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Living Intentionally

Land Your Dream Job With These Hacks

You really want a job. You may not be the perfect candidate on paper – you don’t have the ‘preferred years of experience’ – but it’s a perfect role for you.

Most people would submit a resume and pray for an interview, where they’ll spit cookie-cutter answers to questions. They think if they just follow the process, good things will happen.

In reality, there are hundreds of applicants for the role you want, so you can’t just follow the process. If you really want the job, you must take bold action to stick out!

Here’s are hacks you should use to land your dream job, from Shaan Puri.

Get your paper in the small stack.

A job opening is published online and hundreds of applications pile in. The hiring manager goes through the high stack of resumes, selects a few that look good, and responds to those applicants. What are the odds that YOUR resume will stand out among that stack? Not good.

Next to this high stack of resumes sits a much smaller stack. These are the resumes of applicants who got referred by an employee at the firm. Most of these applicants will get an interview because the hiring manager trusts that stamp of approval from another employee.

The best chance of getting past this first checkpoint and getting an interview is to get a referral. Get in the small stack of papers. The best part: employees get thousands of dollars in bonuses for referring people, so they want to do it!

If you know someone at the firm, great, reach out to them and ask for a referral. If you don’t know someone at the firm, it’s time to network. Use LinkedIn to see who works at the company from your school, your past firm, or your hometown. Reach out to 5 of them and ask for a call to talk about the firm, position, and their experience there.

This is your first phone interview… tell them why this job is perfect for you and how you’ll help the company. If the call goes really well and you’ve made a connection, ask how they’re able to help you land this dream job. Most of the time, they’ll refer you! Again, they’ll get a bonus if you land the job! It’s a win-win.

Manage the interview.

You got referred and landed an interview. Most people go into the behavioral interview and are nervous because they don’t know what they’ll be asked. They’re afraid they’ll stutter and stumble over a question.

The truth is that interviewers don’t actually judge you on your answer to their exact question. They ask questions just to get to know you.

You have to manage what they hear about you in the interview. You can’t walk away saying “Damn, I never got to tell them about…” No matter what they ask, you must manage the story they hear.

First, you have to talk about yourself.

“Tell me about yourself.”

This is your chance to kick off the interview with a bang. The other candidates will bore the interviewer by listing off their resumes, but you will tell a story. The interviewers are interested in you the human, not you the resume.

Every good story has a transformation. Here’s a good template for your story: “I was born to blah blah. My whole life I wanted to become a blah because both my parents are that. Then I had blah experience and figured out I was really good at talking to people, so it transformed me to want to be an account executive. So I went to college and since then I’ve been accomplishing blah. Now I want to be challenged/make an impact which led me here!”

“Tell me about a time….”

You can’t prepare for these exact questions, so come in with 3 stories you want to tell.

  1. When you overcame an unexpected obstacle. You/your team were doing great, all of a sudden something happened, and here’s how you overcame it. Could be anything! Maybe your ice cream shop’s fridge stopped working.
  2. When you dealt with a team issue/people issue. Someone kept showing up late to work, someone was overstressed so you asked your boss to lessen her load, someone wasn’t contributing to the school project. How did you notice it and take action to fix it?
  3. When you found and executed a new opportunity. The world looked to be this way, but you saw something else, so you went a different direction and it worked.

You’ll be waiting for questions that tee you up to knock these stories out of the park. People remember stories, not facts, and these will wow them!

Next, you have to talk about the company.

You should come in with an understanding of what the company’s good AND bad at. Go above and beyond – use their product, look up their financials, talk to their customers, etc.

Incorporate these observations into your answers so they know you’re a) proactive and b) interested in the company. Come in and say, “I talked to 5 of your customers, do you want to hear what they said?”

You have to ask them questions.

It’s part of the test. They’re judging you based on this, so don’t ask cookie-cutter questions.

If you’re like most people, you’d ask how YOU will benefit from this job – “what will my hours be like, what’s your vacation policy.” To stick out, ask how you can be successful at this company.

“If you look forward 1 year from now and whoever you hire for this role is doing an awesome job, what do you picture them doing that makes them so good at their job?” This lets them know you’re focused on helping them be successful, and it helps you figure out what the role consists of. Be team-first!

Finally, reel in the offer!

