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Slow Sustainable Summer Style.

Recently my mother got a chemical burn from a plant while gardening. As most of y'all know, my mom is the President of our inner-city community in Ohio. That means that she heads the beautification projects, etc. And so, whereas many gardeners know what resides in their own yards, my mom & her crew are working in spaces that may have been untouched & unknown. Therefore she had no idea the risk she was taking going directly to a gardening project after work. She works in fitness and so was wearing a sleeveless shirt and shorts... y'all my mama's arrrmmmmmmmssss..... chile... I have no words.

But her arms were confirmation for me in my own journey with fashion as a forest school teacher.


Let me back up before the conclusion. I have been in the great outdoor forest spaces for hours in the past few months while building Gather. I am learning plant life - hazards, edible, harmless, "copy-cats," and remedies. Y'all, I have discovered new allergies (and anti-histamine voice loss) & have new eczema flare-ups & tons of bug bites... but I LOVE IT. I adore it so much, combining my love of social justice, kids, liberation, culinary arts, and environmentalism... I was built for such a time as this (Esther 4:14).


BUT I have also been clear that in ALLLLLLL my time (as an adult) in nature and outdoors, I have had the control to leave when I felt uncomfortable. However, as a teacher, I have to stay outdoors, and also I have to model comfort & calmness. And so my uniform is CRITICAL. And for me, fashion is never as simple as buying anything.


And so while thinking about fashion, sustainability, social responsibility, and comfort in the outdoors - this is what I have found: I HAVE TO COVER-UP.


Period. This idea of being cute in a sleeveless shirt under overalls or wearing hiking shorts...ain't fo' me. PERIODT.


Yes, covering up is hot, but I can stay hydrated. Being exposed, on the other hand, for me is painful. It so happens, that Gather's co-creator, Ashley, also has incredibly sensitive skin and so we talk about clothing often. Clothing for our students, our children, and ourselves as we navigate a 10-month-daily voyage outdoors.


And so this forest school teacher's summer uniform has transitioned from jean shorts & a plain (fair-trade, ethical, & sustainable) t-shirt to a lite button-down shirt, (ethical, sustainable, eco-friendly) hiking pants, & socks tucked into boots. Eventually, I will invest in oversized long sleeve linen (sustainable, airy, & lite weight), but for now, old hand-me-down (re-used, thrifted, tattered) workshirts work for me. As the days get cooler, I will most likely move right into my hygge sustainable fall style.


So that's it for now, friends.


Shalom,

Shelby


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Lynne Stone
Lynne Stone
Jul 26, 2021

Renee,

I had to learn the hard way thru hard knocks! I needed this...thank-you! 😘

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Renee Yancey
Renee Yancey
Jul 22, 2021

I love to garden …40 somethings years now…..know that I Always always wear long sleeves in my yardarn no matter how hot….. the bugs tics and possible ’poisons’ ivy, oak.. leaves of three let them be!! Leaves or 5 run or get hives lol. A little tip for you and the forrest kids…


cool cotton ( landsend having a sale) breathable shirts and long pants with bug spray ON the clothes so tics don’t stick ( super woods off deet lol or natural whatever works). Teach how to do a tic Check everyday after being in the forest ( head too) which is why I wear a ball cap too sometimes


excited to read about your new adventure …..


love…

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Shelby
Shelby
Aug 03, 2021
Replying to

This is so helpful!!! Thank you so much Aunt Renee!!! Love you. I am copying these tips

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Lynne Stone
Lynne Stone
Jul 22, 2021

Long sleeves and long pants......nothing less, will keep you safe from all the ticks & bugs, allergens, plant rashes and yes plant chemical burns. You are being SMART! Mom, xoxo

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Shelby
Shelby
Aug 03, 2021
Replying to

Amen!!!! We both learned a lesson

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Look at you modeling; love it mama!

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Shelby
Shelby
Aug 03, 2021
Replying to

Thank you so much hahahah! It’s a whole 😬 but had a time crunch - so posted what was taken

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