Low Waste Living: Logan & Finley

Solutions for living a more sustainable lifestyle is exactly what Logan & Finley - an eco-conscious general store - is all about.

Julie Skirving is the creator of the Logan & Finley brand – and you will often find her sharing her enthusiasm and product expertise with customers in the store. After 20+ years in various leadership roles in the outdoor apparel industry, Julie started Logan & Finley. The brand blends her professional expertise of telling captivating stories with her love of nature, travel and living a healthy lifestyle.

We recently connected with Julie in anticipation of the upcoming Retail Therapy event, where Logan & Finley will be selling some of their fan-favourite wellness lifestyle goodies. Read on for some of the highlights from our interview!

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Q: What does "low waste living" mean to you and how did you first get into it?

A: Low waste living to me is being conscious about what I am consuming and trying to eliminate as many single use items as I can and use re-usable options – so things like using my own coffee cup and pouch for snacks if I am going out coffee or meals, taking my own bags to the grocery store or market and using re-usable food wrap to keep my food fresh as well. For me it’s a big picture, long term view about not buying things I don’t need and when I am shopping buying good quality things that last. I use these principles when I buy for Logan & Finley as well.

Q: How do you suggest "beginners" to lower waste living get started and begin to make more conscious choices?

A: There are lots of ways to do this, but I encourage people to find ways that suit them and where they replace one habit with another and then keep adding – so that it’s sustainable. It’s not really about depriving yourself, but finding things you do everyday and replacing with a more sustainable option. If you go for coffee – use a mug from home, a mason jar or buy yourself a reusable coffee cup that suits your style and don’t get coffee unless you have your cup with you. Use one of the many options for reusable food wrap/storage – and if you use something great like Abeego, it actually keeps your food fresher longer too, so it’s a win win since you waste less food too. Think about things you use everyday and when you’re finished a package of something – like the cotton rounds, replace with a beautiful, super soft organic cotton/hemp one that you can put into the wash and continue to reuse vs disposing each day.

Q: Any tips for green-living on a budget?

A: Shop your closet and cupboards……we all have a lot of stuff and maybe think about how you could repurpose some of the things you already have. If it’s clothing, maybe do some repairs/alterations to get some use from something that isn’t quite working or reuse the containers you already have brought home with you and get them refilled. You can get refillable dish soap at our shop in an old beer bottle and put a spout into it for a quirky dish soap dispenser, raid your grandparents’ basement for old jars or reuse a plastic clamshell to organize your crafts or to freeze items or to get something at the store. It doesn’t have to be insta-perfect!

Q: What are some of your top recommended sustainable fabrics/ingredients?

A: We’re focused at Logan & Finley on natural fibres and some that we like best are eco-friendly/responsibly grown bamboo, organic cotton, tencel, linen and merino wool. It depends on the season or the application, but super soft fabrics that make you feel like you’re getting a hug is what we love best!

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Q: Favourite sustainable brands?

A: I’m quite likely the WORST at the favourite game – for anything, including brands at the shop, but we always like the brands that meet all of our criteria – Local, Natural, Built to last. Miik is a brand that’s made in Toronto and we recommend a lot of their styles wardrobe staples since they fit so well and wear incredibly well too. Be sure to come and try on one of the blazers in our shop or at the show! Some of our other local brands this season are Ramonalisa, Noujica, Melow, Erdaine, Fig, Message factory and we love Free Label as well. We do have many American and European brands in the shop as well, all in natural and sustainable fibres.

Q: What does "retail therapy" mean to you?

A: Retail therapy is different to me likely than the average person – since I am a “Provider or Practitioner” So how I like to deliver it in my business – warm and welcoming environment and a focus on delivering what each customers comes looking for. We really focus on a very personalized shopping experience and find that our customers come back since we take really good care of them.

At Logan & Finley, each product has been thoughtfully chosen, purposeful, useful and well made. The store is a warm and welcoming environment and the customer experience is their priority.  Sustainability is central to Logan & Finley’s conscious lifestyle philosophy, and they love helping their customers find options that suit their everyday needs. They focus on quality over quantity and offer products that are unique, effective and just luxurious enough that you enjoy using them every day.

“Having my own store had been my dream for a long time and it has allowed me to put down some roots in a community I call home.  “I’m often asked, are you Logan or Finley and my answer is “I’m neither and I am both.” Logan & Finley are family names used to reflect my roots. My practical sensibility is what I bring the store. Everything I do, I do with purpose and I think that is reflected in Logan & Finley. I have hand picked every single thing that’s in the store for a reason and my belief is that using products that you don’t need to replace all the time is a key part of living a more sustainable lifestyle.  I am usually in the store greeting customers, making a mess and having some fun and would love to welcome you personally myself, but when I am not there, an experienced team member will take very good care of you. Hope to see you soon!”

- Julie Skirving, Founder

By: Kiki Athanas, Wellness Expert & Educator @ MEbyKiki.com

Kiki Athanas