Q&A with Sustainably Chic

Written by Kajsa IngelssonSeptember 25, 2017

Can fashion and sustainability co-exist? It can, and does. You just have to look for it and make sure to give your wholehearted support to the brand that are trying to make a difference by change our consumption habits from fast and reckless to ethical and sustainable. Feel like you don’t have the time or energy to scroll thru endless insta feeds or go hard undercover agent trying to find the greenest brands? Sustainably Chic has got you covered with daily inspo and featured brands so that you won’t have to bother. We got to chat with the stylish Natalie about the process of creating a blog, her favorite brands at the moment and why she’s got beef with the fashion industry.

So Nathalie, tell us more about your six year long process of creating a sustainable fashion company? Where did your idea come from?

In 2007, I went off to study fashion, and towards the end of my studies I took a more sustainable approach to the industry. After finding several articles on waste and unethical treatment, I decided to keep my focus on cleaning things up. It took a few years after graduating to really figure out my place. I felt I wasn’t doing enough, so I decided to start a blog to speak about my concerns. I did not think Sustainably Chic would end up being my actual job, but now I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

What are the qualms you have with the fashion industry?

I guess my biggest qualm would be not everyone in the industry realizing they need to change the way they conduct business. We truly need everyone on board to clean things up. I feel like there is almost a push back from the bigger companies since our voices have become a bit louder. I read things like ‘X Brand to do things even faster’, and it makes you feel a little powerless.

Has Sustainable Chic re-framed your attitude towards fashion?

Definitely! Before I was so caught up in the trends, and completely oblivious to the effects the industry had on people and the planet. Trend forecasting and marketing was exciting for me, but I started to become bored. I didn’t feel like I had a place in the industry, and then 7 years ago when I started reading about the destruction, I just didn’t feel good about what I was doing. I knew I needed to change my role in fashion, and Sustainably Chic has given me a purpose to continue in the industry.

Describe your style, how has it influenced the wardrobe we see in Sustainable Chic?

I like to dabble in everything when it comes to fashion. It’s hard for me to pinpoint a particular style, but I love looks that can stand the test of time. I’m not too funky, however, I really like to see women push the limits. Also, I’m very feminine so my closet is full of dresses – good thing it isn’t difficult to find a sweet sustainable dress!

What are some of your favorite fall pieces that are also eco friendly?

For me, fall is all about the sweaters. I have three pieces I can’t wait to wear when things cool down here. The Fairfield Mustard Cable Knit Jumper by Thought Clothing is made from 100% certified organic cotton. The I’m Organic Sweater by Fauxgerty is also made from 100% organic cotton. Mayamam Weaver’s wraps come in gorgeous colors, and help support sustainable jobs for women in Guatemala.

Anything new we can expect this year from Sustainable Chic?

2018 will definitely bring around a lot of changes for Sustainably Chic. I have a few things in the works, but I don’t want to jinx it! I always do that.. I get excited, talk about what I’m working on and then it falls through.

What is the “Brands to Love” section of your website, how did you come to find these other eco-fashion brands?

This section has been a work in progress over the last 3.5 years. I’ve worked with each brand listed, so I know they are genuine and make wonderful products!

Are there other ways fans and followers of Sustainable Chic, can be apart of your brand beyond the website?

I’m most active on social media, but I hope to grow a YouTube channel over the next year. It won’t be anything fancy, but I’d love to talk about my experience since I receive so many questions. It might be the easiest way for me to communicate!

What is the intent of Sustainable Chic as it applies to the treatment of the environment?

I look at the environment the way the concept of sustainability does. It’s 1/3 of the site’s concern, but it has to always be considered no matter what I promote. Everything I show will have a different impact on the environment. After all, everything has an impact, some more than others, but that doesn’t make it ‘unsustainable’.

List some brands that inspire your company or have been past influencers to get Sustainable Chic where it is now.

When I first started Sustainably Chic, I didn’t know many ‘sustainable’ brands. I felt like the buzz wasn’t that grand at the time. I’ve been more inspired by who I’ve met along the way rather than before starting the site.