Posts tagged ethical fashion
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: Moving Through the Blues
Mused_Paige Geffen_Object & Us

The blues.  I've had a case of them for a few weeks, and I've taken comfort in seeing these moody hues all around.  Regardless of blue being “in” right now, it’s encouraging to be propelled by a color, especially when the color visually represents how I’m feeling inside.  Yet this representation hasn't been enough to get me out of the funk.  My wonderful friend and Ayurvedic practitioner, Meredith, always has beautiful insight into how I’m feeling regarding my doshas (I’m tri-doshic) and the seasons.  My kapha is abnormally out of balance due to some outside health ailments, but we are also currently in kapha season.  I’ve been feeling all kinds of heavy, slow, sluggish, cloudy, and stuck.  Meredith recommended dancing for 20 minutes a day to get all of this stale energy moving.  The first time I implemented my new “treatment” (the following day), I broke into tears about three songs into my crazy-amazing-solo-dance-party.  Why?  I realized that I hadn’t been experiencing much joy in my life at all…for a while.  I was so struck by how much lighter I felt, that my body naturally was ready to release some of the mucky, stagnant energy.  

Here are some beautiful objects for you to embrace the blues, as well as a playlist to get you moving through them.  We can support times of sadness, depression, and staleness, while we simultaneously acknowledge that it’s okay to be blue, and it’s also okay to move through the blues.  Meredith specifically suggested that I listen to metal and rap, as these are the genres that counter kapha the most, but this playlist is a little more my style (and still helps me counter that kapha).  Whether you're rocking out to Parquet Courts or getting down to Marvin Gaye, there's something for everyone.  I hope you laugh at the Datarock song as much as I do :).  Enjoy!

A Personal Uniform launches garments twice a year with editions of 15-20 items.  All garments are crafted from high quality material and produced in-house in their Bankok studio.  Simple in practice yet incredibly inspiring and interesting in concept, their pieces are quite stunning and captivating while still being wearable.  I’m drooling over their entire collection, including this navy wrap-dress.

You may already know how much I love Rachel Saunders Ceramics from my previous post about her work.  This love only keeps getting stronger with each new piece she releases.  This periwinkle vase has been giving me all kinds of feels.  Shop her pieces here.  

I recently discovered Ajaie Alaie, and I’m in love with the motivation and inspiration behind their clothing.  Here’s a statement from their website:  "Ajaie Alaie is all about mindfulness and reminding women to be mindful with their daily thoughts and actions. Each garment has an amulet on the inside of the garment at a specific energy point (a chakra), represented by a design detail, a knot, twist, dart etc... We believe keeping these energy points balanced is instrumental for our well-being and success. Each garment is reminding us to feel proud of our accomplishments, to love unconditionally, feel secure, grounded, and feel safe...Ajaie Alaie’s woman is aware of her surroundings, of world issues and is in constant strive to be a better version of herself. Ajaie Alaie's woman is in constant motion, flow, and always looking to broaden her perspectives."  This is perhaps the most beautiful description for a clothing line I've ever read.  I am in awe of the attention to detail, thoughtfulness, and spirituality woven into their garments and philosophy.   They are also extremely sustainable, ethical, and conscious - I encourage you to read about their fabrics and process because all brands should strive for this much consideration for the environment.  You can browse these powder blue beauties and the rest of their pieces here.  

I was scrolling through By Far’s collection, deciding which pair I would get once I could pull the trigger, and I immediately felt self-betrayal coming on for my typical gravitation towards neutral colored shoes.  These stopped me in my tracks.  The color on this shape is stunning.  Please buy them so I can google over your feet.  Made out of premium Italian materials, all of their shoes are handmade in a family-owned factory in Bulgaria  They now make a third of their collection from dead-stock leather.  YES to sustainable fashion.  I own a pair of their boots, and they are incredible chic (of course), comfortable, and easily blend into my everyday style.

Paloma Wool is always coming out with items that feel fresh, interesting, and wearable.  This blue backpack is no different.  It will add the perfect pop of color to any outfit, and it’s small enough to easily carry around while still being roomy enough to fit everyday necessities.  This bag is 100% leather and made in Barcelona (the brand’s home).  