Now you’ve nailed the interviews and they’re excited about how perfect you are for the role. It’s time to reel in the job offer…

Follow up strong! Don’t just thank them, but also provide value to them. “I enjoyed our conversation, and check out this article (related to what we talked about) for a customer acquisition strategy that could be valuable to your company.”

If you follow those hacks, you will dramatically increase your odds of getting the job! And when you get the offer, absolutely negotiate it.

Want to learn more about intentional living? Follow Choobs on LinkedIn and subscribe to our newsletter.

Related:
1. How To Start Doing That Thing You Really Want To Do
2. 25 To 35-Year-Olds Must Avoid This Trap

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Living Intentionally

How To Start Doing That Thing You Really Want To Do

You want to write. You want to read. You want to do a triathlon. You want to make new friends. You want to change careers. You want to exercise. You want to start a company.

You’re thinking about it. Reading articles on it. Learning how it’ll work. Waiting for the perfect time to do it.

You’re thinking about it. It’s time you stop thinking.

Write the first page. Read the first chapter. Sign up for the triathlon. Sign up for the social club. Apply for the job. Go for a jog. Draw out the prototype.

Do it today. Don’t think about step 2. Just do step 1.

People assume that if they have a better strategy, they’ll see better results. This is why they buy a course about learning a language in 3 months or starting a business. Learning is a crutch that supports inaction. It feels like progress, but it’s not.

If your goal is to make progress, then you must stop strategizing, stop learning, stop thinking. Start doing.

It is not the things we learn nor the dreams we envision that determine our results, but rather the habits that we practice each day.

Start doing it today.

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Living Intentionally Socially Conscious Brands

4 Ways You Can Tell If A Brand Is A Conscious Brand

Shop conscious brands now

Almost gone are the days of shopping fast fashion brands. Companies from industry leaders to emerging brands are focusing on their societal impact now more than ever. These conscious brands care about people, the planet, and profits.

Here are the 4 ways that you can tell if a brand is a conscious brand…

1. Its donates products to those in need through a Buy One, Give One promise

You may recognize this model because TOMS famously created it. For every pair of shoes TOMS sold, it donated a pair of shoes. Since then, other conscious brands like ROMA and Bombas have taken on the Buy One, Give One promise.

This model works best when the donations do not undermine the local economy, as TOMS found out when its shoe donations undercut local shoemakers in the community.

2. It donates money to a specific cause

Brands take on specific causes and donate a percentage of sales or profits to organizations that help that cause.

For example, Patagonia donates 1% of sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment. While it may not sound like much, Patagonia has donated $140 million in cash and in-kind donations to domestic and international grassroots environmental groups since 1985.

Another example is Olori, a conscious brand that donates a percentage of sales to provide tuition for girls in Africa.

3. It uses sustainable materials in its products

This model is the most blurry, as many brands claim to be sustainable. However, when done right, this model is the most impactful.

The truth is that fashion is incredibly wasteful. Most clothes you wear are made from material that will sit in landfills for hundreds of years. They were made using a process that wastes tons of water and emits tons of carbon. This contributes to environmental issues that affect our health and the health of our descendants.

Conscious brands are solving this by using natural materials, recycled post-consumer materials, or green processes. While donating to environmental causes is good, it just replaces the bucket under the overflowing sink. Being sustainable actually turns off the sink.

For example, SAOLA is a conscious shoe brand that makes kicks from recycled and bio-based materials like natural cork, natural algae, and recycled plastics.

4. It provides opportunity to disadvantaged people

The brands you know likely take advantage of disadvantaged people. These brands give overseas factory workers poor working conditions and poor wages, then turn around and sell their products back home for a hefty profit. Unfortunately, only 2% of garment workers around the world make a livable wage. This means they can’t afford basic needs.

A conscious brand gives opportunity to disadvantaged people. They empower their workers to get out of poverty, avoid human trafficking, or get an education.

For example, Daria Day is a conscious jewelry brand that works with artisans living in the remote mountain communities in the foothills of the K2 Mountain in Northern Pakistan – some of which are the most isolated and poor communities in the world. “By supporting the economically disadvantaged, Daria Day hopes to make a difference by breaking the cycle of poverty and to show that we are all connected.”

