Conscious by Chloé

Chloé Lepeltier - Conscious By Chloé

Bonjour & Welcome! Conscious by Chloé is a Sustainable Lifestyle Blog focusing on Zero Waste, Slow Living, and Ethical Fashion.

How to Be a (more) Sustainable Fashion Consumer Without Breaking the Bank

The Sustainable Fashion Forum by Candace Molatore for Conscious by Chloé

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to speak on a panel about sustainable fashion consumption at the Sustainable Fashion Forum during Design Week PDX.

With 3 of my favorite ethical fashion bloggers, Allison of The Thoughtful Closet, Andrea of Seasons + Salt, and Ellie of Selflessly Styled, and our wonderful moderator, Andrea, of Ecologique Fashion and Fashion Revolution USA, we discussed subjects such as the reasons why we've chosen to embark on a style journey with sustainability and consciousness in mind, our process to chose and trust a brand, the issues related to the fashion industry in general, the best resources for ethical fashion (including plus size), and greenwashing.

The Sustainable Fashion Forum by Candace Molatore for Conscious by Chloé

Our panel was followed by a keynote by Modified Style Portland's, environmental consultant Kelly Raynor about sustainability in fashion.

The second panel featured local designers and fashion’s top industry leaders such as Angela Medlin of The Functional Apparel and Accessories Studio (FAAS)/Pensole Carly of Keen Footwear, Davora of Prairie Underground, Dre & Len of Ecovibe Apparel and was moderated by Whitney Bauck of Fashionista and focused on the obstacles and opportunities faced in the effort to create ethically-made and fashion-forward clothing.

And the event concluded with a live fashion show featuring sustainable designs from some of Portland's best local designers.

The Sustainable Fashion Forum by Candace Molatore for Conscious by Chloé

While the audience seemed very knowledgeable on the subject of ethical fashion, the facts and figures surrounding the industry can be overwhelming.

Even experts get lost in all the data. We keep hearing that fashion is the second biggest polluting industry in the world when in fact fashion seems to be the fourth most polluting industry.

But we sometimes forget that, like Ellie very well put it, the mere fact that we're having this conversation is a privilege.

I've introduced a concept at the end of my intervention on the panel, and wanted to continue the conversation over here on the blog. Being a sustainable fashion consumer doesn't necessarily mean investing in pricey new pieces from ethical brands.

consciousbychloe-sustainable-fashion-forum-design-week-pdx-2018-11-1

5 ways to be a more sustainable fashion consumer

  • Don't Shop (or Shop your Closet)

You don't have to buy from sustainable brands to be a sustainable fashion consumer. The most ethical way to be a fashionista is to avoid shopping.

There are so many clothes in our closets that we never wear. A great way to rediscover your wardrobe is to participate in the 10x10 challenge. Chose 10 pieces of clothing and challenge yourself to create 10 outfits with them.

And please, do not get rid of everything in your closet only because it's from a fast fashion brand! See that jacket I'm wearing in the top picture? It's from Zara. I've had it for more than 5 years, I love it, I'm never gonna get rid of it. Keeping such items is a great reminder that my style and beliefs have evolved with time.

  • Take care of what you already own

Prolonging the life of your clothes is a wonderful and mindful way of taking care of the planet. Whether it's got sentimental or money value, you will want to make them last.

A great way to do that if to spot clean stains naturally and regularly, mend your clothes as soon as you see a hole/miss a button/etc, wash them less often (that saves energy, prevents the synthetic items to shed plastic particles into our waterways and generally keeps your clothes from the friction of the washing machine).

By the way, switching to a natural detergent and investing in a GUPPYFRIEND washing bag are also great options.

  • Swap & Sell

Rather than simply donating your old clothes to a charity where they are not very likely to be sold or donated to someone in need and might actually hurt developing countries'economies, try to swap or sell them (second hand store, consignment stop, or online - but be mindful of packing and shipping implications). It's a great way to make someone happy or make some cash.

PS: If you find it easier to donate your old clothes, look for place you can safely and consciously give to such as Dress for Success or a local women shelter.

  • Buy Vintage or Second Hand

Again, the best way to buy something new (to you) is to buy something that does not need to be newly produced.

I'm gonna be honest here and admit that I do not enjoy buying clothes in second-hand stores, or big stores in general. I get analysis-paralysis. Too much choice is overwhelming.

My solution? Finding local shops that have a curated vintage and second-hand selection. Here in Portland, my favorites are Johan, Yo Store and Backtalk.

  • Buy Local and/or Ethical

Consider certain factors such as wages, production, material, shipping, end of life and have fun. There are many brands whose values will align with yours.

You can find my favorites conscious brands for women here.

And here are some of the amazing brands that participated in the Sustainable Fashion Forum Pop-up Market: Rachel Sees Snail Shoes, May and Mary, Altar, Seaworthy, Fourth + Foxtail, Urban Refinement, Sum Eram Ero, NDA.

The Sustainable Fashion Forum by Candace Molatore for Conscious by Chloé

4 questions to ask yourself before making a purchase?

  • How is it made?

Are the people who make it paid a fair wage (as compared to the country's standards)?

