All Posts By

Leah-Jane Musch

Fashion

The Big 10K!

Friday, on my way to work, I hit a milestone that I’ve been aiming at reaching for more than 2 and a half years – I hit the big 10 thousand followers on Instagram!!! This may seem like a fickle goal to some, but Instagram has literally changed my life. It’s connected me with people from all over the world, allowed me to travel and basically create a living resume of all of my creative work in the realm of sustainable and ethical fashion. It has opened up countless doors for me, and helped me connect with so many fascinating people – it’s an endless source of inspiration!

Hitting this goal has made me reflect on how far I’ve come since I started this blog almost 3 years ago. It has helped me learn so much about myself, and I have nothing but gratitude for all the opportunities and fun things I’ve got to do along the way. I also couldn’t have done it without the constant support and photo skills of my fiance Jamie – he’s really a big part of The Unmaterial Girl and he needs extra props!

Here’s to the next 10k!

P.s I realise these balloons aren’t the most environmentally friendly way to celebrate, so I made sure I bought ones that can be recycled, but I actually plan on cutting them up and making gift bags.

 

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Fashion

The Upcycled Salon

Years ago, Mikki would come over to my tiny apartment and dye my hair whilst we’d chat about our dreams and drink tea. Today, she’s putting the finishing touches on her very own light filled salon, bursting with beautiful plants and upcycled furniture. It’s so inspiring to watch people grow, especially when they’ve found that thing that makes them tick.

Thanks to my fairly recent history as a business owner myself, I am super passionate about supporting small and local businesses – especially when they have an ethical/sustainable edge. Mikki is SO close to having a completely vegan salon (just waiting on Mr Smith to launch their own colour range). The space itself was originally a stable in the 1920’s, neighbouring a dispensary and is rich with historical vibes.

Mikki has organised the salon to create a sense of community within the first moment you walk through the door. The aesthetic is clean, green and homely – dotted with gorgeous crystals from Mikki’s personal collection. I was paying a visit to have my hair coloured by Mikki’s super talented sidekick, Annie. My hair was foiled at a round table, directly next to another client. It was so easy for the four of us to indulge in some girly chat, and there was a distinct nostalgic sleepover club vibe that I instantly loved. We were all swapping Instagram handles in no time.

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I sipped on my own freshly made coffee served in beautiful ceramic wares from Mas & Miek, and snacked on the most moorish nut cluster bites I’ve ever come across. Abstract line artwork by local talent/musician/creative Jazz Di Prima perfectly fills the walls, and there is an envious abundance of healthy plants sourced from Mappins (one of my faves) and the Oxley Nursery. The large mirrors in the main salon room started their life as wardrobe doors and have since been transformed into wooden framed wonders. Much of the furniture was hand made with the help of Mikki’s trusty Dad (how good are Dads for shop fitting, amiright?) and partner Andrew, and the chairs have been found through Gumtree and lovingly restored.

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A personal favourite up-cycling project was the stunning light box, originally found at Reverse Garbage for a laughable $13! The sneaky sound system in the corner was actually a car radio, now hidden inside some simple pallet tray timber (this one was Andrews pride and joy). Little splashes of creativity are everywhere in this space, and it’s a testimony to the talent and drive of Mikki and her little crew.

lightbox musicThe end result? Spiced up locks and that perfect “blogger girl wave” – Annie nailed it! I highly recommend booking a visit for a cut, colour or both as soon as possible. With Mikki already being voted one of Brisbane’s Best Hairdressers for Blondes AND Best Hairdresser by Style Magazine, her appointment list is going to fill up fast. This is one of those really good things that is only accessible now, before everyone knows about it, but soon will be hard to get a visit – so build that client/hairdresser relationship quick!

Mikki and I also discussed renting out the space for other creative projects and events in the future – art exhibits, pop up markets, music sessions – she’s open! Send her an email at mikkiauld@gmail.com to pitch your collaborative idea.

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Fashion, Review

More than just a piece of clothing…

The Magic of Ayurganic

Clothes are amazingly powerful creations. They have the ability to provide you with a boost of confidence, a shield of armour, or in this case – a total sense of calm and peace. Wrapped up in GOTS certified cotton feels good regardless, but this is more than just a beautiful hooded bathrobe. Ayurganic has created a collection of clothing like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

They’ve blended traditional Ayurvedic principles and rituals into their textile creation process, the fabric is literally treated with hand picked herbs collected by local tribal communities. Spirituality, philosophy and fashion swirl seamlessly together, and this is such an interesting concept for me. “Wearing Ayurganic is an act of responsibility, sustainability and consciousness” – couldn’t have said it better myself. Honestly, take a look at their website. Such a beautiful melding of creativity and spirituality.

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Eco

The Zero Wasters, The New Cool Kids

Plastic Free-dom

There’s a new breed of underground eco warrior starting to emerge onto our suburban streets. You can spot them at your local coffee shop with their KeepCup in hand, ready for a fresh brew. They’re whipping out their reusable straws to drink their smoothies. They’re at Coles and Woolies, armed with fabric shopping bags. They’re at your local market, jars and bags in hand, ready to stock up on fresh package free goodies. I’m talking about The Zero Wasters, the coolest club you’ll want to be a part of (if you’re not already). They’ve kicked their single use plastic habit to the curb and are consequently saving the planet one little change at a time.

Currently in Australia, the waste we’re producing is growing twice as fast as our population.  Luckily, people are starting to catch on to the fact that there is really no “away” when we throw something away. This is especially true for plastic, as every single piece ever created is still in existence today! I’ve put together a little starting guide so that you can become a bona fide member of the Zero Wasters club too.

