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

 

Fashion For Conservation’s Behind the Scenes: The London Edition

London was a whirlwind of fashion. The outfit changes, hair and makeup, the attention to detail. It was all build up to the Elephantasia line walking down the runway at the Fashion Scout venue. An ecofashion line within an industry that is primarily driven by money, Elephantasia represents a brighter future for the relationship between fashion and conservation. And the FFC team was in London for that representation.

In addition to the actual show day, the FFC team went to other venues, some with fresher jet lag than others. We witnessed the unique work of other designers with truly original vision.

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The FFC team was still arriving in groups on various flights. The team that had arrived in London thus far made a cheers to the months of coordinating and planning and social media preparation prior to this trip.

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Pictured: Ava Holmes (Executive Producer), Laura Choi (Campaign Director), Ronee Collins (Special Events Producer), Jason Pillay (Stylist), Kelly Zwicker (Lead Blogger), Samantha Zwicker (Sustainability Director)

We have such a diverse team of creative individuals, from different cities and backgrounds. We all have our individual creative strengths. Coming together in London was a special treat for us to celebrate what FFC has accomplished so far.

The day of the show was, of course, ten million things happening at once. It was a rush. As FFC’s blogger I captured the moments going up to the show, and the Fashion Scout venue was lovely.

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We started the show with a musical performance by guest musician Anthar Kharana, setting a specific mood for the audience.

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Pictured: Anthar Kharana

As for the show’s runway pictures, a full recap of the entire line can be found on the Fashion For Conservation blog, however, here are some of my snapshots captured at the venue.

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Pictured: Nazy Alvarez (Creative Director), Ava Holmes (Executive Producer), Anthar Kharana (Guest Musician), Samantha Zwicker (Sustainability Director)

London Fashion Week was a great experience for the FFC team, and it is one of the many events we will promote not just fashion, but conservation as well, and it’s future in this amazing industry.

I hope you all enjoyed this London Fashion Week BTS post! Have a productive and creative week. xx

-Kelly

Flying Abroad Essentials/ London Day 1

Hi everyone,

I am so excited to write that I have arrived in London! I am here to join the Fashion for Conservation team for London Fashion Week, and explore what the iconic city has to offer in between LFW events.

I’ve never been to Europe, so this two week trip is so exciting. I plan to write multiple blog posts on my experiences, where to eat and explore, and even instagrammable photography spots in the city.

Firstly, I wanted to give my advice on how best to take care of yourself on a long flight, traveling abroad. None of us like to walk off the plane feeling like we’ve aged 5 years in appearance, and traveling can be both stressful and wearing on the body and mind!

So I’ve put together what I found to be essentials for an almost 9 hour flight to London. I hope you all enjoy these tips and apply them next time you have a trip planned yourself. Also see my London Day 1 details. xx

  1. Hydrate

I can’t say this enough, even as someone that needs to up her game on daily water intake, hydrating is so crucial when you are both on a plane, and prior to your trip.

Start drinking lots of water two days before your flight. Carry a reusable water with you to the gym, to your work, everywhere. In general, if you physically have a water bottle with you, you are more apt to keeping drinking water.

Limit the use of coffee on the day you fly.

2. Moisturize 

I will never cave into the talk that bringing moisturizer and skincare on the plane is “extra.” I will always be that girl. Specifically, I brought three skincare items on the plane, which I reapplied three times. As excessive as it sounds, you’re saving your skin from being super tight and distressed looking by hydrating it in a moisture stripping environment.

The items I brought:

❤ Mario Badescu cucumber and green tea face mist

❤ First Aid Beauty 5 in one face cream (this doubles as a sunscreen, which you do need on a plane)

❤ Juice Beauty Antioxidant Moisturizer (this is a new addition to my skincare regimen, and I adore this product. Antioxidants are exceptional at aiding dehydrated skin)

Ladies: Do not wear foundation on the plane. It will just sink into your skin and prevent your skincare from doing its work, and if you really think about it, who do you need to impress on the plane? I dab on a bit of concealer on some redness and call it a day.

3. Have a designated place for your passport, boarding pass etc

I don’t personally like to have everything loose in a purse or bag, and that’s why I’ve used my expandable wallet ever since I purchased it in Melbourne at a lovely store called Typo. I can fit money (both American and whatever currency I need), boarding pass, passport, and anything else I want to have at hand. I carry this through security and customs, so I don’t have to fumble through anything last minute.

