There's no doubt that the fashion industry is changing. Fast fashion has become the norm leading to an increase in pollution, excess waste, and more consumption than ever. In fact, Americans today buy twice as much clothing as they did 20 years ago. In addition, fast fashion clothing is poorly constructed - usually made with cheap material and labor - allowing clothing to fall apart quickly which leads to more consumption and waste. A vicious cycle, there is a way to make a difference. By learning how to buy better and by building a more ethical wardrobe, you can not only slowly help the planet but save yourself a lot of money too. Check out some of our tips on how you can be a more ethical consumer now!
1. Invest In Quality Clothes
When something is on sale or affordable, it's easy to achieve instant gratification by purchasing the item. However, little thought is given to how long the item will last, when it will go out of style, or if you'll even wear it. The key is to think long-term by purchasing fewer high-quality items that will endure time since wear and trends tend to shift.
Try this: Next time you fall in love with something at the store, ask yourself if you would wear it at least 30 times. If so, purchase it. If not, keep moving.
2. Rethink Washing Habits
25% of the carbon footprint of clothes comes from the way we care for them. Caring for clothing accurately decreases this problem. How do you take better care of your clothes? Wash them less, wash them at lower temperatures, and only dry clean them when necessary. When we do all of the above, a garment's lifespan is extended by gently preserving fabrics.
Try this: Opt to air dry or steam clothing instead of washing them. When you do wash them, only wash full machine loads, taking labels into consideration.
3. Repair, Reuse Recycle
At this point, it may seem logical to throw clothing in the garbage. However, this is the exact reason more than 1 million tons of textiles are thrown away every year. Instead of tossing out clothing, opt to restore it. Patch holes, install new zippers, sew buttons, or customize it.
Try this: Next time you're ready to throw something out, evaluate whether or not it can be repaired. If so, keep in mind that there are a ton of workshops and online tutorials that can teach you some amazing ways to mend as revitalize your clothing.
4. Shop Less
Learn to shop smart which means buying what you love and need. This will not only ensure that everything you own is worn a lot but also matches quite well. And when you do spend a little more, make sure you purchase quality items that will last longer. So buying items you love, only when you need and that last a long time means you'll definitely be shopping much less often.
Try this: Monitor the amount of times you shop per year. By keeping track of how many times you shop and how much you spend, you'll become more mindful of the times you purchased as well as how much you spent on something unnecessary.
5. Buy Second Hand
Always buy second hand clothing when and if you can. Buying used clothing is probably the easiest and best way to be an ethical consumer. By extending the life of already produced clothing and not adding to the production of new items, you are being kind of the environment and to human kind.
Try this: Next time you want to shop, opt to go to a vintage or consignment store. Contrary to popular belief, these second hand stores do sell some beautifully made designer treasures at reasonable prices. In fact, I just scored a Gucci top at one for $5 in mint condition!
Relax. You deserve it! It's good for you and it relieves stress. Although stress is a natural and normal part of life, there are ways to reduce it. And if you're thinking of a day at the spa or a weekend away, those work! However, I've compiled a list of other ways to reduce stress that work starting today.
Studies show that a few minutes of mediation each day reduces anxiety. Each morning, before I get up, I spend 5 minutes mediating. I simply close my eyes and focus my attention on a positive mantra such as "I am blessed" or "I feel at peace." I then place one hand on my belly, the other on my heart and sync my mantra with my breathes. I let all negative thoughts float away on clouds.
2. Be Grateful
When you are thankful for what you have there is no reason to compare yourself to others which can cause stress. I suggest keeping a gratitude journal to help you remember all the things that are good in your life.
3. Reach Out
Sometimes all we need are our friends and family. In fact, your social network is one of your best tools for handling stress. Talking face to face or sharing what's going on via telephone can give you a fresh perspective on whatever is stressing you out.
4. Listen to Music
Research shows that listening to soothing music can lower blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety. Try creating a list of calming songs or nature sounds to allow your mind to focus on the different melodies, singers, or instruments in each piece. My favorite way to blow off steam with music? Singing at the top of my lungs, of course!
Place a warm heat wrap around your neck and shoulders for 10 minutes. Close your eyes and relax your face, neck, upper chest, and back muscles. If you prefer to take a hot shower, that works too!
