This is the beginning of our series 'Tell Me Everything' where we'll Interview our favorite people in the fashion industry because they're rad and we think you'd like to meet them too. We'll pick their brains, make them tell us stuff they only tell their friends on GChat and take a peak into what they really think about the fashion industry. Kristin Lane is first up!
Not only is Kristin cute as a button and as stylish as they come, she has a heart of gold and has made a career out of ethical fashion and social good. She works at Nest, an organization that, among many things, supports artisans in developing countries; connecting them with luxury fashion lines, education and economic opportunities. First we asked Kristin to pick out five items she'd love to get or give from HELPSY for the holidays. Then we asked what greases her gears and keeps her intrigued with the intersection of conscious fashion and social good.
Kristin Lane's HELPSY Holiday Wishlist:
DIRTY GRL Vegan Troll Soap :: I immediately go to the HELPSY Adrogyny category, because in my opinion, every shopping site should have this; it’s brilliant and the way I like to dress. I found the troll soap here, and how could I say no? This reminds me of a “troll birthday party” I had in elementary school. Everyone brought their trolls (it was assumed you had one, which is a little presumptuous) and we made clothes for them out of felt. See, I’ve always loved fashion!
Aoko Su Cat Collar Necklace :: I am so obsessed with this necklace. I love necklaces that look like collars, which seems a bit masochistic or something, but I am not questioning it.
Giu Giu Sweatpant :: I have recently gotten really into Scandinavian design. There is a whole crop of emerging talent coming out of Sweden, Denmark and Norway and a lot of the styles focus on these types of loose-itting sweatpants. Love this pair!
Now We Pick Kristin's Brain :)
What's your role at NEST?
I am Nest’s Director of Communications, which means that I help take the very incredible work that Nest is doing and put it into words that help people better understand what we do and why it’s so important. I write newsletters that update our community on what’s happening with Nest artisans around the world; talk to magazines, newspapers and TV reporters about Nest’s newest endeavors; write proposals to foundations and corporations who share Nest’s vision for a more sustainable future; plan exciting artisan-inspired events; and much more.
How did you get into working in the Arena of Social Good combined with fashion and what do you like most about it?
Prior to joining the Nest team, I was working with KIND Healthy Snacks, a healthy lifestyle company that is promotes not only treating your body with respect, but treating others that way too. Watching the food industry demand greater transparency, I began to develop an interest how this related to fashion, as well. I wanted to know the stories behind the items I was purchasing and to be more mindful about my relationship to fashion. I believe that fashion will follow food as this type of awareness grows amongst people like myself.
What's the most surprising thing you've learned about yourself working in Social Good? Everyday Nest is working with artisans who live in rural communities who are struggling to get by. These are lovely, talented wives, mothers, sisters and daughters (89% of Nest artisans are women) with incredible skills, but who have not been born into a social, political and/or economic environment that is favorable to building a sustainable living for one’s self and one’s family. As a result, I feel incredibly thankful everyday for the many gifts I have been given.
What item in your wardrobe do you have that is such high quality it's been passed down to you from another generation, or you've just had it a really long time? I am a huge believe in building a wardrobe of quality pieces with classic style. In a sense, this is a form of mindful consumption and a step in the right direction towards greater sustainability when it comes to merging fashion with social responsibility. My family heirlooms have come more in the form of jewelry, but my mother did gift me a beautiful black, caviar Chanel bag and I get endless use out of it. To me, it is timeless.
What would be your IDEAL date night, if you had a time machine and a beam to take you any place, anywhere, any time period in the world?
This is very Midnight in Paris of me, but I would almost certainly choose Paris in the 1920s. We would have dinner at the fabled Maxim’s followed by lots of dancing and walk home along the Seine.
Do you ever get "how can FASHION be ethical" from people? How do you respond? Of course I do get this question/comment all of the time. To me, though, the ultimate luxury is knowing where your clothing came from and feeling that it arrived to you as the product of skilled craftsmanship - that it was created by talented artisans who are finding health and happiness through their work. I like to paint this scenario: Imagine you are on a date with a very good looking fellow. He comes from an impressive family background and attended a prestigious university. On the surface, he seems ideal. Then he takes you to dinner. He under-tips the waiter and is rude to the cabdriver on the way home. These qualities are an immediate deal-breaker. This is like a luxury brand that you find out is treating its laborers unethically; it loses its allure and assumes the opposite association in my mind.