I would highly recommend purchasing one of these for peace of mind. Staying organized, especially with items as precious as a passport, is key to reducing possible stress while traveling.

4. Plane food is not your only option. 

Unfortunately, airports overprice their food items, knowing you can’t bring food easily through security and customs. However, planning ahead and grabbing healthy snacks and meals is totally possible. My sister and I purchased a vegetable plate, a hummus pack, as well as tuna sandwiches for some added protein.

Since you are sitting for so long on the plane, eating plane food or fast food makes you more sluggish. Trail mix is another great option for protein and a healthy way to fill you up.

5. Wear a comfortable outfit while flying. 

Props to the women who wear heels on flights or those who wear tight flattering jeans, however not all of us are willing to go that extra mile. Being uncomfortable on a flight is adding to the stress of traveling. If you’re more comfortable in yoga pants or sweatpants, wear that.

6. Bring a few freshening products. 

Floss, gum, deodorant, hygiene wipes…. these may sound like a TMI, but it’s always a relief to be as clean as possible when going through the sluggish feeling of plane travel.

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LONDON/DAY 1

So we flew into Gatwick Airport, and we first noticed the lush green rolling hills as before we touched down. Finding local transport was a bit of a scuffle, but we managed to get tickets and find the train station to our stop near the flat we’re staying in! Success.

A tip about the trains here: do not wait too long to press the button to open the side doors. If you wait until the button is no longer lit up, the train will skip the stop. We found out the hard way.

I’m going to be honest, the jet lag was difficult. It was rough when my body was totally down for the count and my eyes kept closing when we were trying to adjust to the schedule! The key is not to go to bed beyond a short nap. I’m going to be real here, I fell asleep in the spa we decided go to to detox our skin from the dehydrating effects of the plane. And a deep tissue massage and a steam room was just what a trip to London should start with. Coffee helped a bit, for about an hour or so!

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We even stopped at a late night market for some breakfast essentials. I of course insisted on almond milk.

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We came back to the flat of a friend’s, and you better believe it, we had a cuppa tea before bed. English style with Tetley’s. That’s where I leave you now, refusing to unpack my suitcase until morning.

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I hope you all have a lovely week, and stay tuned for my updates on my London adventures! There will be plenty. xx

-Kelly

 

 

Surrounding Yourself with Plants for your Health and Happiness

Hi loves,

This is a plant dedication post. Because plants are essential, not to mention they have 10/10 aesthetic.

As the air gets progressively more polluted, you know what saves the day for your oxygen and respiratory health? Plants. They may as well be the superpower of global warming. The earth is heating up and there are more cars made every day, and more chemicals are released into the air and water. No, this isn’t a negative post. Read on.

I love plants. When I walk into a nursery and there are designated rooms and sections for various plants, my heart is warm. No joke. I’m growing my plant collection and there are so many benefits of owning plants in your home.

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Pictured above is me finding the adorable cafe in Sky Nursery and explaining to the barista what it’s like shooting for my blog when random people are staring at me like I’m not wearing pants. She found it all pretty entertaining. Back to the plant admirations..

Plants are the cleaners of the air we breathe. They absorb the carbon dioxide we exhale and replace that carbon dioxide with fresh oxygen. There is a reason why people feel they can breathe again when they go into nature after living in the bustling city. There aren’t as many plants and trees in a city. In fact, cities like New York, the city of concrete, are known to be extra unhealthy for your lungs and skin because there is no plant life around you. Your skin is just taking in all of the free radicals in the air.

In addition, research studies have revealed that indoor air can be up to ten times more polluted than outdoor air. There is quite an accumulation of dust and bacteria, even mold, that can occur in your household. Homes have a lot of plastic from plastic bags and containers, trash, cleaning supplies, detergents… all items that can cause allergic reactions. If you have sensitive skin or have had history of contact dermatitis, you might want to consider switching to healthier “greener” household products and adding plants to reduce your indoor air pollution.

If you want me to get all historical on you, the early Greeks and Romans started the trend of bringing plants inside, and they were onto something. The victorians also favored potted plants. A University of Michigan study even noted that being in the presence of plants can boost your memory retention up to twenty percent. I do not have the direct link to this resource, that is completely off of memory.

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I really got into my plant collection due to receiving them as gifts. Plants make amazing gifts, simple yet thoughtful, and they have a higher life expectancy than flowers. Flowers are a nice thought, but they wilt in that vase in your kitchen whereas plants grow and expand.

