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Welcome December!

I am normally a huge fan of this time of year. The lights, the cheerful music, a sense of conviviality, the hustle and bustle of holiday parties, baking and cooking for family and friends - allll the holiday things. But this year, life has thrown me a curve ball and will be messy for the foreseeable future. I’m having a hard time feeling festive. 

I don’t want this little corner of the internet to get dramatic though. I am healthy (the most important thing!), have some big decisions to make, and I won’t let this recent development cramp my slow fashion style. Sharing and engaging with you and the amazing people who watch the channel and follow along on Instagram is a true highlight and comfort for me and I’d like to keep it that way.  

DECEMBER 

Despite my current situation, the busy atmosphere of December is underway and it’s hard to get away from it. Rather than be a scrooge or use the vices of mindless retail therapy and overeating as a balm (not going to lie though, I did consume an entire jar of Nutella in the past 48 hours), I’m going to attempt to use this time of year to be extra mindful. It’s easy to get lost in overindulgence (see above Nutella example), and whether or not you celebrate the holidays, the end of the year always holds a bit of frenzy as we try to wrap up our year up in a neat little bow. 

In the midst of what can be a frustrating, frantic and emotional time, there are some incredibly simple and pleasant ways to encourage conscious consumption and mindful living in our day to day, and in the lives of others at this time of year. Yes, even while the outside world feels like a snow globe that is constantly being shaken by a hyperactive toddler who has eaten way too many holiday treats. 

So here’s what you can do

I felt it was best to close out this year on a note of kindness and patience for ourselves and others.

Although it’s a departure from traditional slow fashion tips, I do think being kind is a solid and necessary foundation for spreading conscious consumerism in a positive light. It’s very easy to call out ethical brands or people in this space for not being sustainable enough, or make friends and family feel guilty for making careless consumer decisions. The reason why I started the channel in the first place was to take guilt and shame out of the sustainability picture. 

When we use encouragement over judgment and positivity over put downs, I think we can really influence others to make more conscious choices. Here are some ideas over the holiday season that will encourage kindness to yourself and others which I do hope you indulge in! 

give thoughtful gifts: There are so many great non-product gift ideas out there that can help enrich your life (yes, I am all about self-gifting) and the lives of others. Try gifting a skillshare course or subscription for those who want a new skill, a museum membership for your artistically inclined loved ones, or a gym membership for someone who is interested but perhaps might not be able to afford it. An ethical subscription box like Causebox is also a great way to introduce friends and family to the wonderful world of ethical and environmental products. 

volunteer: Health care services are so overrun, and time is incredibly fleeting these days. Whether its offering to babysit your niece and nephew to give overworked parents a well- deserved hot chocolate break, heading to your local palliative care unit, shelter, or soup kitchen to lend a hand, I believe that when we start a habit of volunteering, it builds our empathy muscle. I think empathy is important to keep in mind when making conscious consumption habits because it puts labourers in the forefront of our thoughts - something that is increasingly hard to do in a world of global production. 

meditate and practice gratitude: I’ve recently started doing some quick gratitude journaling and a simple breathing exercise each morning and it has been integral to approaching frustrating situations with kindness and patience. I’m far from perfect, but it’s so much easier to convince someone to shop for gifts secondhand when you do it with a smile on your face ;) 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT 
I've decided to host a workshop and meet up in Toronto in March of next year and am SO excited for it! Details are still to come, but you can sign up here to be the first to find out where, when, how much, and what's to come! 
Another gift to yourself? Merchandising your closet like a boutique! This is a great expression of self-care that will allow you to take back control of your closet and shop it with ease. This video = no more adventures into the scary back of the wardrobe! ;)
WHAT I'M LOVING THIS MONTH
I have FINALLY secured a discount code for you for my AMAZING backpack/shoulder bag. Use Alyssa10 for 10% off! They ship everywhere! If you've been watching for a while you know this is pretty much the only bag I wear for SO many reasons. (I chat about it in more detail here) Canadian made - I've been to the workshop and know the maker. They're a wonderful small business to support.
I was recently gifted this sustainably sourced diamond and recycled gold necklace from Ana Luisa and love its environmentally friendly provenance as well as how beautiful it is! It layers so well with my other necklaces and is the perfect addition to a simple neckline. I've been a big fan of this brand and have a very special project with them coming up in the new year which I hope you love!
Thank you so much for reading, I am always grateful to be included in some small way in your day. Wishing you a beautiful month of December and keep an eye out for a bonus holiday card from me later this month. xx
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