Sustainable Fashion Spotlight & Interview: Sundays Designs

I recently had the pleasure of working with Sundays Designs (formerly Vegan Resortwear). Their founder, Edina, is so sweet and very dedicated to sustainable fashion and vegan living. Check out the interview I did with her below!

Pieces I’m wearing: Hermosa Linen Tie-Back Top Navy and Hermosa Linen Lounge Pants Oatmeal

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Sundays Designs: Allison, would you please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you and your lifestyle? 

 Me: Hi! I’m from Scottsdale, AZ and currently live in Long Beach, CA. I’m a freelance graphic designer, photographer, stylist, and creative director. It’s awesome being my own boss! I also have an eco/vegan fashion, lifestyle, photography, and travel blog. 

 

Sundays Designs: You had been vegetarian for quite long time but later became a vegan. What’s your advice to those who have hard time starting Veganism or to those who are still transitioning and feeling stuck?

Me: To be honest, going vegan was the best thing I could have done for my health, the health of others, the environment and for animals in my lifetime. It’s such an extraordinary thing that you can heal your body from the inside out with plants and live a lifestyle of loving other sentient beings and our planet – and the food is amazing! When I see something non-vegan that looks and smells delicious, for example pizza, mac & cheese, or a cupcake, I just think to myself, “I don’t need this now, I can be patient to find a vegan version of this later.” It’s not about limiting your taste buds; it’s about finding alternatives that are better for you, others, the planet, and animals. 

 If you need any inspo for going vegan, there is an abundance of environmental and vegan Instagram accounts, and documentaries on the Internet that I swear by. I keep a list on my phone in case someone asks me for vegan inspiration because they are thinking about becoming one. 

Documentaries: Forks Over Knives, Earthlings, Cowspiracy, “The Best Speech You’ll Ever Hear” – Gary Y on YouTube, Food Choices, Vegucated, Live and Let Live, Simply Raw, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, Food Inc, Food Matters, Hungry For Change, Hell For Leather, 101 Reasons to Go Vegan, What the Health, etc.

Instagramers: @nutrition_facts_org, @sobeautifullyreal, @naturally.jo, @mindfuldiabeticrobby, @minimalistbaker, @nourishtheday, @bestofvegan, @vegancuts, @ehvegan, @365cleaneats, @yvonnesvegankitchen, @veganfoodpoint, @eatcleanwithsarah, @natalyahardan, @bionic_vegan, @avantgardevegan, @rainbowplantlife, @vegancommunity, @choosingchia, @loveandlemons, @theveganfiesta, @breezybalance, @lonijane, @panaceas_pantry, @veganfoodspot, @losvegangeles and @veganfatkid (if you’re in LA), @fullyrawkristina, @veganricha, @elsas_wholesomelife, @veganpregnancyandparenting (not now, but I still follow them for future knowledge haha), @vegan, @donutfriend, @cinnaholic, @eatdrinkvegan, @third_eye_vegan, @domzthompson, @veganwelcome, @crossroadskitchen, @vegetaryn, @plantpurenation, @ved_md, @veganflexzone, @farmsanctuary, @vegansofig, @ellenfisher, etc. etc. 

The reason people fail at being a vegan and end up going back to meat is often times because they lack creativity and motivation. Learning how to cook and learning how to cook vegan are both a challenge for some people and it can get boring and restrictive if you don’t intentionally seek out new things to make or have a 20-25 go-to meal ideas. If you have amazing vegan options at restaurants in your city – awesome! If not, cooking yourself will be even more essential. There are a lot of social, cultural, and environmental pressures that keep people “off track”, or “stuck in a rut”...it’s hard to change to vegan if you don’t live near many vegan options, or have family members who may be teasing you for your choices, but don’t forget; you have the resources and a massive vegan community that can help you!

My mother has her RN, MBA, and just finished her PhD in Nursing and Healthcare Innovation and is starting a company called WellOptima, that is especially, specifically designed for helping people who are “stuck” in changing their behavior—the whole point is to help people make changes in their health and wellness that they can “maintain”. She quickly turned vegan after I did, is an encyclopedia of knowledge on this topic and can assist in plant-based living and wellness motivation if you or someone you know could use it. 

