From Our Founder: Top Tips And Sustainable Shopping

Owner and founder, Lauren shares the whole story behind opening up Surf and Sand on Attune + Align podcast on Spotify and Apple. Tune in to hear how growing up in coastal California led her to open up her retail store for coastal lifestyle goods and swimwear in Mill Valley, CA.

Tell us about your passion for chic beachy lifestyle goods and support for coastal communities.

“I wanted something of my own, and I also share it with my community. Surf and Sand is mine and my baby, and it’s also part of the community that I’m in, too, and I hope that even this audience listening can join into the community and be a part of it. I never sat here and said ‘I want to open a retail store and sell clothes.’ That wasn’t my passion. I wanted to curate a space— an environment.

 I grew up in a coastal town. I grew up on the beach. I grew up literally in the water almost on a daily basis. I felt like there were always these surf shops and skate stores which I loved. I felt like there were these other beach curated stores, but I didn't really feel that there was anything that was elevated. I wanted to create something that had that chic coastal style to it for people that do enjoy traveling to, living in tropical places, living in coastal towns, whatever it is, that really wants to embody that lifestyle, and for me that coastal lifestyle that when people live in coastal towns and mountain towns where you appreciate your nature and surroundings, usually they’re more attuned to what you put in your body, on our body, in your home, and in your environment. Just being appreciative of your surroundings and the community that helps support that. I wanted to create an environment about what I’m passionate about. I’m a huge ocean advocate and focus on brands that practice sustainability. Every single brand I have in my store I interview, I talk about their sustainability practices, I make sure to really understand the brands that I carry and what I represent and build this community that is with companies who are making the environment a better place.”

What are your top tips for sustainable consumerism?

“There are different ways you can practice being sustainable. You can recycle, you can reuse clothes, you can thrift. [...] I myself love to shop. I wanted to make sure that I was buying from brands that I knew were making conscientious decisions to make our environment a better place. So whether that’s the fabric they use in their clothes like linen…linens consume 90% less waste in terms of water than cotton. [...] I try to teach people.” 

What is slow fashion? What is on-demand fashion?

“It means they don’t make it until you buy it. Therefore there’s no waste out there. They’re not producing nine lines per year. They’re making it as it’s bought so that there’s not this consumerism waste. [...] With slow fashion, these brands only produce very small amounts. It’s been really interesting for me to see when people walk into Surf and Sand or experience it online, it’s a little bit of that education process. I think people feel more rewarded, I hope when you know that you’re buying from a brand that’s ultimately trying as a business to make better-minded and sound decisions in the way that they ethically practice their business. I want to support that and build a community around brands that are doing that.” 

What do you wish more women talked about?

“Before starting Surf and Sand, I went through a divorce, and I’m a single mom. [...] It is scary as hell. I listen to so many women around that I see that are in unhappy marriages and afraid to leave because they don’t financially think that they can independently do it on their own. I think it goes in the same vein of taking a risk and starting something new in your life. I don’t want to continue to live in a world where women feel like they can’t independently support themselves. I’ve had to start all over again.” 

What’s the number one piece of customer feedback you get about Surf and Sand?

“Some of my favorite feedback I get—is the energy in my store. I spent a ton of time curating the energy. […]people walk in and say ‘well that was such a calming experience. Or ‘I feel really energized in here. Your space has good energy to it.’ That was something really important to me. I didn’t want it to be that you just go in and buy clothes.”

Hear the full story behind Lauren’s passion for elevated chic style and sustainable coastal living on Attune + Align podcast

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