Another example is Fox & Robin, a conscious activewear brand that audits all the factories that handle its products and is the only activewear brand that publishes the wages of workers. Its goal is to ensure 100% of factory workers are paid a livable wage. “Two of our (eight) factories do not pay what we deem to be a livable wage to all employees. Additionally, the average workweek of our factory workers is 55-60 hours with one day off. As a small brand, we do not have a lot of leverage with these factories, but as we grow and gain more leverage, we are committed to pushing our factories to continually improve workers’ compensation and workplace conditions.”

Here at Choobs, we categorize brands by their cause. Some brands support environmental causes, while others support women’s causes. Whatever cause they support, all brands we sell are conscious brands!

You can find out more about how we select brands to sell on Choobs here or check out all the other cool conscious brands we support too.

RELATED: Conscious Clothing: It’s Not as Difficult as You Think

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Living Intentionally

Your Urine Isn’t Clear Enough. Here’s How To Fix That.

Many people start their day with coffee and end their day with wine. In between coffee and wine, there’s soda, juice, energy drinks, milk, and smoothies.

But they don’t drink nearly enough of the most important thing… water. The truth is, 60% of the body is made up of water. We need to drink water in order to perform at our best (and survive).

Below, we’ll answer how much water you need, why you need it, if sparkling water counts, and the best ways to drink more!

How much water do you need?

Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine, and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

If you don’t, your body has a system for controlling when and how much you drink. When your total water content goes below a certain level, thirst kicks in.

It’s hard to determine how much water you consume every day because there’s water in foods – especially fruits and vegetables – and drinks like milk and juice. You actually get an average of 20 percent of your water from the foods you eat.

So how many cups of pure water should you drink a day?

Men should drink 100 ounces (12.5 cups) of water, while women should drink 73 ounces (9 cups) of water every day. Gulp!

The best indication of whether you need more water or not is the color of your urine. Aim for pale, clear urine.

Why is drinking water important?

Our bodies need water for many reasons. Here are the most important:

  1. It lubricates the joints, saving you from joint pain.
  2. It forms saliva and mucus, helping you digest food and keep your eyes, mouth, and nose moist.
  3. It delivers oxygen throughout the body.
  4. It boosts skin health and beauty.
  5. It makes you sweat, cooling the body down.
  6. The digestive system depends on it.
  7. It reduces the chance of a hangover!

Does sparkling water hydrate you?

Every office in America has one person with loads of La Croix, Sparkling Ice, or Bubly cans on their desk. Sparkling waters are taking over the world, although the writer of this hates the taste of them. (We know, it’s an “acquired taste”)

Fortunately, sparkling water does hydrate you just as well as still water. If the fizz helps you drink more water, go right ahead! Some sparkling waters may have more sodium than still water, which could make them less hydrating, so just pay attention to that.

The best way to drink water

Look, drinking the recommended amount of water is difficult. Who wants to think about and remember how many cups of water they’ve had today? Here’s the best way to make sure you’re getting enough water every day.

I used to just drink out of a normal cup, and I never knew how much water fit in it. Now, I have a 20-ounce water bottle and I can easily remember that I need to refill it 5 times a day. A woman would refill it 3.5 times.

Boom! Now I know how much water to drink.

And better yet, the brand I got my bottle from, Miir, donates a portion of revenue to fund clean water and healthy environment projects.

You can shop other conscious brands on Choobs!

RELATED: How To Change Your Alarm Clock So You Wake Up Feeling Energized

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Living Intentionally Socially Conscious Brands

Conscious Summer 2021: This Is What You Should Be Wearing This Summer

Shop Conscious Brands Now

Summer 2020 was themed #StayInside, but summer of 2021 in America is the summer of #GoOutside. Get to concerts, plan vacations, go to bars, catch some games, see blockbuster movies.

Be the social creature that you were born to be. It’ll feel good.

And to feel even better, wear brands that do good for the world. You can look good and feel like you’re contributing to the betterment of society!

Here’s your guide to dressing consciously this summer.

Cool Coral Swim Trunks

These swim trunks are stretchy and dry quickly. We personally love them for a game of beach volleyball followed by a dip in the lake. The waistband loops are there to hold your sunglasses or clip a keychain. It’s made from 65% recycled plastic bottles! See more styles from Junk In Your Trunks.

The Jasmine Leather Sandal

The Jasmine is a classic, Greco-Roman style sandal. What this means for those of us in the 21st century is that there is a reason that these sandals are so timeless – they simply always look beautiful. It has a super cushy foam core mid-sole made from high quality foam to offer support and durability. Handcrafted with ethically sourced and fairly traded leather. The soles are made from upcycled tires. See more styles from Brave Soles.

