29 Apr Sustainable Fashion with Glory Daze
Who is Karen?
Hey! I am Cape Town based fashion stylist and the founder of Glory Daze – an online sustainable fashion brand.
I am bi-racial (part Indian, part British), which has given me a unique and creative perspective of the world. Being a qualified fashion designer, I have a deep love for creating and clothing is my medium
How did glory Daze come about?
Glory Daze came about from my own strong conviction to find more sustainable and interesting ways to dress and to express myself through personal style. I was tired of the cookie cutter fashion we see from fast fashion retailers and more importantly the devastating effects it has had on the Earth and the people that make them. I have always loved vintage fashion and I have been thrifting for close to 15 years now and the thrill of finding something unique and one of a kind is what excites me most – I wanted to share that with people!
How did you land on the name Glory Daze? Is there a story behind it?
I always knew that I would start my own business, it has been a dream of mine since I can remember. I have had this name tucked away in my heart for a very long time.
My beautiful Mom – her name was Gloria – passed away when I was just 15 and as a way to be close to her, I started wearing some of her clothing – pieces she had collected over time. This is what sparked my love for vintage and garments that had a story.
My mom is my style muse and design inspiration as she embodied a classic approach to dressing but always had a bold twist: a striking colour, an interesting silhouette, odd layering. This is the spirit I wish to carry throughout Glory Daze.
What inspired your journey into sustainable fashion?
I have always had an aversion to fast fashion and the way that it dictates what we should all be wearing at any given time – it must be the rebel in me.
However, in 2015, my husband and I, sitting at the Labia theatre, watched an incredibly eye opening documentary called ‘The True Cost’ which exposed the atrocities of the fast fashion industry and how it has affected the Earth and the makers at these fast fashion factories. The main focus of this doccie was on the story of a garment factory in Bangladesh, namely Rana Plaza, that toppled and killed thousands of workers who were trapped inside. I vowed then and there that when I started my own brand that it would protect the Earth and its people!
What is something you wish people knew about sustainability?
You don’t have to do it perfectly! As with everything in life sustainability is a journey and there are so many things to unlearn.
Start with a few manageable changes first. Don’t get rid of all your fast fashion clothing and begin buying more sustainable options – you can’t buy your way to sustainability!
What’s the most challenging thing about running a sustainable business?
I would say: striking a balance between pushing sales and simultaneously encouraging my followers to be thoughtful when shopping – only buying when they really want/need to and not just shopping for the sake of it. At the end of the day I want Glory Daze to be successful and I want to make stacks but I also need to remain mindful of not becoming the thing I am working so hard against.
Is there someone who inspires you and why?
Would it be cheesy if I said my Mom??
She had this crazy super power of making everyone around her feel seen, loved and cherished! Literally everyone thought that they were her favourite because of the way she paid such detailed attention to them. She had the most generous heart and shared all she had with everyone, especially those that were less privileged. No matter what level of success I have in life, if I can be that person to those around me, I have succeeded.
Do you have any tips on how we can all live more sustainably?
As I said before, small changes first! Don’t try to do it all in one go, that in itself is not sustainable, haha. Here are a few things you could start with:
- Shop less – rather shop your existing wardrobe. Are there some gems you haven’t worn in a while? Get them out and reimagine how you could style them to discover their newness.
- Get rid of clutter – go through the rest of your wardrobe and see if there are pieces (still in good condition) that you are certain no longer serve you. Donate them to a local charity store, take them to a clothing swap (@twygmag do one once a month on a Saturday morning in CT) or resell them via a consignment store or set up your own profile on @yaga.
- Buy vintage/preloved/upcycled – this way you will have peace of mind that you are shopping more sustainably and responsibly.
- Educate yourself – There are so many ways to know more about sustainable fashion but something I have found really helpful to break down all the facts is listening to podcasts. Here are two that I really enjoyed listening to that you can find easily on spotify: Common Threads and Style with Substance.
How do you curate your store/pieces?
