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Making Fashion Functional: Get Inspired!

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At TORRAIN, we believe less is more.  Less waste, more earth.  Less clutter, more time to focus on what really matters: connection to each other and respect for this incredible planet. We design our products to reflect these values; they are colorful and bold, but also lightweight, durable, and made with repurposed materials. 

We are always looking for new sources of inspiration to keep our style fresh and functional—not just in terms of utility, but also to serve a greater purpose. On that note, we are excited to announce that our bags are now lined with a material made from 100% melted plastic bottles!

We find inspiration everywhere for fashion that connects to something greater, be it a social good, environmental sustainability, or even bringing a greater sense of calm to your world. 

Here are a couple tips to make your fashion sense more functional. Get inspired!

Shop at second hand stores.

When you are looking to breathe new life into your closet, start at the second hand store.  Americans consume nearly 20 billion garments a year. That’s 68 garments and 7 pairs of shoes per person.  And we literally throw away 3 billion pounds of clothing each year. (Check out this book to learn more about the horrific waste in the fashion industry).

By purchasing secondhand clothes, you will not only be doing your pocket book a favor, you’ll be reducing the unnecessary waste of resources and labor that go into making cheap, unsustainable clothes. If sorting through racks of less savory items to find treasures isn’t your thing, skip the thrift store and find a good consignment shop. You will be amazed at what you can find secondhand that is both affordable and unique.


De-clutter your life.  Start with your wardrobe. 

Functionality is all about serving a purpose—all the better if that purpose is to bring greater clarity and calm to the rough and tumble of your hectic, scheduled-out life.  How does this relate to fashion?  Think about your closet.  Is it a calm, happy place?  Be honest with yourself.  Chances are your closet could use some good purging. 

If you need a little motivation to confront your wardrobe demons, a great place to start is with Marie Kondo’s wave-making book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  Among other brilliant tips, she recommends keeping only that which brings you joy. That means you get to ditch all that stuff you have to dig through every morning to get to your favorite jeans.  But it doesn’t mean you’ll be Plain Jane!  If you can let go of all the clothes you don’t really like, your accessories can really shine.  (Pssst: we’ve got you covered with endlessly rad, sustainably made totes, purses, etc.  Just sayin.’)

It’s no secret that our home of Portland, Oregon is the mecca of all things artistic and upcycled—we are lucky indeed to be in such an inspired place.  But we are also certain that you can find ways to embrace functionality and fashion together, no matter where you live.  Just remember: Buy with consciousness. Be thrifty. Ditch the clutter. And always Defend Your Turf!

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