This week, I interviewed Lauren Hatch of Curating Contentment. I found Lauren on Instagram when I saw her wearing some of my favorite brands, including Windblown Jewelry and Elizabeth Suzann. I was curious to ask Lauren about how she got into the sustainable fashion movement and how she relates her faith to her wardrobe!
About Faith and Fashion
Kat: Even though we’ve never met, I feel such a connection with you through our mutual love for sustainable clothing! Tell me a little bit about why sustainable fashion is important to you.
Lauren: Ethics and sustainability in the clothing industry was something I hadn’t heard of until 2017. I originally stumbled into ethical fashion awareness from tuning into Bethany’s (from Dearly Bethany) year of outfits challenge. This exposed me to my first ethical clothing brand, Elizabeth Suzann.
But the real driving force in my passion for ethics and sustainability in the clothing industry stems from my belief in Christ. As a Christian, I believe that every human being is made in the image of God, and therefore deserves dignity and honor. Fashion is one of the most exploitative industries in the world. A small way I am able to fight against the broken system is by abstaining the best I can from fast fashion brands, and instead purchasing from independent, ethical companies.
Kat: I love your goal to wear each garment you own at least 30 times. What types of pieces best stand the test of time for you?
Lauren: Longevity is so important! I think that the pieces that have lasted well for me (after the abuse I constantly put them through), are a well woven sweater and a good pair of leather shoes. A good pair of leather shoes will always feel like butter on your feet, will mold to you, and can always be resoled if they are worn down from walking!
Kat: What is your favorite fall outfit right now and why?
Lauren: Does it sound like I’m joshing if I say that my favorite outfit is actually my Pamut Apparel Byron Romper, paired with my Jamie and the Jones Checkered T Sweater, and a pair of mahogany ankle boots? I pretty much wear this combo at least once a week! I love the way that the jumpsuit looks like flowy wide legged cropped pants when topped with a cropped sweater! Plus, SO cozy and transitional for California Autumn, where it’s 85 degrees one minute and then 60 the next.
Kat: Your Instagram profile blurb states “On a journey to find Contentment in Christ, not clothes”. I’d love to hear more about that! How do you tie in your faith with your passion for sustainable fashion?
Lauren: Haha, I actually recently added the ‘On a journey’ part, because finding my contentment in Christ is this ever amorphous, daily thing. Before I came to faith in Jesus in my twenties, I found a lot of my identity in my clothing. Whenever I was feeling light, I would need to articulate that feeling in my outfit of the day– that usually meant going out and spending my waitressing tip money from the night before on a cheap lacy top I would wear once and then discard.
Now, it’s all about coming to a fuller understanding in my heart, that my identity is wrapped up in Jesus– not what I put on my body. This gives me a deeper responsibility to care for creation and the world he made, by not purchasing over abundantly and wastefully. Now everything that I buy is resold if I want a new piece, instead of going to the landfill. And lastly– the thing I’m actually currently struggling with if I can be honest, is financial modesty in the pieces I invest in, and determining what price points are simply no-gos even if I do desire to save for them.
Every day I am learning more and more what drives my passion for clothing, and the areas of wrestling I still need to do in my heart (and there are many peaks and valleys) to keeping Jesus the primary, and my own self expression secondary.
About Life Outside of Instagram
Kat: I’m curious to know more about your life outside of Instagram and the sustainable sphere! What do you do for a living?
Lauren: When I’m not peeking into the Instagram world, I’m actually a legal clerk! I assist a couple of prominent attorneys who specialize in Education, Business, and Contract Law. Every so often you’ll see a video of me running in and out of the different Bay Area courthouses, usually with a coffee in hand.
Kat: What is your favorite way to relax and reduce stress after a long week?
Lauren: After a long week of work, I am all about the kitty snuggles. I am SO fast to get into PJs, pop on ‘The Office’ and cuddle up with my fat old cat Dolly.
About The Importance of Heritage
Kat: You’re a first generation American. Tell me about your heritage and what it means to you.
Lauren: I am! My mother’s side is Indonesian, so I grew up listening to all of the ‘folklore’ and the history of the Indonesian side of my family. But it also meant listening to my Oma talk about life as a girl during the Dutch-Indonesian war. She told me stories of crawling through the rice paddies when they were under attack, and reaching back to grab her little brother, only to have grabbed the arm of a dead man instead. Mortifying!
My Oma was the strongest, sweetest woman I have ever known. She never lost her joviality despite her circumstances. She eventually immigrated to Holland at the close of the war, and soon after her and my Opa moved the United States with my Mother and Aunt.
As a child, I loved particular smells and spices of my Oma’s kitchen, and her jolly, heavy accent. I loved listening to the women in my family prattling to one another in Dutch, and knowing that my Opa had been one of the engineers who got BART into SF. My Dutch-Indonesian heritage has always felt like a series of memories of my loved ones that have been embossed onto my worldview and heart.