Bre Cruikshank is a fashion blogger and product manager at Nike. Long-obsessed with fashion and the arts and how that impacts the world, mixed with Bre’s studies in International and human rights in school, she’s now found the bridge between the two in the world of ethical fashion. “It’s just what I love. I want my clothing to be beautiful, look really nice and be something that I love to put on, but I also want it to have an ethical purity to it too.”
Meet the trendsetter, Bre!
You may have heard the saying “Every purchase you make is like casting a vote for the type of world you want to live in.” As Bre sees it: “You wake up in the morning with 2 decisions: what you’re going to eat, and what you’re going to wear. Those two decisions are very important—they’re ones you face every day of your life. As consumers, we have the responsibility to make those decisions matter by shopping the brands who do have ethical practices.” We asked Bre to put together some Ethical Fashion Tips for our readers, and we’re excited to share her advice with you!
5 WAYS TO BUILD AN ETHICAL WARDROBE:
- Do your research: It seems simple, but we often forget to find out what a brand stands for for before we buy. So many friends tell me they would buy ethically if they could afford it–and I get that! From my experience, there are affordable ways to shop ethically! Find out more on affordable and ethical brands Bre supports over on her blog!
- Try not to follow trends: With timeless pieces you can reinvent them. You don’t need to buy something new every week because you’re bored with your style. Buy durable, practical, very ‘you’ pieces that you’ll be able to mix-and-match and wear for a long time, this is how you build a capsule wardrobe.
- Reinvent old pieces: When you do get bored of your closet, just upcycle your pieces, my favorite way to do this is to DIY shorts out of old jeans.
- Purge old pieces: Every time I buy something, I get rid of an item from my closet. This practice keeps me thinking about every purchase I make. I typically either donate or sell old pieces at the thrift store.
- Find your ‘Why’: It can feel overwhelming to try and solve all the world’s problems. Figure out what you are passionate about, and let your fashion reflect that. You can look at it from an environmental angle, or maybe using fashion for women’s empowerment and social justice gets your excited, maybe feminism or animal rights is your thing – there are so many different ways to get involved using fashion as a medium.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR OWN STYLE?
I’d say my style is classic but edgy, focusing on timeless pieces and interesting silhouettes. I buy basic pieces as my capsule wardrobe I can then build on, always from companies I spend a lot of time researching. I have to be able to trust the quality and impact of each piece I am purchasing. Everything I wear is extremely comfortable and functional so I tend to be drawn toward looser silhouettes and more sportswear recently. The trick for me is to feel like i’m wearing pajamas, but not to look like it at all! My current obsession is the gold loafer and the Tibeb infinity scarf from Sseko Designs paired with a T-shirt dress or oversized shirt and leggings.
HOW DO YOU FEEL BEING DESCRIBED AS ‘THE TRENDSETTER’?
I’m not usually one to compliment myself. I love being involved in areas that people aren’t aware of yet, so in that sense I probably identify trends before other people. I have a vision that is unique to me that forms my life in a lot of different ways—and that takes a really independent mindset. I find my inspiration from international style blogs, pinterest, Fashion weeks. I love finding small designers who are doing something interesting. My most recent find was Maria Gluck in Berlin – she does special prints that reflect the environment around her in Germany. I look at runways too, London fashion week is my favorite because they focus on young designers and sustainability more than any other fashion week. I don’t look to anyone to validate my opinion, I believe you can pull anything off as long as you feel comfortable doing it and have the guts to try it out!
HOW DO YOU SEEK THE UNFAMILIAR IN YOUR DAILY LIFE?
I’m always on the lookout for new opportunities and new people to meet, I’ll be friends with anyone! I love listening to music and reading, I draw a lot of inspiration from those two activities. Everything in my life I’ve totally re-evaluated at some point, that is what my blog is based around. I’ll take a phase of my life or popular opinion and deconstruct it completely to see discover what I really think aside from what society has taught me. I love self-improvement and i’m always looking for what’s next.
HOW WOULD YOU ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO SEEK THE UNFAMILIAR?
Do the things you are most afraid of doing. If something freaks you out, it is probably a sign you should do it! Don’t ever choose not to do something because you’re afraid. Neale Donald Walsch said it best, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Life is about pushing boundaries and finding what excites you.