Student Life

Let’s get smarter about shopping

As we’ve been told time and time again, the best way to shop sustainably and ethically is to shop at your local thrift or consignment stores. While it would be ideal for everyone to consume in this way, it isn’t always realistic, especially if your style is more in line with current designs and styles in fashion.

But, there is a way to be more eco-conscious, even if thrift store styles aren’t for you.

Shop the conscious lines retail companies have to offer

The environmental crisis caused by fast fashion is hardly avoidable at this point. This is why many popular retailers have created permanent lines in their seasonal collections that use sustainable materials and practices when producing clothes. Despite Zara being one of the many fast fashion brands with damaging practices that cause massive impacts on the environment, it has taken a small step in the right direction with the launch of their Join Life initiative in late 2016, that aims to create “contemporary designs made from sustainable materials.”

As explained in a Who What Wear article, at the forefront of Zara’s priorities is ensuring that they make as little an impact on the environment as possible. This is achieved through the use of “sustainable cotton, forest-friendly alternatives, and recycled fibres and recycled polyester” as well as working on a plan to have all of their distribution centres, offices, and stores running on clean energy by 2025.

Look at materials

As we all know, the environment that garments are created in, as well as the process used to create them, are important variables when it comes to determining whether or not they are environmentally conscious items. However, one very crucial element that most don’t think to consider is the fabrics they are made with. There are certain fabrics that are extremely damaging to the environment and require many resources to produce.

Which fabrics are these, exactly? According to another Who What Wear article, conventional cotton uses up extremely large amounts of water and pesticides to grow, which end up trickling into waterways, causing pollution. You should also avoid polyester and nylon, which are made using fossil fuels, as well as conventional viscose which requires many chemicals to break down.

Instead, opt for organic cotton, which has an all-around lower environmental impact from the time it is grown, processed and dyed. Linen is a great option, as it does not require pesticides to continue its growth, and can be easily integrated to create fabric blends. When it comes to warmer fabrics, wool would be your best bet, as it is often sourced from the animal in a highly ethical way. Another eco-conscious fabric is bamboo which, according to a document by, “is one of nature’s most sustainable resources.”

When buying from fast fashion brands, shop consciously

If you absolutely cannot abstain from buying from fast fashion brands, at the very least, make sure to shop smartly when you do. In order to avoid over-buying from these brands, make sure you’re knowledgeable about your style and your closet.

Firstly, know the general gist of your style and, through this, determine if you envision yourself reverting to a specific piece over and over again for years to come. By knowing your personal style, you’ll avoid those trendy or impulse purchases that will end up in your donation pile before the year is through. If you haven’t yet nailed your personal style, instead of buying different pieces that will potentially end up going to waste, look to inspiration websites like Pinterest so you can visually discern what you like.

Another way to avoid frequent purchasing from fast fashion websites or stores is to create a capsule wardrobe—a streamlined selection of clothes that can be combined to create multiple outfit combinations. This way, you always have the basics you need and, if you feel like you’re missing something, you know exactly what that piece is.

So, the next time you let yourself off the hook for not being more environmentally conscious when purchasing from fast fashion brands, think twice and consider these tips.

Photo by Britanny Clarke, Graphic by Kayla-Marie Turriciano


The Chainsmokers know how to get lit

Flames, fireworks, motor bikes, lasers and suspended metal fixtures — this and more were part of The Chainsmokers’ show at the Bell Centre on Oct. 9. But before all that, Lennon Stella and 5 Seconds of Summer (5SOS) performed their sets.

Visually, Stella’s stage production was underwhelming. There was no décor or props of her own. All we got was Stella, her guitarist, and drummer. Unfortunately, she was often overtaken by backing tracks or aggressive, auto-tuned-sounding vocoder harmonies. The crowd was only able to hear Stella’s true voice during an acoustic version of “Like Everybody Else.” This was the highlight of her 30-minute set along with her performance of “La Di Da.”

After an excruciating near-20 minute wait, four-man band 5SOS hit the stage – Luke Hemmings, lead vocals; Calum Hood, bassist; Michael Clifford, lead guitarist; and Ashton Irwin, drums. They started with their 2014 hit-single “She Looks So Perfect,” the perfect tune to kick-start the show, both for nostalgic 5SOS fans and anyone prone to tapping their feet to a catchy beat.

There was a well-balanced assortment of tracks off their newest album Youngblood like “Want You Back” and “Ghost of You,” current singles “Teeth” and “Easier,” and hits from the past like “Amnesia” and “Jet Black Heart.” The 17-song set, which lasted a little over an hour, was enjoyable and it looked like they were having as much fun performing as we were watching.

