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Ryann Enger


As a child I was encouraged to be free in my expression which included the clothes I would wear. I often chose clothes that were baggy or loose fitting. I would be asked why I didn’t wear more form fitted clothes. My response was always that it wasn’t comfortable to me. I often found myself browsing through the men’s section at thrift stores finding button ups and sweaters that fit me just right. Occasionally I would find clothes that I enjoyed at department stores, but found the prices to be alarming compared to thrift stores and garage sales. In my late teens I began exploring my sexuality and gender identity and came out as queer and gender non-conforming. It was liberating to identify in a way that resonated with me. It was also around this time I started paying attention to the environment and the climate crisis. What started out as me not being able to afford fast fashion, developed into a lifestyle of dismissing fast fashion. It became a passion of mine to live as minimally as I could and to be a more mindful consumer. Brands that are sustainable and ethically made can be deceiving in their marketing and aren’t always a better option. It’s hard to find conscious brands that are genuinely more sustainable and ethical while also representing a variety of options that are comfortable for people outside of the male/female binary. When you do find “green” brands that offer clothes that may resonate with how you identify, they often come with a hefty price tag. While I try to keep my closet small, I’ve noticed over the years I have less clothes that truly match my gender identity. I’m stuck at a cross roads of not wanting to consume more than needed but not feeling comfortable in my expression. I want to see a world where mindful consumption includes more sustainable and affordable options for the LGBTQ+ community. Projects like this give me hope and I’m excited to see this conversation opening up. 

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