Cabo Wabo Blushing Braid Headband 

Want to feel like you’re in Cabo this Summer? This Cabo Wabo Braid Headband and Cabo Wabo Darling Scrunchie are cute accessories for dinner on the beach. Better yet, when you buy a headband from Headbands of Hope, they donate a headband to a child with an illness. See their whole headband catalog.

Mindo Navy shoes

Urban vibes, minimalist style. The Mindo is your next everyday shoe. Comfy, ultra-light, and 100% vegan. It’s so sustainable! Made from recycled plastics, natural cork, harvested algae, and organic cotton. 1% of sales is donated to wildlife preservation. See SAOLA’s other styles.

Candy Polarized in Rose Gold

Beautiful rose gold sunnies, fully reflective. Let them stop and stare! This signature style from TopFoxx has become popular with celebrities. And for every pair of sunnies you buy, TopFoxx donates a pair of reading glasses to disadvantaged women. See all their styles of sunglasses and blue light glasses.

One Way Ticket To Italy Shorts

These super soft and lightweight shorts fit all sizes 0-12. They can be worn high or low waisted – for a yoga class, as a beach coverup, or as boutique loungewear. Pack them on your next vacation! PIYOGA donates 10% of net profits to sea turtle conservation. See their many styles of shorts and lounge pants.

Sky Blue water bottle

The award-winning Ocean Bottle keeps cold drinks cold, and hot drinks hot. Unlike most reusable bottles, these bottles are 100% dishwasher safe. Ocean Bottle cleans up 1,000 plastic bottles before they enter the ocean for every purchase you make! See their other colors.

Grateful Grey Muscle Tank

“There is something magical that happens when you slow down, pause, take a deep breath and realize the most important thing in the world is THIS MOMENT. You become grateful for this and everything that is around you. We are ALIVE.” This super soft and durable tank is great for showing your gratitude for life this summer. Karma Collective donates 10% of profits to provide homes to the most vulnerable families around the world. See all their tanks and tees.

Sky Burst Tee

This sky blue & white hand-dyed heavyweight t-shirt is a great look for summer. 15% of profits are donated towards mental health research. See all their hand-dyed clothing.

Cropped Tank in Aqua

The perfect top for a workout or a dip in the ocean due to its high-end silky soft bathing suit material. A popular variation to the sports bra alone, the ORO Cropped Tank hits right at the waistline to cover up, while still showing a little skin. It’s also SPF 50 so you don’t have to hurt yourself or our reefs with chemical-heavy sunscreens. A local organization that supports women and children in San Pancho, Mexico, will receive $10 USD every single time a pair of ORO women’s leggings is purchased.

Wave Runners

Solid black shorts with light blue compression. Two traditional deep pockets. Soft, thin, sweat-wicking liner. 100% of the factory workers who made these are paid a livable wage. See all of Fox & Robin’s activewear.

RELATED: 5 Up-and-Coming Mission Brands To Watch

Choobs is an online marketplace for shopping conscious clothing brands.

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Living Intentionally

25 To 35-Year-Olds Must Avoid This Trap

Be A Conscious Consumer

Jane lived with her two best friends in a just-good-enough 3 bedroom city apartment. Her first job out of college paid her a nice $68,000. She took public transportation to work, went out on most weekends, and bought some new outfits every Spring. Her kitchen utensils and couch were kindly passed down to her. She was happy!

Now 30 and a couple promotions later, Jane was making $100,000. She moved to a studio by herself to have more personal space. She adopted a puppy, joined a boutique fitness club, and occasionally tried out Michelin star restaurants. Those passed-down utensils and coffee maker wouldn’t cut it anymore… an espresso machine was “totally worth it.” That once-a-year camping weekend required the best camping gear. Vacations in Cabo and New York City helped her escape her annoying boss for a while. Jane gifted her friends nice things for their birthdays, and her friends gifted Jane nice things in return. What was previously a luxury now became a necessity.

At 36, Jane was married and her second kid was on the way! Her new manager title came with a juicy salary of $150,000 (to match her 55-hour work weeks). Her old studio seems like a nightmare now in her newly-renovated suburban home. A new car, lawn service, and nanny became necessary.