Each member took the time to say a few words. Like many artists that visit Montreal, they seemed to unashamedly proclaim their affinity for the city. Hemmings jokingly tried his hand at French while Clifford, on behalf of the band, expressed their unique connection with the city and its creatives. While Hood most notably expressed his enthusiasm through the use of several profanities, Irwin’s comments caused quite a stir. He excitedly let fans know how happy they were about playing in Montreal after a five year absence. However, dedicated fans let him know that they had, in fact, visited July 13, 2016.

After ending their set with “Youngblood,” the band walked off stage and there was another nearly 20-minute wait for the duo everyone was waiting for.

With metal structures falling into place over the stage, the DJ duo of The ChainsmokersAlex Pall and Drew Taggart – along with drummer Matt McGuire, walked on stage holding up a flaming stick each (Olympics style). The crowd went wild when they started their set with insane visuals of smoke, steam bursts, and lasers.

The Chainsmokers performed the next two hours with such intensity and energy that resonated with and through the crowd. Without expectations of how their set would pan out (we mostly went for 5SOS), there was a certain shock value with everything the DJs did on stage.

After “Sick Boy,” which Taggart performed in a metal sphere suspended in the air, 5SOS came back on stage to perform a rigorous rendition of “Who Do You Love” halfway through The Chainsmokers’s 15-song set. Taggart asked the crowd who was ready to dance and picked a young woman out of the crowd. As soon as the bass dropped, she did the floss, kicked up her leg, did a cartwheel and landed in the splits.

Throughout the rest of the show, there were more flames, lasers, steam bursts and a light show happening all at once. By the last song, Taggart was standing at the top of the metal structure on stage, maybe 50 feet up, looking like he was living his best life.

All in all, The Chainsmokers put on an impressive performance. It might have been because we had no idea of what to expect, but it was definitely a show to remember.


Photo by Jesse Di Meo

Student Life

Unisex top-tier trends for Fall 2019

As the temperature drops, and with fall officially beginning next week, you may be itching to purchase some new pieces. But with so many trends, how do you choose the right ones? Luckily, we have a guide to the hottest fall trends that anyone can wear and the designers they’re inspired by.

Zebra Is The New Leopard

Seen on the runways of Saint Laurent, Coach, and Proenza Schouler, compared to classic leopard, zebra print is a way cooler print to play around with your fall style. Though it can run the risk of looking tacky, if styled carefully and worn in the right colours, it can look really chic.

If you’re looking for a zebra-printed item that doesn’t scream “zebra print,” avoid black and white. This colourway is high contrast and commands a lot of attention. So to soften up the print, go for zebra that’s camel-coloured or dark beige with black stripes.


Featured in the collections of 3.1 Philip Lim, Nina Ricci, and Brandon Maxwell, monochrome has proven to be a very popular trend. This is no surprise given that it flatters everyone. Wearing a single colour all throughout an outfit elongates and leans out the body, because the eye is not drawn to look to one specific point.

Try experimenting with different neutral-toned outfits. Shades like camel, navy, and creams look really luxe and expensive, especially when worn from head to toe. If you’re not afraid of colour, go for deep purple or even forest green monochrome looks.

Square-Toed Boots

Featured on the Fall 2019 runway collections of Proenza Schouler, Chloe, and Maison Margiela, square-toed boots are a fresh new take on the must-have basic boot in everyone’s fall wardrobes.

Incorporating a pair of square-toed boots will instantly give your outfit an updated look to the 70s style. Also, square-toed boots are the perfect complement to an already androgynous-looking outfit, as the blunt, angular shape of the boot is almost reminiscent of the shape of men’s square-toed dress shoes.


We saw the reintegration of cardigans into the fashion trend cycle last season, and designers like Coach, Chanel, and Max Mara incorporated oversized, chunky-knit cardigans in their Fall 2019 collections.

This “grandpa-chic” style of cardigan is still in style but has also evolved to include cropped silhouettes made in thinner knits. Cardigans are a key piece to have in your fall wardrobe for a few reasons: not only are they practical and provide warmth, but they’re also great for layering, which is one of the easiest styling tricks to adding depth and dimension to any outfit.

Statement Shoulders

From jumpsuits to dresses, blouses, and blazers, statement shoulders have been spotted in the shows of designers like Ulla Johnson, Isabel Marant, and Alexander McQueen. While this trend has reached the fall season with full force, it has slowly been building momentum for the past six months.

Incorporating the statement shoulder trend is one of the simplest ways to add drama to an outfit while applying minimal effort. The best and easiest piece to use is a blazer with volume and padding at the shoulders. This will broaden your upper body, giving you a cool, oversized look that will flatter anyone who wears it.