 

Sundays Designs: We know how much you love to cook! Do you have any good vegan recipe book recommendations? 

 Me: I’m much more of a “buy it and look at the pretty pictures for inspo” type of recipe book buyer than one who actually follows recipes to a tee. Thug Kitchen is wildly entertaining and sassy in the verbiage and the food looks amazing. I also like Beautifully Real Food by one of my fave Instagram gals @sobeautifullyreal. Everything is actually so beautiful and I wish I could fly to Australia just to try some of her goodies she sells at a local shop there. 

 

Sundays Designs: Do you have a favorite recipe that you can share with us?

Me: Oh my goodness where do I start?! There are so many recipes I love but I don’t follow a lot of things precisely. I more have a general idea of what I want to make or look in the fridge for what ingredients need to be eaten first. We don’t like to have food go bad before we eat it! One particular one I love for the holidays coming up is raspberry cobbler. FAIR WARNING – this isn’t “healthy vegan”; this is “naughty vegan”. My mom would always make it for Thanksgiving growing up and since I, and then my family transitioned to vegans and mostly-vegans we altered the recipe so it’s vegan as well. Side note, my mom and I hope to make a cookbook together some day where we can include our favorites! This recipe is super simple and I’m going off of memory. 

 

Vegan Raspberry Cobbler

Ingredients:

½ cup organic vegan margarine (melted) 

½ cup organic sugar (for crumble)

1 cup organic all purpose flour

2 tbsp organic sugar (for raspberries)

3 cups organic fresh raspberries 

Directions: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

2. Combine melted margarine, sugar, and flour into a mixing bowl until it’s a soft but crumbly dough. If it needs to be more crumbly, add more flour. If it needs to be softer, add more margarine. 

3. Take ½ of dough and press it into a lightly greased pan to create a thin crust – about the height of four pennies stacked. Bake in oven for 5-8 minutes while you wash and prep the berries.

4. Mix the sugar and fresh, washed raspberries in a bowl. 

5. Take out crust from oven and spread raspberry mixture on top. Take the remaining ½ of the crumble dough and disperse evenly on top. Place in the oven for 35-45 minutes or until top is golden brown. 

6. Top off with some vanilla vegan ice cream or eat as is! Enjoy!

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Sundays Designs: We think a vegan lifestyle should go hand in hand with living a sustainable lifestyle. When did you become more conscious about this lifestyle, and what inspired you? 

Me: I always said I would never be vegetarian, and then I turned 15 and my brother and his friends were blowing up little guppies and tiny critters in the backyard with explosive because boy teenagers (queue the eye roll) and I said on a whim that after that night I wanted to be a vegetarian because of animal cruelty. They all mocked me and said I’d never last. So at first I did it to show them that I could, and then I really became to love it and learned more about it.  

Then college happened and I had a random vegan roommate for a summer my junior year. I never wanted to go vegan because I loved cheese, sweets, and all my designer purses/shoes too much. I loved fashion and luxurious things. I wanted to be comfortably unaware; I knew if I saw the documentaries I wouldn’t be able to look back. Whelp, you guessed it… I watched the documentaries and she turned me real quick – only took about a month for me to go vegan haha. 

At first, I only ate vegan and still wore my leather/suede shoes and bags even though I kinda felt guilty. It wasn’t until the summer after college when I was moving to Long Beach where I realized I had to cut down my wardrobe by at least 1/3rd. This meant I had to get rid of all the animal products. Almost everyday that summer I would go to work and come home and list my non-vegan pieces on Poshmark or eBay as well as clothing that wasn’t my style or didn’t fit anymore. It was a lot of work and I was actually very sad about letting some things go but it was much needed. I had a shopping addiction since I was in high school and certain pieces made me feel so good. It was difficult but after that transition it got a lot easier.

From there I started learning more about sustainable, ethical, and vegan fashion and fell in love with fashion all over again. But this time, it was different. It was about being a conscious consumer with everything - what’s on your plate, what you wear, and the products you buy and use. Now, I use every chance I get to educate friends, family, and strangers on the affects our purchases have on the planet and most of them are in complete disbelief. I also have become an avid compost scrap collector, recycler, and bring my own containers and utensils everywhere. I’m not zero waste, but I definitely try to do low-waste living as best I can. I feel like a whole new person than I was three or four years ago. 

