Sustainable stylist: Lauren Engelke

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Lauren Engelke | Sustainable Stylist

We chat with New York based sustainable stylist Lauren Engelke about minimalism, how to take a more sustainable approach to fashion, what it takes to be a successful stylist and the most rewarding part about blogging.

How long have you been blogging and what was your inspiration to start your blog?
I’ve been focusing my insta on sustainable fashion since spring!  It’s a natural extension of my IRL work as an on-set stylist.  I’ve been styling for about 3.5 years, and I’ve been tailoring for about a decade.  My husband and I love to travel, and we especially love sailing when we go away.  Sailing gives you this intense connection with nature and the water, and it also requires that you pack as light as possible, because space is limited. This encouraged my natural tendency towards minimalism.

Apart from sustainable fashion and style, what are some of your other interests or hobbies?
I’m a tailor as well as a stylist, and I love altering and remaking my garments so they feel fresh again.  I also love cooking, especially making recipes healthier, with one notable exception: my weakness is taking vegan recipes and adding butter back in!  I know it makes no sense, but it makes me happy.

What advice do you have for ladies wanting to consume less “fast fashion” and have more of a sustainable focus with their choices?
The easiest way to start is to take a break from shopping for a month.  Unsubscribe from any promo emails you get for sales and avoid popping into stores you usually shop at. The next thing you can do is turn all your hangers the wrong way, and as you wear and launder your clothes,  put them back the right way.  You’ll be able to see your go-to’s within a couple of weeks, and if you don’t wear a garment for a full season, consider letting it go.

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“I like to start with minimizing your wardrobe, because learning to live with less is the backbone of sustainability.”

Favourite vintage store?
St. Vinny’s in Madison, Wisconsin. I always find something I love!

Top 3 resources that promote or make sustainable style accessible?
1. ThredUP: makes shopping second-hand so, so easy and is always my first stop when I need something.  It’s also the perfect “gateway site” for sustainable shopping, because you will recognize familiar mall brands – they’re just pre-owned, so shopping ThredUP is earth-friendly and wallet-friendly.
2. Google: Whatever it is you are looking for, someone has written a blog post about it or done a roundup.  Try googling “sustainable denim”, “sustainable t shirts” etc, and you will immediately find tons of options.
3. My insta! Just kidding.  Instagram is an amazing resource.  I like following hashtags like #sustainablefashion and #sustainableswim so sustainable brands and bloggers will naturally pop up in my feed.

What skills or training have helped you create and maintain your blog?
Being interested in what I do!  Honestly, I’m still learning every day, and I think you have to be excited about whatever you are blogging about.  You don’t have to have the perfect grid or a backlog of great content – if you are passionate about something, just go for it and figure it out as you go along.

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“New York is wonderful and has so many things to do every night of the week.”

Day in the life of a busy style blogger?
Oooh, I like how you said “busy style blogger”, that sounds so glam!  I’m still an on-set stylist IRL so many days I’m schlepping clothes somewhere and dressing models.  Let’s skip those for a minute and talk about my blogging days!

AM: I like to wake up early and have coffee right away!  Then I usually take Fran and Jost for their morning walk while listening to a podcast and responding to comments or messages on Instagram.  I get back and immediately review my schedule for the day – any meetings that I have, whether to see a new eco-friendly collection or chat with a department store about their sustainability efforts.  I prioritize my remaining projects and get started.  These projects may include doing research for a blog post or ironing out the details for a collaboration with another blog.

NOON: I get my best work done in the morning, so I’ll power through until about noon, have a snack and work out, again with a heady cocktail of podcasts, audio books, and Instagram like our morning walk.  Then I’ll head off to meetings!

PM: After meetings, my husband and I might go to dinner somewhere in our neighbourhood.  For the past couple of months, we have been living in the East Village, and there are fantastic restaurants on every block.  It’s a good thing we walk everywhere, or I wouldn’t be able to fit in my clothes!  Afterwards, we might see comedy or go to a gallery opening.

What’s the most rewarding part about blogging?
I’ve been delighted to make real friendships through Instagram.  It’s such a positive, nurturing environment, and when you are genuine people respond genuinely as well. It’s amazing to build relationships with friends in Australia and Tokyo and Amsterdam, half a world away!

Thank you so much Lauren for sharing your career and blogger journey!  We are so inspired by how you are giving back through sustainable styling.

[Editors note]: currently turning all of our hangers around the wrong way and Fran and Jost are the cutest puppy names EVER!

Follow Lauren for more inspiration:

instragram

website

TDP XO

 

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