Updated: Jun 9, 2018
Sustainable fashion-blogger, Cristina from Style Indigo is a woman on a mission. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing her and was really inspired not only by the way she puts combinations of clothing together, but also by how she covets each item she owns and re-wears them at least 30 times before she buys something new.
The 30-wears campaign is nothing new. Originally founded by Livia Firth to challenge our approach to shopping and owning clothes, by asking the question: “Will I wear this at least 30 times before I buy something new?”
This isn’t about deprivation or omitting shopping altogether, but about changing our perception to how we shop and how we own our clothes. It’s about thinking about our clothes, shoes and accessories as an investment instead and ensuring that we look after them – whether that’s having items tailored regularly, brushing our knitwear or mending our shoes. Only by thinking about items in this way, will we stop disposable fashion and reduce waste. As a stylist, I find this concept really exciting and love the idea that we can get good mileage out of our clothes, shoes and accessories and if well looked after can pass them down to our children.
Cristina’s wardrobe is an eclectic mix of treasured items from her grandmother and pieces she’s sourced locally from her village in Spain. I hope you’ll be inspired by the beautiful shots of Cristina by Ana Panic and our chat below.
How did you come to embark on your slow-fashion journey?
I think that somehow slow fashion has always been part of my lifestyle. It is true that I own many clothes, but because I take very good care of them they last me forever. I have clothes going back to when I was in secondary school that I still wear today! Also, my mother is a very trendy woman and has kept most of her old clothes, that's the reason why my sister and I have always borrowed from her vintage closet. When I came across slow fashion a few years ago, it really clicked with me.
You’re a fan of mixing vintage pieces with some amazing ethical brands. Can you tell us some of your favourite slow-fashion brands and why?
I am a strong believer in buying brands that produce locally – it is a great way to support the local economy and its jobs, while reducing the carbon footprint of the garments. I even wrote an article about this matter. Make sure you hop over to my blog and check it out!
I also like what the Ethical Fashion Initiative is doing, an ethical project supported by the UN that connects African artisans with fashion houses. They facilitate the collaboration with big brands and also support local designers.
You love colour and that’s what drew me to your Instagram and blog in the first place. Where do you get your fashion inspiration?
I love fashion magazines, follow other fashion bloggers and street style, but to be honest most of the time I just open my wardrobe and try different combinations in order to maximise the mileage of my clothes. Since I start blogging, I always try and push the boundaries. Increasing the usage of the clothes we already own is a great way to be sustainable!
As a stylist, fabric is so important to me. I know that you love natural fibres – is there a particular fabric that you wear all the time?
You are right, I love natural fibres! I love cashmere for winter and I am also obsessed with my alpaca wool coat (a fibre produced by the local communities in the Peruvian Andes). For summer, I find silk and linen are best. I find all natural fibres are biodegradable and better to be in contact with the skin – so everyone should be a natural fibre lover!
Your guilty pleasure is jewellery – do you have any favourite pieces in your wardrobe and could you share this with us?
I love a diamond and sapphire ring from my grandmother, she let me borrow it for my wedding in order to wear something blue and afterwards she gave it to me as a gift! I have worn it many times on the blog, it is beautiful!! I also have a pair of earrings from my great-grandmother which she used to wear on special occasions, unfortunately I lost one of them a couple of months ago while travelling. I am very sad about it and haven’t decided what to do with the other one, I might convert it into a pendant.
As a busy blogger, how do you manage a sustainable lifestyle?
I try to be very strict with the use of plastic. I never take plastic bags with my groceries and buy fruits and vegetables without packaging. I never use straws and don’t buy clothes made out of petrol-based materials. I also have a beautiful garden and grow some fruits and vegetables – I have the best organic avocados in my garden! I think we have to try hard to decrease our waste and avoid non-biodegradable materials, but we live in a modern society and unfortunately no-one is 100% sustainable.
You’re an advocate of the slow-fashion movement. What top tips can you offer to someone embarking on this journey?
Anyone can start having a slow fashion approach, starting from today. The easiest way is through the 30-wears challenge, which consists of making sure that we use our clothes at least 30 times. So before you make your next purchase, ask yourself "Can I see myself wearing this at least 30 times?", if the answer is no, put it down and walk away!! This is the easiest and most sustainable approach we can take!
Living in Spain, I have to ask, what are your favourite green-beauty items?
Lately, I have been using products made out of Bulgarian rose, made with traditional techniques and produced in Europe! I frequently use organic rosehip oil, which is good for hydration and scars, but be careful the stains are almost impossible to clean!
Finally, is there a quote or mantra that you live by?
Every little helps! Avoiding one plastic cup or a straw today will leave a better world for future generations! It is everyone’s responsibility.