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.

Make Your Own - Pendleton Maywood Totepack with Klum House

Klum House Pendleton Maywood Totepack DIY by Conscious by Chloé

You're not gonna believe it but, I made this bag in an afternoon!

Me, Chloé, famous for starting sewing projects and waiting for her mom to come visit to finish them!

Klum House Pendleton Maywood Totepack DIY by Conscious by Chloé
Sweater (Everlane) | Jeans (Vintage) | Boots (c/o Fortress of Inca) | Bag (Klum House - DIY)

A couple weeks ago, I attended a Pendleton Maywood Totepack Class at Klum House, a studio that offers sewing workshops and bag patterns that empower you to create handcrafted goods with “I made this!” bragging rights, owned by my friend Ellie.

Ellie and I have some kind of a work for trade agreement, so I have the opportunity to take sewing classes and spent time with the amazing Klum House community.

Actually, you might remember this tote I made last year.

Klum House Pendleton Maywood Totepack DIY by Conscious by Chloé

The Maywood is an amazing bag. As you see on my pictures, it's a backpack, but if you look closely, you'll notice a handle tucked into the front pocket.

Its clever design allows from the backpack to convert into a tote bag, and vice-versa!

I still feel so much pride even writing this. In only one afternoon, I made this with my own two hands - and the support of my fellow classmates. I should actually give a proper shout-out to Jessica, who was sitting next to me, and who allowed me to look over her shoulder (she's got her own line of bags, so she knew what she was doing).

Klum House Pendleton Maywood Totepack DIY by Conscious by Chloé

I should also probably say that I did not need to copy anyone's work, as Ellie's directions were very clear and she was available to give one-on-one tips if needed, but I did love the supportive atmosphere of the class, the "we're all in this together" feeling, the "community over competition" atmosphere. Everyone was raving about each others colors choices, from fabrics to hardware. It was so fun to see a mother and her adult son take the workshop together, a group of knitters challenging themselves to learn a new skill and coordination-challenged people like me, who simply need the structure of a class to complete a project.

Klum House Pendleton Maywood Totepack DIY by Conscious by Chloé

I wish I had taken a picture of the whole group with our bags, but this one might give you an idea of how eclectic our creations were.

Klum House Pendleton Maywood Totepack DIY by Conscious by Chloé

The next Maywood Totepack class in on January 12th.

As for me, I'm regularly checking Klum House's calendar, but I think that the Slabtown Rolltop Backpack is calling my name!

And for those of you who do not live in Portland, don't fret. Klum House sells Maker Sewing Kits & Patterns and will ship them straight to your house!

Klum House Pendleton Maywood Totepack DIY by Conscious by Chloé

Do you love to take classes as much as I do? What's the latest thing you've made? Or what's one think you wish you'd know how to make?

Have a Blissful Weekend #28

Natural Seasonal Winter Home Decor

What are you up to this weekend?

I'm hoping to do something special to honor the full moon and also plan to gather what I need to set up and emergency kit.

I hope you'll have a great one and in the meantime, here are a few things that made my week:

A BOOK - Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

As mentioned in my latest article.

A SONG - Fall by Octave Zangs

Performed live last Sunday by my husband in Portland. More concert dates coming soon, follow Octave for updates.

A PODCAST - Jenna Zoe, Human Design by Lacy Philips

To feed my current obsession with personality tests. Have you heard of Human Design?

A VIDEO - Bao by Pixar

A short animation movie about a mother's love for a dumpling.

A DIY - A Coffee Body Scrub

I got Octave a barista class as an early Christmas present, so he's been making cups after cups of coffee and I'm now finding new ways to reuse ground coffee.

A RECIPE - Coconut-Ginger Chickpea Soup by Bon Appétit

I've been binge watching Bon Appétit's Youtube channel and all I do now during work breaks is browse their website for cooking inspiration. I suppose it's a good thing. And this soup is the bomb!

And a couple links from around the web...

  • I'm excited to start this workbook to make magic in 2019.

  • I re-read the 17 goals world leaders agreed to in 2015 for a better world by 2030.

  • My friend Hollie published this moving picture book.

  • I created a Zero Waste Kids section in my shop.

  • This quote really spoke to me.

  • My friend Kaméa created these purpose-driven planners dedicated to supporting you and earth to thrive.

  • I caved in and got this label maker. Let me know if you want to borrow it from me.

  • This tiny s'mores kit melted my heart.

  • My friend Celia of Litterless was interviewed by Erin of Reading of Tea Leaves

  • Guilty pleasure to watch on January 1st!

This post is not sponsored but when you shop via some of the links above I may make a small commission from a sale. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Conscious by Chloé!

Have you made, watched or listened to something worth sharing with us this past week?

Habit Shift - Get Your Library Card

Stack of Books by Conscious by Chloé

If you're lucky enough to live in a place that has a library, I strongly recommend you to visit it.

No matter whether you're a (legal) resident or not, access is usually open to the public.