On another note: if you are trying to train yourself to get a pet, get a plant first. Pay attention to its health. If you leave a plant in a dark corner, that’s a red flag. Plants kind of need the photo in photosynthesis.

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Plants have amazing healing properties. Instead of buying aloe vera gel, why not have the gel from the real source? I now have my own aloe plant and I use the gel for sunburns and scratches. Not to mention it will continue to grow and the gel will be 100% natural and directly plant derived, instead of getting it from a plastic tube in the supermarket.

Another reason I have personally become so fond of plants is my recent switch to plant-based makeup and skincare. The result? Absolute bliss. My skin can tell the difference. No extra chemicals, no fake ingredients, just the good stuff.

I fully plan to continue this plant loving series with details of my new “green” makeup and skincare routines, so stay tuned for those! I hope you enjoyed these pictures in the nursery and my reasoning to start becoming a plant mom. xx

My outfit in this photo set is all from Athleta, paired with my Adidas Originals Superstars.

My Instagram blog page is @k_stateofmind and my photography page is @kellyzphoto.

-Kelly

 

 

My Go-To Coffee Spots in Seattle

Hi everyone,

So this is a long time coming. A coffee post in Seattle? Yeah, I should’ve spilled my secrets months ago. Good news: I’m about to let all of you lovely people know where I like to get my caffeine! Warning: Starbucks isn’t on the list.

*Cue all of my coffee pictures*

Black Rock Coffee

This a drive-through. Granted, the rest of the menu looks relatively full of sugar. I get iced Americanos here when I’m in a rush and on the way to something I need to be awake for. They are two dollars even. That’s amazing, to be honest. No extra fees for non-dairy milk either. I’m so stoked on this find!

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Fix Coffeehouse 

Fix is close to my heart because of the atmosphere. It’s half cafe and half bar. Essentially, I used to work on my computer for a bit and drink coffee and then my friends would meet me for a cider. Side- note: Fix has great ciders on tap on rotation. They had a berry one that I loved! Fix also have live music nights with local artists which is so fun. My favorite drink in more fall/winter time is the brown sugar latte. I can’t not get this latte, because I haven’t perfected the brown sugar latte at home! Another plus is the location, because Greenlake is so beautiful in the summer.

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Diva Espresso

Diva is a convenient location and great coffee, however, the price is a little steep. I brought a friend that moved over from Europe and he was really fond of the cappuccinos (rightfully so), and the small food items are good, but if you’re trying to find a regular place the price is a bit more.

Seattle Sunshine Coffee

Seattle Sunshine is an all white, very modern setup. It feels like a small art gallery. I like this place a lot to work on blog posts, and it is really quiet. If I’m hungry I sometimes go here if I’m doing errands around University Village, because the vegetarian breakfast burritos are awesome! I can’t find my burrito picture, my sincere apologies.

Royal Drummer Cafe

Royal Drummer is a place I sometimes stop in at if I’m going to Golden Gardens Park. It’s relatively close by and has great Americanos. In terms of the atmosphere it’s definitely not my favorite, because it tends to be very family friendly and super loud. Brunches and lunches there are really popular, and I find it too loud to work. But if you’re nearby the coffee is great as well as the banana bread! They also have great gluten free options if you have a gluten intolerance.

Zoka Coffee and Tea 

Zoka was my jam when I worked in University Village. I get so much work done here. It’s relatively quite and has a wide range of clientele. Chai lovers: there’s an awesome selection of chai at Zoka. Lavender, sweet, ginger, and spicy is what I recall at the top of my head. They just did a remodel and the place looks much less cluttered, but is cozy at the same time given it’s all dark wood inside.

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Drip City Coffee

Drip City is a new discovery. I was recently downtown, with two hours before my work shift from dropping off my roommate. I knew Cherry Street has bad wifi so I found Drip City on 1st Ave. The guys working were super friendly and fun, and I played with a pit bull for a solid 10 minutes (when I should’ve been working of course). The Wifi is SO FAST. This is probably awesome for me because the wifi in my house is terrible, but if wifi at a coffee shop is slow, it kind of kills your work ethic. I have yet to order any food here, but it seems to be a good spot for that as well!