 

Sundays Designs: What are the most important aspects to you regarding ethical and sustainable brands? 

Me:

1. Has to be vegan - obviously

2. Sustainable materials  - linen, modal, tencel, organic cotton, recycled cotton, eucalyptus, hemp, bamboo, etc.

3. Sustainable production - methods that enhance sustainability like less water, less waste, zero waste, eco friendly factory, safe/natural dyes, etc.

4. Ethical production - workers treated fairly, fair-trade, no sweatshops, etc.

5. Country of origin - Generally, the USA, Europe, Australia, and Canada have better and safer regulations for workers than Asia, Africa, and Central/South America. However, it depends on the factory – I’ve heard of some in Mexico and India, for example, that are higher quality and more sustainable and ethical than alternative factories in the USA. 

6. Charitable and give to philanthropic causes - Love this one! Bonus if the charity is sustainability, vegan, animal welfare, or environment related.

7. Transparency - I love to see photos of factories, workers, etc.

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 Sundays Designs: What’s your fashion look? 

Me: My fashion look is mostly bohemian, and mixed with romantic, edgy, and vintage/retro. 

 

Sundays Designs: What’s your opinion on “sustainable” leather, silk and wool products? Could these be ever sustainable? 

Me: This is a highly debated topic and everyone is open to their own opinion, but for me, I do not find these materials sustainable or ethical. The only argument you can make for “sustainable leather” is if you bought something secondhand at a thrift or consignment store, but even then it doesn’t check off the “ethical” box for me because I’d be walking around with a dead animal on my feet. Saying leather is a “bi-product” of the meat industry and that using it is sustainable because it’s not going to waste is just naïve; leather on its own is a huge industry and billions of animals are slaughtered for it, not just cows. 

Although I no longer purchase wool or silk, I’m much more lenient on these than I am with leather products. I think out of my whole closet I may still have a couple silk or wool-based pieces but I’m in the process of weeding those out and selling them. Harvesting wool is often unethical as wool farmers often gash, cut, and harm the animals in the process of cutting their wool from their bodies but the process itself doesn’t kill the animal. There are some “ethical” wool harvesters that boast about how well they treat their sheep, but it’s still not our wool to take even though it’s a much more natural fiber than the typical plastic-based wool alternative, acrylic. As for silk, this is a more natural fiber as well compared to the plastic-based polyester. The process of harvesting the silk kills so many worms. To be honest, I really don’t like bugs and the process kind of grosses me out just thinking of larvae and their cocoons. Basically, leather kills the animal, wool harms the animal, and silk kills most of the worms but I don’t consider them to have the morality or consciousness that a cow, pig, sheep, etc. would have. 

 

Sundays Designs: As a photographer who loves to travel, what’s your favorite location you have been so far, and what’s on your bucket list? 

 Me: My list is never-ending! It’s too hard to pick one, but some of my favorite places I’ve been to are Morocco, Belize, Thailand, Laos, Australia, Chile, Argentina, Guatemala, Italy, Alaska, Israel, and Spain. My top three places on my bucket list right now are Bali, Costa Rica, and Iceland. 

 

Sundays Designs: Do you prefer AirBnb or eco-resorts? 

Me: I’ve only stayed in one true eco-resort and it was the vegan Stanford Inn in Mendocino, CA. Cha Creek in Belize was very eco-friendly as well and a beautiful hidden gem in the jungle. They were amazing but I do love the flexibility of Airbnbs. It honestly depends on if I’m on a trip with my family or if I’m with friends. Family – eco resort 100% (also, mom and dad are paying). Friends – Airbnb 100% because it normally ends up being cheaper, we have more space, and you have way more freedom. 

 

Sundays Designs: What changes do you want to see in the fashion world in the future?

Me: I’d love to see more vegan, sustainable, and ethical options popping up! I want to see more designers and brand seeking alternatives. The information, resources, and materials are out there; I think there just needs to be more effort put in by consumers. The more consumers demand, the more shift we’ll be able to make! 