6. Laugh Out Loud
A good laugh lowers cortisol, your body's stress hormone, and boosts brain chemicals called endorphins which liven up your mood. Lighten up your mood by watching your favorite comedy movie or hanging out with a friend who makes you laugh.
7. Stay Active
No need to run a marathon, sometimes all we need to do is get moving. All forms of exercise, including yoga, can ease depression by helping the brain release feel-good chemicals, a.k.a. endorphins. A quick walk around the block or stretching will do!
8. Be Present
Slow down and take a few minutes to focus on what is happening in the moment. Notice how the air feels on your face or how each bite of food tastes. When you focus on your senses, you should feel less tense.
Each summer, I always have a friend or two who decides to move. And with every move comes a housewarming party. If you're like me, it's only natural to bring a present. Tired of my usual gifts which were a bottle of wine or candle, I decided to head to Pinterest for some new gift inspiration. There, I found this super easy DIY crystal planter from Jojotastic. So simple, yet beautiful, these crystal planters are sure to make the perfect summer housewarming gift!
Here's what you need:
- Large-sized geode
- Mini crystal
- Mid-sized air plant
- Small succulent that will fit comfortably in the concave area of your crystal
- Floral adhesive
1. Dab a small amount of floral adhesive to the bottom of your air plant and press gently into place on the geode. Hold for 10-20 seconds until it begins to dry.
2. Add a small amount of soil to the concave area of your geode and carefully plant your succulent. Add extra soil as needed.
3. Finish by adding another small crystal
Last night, we celebrated my boyfriend's birthday the way we've done the last 5 years- with a soiree at our apartment, of course! This year we opted for a Taco Tuesday theme which included mini piñatas, fresh guacamole, and margaritas. Although figuring out a menu was a no brainer, coming up with fun decor ideas was not. So, in my quest for decoration inspiration, I stumbled upon a Christmas Tree Cactus DIY by Sugar & Cloth. So cute and easy to make, this cactus made the most perfect little centerpiece, festive enough for any celebration (not just Christmas). Don't believe me? Try it out for yourself!
Here's what you need:
- Pom pom trim
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Felt balls (and any other decorative pieces you see fit)
- 4 inch flower pot
- Fake (or real) cactus...it's completely up to you!
1. Plant the cactus in the planter by pressing it snuggly down into the empty planter.
2. Hot glue the the pom pom trim around the cactus and top each small point with a bright felt ball.
Lately, we've been trying to wean ourselves off of coffee. Don't get us wrong, we love coffee but we hate the shakes and headaches we get after consuming it. So, on our quest for a substitute, we found matcha, a finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea. Traditionally, the Chinese and Japanese tea ceremony centered on the preparation, serving, and drinking of matcha as a hot tea and embodied a meditative spiritual style. However, in modern times, matcha has come to be used to flavor and dye foods such as mochi and soba noodles, green tea ice cream, matcha lattes (our fav), and a variety of Japanese confectionary.
Aside from it's delicious taste, matcha green tea has many health benefits. It's high in antioxidants which fight against the negative effects of UV radiation and prevents a number of life-threatening maladies. Matcha enhances calm as well as boosts our memory and concentration. In addition, matcha increases our energy levels and endurance, burns calories, and detoxifies the body, fortifying the immune system as well as improving cholesterol.
Now that you know a little bit more about our new go-to morning drink and it's benefits, we thought we'd share our favorite matcha green tea latte recipe. Make hot or cold, we love them both ways!
- 1 tsp matcha green tea powder
- 2 tsp sugar
- 3 tbsp warm water
- 1 cup cold or hot milk (depends on what you like)
1. Spoon the matcha green tea powder and the sugar into a cup.
2. Add the warm water and mix with a spoon or with a whisk until it is a smooth dark green paste to ensure no lumps form.
3. Warm the milk in a small saucepan (or microwave for 45 seconds) and pour into the cup until nearly full. Use cold milk for an iced latte.
4. Use a whisk to mix the paste and milk together until smooth and light green in color.
5. If you so wish, you can add a few sprinkles of matcha green tea powder on the top for decoration. Or add ice for an extra cold iced latte.