Cherry Street Coffee 

Cherry Street downtown on 1st Ave is a really cute Bohemian style place. There are beaded throw pillows and colorful details, great for a group hangout or a meeting. Sadly the wifi is nonexistent lately. I found out the hard way. However, the falafel and hummus wraps are great if you’re there for lunch, and the coffee is still one of my favorites.

Cafe Umbria 

Cafe Umbria is a lovely look of Italy 🇮🇹. I’ve never been to Italy, I definitely want to eventually! The shop had plates and cups imported from Italy, adding an authentic touch. There’s artwork and paintings of European details everywhere. I did talk to the barista about the imported plates, they’re so beautiful! As for the coffee, it’s also super good and smooth. It’s a pretty small shop and has great charm. Perfect work or caffeine stop if you find yourself in Ballard!

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I get so much work done at cafes. I prefer to go to a cafe as opposed to staying home because I’ll have less distractions. I like to be surrounded by people doing things around me and working as well, so it’s partially social but not? I’m not sure how else to phrase that, but it just works for me.

So if you have siblings that make fun of you for driving to a cafe to get work on your computer, I feel you. Sometimes that college student habit of going to a public place to work is ingrained forever, what can I say.

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As a blogger, I have to be on my game about getting posts done and making my own schedule. It takes a lot of time management to do freelance work, and you have to find what works for you. That includes your atmosphere!

I hope this posts sheds light on some new coffee spots to check out in Seattle! If you’re not from Seattle, now you know where to go when you visit.  xx

For more photography shenanigans, check out my blog Instagram page @k_stateofmind , and my portraits page @kellyzphoto.

 

-Kelly

 

Fashion for Conservation: Checking in from Ibiza

Hello everyone,

Fashion for Conservation (FFC) is currently abroad in Ibiza, where the talent and designs are hitting the runway in an exotic and special location! It is part of FFC’s initiative to become more and more International in its efforts to raise conservation awareness.

The FFC team has checked into Atzaro Hotel, just a few days before the runway will be live with excitement. We are happy to introduce the wonderful individuals for the following images:

Photographer: Ranveer Dua

Model: Patty from Purple Model Management

Makeup and Hair: Anju K. John

Designer Label: Shriti Pratap

The European tour will be 7 locations, Ibiza being the first destination. A global tour is FFC’s way of claiming a spot in the world of fashion, catering to sustainable fashion and the continuous education of animal conservation.

The Atzaro Hotel proves to be a premium spot for runway preparation, during the 2017 Atzaro Fashion Festival. Elephantasia is a new brand represented during the festival. Atzaro is a meeting place for creatives, artists, designers, and friends to gather and appreciate Ibiza and the fashion it can showcase. Check out the Elephantasia shoutout on the Atzaro website’s events section:

http://www.atzaro.com/en/bienvenidos/nuestros-eventos/

Ibiza is a beautiful destination. Here are sneak peaks of the venue and excitement, from the @Fashionforconservation Instagram page.

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The FFC team, including founder Ava Holmes, is preparing for the runway with fittings and final touches. Behind the scenes captures of the beautiful elephant inspired pieces are below:

Stay tuned for the results of Elephantasia’s first appearance in the Ibiza Fashion Festival, and more upcoming sneak peaks and behind the scenes of the rest of the European tour!

Special thanks to Nylon Pink TV and Diana Horsfall for the mentions of the Elephantasia campain and initiative, the respective links are below:

http://www.nylonpink.tv/elephantasia-can-save-african-elephants/

http://www.queenhorsfall.com/2017/06/safe-elephants-elephantasia-exhibition.html?m=1

Designers in the Ibiza fashion show:

C.Nicol, Ivory Ella, Vismaya Collection, Prophetik, Gabriela Rose, Meredith Allen, The Autonomous Collection, Rachel Allan, Shirt Pratap, Ruke, Zefryas

We always love to have more influencers and supporters on board to raise elephant awareness and be a part of the magic behind sustainable fashion.

Cheers,

The FFC team

Day Trip to Vancouver, B.C

Hi everyone,

So I’m a bit late on posting this Canada day trip, but I didn’t forget the mini travel post I wanted to do on lovely Vancouver! I put together some tips on exploring a new city, as well as what to see and do specifically in Vancouver if you only have a day. I hope you enjoy. x

Here in Seattle we are set very close to the border to Canada, which I think is often overlooked. The drive to the border was about 2 hours, and from there about 45 minutes to downtown Vancouver. If you think about it, it’s less than that to Portland, and about the same in distance as outdoorsy destination spots like Lake Crescent, which is more of a 3 hour drive. Ideally you would have two days to take in Vancouver and various parts of the city and surround lookouts, however, a full day is quite the accomplishment with the right attitude.

