Melzer

I love personal style, finding new skincare products that work for me, and products here and there that compliment my everyday life. But they don’t have to come with the expense of an animal’s life. Animals aren’t here for our amusement or utility. We can all aim higher with our contribution to conservation efforts, and as long as I hold this position within Fashion for Conservation, I will keep doing so and inspire other individuals to do the same.

I consider this piece from a reporter’s perspective, given my realization London. I’m also thinking of starting a series of ethical and sustainable fashion trends. Thoughts?

How are you being sustainably fashionable? Let me know in the comments. xx

Happy Wednesday!

-Kelly

 

 

 

Introducing Hoja Nueva: A Peruvian Based Nonprofit

Happy Sunday Babes,

Cocktails for Conservation, and event held by Fashion for Conservation (FFC), was on the 28th and had a great turn out! I wanted to introduce the non-profit benefitted at the event, Hoja Nueva, which is based out of the remote Piedras region of Madre De Dios, Peru. Samantha Zwicker, the executive director of Hoja Nueva, spoke at the event as well. Samantha also happens to be my sister, and I’m planning to visit her eco-lodge at some point this year to possibly do a health project.

Pictured: Hoja Nueva Executive Director Samantha Zwicker 
Pictured: Hoja Nueva Executive Director Samantha Zwicker
Pictured: Samantha Zwicker in the Peruvian Amazon 
Pictured: Samantha Zwicker in the Peruvian Amazon

Samantha is a PhD student and current global health scholar most days, and other days she is trekking through the Peruvian Amazon camera trapping  jaguars, treating dogs, or working in the sustainable development of remote, impoverished communities. Her work with Hoja Nueva is very diverse and covers a wide range of health and environmental topics. When Samantha is home you can find her off exploring with her dog Copper in the Pacific Northwest, or spending time with her family.

“My love for animals and nature is what guides me,” says Samantha, “and continuing to provide a voice for the people and animals that go unheard.” Samantha aim to be a sort of global leader, inspiring others to make a difference and help much needed communities around the world. This drive to help created the idea of Hoja Nueva, a U.S 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Samantha began working in the lower Peruvian Amazon almost five years ago, drawn to the frontier forests within the controversial region of Madre De Dios, known globally for illegal mining and logging operations. The interoceanic highway was the last straw – a vast expanse of concrete stretching from the ports of Peru to the ports of Brazil brought an influx of people to corners of the Amazon that have never been reached before. Like other areas of the world opened up by roads, the interoceanic highway led to the creation of thousands of more roads for logging, agriculture, and settlement. For migrants in search of free land and a better future for their children, the unprotected forests of Las Piedras, albeit viewed as untamed jungle, were a blessing. The deforestation and habitat destruction incurred over the past six years however, has been detrimental for the future survival of wildlife and rainforest.

“We started Hoja Nueva as a grassroots organization,” Samantha says, “to raise standards of living in impoverished communities while maintaining healthy rainforest habitat.” Samantha and the Hoja Nueva team aim to effects change at a local scale, for the lives of people in both migrant and native communities. What is so commonly misunderstood is that these people are vital to rainforest conservation, therefore they must be constantly prioritized in research and conservation projects.

Sustainability projects have become very important to Hoja Nueva’s recent initiatives, or in other words, guiding Peruvian communities to thrive and develop in a sustainable way. Some of these projects include native communities gaining legal rights to their lands, and creating microfinance programs and alternative income opportunities.

Developing waste management and water quality projects, linking sustainable cocoa producers with buyers in the U.S., and bringing students and experts from around the world to educate support in the ways that they can, are very clear goals for Hoja Nueva. To reach their conservation and research goals, Hoja Nueva raised $60,000 in 2015 and 2016 to build a research station and eco-lodge, as well as buy 150-acre plot of land within one of the largest destructive agricultural communities in the Piedras region.