I also really struggle to find trendy vegan wide brim hats, so if there’s someone out there reading this that has been thinking about doing this, PLEASE DO. So many of them have wool, leather, and suede on them and it’s pretty disappointing. I get most of mine off of Poshmark but settle for the cheaper made ones because they are “vegan”. Most other fashion pieces I can find cute and vegan though. 

In addition, shout out to Stella McCartney for basically being the only luxury vegan brand. I think if more big designers and brands followed her example, people would think going vegan would be a whole lot easier. People are all about convenience, if it’s convenient to buy vegan at any price without scarifying quality or trend why wouldn’t you?

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Vegan Eats: Easy Homemade Dough & Pizza Recipes

Last week I was craving pizza! Rather than go out and get some, I wanted to challenge myself to make it on my own and I also needed to use up some things in the fridge. I have purchased pre-made crusts in the past, but they’re never as good as homemade and they have all the extra pesky packaging. Trying to avoid purchasing pre-made things if I can make them from scratch at home and to get more on board with the low-waste vegan living, but some things you just have to buy at the store (ie. most vegan cheese – although, I can make a mean cashew cheese myself).

The dough is so easy to make and you have so many variations with toppings. Next time I think I’ll try a buffalo, pesto, or barbeque base! I split the dough into two portions, so I had one pizza one day and a different type the next – which explains the two different outfits haha.

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Dough:

-1 package (2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast

-1 cup warm water

-1 tbsp sugar

-2 tbsp olive oil

-2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more as needed)

 

Day 1 Pizza

-1/2 of dough

-2/3 cup tomato sauce

-3/4 cup vegan cheese shreds

-1/3 cup corn

-1/3 cup broccoli florets (steamed)

-3 cloves garlic (minced)

-Garlic salt to taste

 

Day 2 Pizza

-1/2 of dough

-2/3 cup tomato sauce

-3 slices vegan mozzarella

-1 vine tomato (diced)

-1/4 cup corn

-1/4 cup onion (diced)

-4 cloves garlic (minced)

-Handful of basil leaves

-Garlic salt to taste

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Dough:

1. Combine the yeast, warm water, and sugar in a large mixing bowl and allow mixture to rest for about 5 minutes.

2. Add the olive oil, flour, and salt adding more flour as needed to make for soft pizza dough. The dough should be a little sticky but not overly gooey and you should be able to work with it with your hands. If it is too gooey, add more flour.

3. On a lightly floured surface, kneed the dough for 5-10 minutes. Once completed, put the dough into a greased bowl and let sit in a warm place for an hour. During this time, the dough should rise quite a bit.

4. Once the dough has risen, take out of bowl and kneed again on a floured surface. Cut dough in half and save half for later.

Pizza:

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Sautee veggies and fix-ins in a lightly greased pan and add water as needed in 1 tsp -1 tbsp increments.

2. As toppings are cooking, prepare the base of your pizza. Roll and flatten half of dough into your desired shape on your pizza pan or tray. Add tomato sauce and sprinkle cheese evenly on top of pizza. You can add any toppings or seasonings that don’t need to be sautéed separately now (ie. basil)

3. Once toppings have been sufficiently cooked, spread over pizza and pop in the oven for 25-35 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

4. Add any additional seasonings you may want (ie. garlic salt, red pepper, vegan grated parmesan), slice, and enjoy! 

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Banana Berry Smoothie Bowl feat. Zero Waste Almond Milk Maker, Almond Cow

GUYS! Need to tell you about my new almond milk maker from Almond Cow. I had been wanting to start making my own plant-based milks, so when Almond Cow approached me I was so excited! Basically, it’s a super easy nut milk maker that takes less than a minute to make once you’ve prepped and soaked the nuts.

There is a fast-growing trend for plant-based food products in general, especially dairy replacements, following research about the effects of the dairy industry on the environment, including environmental pollution, harm to animals, and negative effects to human health. A great resource for  learning about the negative health effects of dairy consumption is nutritionfacts.org. Here is the link to dairy specific topics.

Consuming lots of dairy products, including milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream is very engrained in our society, and an important part of our traditions and culture—but people often don’t take a step back to ask why we do this and how the consumption of dairy products affects others and our planet. This is one of the many reasons I’m a vegan.  

