I want to highlight strong, creative, and interesting women as I launch my brand. I’m working to create a circle of diverse & stylish women. As part of my muse series, I’m sharing my conversations with friends, clients, and creatives.
Kat Vargas is a slow fashion blogger and friend. We met when I briefly worked at Clare V and connected over our commitment to sustainable and ethical fashion. Kat is featured wearing our Kat top (named after her) and Jessica skirt from our new capsule collection, Slow Dance (coming soon). You can check out her slow fashion blog here.
My conversation with Kat Vargas:
ER: When did you start to realize the fashion industry's impact on the environment and communities? In other words, what motivated you to making changes in the way you shopped for clothes?
KV: Three years ago I met this incredible woman (we worked for the same company). She had quite the unique style and would always speak so passionately about the brands and fabrics she was wearing whenever someone offered her a compliment. This kind of passion inspired me to do a little research on the clothing I owned which led me to discover the dark truth behind the fashion industry. Learning about the impact synthetic fabrics had on our environment was shocking to me. My first step was to eliminate the introduction of new virgin synthetic fabrics into my closet. After watching the documentary The True Cost, I realized that fabric selection wasn't enough. I needed to make sure that the factory where my clothing is made follow ethical practices and protect their workers.
ER: What does slow fashion mean to you?
KV: To me, slow fashion refers to the cycle of fashion. Its about slowing down the rate in which clothing is produced, purchased, and discarded. To do this I aim to buy clothing produced in smaller batches, in quality materials that last, and care for my clothing so that they last for their intended lifespan. Getting to know fabrics and how they react with the elements (water, heat, etc.) is key! I buy from local designers and businesses whenever possible. If I can't source something ethically I choose vintage or second hand.
ER: What are your suggestions for curating a sustainable & ethical closet?
KV: Think before you buy! Before bringing in new items into your closet, play dress up at home mix and matching pieces that you already own. Take notes of the items you have sitting in your closet that you haven't worn in a while and ask yourself why, then make sure you avoid purchasing like items in the future. Whenever I shop I make sure I buy versatile pieces that I'll be able to wear with things I already have living in my closet. For example if I'm shopping for a new top, I make sure I choose one that I'll be able to wear with at least 3 skirts or pants I already own. Do not buy into trends. Shop for timeless pieces instead! I haven't quite nailed down the "personal style" yet so I won't advocate for boxing yourself into a style category although having an idea definitely helps. Personally, I mainly focus on just wearing things I feel comfortable and happy in.
ER: Let's talk style. What is your go-to uniform?
KV: My go-to uniform includes a fitted top with high-waist bottoms, usually a tee (short or long sleeve) with tailored pants. I'm not the tallest (proudly 5'2") and growing up I was always very slim - So much so that most of the clothing I wore had to be tailored or I looked like I was drowning in it. As a compromise I started wearing my shirts tucked into my pants/skirts to hide the fact that they were way too long, and wearing my skirts high waisted to give the illusion of longer legs. The style just stuck. Whenever I try to switch things up by leaving my house with an untucked shirt in the morning I end up with a French tuck by mid-afternoon.
ER: Do you have a favorite piece of clothing? If yes, what is it and why?
KV: I have this Midi skirt I've owned for 8 years now made from washed silk fabric in black with a cream printed pattern that I absolutely love. It has buttons going down the center, and best of all - pockets!! I love the fit and shape so much I'm planning to copy it onto a pattern and re-create it in different fabrics/colors so that I can wear the style year round.
ER: What are your favorite Instagram profiles for style, inspiration, & laughs?
ER: I follow a lot of ethical/sustainable brands, blogs, and designers on Instagram. It’s so hard to choose favorites! I'd say for stylistic inspiration I love to browse the feeds of @AditiMayer, @TheSlowMode, and @EcoWarriorPrincess. I am also obsessed with the @CrazyPlantGuy.