How to Find Your Individuality in an Over-Populated and Media-Saturated World

Written by Patrick James Quinn.

We all want to fit in. We want to be accepted and regarded as important or popular. This often requires a certain uniformity, and the cost is often the loss of our individual selves.

Daily we are bombarded from all sides with endless pressure from the media, advertising, celebrities and social expectations. How to act. What to look like. How to dress. What category do you fall under? Are you a punk? Or preppy? A nerd, hipster, goth or jock?

Why can’t you just be yourself? E.E. Cummings said, “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” Yes, it takes time to grow into yourself and figure out who you truly are. It takes courage to push beyond socially-accepted categories and express yourself. But individuality is valuable, and worth the fight.

Style is a weapon, and what we choose to wear reflects what is inside of us. One of the biggest drawbacks to pre-existing categories is that they’ve been pinned with peoples’ preconceptions. A nerd is expected to wear thick-rimmed glasses and dress like a square. A goth is stereotyped  wearing heavy, black clothes, chains and dark eye make-up, and so on.

What if you want to express yourself as smart, and dark? Or beautiful but professional? What if you want to have a clean-cut but still aggressive look? What if you truly don’t feel drawn to any pre-existing category whatsoever?

Figure out what it is that you truly love. Don’t worry about what your friends think or what is “in.” If you love steam-punk, find some old-fashioned dress clothes and tinker with them. Stick to it even if some react negatively. There are exceptions, of course, such as workplace dress-codes that must be adhered to.

Whatever you do, do it with confidence. When trying out a new look, don’t be ashamed of it. You may need to make modifications and adjustments as you hone your taste, but wearing whatever you have chosen in a meek way will only serve to deflate your aspiring originality.

Be creative. For example, if you have expensive taste and want to dress up on a regular basis, updating your wardrobe via commercial means could drain your bank account. Instead, look in thrift stores, raid your attic or basement, ask your parents or friends for hand-me-downs that have been collecting dust in their closets that may perfectly suit your style.

One could claim that with the upwards of seven billion people in the world, there is no originality left to be had. Someone is surely walking around with your style, right? Always keep in mind that there is only one you. As Dr. Seuss said, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” Find what you love, hold on to it, and don’t be afraid to express yourself honestly.

English-born Company Giving the World a (Delicious Smelling!) Hand.

Written by: Kaitlyn Burkhart

Since 1995 LUSH Hand-made Cosmetics has been delivering the world’s best in organic, trade-friendly, vegan, and simply delectable skin goodies. From freshly pressed bath bombs and soaps both stuffed with essential oils and simply beautiful hand-tempered perfumes, even nuts, oats, sand and sea salt, to shower jellies, solid shampoos and bubble bars, LUSH has been innovating and generating top-quality products alongside top-notch ethics. They strike once again with their best-selling body cream, Charity Pot, reaching monumental sales for the greater good around the world.

Simon Constantine, LUSH product inventor, stirring shea butter in Ghana.

The brain-child that would become LUSH Cosmetics was founded by Liz Weir and Mark Constantine in the late 80s, though it would be almost ten years until a customer coined the company name in a contest. When LUSH began, the founders were making soaps with ingredients brought from the store, and moulding them in unused kitty litter pans, drain pipes, and window planters.

With the rapid expansion of business, they became dedicated to making products with only the finest ingredients from around the world, and not the ones that cost a lot of money because they were developed in a lab. We’re talking organic vanilla beans from co-op mountain plantation in Papua, New Guinea, seaweed from family-owned business in British Columbia, Canada, and fair-trade, organic Shea butter from towns and villages around Tamale, in northern Ghana, just to name a few.

 

It’s easy to see why LUSH has been trailblazing the health and beauty industry with their code of ethics.

One of their most outstanding products, Charity Pot, is entirely dedicated to helping small, grassroots organizations around the world who work on the behalf of the environment and conservation, animal protection, and human rights, and could use a helping hand to continue the incredible work they are doing. In each pot is a gorgeous hand and body lotion, scented with ylang ylang and geranium, and made with fair-trade, organic cocoa butter and almond oil.And with every purchase of a Charity Pot, LUSH donates 100% of the price to one of their 89 partnered organizations, or has funded upwards of 97 projects with the proceeds.

Since its’ introduction in October 2007, LUSH has sold 64,000 Charity Pots, a whopping $1.4 million for charities in every place imaginable. And not only do they donate much-needed funds, the charity that your Charity Pots’ proceeds go to has their logo atop it, so you know who you’re helping with your purchase.  So on top of having a spankingly good product, Charity Pot can make you feel good about what you’re doing to help others, and what you’re putting into your skin.

Nicole’s Threads: Colorful, Comfortable and Cute

 

From a small town in Vermont, where the sun rarely shines in winter, a determined twenty-four year old girl works at producing a unique and hand-made clothing collection.

Nicole Erin Carey of Wolcott, Vermont, moved from Philadelphia and carried her talent along with her.

Inside her apartment, where she lives with her boyfriend and two dogs, Nicole works endlessly at producing a vivid collection with an array of colors and textures. Using her everyday life as inspiration for her designs, Nicole strives to make Nicole’s Threads comfortable and easy to wear.

“I design mostly with my own ideals for what I like wearing,” she says.

Nicole’s clothing screams vagabond chic. Her articles vary from cow neck sweaters to long plaid skirts and vibrant legwarmers. It is clear that Nicole works tediously and patiently as most of her clothing has some form of intricate mélange that can only be achieved by her obvious dedication.

Each of Nicole’s pieces is mostly one of a kind. With this mindset, Nicole ensures the individuality of her designs by using a variety of accents and combinations.

Nicole works mostly with vintage and remnant fabrics and carefully incorporates them into her designs. Her use of scrap fabric explains a lot of the patchwork that appears within her work.  “I love how little things like buttons, rickrack and other trim can entirely change the mood my garment sets.”

Without a set method to her design process, Nicole’s fabric carries her inspiration.  Instead of sketching or mapping out an idea, Nicole lets the fabric and colors encourage her and follows in the direction they lead.

Nicole’s creativity is not limited to her line of clothing. Not unlike the construction of her clothes is Nicole’s rustic jewelry some of which consists of scrap fabric and others are made with ceramic material. Her wide varieties of antiquarian button earrings add a finishing touch to her garments.

Nicole sits in high spirits as a part of something she feels is continuing to grow. With hopes for her business on Etsy, Nicole’s is sure to continue to thrive. “It’s a happy community that is very self-sustaining and supportive of one another,” she says.

Looking forward to the production of her next line, Nicole will design using mostly organic, hand-dyed cotton material.

“It’s coming soon, look out!” she warns.

Nicole’s customers are very satisfied with her fast delivery, comfortable items, and cute packaging.

With an Etsy shop featuring more than 70 articles of clothing, 62 pairs of earrings, and 50 plus accessories, there is sure to be something for everyone.