Pictured: The eco-lodge built for Hoja Nueva's research 
Pictured: The eco-lodge built for Hoja Nueva’s research
Pictured: The Hoja Nueva team camera trapping in the Amazon
Pictured: The Hoja Nueva team camera trapping in the amazon
Pictured: Samantha Zwicker with a child from Lucerna's community 
Pictured: Samantha Zwicker with a child from the Lucerna Community

Although Hoja Nueva has made great leaps since its founding, Samantha recognizes that are always limitations and obstacles when working in a nonprofit. “We find ourselves consistently faced with issues – big and small – that we want to confront and work on but we do not have the funds,” she claims, “One of the most difficult parts about running a nonprofit that is needs-based is not always being able to help.”

Hoja Nueva goes through periods of getting significant donations and funds to aid projects, and then there are also equal periods of time when Hoja Nueva struggles to make ends meet. It takes a lot of well though out distribution of funds and saving to keep the projects going, as Samantha has already experienced in her dedication to Hoja Nueva so far. “It is not always easy, but in the end it is always worth it,” she says.

Pictured: Hoja Nueva's official logo 
Hoja Nueva’s official logo
Pictured: Samantha Zwicker and Ronee Collins with members of the Lucerna community
Samantha Zwicker and Ronee Collins with members of the Lucerna community and volunteers

Local events, such as Cocktails for Conservation, spread awareness in a very effective way, through networking and creative stimulus of additions such as eco-fashion.

This brings in Hoja Nueva’s partnership with Fashion For Conservation (FFC), one Samantha is very proud to continue. Hosting events with FFC spreads awareness of Hoja Nueva’s efforts to a consumer crowd, which is crucial and hard to reach solely with Hoja Nueva’s media efforts. “The fashion industry is the third most destructive on Earth, ” Samantha claims, “especially as it relates to dies, cotton, and an uncanny amount of waste.”

The truth of the matter is, millions of people tune or attend events such as London or New York Fashion Week. Addressing this audience with issues that have erupted in the tropics and the world in general can make a monumental impact for Hoja Nueva’s cause. Not to mention that partnerships like these are a statement for future conservation efforts.

By living part of the year in both Peru and Seattle, Samantha stresses the importance of connecting with people and building networking for conservation projects. The topics of climate change, loss of biodiversity and wildlife species may have a new chance to gain awareness in the world of fashion, with the help of volunteers and those willing to put in a helping hand with education and promotion.

I’ve gotten involved with FFC because fashion really can have a sustainable base. We can make a significant difference, with the causes we choose to donate our money. There are individuals, like Samantha, who are working abroad to build a better future for the coexistence of nature and humans. We can do our part here at our home base.

When I do visit Peru with Hoja Nueva, I fully plan to photograph and document my experience. I’ve never been to South America.

I hope you enjoyed this FFC feature; a dive into my work with a fashion company that could make a big difference. Stay tuned for my next post, that will be up by Thursday evening. xx

-Kelly

 

 

Upcoming Event: Cocktails for Conservation In Seattle

Hello lovely people,

I wanted to check in and announce an event that will be taking place on November 28th, called Cocktails for Conservation. The event is being run by the company I work for, Fashion for Conservation (FFC). Mark your calendars and purchase a ticket to the show if you are interested. Link is here.

The event specifics:

 Location: Axis in Pioneer Square: 308 1st Ave S., Seattle, WA 98104

Time: 7 pm -10 pm

Why host this event? Because it will be fun and educational, and it will be inspiring for the merging of fashion and conservation. There will be great discussions, amazing guest speakers, and everything down to the cocktails will be jungle themed.

Fashion and Conservation could have an amazing future together as a combination, a whole new priority in the fashion industry. Starting out local with these events sparks larger projects, which sparks a much larger movement. Are you ready to join?

I will be in attendance, taking behind the scenes photography and hosting interviews. I would love to meet anyone that would like to attend, and support the benefited cause, Hoja Nueva. Hoja Nueva is based out of Peru, where the founder and executive director, Samantha Zwicker, does research on the wildlife inhabiting Peru’s lowland Amazon rainforest. Her current projects cover the topics of wildlife conservation, ecology, global health and community development.

