Basic Staples from Bamboo Body

Bamboo Body a brand proving you can Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good in timeless clothing.  Founded by sisters Amanda and Elouise in Australia Bamboo Body formed unexpectedly. Speaking with Amanda and Elouise helped paint a better picture of the sustainable fashion industry. Read below from them both on there journey and how all of us can cultivate a more sustainable lifestyle! 

How did you Amanda and Elouise get your start? What is your background? 

Elouise:  I have always loved sewing and wanted to be a fashion designer when I was a teenager.  I made most of my clothing including swimwear and my formal (prom) dress.  I studied and worked in a completely different field for many years but when the opportunity to create Bamboo Body came up, I jumped right in.  I think it is really, really awesome that I have come back to my early love of textiles and design.

Amanda:  I studied and worked in a completely different field for many years but felt a need to work in a more creative environment where I had ownership over projects.  I opened GlowMama Maternity Boutique in Brisbane Australia.  We still own and operate this business.  Brisbane is a warm environment and I had trouble sourcing maternity clothing that was breathable and made from natural fabrics.  Elouise and I decided it was an opportunity to create our own breathable clothing from natural fibres and Bamboo Body was born.

 Before you started Bamboo Body did you both have an interest in creating a sustainable product? 

No, not really.  We have always lead an eco-conscious life style and we try to reduce our impact on the environment.  It wasn't until we investigated the different fibres in more detail that we realised the massive environmental impact the textile industry has on the environment.  We then felt very strongly about finding a more sustainable alternative to cotton. 

 How did you find and fall in love with bamboo fabric?

When we were trying to find a more sustainable alternative to cotton we just happened to come across bamboo fabric. It was really new and not well known at the time.  We loved how soft and comfortable it was and when we found out it was made from such a sustainable resource we were hooked! 

 

What was your inspiration behind starting Bamboo Body? 

We were initially looking to supply breathable, natural fibre clothing to our maternity boutique in Brisbane but once we came across bamboo fabric we decided everyone needs to be wearing bamboo.  We decided to create Bamboo Body with the philosophy of look good, feel good, do good.  We wanted to bring bamboo fabric mainstream and create clothing that was simple, versatile and that would be worn time and time again.

Do you face any challenges creating sustainably? 

Yes we do experience challenges along the way.  It can be a little more expensive and a little more difficult to source sustainable fabrics.  

Also, while we are very conscious about using sustainable raw products, recycling and reusing, limiting waste and consumption, we are not perfect.  Bamboo fabric, whilst being an amazing alternative, is also not perfect.  Nothing is.  It can sometimes be difficult to strike the balance between living a life on the grid and having a financially sustainable business and limiting our impact on the environment.  With any type of consumption there is an impact.  We try hard to make a difference and we are environmentally conscious in all of our decisions.

What are your thoughts on what it means to live a conscious and sustainable life? 

Amanda:  It's the little decisions you make everyday that add up.  I am really concerned about the level of consumption and the amount of waste on Earth.  I think it is so important to be conscious about the resources you are using and the waste you are creating.  

Elouise:  I often think back to our wonderful great grandmother and how she lived her life.  Nothing was wasted, everything was reused and recycled.  Fruit and vegetables were home grown and swapped with neighbours.  Clothes and all possessions were chosen carefully, they were looked after and either worn out or passed on to someone else.   If possessions were damaged they were repaired rather than thrown out.  Our great grandmother was incredibly resourceful, healthy and happy. 

How do you practice living consciously and sustainably in your personal lives?  

Once again it is the small day to day decisions that all add up.  If possible I walk or ride my bike instead of driving.  I make considered purchases - do I really need this?  Will I get use out of it?  I grow many of my own herbs and vegetables.  I purchase and consume free range / organic food where ever possible.  I compost, recycle and reuse.  I will put another layer of clothing on rather than turn the heat on.  Our washing machine is connected to our rain water tank and I hang clothes out to dry rather than use the dryer.  

What advice would you give to the readers of Living Baree on how to buy and live consciously? 

It can seem difficult to strike the balance between living consciously and surviving in a modern world.  I think sometimes people get overwhelmed and it may seem that your small decisions will not make a difference one way or another.  But if everyone in the world lived a little more consciously it would have a big impact.  Make those small choices to live more sustainably every day.  Consider the resources you are using and the waste you are creating.  Know that every little step you take towards living a more sustainable life counts.

 

 

Images by: Michelle Kappeler

 

Sustainable Saturday - 01

Saturdays are for reflecting and recapping on the past week for me and what better way then to share with you all what my week was filled with. A weekly post on what I have read, listened to, watched and experienced in the journey to a Living Baree lifestyle. 

