Today’s real-bride inspo comes from Natasha Halesworth, upcycling queen behind The Consistency Project, a sustainable lifestyle brand. She has been one of my most woke friends and advisors in this eco-ethical space and I’m hashtagprivileged to call her my friend. Her and Dylan’s wedding was a 3-day retreat to Oahu with some of the most groovy humans and pups. Read on to see how Natasha pulled-off infusing her eco-ethical values into this wedding celebration.
1. You and Dylan met each other at work years ago in San Francisco and now you are married, live in New York, and have two incredibly cute dog children (@bugs_n_nugs) that make the Instagram scroll worthwhile. What was the moment when you knew that it would work?
I think there isn’t just one person in the world that could be your one “true love” but what separates one from the other is timing. We started to realize that we were at the same point in our lives together where our individual lives were able to synchronously exist and support each other along the way. When the timing is right for two people you just know and that’s what it was for us.
2. What was your first itch that led you down your ethical lifestyle and eventually your business the consistency project?
Back in college, I interned for a fashion PR firm in LA and it was such a horrible experience. I was like “Why do I want to be in the fashion industry when it is just the worst?!” From there I decided to put my interest in fashion aside and go another route in life. Fast forward to a couple years ago, I still obviously had an interest in fashion but I started to become an educated consumer. I started to realize the impact of disposable fashion and the environmental damage the industry had caused. Vintage started to become more mainstream but I didn’t really see any shops or companies talk about the positive impact vintage and secondhand really had environmentally so I decided to take it upon myself to pursue my initial dream to be in the fashion industry, but instead to make a positive environmental impact. Clothing was truly an entry point for me as far as caring about living more sustainably. I started to educate myself beyond fashion, whether just lifestyle or food. Today I hope The Consistency Project can do that for others and inspire a more sustainable lifestyle overall. All stemming for the love of clothing. 😉
3. Was Dylan as eco-woke as you were? If not, how did you get him on board (you both looked so fly in your vintage fashions on your wedding day!)
He was on the journey with me from the beginning. As I was discovering things and trying to make changes to my lifestyle, he inadvertently almost had no choice to make the changes as well since we lived together haha. But honestly, we share the same values so he was just as excited to live more sustainably. Plus he took the time to inform himself as well to realize that these lifestyle decisions were for the better. I’m so happy we can continue being on this journey together.
4. What vision did you have for your wedding day?
I almost saw it as the ultimate challenge to really committing to living more sustainably. The goals were to create the least waste, inspire others about sustainability and have nothing compromise the experience. With that in mind, I just tried to think about all the decisions I needed to make and reference back to how they helped reach these goals.
5. What eco-ethical elements were easy to include? What were difficult? What ethical wedding products did you wish existed?
I think the easiest element to include was rentals. Rentals are one of the best ways to be sustainable as the items you’re renting are hopefully being used over and over again for weddings and events vs. being a one time use. Luckily the wedding industry is not short of rental companies, although finding ones that could fit a certain aesthetic were a bit tough.
Another easier element was inspiring our guests to wear vintage or secondhand to our wedding. It was not only a way to engage with our guests to contribute to the experience, it was also easy to create moodboards and put the challenge out there.
Easy in theory but hard in logistics and execution was having no disposables at the wedding. Luckily our caterer and coordinator was willing to work with us in not having any disposables, but that meant logistically solving for things like water cups during the ceremony or an excess of glassware to rent with no place to “display” them or have them stored after use.
Fun but difficult to execute was integrating personal touches like having my personal collection of vintage glassware for the dinner or using upcycled linens. I didn’t have to hand dye stained linens for the napkins and instead rent them but there was something really special about adding that personal touch where your guests were able to physically see sustainability integrated throughout your wedding.
I wish there were certified sustainable vendors out there where you didn’t have to think twice about who to work with and who would also have your best interest in mind when it came to committing to a low waste, sustainable wedding. Most vendors were extremely open to accommodating me, but it definitely took more time to direct them in exactly what I wanted and put the pressure on me to solve for a lot of logistics that came with zero waste initiatives. As far as physical products? I mean… I think it really just stems from the vendor.
6. How did you divy-up your budget? What parts did you invest in more? What was least important?
Food, rentals, music and our photographer took a huge chunk of our budget. As I mentioned before, one of our goals was not to compromise the experience which really led to us spending a lot on food and the music. Rentals ended up costing a lot as well. Sometimes buying things for one time use is cheaper, but definitely not the sustainable option so we knew we’d have to spend more. With our photographer, we wanted someone local with a particular style so there was almost no compromising. Honestly, things like floral and full on decor are things you can spend less on. What visually made our wedding was all the people in their awesome vintage and secondhand as well as the beautiful venue… so I look back and I’m like did people really care about the crazy greenery chandelier we had?! Although it was beautiful and amazing, they probably didn’t care or notice as much it cost.
I definitely look back and I realize that there are areas that can definitely trim costs down without compromising the goal or experience. But a lot of it all stems from the vendors. The vendors out there drive the choices and experiences you’re going to have, as well as the budget, and if there’s a vendor that cares about sustainability, they’ll have more budget friendly options since they do things in scale.
7. There’s so much energy put into planning a wedding. What eco-ethical tips can you give for post-wedding?
Oh man… Post wedding is sometimes just as hard as pre-wedding planning. Immediately after the weddings if you had any personal stuff you used, you have to take it back with you the same night so I ended up having to coordinate where all my stuff was going to transported. Even things like extra food needs to coordinated so you don’t resort to any food waste.
Additionally all the florals… I wish there was an easier way but sometimes there’s organizations that will take your florals to local hospitals. Sometimes you have to just take them yourself. But I think trying to prolong the use of florals is a great eco-friendly decision.
Also when it comes to thank you cards, I was just inspired by someone else about using seed cards so afterwards the card could be planted vs. just recycled in case someone doesn’t want to keep the hand-written thank you note you wrote them lolz…
8. And most importantly (*wink), if you and Dylan were “Friends” characters, who would you be and why?
Oh goodness. I don’t want to admit I’m the most like Monica BUT I definitely channel her more than any other character. Her enthusiasm and passion for her cooking is how I feel about what I do… and her obsessiveness over task-lists and cleaning and all that… Hmm yes that’s kinda me haha. So IDK if that makes Dylan the most like Chandler? Speaking for him, I think he’d like the idea of being Chandler if I’m Monica. 😉