"The Forest is Home"
I was recently at my family's cabin in the Rocky Mountains gazing at the lake and a view of a mountain called Bear Mountain, named this because it is known for its bears (surprise surprise). An hour before I arrived a momma black bear and her two cubs were on our property searching for berries. This would have been my third encounter with a black bear in less than two years. Always a frightening experience but when everything turns out OK, it is pretty cool. I've seen a baby black bear climb up a tree less than 50 feet away from me and Christmas day of 2016 a sleepy bear snuck up on my sister and me while we were hiking on Northern Vancouver Island.
I have always been a forest and mountain girl. Don't get me wrong the beach is bomb but I think I will always prefer a lake in the mountains and trees, that is so cold you lose your breath when you jump in. How amazing to wander around in the woods seeking out wild raspberries, saskatoon berries and the ultimate find huckleberries. Climbing trees that have fallen over and trying to figure out how to get across the creek without getting your feet wet.
The forest is my home and the Black Bear is my Spirit Animal. With this in mind, you can see why I was so excited to add a sustainably made, locally designed sweater with a black bear and the quote "the forest is home" to my wardrobe.
Meet Kaya Dorey the creator of Novel Supply Co.
"Our apparel is designed with the West Coast lifestyle in mind. We love weekend adventures to cozy cabins, exploring the local mountains, bike crawls, craft brew, seawall strolls, street art and hunting for the best cup of joe in the city. "
I don't think anyone could have said it better and it sums up everything I want in my life and in my clothes. Rad sweaters that take me from my favourite coffee shop (49th Parallel) to a cabin on a lake in the Rocky Mountains.
Novel Supply Co. uses hemp and organic cotton in their clothing and everything else is non-toxic. They team up with local artists to create the designs for their apparel and are nominated for a "Sustainable Small Business Award" at the UN. I would say you got one bad ass chick making rad clothing. Novel Supply Co. is a company you will want to keep your eye on.
Check out their website for more information, other designs or get your hands on my awesome new bear sweater.
Here's my favourite poem about the forest, and loving yourself.
“Listen to me, your body is not a temple. Temples can be destroyed and desecrated. Your body is a forest—thick canopies of maple trees and sweet scented wildflowers sprouting in the underwood. You will grow back, over and over, no matter how badly you are devastated.”- Beau Taplin
Everyone can nerd out about something. Usually, I nerd out on Harry Potter, dogs, small odd shaped vegetables, dogs, flowers, bees and sometimes I watch ants for hours with my friend Monica with more enthusiasm than anyone could possibly imagine.
Recently my nerdy side came through when I saw a dress with the Periodic Table silk screened on it in a store called Smoking Lily. You can check the dress out here. I tried the dress on but didn't buy it because I didn't love the way the neck line sat on me, but otherwise, the fit through the waist and hips was great. It was EXTREMELY comfortable and I love the way they styled it on their website with bright red Dr. Martens. I can envision some bad ass scientist babe rocking it on the street or while giving a lecture if real-time cinematography of urban nature can influence city dwellers perspective of nature within city limits. (If you would like to learn more about this check out "Life in Reel Time" by Monica Gehrig.)
I did however purchase one of their bamboo loop scarves. I thought the pattern was adorable, I liked how light weight the scarf was and I imagined wearing it with my Jungmaven dress in the winter. I am very excited about Smoking Lily's fall line, particularly their Pablo Tee and their Saturday Tunic. Smoking Lily also has a cool line of accessories and pillows you can only buy in-store. They stuff the pillows with leftover scraps and their goal is to be a zero fabric waste company.
For more about their sustainability efforts, local production, and how they got started, check their About Page or visit them in-store on Main Street in Vancouver or Government Street in Victoria.
I honestly wouldn't say I am stylish. Most clothes I look at don't interest me at all. I see them as a trend that has already lost its wind. The latest fashions often leave me thinking (especially because I live in Vancouver) "If there was an earthquake and I survived how would I crawl out of the debris wearing that, you can't even lift your arms?" or "If someone tries to assault me, will I be able to utilize my greatest strength, my speed and be able to run away in those shoes", usually the answer is no and then I have no interest in it.
What I spend hours obsessing over are basic t-shirts that always look great with a pair of jeans and shorts; or a dress I can throw on at any moment and go for a walk to the library, beach or get coffee in. If there is a natural disaster I will be thankful I am wearing something that allows me full range of my arms and legs, and I won't ever be stuck in shoes I can only walk on flat surfaces in.
This may be a weird driving force behind my fashion but it basically goes along with another personal idea of only wearing things I feel comfortable in. I take pride in my practical style and if I was ever stuck in a compromising state I would be thankful to be wearing the Jungmaven Beach Dress I recently bought.
What I love about the dress:
The length and cut - I hate walking around feeling like my butt may be hanging out, and I can easily wear shorts underneath in case I am walking back from the beach and decide I want to do some climbing and upside down hanging from the monkey bars.
The weight of the fabric - it is a perfect in between of being great for a summer day over a bathing suit, or a cooler winter day over leggings with a wool scarf.
It is made out of hemp - I won't get into why I love hemp so much on this post but you can check out Jungmaven for more of their styles and click on their About Page to find out more about their sustainability efforts and why they love hemp.
A few months back I made the decision to move from a small town on Vancouver Island, where I worked on a farm for 9 months, to the city of Vancouver. I was anxious about moving and stressed about only owning farm clothes and what would I wear to job interviews once I moved to the city. I scoured the internet to find something I thought would look professional but I had gotten used to wearing only comfy clothes that allowed me to bend and move without pinching or adjusting. I wanted to maintain this level of comfort and still feel confident while living in a cosmopolitan city.
I stumbled upon Tessa Hughes Apparel and their Raglan Dress which fit into my demand for comfy, versatile, easy to style clothing. The apparel is loose fitting so I felt confident in purchasing it online without previously trying it on.
Tessa has recently rebranded her company to make her clothing more affordable, as ethical fashion can be very expensive and beyond many people's price range, but she still has the same ethical and quality standards.