I’ve been buying plant-based milks at the store for years now and they’re great – love them! However, most of the packaging is not recyclable and has bits and pieces of plastic and there is often many other additives in the milks. These additives aren’t bad necessarily, but it’s nice to know exactly what’s going into your food and there is a sense of pride in making your stuff from scratch.

I started off with making some classic almond milk, chocolate almond milk, and then dove into a tasty smoothie bowl. Without further adieu, here are the recipes:

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ALMOND MILK:

makes 2-3 pitchers

-1 cup soaked almonds (4+ hours)

-6 cups of water

-Pinch of salt

-1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

-4 tbsp agave nectar 

-1/4 cup cocoa powder (for the chocolate almond milk!)

SMOOTHIE BOWL:

makes one serving

-1/2 cup frozen berries

-1 frozen banana

-1 cup almond milk from above recipe 

-1 tsp of chia seeds

-1 tsp of flaxmeal

-1 tsp of hemp seeds

-4 tbsp granola 

-1 tbsp gogi beries

-2-5 strawberries sliced

-1/2 banana sliced

-1/4 of mango sliced

-

ALMOND MILK: 

1. Take 1/3 of soaked almonds and place in cup of Almond Cow

2. Add water into base of Almond Cow

3. Close container and press Almond Cow button on top

4. After Almond Cow turns off, pour out milk into a pitcher container

5. Stir in rest of ingredients

6. Repeat process 2 more times. The Almond Cow portion size makes about 2-3 pitchers worth.

7. For chocolate almond milk, stir in the cocoa powder until blended completely

*Rather than tossing almond pulp, you can save/freeze pressed almond pulp to make almond cheese or compost scraps!

SMOOTHIE BOWL:

-Blend frozen berries, frozen banana, and almond milk

-Pour in a bowl and add remaining toppings; granola, gogi berries, hemp seeds, chia seeds, flaxmeal, sliced strawberries, sliced mango, and sliced banana.

-Enjoy!

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My Low-Waste (Vegan) Lifestyle

I do my very best to reduce trash and disposables in my life, but I am not full “zero-waste”. I eat no animal products (dairy, eggs, meat, fish, and honey) and avoid wearing animal products like leather and suede. I’d like my lifestyle choices to be kind to the environment in as many ways as I can. 

I cleared my closet of animal products when I moved to California almost 2 years ago. I may still have a few items with leather embellishment and maybe a wool hat or two but it's hard to tell exactly what it's made of if it's missing a materials tag. Not going to lie — me being a fashionista my whole life, this cleanse was tough, but I feel so much better now! 

I think that this is a big step toward living in a more sustainable manner.  I've only personally met a handful of people that live a full vegan lifestyle and only one that was “zero-waste” — sure I see the ones on social media, but in general, these lifestyles are very rare. When you limit all of your shopping options to this level, it can be overly restrictive. Anything extra that you can do to reduce the amount of animal products and garbage/waste that you consume or produce is a good option! I like to think of searching for vegan low or zero-waste items as an opportunity and challenge to find more sustainable items/products/food. It makes me very happy when I choose kindness for both people and the planet.  :) 

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So, while I am moving towards more “zero-waste” options, I am really more “low-waste”… I could never do full “zero-waste” for a few key reasons: 

1. Convenience, time, and my taste buds are a big factor. I like my tofu, tempeh, soy/pea protein vegan meats, seitan, almond based yogurt, vegan coconut milk ice cream mochi (when I can find it), and vegan cheese. I just don’t have the time or resources to make all of these products myself. I can make a bomb cashew cheese and cashew cheese sauce, fresh pesto, lentil bolognaise sauce, and attempt some homemade seitan or nut milks – but the rest of the items seem pretty out of my league. If you know where to get some of these products zero-waste around Long Beach (or LA/OC within a reasonable distance) let me know!

2. I like to wear makeup. Nothing too crazy, but just the basics! I haven’t found a vegan, cruelty-free, makeup brand that has the products I normally use with a recycling program or with compostable/fully recyclable packaging. If you know of any, hit me up! I also go through makeup extremely slowly, which is a good thing — it’s not like I am using a lot of product or packaging. I’ve had my daily eyeshadow and bronzer for at least four or five years, so some perspective is in order!

