Hello! I am a marketing professional from Franklin, IN. After graduating from IU in 2020, I began falling in love with all things creative. I am passionate about telling stories through writing, graphics, and social media.

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Like so many others, Jenny Hastings has spent the past few months at home, secluded, trying to find ways to pass the time. She looked to her previously neglected garden for refuge, but no matter how many tiger lilies were planted she still felt as if the space was not right.

Her home’s siding was dingy, broken, and about 15 years old. The dull exterior of her house ate away at each day of work she tended to her garden. Hastings admittedly, did not have the time or money to make it right though.

“My husband is a nurse, and Covid has just thrown a wrench into our lives. He is gone working most days, I was laid off. I wanted a home that felt like a retreat for both of our sanities,” Hastings said, “but with money being tight and him not able to help I just felt at a loss.”

Local company, Gemini General Contracting, decided to take charge. The contractor replaced old roofing, siding, and gutters for 17 front line workers in need. Owner James Lee says it is a small thank you for putting their lives at risk every day.

“These folks are literally going to work not knowing if they or their families will be sick. They should never worry about when they are home if they have to do projects to keep it up and running,” Lee said, “I am grateful for the opportunity to give back.”

Now Hastings has a beautiful backdrop for her garden, dark blue cement siding that looks as fresh and revitalized as her tiger lillies.

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Fashion brands have been starting fires to destroy clothing for years, but now they are under fire for the environmentally wasteful method.

In 2016 it was released that high fashion brand Burberry had burned tens of thousands of dollars of unsold merchandise aimed at preserving brand value. It has since then stopped the practice, but consumers are not so quick to forget.

“We look at ingredients in our food, we look at prices, we look at reviews on amazon. We already do research, but now we have to look at how sustainable what we wear is,” senior Debbie Rankin said.

Google searches for “sustainable fashion brands” have increased 25 percent from 2017 to 2018, but 61 percent total since 2016, when the Burberry scandal happened. Locally women are joining in on making fashion environmentally friendly.

“Sip and Swap” is a spring event in Bloomington each year. Women are invited to bring clothes they no longer use, swap with others and enjoy a cocktail hour. Organizer Brittany Wright says it is financially and environmentally efficient to buy second hand.

“We use clothes one time only so much,” Wright said “there is no reason to not share with other women, it’s truly a win win win. You get clothes, help the earth and save money doing it.”

Style Encore on the west side of town is a consignment shop with endlessly revolving inventory. Women can bring their clothes in to sell for cash, and then buy new clothes in shop.

who want what is best for their wallet, for the environment and to feel their best in what they wear every day.”

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