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Fresh Insight from an Eco-Conscious Babe

Hey there world! We're back from a long blogging hiatus and excited to share with you a new series we are cooking up: interviews with some of our favorite makers! 

There is a vibrant community of entrepreneurs who are involved in gloriously creative & innovative works to impact the fashion industry in the direction of becoming more socially & environmentally conscious. We thought we'd do some of the social media scouting work for you, and create our own little platform for you to learn about some of our favorites. 

Without further adieu, please enjoy this conversation we recently had with one of our ethical fashion heroes... Amy Nicole! Amy is a sewing blogger, seamstress, tailor, pattern-maker, and all around eco-conscious fashion queen with her own brand of handmade & upcycled garments: Honey Darlin. We asked her just a few questions to give us a glimpse into her world; we hope you feel the urge to check our her work and learn more about the wonderful things she's up to.

  1. Tell us about your journey into fashion! When did you first become familiar with “eco-conscious fashion”?

    I've been into refashioning since I first started sewing in college. I think the concept of using what you have and not wasting had just been engrained in me from a young age by my mom who was an avid recycler. I would go to goodwill instead of the fabric store when I wanted to start a new project. Still, I didn't really understand the negative impact of fast fashion till I was living in NY and studying fashion design. I saw everything that went into producing a garment, and when interning for brands who were ethically producing in New York's garment district it dawned on me that there's no way someone is ever paid fairly when a tank top costs five dollars. That's when I stopped buying fast fashion. 

  2. Tell us about Honey Darlin! What is the ethos behind you brand, and what do you hope to inspire in people who shop Honey Darlin?

    Honey Darlin is for eco conscious gals who enjoy having fun with their wardrobe. I feel so many ethical brands focus on elevated basics, which is awesome. But I wanted to create clothing that makes people smile and maybe even think "how funny!" I'm not a tshirt and jeans kind of girl. I love color, and prints, and quirky details. I hope to bring this aesthetic into the eco-fashion world. 

  1. We know you’re quite a resourceful (and talented) seamstress. Can you tell us about your favorite “upcycled” piece you’ve made?

This isn't even my "most upcycled" piece as far as the changes that were made to it, but hands down it has to be my wedding dress. It was my mother's dress, that was made by my grandmother. I updated the sleeves and the skirt shape and gave it a cut out back. My mom passed away two years before I got married, and her and my dad were best friends who were married for over 39 years. So it meant the world to me to walk down the aisle in the same dress she did. 

  1. What book/content/resources would you recommend to people who are interested in learning more about eco-conscious fashion?

    If you are unsure as to why exactly eco conscious fashion is important, definitely watch the True Cost movie. It's an eye opener especially for people who don't have a full grasp of how the fashion industry works. Also Study 34 has a great newsletter that accumulates articles from all over the web around the topic of sustainable fashion for those that want to really dive deep. And it's just once a month so they don't bombard your inbox (one of my pet peeves!)

  2. What are three things you that would advise someone who wants to become more eco-conscious in their wardrobe purchases; key things to look for, what to avoid, etc.?

First I would say that it takes a mindset shift. It's hard to get over the price jump that often comes with shopping ethically. But the idea is that you are shopping less often, so generally the shift balances itself out. The average American owns way more than clothing they need and only wears those items once or twice before tossing them out. So changing the way you think about what clothes we "need" and why we shop so much in general is a huge first step. 

Second I would say stop shopping at places like target and forever 21.  Just. Don't. Do it. It's hard, trust me I know.  I used to go to forever 21 every Thursday to buy a new outfit for the weekend. But you just aren't going to find anything to buy with a clean conscience there. Obviously this is something we can hope for in the future, but right now it's just not an option. 

My third tip is to embrace second hand! Buying second hand is one of the best and most affordable ways to join the eco fashion movement. Not only are you keeping clothing out of landfills, but your money is not supporting many of the major fast fashion brands you will find there. Often times second hand shops are run by charities - extra bonus! 

Thanks for sharing what you do with us, Amy! Be sure to check out her website where she documents her current projects (with tutorials! Yay!), Honey Darlin's Etsy store, and her social media pages: @amynicolestudio and @heyhoneydarlin!