Next up for PALA Meets is a cosy chat with Stephanie van den Sigtenhorst, the voice behind conscious lifestyle blog Let’s Talk Slow. Stephanie trained in fashion branding at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute and alongside writing the blog, she works as a consultant to fashion labels on their branding and content.
Stephanie, it’s great to meet you, thanks so much for chatting to us today. I think it’s fair to say that when you first started training in fashion, you weren’t thinking about sustainability. What was the turning point that led you towards a more conscious way of living?
During my studies at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute I had already gotten to know about a lot of sustainable initiatives, and information on sustainability in general, but at that point I didn’t really engage properly. After graduation I got to know the womenswear brand, Reformation, and they really showed me that sustainable fashion can be trendy and fun, as well as making a positive impact! Together with watching the revelatory documentary, The True Cost, I realised that I really didn’t want to work in such a shallow industry, and I started working for a sustainable fashion label in The Netherlands. Here I learnt a lot about sustainable brands, production and the difficulties they face.
What’s the goal for Let’s Talk Slow? What do you hope to share with your readers and what might they learn from following your story?
With Let’s Talk Slow I really just want to show that there are so many great sustainable options, which often leads to a more authentic outfit overall. The most important factor for me is conveying that you don’t have to sacrifice on style when you want to create a fair and sustainable wardrobe.
Where do you recommend people start if they want to find out more about why sustainability matters and what they can do to lead a more conscious life?
I want to tell my readers that it is okay to take small steps. You can’t change yourself in one day. You need to become more conscious about why you would like to do it. Take a standpoint. Is it for our climate, for animal welfare, for better working conditions. It could be anything and it can definitely be for more than one reason. This understanding will help you along the way. It helps to watch documentaries, Ted Talks and read books – one of my top recommendations is This Is A Good Guide as the perfect guide for beginners. Once you’ve figured out your sustainable wardrobe, you will probably want to expand your approach to more area of your life to anything from food to beauty to a zero waste lifestyle. The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to do it all at once and small steps are good enough.
On the blog, you maintain a list of sustainable fashion brands. Can you share some of your must-have brands with us?
Yes, definitely! I’m a big fan of Mud Jeans, Veja for shoes, O My Bag for leather bags and of course Pala to finish off your look. I love Lovely Day Botanicals and Fine Deodorant as natural beauty brands. There really are so many great choices and new brands pop up every week which I think is super exciting.
What’s next for you and for Let’s Talk Slow?
In 2019 I will be launching a YouTube channel! I really want to spread the word of sustainable fashion and that’s why I will go for it with 100%. I will not have another job besides it, so it will definitely be scary at first, but I just want to spread the word and want to make people more conscious.
Want to find out more about Stephanie’s take on ethical brands? Head to her site to see her run down of names to note and see our sunglasses in the best company – http://letstalkslow.com/fair-fashion-the-conscious-journey/sustainable-brand-list/the-most-beautiful-ethical-accessoiries/
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Felicia is our ‘camera ninja’ when it comes to photography for the Pala website. Hailing from Sweden, but now based close to the Pala Brighton HQ. When she’s not exercising her skills of mind control to make models relax on shoots you’ll find her in a cafe enjoying a good cup of coffee, or at home baking cinnamon buns.
Emma is our marketing guru. When Emma isn’t planning, strategizing and creating content, she can be found travelling the world exploring its wonders, or in more recent times – headphones on with a paintbrush in her hand creating an abstract masterpiece!
Mary is the team leader of the Care4basket project in Bolgatanga, Ghana. When Mary is not organising and supporting the work across the communities, you will find her sowing sweet potatoes, ground nut, millet and looking after the animals on the farm.
Izzy is our Sales and Comms mastermind. When Izzy isn’t throwing herself down a mountain on a snowboard, she can normally be found rummaging through vintage shops or pounding the fields with her beloved puppy, Mac. She once mislaid a finger on a night out (eek!) – girl knows how to party!
Justin is our ‘Film Alchemist’. When he’s not laying on the floor looking for the next shot he’s either exploring the finest bourbons and listening to obscure country music tracks from the 50s and 60s. Normally found planning his next trip abroad or fuelling the pineapple on pizza debate. Just so you know he’s firmly in the Hawaiian camp!