  • Where is it made?

How many miles is the items going to travel before reaching your closet?

  • What is it made of?

Polyester releases microplastics in our waterways, silk worms are boiled to make silk, cotton requires a lot of water, the process for making bamboo rayon is heavily chemical.

  • What will it become after I get rid of it?

Will it still have a good second hand market value? Will it biodegrade?

The Sustainable Fashion Forum by Candace Molatore for Conscious by Chloé

Although I was anxious to get on the stage, I really had a lot fun of sharing my insights with the public and hearing the amazing women who were up there with me talk about their experiences and struggles. It's definitely been a learning experience and I hope to do that again very soon.

Thank you again to the amazing Brittany Sierra, of Laptops and Smalltalk, for organizing an event of such quality and for allowing me to be my weird self in front of strangers.


What's your opinion on the concept of sustainable consumption? What does sustainable fashion mean to you?

Photographs by Candace Molatore for the Sustainable Fashion Forum.

My Fake Commute

Vintage Ethical Look Shot in Front of a Portland Mural by Conscious by Chloé

Working from home can be a bit of a challenge.

Yes, there’s the freedom to sleep in, work in your PJs, take a shower at 1pm if you feel like it, and take some time off kinda whenever but how much freedom is too much freedom?

Vintage Ethical Look Shot in Front of a Portland Mural by Conscious by Chloé

Pompom Hat (similar) Vintage coat (similar) - Leggings (similar) - Clogs (Sandgrens) - DIY Tote (Klumhouse)

I’ve worked in offices, had part-time jobs, been a consultant and I am now my own boss, so I can safely say that I know what I’m talking about. But even more so considering that I’m spending this month of March in Geneva, working at one of my clients' office for a one month long 40-hours a week contract.

I do this every year, and, besides it being a great opportunity to connect with fellow translators, it’s a perfect way to take inventory of my work habits.

Vintage Ethical Look Shot in Front of a Portland Mural by Conscious by Chloé

It’s going to be 4 years since I quit my job at a creative agency to fly across the world and become my own boss. 4 years of testing the waters, making decisions, changing my mind, and trying again.

I can now look back on these experiments and figure out what I would totally do again, and what I would avoid at all cost.

And amongst those revelations, the freelance hack I’m the most proud of to this day is… my fake commute.

Vintage Ethical Look Shot in Front of a Portland Mural by Conscious by Chloé

On some days, I get up, get dressed and walk to my neighborhood coffee shop for a warm cup of chai, to-go and sip it on my way back home, sometimes making a little detour through the park (and even listening to the latest episode of my current favorite podcast). It’s the perfect way to transition from home life to work life. The fresh air chases away the last drops of sleepiness and the exercise energizes and motivates me to get started.

Vintage Ethical Look Shot in Front of a Portland Mural by Conscious by Chloé

What makes it even better is the fact that I now have a commute buddy.

It wasn’t too hard to convince Octave to get up a little earlier if it meant getting coffee and his favorite financier.

When he comes with me, we usually seat down and take some time to catch up. It's actually really interesting to see how those conversations can be so much different from the ones we have at home (you might remember that we also meet at the coffee shop do do our accounting).

I actually received a text from him one afternoon (it was Wednesday morning in PDX) last week in which he said he missed me and wanted to meet me for coffee!

Vintage Ethical Look Shot in Front of a Portland Mural by Conscious by Chloé


Do you work from home? Is there a secret hack you want to share with us?

Pictures by Octave Zangs for Conscious by Chloé.

Worn #7 / A Last Taste of Summer

A Last Taste of Summer Look by Conscious by Chloé

Last Friday, I woke up early, packed my suitcase (I always do this at the last minute) and headed to the airport.

A couple weeks before, I had decided to meet Octave in LA at the end of his road trip and drive back to PDX with him.

I figured it would be a great way to get a last glimpse of the sun before the rain finally set in in the PNW. And after 2 weeks down with a cold, this was more than welcome!

A Last Taste of Summer Look by Conscious by Chloé

I was planning on spending the afternoon in Venice after landing at LAX around noon. But, for some reason, I gave the Uber driver the wrong address. I did not notice it right away as it was an Uber Pool so we had 2 people to drop off before my final destination. Also, the conversation between these two was fascinating. They did not know each other, but he mentioned Sundance while on the phone and she started a conversation once he hung up, since she worked in the film industry. LA, film industry, parties, I was in another world! Long story short, he was a rabbi and she was a producer.

I ended up at the Standard in West Hollywood, realized that it would take me an hour to go to Venice to meet Octave, so I decided to make the most of it, have lunch at the hotel and ask Octave to pick me up there. One more occasion to study the Hollywood microcosm with a group of people sharing gossip about a celebrity at the hotel restaurant.

A Last Taste of Summer Look by Conscious by Chloé

Then Octave picked me up, we went for a walk in a canyon close by, visited Domaine LA, our favorite wine shop, and waited until after rush hour at a juice bar to head to Long Beach and meet our friends Alyssa and Arnaud at the Aquarium of the Pacific for their Night Dive.

