Posts tagged eco conscious
OZMA Interview

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by one of my favorite brands OZMA of California - a female-owned, sustainable and ethical clothing company based here in Los Angeles.  Scroll down to read the interview.  I'm wearing the Matador Romper in Natural - shop here.

Ozma of California_Paige Geffen

You live in Topanga Canyon! Tell us how living there has affected you creatively?

I have access to nature - it's all around. I've been jumping into the ocean nearly every day, and for me, freedom is what inspires me to create. I don't think there's anywhere I feel more free than in the ocean. It's such a cleansing, purifying act, and I feel completely at home in the water. I once was told that in a past life I was a mermaid, and that in this life I finally got my legs. I think it was probably symbolic, but I often feel like that - as if I'm somehow missing something that everyone is clued into. But I also feel like that's part of being creative - feeling a bit "out of it" in the world, yet so, so at home while creating. So jumping in the ocean has allowed me to be more free in the type of work I'm making because it opens up the space for me to tap into that "true essence" part of myself.

 

You've mentioned that your place is pretty tiny. What's your best advice for those us with less square footage in our lives?

The most obvious answer is to own less. I think more importantly - to create spaciousness within. I sometimes feel like I'm going mad in my current space. I've lived in small spaces for the past 6 years, and my current space is absolutely the smallest, at just over 300 sq. ft. When I feel like the walls are caving in and I want more room to move around in, I go inward and ask myself what my insides need. Sometimes it's as simple as "I'm here and I love you", but sometimes I need to really talk to my inner self and see what's going on underneath it all.

 

How would you describe your fashion sensibility?

Easy, simple, laid back, androgynous. I like mixing masculine and feminine, and sometimes I feel the sexiest in a button down and pants.

Ozma of California_Paige Geffen

 

What inspires you?

Nature, chairs, old coffee table/art books, people who are free to be exactly as they are.

 

Were you always interested in interior design?

Yes. I was always interested in my surroundings and how space affected me. I got really into interiors during my senior year of college. It became almost an obsession. In my spare time I would drive around and go to consignment shops to find old pieces. I love furniture so much.

 

Ozma of California_Paige Geffen

How does sustainability play into your life?

Sustainability has played into my life since I was 15.  When I found out about global warming, I started an environmental club is my high school.  Once I went off to college, I felt so powerless over everything and sort of gave up trying.  Now I know that we do make a difference as individuals, and in order for the collective to be influenced, we have to make big strides independently.  I gave up fast fashion a few years ago, and I pretty much only shop independently/vintage.  This is very important to me.  And with my philosophy on bringing objects/items into my life/space, I am extremely discerning about what I acquire.  I call this mindful collecting.  We mindlessly consume, and our culture/media trains us to do so.  We have to change the narrative.  The work that I do is really about grounding within ourselves so that we can let go of our attachments to the physical world (emphasis on attachments, as we can't let go of the physical world).  This doesn't mean you have to move into a tent in the woods.  It’s truly about being mindful of the space and objects we surround ourselves with.  We can change the stories we tell ourselves about what we need.  We don’t need anything physical other than food/shelter (meaning, we wouldn’t die without clothing or our beloved objects).  However, we can accept the society we live in and approach how we operate differently.  Yes, by shopping mindfully, but also by strengthening our inner selves so that we can shift our relationship with objects from symbols to tools.   If a piece of art moves you, that piece of art becomes a tool for connection.  Otherwise, you just have art on your wall because “it goes there” or because it's worth something (and is therefore a symbol of money or stature).  You can read more about this concept here.  This method is so much less overwhelming than overhauling your entire life and becoming a radical minimalist.  I'm not suggesting to NOT radically change, but I think it's important to be realistic.  I’ve found that people aren't going to be open to making any strides if they feel overwhelmed.  I still use paper towels.  There are absolutely areas where I need to do better.  I'm working on it.  But I'm transparent about it.  Not because I think being honest gets us off the hook, but because it's better to be honest then to paint a false picture.  Sustainability is trending right now.  I've been reading interviews where people say that they care about where garments come from/how they're made, and then I see these people tagging Zara in their photos.  This is what's problematic and why I feel we really need to change the narrative.  People care about the environment, but not to the extent that they are willing to inconvenience their lives.  Hence my relationship with paper towels.  But answering this question is getting me fired up and ready to end my relationship with them for good.  The more open we are, the more we can inspire change in ourselves and others.

 

Got any good advice for us on best plants to brighten up a home?

Rubber plants are my favorite because they are the most low maintenance, and they're pet friendly. Some plants ( like aloe) are toxic to pets. I also love bringing in flowers from outside. When at a floral shop, I always pick up baby's breath and eucalyptus.

Robert Mapplethorpe

Thrifted decor or new?

Thrifted.

 

Favorite all time song?

This question is too hard! First thing that comes to mind right now is: Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell. The second/jazzy version. It's like she has this new ( sadder, yet deeper) perspective on life, and you can hear it in her voice. Perhaps that she's been let down in ways, but it created the most moving song. If I ever want to cry, I'll get in my car, roll the windows down, and aimlessly drive, and blast this song.

 

Favorite hole in the wall destination in LA?

Hmm. Stories. Does it count as a hole in the wall? It's a bookstore in Echo Park. I love going there and sitting on the benches and opening random pages of books and reading them. I always fantasize about what books I'll end up reading, but I usually feel satisfied just reading bits and pieces in the store and leaving with a lot of unanswered questions ( and no physical books).