Swap Single Use for Future Use

One of the easiest places to start is with the seemingly innocent plastic straw, which has crept up into the top 10 lists of items found during beach clean ups. I discovered some pretty shocking facts over at Strawlessoceon.org, such as if we fail to pull back our consumption of plastic straws soon, by 2050 our ocean will have more plastic in it than fish! As plastic straws are so lightweight they often can’t be properly recycled and are instead disposed of as garbage. I purchased a pretty rose gold stainless steel straw from Biome Eco Stores, which also happens to be my work place. They have a range of different reusable straws online and in store, plus handy cleaning brushes too. Another tip, next time you’re offered a straw with your drink – just say “No thanks, that’s so 2017!”

If you’re yet to watch the ABC’S War on Waste mini-series, then don’t worry, it’s still available online (better to be late to the party than not go at all right?) One of the most talked about revelations on the show was the fact that, despite what myself and many other people thought, disposable coffee cups can’t be recycled. Invest in a reusable coffee cup like the one I have from KeepCup so you can feel as smug as I do when I bring my own to my local barista (and a lot of cafes offer discounts too – woo hoo!)

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Shop Local + BYO Bag

This one’s probably my favourite, as there is just something really rewarding about getting up early on a Saturday morning and
heading to the markets. I have a tradition of picking up a hot coffee and fresh croissant as I stroll around, soaking up the vibes. Buying local not only supports farmers directly, but helps cut down on fossil fuels associated with the transportation of food from super far away. Don’t forget to bring your own bags (mine’s from Artisan & Fox) and opt for unpackaged fruits and veggies where possible.

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DIY Beauty

The DIY Beauty trend is on the rise, and for good reason. I’ve never been a fan of products with words I can’t pronounce listed in the ingredients, so it’s nice to know exactly what’s going into the beauty products I make myself. I’ve recently discovered that the organic coconut oil I had in my pantry is a dream moisturizer! A quick google will result in an abundance of DIY ideas for beauty products, but I’m also a particular fan of the site Trash is for Tossers. Head to the toiletries tab and find out how to make your own deodorant, toothpaste and body scrub. Biome Eco Stores have recently introduced their own Naked Beauty Bar, where you can literally create your very own beauty products from scratch. They have an tonne of recipes and ideas in store as well as beautiful bottles that can be refilled, the toughest part is picking what to whip up first!

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This is just a starting point, there are SO many ways you can begin changing your habits around waste. I would love to know any tips and tricks that you find work well!

Fashion, Wedding

Mindfully Wed

Planning an Eco Wedding

When Jamie and I got engaged at the end of 2015 we agreed that we wouldn’t set a date or start planning until there was marriage equality in Australia. This is something we were both passionate about as it just didn’t feel right for us to participate in the ritual of marriage if it wasn’t an option for so many cherished and close friends and family. So we waited, and recently, whilst I was away in Italy, Gay marriage was legalised in Australia – WOO WOO!

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So now that I’m back on home soil the planning has begun (although according to the photo on the right, it started when I was four years old). Originally, we wanted to get married towards the end of this year before it gets too hot. However, after some scheduling I realised that our wedding would clash head on with my final semester of uni, right when I’ll be deep in the depths of designing and making my final collection. Not really a smart time right? So we’ve pushed things forward to early next year some time. This gives me a WHOLE YEAR of inspiration, Pinteresting and planning. Can I get another WOO WOO?!

From the get-go I’m wanting to do this whole thing as sustainably, affordably and ethically as I can. This intention is what lead me straight to the Mindfully Wed e-guide, created by the talented folk over at Less Stuff More Meaning. LSMM was founded by Sandra Henri, a professional wedding photographer turned eco wedding guru. Much like myself, Sandra became jaded by consumerism and the intense focus on materialism especially evident within the wedding industry. She set out to create a resource hub of industry change makers and eco wedding specialists, a go-to guide for conscious brides and grooms.

I recently downloaded  my own (tree saving) copy of the Mindfully Wed e-guide and I’m here to tell you why you should too. Even though I’ve only dipped a toe into the world of wedding planning, I was shocked by how many “shoulds” I was instantly hit with. “You should invite the entire family and plus ones otherwise people will get offended”, “You should have a sit down dinner, it’s more formal”, “You should start booking photographers and wedding videographers now”.

Uh, panic!

When I imagine my dream wedding day, I don’t think of co-ordinated table clothes and chair covers. I think of having my close friends and family together, eating delicious local food, excellent music, wearing something I feel amazing in and most importantly celebrating how lucky Jamie and I are to have even found each other in the first place. We’ve set ourselves a budget of 5k, and are leaning towards a backyard wedding (though a farm wedding with the option of everyone eating marshmallows around a campfire at the end of the night is really the dream). I don’t want my bridesmaids in matching outfits. I’ll probably do my own hair and design the invites myself.

The Mindfully Wed E-Guide

The Mindfully Wed e-guide not only made me feel really good about my somewhat unconventional wedding ideas, but also encouraged me to stick to our vision without aiming for perfection. It is jam packed with how-to’s like where to find a socially conscious ring, thought provoking articles such as ‘War on Waste Weddings’  and even planet-friendly menu ideas. The photography is raw, real and breathtaking, giving such authentic inspiration as to what really is possible. After downloading this guide I really don’t see any need for wedding magazines or to seek out more information, this literally had everything I could want and more. For all you fellow wedding planners out there, invest in your own copy, it’ll be the smartest and most uplifting spend in your budget, guaranteed.

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