Some expenses became trivial. A thousand dollars for bikes, a TV, or flights to Europe didn’t bat an eye. She couldn’t make it to the boutique gym much, but she kept her membership just to avoid that guilt that comes from quitting. Jane couldn’t make the camping trip anymore – her babies wouldn’t love sleeping on the ground – so the fancy camping gear sat idly in the shed.

You may know someone like Jane. Why am I telling you about her?

Because Jane is trapped. She has unconsciously entered the Lifestyle Inflation trap, and she will never get out of it.

Lifestyle Inflation refers to an increase in spending when an individual’s income goes up. All this time, Jane has been earning more and more money. But she has responded by spending more and more money.

It is what causes people to get stuck in a cycle of living paycheck to paycheck where they have just enough money to pay the bills every month. (Yes, someone who makes $150,000 can live paycheck to paycheck. In fact, Johnny Depp is now dead broke after earning $650 million in his career. And Nicolas Cage blew his $150 million fortune. They were trapped in Lifestyle Inflation too.)

Jane had placed great emphasis on the acquisition of objects in order to achieve happiness. She felt she deserved all the fancy things – a lavish wedding, nice house, brand new car, modern appliances, wine subscriptions, food delivery, skis, bikes, dresses. She worked so hard, why shouldn’t she get to have these things??

Companies exist to market how buying their thing will make Jane happier, and she fell for it. What she hadn’t realized yet was that buying things didn’t really make her happier.

Jane is not free. She is owned by her lifestyle…

If Jane were miserable at her job, she couldn’t take a lower salary at a company that would make her happier. She couldn’t start her dream company. She couldn’t stop working altogether to care for her kids full-time. Her lifestyle wouldn’t allow this.

How would she keep making mortgage payments on that house she just moved into? How would she afford her car payments? Her boutique gym, wine, Euro trips? Jane can’t take a pay cut. Her lifestyle owns her.

“She could just change her lifestyle.” Ah, yes. Just change her lifestyle. Sell her house and downsize, trade her car for a used one, take her kids out of private school, learn to cook instead of getting meals delivered, and turn down her friends’ annual boujee vacation. Easy!

It’s unlikely that Jane would be able to do this. Humans are social creatures, and we care what our friends and neighbors think of us. What will everyone think of Jane’s massive lifestyle change? Is she having a mid-life crisis? Did she get laid off?

Plus, humans suck at change. Our habits define us, and Jane built a habit of being fancy. It’s extremely difficult to settle for less. It’s extremely difficult to get out of this trap.

Avoiding this Lifestyle Inflation trap is much easier than trying to climb out of it. How can you avoid it?

People tend to increase their spending when their income increases because they believe that the additional goods and services they can now buy will make them happier. Often those purchases don’t actually make them happier. A better option would be to work toward financial independence by saving more.

Avoiding lifestyle inflation can mean achieving financial independence at a younger age, having the financial flexibility to choose a dream job over a higher-paying option, and retiring early.

As your income goes up, keep your expenses even or only slightly increased. Be satisfied with what you have, live below your means, and don’t get too fancy. Value experiences and relationships over things.

If you do this, you will have the freedom of not being owned by your lifestyle. You will feel free from annoying bosses, unpredictable health issues, the Joneses next door, and even an ‘oops’ baby. You will be happier, cleaner, and more at peace.

What could make Jane happier? Feeling satisfied – like she doesn’t need more, but has just enough. Doing a job she loves, even at a lower salary. Feeling secure in case of an unforeseen setback, like a layoff or cancer diagnosis. Retiring early. Learning and growing.

Not buying things.

While Jane tries to get out of the Lifestyle Inflation trap, you must avoid it altogether.

RELATED: Become More Conscious By Doing This

Choobs is an online marketplace to shop clothing from the best conscious brands.

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Living Intentionally

How To Change Your Alarm Clock So You Wake Up Feeling Energized

Be A Conscious Consumer

It’s 4:45 AM on a Wednesday and my 2008 iHome begins to blare its high-pitched BEEPs at me. This Steve-Jobs-era Apple device has no chill…within seconds, the slow BEEP BEEP’s escalate to a rapid-fire BEEPBEEPBEEPBEEP. It is intentionally placed just beyond the reach of my lanky arms so I have to get up to turn off the torturous sound.