I spend a lot of time sourcing for Glory Daze – charity shops, old age homes, random garage sales. The word ‘curate’ is of high importance in this process as it keeps me in check. I place emphasis on quality, rarity, fabrication and wearability.
Is this piece constructed well and in great condition? Is it unique/special? Is it made from natural and durable fabric such as cotton/wool/linen/cashmere/silk? Can it be easily integrated into ones’ contemporary wardrobe? These are all questions I ask when sourcing.
And then when dropping collections, I tend to curate them according to an interesting colour palette which is usually inspired by a key piece in that specific drop.
What do you love most about what you do?
Building a community of like minded people! It is so special when people resonate with what you are putting out into the world. I love providing an alternative for people to shop more consciously and to help them build their own sense of style instead of relying on fast fashion retailers to tell them what they should be wearing. And as a stylist, I love putting looks together and creating something completely unique.
Who are some of your fave sustainable fashion brands?
Let’s keep it local:
- I love what @sealandgear has done for the sustainability sector in fashion. They hand make (by local valued craftspeople) gear and apparel from waste and ethically sourced materials.
- @rethread_ are making huge waves in the South African fashion scene with their beautiful upcycled pieces and designed collection made from deadstock fabrics.
- I love @thrifthappensjhb online store. They sell vintage and high quality preloved goods and her Instagram content is so fun to watch!
How do you balance life & work?
I’m a mom to a 3 year old boy so balance is really important to me.There does come a time in the day where I physically have to stop working and attend to my kid’s needs and to also get some quality time in. If I have energy to work more in the evenings after he is down, I do. I am learning more and more to listen to what my body and mind needs and trusting myself that I will get done what I want to without feeling that I have to work in every spare moment.
What are you currently listening to?
- Creative Rebels podcast. So good for any kind of creative out there. It really has opened my eyes to a world of possibility with working as a creative freelancer and building a side hustle. They are so encouraging and interview really incredible people doing amazing things! Great for an inspiration injection.
- Anything that Kaytranada does, especially when I’m shooting stock for Glory Daze. He helps me loosen up a bit for the photos, haha!
- Whenever I am sewing or cooking, I love listening to Moonchild – so calming and just such a vibe
What mantra, if any, is getting you through the first half of 2022?
CONSISTENCY IS KEY!
This year I wanted to practise consistency whether it be going to gym at least 3 times a week, consistency with reading books or consistency with my reactions – not allowing difficult things affect my inner peace. I set a few achievable goals and have worked hard on being consistent with them!
Which 5 items are getting you through your day?
- COFFEE – only once in the morning but it just starts my day officially and it’s my time to get in the zone after doing daycare drop off.
- Hugs from my boys 🙂
- Creative Rebels podcast – love a good inspiration injection
- A good dinner – I love having a yummy home cooked meal in the evening
- Gym time with a bestie!
Do you have any advice for other small businesses looking to get started?
- Have a plan! Know at least, on a basic level, who you are selling to and what problem you are solving for them.
- Get started! I love this quote by Seth Godin – ‘If you wait till you are ready, it is already almost certainly too late.’ Meaning, you won’t be completely ready for every possible scenario or problem and if you wait till you are, you will never get started.
- Compare yourself with yourself! This is your journey, you cannot live someone else’s life. ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ – you will take the joy right out of what you are building if you constantly look at what others are doing.
What can we look forward to from Glory Daze in 2022?
Currently I am working on an upcycled collection which I am really excited about – launch date will be confirmed soon enough.
The Glory Daze website is in the works and I hope it will be launched soon too (things take a little longer when you’re doing it on your own) – I want it to be easy to shop from Glory Daze and one platform to see all products will aid in that.
Where can we find you?
For now, just the Instagram and Facebook pages (@shop.glorydaze) and I do sell from yaga as well ( https://www.yaga.co.za/shop-glorydaze )
Do you have other social channels we can follow your journey on?
You may follow my personal account to see more of my journey and styling work. Or alternatively you can check out my website https://www.karenbolus.com
THANK YOU and I hope to see you in my DM’s 😛