I recently had the pleasure of spending a crisp fall Saturday with Sophie Preston in her Lower East Side neighborbood. Sophie is a fellow blogger (and also a lovely friend and coworker)! Her blog All The Wears is a huge inspiration for those looking to shop, dress, and live more sustainably. Read on to find out how she got started as a blogger and why she loves the Lower East Side.
What made you choose the Lower East Side when you moved here from England?
I interned at Teen Vogue in New York one summer when I was at university, so I got to know the city quite well and loved spending time in the Lower East Side. I knew it was where I wanted to be if I ever got to move here, and luckily a few years later I had the chance!
What do you love most about living in your neighborhood? Anything you don’t love about it?
I love the old tenement buildings with the rickety fire escapes and that the apartments have so much character. I think people think of the Lower East Side for the bars and nightlife, but that’s the opposite of my experience living here; south of Delancey street is pretty quiet. I love that it feels slightly off the beaten track and there are tons of art galleries, restaurants and cool boutiques right on my doorstep! I’ve lived in the same apartment for 3 years so it’s nice seeing familiar faces and having a local brunch spot and coffee shop. It makes it feel like we’re part of the neighborhood.
Was there anything that surprised you about living in the U.S. and/or New York for the first time?
Moving to New York was a bigger culture shock than I expected, including finding the best place to buy my groceries and replacing my favorite English snacks with American ones! I also didn’t anticipate the winters being so freezing; we don’t experience temperatures like that in England.
I love your blog, All The Wears. What was your inspiration to get started with blogging about sustainable fashion?
Thank you – I love reading your blog! When I first moved to New York I couldn’t work while I was waiting for employment documents, so I had a lot of free time on my hands to create the blog. I also started to watch countless documentaries on the environment, the fast-fashion system and ethical food-choices. I began shopping more consciously at the grocery store and making sustainable decisions in my everyday life, which eventually impacted my fashion choices. I finally decided to “opt-out” of fast-fashion all together at the beginning of this year and haven’t looked back! I hope if I blog about my choices and share my experience, people will be inspired to do the same.
What are your favorite sustainable brands?
Some of my favorite fashion brands include Reformation, Filippa K, Everlane and Anine Bing. For beauty my big love is RMS which is 100% natural and organic – it’s a little pricey but totally worth it – and for skincare my go-to is Grown Alchemist.
Any advice for someone who wants to live more sustainably, but doesn’t know where to start?
I’m a firm believer that every time we buy something we are voting with our money, so with this in mind I try to buy from brands that I believe in. Changing your shopping habits when it comes to clothes can definitely be daunting, but there are some quick tips to make it easier: Firstly, choose natural fibres over synthetic and organic if it’s available (cotton, silk, linen vs. polyester and viscose). Secondly, check where it was made! I look for countries within the EU or made in America as they have to follow stricter environmental and employment guidelines than China or India for example. And finally, buy less and choose well. I see this quote a lot on social media but I really do live by it. Since quitting my highstreet-habit I spend a lot more on one well-made piece I believe in but then I buy far fewer things so the cost levels out.
Thank you so much Sophie!
Top photo with permission from allthewears.com. All other photos by Emily Barbeau.