Books: Invincible Living by Guru Jagat a easy to read book introducing and exploring the practice of Kundalini yoga. Filled with detailed practices you can introduce into your daily life. It is a must read! 

Must WatchWaste Land a document releasing in 2010 showing Brazilian artist Vik Muniz's journey to document the people working in the world's largest landfill Jardim Gramacho (now closed). 

Podcast: The Ezra Klein Show Elizabeth Kolbert: We have Locked in Centuries of Climate Change. She simplifies how climate change is happening to better understand and it leaves you ready to start making an environmental difference to help save our planet! 

Events: Meeting of the Minds  a networking and social gathering event to unite revolutionary minds. This event takes place all over the United States and is expanding globally. It is filled with like minded people speaking and discussing the changes we wish to see in the world and how to begin to make these changes! Also featuring guest speakers Sah D'Simone, Jennifer Rossano of Neurotic Mommy and Joshua Dorfman speaking about the importance of a keeping a healthy gut and introducing meditation to our lives! 

 

What were the highlights of your week? Any incredible details you want to share with the Living Baree community? 

 

Meet Metalsmith Caitlin Cimino

I first came across Caitlin Cimino's line of fine jewelry on Instagram after being drawn in by the beauty and detail of her pieces I was pleased to discover her sustainable practices. I was fascinated and had to learn more about this amazing line and woman. With a warm, welcoming and excited heart Caitlin shared with me her past experiences and her journey into creating her namesake line. 

Meet metalsmith Caitlin Cimino, the woman hand mining her own stones and creating jewelry from recycled metals! 

How did you get your start? What is your background?

It began in 2010 after shoulder surgery nudged me to reevaluate my chosen career path: a path that did not allow me to embrace my love of art and nature. A few months after recovering from the surgery a friend’s birthday came and money was tight for me because I could not work while my shoulder was healing, so I made her a gift: a pair of earrings. After that, I couldn’t stop making jewelry. My creative fire had been ignited. After 2 years of jewelry play, in 2014, I traveled to Florence, Italy to study under a master jeweler. Since then, I’ve incorporated his teachings with my own self-taught metal-smithing practices which includes utilizing bits of nature with sustainable metals.

Before you started your personal line did you always have an interest in creating a sustainable product?

I believe it’s always been in me. I became vegetarian in 2008, after watching a video on factory farming. That video was the catalyst for wanting to learn more about where my food comes from and how the animals and the environment are affected in the process. That need to know and desire to be a positive change spread to all avenues of my life.

 

What was your inspiration behind creating sustainable jewelry?

It came from my understanding of the harmful effects mining for metals and gemstones has on the environment and it’s inhabitants. I’ve been mining my own stones for a few years now, but the day I learned the negative effects corporate metal-mining has on the environment, I put down my tools. I learned things like: 20 tons of toxic waste is created for ever .333 ounce (this of the size of a wedding band) of gold found and 180 million tons of toxic trash is created and dumped into our oceans, rivers and lakes per year from metal-mining worldwide. I took 8 months off and sat with the information, I let it really sink in and even contemplated leaving the industry, which over time really tore at my soul. Over time, I found reputable companies that provide jewelers with quality recycled metals, at which point I picked my tools back up again and decided to create consciously.

What challenges do you face creating sustainably? 

There really aren’t a lot of companies out there that sell quality recycled metals or findings (clasps, jump rings, chains, etc), so that can be a challenge when I need something specific. Luckily, most of the time I can make it myself, it just takes extra time and patience.

What are your thoughts on what it means to live a conscious and sustainable life?

For me, it means looking beyond immediate gratification - which is so prevalent in this day and age. The most conscious choices take effort, time and often, sacrifice. But, in the long run it makes all the difference to the health and the wellness of our planet and its inhabitants.

How do you practice living consciously and sustainably in your personal life? 

I compost the majority of my scrap food. I purchase organic produce and herbs. I’m a strict vegetarian and have been known to drive 2 hours to purchase eggs from happy chickens. I make many of my own skin care products along with natural medicines (I also study Herbalism in my spare time). The bits I’m unable to make myself, I read their labels and research the companies before I purchase their product.

What advice would you give to the readers of Living Baree on how to buy and live consciously? 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask! Be curious about EVERYTHING. Every product you use and every bit of food you ingest. Everything was brought to you with history, and that history may hold great weight. Through gaining knowledge, we are the ones that hold the power to make positive environmental and ethical changes.

 

 

All photos by: Caitlin Cimino

Sustainable Styling

At the start of my transition of living a more sustainable lifestyle I was approached by an incredible director and cinematographer to style a new film. After clearly stating my decision to only use repurposed fashion director Elle Ginter was quickly on board. The period short film for BMW's 100th anniversary proposed the opportunity to use all second hand finds throughout New York.