You can walk the aisles in search of a specific book, or simply get lost and let fate take you to your next narrative adventure.

If you can, I also highly encourage you to get your library card.

As much as I want to support writers and creators I do not necessarily have the budget to buy a copy of every single book I read or the shelf space to hold them.

Stack of Books on Bedside Table by Conscious by Chloé

Why I love libraries in general

  • they're free

  • they're accessible to all

  • they offer free (or affordable) culture in so many forms: books, films, music, classes, reading sessions, workshops.

  • they usually offer free (limited) Internet access.

  • they are a great place to visit or hang out in while in a new city.

So today, here's one thing you could do, visit your library's website (or give it a call) and see how you can sign up to get your card - most require a photo ID, others a proof of residence.

Stack of Books by Conscious by Chloé

Why I love the Multnomah County Library System in particular

  • it's free (besides the fact that some of your tax money supports this system)

  • you can order books online, then pick them up and drop them off at the library location that's closest to you - no need to travel across town!

  • you can request books and pause a hold if you're not ready to pick or read them just yet. I do that a lot since some books I want to read are very popular and I might be # 52 on the wait list.

  • you can borrow e- and audio-books online and synchronize them with your device (phone, tablet, reader).

  • similarly, you can access the Hoopla Digital Audiobooks library with your library card.

  • you can also stream movies for free via Kanopy - limited to 6 movies per month.

  • you can listen to Portland-made music via the Library Music Project - accessible to all.

If you live in the Portland, here's how to get a library card.

Get yours and send me a picture of you with your new card, or the first book you borrow (or tag me in it so I can see it). This would make me so proud and happy!

Stack of Books on Bedside Table by Conscious by Chloé

Free online books for all

Stack of Books by Conscious by Chloé

Books I'm currently reading

I heard someone read some of Rilke poems at a conference and have been so moved that I decided to read everything the poet wrote that I could put my hands on. This book is a correspondence between the author and a young poet, or are those letters he could have written to his younger self. It makes me want to write more, to loved ones, to strangers, to myself.

I have a slight obsession for personality tests. And the Enneagram was high on my list since everyone I know or follow talks about it. I borrowed this book because it was on the library shelves but have not been very excited by it. I'm really just only waiting for this one to be available so I might soon figure out what personality type I am.

Starhawk is regularly mentioned in La Poudre, a French feminist podcast I listen to so I decided to read her bestselling classic. I'm very excited to read about goddess worship and witchcraft.

You can also check out my feminist reading list for more book recommendations.

Everyone interested in sustainability, circularity, consumption habits and evolution should read this book. I've been reading it slowly, as I want to take the time to reflect in between chapters. After the story of a landfill, I'm now reading about the so-called plastic garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean, microplastics pollution and its impact on our environment and food system. It's really eye-opening!

You can find more Zero Waste book inspiration over here too.

Tell me something about a book you read, a library you visited, or a great resource you'd like to share with all of us.

Make Your Own - Cloth Produce Bags

Zero Waste Produce Bag Sewing by The Zero Waste Habit for Conscious by Chloé

This article is part of a collaboration with The Zero Waste Habit, who invited me to attend a workshop. Pictures by Alanna Ludt & The Zero Waste Habit.

Do you remember when, at the end of last year, I decided that my word for the new year would be LEARN?

Well, 2018 isn't over yet, and there's so much more I could learn, like how to sew my own produce bags, a staple in every zero waster's shopping kit!

Vanina Howan and Bowie by Alanna Ludt for Conscious by Chloé
Vanina and her puppy Bowie.

I met Vanina a couple months ago after about 3 different people told us we had to meet. Because Vanina is.. brace yourself... a Zero Waste designer!

Zero Waste Produce Bag Sewing by Alanna Ludt for Conscious by Chloé
Isn't this pair of mini-scissors so cute?!

She's the founder of The Zero Waste Habit, a brand that believes that living zero waste should be simple and effortless and that creates beautiful, well-designed products that you can use every day.

Zero Waste Produce Bag Sewing by Alanna Ludt for Conscious by Chloé
You'll learn what this plate filled with water is for during the workshop.

Her dedication and attention to detail is pretty amazing, from sketching with second-hand pencils, to sewing using 100% organic cotton, Vanina evaluated every step of her process to make it as low-waste as possible!

Zero Waste Produce Bag Sewing by Alanna Ludt for Conscious by Chloé
I am so happy to have learnt about the existence and usefulness of that metal thing you see on the bottom left of the picture.

And I couldn't have been happier when she invited me to attend her Make your own zero waste starter kit workshop here in Portland!

Zero Waste Produce Bag Sewing by Alanna Ludt for Conscious by Chloé

Over the course of the afternoon, I made my own organic cotton napkin (an effortless swap from paper napkins when eating out), and three organic cotton reusable bags with a tare weight label (as an effortless swap from plastic produce bags when grocery shopping).

