Akilah

Name: Akilah S-D

School: Lane Community College

Year: Sophomore

Majors: Sociology and Environmental Science

Hometown: Portland

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If you were in a cartoon, what would be your statement outfit? Something black and a bright statement piece. And black boots. 

Can you think of a book that captures the aesthetic you are trying to portray? Eco-Feminism by Greta Gaard. It’s about the liberation of oppressed groups and the environment, and I strive, with my outfits, to reduce my carbon footprint and my consumption. I don’t need new crap all the time; I can recycle it.

So this book really impacted the way you dress? As an environmental science major as well as a fellow citizen of the cosmos, I find that living in a way that leaves the least impact on the Earth flows into every aspect of my life. This ideology means consuming less, knowing where the materials I use come from and educating others on the connections between industrialization, environmental degradation and the exploitation of indigenous communities to attain our precious designer labels. I do not buy clothing firsthand directly from the mall or the company it originated from. I try to stay away from buying clothes as much as possible. The majority of my clothing has been liberated from free piles.

Is that where everything you’re wearing today is from? Yep: free pile, free pile, free pile, free pile! What I’m wearing now is from the free pile in my basement at the Lorax Manner cooperative house.

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Akilah dons a bright blue shirt with pink detail cleverly layered under a black velvet dress. All of what she is wearing was picked up secondhand from a free pile.

Tell me more about that the co-op you live in. Our coop provides sustainable, affordable, communal housing where we buy local food as a house, cook dinner together, grow food in our garden, have events and are all in charge of running and owning a share of the house. We work together to reach consensus on issues as a community.

What is your favorite recent trend, and what is your least favorite? Mhm. I really like that scrunchies came back. I hate that top bun that everyone is doing. It’s just so forced, and everyone is doing it. [Under her breath] And a lot of people who do it are kind of rude. [Laughs]

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Has being in Eugene changed the way you dress? Yeah. When I moved here, I started to feel free to be less glitzy and glammed up and more myself. I was less worried about other people. I’ll wear whatever makes me feel good, an eclectic mix: anything from minimalistic and classy to vintage hippy items that echo my personality. I like to be silly, in a way that opposes glamour, and remember to not take myself too seriously.

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Words and photos by Taylor Griggs, @taylorjgriggs

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