 

Read more on OZMA's journal

Interview by Jasmine Bouzaglou

Photography by me and inspiration imagery by Robert Mapplethorpe

Mused: Winter Whites (& Lights)
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I love warm, creamy white tones, but I don't forego this color palette in the winter.  I embrace it.  Perhaps because I live in Los Angeles, and we don't get snow here.  Whatever the reason, the items pictured above are soothing and cozy for the colder months.  For those of you who are afraid to wear white, I added a few light neutrals into the mix.  I am someone who spills and cannot keep things clean, but I always have Dr. Bronner's with me, and it works wonderfully for getting rid of stains.  Browse all items below while listening to this dreamy playlist.

Pansy is my favorite underwear brand.  I don't wear underwire bras for health and comfort reasons, but I would live in Pansy regardless.  Their pieces are soft (visually and to the touch) and beautiful.  All of their products are made ethically of organic cotton.  You can purchase this set or others here.

This rug from Faire Studio looks like the coziest place to meditate, practice breathwork on, or simply walk across.  I love the texture and pattern, and if you're looking for something even simpler, they offer a pattern-free version.  Their rugs and pillows are sustainably made with recycled materials - designed in Paris and woven in the Iberian mountains.

If I could only own one item of clothing, I would get rid of everything but my Kamm Pants (I realize I'd then be topless, so I'd have to keep a Pansy bra as well).  Kamm pants are my absolute favorite staple in my wardrobe.  Yes, they are an investment, but they will last, and you will wear them multiple times per week (I live in mine).  They are classic and chic, and you can wear them casually with sneakers or dress them up with heels (also to mention, they're incredibly comfortable and durable).  I am loving this style (the Ranger) for the colder months, when I want my legs to be protected.  If you're apprehensive to wear a true white but want the same look, here they are in naturalJesse Kamm designs her collections here in Los Angeles, where the clothing is also produced.  

Lite + Cycle is a beautiful company that creates fragrances for the home and body made of therapeutic-grade essential oils.  They also donate a portion of every sale to charities that help bring solar-power light to communities around the world in need of electricity.  Their candles are designed with so much attention to detail - purchase here.

I love small bags that feel like second skin.  Especially this one,  because it ties around the waist -  it will stay with you.  Are Studio bags are designed and hand-made in Los Angeles.  Here is the Disc photographed by Alexis Nelly.  

Leaves and Flowers creates handcrafted herbal infusions and premium small batch teas.  I've been drinking their sleep tea all winter.  I steep it with my tea infuser before bed every evening.  Not only is it potent, but it's also beautiful and fragrant - it's smooth, warming, and minty.  You can purchase it here.

You may already have picked up that I love ceramics.  Anything with an earthy texture will get me.  The Terra Surface mount from Cedar and Moss is no exception.  It lived in the kitchen of my last home, and I miss it dearly.  It comes in many colors, but my main crush is for the "bone" finish.

Tune in here.

Ethical Essentials with Everlane
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Ethical Essentials with Everlane_05
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“Our way: Exceptional quality. Ethical factories. Radical Transparency."  You can find this quote on Everlane’s website, and it’s damn true.  Everlane’s products are incredibly well-made in eco-conscious and ethical factories.  They even reveal their cost per item, so you know exactly what you’re paying for.  

For Black Friday, rather than having a sale (Everlane’s items are already on a “sale” price model), they encouraged shoppers to still purchase, but for a greater purpose.  The profits went to their denim factory in Vietman, Saitex, in order to provide clean, healthy meals to its workers.  They partnered with Freight Farms, which basically creates hydroponic farms in shipping containers (read more here), in order to execute the mission.  THAT is an incredible gift to our earth and its people for the holiday season.

I not only believe in this model, I also champion it.  I’ve given up fast fashion for good.  No more Zara.  No more cheaply made crap just so that I can enjoy a fleeting trend for one season, while many other people (and the environment) suffer in the process.  I’ve been implementing this for over a year and a half, and I haven’t looked back.

This year for the holiday season, I’m not caving into the massive holiday sales.  Why?  Because I will end up buying things I don’t need.  I am not straying you away from getting those incredible timeless boots that are half-off - that saves you money on a major staple.  But I do suggest to not shop on a whim, even if it means “scoring” things on sale.  I spend more money on individual items and end up spending less money overall.  How?  Because the items I purchase last, and therefore I need less.  Since I’m fulfilling my truest wants by only acquiring what I absolutely love, I don’t feel the constant need to consume more.  I’m only human, and of course I want things, but this want is quieter than my ethical philosophy.  

Here is Everlane’s philosophy:  “At Everlane, we’re not big on trends. We want you to wear our pieces for years, even decades, to come. That’s why we source the finest materials and factories for our timeless products— like our Grade-A cashmere sweaters, Italian shoes, and Peruvian Pima tees.”

Pictured above, I’m wearing this cashmere sweater, and these gorgeous Italian shoes - paired with vintage Levi's and a vintage blazer.

You can transform your lifestyle by changing your relationship to your things - your home items, your wardrobe, or both.  We have relationships with our objects, whether we are aware of this or not.  If you need help implementing this philosophy or a philosophy that works for you into your life, feel free to inquire about a session.  A friend of mine calls it “object therapy,” yet it’s ultimately about strengthening your relationship to yourself.   Spots are limited.