It was another day of sun in Los Angeles when we sat down at Galerie.LA with Kat Vargas, the beautiful mind behind the slow fashion and lifestyle blog, Finding Katnis. We had the pleasure of getting to know Kat and her sustainable practices as well as dress her up for a fun photo shoot in a few of her GLA favorites.
Kat is a perfect example of what the slow fashion journey is all about - a constant rediscovery of your relationship with fashion and a commitment to introducing better habits into your life one step at a time. We can all use the reminder that it is not about being perfect, it is about being better.
Read the full Q&A below and follow along Kat's journey on her blog Finding Katnis.
1. Hemp Tie Button Down Sage $135
2.Hemp Utility Pants Black $170
3. Anna Macrame Bag Black $235
What’s your background? Where are you from?
I was born and raised in the Bronx (New York), to immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic. I spent most of my childhood and teenage years in New York through the year, and spent my summers in the Dominican Republic where I still have a lot of family.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability to me is always evolving - It is more of a journey than something fully tangible. Overall, sustainability involves all the ways we can minimize our impact on the planet’s current state, and actively promoting a healthy environment. For me that journey has involved reducing my production of waste by switching to more plant based products (in food, clothing, cosmetics etc) and purchasing items packaging free whenever possible.
What are your top travel picks at GALERIE.LA?
Its hard to pick just a few! Galerie LA has so many great travel friendly options!
1.Chloe Jumpsuit : Jumpsuits make it easy to put together an outfit and help save space in your suitcase. Plus, you can always look effortlessly put together in a jumpsuit.
3.Pinatex Bum Bag : A fanny Pack or Bum Bag is an absolute travel must for me when going to places where I know I will doing a lot of walking and want to be handsfree. Always a bonus if the bag doubles as a clutch for a night out - Versatility is key for travel!
What GALERIE.LA sustainable value badge do you resonate with most and why?
I would like to think that all of the Value badges are of great importance to truly call an item sustainable, however the Eco-Friendly badge is probably the one I more actively pursue first.
What are your favorite eco-friendly fabrics and why?
I wear a lot of Tencel now-a-days, which is made from wood pulp. I love linen for summer!
1. Margot Dress Ochre $192
2. Meria Sunglasses $95
3. Plant Dyed Easy Robe Black $165
4. Pinatex Bum Bag $168
How would you describe your personal style?
I’d say my style is a mixture of classic and tropical. Having a Caribbean background and spending so much of my time out there growing up, I developed a love of pops of color in clothing. I do not get to visit my Island as often as I used to, so its nice to bring a little of that tropical feel in LA through my style. I am still a huge fan of very classic silhouettes and timeless pieces.
What are your go-to places to eat and shop in LA?
If I were to say Galerie LA am I being too predictable? Haha I love that shopping here feels guilt free since a lot of the vetting happens before a new brand is introduced to the shop, so I know that anything I pick up in the store will align with my values. The Row in general is amazingly curated with shops and restaurants so anyone looking for an all-in-one experience should definitely make the trip there!
How are you sustainable in your day-to-day life?
Although my public journey mainly focused on shopping sustainable clothing brands, I have adapted a more sustainable lifestyle for my day-to-day by bringing my own shopping and produce bags to markets, composting, refusing single use cups and bringing my own reusable cup whenever possible. I also buy non-toxic home care and cleaning products from a local refill shop! Adapting more of a plant based diet and limiting my consumption of animal products has been a huge sustainability milestone for me in the last 2 years.
What’s your morning ritual?
Mornings can be a bit hectic for me so I’m actively trying to bring a little more zen and polish my routine. Right now it consists of a good morning stretch, dry brushing before the shower to promote circulation, a good face and body oil application and I can’t forget my morning coffee!
Why is it important for you to combine your ethics with where you work?
I don’t think I would be able to give 100% at work if I felt like my ethics were being constantly challenged. It would not be a very sustainable (!!) partnership.
1. Hemp Utility Jacket Ocean $172
2. Shalom Jumpsuit $132
What tips would you give to someone trying to achieve a more sustainable lifestyle?
Take it step by step. Find an area in your life where the change would make the most impact. Remove temptation from your line of view by unfollowing brands and companies that are promoting unsustainable habits on social media and start to follow accounts that inspire you to be more sustainable every day.
Where’s one place you’ve traveled that you would go again?
Japan! I am already planning a new trip for 2020! There are a lot of other places I would revisit (Italy, Portugal, Mexico, Etc) but Japan is always at the top of my list.
What is one goal you have for 2020?
To completely eliminate single use plastics from my home. This might sound very ambitious but I’m already half-way there! Worst case scenario I still eliminate some plastic from my home.
What are some of your favorite Instagram accounts to follow?
What publications (digital or print) do you read to find inspiration for living more sustainably?
Watch Our Interview with Kat on Youtube HERE!
Photo credit @thankthealienz
Video credit @plantlikethings