May in Chicago by Katie Turner

Just as it was starting to feel like summer in Chicago... it got chilly again. This is me throwing on a light sweater and embracing my favorite pair of pants I don't wear nearly enough. If these photos prove anything it's that...

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My Hanger Tattoo by Katie Turner

I got my first tattoo the day I turned 18. As a freshman Fashion Business student in college, I chose to get a hanger tattoo as a simple symbol to express my love for clothing and the fashion industry. I thought the message was very clear: I love fashion. Others found a different meaning with my tattoo. More often than not, I was asked if I got a hanger tattooed on me 'because of abortion'. At the time, those questions frustrated me but I laughed it off and explained how it was a symbol for the career path I've chosen for myself. As someone who grew up in a sheltered suburban environment, little did I know that the hanger has long been a symbol of the reproductive justice movement. 

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VOTE OUR PLANET by Katie Turner

I haven't posted in quite some time, but I'm rising from the ashes to bring this very important message this fall. VOTE OUR PLANET! Voting this election season is important now more than ever, and with the current state of this Earth, we should all be voting with the planet in mind up and down the ballot... 

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An Evening with Jill Dumain and Natalie Chanin by Katie Turner

Director of Environmental Strategies at Patagonia, Jill Dumain, and Founder and Creative Director of Alabama Chanin, Natalie Chanin, came to the Patagonia Chicago Mag Mile store for an evening of great discussion, crafting, and food on Tuesday, June 21st.

We talked about women in the textiles business & sustainability, ate amazing Provisions tacos, had wine, cider, and cold pressed juices, and were able to hang out with some amazing women in Chicago! 

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World Oceans Day by Katie Turner

Today is one of my absolute favorite days! My deep love for the ocean started around two years ago, and since then, I have made changes in my life to protect it. In honor of today, I CHALLENGE YOU to use this day to go plastic free. On the most basic level, that means- bringing your own utensils, tupperware, and cups if you plan on eating out at a place that uses single-use kitchenware, and especially don't use straws, just sip from the edge of the cup. Don't forget to use reusable bags instead of plastic ones! Also, if you see any garbage on the ground, dispose of it properly! By doing this today, you'll see how easy it actually can be to cut out disposable plastics from your life, and how important it is to do your part. It's the little things that add up.

If you're looking for more long term commitments, stop purchasing products that use microbeads, make your own household items instead of purchasing them in plastic containers, stop purchasing plastic all together, etc! A big one that you can do is to become smarter about the seafood you eat. A GREAT resource for that is Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch website and app! As you'll hear in the video below, there are many different ways fishing has negatively impacted the ocean, and being more mindful about what you eat is a great way to helping protect the health of our oceans. There are so many things you can do to make a difference, but I've found that these are great places to start! If you'd like to talk to me more about what you can do, please shoot me a message! 

Here's my favorite quote that sums up my challenge for you all today:

Many of us ask what can I, as one person, do, but history shows us that everything good and bad starts because somebody does something or does not do something,
— Sylvia A. Earle

As an added bonus- below are a few more of my favorite quotes about the ocean and some photos I took in the US Virgin Islands. 

We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea - whether it is to sail or to watch it - we are going back from whence we came.
— John F. Kennedy
No water, no life. No blue, no green.
— Sylvia A. Earle
For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive; in this century he is beginning to realize that, in order to survive, he must protect it.
— Jacques-Yves Cousteau
It is a curious situation that the sea, from which life first arose, should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life. But the sea, though changed in a sinister way, will continue to exist: the threat is rather to life itself.
— Rachel Carson
If man doesn’t learn to treat the oceans and the rain forest with respect, man will become extinct.
— Peter Benchley, Author of "Jaws"
Even if you never have the chance to see or touch the ocean, the ocean touches you with every breath you take, every drop of water you drink, every bite you consume. Everyone, everywhere is inextricably connected to and utterly dependent upon the existence of the sea.
— Sylvia A. Earle, The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean's Are One
We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road — the one less traveled by — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.
— Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
We know that when we protect our oceans we’re protecting our future.
— Bill Clinton
If I could be born anywhere in time, it would be now. It would be now because this is the time as never before. That we understand what we didn’t 50 years ago. If we wait another 50 years, opportunities we now have will be gone. This is the moment. Our decisions. Our actions will shape everything that follows.
— Sylvia A. Earle, Mission Blue

