Consumers have been making “natural”, “green”, and “organic” choices when it comes to shopping for…
In the world of sustainable living, often friendships between designers and bloggers form online and rarely in person. This time, however, I found myself in Minnesota (USA) visiting family, so had the chance to set up a coffee date with Hannah Theisen from Life Style Justice and Brand Dispatch. We had collaborated together in the past, but hadn’t had the opportunity yet to meet in person. I was quite excited to sit down with her in a cute St. Paul cafe and have a chat about how she got into being a conscious consumer, the amazing work she is doing in the sustainability community, her fair-trade wedding and what her plans are for the future. -Danica, Wild Tussah Founder & Sustainable Fashion Designer
When did you decide to be a conscious consumer? What triggered you?
I spent some time living in the Philippines and worked with sex trafficking victims and refugees. After this eye-opening experience in 2012, I decided to be a conscious consumer for an entire year and purchase only fair-trade and responsibly produced products to stand up for social justice and in protest of labor trafficking.
After the year was up, I chose to continue living by these standards and make a lifelong change.
You first started your blog, Life Style Justice, and now founded a marketing and branding studio, Brand Dispatch, as well as a community for ethical bloggers, Ethical Blogger Network. What is your mission for each of these?
Life Style Justice- I started this blog to show consumers that social justice can be a way of life and that small actions can impact people in big ways. Often a misconception about ethical fashion is that it’s not stylish, but it can be!
Brand Dispatch- My mission is to help social brands that do good and assist them in breaking through the noise. I also show brand founders how to communicate that they are unique, and I provide a larger platform and create resources for them.
Ethical Blogger Network- This is a place for ethical bloggers to swop resources and find a community to be a part of.
You had a fair-trade wedding. Why did you choose to do this and was it hard for you to plan?
I originally met my husband at a social justice conference. Therefore, having a fair-trade wedding was the perfect way to represent our relationship. I saw this wedding as the opportunity to make a statement and show family and friends what I love- living ethically.
I knew what I wanted for my wedding and had been living an ethical lifestyle, so it was quite easy to plan. The bridesmaids’ jewelry were fair-trade and from a company in India. I also used compostable serving ware and locally brewed beer in glass bottles.
Have people around you changed their shopping habits too?
I have definitely seen a change in my siblings purchasing habit. My brother buys Fairtrade coffee and chocolate, and often shops at thrift stores.
What’s in the future for you?
I will continue to grow my business endeavors and spread the word about living ethically. My plan is to go back to the Philippines this Spring and work with some suppliers there on an upcoming project of mine! Stay tuned…