Coloring books are the latest trend and unlike many other fads, this one is actually good for you. Coloring is not only a stress-free activity but it allows your mind to get the rest it needs. Aside from it's therapeutic abilities, coloring has many other benefits. Check out some reasons we hope will convince you to take up some crayons or colored pencils and get to work!
1. Coloring Helps De-Stress: People who color experience more calmness and witness less stress.
2. Coloring Activates Both Parts of the Cerebral Hemisphere: The action of coloring uses both logic and creativity. We use logic to pick up a color for a specific shape or color and we use creativity to mix and match them.
3. Coloring Takes Us Back to Childhood: Getting back to happy memories helps one relax, feel optimistic, and energetic for the future.
4. Coloring is Like Meditation: Meditation is the art of doing nothing and de-concentrating which helps us relax. Coloring can help induce the same meditative state.
5. Coloring Helps Reduce Anxiety: The artistic expression we receive from coloring helps us go deeper into a relaxed state making other forms of therapy more effective.
6. Coloring Helps You Re-Discover Yourself: Coloring can help us get out of dull or stressful routines, making us feel more comfortable and relaxed at the end of a long day.
7. Coloring Helps Spark Creativity: Those who color regularly find that they become great at picking colors for their clothes, interiors, etc. Coloring helps people become more creative in their jobs, analytical thinking, and several other aspects of work as well as play.
8. Coloring Helps Us Connect With Our Inner Child: When we connect with our inner child, we can break our negative thinking patterns as an adult. And when we love ourselves more unconditionally, we become a self-confident, radiant person who is ready to take on the world without fear.
Our favorite coloring books? Very Bradley's Paisley and Floral Patterns Coloring Books, $15.00 each.
It's spring so we're gearing up for a whole lot of celebrations; weddings, Mother's Day, bridal showers, birthdays and housewarmings. With all these celebrations come gifts and with gifts, come cute packing. So on our quest to find fun, new, ways to wrap gifts, we found this adorable cherry paper DIY from Katelyn Wood, stationary designer and blogger behind Love. Luck. Kiss & Cake. After all, we can't resist a good pom-pom!
Here's what you need:
- Pink paper or wrapping paper
- Thin black marker or pen
- Mint green washi tape (you can also use white washi tape colored green with a marker)
- Mini red pom-poms
- Household scissors
- Hot glue gun
1. Wrap your gift in the paper before creating this fun design. You don't want the cherries to fall at awkward places.
2. Take a thin black marker and draw spaced-out stems where you'd like your cherries to be.
3. Cut small leaf shapes out of the mint green tape and adhere to the top of the stems you have drawn.
4. Using a glue gun, stick the red pom-poms to your package.
5. Give your cherry-wrapped gift to someone special!
Spanning over a decade, Connie Wong’s career has taken her to San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, and now San Francisco. With a background in writing and public relations, it’s no surprise that Connie decided to open her own PR agency in 2008 called Moderne Press. Specializing in boutique brands, Moderne Press offers its clients a more dedicated and personalized service when forming a marketing plan. By working closely with each business, Connie is able to raise brand visibility directed by their goals and brand values. It is this tailored approach that sets this PR firm apart from other agencies of its caliber.
In addition to her enthusiasm, Connie’s experience working in various markets has increased Moderne Press’ client list. From beauty to home décor, fashion and accessories, this PR agency works with an array of brands. And, since it’s launch, Connie has worked with many sought after bloggers and high-profile editors securing an array of coverage in media like Elle, InStyle, Glamour, New York Times, People, Real Simple, Redbook, StyleWatch, and Refinery 29, to name a few.
Moderne Press may be slowly becoming a household name in the lifestyle and fashion PR industries but let’s get to know Connie a bit more. From her beauty must-haves to her guilty pleasures, this is one Founder we’ll definitely be hearing more from in the years to come.
My style in 3 words...Comfortable, minimal, polished.
My nicknames are...I don’t really have any nicknames, except for the endearments my husband and daughter use.
My drugstore must-have is…Aveeno Active Naturals Lotion! It’s affordable and hydrating – and as a bonus, it's a fairly “safe” beauty product according to the EWG Healthy Living App. (It’s a super helpful and time-saving app, as I’m trying to buy more clean and safe products.)
My last purchase was…Leggings for my daughter. She has a way cuter wardrobe than I do!
