We're diving into the inspiring story of a talented graphic designer turned blogger, Emily Lavinskas. She took a leap of faith to pursue her dreams, and she's now built a thriving community-driven blog that's all about sharing the things she loves with the world.
Plus, if you're interested in sustainability and eco-conscious living (who isn't these days?), you'll definitely want to stick around to hear her tips and tricks for making a positive impact on the planet. So, let's get to it.
Sam: Let's start with the most important question - what's your origin story? How did you end up becoming a blogger?
Emily: Well, it all started when I was working as a graphic designer and feeling creatively unfulfilled. I had always wanted to start a blog but was worried about what people would think. But eventually, I decided to go for it and create a space where people could come without judgement and find lifestyle and fashion content. Everyone is welcome, and that's what I'm hoping to create with my blog.
Sam: Starting something new takes guts. In the same way, our team decided to open our brand, Grae Cove. We weren't sure what the response was going to be about our linen clothing, but we're so happy we did. It sounds like you are too. So, tell me what is the essence of your blog?
Emily: Great question! I want my blog to feel like a cozy place where you can come and feel like you're hanging out with a friend. You can get to know me and the community, and find all sorts of content from fashion to sustainability. It's all about creating a community where everyone feels welcome and included.
Sam: I love that. Speaking of sustainability, can you tell me about your eco-awareness journey?
Emily: For me, it all started with food. I went vegetarian when I was a kid, maybe 11 or 12, but it was tough. While my parents were sort of supportive, they were also like, "We're not cooking you a whole other meal." But as I got older, I became more passionate about animal rights, and that eventually led me to learn more about the environmental impact of factory farming. That's when I realized that going vegetarian was a way for me to achieve two goals at once.
Sam: So true. It sounds like it was an easy choice for you. I think some people find going eco-friendly really daunting because there are so many aspects that they feel like they have to change. What's your best advice?
Emily: First, don't beat yourself up over not being perfect. Sustainability is a journey, and we're all human. Set attainable goals for yourself and take it one step at a time.
I highly recommend going vegetarian (or at least cutting back on meat). It's one of the best things you can do for the environment, and there are so many delicious plant-based options out there. While going vegetarian was easy for me, it might not be easy for you. And, it still took over 6 months for me to cut out meat altogether. I initially cut out all red meat, and stuck to chicken, turkey and fish. After six months, I decided to cut out poultry. It wasn't until a few years ago that I eliminated fish from my diet.
I'm actually allergic to soy, so tofu was totally out of the question. This transition worked for me because I could take the time to experiment with different recipes and discover the protein substitutes that I enjoyed eating. Here's my recipe for a yummy vegetarian "tuna-fish" sandwich.
For those who are trying to reduce their meat intake, try going vegetarian one day a week, then two...and see how it goes. It's all about finding what works for you and experimenting until you figure it out.
Sam: Right. What's easy for you, might be a challenge for some.
Emily: Exactly. Remember that sustainability isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. Everyone struggles with something different, and that's okay. Breaking habits is hard. No one said going eco-friendly was going to be easy. The key is setting attainable targets for yourself so that you're setting yourself up for success. For example, I struggle with cutting back on ziploc bags (they're just so convenient!), but cutting out meat was an easy one for me.
Sam: That makes so much sense. What's something you've learned in your sustainability journey, maybe a mistake that you've made?
Emily: Use what you already have before buying new eco-conscious items. For me, being eco-friendly, doesn't mean tossing things out just because they contain plastic, for instance. It's re-using, upcycling and then, responsibly disposing or recycling that item. Then, replacing it with better options.
I made the mistake of getting rid of all my plastic containers and switching them out for all glass ones, but in hindsight, it was wasteful and expensive. I could have just continued using the plastic ones until they wore out. If you're looking for tips on going plastic-free, you can read it on my blog here.
Sam: Love that advice. Being eco-friendly is also about consuming less and using what you have. But, if you did have to buy new, what are some smart choices?
Emily: I consider second-hand first. But, if you have to buy new, look for businesses that prioritize sustainability. That's why I love the mission of Grae Cove. Grae Cove ships directly your workshops which means that there's less emissions than a traditional retail business that ships from manufacturers, to sourcing agents, to warehouses, to wholesalers - That's so much shipping!
The linen shirt and top that I received are made with high-quality linen fabric. The styles are classic and neutral in tone, which means I'll be wearing for them on-repeat for long time, especially in the summer. Linen clothes are perfect for summers here in Canada. I'll also be taking these outfits with me on my honeymoon to Europe in a couple of weeks. Grae Cove is also affordable too. What's not to love?
You can read more about my Grae Cove review here.
Sam: We love that you love our Grae Cove clothing. Thanks so much for sharing your tips, Emily. Your journey towards sustainability is relatable, achievable and inspiring.
Emily is wearing the Hollis 100% Linen Button-Front Camp Shirt in XL and the Helene Linen Blend Elastic Waist Side-Tie Wide-Legged Pants in XL.
All photos were taken by Emily Lavinskas.