We interviewed the lovely sustainable fashion blogger Noor (tinytemplestyling) discussing fair fashion, thrifting, and woman empowerment.
Name: Noor Kaman
Ararose Dress Size: Wearing Sarah t-shirt size L
Profession: Doctor (recently graduated from medical school) and founder of Tiny Temple
What first inspired you to make conscious fashion choices? Can you remember any particular information that got your attention?
For me it started with buying secondhand clothing, which was kind of a hobby for me. When I started my blog and instagram to inspire others to buy/wear more secondhand, I met a lot of people who were into sustainable and fair fashion. This combined with the documentary ‘the True Cost’ was a turning point for me. I can’t imagine wanting to buy an item that’s possibly made in one of these ‘sweat shops’. The more I learn about the pollution, the more I think about sustainability for our planet and the more I make buying decisions based on that.
What staple items do you have in your wardrobe that you cannot live without?
My denim jacket is probably the most used item in my wardrobe, it goes with everything and I wear it throughout the year. Other favourites are my black cowboy boots, my high-waisted denim skirt, items that belonged to family members (mostly my mom and grandmothers) and oversized sweaters (preferably from the mens department in the thriftshop). Also, accessories are the best for getting most out of your wardrobe.
How would you recommend others shop consciously whilst on a tight budget?
Thrifting!! If you are lucky you can find the best pieces for a low prize. Search for items that are made with quality fabrics, so you can wear them for a long time. Another thing you could do is organize a clothing swap party with friends (or just borrow items from them) to keep your wardrobe varied without buying anything new.
What piece of clothing have you owned for the longest?
There’s one item I’ve owned for a very long time, although it is not a piece of clothing. When I was around 14 years old I bought a very cool pair of sunglasses in the thriftstore. They are very vintage, have round lenses and I still wear them a lot! Can you believe it only cost me €0,70?! Pieces of clothing come and go, but I treasure the items my grandma wore when she was younger. Haven’t owned them for long, but they are definitely the items that exist the longest.
We love your blog and instagram dedicated to slow fashion! What inspired you to want to share this information?
There are so many gems to be found secondhand, it’s a waste to leave them in stores while creating a planet full of overloaded landfills. I think the image most people have of secondhand clothing is incorrect and I want to change that. With my Instagram and blog, I want to prove that secondhand can look great! It really helped me find my style. Realizing the need to change the fashion industry, I started sharing the information I gather about and my journey towards slow/sustainable/fair fashion as well.
What does empowerment mean to you?
Being able to be your true self in all possible ways. To me, a big part of this is independence, making sure you can take care of yourself. Empowerment is lifting each other up and giving everyone a voice. When thinking about women empowerment, I am very grateful to all the women creating the opportunities that I have right now. We should make sure these opportunities become available to everyone.
If you could go back in time and give your 12 year old self some words of wisdom, what would you say?
I think I would tell myself to follow my dreams and listen to my heart. It has brought me great things and I’m planning to have a lot more adventures in the future!!
Do you remember a time where you felt self conscious about your appearance? How did you overcome it?
Around my 14th birthday my body changed a lot. This was not always easy. But I think at some point only a few years later, I decided that people had to take me as I am, otherwise it did not make sense to let them be part of my life. I am a firm believer of natural and inside beauty. Almost two years ago I stopped wearing make-up, which makes me feel as much myself as possible. If people don’t like me or what I look like, then they don’t like me, that’s fine.
Who do you look up to as a role model?
My parents. They raised my two brothers and me in a very supportive, encouraging, equal and open minded way. All three have our own life paths, but I’m proud of what everyone is doing and where we are heading.
What is your favourite quote?
I don’t have a favourite quote, I like quotes generally. They create a moment in which you have to think about what you read and what it means to you. I found a quote recently that I liked (it was written in Dutch so I translated it freely): “If there would be a road to happiness, than that would imply that happiness is not here, that this moment is not enough”. – Jeff Foster. It reminds me to live in the moment and enjoy life the way it is right now.
How do you like to empower yourself in your day to day life?
Trust yourself and listen to your gut. Most of my decisions are based on a feeling and what my gut tells me to do. If you are behind every decision you make, it will empower you to create what’s important to you. But I also make sure to work hard, I want to be able to say I gave it my all in the long run.
What message would you like to share with our readers?
Be yourself, you are beautiful. Be kind, that will make the world a better place. And be conscious about the things you buy, there’s a lot of power there!
What is your favourite thing about yourself?
I think I have to say my positive and ambitious character, it makes sure I enjoy life to the fullest and I believe to be able to change things for the best.
We like to remind women that they are beautiful right in this moment without changing a thing. What makes you feel beautiful?
Doing fun things with friends who really know me and love me for who I am. Wearing a pretty cool thrifted outfit that matches my mood definitely helps!
Noor wears Sarah Black T shirt
Find Noor on Instagram @tinytemplestyling
Photos by: Tim Bruijninckx