My top 3 make-up bag essentials are…Mascara, Shu Uemura eyelash curler, and Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer.
My beauty secret is…Wear sunscreen and wash your face before bed. Not so much a secret, but I like to think it helps keep your skin looking fresh and young(er)!
I smell like…Frederic Malle Lys Mediterranee.
I keep in shape by…Mostly from carrying and running after my toddler! I also make a concerted effort to go yoga class once a week. That’s all I’ve been able to manage in my schedule since becoming a parent!
My de-stress trick is…Taking yoga breaths, which help calm my mind down. Also looking at photos of my daughter smiling always works!
My secret talent is…Being able to solve Wheel of Fortune puzzles quickly! Not particularly useful in real life, but I swear, I would be an awesome contestant on that show (save the luck of the wheel)!
My first celebrity crush was…Gosh, I don’t really think I had one.
The music artist who always gets me dancing is…Maroon 5. My daughter loves a lot of their songs, so we have little dance parties.
My fashion icon is…The women around me! I’m honestly more inspired by street style and the women that I know in real life. (Then again, I know I’m lucky because I have the privilege of knowing and working with some very stylish women.)
My guilty pleasure is…Cookies. I have such a huge sweet tooth!
My favorite website is…Impossible to name just one, but I can try to narrow it down to my 3 daily must-reads: Humans of New York, Cup of Jo and Oh Joy!
My favorite TV show is…The Blacklist and Shark Tank.
When I have some free time, I…Haha, what free time?! Jk
For breakfast, I always have…Coffee!
My favorite restaurant is…Commis in Oakland. While it’s not on my regular rotation by any means, it IS my most memorable meal to date.
My ultimate travel destination is...Italy. Loved all my travels there so far, and would love to go back to explore more!
In my career, I am most proud of…Securing one-page features in Country Living and O, the Oprah Magazine for the same brand in the same month. It was not only an amazing career achievement, but really made an impact for the brand and led to some other amazing opportunities and partnerships.
The best advice I’ve ever received is…Be open to change. This is still a hard one for me, because I’m a planner by nature, but as I’ve grown both professionally and personally, I’ve tried to adopt a more of a go-with-the-flow mentality.
As an entrepreneur & PR professional, I’ve learned…Hire people that do it better. There’s no way you can excel at everything in life, so it’s important to hire employees, consultants and other experts that can help and support your growth – in both your personal and professional lives.
My goal in life is…To raise a smart, kind and thoughtful kid. Be a good to the people in my life – as a wife, mom, friend, boss, etc.
Whether it's a housewarming, birthday, work promotion or holiday, a bottle of booze is always welcome. Take every celebration to the next level by adding some pizzazz with this super easy DIY we found from This Heart of Mine. Festive and cute, this is one bottle that won't be overlooked at your next soiree. We love the look on champagne bottles but a little glue and confetti look great on anything from white wine to whiskey...depending on your poison of choice.
Here's what you need:
- Champagne or Wine Bottle
1. Using a foam or regular paint brush, add a coat of glue to the bottle.
2. Firmly press the confetti onto the glue. Shake off the excess and allow to dry. For thicker coverage, repeat the glue and confetti. Let dry for an hour
3. Add a gift tag.
Note: Dip a couple bottles to have on hand and don’t be surprised at the very ordinary things you find worthy of celebrating.
This may sound cliché but this year, I made it a point to join a gym. I wanted to establish a habit of regular exercise and a routine that would allow me to manage my day to day stress as an entrepreneur. Although I knew exercise was essential to my health and well-being, I never viewed working out as a priority. A month into my membership, not only have I enjoyed going to the gym, I've found a few ways to make exercise part of my regular routine. With a few tweaks and a lot of determination, you too, can find time to change your life positively through exercise.
1. Schedule your workouts just as you would any other appointment. Exercise will have a positive impact on your entire day.
2. Even if you don't feel like exercising, just do it! This is especially important in the early stages of your program as regular visits build the foundation for success.
3. Whether you work out in the morning, afternoon or evening, exercise at the same time each day for the next three months. This will help you develop a regular habit.
4. Do not overdo it. Set a goal of 3-4 visits per week; your joints and muscles need time to recover.
No matter how you exercise, just work it in and make it fun! Remember, keeping fit is a lifestyle.