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Hi, I’m Kristen! First off you might be wondering, “What does Terra Vitae mean?”. Great question. In Latin, ‘terra‘ means Earth, and ‘vitae‘ means life. The Terra Vitae blog is aimed at promoting a more Earth-conscious fashion industry, respecting both the planet and it’s people.

A little bit of background on me: I have a degree in Environmental Science and Political Science, and I spend my nine to five as an environmental professional supporting the mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). I started this blog when I realized my passion for environmental responsibility and interest in fashion completely contradicted one another.

Since my college days, I’ve always avidly believed in the phrase “dress well, test well”. Feeling good in what I’m wearing always gives me a confidence boost whether it’s for a big meeting at work, meeting up with the girls, or on date night.

I enjoy shopping and hunting for deals on clothes and shoes. With today’s technology, it’s so easy to shop online. With everything from Like To Know It (which sends you outfit deets within a matter of minutes), to a constant stream of emails from your favorite stores, there is always something new to look at. And it’s easiest to do from the comfort of your own couch.

But then, just like that, my perception changed when I learned that the fashion industry is the second largest polluter worldwide (per Eileen Fisher).

I was shocked and a little bit embarrassed. Two things I loved – protecting the environment and dressing well – seemed to be at odds with one another. Like I had to choose one or the other – I couldn’t have fashion without feeling like I was contradicting my environmental beliefs.

It’s so easy to overlook this, to not consider the impact that buying a garment has on the planet and it’s people. I think that human nature is inherently a bit selfish, and a lot of the time we don’t fully consider the impact that our actions can have. Especially when it comes to the environment.

So, I’m on a mission (and I hope you’ll join me!). Together, we can change the fashion industry for the better. We can reduce, reuse, and recycle, while still looking great. This is my journey to be more conscious about what clothes I’m buying, how often I’m buying them, and what to do with them when I no longer wear them anymore. After all, as consumers, we vote every time we purchase something. If we want to make a difference, first we must be educated about where our money goes, and the effect that it has on the environment.

The good news – great news in fact – is that as consumers, we have all the power. If we, collectively, stop purchasing something, manufacturers will stop making it. If we, collectively, start supporting brands that are environmentally responsible, they will become more successful. I aim to assess and share which fashion brands are environmentally-friendly, and which brands aren’t so that we can make an educated “vote” every time we purchase something.

I am hopeful that one day, fashion and environmental stewardship are not mutually exclusive. That’s where this blog comes in. My intention for this blog is hold myself accountable for the clothes I wear, and the brands that I support. I hope to learn, and to share what I learn with others so that we can make educated decisions not only about what we choose to buy and wear, but also about how our decisions impact the environment.

~Kristen

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