Fashion

New Year, New Shopping Habits: Sustainability And Style Initiative

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Going to college in California, I was expecting to come back as a hiking obsessed, green juice loving, tan and blonde beach babe. In reality, I became a full on tree hugger. I took two classes that focused on the environment and sustainability by chance – a freshman writing seminar focused on issues with sustainability and a general education environmental studies course – and to be honest, I was trying my best to switch into other, more interesting courses. Before I knew it, I was texting my mom things like “when we move we need solar panels on our new house” and “we need to start composting right now”. By November I was knee deep in a 10 page paper on how to fix the lack of sustainability in the fashion industry.

After learning about how much people impact the earth just by living their everyday lives, and after watching the INCREDIBLE documentary The True Cost on the social, environmental and economic problems in the fashion industry, I knew something had to change. I just can’t bring myself to purchase clothes that were made by the hands of exploited factory workers and contributed to the degradation of this planet I live on. So this is my New Year’s resolution of sorts.

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My 2016 #SustainabilityAndStyle initiative/resolution/goal:

In 2016, I will track each piece of clothing that I buy. I’ll keep a running list of how many items I bought, what stores I purchased them from, where they were made (if that information is available), and why I felt like I needed those items. Hopefully I’ll learn about my own purchasing habits and eventually change the way I look at fashion as a whole.

In 2016, I will buy less clothing. The problem of textile waste in the world is unbelievable; the average American produces 82 pounds of textile waste each year, adding up to 11 million tons of textile waste in the US alone. The first and most important part of the three R’s of sustainability is reduce, and that is just what I plan to do. Next, is reuse.

In 2016, when I need to buy clothes, I’ll look first on clothing resale apps and sites like Poshmark. I’ll also continue sell my clothes when I’m done with them instead of just throwing them out. This puts some moolah in my pocket – and other peoples’ pockets, too – and helps slow down the accumulation of textile waste. I’ll thrift shop, too, because who doesn’t like finding cool vintage stuff and items to repurpose?

In 2016, I will only buy from brands that have a corporate responsibility statement, or have a sustainability promise. Sure, those companies may not be zero waste or may not be transparent about where and how their products are made, but if the company thought enough to create a statement about sustainability or corporate responsibility, that is a good enough start for me (this year, at least).

In 2016, I will continue to learn about sustainability in the fashion industry. I’ll read and research and think and share my journey on T&T with all of you.

I’m so excited to be starting this initiative and I hope you’ll ride with me on the pathway to more sustainable shopping (aka success (if you don’t understand this add DJ Khaled on snapchat right this instant)). I’ll be talking more about this all throughout this year and will be sharing fun sustainable stuff, like brands with impressive sustainability initiatives and information about the changing fashion industry, on twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #SustainablilityAndStyle. I hope you’ll follow along with me!

Peace n Sustainable Blessings for this New Year,

Meg

High Line

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Top: Abercrombie & Fitch | Jacket: thrifted | Scarf: Camden Market | Skirt: Pac Sun | Boots: c/o Wet Seal | Bag: Urban Outfitters via Poshmark

(photography by Brooke Helstrom)

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There’s just something about being a tourist in your own city. I trekked into Manhattan for the first time since I went away to camp last August, and after taking a downtown express subway instead of a local train, it was clear I had lost a bit of my inner New Yorker. But then I was in the thick of SoHo and weaving in and out of real tourists and I felt it all come back to me. After some shopping and a much needed avo toast break, Brooke and I explored The High Line. It was beautiful and not too crowded; it made me happy to be home.

Two things have changed since I’ve gone to college: I like bananas (I even had two for breakfast one time!!) and I like turtlenecks. There is ample opportunity to eat bananas at school. Wearing turtlenecks, though? Not so much. I was ecstatic to have found this turtleneck on sale at Abercrombie on Boxing Day, and I proceeded to wear it three days in a row (this was day one… maybe). It’s Brandy Melville soft, black and white stripes like 97.6% of the rest of my closet, and it is a much needed layer in the battle against the cold weather – which I still haven’t adjusted back to. I felt like a middle schooler again coming back from the mall with a big Abercrombie & Fitch bag, but they’ve really stepped up their game. The number of shirts with “Abercrombie” written across the front has gone down exponentially, and everything is a lot more practical. They’ve got my vote.

Tunes

Because it’s really catchy and my jacket is blue (it’s a stretch) – “Blue” by Marina and the Diamonds

Peace n Blessings

Meg

Merry, Merry

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Top: American Apparel Factory Outlet | Skirt: Free People | Flats: Steven by Steve Madden

(photography by Kathryn McSherry)

 

Merry Christmas! I was expecting – and looking forward to – a cold New York Christmas, snow flurries and all. A 72˚ Christmas Eve is far from that. It was a rainy, cloudy day yet warm at the same time. And don’t get me wrong, I’ll take this weather over freezing temperatures any day. But when I say “any day” I mean “any-day-but-Christmas-or-Christmas-Eve”.