Season of Change by Katie Turner

Spring is turning into summer, so the weather has been a bit temperamental lately! Along with the changing of the seasons, it's been a season of change for me personally as well. I'm done with my junior year of college, my internship ended, a new job is starting soon, I cut and dyed my own hair (I think it looks pretty alright for a DIY!), my family got a new dog, and I'm not quite sure what it is, but I'm feeling the best I've felt in a long time.

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Remnant Leather Tote Bag by Katie Turner

This semester I'm taking a class called Nature and Environmentalism in US Culture. It's probably my favorite class I've taken at Columbia yet because it pushes me to critically analyze topics of environmentalism and what "nature" really means. Recently we've been talking a lot about waste, and the impact it has on the planet. For my final paper, I chose the topic of the Ethicality and Sustainability of Vegan vs. Real Leather. Choosing between real leather compared to unsustainably made faux leather has always troubled the vegetarian environmentalist in me. There are a lot of factors that go into it, and I don't have an answer for you to which is better -- it's all about personal values and what you deem to be the most important.

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The Art of Thrifting by Katie Turner

Thrifting and I go way back. Ever since I was in middle school, my parents and I have been hitting up thrift stores in the Chicago suburbs. It started off as looking for discounted clothes, then as my love for fashion grew it turned into a hunt for unique vintage finds. Now, as a college student, it's easy on the wallet and it's sustainable. My first job was even at a thrift store! Friends, family, and strangers have been asking me to help them thrift ever since I started, and as much as I'd love to accompany everyone who has asked, writing it out in the form of a blog post is much easier. 

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Wrapped Up in Spring by Katie Turner

Not long ago, Mary from American Flora reached out to have a phone conversation with me on the topic of sustainability within fashion to talk about why we personally believe it is an important aspect of the ethicality of fashion. We bonded instantly, and after a great conversation, we decided it would be really great to collaborate and to have me write a blog post featuring American Flora

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DIY // Boro: The Japanese Art of Mending by Katie Turner

Not long ago, I was talking to a coworker about how I wanted to fix up some thrifted denim of mine that didn't quite fit and I've also always wanted a patched up pair of jeans, and she mentioned Boro: the Japanese art of mending textiles. Boro was born of forgotten values of ‘mottainai’ or ‘too good to waste’. An idea dangerously lacking in the modern consumer lifestyle.

Before this project, I had three pairs of high waisted denim that I thrifted just sitting in my closet. I never liked the shape of them, but the waist fit well so I was holding onto them for upcoming DIY projects. I picked out a pair that was cropped and flared at the same time creating a very interesting silhouette that just didn't fit in with my current style. These were going to be my mending practice jeans!! 

I chose to go with the mending style of Sashiko. It's geometric and linear patterns are beautiful yet misleading in their complexity. The trick is that for even the most detailed design, the maker can find the longest linear route for her stitches and rarely begin a new thread. The real beauty of Sashiko is that it was meant to be tough. The style of embroidery began as a way to mend and reinforce elbows and knees and other clothing spots prone to uneven wear. But like all Japanese arts, someone along the line realized that it might as well be beautiful too, and Sashiko is a perfect example of combining utility and beauty. As the craft matured, it evolved from just a mending technique into its own art form.

What You Need:

  • Pair of Denim
  • Embroidery Thread (or any thick thread)
  • Embroidery Needle
  • Scissors
  • Embroidery Hoop (optional) 
  • Scrap Fabric of Your Choosing

To start the DIY- I put the jeans on inside out and pinned along the sides where I planned on taking them in. I wanted them to fit more of a tailored, cropped straight leg. After pinning them, I took them off and started stitching. I used my machine to take in the sides. After taking them in, I tried them on right side out to be sure they had the look I was going for, and they did! 