Zero Waste Produce Bag Sewing by The Zero Waste Habit for Conscious by Chloé

It was such a treat to spend an afternoon talking about design, material sourcing and entrepeneurship with someone who's as passionate as I am about sustainability and learn a few tricks from the master herself.

I highly recommend this workshop to anyone who's as excited to learn basic sewing skills as to come back home with a me-made zero waste starter kit!

You can sign up for Vanina's Make your own zero waste starter kit workshop here.

Thank you so much Vanina for sharing your passion and industry secrets with me, and long live The Zero Waste Habit!

Have you taken any workshop lately? What did you learn? Please tell me in the comments below!

Gift Guide - Holiday Gift Guide 2018

The Conscious by Chloé 2018 Holiday Gift Guide 2018

This year, you will not find a typical gift guide on the blog.

The end of the year can be a stressful period, especially for those of us who are on a budget.

Black Friday is a great opportunity to buy long-coveted and usually pricey items at a bargain, but not everyone has the time or courage to shop during this time of madness, IRL or online.

Also, the FOMO is real. My guts are wrenching as I'm typing this. The race to the best bargain, shopping under pressure, are very triggering for me.

I tried my best to avoid temptations as much as possible last week. I reminded myself not to check certain websites, unfollowed as many brands and influencers on social media as proactive measures but still felt a little tinge when an ad or promotion would still seep through my filters.

I'm a recovering shopaholic on a budget. The struggle is real.

But I have to admit that I feel very lucky. Being far away from my home country, the pressure to give gifts is very low. The only people whom I usually give gifts to are my parents and my sweetheart.

And the formula is most of the time pretty simple. Octave and I decide on a budget and get a gift (or gifts) of that amount to each other. This year, I'm toying with the idea of gifting each other experiences rather than material presents, and we might just decide to treat ourselves to a common experience, like a couples massage or a 2-night getaway.

As for my parents, since they live so far away from me, I usually wait until my next visit, or opt for gifts that keep on giving. Last year, I knew they would be in the process of selling and buying a house, so I subscribed them to interior design magazines for inspiration.

I've been very inspired by this Ethical Hierarchy of Gift Purchasing.

There are so many ways to give ethical and sustainable gifts no matter what your budget is this holiday season and I'm very happy to share some of them.

Sewing DIY by Conscious by Chloé

1. Give Your Time

Spending quality time with loved ones is priceless.

I love this idea because no matter what your budget is, you have the possibility to give someone a very meaningful gift.

You can craft a cute voucher for one of the following time-sharing gifts and put it under the tree:

  • Teach a skill

I wish I had had more time to learn certain skills from my grandma. She taught me the basics of knitting and how to make mayonnaise. I cherish those moments spent with her and hope to pass the knowledge to those around me (though I have to admit I'm a little rusted).

Teach a loved one something useful, like, how to mend a sock, something fun like how to dye with shibori or something edible like how to make chia pudding.

  • Cook

Offer to show up at someone's house and cook for them. No strings attached, just a random act of kindness, redeemable any time before the next holiday.

  • Babysit

Your exhausted parent friends will love you for gifting them the time to go on a date, or just take a long bath... alone!

Highway 1 Road Trip by Conscious by Chloé

2. Give Memories

Memories last a lifetime and a great way to show your loved ones how much thought you've put into finding a gift they'll love and appreciate.

Here are a couple experience-based gift ideas:

  • Concert tickets

  • Massage voucher
    Very high on my wishlist

  • Class
    More on that coming up next week on the blog

  • Weekend getaway
    Skipping the hassle of planning the thing is already a very big gift you can give someone!

  • Movie tickets
    And an extra voucher for pop-corn

  • Museum subscription
    Because it's a gift that keeps on giving. I love subscriptions! And may or may not have gifted myself one last year.

Bath Ritual Kit DIY by Conscious by Chloé

3. Make

Make a bunch of bath ritual kits, junk mail notebooks, scented candles, cookies.

Thrift Shopping by Conscious by Chloé

4. Buy Second Hand

A gift isn't less valuable if it's been purchased second hand, though you might want to put a little more effort on packaging as some tend to stigmatize preloved gifts.

Check out my favorite Portland Vintage Stores for inspiration (they sell online too), keep an eye on Criaglist, Facebook Marketplace, Poshmark, etc for the perfect gift.

Lauren Winter Linen Wraparound Jumpsuit in Camel by Conscious by Chloé

5. Buy

If you feel like buying something new is the right choice for you, by all means, do it!

Ethical means different things to different people. Whether it's shopping local, supporting a mission-driven brand or buying something that will last a lifetime, make sure that the purchase will make you and the receiver happy.

Check out my Favorite Conscious Brands for Women for a little inspiration or my ethical gift guide.

The Conscious by Chloé Shop - Ethical & Zero Waste

You can also alway visit my Shop.

Let me know in the comments below whether you make "unconventional" gifts.