This top has become one of my favorites. It’s a wrap top, which is more confusing to maneuver than I originally thought it would be, and the material is incredibly soft. What I didn’t think through was how impractical a black long sleeve top would be for most of the year in southern California. Oh well. I’ll suffer for it anyway. This skirt is also one of my favorites (and has seen a McSherry Christmas before). It’s a thick material yet light enough to wear in warm weather like this. It also satisfies my love of black and white patterned anything. These flats were my Black Friday purchase from Steve Madden in Las Vegas. I wish I could wear them every day of my life, but they look a bit really odd with my mom jeans. Believe me, I’ve tried. Sigh.

Tunes

A non-Christmasy song, because the season is basically over (double sigh) – “Way Back When” by Kodaline. A beautiful, beautiful song.

Peace n Blessings and Merry, Merry

Meg

Walking In The Wind

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Top: Project Social T | Sweater: c/o Wet Seal | Jeans: American Eagle | Boots: c/o Wet Seal

(photography by Kathryn McSherry)

I’ve realized a few things since coming home from college for the first time since August: I am still hopelessly in love with One Direction (see exhibits A, B, C, etc.); I have completely adjusted to 60˚ LA days, so coming back to 38˚ weather and NYC winds straight out of JFK was far from fun; and I really like this pair of jeans, which I used to banish to the bottom of my denim pile in my closet, and have worn them more in the past few days home than I have all year. Also, as clearly seen in this post, I struggle with looking at the camera. I guess my shoes are much more interesting than the new patch on my camera.

Today my family had our second of three Christmas celebration at my grandma’s house. There is a gorgeous area of land behind her house, including two ponds and a possible beaver?! Shoutout to Kathryn for exploring with me through the cold and windy weather to make this post happen. You rock, never change. As much as I’m excited to have 60˚ weather again in a few days (thanks El Niño), it’s a bit sad knowing I definitely will not have a white Christmas.

Tunes

As I’ve been walking in the wind since I’ve gotten home, “T-Shirt Weather” has been playing on repeat. Such a tune.

Peace n Blessings

Meg

Patched Up

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Dress: Brandy Melville | Denim Jacket: Thrifted | Shoes: Steve by Steve Madden | Patches: c/o Hipstapatch 

(photography by Brooke Helstrom)

I developed a sticker obsession over the summer. It all started after I bought my hydroflask water bottle (which you should buy for everyone on your Christmas list because it is my favorite thing in the whole world) – everyone at camp had one and mine seemed too plain. So I hunted around for my favorite stickers in Burlington, which included a Patagonia sticker, an 802 sticker and a few camp stickers. Now it’s covered in Brandy Melville stickers, a Tapingo logo (the second best thing next to hydroflasks!!) and a Pura Vida Bracelets sticker. It’s quite full.

So, naturally, I had to find another canvas for my stickers. As you can tell from the photos in this post, I literally moved on to every other place you can possibly put stickers, but used patches. Hipstapatch is an awesome company started by a creative teenager (like me) Amanda. The company sells peel and stick patches in lots of fun, hand-drawn designs. A lot of the thrift stores in Burlington sold big, sew-on patches, which all caught my eye, but the commitment of sewing something large onto a piece of clothing scared me. With these patches I can stick them on bikes, on my computer (where they all are currently), on hats, on my shoes, and even on my jean jacket. I also was able to stick them on my jacket or shoes and take them off, changing the positioning or moving them completely to another item of mine. I love that these patches aren’t just limited to clothing, and that they can live on my camera lens cap or on my laptop. These patches also are incredibly well priced, so if you’re not into spending the $30 on a hydroflask water bottle, check out the Hipstapatch website. The next ones I’m hoping to get (to cover my polaroid camera and maybe my planner for next year) are the watermelon, shaka, New York City, and hippie van patches!

Tunes

I discovered Spotify this week and I really don’t know what I was doing with my life before then. I ran across my old friend Ray’s new song “You Always Win” by his group Dropout. IT’S. SO. CATCHY. and you all should go listen. It’s on my December playlist which I will be updating obsessively for the next month (and will link here as soon as I figure out how to do that… #newbie).

p.s. by this time next week, there will be a new post on the blog from back home! yay finals! yay winter break! yay kathryn! 

