Brooke Hahn is the Founder of The Beautiful Think – an Australian online multi-brand store for sustainable, socially responsible and stylish fashion. She started TBT to showcase stylish, sustainable labels in one, easy-to-visit place, to make buying sustainable fashion as convenient as it is for fast fashion.
As well as selling beautiful clothing; Brooke shares mindful, toxic-free living advice on TBT’s weekly wellbeing blog. Here, she tells Eluxe about how mindful living changed her life, and why coffee with her could go on for hours…
Why do you think bloggers are becoming increasingly important in the publishing world?
There’s a great ‘realness’ about bloggers and how they write that really resonates with people. They can be more personal, more raw. The wellbeing blogs that I follow (e.g. Sarah Wilson) are written from personal experience, which makes me connect with their story that much more deeply, especially when I’m having similar experiences or understandings. It feels as if you really know them and they’re kind of like their one of your friends! What I love about being a blogger in mindful living and eco style is that I’m writing what I’m learning and experiencing right now on the wellbeing path. It’s in real-time.
Which green fashion labels are currently in your lust-list?
So many! The Beautiful Think are stocking some amazing eco labels right now. I would have to say MT Labels – they make gorgeous eco-luxury handbags and totes. I love Maiya, an eco and ethical label from the UK that only produce made-to-order and use many vintage fabrics; the new TBT label Belle+Beau from New Zealand, which uses GOTS certified organic cotton, jersey and dyes. I’m also a huge fan of Etrala (a UK eco label) for their 70s London style, and I adore my Colin Leslie sunnies.
How do you merge ethical and non-ethical brands in you wardrobe?
I’m continually building my eco/ethical wardrobe. What I love about green labels is that they don’t really adhere to trends. The pieces that I have are a reflection of my style, so I can wear them every day.
I used to buy clothes that were cheap without really thinking about the impact, and had a wardrobe of “nothing to wear.” I still have some of these “bargains” in my wardrobe that I wear from time to time, and they’re a great reminder of how my thinking and my world view has completely shifted so amazingly these past few years.
I went on a thrifting excursion with Faye De Lanty (Fashion Hound) a few weekends ago – it was so much fun sifting through the racks and I nabbed some amazing secondhand designer pieces!
Do you use any green beauty products?
I wear organic makeup (when I wear makeup); I use organic moisturisers, body lotions and body wash; and Original & Mineral shampoo and conditioner (it’s delicious!). I also make my own food-based face masks (taught by a friend who is also on the mindful living and wellbeing path) of lemon, olive oil, honey and turmeric (all equal proportions). It is honestly the most amazing thing for my skin. After a mask I keep doing double-takes in the mirror!
Which new green labels do you see as up and coming?
Veryan (UK) are really inspiring and just so motivated to create beautiful clothing in an eco and ethical way. NearFar are also fabulous – their vibrant, African-inspired, bold prints are really cool and add some awesome to your wardrobe. Amitiwi (Australian eco/ethical swimwear label) are doing wonderful things for indigenous artists in preserving local culture and heritage; and I love MuMu Organic’s (Greece) beautiful, uniquely designed organic dresses.
Which is better: buying green, or buying vintage?
Both are great options. Buying mindfully is key– not filling your wardrobe with cheap “stuff” for cheap shopping thrills. Creating a wardrobe with both vintage and green garments that you love and connect with (it’s all about connecting with and conceptualising fashion in a different, more meaningful way) is a great way to express your style and your values, and minimise your impact on the environment.
What’s your position on leather? Fur?
I don’t really have a position at this stage. I know there are extreme views on either side about leather and fur and it’s something that I’d love to explore further. I wear leather and some of TBT’s handbag labels are made from by-product leathers from the food industry and are tanned using non-toxic methods. I would love to have a conversation about the views on each.
Which shopping habits do you think are the most important ones consumers need to change?
The mindless consumption of cheap “stuff.” Many people don’t think about what their shopping habits are really creating in the world. They don’t realise that someone or something (i.e. the environment and garment manufacturers) have paid the real cost for their bargain, that will likely be worn a couple of times before it washes funny or it isn’t shiny anymore.
Mass consumption of fast fashion perpetuates a cycle of negative impact. We need to spread awareness of the real cost of clothing and reframe our thinking about what’s cheap and why. We can change this negative impact of mindless consumption through connection: with self, each other and the environment. When consumers are connected with each of these areas, buying sustainable and ethical fashion becomes a given, the only option.
How are you adding to a ‘greener’ world?
By spreading and living the sustainable and mindful message as much as possible. I LOVE being on the wellbeing road and discussing what I’ve learnt with others. (Honestly, go out for coffee with me and just give me an inch…!
I love my life so much. I live sustainably as much as possible through the products that I use, the clothes that I wear and what I put on and inside my body. But I also live mindfully and as connectedly as possible: I meditate every morning; I read a smack load of blogs, books and articles on self-love and self-awareness and practice my learnings daily. I’m always learning and growing in awareness in this area and making changes to how I live for the better.
And of course my all-consuming joy, The Beautiful Think, is all about spreading the green and mindful message. We make aligning your fashion shopping habits with your values super easy, by selling beautiful, sustainable and ethical clothing from a range of eco labels. Plus we share mindful, toxic-free living advice through our blog. I share what I’m learning and have learnt. We’re all about the eco lifestyle: connecting people with self, each other and the environment and connecting with fashion in a more meaningful way.
Website: The Beautiful Think www.thebeautifulthink.com.au