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Pictured: Members of the community of Lucerna, Peru, with executive director Samantha Zwicker and Hoja Nueva team members
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Pictured: Khan the Ocelot, who was to be re-entered into the wild by Hoja Nueva member Harry Turner. Khan was killed by a poacher trap, and his memory drives Hoja Nueva to succeed with conservation efforts, despite resistance. 
There is an important theme of the partnership of Hoja Nueva with FFC. Hoja Nueva’s efforts are put towards a future where humans and wildlife can coexist together. A world where wildlife is not at the expense of human activity. Sustainability should not just be a trend, it should be a lifestyle people adapt to. It should be prioritized.

As for making sustainability trendy? This event is up to the challenge.

 

The evening features themed specialty cocktails, fashion design inspired by elephants and rainforests, holiday pop-up shops of local and international brands, and keynotes with jungle-dwelling Fashion for Conservation co-founder and Hoja Nueva president Samantha Zwicker.

Along with specialty cocktails and benefits to Hoja Nueva, the Cocktails for Conservation event will include fashion design inspired by elephants and rainforests, and holiday pop-up shops of local and international brands. FFC recently presented the Elephantasia line in London Fashion Week, so expect to witness some of the beauty of the eco-fashion at the event.

We are very happy to announce Endangered Species Chocolate as one of our sponsors for our goodie bags for VIP guests.

Endangered Species Chocolate (ESC), the makers of the country’s top rated non-GMO and Fair Trade chocolate indulgences, does more than make delicious treats. Through their 10% Give Back program they have been able to provide nearly $1.4 million to their conservation partners over the past three years. Currently partnering with Wildlife Conservation Network and Rainforest Trust, ESC will be celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2018, and have begun work to broaden their reach and efforts to support each of these great organizations through crafting premium chocolate.

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For the entertainment, we are thrilled to have J-NASTY, (Janice Ibarra). Janice is an emerging DJ, stylist, yoga teacher, and co-founder of Women.Weed.WiFi, which is an art collective-movement. Janice feels a strong connection with nature that she harnesses for her activities and lifestyle. The rainforest has taught her that the food of our ecosystem is  awareness. There’s a necessity for growth and change that we are responsible for initiating, and Janice loves to participate in events that get her involved with this change.

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I hope to see some of you there! xx

-Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

Sustainable Clothing Love: PrAna

Hi everyone,

I hope you all have had a great week so far, and haven’t experienced the dreaded cold going around as we dive into November. A disclaimer: I have a box of tissues to my right at this very moment…. more computer time is a plus I suppose?

On a much better note, let’s talk about the clothing brand PrAna. I am very excited to note that I am now one of their influencers. I am so happy to promote a brand I believe in.

The makers of PrAna themselves are what they refer to as doers – they are yoga practicers, climbers, travelers etc. They embody what they sell. And they sell well-made, sustainable clothing. Scroll down to see the pieces I’ve purchased from PrAna, worn by yours truly, and every shot is Fall themed. I’m obsessed with the colors of Fall leaves, clearly.

PrAna is a company that loves to partner with local and international communities. They believe in serving the community and giving back, as opposed to just contributing to mass consumerism, and I respect that.

I think eco-fashion is moving in a positive direction in the fashion industry. People are recognizing that sustainable clothes are just as beautifully made and obtain great quality, without the harmful effects to the environment.

My first set of purchased items from PrAna:

The Clover Capri in Charcoal:

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These are so comfortable and honestly feel like you’re wearing air. The one thing I would say is that they are definitely more for pilates and yoga activities, as opposed to heavy weight sessions. I prefer more of a compression waistband for weights, but I absolutely love these for cardio sessions or mat work. The detail on the back is also really unique.