Peace n Blessings

Meg

Breather

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Dress: Wet Seal | Sweater: Project Social T | Shoes: Steve by Steve Madden

(Photography by Brooke Helstrom)

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Finals are approaching and it’s quite overwhelming. Final exams in my high school had a very different vibe than they do here – we reviewed for a few weeks before hand; we knew exactly what topics would be on the exams; and we could go home, lounge on the couch whilst studying and snack on whatever we wanted. Now I have to go all the way to a dining hall to get snacks, which aren’t nearly as good as they are at home, I can’t lounge all afternoon in my sweats on my little couch, and professors don’t like to give out information about the exams. It’s wild. So I’ll be hibernating for the next two weeks (hopefully) and getting some serious study time in.

Brooke and I took a breather from editing our final writing papers and chased this LA sunset from the roof of one of the buildings at USC. It was incredible: an entire 360˚ view of the city, the mountains – we could even see the Hollywood sign off in the distance. After a few weeks of really buckling down and getting work done I almost forgot how beautiful this city is. Go outside and watch the sunset tomorrow – it puts a lot in perspective and is a perfect mind refresher.

Also, it’s December and it was 81˚ today. Unbelievable.

Tunes

Okay, I’ll admit it – I’ve been listening to Christmas music since November 1st. And no, I don’t regret it. And no, I’ll never get tired of Christmas music!!!!! Lately the She & Him Holiday station on Pandora has been my study playlist and the background noise when I get in little I-need-to-re-organize-my-entire-life fits. I highly recommend that station. I also recommend “Snow In California” by Ariana Grande. It reminds me a twinge of home and the fact that it just doesn’t snow in Southern California. It’s beautiful and not overplayed like so many other holiday songs are.

Peace n Blessings

Meg

 

Grand

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Top: Wet Seal | Jeans: American Eagle | Shoes: c/o Wet Seal

(photography by Kathryn McSherry)

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When I got my Thanksgiving itinerary from my parents and saw that day 1 in Las Vegas said “helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon” I didn’t know what to do with myself. I mean, it’s a once in a lifetime, bucket list type activity. And then I remembered that I don’t love things that make my stomach drop or give entail weird motion sensations. Rollercoasters are pretty much my worst enemy, next to cruise ships on big oceans and glass bottom boats. Needless to say I was shaking in my boots slip on sneaks all morning just thinking about what the trip was going to be like. It. Was. Incredible. On the way from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, my stomach only dropped a few times, which was enough to get me to say that I wanted to sit in the front on the way back.

I’m not sure if I enjoyed flying through the canyon or when we landed in the canyon most. While flying through I really got a feel for how large the Grand Canyon is and I got to see a lot of bodies of water (including the Hoover Dam), which we couldn’t see from inside the canyon. But when we landed and got to actually walk around, see the cacti, go as close as we wanted to the edge of the cliff, and get a real feel for the sheer height of the rocks. It was all just incredible. It’s too bad this wasn’t on my bucket list to start off with, because it’s quite an exciting one to cross off.

On another note, I am very grateful for the clothes that my family so kindly stuffed in their suitcases to bring to me. I packed maybe two sweaters for college and have been missing my cozy shirts and long-sleeved items. Thanks, fam, for keeping me warm.

Tunes

Because her AMA’s performance of this song was A++++ – “Focus” Ariana Grande

Peace n Blessings

Meg

Recruit

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Dress: Everly via Poshmark | Blazer: H&M | Flats: Old Navy | Padfolio: Amazon | Business Cards: Moo

(Photography by Brooke Helstrom)

In my first week of college, I heard the word “padfolio” a concerning amount of times. A padfolio, as I quickly came to know, is a notebook with a pocket for resumés and business cards and a notepad for taking notes during interviews. It’s a business thing. USC even has special ones in the book store with each school’s name or the USC logo engraved on the front. Fancy stuff. I wanted to be cool and hip and fashionable and go for a color other than black or brown so I bought one off amazon that looked like more of a pantone caramel, orange-tinted-brown-color-that-you-can-wear-with-black-or-navy colored padfolio, which ended up being just lighter brown. So now this here cork padfolio (eco friendly might I add!!) has made its way onto my Christmas list. I also have been way too excited about my business cards. I bought both of mine on Moo: a professional set, and a set for blog functions. I’m utterly (get it – moo) obsessed with the front of them which say “Hello, my name is Megan and you should check out my blog”. Not only are they funny, but they have rounded corners, they fit all my bloggy information, and they come in 5 different colors!!! This, folks, is what happens to you when you become a business student.

