We are so excited to introduce you to another customer we got the pleasure of meeting last year, Megan. We're so excited to share her story and journey with sustainability with you.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Megan, born and raised in Seattle, WA. I have 10+ years in the fashion, Toys, & E-Commerce Industry: Buying & Planning, Product Development, Private Label, Custom Sales, and retail. I have had an unwavering passion for fashion ever since I can remember – I credit my grandmother ‘Nonna’ for having such exquisite taste and influencing this fascination of mine. I dream of creating my very own sustainable fashion brand one day (hopefully soon). I love being active outdoors or in a yoga studio. The beach is my happy place. I find inspiration in the world around me; my favorite thing to do is travel and learn from and about different cultures.
You have a background in product development, tell us how you got interested in this field.
After loving all my Product Development classes in college, I got an internship as a Private Label Custom Sales intern for an Accessories brand in New York City. During my internship I worked with countless brands and retailers to help provide custom Private Label assortments for their F/W + S/S buys. Collaborating with designers, merchandisers, buyers and planners from all around the industry to identify the best patterns, colorways, fabrics, style + fit, etc. I left everyday feeling more creative and inspired then when I had arrived. However, the moment that made me realize this was the field for me, was the following summer when I was shopping at Nordstrom in Seattle, WA and saw a display of the hats, scarves, and bags that I had helped bring to life! Seeing the final product on the shelf in real life was the ultimate reward for what was lots of work, but so much fun to create.
Megan is wearing the Kaia Shirt in Prairie Bloom Print
You switched from working in the fashion industry to now, the toy industry. What inspired this change? What do you enjoy about working in this new industry?
After graduating from Washington State University with a degree in Fashion Merchandising, Design & textiles, I came across zulily.com which was an online retailer located in Seattle, WA. I applied for an Assistant Buyer position in Hardlines/Home. I figured, if I can’t buy clothes, home décor could be fun! When they offered me the position, it ended up being in the Kid’s Toys department. Four years later the only thing that pulled me away was the need to put my career first in order to continue to grow and develop myself and get back into the Product Development field. I have never taken my eye off the toy industry and would not be surprised to find myself back there one day - especially in a way that incorporates sustainability! So much opportunity in that industry!
How do you define sustainability? What do you look for in brands/ products when you’re shopping?
Sustainability, to me, means that you use the resources available to live your life, run a business, etc. that meet your needs without making an impact that compromises the ability of future generations to be able to meet their own needs. A great way to do this in fashion is to create something new or evolve a look from the materials of something already made.
When shopping, I look for brands/products that provide transparency into their supply chain and how they operate as a business. I also prioritize brands that acknowledge the environmental issues we face and create environmental initiatives to improve, change or offset them, including addressing their carbon footprint and demonstrating a path to reduce their carbon impact. Companies working and giving back to the causes that will help save our planet really excite me!
Megan is wearing the Isla Beaded Mini Dress in Cloud
What do you think the fashion industry needs to improve on so that more consumers can/ will shop more consciously and responsibly?
In order for consumers to shop consciously and responsibly, they need transparency on where the products are coming from, how they are made, and how socially responsible the operations are of the industry or companies. The industry must work harder to educate consumers on why it is important to shop with intention and -- over all else --shop responsibly.
How did you get interested in sustainability and sustainable fashion?
As mentioned, I have loved and obsessed over fashion since I can remember (and I know I am not the only one). The fashion industry is not going away, and it is causing increasing damage to our world. My Apparel Merchandising, Design & Textiles studies included months of lab sessions learning about textiles and how to make and manipulate them, so I know first-hand how damaging the industry really is. In order to feel at peace with the purchases I make (in all aspects of my life), I began to research and invest in products that are as sustainable as possible. It is critical to me that I am spending my money in the right places to support sustainability and Earth-friendly practices.
Has your view of sustainable fashion changed over the years?
Absolutely! Being the oldest of two girls, my sister often got my hand-me-downs to wear and play with, because it wasn’t necessary to buy brand new items. Needless to say, she has lived a sustainable lifestyle longer than I have. It took me a while to learn how to be inventive, but still fresh and fabulous. After being educating on the industry impacts and learning about how major brands/retailers produce their product through ‘fast fashion or churn and burn’ practices I knew that no matter how inexpensive I could find the hottest trends, the sacrifice in the long-run was not worth the short-term gains of a new shirt for the spring season. I am now very deliberate about how and where I shop and aim for anything I purchase to be of high quality that is sure to last and can be repurposed for different trends and seasons through its lifetime.
Megan is wearing the Kyle Shirt in Dark Spice
What are some core/ timeless styles that you look for time and time again?
I am always on the hunt for a great pair of Jeans, a pair of heeled boots, and I love a cozy cashmere sweater. That being said – I’ll admit I love my core/classic pieces to have a bold statement or a twist. I am a pearl in my heels, sequins on my button-ups, and tassels dripping off my jean jackets kind of gal.
What’s your favorite thing about fashion? Why is it a passion of yours?
The expression that fashion brings out, both in others and in one’s self, is magical. I have always admired how it evokes such inspiration, imagination, and emotion in every person uniquely. Fashion is my personal form of self-expression and driver of my confidence. In my favorite jeans rocking my best shiny heels, I am unstoppable (or so I think)!
This past year and half, we’ve all had the chance to really think about what means most to us and how we want to spend our time. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I have really learned to enjoy and appreciate a slower pace that allows me to spend time with my loved ones and prioritize my mental and physical health. I began to practice meditation and gratitude daily. I love to workout, do yoga, take long walks with my puppy, and hike to balance out all the baking that I enjoy.
Anything else you would like to share?
I am moving out to Los Angeles in early 2022 and looking forward to making connections in the industry with entrepreneurs and other professionals in the field of sustainable fashion. I hope to be involved in the community and help to drive the field of sustainable fashion forward in any way that I can.