I could just set it to play FM country radio so I can wake up in a more peaceful state – to a Luke Combs love song probably – but that’s not the way I want it. To me, an ALARM clock has one function: get me out of bed. Period.

If my bed had a feature where it could buck me off at 4:45 AM, I would consider it…

This is what works for me, and I wake up most days feeling energized. I know that most people don’t use their alarm clock this way, so I wanted to see what science had to say about the best way to wake up.

Here’s how to intentionally use your alarm clock to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go.

1. Quit snoozin’

It seems that most people use the alarm on their phone, and they keep said phone in bed with them at night. They know they want to get up at 7:30, so they set an alarm at 7:00, planning to snooze a few times. “Two more snoozes until I ACTUALLY have to wake up!”

I’ve always found this silly, and science backs me up – you should stop using your snooze button. Why?

According to Amerisleep, you go through sleep cycles every night. REM sleep is the cycle when your brain is highly active and you experience dreams. It’s important because it’s highly restorative, and getting enough REM is crucial for feeling sharp the next day. When your alarm goes off in the morning, you’re usually nearing the end of your last REM cycle.

Wake up and get yourself out of bed, and the REM cycle ends. Hit the snooze button and go back to sleep, though, and you throw yourself right back into the REM cycle. When your alarm goes off a second time, it wakes you up in the middle of REM instead of at the end of REM. As a result, you end up feeling foggy and disoriented.

There’s more reason not to use snooze! If you went to bed at a decent hour the night before, your body’s internal clock is ready to wake up once the alarm goes off. But when you hit snooze and go back to sleep, you send your whole system into a confusing tailspin. Before long, your body isn’t sure when it’s time to wake up and when it’s time to go to sleep. This leads to less quality sleep which means heightened stress, increased inflammation, and lowered immunity.

Instead of setting your alarm early so you can ‘progressively’ wake up, just set your alarm at the actual time you need to wake up and don’t hit snooze. You may feel groggy at first, but after a few minutes, you’ll feel refreshed and ready for action!

2. Keep your alarm out of reach

When your alarm is in your bed or on your nightstand, it’s way too easy to hit snooze or turn it off without even opening your eyes. Avoid this by keeping your alarm out of reach so you have to get up and walk over to it. You’ll be forced to put your feet on the floor and open your eyes, which will wake you up.

If you use the alarm on your phone, charge your phone on the other side of the room or in your bathroom, NOT in your bed. This will also make you stop looking at your phone before bed, which helps you fall asleep! Or you can buy a true alarm clock and place it far from your bed. (You can still buy iHomes…who knew!)

Bonus: If your alarm sound is super annoying like mine, you’ll jump up and shut it off ASAP.

3. Keep your wake up time consistent

If you wake up at 6:00 some days and 8:00 other days, you mess up your circadian rhythm. Try to set your alarm within the same 15-minute window every day so your body can keep its internal rhythm. This will help you sleep better and feel more energetic throughout your day.

My iHome lets me set my 4:45 alarm for all weekdays, so I never have to change it. Choose a time that works for you, and make sure you’re getting 7-8 hours of sleep! Snooze-free sleep…

For more tips on intentional living, subscribe using this form…

Related: Become Conscious Of Your Career Path

Choobs is an online marketplace for shopping conscious brands.

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Living Intentionally Socially Conscious Brands

8 Chicago Based Sustainable Brands You Should Know

Discover and shop sustainable brands online

Whether you’re in Chicago or not, we know you’ll appreciate this list of local sustainable brands.

Have you opened your closet recently and thought “Ok, I NEED a style upgrade”? Well, we hear you!

Those looking to elevate their style this year listen up. Sustainable brands are the answer. Sustainable fashion is on the rise and is loved for using high-quality, ethically sourced materials that will last a long time. That’s something fast fashion does not do and we all know it!

The thing you should know about fast fashion is that items are generally mass-produced, which lowers its quality. On the other hand, sustainable, socially conscious clothes are authentically made and unique. All while taking the initiative to save the planet!

With the emergence of socially conscious brands, consumers are really thinking about ethical clothing nowadays, and how looking into sustainable brands is an important factor in making purchases. It kind of comes down to wanting to shop while supporting brands that give back.

The people have spoken and they really want fashion brands to take social and environmental responsibility in helping keep our planet clean, and in turn, consumers are more than ever expressing their style by wearing clothes that they know where and how they’re made, and by who.