The Lyneah Bralette : (currently sold out in the Bayou Blue)

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This bra top is super flattering, and I bought it due to the length. I like bra tops that are longer because you can wear them by themselves or with another a layer over them. It’s not against the law to walk around in a sports bra, but it’s not something I care to do regardless. If you’re doing hot yoga, for instance, this top would be amazing for that. The back details with the criss-cross straps and flattering cut is so cute. I’ve paired it with the clover crop above.

The Remy Legging in Dark Plum:

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Because Fall is my favorite season, I’ve been mixing and matching with colors like mustard yellow, purple, and orange. I paired the Remy Legging with a cropped sweater from Nordstrom Rack (because discounts are everything) and my new Timberlands. These leggings are great if you want more coverage than a legging look, or in other words, if you want to cheat and wear yoga that looks more dressed up with an attached skirt. I plan on getting the black pair as well so I can wear them to work. Zero shame.

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Above is how the Remy Legging looks from the side. They’re really versatile and come in great colors, depending on if you want to go neutral or not. Given that skirts never seem fit me right, I was sold right when I tried these on!

I am very happy to have a long term collaboration with PrAna. I will always be one to opt for the companies that have gone green and make conscious efforts to lead the sustainable clothing movement.

For any of you reading that have questions or have purchased PrAna items, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Stay healthy and GO GREEN. ❤

xx

-Kelly

 

Rose Vegan Skincare Essentials: Velvet Report

Hi everyone,

I had the chance to attend the vegan blogger brunch and the product launch of Velvet Report, hosted by the creator, Lindsey Arnold. The brunch was hosted at Bar Melusine, located in Capitol Hill! If you love bright aesthetic and awesome vegan food, definitely check them out.

Lindsey was so refreshing to listen to about her mission to obtain a 100% vegan line, in partnership with Herbivore Botanicals, Kani Botanicals, and Formulary 55. The goodie bags for the brunch were Lindsay’s Rose Vegan Beauty Set, complete with her own Micellar Water. Safe to say I adore this set. Who doesn’t love clean beauty, that is cruelty free and is rose scented?

I’ll touch upon each product included in the set, the first being her micellar water.

Micellar water is the beauty trend in France, where women there live by using micelles in their skincare routine for cleansing. So many women there just use micellar water and not a cleanser!

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My personal routine is a double cleanse, starting with the micellar water and then with a cleanser for a deeper clean. Velvet Report’s micellar water, after a week of use, is now my go-to. I’ve been using the Garnier’s version for years now with relatively good results, however,  I can already tell this formula is better for my sensitive skin. There are 8 ingredients on the bottle, in fact. Simple and refreshing.

The next is the Herbivore Botanicals Rose Lip Conditioner. Small and quaint, but just a tiny bit will give your lips and non greasy, effective layer of moisture. I recently find myself best friends with aquaphor as my lips adjust to the colder weather, and this little beauty really helps my lips from cracking. Herbivore not only has a super creative name and product aesthetic, they also make a great face mist.

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Kani Botanical’s Hibiscus and Rose Toner is also in the set, and it reminds me of Herbivore’s facial mist with the rose scent. However, this one from Kani Botanical’s doesn’t have the coconut water emphasis. It’s so light and refreshing, and the small 2 oz bottle is even travel size! You could slip it in your purse for a long work day. Face mists and spray toners make for great midday pick-me-ups, and this bottle is also 100% recyclable.

The last product in the set is the Formulary 55 rosehip and clay facial mask. To start, the packaging is so unique with the fact that the mask is in powder form. You can get two uses out the mask for an $8.00 value, according to the package. I personally feel that you can get four uses out of it, given how easily the mask spreads when mixed with water.

This adorable rose scented set comes with the Velvet Report book box, which is a great personal touch from Lindsey. I have a discount code (VELVET10) to get 10% off for those that are interested. Her website: velvetreport.com

I hope you all enjoyed this skincare chat! Happy Monday.

xx

-Kelly