Now that they fit the way I wanted them to, I started deconstructing them. Boro is meant to mend the natural wearing down of clothing, but I figured I'd speed up the process a bit! After cutting out the holes, I made patches out of scrap fabric and pinned them in place. Then I started making stitches around the patches. I found that using an embroidery hoop helped hold everything in place as I stitched, especially because the denim was quite thick! 

For one of the patches, I made a patch from another pair of denim that was a darker wash creating a nice contrast patch, while not taking away from the stitching and the bold patch that was placed on top of it. 

After most of the holes were patched up, I took my embroidery thread and added some detail stitching on the pocket. I really love the way the white thread looks on top of the denim, so I thought this would be a nice extra touch. Overall, it was a very easy DIY. It's one of those ones you can sit and do while watching Netflix because it doesn't require much attention! For me, I like that it doesn't look perfect. Now that I used this pair for practice, I'll be ready for when I actually wear out a hole in a pair of my pants! 

Keep an eye out for an outfit post featuring the mended pair of denim soon! 

Informational Sources: Design Sponge, Honestly WTF, FurugiStar

Photos by Elisha Knight // @elishaknight

Why I'm Mad at Steven Alan by Katie Turner

Today, I was scrolling through my Pinterest feed and came across this look by Steven Alan from their new RTW Fall 2016 Womenswear line and something familiar immediately caught my eye!! It was hard to tell from the side view, but all I needed to see was the color, shape, and details of the piece to immediately realize this is a design inspired by a Patagonia fleece. The rest of the collection is awesome, and I could definitely see myself wearing some of the pieces if I knew their clothes were made using sustainable fabrics. Steven Alan produces most of it's clothing in New York, though, so in that way production standards have been deemed ethical by others. 

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Cheers! by Katie Turner

Happy New Year, everyone! A year ago today, I had moved back home and was going to commute to college. Looking back, that was a terrifying time for me. Honestly, who really wants to move back in with their parents after already having 2.5 years of "freedom"? Luckily for me, it was during that time that I figured out what I want to do with my life. It's 2016 and I'm SO ready to see what opportunities the new year brings me. 

Luckily, the year is already starting out well. I am now the Social Media / Marketing Manager for Fibre Athletics! Fibre is a new activewear company that produces versatile, sustainable, stylish & durable gear made of 100% organic and recycled materials, and I am SO excited to be a part of the team. I'll be updating their Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, so be sure to follow along! They've made some pretty incredible pieces, and I can't wait for you to be able to see them. I'll be doing a post soon featuring one of them, so keep your eye out for that! If you'd like to contact me over there for any social media purposes, you can email me at! 

Tunic is Reformation // Leather Jacket is Faux // Booties are Zara, secondhand from Buffalo Exchange // Hat is Thrifted

I put together this outfit back before the city froze... I absolutely LOVE my new tunic from Reformation, and wanted to highlight it here! Reformation is one of my new favorite brands. Not only are they SUSTAINABLE and pretty transparent about their production, they also let you know how much CO2 and H2O you save with each purchase of their product! Here's a screenshot from my combined order- the tunic along with a dress I purchased!

Because I am such a fan of Reformation, and own a couple of pieces from them, I will be doing a brand highlight on them soon! 


All photography by Elisha Knight

Reflections by Katie Turner

This past year has been a great one-- I had to move home to the suburbs and commute to school, I fell in love with the ocean, out of love with fashion, a personal relationship ended, I almost changed majors, fell in love with the environment, became inspired by ethical fashion, spent some good time outdoors, moved back to Chicago, started crafting and creating again, got hired at my favorite company, started a new blog, deleted that blog, re-did this blog, and here I am. The year is coming to a close and I am grateful for each and everything that has happened to me. It has definitely been a roller coaster of emotions, but for the first time in a long time, I truly feel like myself. I can honestly say I'm not the same person I was a year ago, but I'm better because of it. 