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My tips for exploring a new city:

❤ ALWAYS ask a local about where to go and what to see. You don’t have to do everything they suggest, in fact you should make customized adjustments to what you and your travel buddies want to do and see most. But asking locals is crucial to avoiding unwanted wandering or tourist mistakes. Plus, lots of people love to give their advice.

❤ Don’t watch the clock like a hawk, but do pay attention to how much time you potentially have in the city, factoring in travel time back home. This makes for just the right amount of organization to ensure you won’t feel rushed, but so much of an itinerary that you won’t be enjoying yourself in the moment.

❤ Venture away from chain restaurants or establishments. When you’re in a new city, especially in a different country like we were, experience what’s good and awesome to that place specifically. You can always hit Starbucks and the Old Spaghetti Factory back home (if Starbucks is your jam, it isn’t for me).

❤ Wear good walking shoes. I think this could be common sense, but wearing shoes you have to constantly adjust or ones you can’t walk all day in won’t be ideal for adventuring a city for the first time. By all means be fashionable, but functionally so.

❤ Do get a souvenir. I don’t care how typical it is to walk into a gift shop to buy a keychain or a t-shirt with proof you went on the trip. I bought a stuffed animal moose decked out in Vancouver gear and I could not be more pleased with it. I even showed the attendant at the border coming back to the U.S; sadly he didn’t find it that funny when I held it up to declare.

❤ Zero in on your experience for content. If you’re using your trip for your blog or photography, people will want to know what you liked about the place, not the same spots and reviews as another piece already done. If you were destined to find the best tacos in that city, you should include that. Anything you want to share for content!

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❤ Bring a phone charger. Depending on if you have an international plan, it’s not ideal for your phone to die at 11 pm at night out of country. I do not have an international plan, but when my friend’s phone died we were driving blind when trying to find our way out of the city. Yes it was of course figured out, but definitely plan ahead regardless with electronics.

❤ Pack very light. I should’ve put this on the top of the list, however, sometimes you realize halfway through your day trip that you left your car with your extra clothes and stuff anyway, so there really wasn’t any need for it. Tip for fellow bloggers: Wear neautral pants or bottoms to pair with up to two tops or so, then throw in a jacket, and you have at least 3 looks to shoot. This way you don’t have to carry too much around without missing out on variety with your outfit posts (blogger problems).

Now onto what I loved about Vancouver:

We started the adventure at VanDusen Botanical Garden, and there was a MAZE.Yes,a maze. And we got lost in it. But it was so satisfying when we found our way through it before other groups that went in before us. The garden is so interesting with its plant life and flowers from different regions, and the rose garden was beautiful. Here’s a snap of them.

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We found this alleyway that was covered in designs of purple, yellow and orange tones. Very strange, but it would make for a great music video. We snapped some shots and hung out in the alleyway (a sentence I’ve never typed by the way) before walking to

I’ve never had a flight of cider before, and we found the coolest bar and restaurant called the Alibi Room in Gastown, and if you sit at the actual bar you can watch the trains go past. We went to the lower basement floor, and every time the trains would pass they would block the stain glass windows, and it was the most interesting touch.

Gastown was the highlight of the trip, and we only went because a waitress told us about how cool it was for a day trip, not to mention pictures. The waitress worked at Uva wine and Cocktail bar, where I got my espresso martini fix at the beginning of the day.

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Gastown had great cobblestone alleyways and cute shops to browse, as well as the waterfront right next door. It is a must see in my opinion, and also has good pubs for fish and chips, just saying.

We went to the gift shop and then spent some time on the waterfront before grabbing dinner, and it was already 10 pm when we realized we needed to start driving back to the border. It was indeed a late night and I did get a cup of coffee at the gas station to not doze off, but it was 100% worth it. Vancouver was awesome, and I can’t wait to go again.

I hope you all enjoyed the latest mini travel piece. If you don’t have time or resources to go on a longer trip, it’s incredible how much you can get done in a day. I highly recommend trying to make day trips more a regular thing, they’re fun and manageable.

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As always, thank you for reading and I’m stoked to share upcoming summer projects and trips.

xx

-Kelly