Let’s Talk about Faux Fur

Fur vs. faux fur. As an ethical consumer, faux is the obvious choice when one wants a little furry flair, right? In a 2017 article for the Los Angles Times, Janet Kinosian wrote that faux fur “offers you a chance to look festive … without the guilt.” However, the choice is a little more complex than Kinosian makes it out to be.

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At a glance, the option that doesn’t require the death of animal is the most ethical choice. Duh. But it turns out faux fur is just the lesser of two evils, so it is still, to some degree, evil. The synthetic material that fake fur is made out of is pretty much just plastic, meaning it’s likely to never biodegrade. (Real fur will eventually biodegrade even though it is heavily treated with chemicals to preserve it.) This is an issue in itself, but it is especially an issue when these faux fur coats are bought more for trend than for warmth. Meaning, when people buy them they aren’t planning on breaking them out every winter but, rather, to wear them once or twice for fun. They end up in a landfill in a jiffy.

This coat is made up of 34% polyester and 66% modacrylic. Both of these materials cause harm to ocean-dwellers as well as being toxic to us, as a 2015 study released in Scientific Reports revealed that these fibers were found in the bellies of fish being sold at markets in California. Growing research compiled by Patagonia shows that these micro-plastic fibers are released when we wash any clothing item made from synthetic material, but a coat like this, which sheds without any prompting, will release any especially large quantity of microplastic fibers.

I’m obviously not here to tell you that you need to avoid all faux fur because, as pictured, that would be a bit hypocritical. Instead, proceed with caution. I know my personal style well enough at this point to know that I am actually going to wear a crazy piece like this a ton, and not just chunk it after newness of it wears off. When purchasing, really think about if it’s just impulse or something you will wear a lot. Whatever you buy, buy second hand. It’s best not to contribute to companies creating cheap synthetic fur, as this just send them to signal to keep on creating more indestructible plastic coats. Just continue the life of an old one. I bought this one at Goodwill, and lots of other thrift stores have tons of wacky coats like it. When it comes to releasing fibers in the wash, Patagonia is one of the first companies to invent the “GUPPYFRIEND” Washing Bag–a bag to put synthetic clothing in that catches the little fibers. (This is useful for other clothing, as well.) I have yet to invest in one of these because, full disclosure, I don’t think coats need to be washed too often and plan on climbing that hill when I get to it.

Make whatever fashion statements you want, just make them informed.

The incredibly talented photographer who took these portraits is Kylie Atkinson, who you absolutely need to follow on Instagram this very minutes.

Pastel Dream

Happy 2018, friends. Today I am kicking the garbage fire that was 2017 goodbye by bringing you a fresh and bright photo set from my New Years Eve (one of the outfits I wore, at least) taken by my dear friend, Andrea Schultz.

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If you will pardon my bragging on my friend for a minute, I was super blessed to be shot by Andrea this week. Her photography improves this blog post by like 400%. Plus, she was willing to freeze her fingers off to take these. If you want to keep up with her (and you should) you can follow her on twitter and instagram.

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This outfit is a pastel dream. I had a lucky day vintage shopping and found this orange creamsicle colored vintage jacket and this chunky, colorful statement necklace at one of OKC’s best local shops, Bad Granny’s Bazaar. I cannot stress enough how excited I was to find this necklace. I had been picturing a colorful, pastel statement necklace just like this for months and, at this point, no one can convince me that I did not will it into existence with the power of my mind.

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The silver metallic overlay of these jeans add a lot of character to this casual outfit. The idea that an outfit can have style while still being casual was a concept I did not understand for a long time. Recently, I have been having a lot of fun making my casual outfits just as playful and interesting as my more extravagant ones.

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Statement necklaces are an easy way to add some fun to an every day t-shirt, like this one. They are everywhere these days, but I have a hard time finding them in my style. Vintage shops and thrift shops are the perfect places to find more unique styles, so you look a little less like a suburban mom while wearing them (unless that is your thing, then by all means). This one gives me some Iris Apfel vibes, although it obviously does not hold a candle to her queenly style.

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This year was rough for most of us, and there is not a huge chance that 2018 will be without pain or trouble either. But I hope you all still find joy and light within it, find time to make art, and find time to love one another and allow yourself to be loved. I know it does not have much to do with fashion but, like the nerdy English major I am, I want to ring in the new year with a quote of a poem.

In his poem “The Mower,” Philip Larken writes, “We should be careful / Of each other, we should be kind / While there is still time.”

Happy (or, at least, better) 2018, everyone.

Sister Style – Fall Fashion

Today I am introducing my sister, Lauren, who is entirely opposite of me and yet still my best friend. I wanted to feature her Thanksgiving outfit alongside mine to showcase how different styles can still compliment one another.

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My sister’s outfit is almost entirely thrifted. Like me, she is also pretty concerned with where all the clothes she owns were made. Her outfit passes the ethics test. I am really into the top she is wearing. It is a little hard to see from the pictures, but it is kind of shiny and iridescent. My outfit is second-hand besides the overalls which are from the Gap.

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Lauren and I have vastly different styles. I am very girly and playful, bordering on childish at times. She is always earth-toned and cool – a little dark, even. But I have always admired her style and, even if she rolls her eyes every once in a while, she loves mine too.

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Today I am at my grandparents’ cattle ranch, surrounded by the joyful hearts of family, friends, and even a few strangers. In the midst of all of this, I am thankful for my hospitable family who love and appreciate the quirks in me. I am thankful that I have grown up in a family, immediate and extended, that has always cultivated creativity.

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I am not giving as many details because I just felt like keeping it simple and focusing on the pictures today. (Pictures which were, once again, taken by my dear friend Julie Montoya.)

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I also wanted to show-off my fierce older sister, her epic bangs and butt-kickin’ mom jeans.

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I hope that this Thanksgiving day leaves your belly full of food and your heart full of love. If this holiday season is hard for you, I pray that you are able to hold on through it and know that you are deserving of love even if it feels far away.