Slow living brands and businesses contribute to an overall healthier existence for all beings. These “slow” businesses and brands have been most impactful in my life.
Embarking on the initial “Clean Living (What is that Exactly?)” blog was quite an undertaking. A big inspiration for that initial blog was to eventually share about brands and businesses that have been most impactful in my life. The brands/businesses I’m sharing today fully embrace “Slow Living”, which embodies a quality over quantity approach to a dramatic extent. They focus on a way of life in which love and care is at the center of all things: from passion about the dinner you are cooking from scratch, to the cotton grown, harvested and spun to make a t-shirt, to sitting down to write a letter instead of sending a quick text. Another way to express this way of life and attention to detail would be “mindful living”.
This approach to life does indeed take longer, hence the “slow” aspect. I associate this with a level of mindfulness, thoughtfulness, and a pace of life that feels more like the one we are meant to live in order to appreciate life to the fullest. Slow food, slow fashion, and slow beauty can all fall into this realm of Slow Living.
Most “slow” brands are also “clean”, “green”, or “healthy” because of their attention to each detail. There is a level of thoughtfulness around both our human health and planetary health. For example, wearing and having natural, organic textiles in my home has impacted my health positively. But additionally, they last longer, have less static, and don’t contribute to plastic microfibers in the environment or our homes. Instead of contributing to the plastics industry, they contribute to organic and regenerative agriculture. Most Slow Living brands are like this; they contribute to an overall healthier existence for all beings. Laurel Skin would definitely fall into this category as well, because we mindfully consider every detail and the impact of our actions.
And without further commentary, here are my top five brands/businesses that embrace the ideals that mean so much to me, with a few honorable mentions at the end!
As any of my Laurel Skin team will tell you, I live in Christy Dawn dresses. These beautiful timeless dresses are handmade with thoughtfulness and care. I can feel the love in them. They are often made of organic regeneratively farmed, plant dyed cotton! Or they are made of up-cycled, repurposed fabrics. Not only does Christy Dawn have their own regenerative cotton farm, but they also are transparent about the employees who hand-sew their dresses, how long it takes them to make each dress, and what they are paid. These dresses speak loudly to my own slow living style. Always easy and effortless to wear in any occasion, I couldn’t love them more.
I recently stumbled upon chef Amy Chaplin and her book Whole Food Cooking Everyday. I try to only eat whole, unprocessed organic foods, which can make embarking on an often highly processed vegan diet very challenging. Amy’s book has been inspiring and has changed how we are able to cook delicious whole food meals at home, which can also be vegan. It has created many staples in our daily and weekly diets, and jump started my own creativity. Some of our favorites are whole-fruit, sugar-free Berry Compote along with Roasted Pecan Granola, which we eat on our yogurt or buckwheat breakfasts. Amy’s vegan soups (like Cauliflower Celery Root and Butternut + Roasted Chestnut!) are also insanely delicious and customizable, which we love to over-make and stock the freezer with for easy pre-made meals.
Ok… so I realize that bread is not a brand! However, I have come to learn that the “slow” process in which bread is made is what makes it possible for me to eat. Bread made with only organic, whole, heirloom grains is essential. But what I’ve found to be even more important, eating bread that has been made by a baker who loves what they do – and only eating bread that has been fermented for multiple days with a naturally occurring yeast (aka a “mother” sourdough starter, which is often years or even generations old!) This extended fermentation process combined with heirloom grains actually breaks down the gluten in bread making it easily digestible. I have become so obsessed with this, that when Eric and I travel, we seek these artisan bakers out. Here are some favorites we have come across so far – if you know of others around the country, please let us know because we are always looking for more! Proof: Phoenix, AZ area, Barrio: Tucson, AZ, and Wild Bread: Pioneertown, CA.
These organic cotton under layers have become daily essentials for me since first coming across them. I love color coordinating them with each day’s outfit and lounging around in them. Shop Arq’s words say it best – they have an “emphasis on making garments that encourage people to relish the mundane, intimate, ordinary pleasures in life.” It doesn’t get slower than that!
Hair products are such a tough one! I have struggled for a long time to find ones that work for me, because I love a good sudsy shampoo. Yet… as a whole plant formulator myself, I know the compromise between a product that behaves as it is commercially expected to and a product that is truly natural. Under Luna strikes the perfect balance for me. The shampoo and conditioner work as you need them to – foaming up and rinsing clean. Yet the ingredients couldn’t be any cleaner for what they are achieving. I am currently using a special collaboration set by Luna x Wildcare (who I also LOVE, and fully embraces all things SLOW!).
Here are a few of my honorable mention brands, along with what I use them for, but I just couldn’t make this blog that long! Feel free to drop any questions in the comments about what brands I might recommend for different things. I hope this was a helpful read for you!
Longway (slow living clothes)
Wear Pact (organic cotton basics)
H is for Love (body care)
Rupam’s Herbals (dental care)