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Starting Over by Katie Turner

If you've been following along with my blog at all, then you know how many changes there have been as of late. After many redesigns, including starting a whole new blog (RIP Sustainably Kate), I have found peace in my decision to start fresh as Style Tongue. Ultimately, I was unhappy with the way my site was designed, and as I continue on being the busiest I've been yet, my posts will be less frequent. I like the idea of having a website that has a blog aspect, as compared to feeling the pressure of keeping up with a consistent blogging schedule. I'll be the first to admit I'm not a blogger, but I do enjoy having a creative outlet where I can share all my interests. I look forward to work on this site, and I thank you for your patience and understanding throughout all of this! 

This outfit post is to highlight my favorite vintage camel coat. Here I have paired it with previously bought items. As part of me trying to live sustainably, I am trying to wear what I already own and only shop if it is sustainably or ethically made! I did have a weak moment though as the rings are Madewell. 

I thrifted this coat two years ago at a local Savers. It was a great find and I loved how different it was compared to other camel coats. The large lapels on it are what I feel give it it's uniqueness. 


Chicago weather has been so kind lately, allowing me to wear my camel coat and loafers all the way into December. Typically, outfits like this only would've lasted until mid-November! 

As you can see, I take these photo shoots very seriously... 

As you can see, I take these photo shoots very seriously... 

All photography by Elisha Knight.

Brand Highlight: Causegear by Katie Turner

Not long ago I went to a Fair Trade Student Summit hosted by the Chicago Fair Trade organization to hear about different ways some Chicago universities are implementing the sale of fair trade certified objects in their bookstores and cafes! After hearing all the great things some other students had to say about their fair trade organizations and what they do on campus, I hope that Columbia will at some point be able to make some of the changes necessary to become a fair trade certified school. While at the summit, I met Ben Anderson. Ben was presenting some fair trade bags from the company he works for, CAUSEGEAR, and that is the brand I will be telling you about today!

CAUSEGEAR is a pretty incredible company. Designed in Chicago and made in India, CAUSEGEAR’s mission is to transform the lives of one million people trapped in unfathomable poverty & injustice to become self-sustaining. With 2.8 billion people living in extreme poverty, 35.8 million of them are slaves, and 40% of these slaves are in India. For the most part, the fashion industry is dominated by $2.12hr/day jobs in India. When these jobs don’t pay for the essentials (food, water, clothing, housing, medical & education), many workers go onto the wrong path led by a lie, only to be kidnapped and sold as slaves. The CAUSEGEAR model is different than most. For each worker in India that CAUSEGEAR employs, they are being paid 5x the norm providing the potential to pay for essentials and ending the need for hand-outs.


sweater: thrifted // denim: thrifted // bracelet: Mantra Band // tote: CAUSEGEAR

CAUSEGEAR has a wide range of products from sport packs, to day bags, to messenger bags. My bag is the Charcoal Canvas Tote listed at the totally affordable price of $39. I’ve acquired a lot of tote bags in my life, but this is honestly my favorite one to date. Not only is it the ideal size, but the leather straps are long enough for the bag to hang comfortably under my arm. After getting a few good uses out of it, it holds everything I typically bring with me when I leave my apartment and I can tell it’s going to last. I picked the basic black tote as my started bag, but I’m looking forward to getting the Leather Laptop Case and possibly a Boyfriend Shirt Bag!

When you purchase an item from CAUSEGEAR, you are supporting this great company that is aiding in the mission to help provide essential needs for each crafter and his or her family. For each bag purchased, there is a tag on the inside giving you the name of the person who made your bag! You can read your crafter’s own personal story on Crafter Profile page on the CAUSEGEAR website.

My tote was made by Zubair!

Why would anyone go out and buy an unethically made, and most likely higher priced, ordinary bag when you could purchase one of these ethical, sturdy, and affordable bags that supports workers in India live better lives and keeps them away from turning to slavery? It honestly seems like a no brainer to me!

This post was not sponsored by CAUSEGEAR. Photography by Elisha Knight