Think conventional modeling and fast fashion is unethical? Well Tyler Chanel, aka Thrifts and Tangles, is both an ethical model and blogger who's working to change that. She incorporates thrifting and sustainability into both her life and work.
Welcome to our “Sustainability Spotlight” series: We’ll be using this space to feature some absolutely amazing people in the environmental sphere. Watch this space and be on the lookout for more interviews and guest posts with eco influencers!
This time, we’re featuring Tyler Chanel, an ethical blogger, model and podcast host who is the founder of Thrifts and Tangles. She brings attention to topics pertaining to thrifting, sustainable fashion + beauty, conscious consumerism, and zero-waste. Here’s her story.
1. How did you get into sustainability?
My introduction into sustainability was through thrift shopping. My mom would take me thrifting when I was young, but I never really enjoyed it. Back then I preferred shopping in fast fashion companies at the mall.
When I got older, I realized thrifting was a great way for me to find unique, quality pieces at an affordable price and it was a more sustainable way to shop. I also learned about the issues within the fashion industry, by watching documentaries like The True Cost and Riverblue. These documentaries shaped my decision to stop supporting fast fashion and to always shop secondhand first when possible.
2. How did you start your website/blog/podcast/etc.?
I started my blog, Thrifts & Tangles, in 2012 as a way to document my natural hair journey. In 2013, when I got into thrifting, I decided to start sharing my outfits on the blog as well. I wanted to show people that they could be fashionable without having to spend a ton of money! Now in 2021, my mission is to encourage people to give thrifting, sustainability, and their natural selves a chance.
3. Which topic of sustainability do you cover/care about most (eg: zero waste, veganism, renewables)?
I mainly cover sustainable fashion & low waste beauty. But I'd say I am hyper-focused on encouraging people to shop secondhand first.
4. What’s one ecofriendly thing you do on the daily?
A few years ago, I invested in an at-home water dispenser and it's been a game-changer. I used to go through so many single-use water bottles. Now with the water dispenser, I buy refillable 5 lb jugs of water.
5. Favorite eco hack?
Reusing glass food jars as drinking glasses is one of my favorite hacks! Does that count?
6. What eco products are you loving right now?
Currently, I'm loving Ethique's Curliosity Conditioner Bar and Elate Cosmetic's Black Mascara.
7. If you could change one thing about the world what would it be?
I'd change the whitewashing of history. People deserve to learn the truth about the world, no matter how dark and uncomfortable it may be. When people are knowledgeable about what actually has happened throughout history, it can lead to a brighter future and hopefully allow people to learn from past mistakes.
8. What have been some of your biggest challenges (in terms of sustainable living)?
It was so hard to find sustainable products that work for curly hair! Thankfully, more brands are creating products for curly girls.
9. In your own words, how can we make sustainability more accessible?
Joining a grassroots movement that fights against environmental racism is a great way to get involved to make sustainability more accessible. A group I admire is the Green Guerillas.
10. What's one piece of advice for someone wanting to make a change in their lifestyle?
Use what you already have before making any sustainable swaps. The internet will have you convinced that you need bamboo everything, but this isn't true. Remember, throwing out everything you own for a more sustainable option is just wasteful!
So use what you have first, then when it's time to replace the item, consider switching to something more sustainable.
Do you have questions for Tyler? Leave them in the comments!