If you’re curious about sustainable fashion and how to make a positive difference with your own style choices, be ready to get inspired by Kelsey, a visual artist and digital entrepreneur, who show us just how individual and chic a sustainable look can really be.
On a Passion for Sustainable Fashion
My name is Kelsey and I am a content creator, visual artist and digital entrepreneur. I was born in Brooklyn and am first-generation American (born to Trinidadian parents). Growing up in Raleigh, North Carolina in the Southern United States, but raised in Trinidadian culture made me open-minded and well-rounded in terms of other cultures and ways of life. I am passionate about sustainability in fashion and I believe that if everyone is more intentional about their purchases and choices, we can slowly put an end to fast fashion.
On Style Across the Globe
I have lived in New York City, Trinidad, Raleigh, NC, Winston-Salem, NC, Johannesburg, South Africa and I spent about 3 months living in London in 2019. NYC and London are definitely more free when it comes to fashion. People in those two cities wear what they want and really look at personal style as their form of expression. In Trinidad, people tend to wear bright colors and light, but tight clothing which is a reflection of our vibrant and fun culture! In NC, people tend to be more trendy and wear what’s “in” for that season. I really love the style in Johannesburg – much like NYC and London, there is a lot of freedom in what people wear. However, I would say that Joburg style is more artsy, which I adore.
On a Love of Thrifting
I’ve been an avid thrift shopper since 2009. At first, my mom didn’t understand why I chose going to the Goodwill for pieces rather than department stores, but when she saw the outfits I would put together, she slowly began to get it. What started out as a means to buy unique pieces for less (I was a broke college student at the time), turned into me learning about the benefits of buying second-hand and how it aids in sustainability. I think that the fashion industry is making strides to be more sustainable and I’m really excited to see the changes large companies make to ensure their clothing production is more ethical. I also have been loving sustainable brands like Mara Hoffman and Boden
On the Border Between Minimalism and Maximalism
I would describe my personal style as walking the thin line between minimalist and maximalist. There are days I like really basic oversized pieces with sneakers and abstract earrings and other days I mix patterns, prints and wear really funky jewelry and shoes – it just depends on my mood for the day.
On Getting that Healthy Glow
My beauty routine is very, very simple. In the mornings, I wash my face with a gel cleanser by Versed then apply aloe vera gel from Trader Joes, then I slather on a SPF moisturizer from Trader Joe’s – don’t sleep on TJs, they have really great skincare products (believe it or not). At night, I wear an overnight mask by Korres. I also mask 3-4 time per week. My fav is the Clean Greens mask by Golde. I haven’t really been wearing makeup lately, but I’ve been loving Fenty beauty’s concealer. Instead of foundation, I just wear the concealer – it’s amazing!! I feel my most beautiful when I’ve been drinking a lot of water and eating clean. My skin automatically gets a healthy glow and I feel more energized and happy which leads to be feeling my most beautiful.
On Sustainable Shopping
My top place to get sustainable pieces is the thrift store. My fav is the Goodwill in Downtown Brooklyn, NYC. I also loveee Mara Hoffman and am planning on splurging on one of her dresses this Spring/Summer. She has pieces you can live in while looking absolutely chic.
On Becoming More Sustainable
My advice for someone looking to become more sustainable with their fashion choices is to do their research. There are so many free resources out there now and it may be an extra step, but it’s so worth it. I would also suggest to slowly move away from fast fashion stores – you can start with something simple like only purchasing pants that are secondhand or from sustainable brands. It’s definitely a process!
On Favorite Accessories
I love wearing sunglasses. I feel like they add that extra oomph to any outfit and elevates a look to being whatever you want it to be – edgy, chic, sexy, sophisticated…etc. I also love earrings – so much so that I tend to collect earrings, especially if they’re structured and abstract. Accessories are a vital part of making or breaking a look.
On the Art of Dressing
I really love that wide leg pants are in. Oversized clothing is so easy to layer and play with in terms of various lengths and patterns. I wish that the art of getting dressed would come back. Even before the pandemic, we made dressing in sweats acceptable. I like when people use to actually get dressed to run errands and such.
On Self-Reflection for Self-Expression
I found my personal style when I started listening to myself and not dressing the way I felt others would want me to dress. My personal style is a form of self-expression and I believe that if you just listen to yourself, your personal style will come to you effortlessly. I think the key to being authentic and following your inner voice is to just be. If something feels forced or if your energy feels low, it probably means you’re not being 100% authentic. Self-reflection is everything. I self-reflect by journaling, sitting still and going on walks. One of my favorite things to do pre-COVID was wandering around art museums and sitting in coffee shops to journal. I am looking forward to doing these activities once the pandemic is finally over.
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