SUSTAINABLY STYLISH TANIA

July 18, 2020 4 min read

SUSTAINABLY STYLISH TANIA

Tania Arrayales was born in Mexico City, but moved to Los Angeles when she was young, her Mom bringing her over to USA illegally. She grew up in Inglewood, California and later in El Segundo, California. Although she has spent the majority of her life in America, her Mexican heritage and culture has deeply impacted who she is and honouring it is an important part of her life.

Tania always loved fashion, and she tells us how she especially loves that you can use fashion as a way to express who you are, how you feel and it gives you power. During her graduate studies she first became involved in fashion. While doing her Masters in Digital Marketing she began interning at a fashion startup. Although that internship didn't materialise into anything further for Tania, it was there that she met the founder of StyleLend, a peer to peer fashion rental marketplace. Tania worked closely with the founder at StyleLend and was at first involved in all parts of the business process, and then later as the business developed she focused on the marketing and operations of the business. Working at StyleLend was her passion for 5 years, and she continues involvement as an advisor to this day.

Through her work at StyleLend and from following bloggers and watching documentaries like True Cost, a movie about the negative cost that the fashion industry has on our environment and on the people who work in the industry, Tania became interested and passionate about sustainability. 

At 30, Tania moved to NYC with just one suitcase and decided that instead of filling up her life with poor quality, she would take a year off from buying and slowly incorporate secondhand and sustainable brands into her wardrobe. She wanted a closet she could be proud of. 

Tania wears our Mica Top in Stella Print in Black

Tania tells us about the challenges she faced during this year that she dedicated to not purchasing any new clothing. She tells us that physically not buying things wasn't too hard, but what was particularly difficult was satisfying that "fix" when you get something new after rewarding yourself for working hard. She had to teach herself to break her relationship with materials and she had to figure out different ways to get the same feeling. She tells us how it pushed her to realise that she doesn't need fashion or items in order to make her happy or feel good.

Tania also started volunteering for Unicef Congressional Action Team and Planned Parenthood's Activist Council, and after leaving StyleLend she wondered why there wasn't this kind of activism around sustainable fashion. She met Tori at Unicef and together they decided to create an organisation centred around fashion advocacy. Together they created Fashion of Tomorrow, an organisation which advocates for transparency, accountability, sustainability and equitability within the fashion industry by working toward systemic change.

In 2016, after becoming a US citizen, Tania made her first vote for the US presidential election. When Trump won, it changed everything. As a once undocumented child and as an immigrant she knew she could no longer just sit on the sidelines waiting for change. She wanted to be a part of the change.

Tania became involved with AmplifyHer, an organisation focused on getting more women into local and federal offices. She was approached by one of the founders after she finished a congressional race in 2018. The organisation offers candidate people power. They make calls, knock on doors and canvass for their endorsed candidates.

Most recently, Tania is a new Mom to little baby Sebastián. She tells us about the new challenges she faces in her efforts to living a sustainable life now having a baby. She had to learn quickly that it would be hard to be fully sustainable. She says "As a first time Mom, I was already struggling getting the hang of it and on top of that I was working full time. So I tried to make changes where I knew I could." She bought used or secondhand clothing, the most sustainable diapers she could find, and limited the amount of plastic and baby wipes she used. She says it's a continual process to improve as she gets the hang of motherhood.

Now Tania swears by secondhand as babies grow fast and it's a more economical option to always buying new. She also gets clothing for her baby from her friends who have boys who outgrew their clothing. Pre-covid, Tania would use Facebook marketplace for toys and other items for her baby. For herself, she loves discovering new brands on Instagram, anything Fair Trade certified or local. 

Right now Tania currently has her eyes set on Congress! She's the Chief of Staff for Suraj Patel who is running and in a very close race. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks they will know if they will be heading to the House of Representatives!

Follow Tania in her sustainability journey, through her new motherhood and her journey in her exciting and influential work to creating positive change through politics on Instagram: @sustainablystylish

Check out Fashion of Tomorrow here.


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