A Day in Retail Therapy: What We Learned

Who knew a bit of self-care & pampered knowledge could make you feel so good? Well, we did. But what we didn’t know was how much we still have to learn about mindfulness, the sustainable fashion industry, and the ways we can live, work, and play more mindfully every day.

In case you missed the event, Mindful Collective member Kiki (with a guest appearance from the rest of our team!) shares some of the juicy take-aways and highlights as a quick recap.

Shopping Doesn’t Have To Be Mindless

I think it’s safe to say Toronto’s retail image got a total makeover on Saturday and it was so inspiring to see all of the eco-conscious purchases made at the Mindful Market pop-up. Some of my personal fave finds included a super stylish pair of jeans from Simply Suzzette, unpaper towels from Logan & Finley, and double whipped moon butter from Atma Things.

For a complete list of vendors, check out this page.

Photography by  Oh Sierra Creative

Photography by Oh Sierra Creative

Conversations Worth Having

In the Designer panel discussions, which explored the changes to our creative and production processes, and ultimately: the way they design their collections therefore influencing our customers to shop more sustainably. It was encouraging to discover the out-of-the-box solutions our panelists were discovering, creating, and implementing - all to the betterment of our choices and the way they affect the planet for generations ahead.

Speaking of us consumers, I had the privilege of interviewing a few of our favorite Torontonian-based wellness influencers who shared their take on everything from eating clean, travelling green, and beautifying yourself inside & out - all without the toxic waste.

Our added bonus talk was presented by Logan & Finley, which reviewed how to build a capsule wardrobe. Hint: selectively re-working a few key pieces was very much involved!

Who’d we chat with? Get the full speaker line-up here.

Photography by  Oh Sierra Creative

Photography by Oh Sierra Creative

Just What The Doctor Ordered: A Dose of Spa

The variety of self-care stations at the event was truly holistic in every sense of the word - from all-natural facials (and yes - handcials too), to reiki, tarot readings, cupping, hair styling, chiropractor sessions and even more...there’s no escaping the rooftop patio without feeling entirely pampered and totally zen. 

I especially enjoyed my tarot card reading from Soulfire Sessions which provided me on clarity on what was, what is, and what’s to come - I felt incredibly enlightened and excited for my next chapter in which opportunities and challenges came into divine light.

Looking to book a feel-good session for yourself? May we recommend one of these

Photography by  Oh Sierra Creative

Photography by Oh Sierra Creative

So What’s The Big Deal?

It’s safe to say that my biggest takeaway from Retail Therapy is that being a “conscious consumer” really isn’t (and shouldn’t) be a “big deal” but can still make a big impact. There are countless ways that you can take small steps to save huge environmental degradation. We’ll leave you with each of our go-to mindful tips for living with less waste and more mindfulness…

  • Meal prep! How many times have you overpaid for something like a few washed grapes in a plastic container when you could have spent less on a whole bag of organic? Setting aside the time upfront really saves you time (and mula!) in the long-run. Grocery shop with intention - following a list, utilizing your own bags/containers whenever possible (Unboxed Market is fab for this!), and storing/carrying your food in reusable glass containers (Logan & Finley also has a great selection) - always at the ready! This greatly reduces the need to buy overly-packaged convenience food which is likely no better for your health - physically, financially, or spiritually! (Kiki)

  • Capsule wardrobes are EASY. It doesn’t require endless thought about what “goes” together, or shelling out a huge amount of money for that perfect, effortless capsule “look,” we have in mind. We can all make simple, thoughtful changes to our existing wardrobes to build our own unique version of what a capsule looks like to us, and in doing so, we become more in tune with our sense of personal style, and more aware of what we actually need to feel stylish, comfortable, and conscious. (Frank)

  • The Green-Washing is real.  Discussing the importance of label awareness amid the clean beauty craze is something that I personally connected with, because I’m obsessed with skincare. Hearing from the beauty influencers on the panel at the event really opened my eyes to the ways certain brands are tricking their audiences to believe things are “healthier,” or more conscious, than they really are. Read the labels, research the ingredients, determine who you can trust, and THEN mask your little heart out!  (Xanthe)

  • Awareness is Mindfulness. Mindfulness isn’t just about meditating, it’s the awareness of the present moment. At our Retail Therapy urban retreat we brought mindful awareness to the production processes to the clothes we wear and how brands like those featured in our Mindful Market are shifting towards sustainable practices which allows consumers to shop sustainably with ease. We can be more conscious consumers by establishing a relationship with the things we buy and from who we buy from. Honour the makers and artisans that made your items, the journey it to get into your hands for you to wear that piece, you will naturally feel like you need less and cherish the pieces you have, understanding why it’s worth it to invest in something made with care and integrity. (Janelle)

  • Curiosity is key.  Retail Therapy was created with the intent to spark curiosity on conscious consumerism and how the practice of mindfulness supports this inquiry. On the day of our event, I learned that simply being  curious permitted us to pause, reflect on our habits, and begin conversations about the small steps we can all take to make a positive impact on our world. Being mindful of the choices we make and the brands we support is powerful! What is even more exciting is that there is a growing community of brands in the health and wellness, fashion, and food industry that provide sustainable options based on research and experience. It was comforting to understand that they were all willing to spend the time to share their knowledge and experience.  As a collective -we can support each other and change the world. (Lizelle)

  • Mindfulness is the ultimate form of self care.  When we are mindful of our thoughts, actions and approach to living we are ultimately deciding to come from a place of care, kindness and intention. Throughout the day of the event, I watched people slow down, relax, ask questions, reflect and simply breathe.  Our intention for the day and for all of our events going forward is to introduce mindfulness as a practice and a lifelong journey. Remember, it is not necessarily about meditating everyday but rather about taking moments throughout the day to check in with yourself and your impact (on others and on the planet.) It is learning to pay attention to how we respond to negative (and very universal) emotions. It is about suspending judgements and approaching ourselves, and others, from a place of curiosity and love. (Ashley)

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Photography by  Oh Sierra Creative

Photography by Oh Sierra Creative

Kiki Athanas