We are delighted to have interviewed the beautiful and naturally stylish sustainable fashion blogger Literally Nataly as part of our Style & Substance campaign. Read all about Nataly's lifestyle and sustainable fashion tips here and be sure to follow her blog and instagram account for heaps more inspiration.
When did you become interested in living more sustainably and what was it that prompted you to do so?
I became interested in living more sustainably last spring. It had been at the back of my mind since writing my MA thesis about sustainability in the fashion industry a few years back. Having lived a life in which I didn’t consider questions of sustainability, it was quite tough to make that switch at first, something that I had tried to do a few times. The moment came after the realisation that I shopped almost every week, spending money on things that I really didn’t need or would use - this made me re-think my consumption habits.
Have you struggled with any aspects in particular or found challenges?
For the last year since starting my blog, I have barely shopped and decided to try my best to make do with everything I had in the house before going out to buy something. The challenge actually came very recently when I saw a “trendy” top I really liked but that is made by a fast fashion brand. So it became somewhat of an internal struggle: Should I? Shouldn’t I? If I did, how could I justify it? After weighing all the pros and cons, I ended up not buying the top, deciding that I might come by it second hand instead. I tried to look for a similar style top in sustainable and ethical brands but couldn’t find anything similar. So to me the biggest challenge so far has been to say no to a “trendy” piece of clothing.
Your blog, Literally Nataly, covers sustainable and ethical fashion - what has the response been and do you think things are moving in the right direction?
My blog is aimed at consumers who wouldn’t normally consider issues of social justice and sustainability and the response has been amazing! I have received so many messages from people telling me that I have become the “angel on their shoulder” whenever they go shopping, asking them to question the make of the product and whether they should buy it. I am hopeful that the world is moving in the right direction and there are some signs of it. For example, it has become much more popular to care about the environment and issues of social justice. At the same time, there is a risk that sustainability just becomes a shallow trending hashtag. We should recognise that beyond writing and reading a blog about sustainability and making individual consumer choices, there is another, larger side of making the world more sustainable and fairer which is based on political activism and mobilisation.
Anyone in particular that you admire for having both Style & Substance?
I wouldn’t name just one individual, but I have so much appreciation for all the inspirational people who are coming together to change the face of the fashion industry and to show the world that sustainable and ethical fashion can be stylish as well as good. For example, the following bloggers in no particular order:Saiint Sisters, A Day Pack, English Lass in LA, Bedre Mode, Leotie Lovely, Konscious Whispers and many more!
Which tip from the Style & Substance guide resonates most with you?
Buy less, buy better. Most of the time when people are going out to buy things, they are buying variations of things that they already own. Make use of what you have in your closet and slowly build a capsule wardrobe with sustainable products. Spend more money on one timeless sustainable piece, rather than buying five less durable fast fashion finds.
Any tips of your own for how to live more sustainably in your daily life for those just starting out on the journey?
You need to cherish the things that you already own. I realised that once I began to live a more conscious lifestyle, I noticed so many things in my home which I had previously bought and remained brand new, un-opened, and with the tags still on. Try to make do with things that you already own before going out and purchasing new ones.
Any ethical product you can't do without?
My white Veja sneakers! I got them last summer and have been wearing them almost every day since. Not only are they ethically produced, but they are also extremely comfortable and look stunning.