The good news is, sustainable brands are popping up all over and that makes us so excited! That’s why we’re going back to our Chicago roots to shine a light on the amazing local talent that is helping keep the fashion industry’s ethical standards high.

So, if you are on board and ready to invest in some gorgeous statement pieces to add to your closet, keep reading to check out 8 Chicago-based sustainable brands you can support!

MOD + Ethico

What: This popular Chicago-based clothing store can be found all over the city and is a great place to check out local artists and designers that support ethical standards. Founded by Candice Collision in 2015, her company is for the busy and active women who don’t want to compromise their style for their values of quality, sustainability, and fair wages, and we agree with that statement!
Good for the planet: They support emerging designers with the same vision to meet better standards for fashion like being made in the USA, fair trade, ethically sourced, and fair wages.

Divinity 7

What: This Chicago-based lifestyle clothing brand started in 2012, with the vision of building ‘consciousness’ through social awareness. They believe art, fashion, and design should go hand in hand, which is why they are embodied through their clothes. They’re the place to go search for that perfect authentic statement piece!
Good for the planet:
Donates a percentage of sales to organizations that support and assist in social issues like poverty, homelessness, and hunger.

Gemini

What: This Chicago store carries collections of thoughtfully curated clothes and accessories that are intentional with quality, style, functionality, and sustainability. They work with talented designers from all over to help you choose pieces that’ll last you a long time!
Good for the planet:
Gemini carries items made by designers that follow sustainable standards whether that’s made in the USA, paying fair wages, or using organic/ethically sourced materials.

Squasht Boutique  

What: This women’s boutique is founded by Chicago’s very own top designer Lesley Timpe and carries locally designed, professionally hand-crafted clothes and accessories that will fit anyone’s personal style! They’re totally affordable too which is great if you’re in the market for affordable sustainable pieces to highlight your style. The store also carries Squasht brand clothing, which is created from start to finish right here in Chicago!
Good for the planet: Women-owned and operated, carries hand-made, Chicago-made items, and supports independent-brand designers.

Vihanga Co

What: This sustainable brand is created by duo Miles Jackson and Vihanga Sontam, and like many on this list, also has its roots in Chicago, before heading to LA. The style is influenced by Vihanga’s childhood in a small town in India where they wore and tailored their own comfy, breathable clothes. Nothing like being in style, helping keep the planet clean, AND being comfortable in what you’re wearing!
Good for the planet:
All pieces are handmade by Sontam and the brand is brown-led, materials are sourced locally from LA or sent in small quantities from India and they use carbon-negative biodegradable package.

Felt Chicago

What: This local brand highlights a diverse mix of emerging and established designers and their approach is to individualize every client’s style! They simultaneously support causes and charities like Gabriel’s Light and other community outreach programs.
Good for the planet: Hand-made and designed right in Chicago! They support charities and organizations.

Valani

What: This vegan sustainable fashion brand started out in Chicago and is currently producing all made-to-order, hand-made items in California. This conscious brand is passionate about creating clothes that feel fun, flirty, and beautiful while saving the planet all in all!
Good for the planet: Everything is vegan, made ethically, supports eco-friendly practices like using low-impact Oeko tex certified dyes, repurposed or recycled fabrics, and non-toxic chemicals. They also support their seamstresses in remote collaboration and with fair wages and flexible hours consequently,

High End Junkie

What: For those who might find this brand familiar, you might’ve seen it on a bunch of celebrities throughout the years, for example on NBA Champion Iman Shumpert and Chris Brown! High End Junkie is the brainchild of Q. Hudson, a Chicago-based visual artist who launched the company in 2013 and makes bold and bright 1:1 custom hand-painted apparel & accessories.
Good for the planet: Makes handpainted custom designs that are exclusively available online and in pop-ups, making the brand direct-to-consumer, maintained quality, and affordable. On top of that, they support charities, community initiatives, and independent designers.

RELATED: How 4 College Dropouts Used Quarantine To Start A Viral Clothing Brand
RELATED: 5 Up-and-Coming Mission Brands To Watch

Choobs is a Chicago-based online marketplace for shopping sustainable brands!

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Living Intentionally

Become More Conscious By Doing This

Life is slippery. You realize you need to get serious about health only after having a stroke. You realize you should’ve spent more time with someone only after they tragically pass away. You realize you should have taken a different career only after you reach a mid-life crisis. Too often, it takes falling off a cliff to realize you were heading toward it for years.