Some of my favorite vintage shops: 

Stella Dallas

L Train Vintage : They have multiple locations throughout the city and Brooklyn making it a staple! 

Local Etsy shops: I love editing my search for shops located in my area and asking if coordinating a pick up is possible. This helps eliminate any extra packaging waste plus you meet amazing people and get your items quicker! 

I would love to know what your favorite vintage and second hand shops are, let me know wherever you are located and what shops are always a go to for you! 

Enjoy Retrospect, created with passion by incredible people using only repurposed apparel! 

 

 

Image by: Kirsten VanSkiver

 

Film Credits

Director | Elle Ginter
Director of Photography | Allison Anderson

Starring | Jake Silbermann, Rachel Finninger
Stunt Driver | Josh Anthony

1st. Assistant Camera | Tyson VanSkiver
2nd Assistant Camera | Kim Herman
BTS Photographer | Kirsten VanSkiver
Drone Unit | Snaproll Media

Stylist | Rachel Bare
Makeup Artist | Zac Hart
Facial Prosthetics Artist | Kelley Coleman
Facial Prosthetics Artist | Shaun Gibson

Editor | Tyson VanSkiver
Colorist | Jeff Levine
Sound Design | Defacto Sound
Vocals & Cover | "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Hannah Sumner

A Conscious Body, Mind & Spirit

In January I gathered with men and women of all walks of life for a full day submerged into a learning haven at Maha Rose's wellness fest. A peaceful and inviting space located in Brooklyn, New York that opens its doors to learn and experience all types of holistic, spiritual and life changing practices. 

This day was filled with incredible people and healers it entailed a panelist discussion, mini hypnosis, mini Ayurveda, crystals 101 and self care rituals workshops. 

After submerging myself in an information packed day that opened my eyes to many new and interesting topics I was able to walk away feeling light, energized and ready to begin introducing some small and major lifestyle shifts.

Read below to see my top 3  take aways I believe are so important to share with you to help live a conscious life to support and nourish our  body, mind and spirit. 

  • Nourish your GUT! It is vital to keep your gut happy and healthy as 95% of your bodies serotonin (happy hormone)  lies in your gut. If your gut is happy your mind will be happy and vise versa! You can help nourish your gut by introducing items into your diet such as kombucha, probiotics, kimchi, and miso while also cutting out processed foods and refined sugars!   
  • Learning to let go of the I am not good enough mantra we say unintentionally and intentionally  to ourselves daily.  Instead feeding ourself with affirmations that supports and cares for you. One helpful hack I've included in my daily life is to record a message in your voice memos with all the things that you love about yourself and then listen to it daily! It helps to reshape your thought patterns and subconsciously change the way we view ourselves. 
  • Lifestyles are a practice and if you fall off it is OK, just pick up from where you fell of! It is a journey we are taking and making mistakes is going to happen but how you choose to pick yourself back up is truly how you become stronger! Lets not beat ourselves up for having a slip up but cheer ourselves on for choosing to get back up and try again! 

 

I would love to hear how your help nourish your gut, let got of negative mantras and  how you choose to cheer yourself on when you slip up!

Share your tips and experiences below! 

 

Sending you all love and gratitude

-Rachel 

 

 

All photos by Maha Rose

Why a Simply Bare lifestyle?

I've decided to live a simple, sustainable, beautiful and well-curated life. This was a decision I had to make after seeing how the industry, I have always dreamed of having a career in, has questioned and reshaped my values and beliefs.

Let's take a step back; here's a bit about my background and how I got to this place. I have been a creative person for as long as I can remember. At a very young age I was diagnosed with dyslexia and began my journey of being separated from the “normal” students to learn in a recourse room. This separation forced me to find more productive ways to engage and it sparked my interest in creativity and forming a way to learn and explore that worked best for me. It led me to practice and be a part of many different activities and groups from dance to photography and lots in between.

Through way of art school in Chicago, I have made my way to New York City and have begun my career as a fashion stylist and assistant to stylists for big brands, television shows and publications.  I have been exposed to many different facets of the fashion and media industry. This is an industry that consumes my life and forces stress upon me because I am a part of selling products that I do not believe in or stand for.

As fashion is the second largest global polluter, I struggle to support an industry that is harming this beautiful planet we live on. I want to explore how to have fashion in our lives, but in a way that both supports and brings awareness to improving our environment.

I am searching to find the tools to live this overall conscious life I am craving not only in fashion but wellness, health and beyond. Simply Bare is my way to document and explore becoming the most balanced, sustainable and conscious version of me. As we take this journey together I hope to inspire you along the way!

With love and gratitude! 

-Rachel