You also get real comfortable wearing flats and blazers. For one of my classes I have to wear a suit every Friday morning. Yes, you read that correctly. So business professional I have down pat. Business casual, on the other hand, has always been more of a struggle for me. I wore this to my first recruiter reception, one for fashion brands and companies through the fashion industry association club on campus. So wearing a fun printed dress was acceptable, however the lines when it comes to business casual in the fashion world are even more blurred. I am a fan of over dressing rather than under dressing, so I wore a blazer and flats to keep it as profesh as I could while still showing some personality. Most people wore shift dresses with small heels (something I need to invest in) or pants and a nice top. The reception was really nice but totally overwhelming. In a sea of Juniors and Seniors vying for jobs, I, a wee Freshman trying to be professional and interesting at the same time, felt like a tiny fish in an ocean. It was good getting out there, though. Onwards and upwards!

Tunes

Honestly, all I have been listening to lately is Made In The A.M., so this one’s an oldie from my Pandora list of liked songs – “Last Breath” by the Plain White Tees.

Peace n Blessings

Meg

All Wrapped Up

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Top: American Apparel Factory Flea Market | Jacket: thrifted | Skort: Lily White (Brooke) | Sandals: ALDO (Brooke)

(photography by Brooke Helstrom) 

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I’ll tell ya, the School of Cinematic Arts is gorgeous. There are plenty of fountains, large iron gates and tiled wall decoration things. Oh, and don’t forget about the cool arched outdoor hallways. Those are pretty cool, too. I know lately I’ve been complaining about the weather being too cold for my liking, but today was a dream of a day weather wise. Calculus was not so much of a dream, but that’s another story. I spent the day in shorts, sandals, a shirt and a jacket and was completely comfortable. Raise the temperature a few more degrees and you would get my idea of Los Angeles weather – consistent high 70’s, constant sun, and sandal weather all year round. I guess I was on track with constant sun (there have only been a few days with clouds and one – yes, one – rainy day), but the high 70’s and a never ending sandal season not so much.

I made my second trip to the American Apparel Factory Flea Market store this past weekend with Norah, my dear old pal from high school who came to visit. It was just as great as it was the first time I visited. I ended up with this black wrap shirt and a turquoise muscle tank that is incredibly soft and was $2. I couldn’t pass it up. With the sudden change in the weather, I felt lost without my long sleeve shirts that are just chilling in my closet across the country. I decided having one three-quarter length shirt was not enough for this winter that is upon us, so when I came across this extremely soft, wrap shirt that is brand new in stores for a lower price, I could not let it go. I can already tell that I will wear this shirt too often, but I guess that just means I made a good purchase. In other news, Brooke and I now wear each others’ clothing more than we wear our own. This outfit here is 50% Brooke, and her outfit for dinner tonight was 35% me. It’s great for the blog and it’s great for the wallet.

Tunes

I will spare you from another One Direction song as the song of the day (because there will be a lengthy post on Friday with the release of the nEw AlBuM), so here’s some Ingrid Michaelson to calm your soul : “Keep Breathing“. Another genius Pandora find. Bless Pandora.

Peace n Blessings

Meg

Apocalyptic

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Sweater: Project Social T | Skirt: MINKPINK | Shoes: Old Navy | Necklace: my grand big ☽

(photography by Brooke Helstrom)

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When I started the college application process, I brought out a map and drew three lines. One was above North Carolina – I was not going anywhere cold. I just can’t do New England winters anymore. The second line was below North Carolina – I’m not a Southern girl. Sweet tea, Jack Rogers and Lilly Pulitzer dresses do not excite me. The third line was right along the border of California – because California is everything. I’ve now been in California for three months, I’ve survived the unbearable heat, and now the cold is hitting. It has been around 65º for the past few days. If I were still in New York, I would undoubtedly be wearing shorts. Or a tank top. Or maybe even both. But since I’ve been here for three months, at 65º, I had to go out and buy a sweater.

There was a MINKPINK/Project Social T/Obey sample sale on campus (another great thing about California and Los Angeles!!!!) and it was freezing. This red, incredibly soft sweater was exactly what I needed. I also went a little wild and bought this skirt, which is just fueling my leather mini skirt obsession, which all started with the famous rose gold number. I find it insane that I have adjusted to the weather so quickly. It reached a frigid 56º the other night and I broke out my sweatpants, sweatshirt, and fuzzy socks. And I slept under all of my covers!! It’s like the apocalypse!! I came to USC in part because of the beautiful weather year-round, however I’ve been frozen for the past few days. It’s insane, and I miss all of my big sweaters that are currently hanging in my closet at home. I’ll see you at Christmastime, sweaters. You are greatly missed. xoxo.

Tunes

In honor of a big event happening next Friday (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), this is a big ‘ole throwback to fetus One Direction, when Zayn was still in the band and Harry was still considered a “weak” singer – “Truly, Madly, Deeply“, quite possibly one of the most underrated One Direction songs in the history of One Direction songs.

Peace n Blessings

Meg