On Saturday, Alyssa and I went shopping in LB where I got the cutest pair of earrings at Anneise. We then met the guys at home and darted to LA to attend the launch of the new Glou Glou Magazine.

A Last Taste of Summer Look by Conscious by Chloé

On Sunday, Octave and I had planned to start our journey North to head back home. But we had one last SoCal stop ta make: Costa Mesa. We wanted to do a little pilgrimage to our old stomping grounds. We had breakfast at OutPost Kitchen, which had opened right before we left 2 years ago, we visited Day Dream, the new local surf shop, and said hi to Jim, our former neighbor, whom we were not sure would be at the shop on a Sunday (he refurbishes old cars). Sure enough, there he was, watering his plants. He gave us some updates about the new tenants of our old unit and about the other neighbors.

After that, we hit the road and stopped for lunch on the side of the road, where we shot today's look.

A Last Taste of Summer Look by Conscious by Chloé


Worn #7 / Romper: OZMA (made in CA), Bag: DIY (coming soon on the blog), Shoes: TOMS (One for One® promise), Sunglasses: similar at Shwood (made in Portland, OR) and Fetch (100% of profits to animal rescue).


Unless provided, the origin of the items showcased in my looks will not be disclosed as I may no longer share the values of the brands from which I purchased them. I highly recommend you to look for an alternative in my shop, look for similar items in second-hand shops or, if you're talented and/or motivated, make your own!

Photographs by Octave Zangs for Conscious by Chloé.

Worn #4 / Pompom

Pompom Look in the Snow by Conscious by Chloé

Weather alert. It snowed in Portland!

Pompom Look in the Snow by Conscious by Chloé

The mountain kid in me laughs a little at how the whole city comes to a stop at the first sign of white flakes. Snow day, closed schools, stranded cars in the middle of the road.

Pompom Look in the Snow by Conscious by Chloé

But I get it. It does not happen often, all cars are not equipped with the proper tires, and, mostly, drivers are not trained to deal with icy and slippery roads.

Pompom Look in the Snow by Conscious by Chloé

We, freelancers, are lucky enough to work from home and not care about being stuck at home, since it's all we ever do. So Octave and I put on our hats and gloves and took a walk in our silent neighborhood on a snowy morning.

Pompom Look in the Snow by Conscious by Chloé

My goal for this season was to find a pompom beanie. It was the one purchase I wanted to make for this winter, not a pair of snow boots, nor a rain jacket, a pompom hat. I found it, I'm now never not wearing it.

Now, about my pin collection. I've had a couple for quite a while, but never found the right jacket to put them on. So when I was gifted this sample piece, I knew it would be the perfect item to display the awesome pins from my friends Amy & Jen (PS: I may have also gotten an iron-on patch and added many more in the back of this jacket, Insta Stories followers, you know what I'm talking about).

Worn #4 / Hat: Similar available via Lord & Taylor (made in the USA), Jacket: Similar available at Neiman Marcus (made in the USA), Sweater: Everlane (made responsibly in China), Leggings: American Apparel (made in the USA), Socks: Similar available via Need Supply Co., Shoes: Danner (made in the USA), Pins: Odds and Sods (made responsibly in China).


Unless provided, the origin of the items showcased in my looks will not be disclosed as I may no longer share the values of the brands from which I purchased them. I highly recommend you to look for an alternative in my shop, look for similar items in second hand shops or, if you're talented and/or motivated, make your own! Pictures by Octave Zangs for Conscious by Chloé.

2016 Holiday Gift Guide - For Him

2016 Holiday Gift Guide For Him by Conscious by Chloé

A curated selection of gifts for your dad, your brother, your friend, your significant other or your role model.


First, consider:

A homemade gift.

A gift of experience.

A gift of charity.


Then, feel free to pick one of the following:

Small Swallow Ring by LHN Jewelry for Conscious by Chloé

A poetic ring, $80, made in the USA.

Cedrus Perfume by FIELE FRAGRANCES for Conscious by Chloé

Some woodsy perfume, $98, made in the USA.

Cashmere Hoodie by Everlane for Conscious by Chloé

A soft cashmere hoodie, $140, made responsibly in China.

Card Sleeve by M&U Co for Conscious by Chloé

A sleek card sleeve,$55, made in the USA.

Denim Wash by The Laundress for Conscious by Chloé

A natural denim wash, $19, made in the USA.

One Way Pin by Prize Pins for Conscious by Chloé

A badass pin

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer for Conscious by Chloé

An enlightening book, $11.

Oxford Shirt by Gitman Brothers Vintage for Conscious by Chloé

A classic shirt, $165, made in the USA.

Copper Bar Cuff by Cause And Effect for Conscious by Chloé

A rugged cuff, $40, made in the USA.

Notepad by Appointed for Conscious by Chloé

An inspirational note pad, $14, made in the USA.

Twill Weekender Bag by Everlane for Conscious by Chloé

A stylish weekender bag, $98, made responsibly in China.

Dark Rum Candle by Malin+Goetz for Conscious by Chloé

A boozy candle, $52, made in the USA.


And here's the complete 2016 Holiday Gift Guide & the Conscious by Chloe Shop.