To avoid wandering off this cliff, you can become more conscious. Be in touch with yourself and how things are going. Here’s an activity to help.

Let’s check-in and see how life is going right now.

Pause to reflect on each of the following questions. Write down one thing in each area that you’re satisfied with, and one thing you want to improve.

Relationships
1. How is your relationship with your family right now?
2. Do you have a few really close friends?
3. How’s your romantic life going?
4. Have you talked to your parents and grandparents enough recently?
5. Can you check in on an old friend?
6. Is there someone with who you want to become friends?

Career
1. Where’s your career path heading?
2. Are you learning new skills?
3. Do you feel motivated to succeed?
4. Can you ask your manager how you can be better?
5. Do you need change?
6. Can you work even harder?
7. Can you take on responsibility outside of work to learn more?
8. Should you ask for a raise?

Health
1. How do you feel right now?
2. Do you have the energy to get through your day?
3. Are you eating healthy foods?
4. Are you exercising enough?
5. Is your weight where you want it to be?
6. How is your hygiene?
7. Do you need some meditation to relieve stress?
8. Are you mentally ok?

Fun
1. Are you having enough fun?
2. Are there any hobbies you should take up?
3. Should you plan more social activities?
4. Do you need a vacation?
5. Should you learn to find more appreciation in simple things?
6. Should you create more?

Do this now and often to avoid slipping from where you want to be in life. This state of being awake and aware is called consciousness.

To become more conscious of your consumption and its effect on the world, check out Choobs. We sell the best socially conscious brands.

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Living Intentionally

Become Conscious Of Your Career Path

You know when you’re so busy that a day flies by, leaving you with a where-has-this-day-gone moment of surprise? If you’re not careful, your days, months, and years could fly by, and you could wake up someday with a where-has-my-LIFE-gone moment of surprise too. You don’t want to be left with this scary moment of regret for time well wasted. Thankfully, you can avoid this and find fulfillment by becoming more conscious!

You know what career you’re in – you’re a nurse, lawyer, consultant, coach, designer, accountant, etc. But do you know why you’re doing it? In the next few minutes, you will become conscious of your career path, avoiding that where-has-my-life-gone moment. You will come to terms with why you’re here, how you feel today, and where you’re going.

Get out a pen or your notes app, you’re going to write. Seriously…do it.

First, think about why you started the job you’re in. Maybe you took this job out of college or switched to it from a previous role. Did you do it because you thought you would be good at the job? Is it because someone told you to do it? Or maybe because it offered you the most money? Is it because you wanted to help people? Or it sounded fun? Was it the only job offer you had? Did you follow a friend or sibling?

Step 1 Be honest with yourself. Write this down: “I took this job because…” Then write a couple sentences with your explanation for why you took the job you have. What were you thinking at the time?

Let’s think about how you feel at work now. Do you feel that you’re a stud at your role, or just average? Can you feel yourself getting better and learning new skills? Did you wake up today feeling motivated for work? How many days per week do you feel frustrated when you leave work? How do you feel when you have to tell others what you do at work? Do work parties make you excited or annoyed? When was the last time you were in a state of flow at work? Do you think you’re being fairly compensated for the value you provide to the company?

Step 2 Write this down: “I currently feel this about my job…” Then write down your answers to the questions above. For example, “I currently feel this about my job…
I am already a stud in my role. I am not learning new skills. I feel frustrated most days when I leave work…” Seriously, write it all down.

Now, imagine the next 3 years in this job. Do you want more responsibility? Can you see yourself taking your manager’s role? Do you think you’ll get paid what you want? Are you interested in other positions at the company? Do you think your company will do well? Would the company lay you off in hard times?

Step 3 Write this down: “In the next few years…” Then write your answers to the above questions.

Now you’ve become more conscious of your career path. Maybe you realized that you’re really happy where you are. Maybe you realized you’re good but should look into changing soon. Or you realized you need a change right now! If you don’t have a conclusion yet, that’s ok too. Just keep checking in with yourself and remain conscious of why you got here, how you feel today, and where you’re going.

Being conscious will prevent you from waking up someday and saying why am I even doing this? Where has my time gone?

Always know why you’re doing what you’re doing.