Life doesn't have to be about sacrifices. Well, at least when it comes to living sustainably. The wardrobe of an environmentalist used to be bound to hemp fabrics or hand dyed fabrics, but now we know we can look good and do good. A Cup Of Joan is a style blog all about celebrating the intersection between style and sustainability, and how creating change can happen with the clothes you buy, and of course, the menstrual products you use.
How did you get involved with environmentally friendly fashion?
I don’t think I can pinpoint the exact moment for my involvement or say I owe it to one particular event. I’ve been an advocate for the environment since high school and have always strongly felt the connection we have with the Earth. In high school the dream was to be a marine biologist because I loved the water, dolphins were and still are beyond fascinating to me, and I wanted to be at the forefront of research on marine life. Naturally, this led me to read up on the detrimental effects of global warming. I realized that my unhealthy consumption of clothing was having a direct impact on the environment. I educated myself by watching documentaries like ‘The True Cost’ and reading about fashion waste and how polluting it is.
Why did you decide to bring these values to Cup of Joan?
A Cup of Joan was originally a blog created to express my personal musings without judgment or societal boundaries. As a personal space, it naturally became a platform to speak about the things I believed in. At the time, there was no one discussing ethical or vegan fashion and I felt compelled to create a space and voice for it. I posted my first outfit post on A Cup of Joan in order to address these issues, and the rest was history. Having a blog that already focused on cruelty-free fashion easily led into being further conscious about other aspects the fashion industry impacts. As a fashion blogger and an environmentalist, I think I have a responsibility to spread awareness about a lifestyle that can create change.
What are some things you look for when buying clothes to make sure they are ethical?
The very first thing I do is research companies that I am purchasing from. I make sure they are produced in ethical factories - are the living conditions respectable, and wages far? And ask where they are sourcing their materials - is it eco-friendly? Next, I double, and triple check that all the clothes I purchase are cruelty-free so this excludes leather, wool, down, angora, fur, and all fabric that come from an animal.
What is one easy thing we can do to lead a more environmentally conscious lifestyle?
I am a huge fan of reusable items. I carry around water bottles and utensils with me at all times. It cuts on waste significantly and it is very important as conscious consumers to at least be on top of this.
Who are some of your style icons?
I’m not sure I can say I have any. I subconsciously and consciously take a lot of inspiration from street style, trends, social media and what I see on my friends. I’m also very inspired by retro fashion, particularly from the 60’s and 70’s, fused with fashion in films during that era, foreign films included.
Why did you decide to use a menstrual cup?
Waste reduction, convenience, and cost-effectiveness. I never have to throw away a single tampon again, I never will run out of tampons again, and I never have to buy tampons again. And after purchasing one, I am definitely not disappointed.
Do you have any secret habits, rituals or craving on your period or while you are PMSing?
Every month during a particular time period, my body consistently develops an intense craving for vegan chocolate chip cookies, without skipping a beat. On a healthier note, I consume a lot of foods rich in iron such as spinach and lentils. And while I often make excuses for myself that skipped gym days are an exception, I do take on light cardio exercises and yoga, as these are very helpful to lessen fatigue.