3. You must consider your own living environment, and others. Composting in an apartment can be obviously difficult, and impractical, depending on your living situation. We currently have limited freezer space for me to freeze scraps and take to a composting site later on. I would love to start composting someday — I saw a super cool composter that turns food scraps into soil within 24 hours on Kickstarter! Expense, appropriate space, and facilities is a common barrier, so you may certainly have to scale back what you can do until you can be in the proper space, place and time. Having a yard, garden, or a really convenient setup makes a huge difference in how all this can work. Typically local urban gardens will take your compost or in some big cities have services or drop off sites. You also don’t want your struggle for an environmentally low-impact lifestyle to have a high negative impact on your relationships with your roommate, spouse, or significant other. While being kind to the environment is important, people come first — for some things, it’s always best to just do your best, and not obsess! 

4. A lot of mailed packages arrive encased in Styrofoam or other non-recyclable materials. I did learn recently that the City of Los Angeles will recycle styrofoam, but Long Beach will not even though it's technically LA County (sigh). And yes, the items delivered I cannot get second-hand or at a thrift shop. Whenever I know I can buy something elsewhere without the waste, I do so! I’ve heard of some zero-waste people taking these materials back to the post office, but I need to look more into this. 

5. Traveling and eating out can be a barrier as well. I always bring my metal cutlery set but often when doing either of these things, restaurants prepare meals with unnecessary disposables despite ordering from more health conscious/vegan-friendly places.

6. Medical and necessary health products are a must. If you have regular medicines, get sick, or have another issue that requires medical attention, you need to use the proper products to aid your health — many of which have extra waste and packaging for sterilization and sanitation purposes.

Despite my handful of barriers, I’m really trying my best to reduce plastic use and disposables when I can. I’ve been researching zero-waste places to buy products around me and have found some great spots. One spot in particular is called Co-Opportunity in Culver City. It is amazing! They have a location in Santa Monica too but it doesn’t have a deli. They have so many items in bulk. You can get apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, liquid soaps, detergents, lotion, buy zero-waste by bringing your own containers or buy the glass mason jars they have there.

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I had been using zero-waste shampoo and conditioner bars, and although I loved the shampoo, the conditioner didn’t actually make my hair silky or help me get out knots so I was super excited to find some liquid shampoo and conditioner that I could refill! It’s vegan, eco-friendly, smells like lavender, and works wonders. What a find!

I’ve been in the process of replacing my pantry items into jars. I got a label maker — yeah I know, also not technically zero-waste, but it reduces a lot of packaging in the long run and I need to know what’s in my jars! It’s been great to see my pantry evolve.

Baby steps people, baby steps! Kindness to people and the planet!  You can live a lower-waste life and make a positive impact on people and the planet through your example.

This is all pretty new and exciting for me and I’m happy to share the resources and practices I’ve learned so far with you. Here’s to learning more about a low-waste lifestyle, educating those who aren’t familiar, and to reducing your carbon footprint and environmental impact through daily actions and lifestyle choices!

Remember, you certainly don’t have to be perfect at all of this to make a big difference. Any little bit you can do helps a lot!

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Vegan Beauty: Phlur Sustainable Fragrances

I probably have enough perfume to last me ten years right now, but when the influencer marketing group that I'm a part of, Obviously, approached me about working with the sustainable vegan fragrance company, Phlur, this was not an opportunity I was going to pass up!

Surprisingly, many fragrance companies still use animal bi-products and/or test on animals. You would think with advancements in technology they wouldn't have to, but it's a sad and realistic truth. The odd products range from, "wax-like pathological growth found in the stomach and intestines of about one in a hundred sperm whales, and also in the pygmy sperm whale," to the male musk "stored in a hairy pouch just the size of a golf ball, in front of the penis" from a Siberian Musk Deer, to castoreum which, "comes from the castor sacs of the beaver, which occur in both males and females between the pelvis and the base of the tail." The list can go on forever, but if you'd like to learn more you can visit this link or do some of your own research online! Knowledge is power!

Information like this is not well-known and is hidden by the name brands, big corporations, and advertisers as they want to portray the ultimate luxurious fragrances - to you (the consumer) to buy buy buy. And guess what?! It works! Many people only buy fragrances because of the name brand and how the brand symbolizes wealth, power, beauty, etc. - it's all marketing! 