I have always loved wearing socks with heels.  A college roommate of mine once told me she just didn't "get" the look, but that didn't stop me from wearing them to preppy parties.  I'm seeing them a lot more (and not just with casual sneakers), and I am particularly loving the delicate style of these sheer Darner ones.  I have a pair in white, and they give any outfit flair (sexy flair in my opinion).  These blue mesh socks remind me of the sky - they're super dreamy.  Browse Darner's instagram here.

I'm a sucker for anything linen.  I wear it.  I sleep in it.  I would bathe in it if I could.  This 100% linen table cloth is made by IN BED, a conscious, Sydney based bedding (and extras) company.  Their linen is grown and harvested in France and then transferred to their family-run factory in Shenzhen China.  As an ethical brand, they also use natural, reusable, or recyclable fabrics to package their products in.  Browse the rest of their beautifully simple products here.

Cienne's instagram tagline is "Deliberately discerning (practically poetic)."  I feel like I can stop writing now, as this is such a beautiful description of their brand and also of how I like to dress and live.  Their collections are designed by Nicole Heim and Chelsea Healy and made in New York.  Their mission is based on three pillars - empowering people, producing responsibly, and elevating & preserving craftsmanship.  They source natural and sustainable fibers from global communities and employ craftspeople in developing countries.  This doesn't stop them from creating high-end, editorial worthy, and gorgeous clothing.  The texture of this blazer is incredible and the fit is impeccable.  Shop their current collection here.  

Don't forget to listen to and DANCE along with the playlist. 

Mused: Spring Awakening
Mused Spring Awakening_Paige Geffen_Object and Us

Spring came quickly this year.  Not early, but it seemed to come suddenly.  My eyes are itchy, which means things are in bloom.  I feel ready to be out in the world again -  to learn and to explore.  Here are some of my favorite items for this season with a playlist to go along.

Girlfriend Collective makes their leggings and activewear out of recycled water bottles.  The coolest part (other than saving the planet) is that their products are so soft and durable.  You can read more about their process and mission here, and browse through their goods here.

This pillow is by Brooklyn based company, Afternoonswim.  All products are ethically hand-crafted with natural fiber materials by the founder, Hanna.  Her pillows are beautiful, and she is set to launch rugs and artwork in the near future - I can't wait to see!  You can purchase the pillow shown above and browse other items on the site.

I am so in love with this bracelet by Alexa de la Cruz, as well as all of the pieces in her collection.  The jewelry is handcrafted in Mexico City by local artisans.  I have also had the pleasure of getting to know her through Instagram, and she is such a warm, kind, and lovely soul.  Shop her stunning, unique pieces here.  You will also love her personal Instagram, showcasing her impeccable taste, beautiful home, and journey with motherhood.

As you may already know, I love St. Agni, a Byron Bay based ethical and sustainable company.  I own these sandals, and I started wearing them as soon as temperatures rose in Los Angeles.  When not barefoot (I often am), I've been living in these - they are incredibly comfortable.  I love pairing them with both pants and dresses.  I also suggest browsing though their beautiful clothing.

The Bodysuit of Barcelona makes the most beautiful, simple bodysuits.  I have yet to own one, but I gush over their products every time they post on Instagram.  I love their photography and the way they capture the women wearing their clothing - they embrace the female form effortlessly.  You can browse their products here.

I have been wearing my 1930's bandana by Ozma of California nearly every day, so it felt necessary to include in this month's mused post.  They are 100% silk and hand-dyed and printed locally in Los Angeles.  All of Ozma of California's items are ethically made in Los Angeles - check out their beautiful clothing here.  

I recently posted about F. Miller Skincare, and I still can't get enough of these luscious products.  Here is a note from their website:  "F. MILLER is entirely free of synthetic fragrances and colourings, harmful preservatives, sulphates, parabens, pthalates, PEG's and SLS's.  All products are formulated from the finest raw, nutrient-rich ingredients which are consciously sourced and cruelty-free."  This body oil feels especially appropriate for spring, with sweet almond oil, neroli, bergamot, and grapefruit - it's as refreshing as it is soothing.  I'm currently in the desert and slathering this on after every shower to keep my skin moisturized and happy.

Listen here.

Mused: Winter Whites (& Lights)
Mused_Winter Whites + Lights.jpg

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.