Phlur is a whole different type of fragrance company - no big corporations, no department stores, no harsh chemicals or additives, no celebrity-endorsed advertisements, no animal cruelty, and no weird and unnecessary animal products. This keeps the scent vegan, pure, and natural. You can feel confident putting Phlur on your skin knowing it was thoughtfully made with consideration and respect for your beautiful skin, your health, animals, and the environment!

What more can a girl ask for in a perfume? Oh ya! It needs to smell BOMB. Good thing the peeps over at Phlur know what they're doing. Every scent I tried in my sample set and full size bottle were amazing and could be worn so effortlessly. Loved being able to try these out. Big thanks to Phlur for my new favorite scents!

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Mendocino - Eco Travel & Vegan Resort, The Stanford Inn by the Sea feat. Feroshchick

Over Labor Day Weekend, my dad planned an awesome family trip for us to Mendocino! There were many things to celebrate as it was my 24th birthday on the 4th, my brother, Nathan, and his wife, Deanna's, 3rd wedding anniversary on the 12th, and my mom's 60th birthday on the 13th. So it was pretty much a celebratory present for us all to have a nice trip together and see each other. My boyfriend, Zach, came as well. 

We all flew from different cities and met in San Francisco. Zach and I came from Long Beach, Nathan and Deanna from Tucson, and my parents from Phoenix. It took a while for all of us to land, get the two rental cars, and be on our way to Mendocino. 

We stopped for a lovely lunch at a cute vegan Mexican place called Gracias Madre in SF (not to be confused with the West Hollywood Gracias Madre - completely different restaurants!) that was fab. Unfortunately, San Francisco was in a heat wave with 100 degree weather and no place has AC so that was a brutal few hours in the city. Found a cute bookstore boutique with some vegan baked goods too so my dad and I got some pastries. 

We then continued on our way to Mendocino on super windy roads through the mountains, forest, and coastline. Such a beautiful drive! I'm sure a lot of you are thinking, "why would they go to Mendocino out of all places?" Well... it just so happens that Mendocino is home to North America's eco-vegan resort, The Stanford Inn by the Sea, which my mom and I have been dying to go to! 

To give a little background, I was vegetarian for seven years and went vegan over two years ago. My mom is a bit of a health nut and soon became vegan once I did after learning of all the health benefits, treatment of animals, and environmental impacts. Over the last six months, the two of us have had quite an effect on our other family members and friends. 

Nathan, Deanna, and my boyfriend, Zach, eat mostly vegan with the occasional cheat meal, and my father, Scott, eats mostly vegan as well with mainly pastries being his cheat. All pastries are "vegan" in Scotty's eyes haha. Deanna's family also has adopted a more plant-based diet as well as many of my parents' friends. 

Although it was late at night, we were welcomed at The Stanford Inn and then got settled into our rooms. The lobby was cozy with couches, a fireplace, plant-based recipe books, vegan lifestyle books, local vegan wines (I know I know, it's weird that all wines aren't vegan, it should just be grapes!), toys, nik naks, etc. I could tell this place was going to be a blast. These people get me!!

In the next couple of days, we did a lot of fun things together! We explored the resort and their facilities, the garden, went in the pool and jacuzzi, went mountain biking through the forest, explored the nearby city of Fort Bragg, went canoeing, ate sooo much delicious vegan food, and went to the little downtown area of Mendocino. We saw otters, crabs, and seals too while canoeing because it was an estuary -  it was like a river/ocean which was super cool and different! We also celebrated my birthday on the 4th! 

The drive back to San Francisco was much shorter than the drive there. Nathan, Deanna, Zach, and I left on Tuesday as we had school/work to get back to but my parents stayed a few extra days and continued their road trip up the coast to the Pacific Northwest. It was such a wonderful trip with my fam and Zach, my heart is so full from it! 

I also recently collaborated with vegan-friendly bohemian boutique, @feroshchick, so many of my outfits pictured are thanks to them! Shop my looks here: Sleeveless Midi Dress with Lace DetailMatilda Lace Tank, Sleeveless Ruffles and Lace Dress (sold out - sorry babes!),  Draped Ribbed Sweater Poncho,  & Boho Striped Ribbed Cardigan.

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