Bucket Hats

Thanks to major design house Christian Dior, who heavily featured this trend in their Fall 2019 runway show, the concept of the bucket hat was completely renewed.

Maintaining the traditional shape and style of the bucket hat, Dior swapped out the cotton or canvas material traditionally used and, instead, opted for alternative materials like leather, plaid, denim, and other textured and printed fabrics.

Bucket hats are the perfect option if you’re looking for an alternative to a beanie but with a little flare. They’re also great because they can pretty much be styled with any outfit, as long as the fabric complements whatever tone you’re setting for your look.


Designers like Ferragamo, N°21, and Hermes are some of the many that have featured leather pieces or entire leather looks in their Fall 2019 collections.

From black button-up shirts to matching sunset-orange-coloured sets, designers are doing leather differently. They’re going beyond the idea of the classic biker jacket and are really pushing the boundaries when it comes to utilizing this material.

If you want to try out the trend but still want to play it safe, opt for a pair of black faux leather pants. The timeless colour makes them easy to style while maintaining the textural element of leather that will really elevate any fall look.


Plaid is making a major return to fashion, with brands like Vivienne Westwood, Christian Dior, and Oscar de la Renta all featuring this trend.

Not only are we seeing plaid, but the options are much more diverse. From tartan to gingham, Prince of Wales check, and other variations like houndstooth, plaid is being designed in limitless colour combinations and different pieces like dresses, trench coats, and midi skirts.

When picking out a plaid piece, invest in a neutral-coloured one with an accent colour running through. The single colour will give you styling flexibility while still allowing your outfit to stand out.

Even though many of these pieces are considered trendy, they’re bound to stick around for many upcoming seasons. So make sure you keep them in your closet, ready for Fall 2020.


Photos by Laurence B.D.



As we were escorted to our table at Maman NYC, I spotted The Bachelor’s Vanessa Grimaldi with a finished plate of food. Once seated, I decided to approach her but turned around to see that she had left. My feelings towards my Maman experience mimic this chain of events: exciting and deflating.

Located on Notre-Dame St. W., Maman is the perfect spot if you’re looking for a café that will satiate your culinary palette and Instagram needs. The blue-and-white antique-style dishware juxtaposes the bohemian, rustic décor which features distressed wood, exposed brick, and greenery.

Photo by Erica Rizzo

Maman’s menu is not overwhelmingly extensive but offers a variety of breakfast and brunch dishes with plenty of healthy, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. If you enjoy elevated clean eating, you’ll have a tough time deciding what to order. The assortment of baked goods and pastries, which I would absolutely recommend, looked so tasty and decadent. I would give their food a four out of five. Their coffee menu, however, I would skip altogether — two words: tasteless and diluted.

While the coffees and pastries were fairly priced, main menu items were on the costly side, ranging from $13 to $17, excluding add-ons. This leads me to rate their prices a three out of five.

As for the atmosphere, the café was very noisy with loud music playing over the intense chatter. I felt like I had to keep raising my voice to speak. Also, almost everyone was taking pictures, which can become annoying. So, three and a half out of five for ambiance.

The service is where Maman was truly lacking. Perhaps it was because they just opened and were working out the kinks, but my family and I had to wait an hour for three orders of toast and two iced coffees. Mind you, my mom had gotten her cookie and latte, and my dad his cappuccino, within 15 minutes of ordering. It was the missing toast, which was likely forgotten about, that we had to remind our waiter for. I am compelled to give the service a one and a half out of five.

Would I return to Maman NYC? Sure, if I wanted an Instagram picture and a mediocre coffee. But other than that, I think I’ll stick to Starbucks.


Confessions of a journalism student

The boredom of traditional news reporting

Whenever someone asks me why I chose journalism, my answer is comparable to those perfectly iced sugar cookies everyone picks up at the grocery store but puts back before the check-out line—sweet, yet very processed.

I say, “I’ve always loved writing stories, but could never come up with any of my own. With journalism I can still tell stories, they’re just not mine.” While this reasoning remains partly true, I have come to a few crucial realizations since I began studying journalism.

I do love telling stories, just not all of them. Quite frankly, politics and traditional news do not interest me. And if you know the journalism program, you know the first year focuses on establishing the fundamentals through traditional news reporting, which bores me to death. By the end of the first semester, my breathing had slowed significantly. I told my mother that if she chose a solid mahogany casket, I would rise from the dead to make the switch to solid bronze myself.

Also, there’s my gripe with multimedia classes and renting equipment from the depot. I’m technologically inept, so that’s the main struggle. There’s also the fact that I live about an hour away from the Loyola campus via public transit, and I travel all that way for the three minutes it takes to pick up my equipement. It’s a huge inconvenience. I live in Laval, so that’s equivalent to when Kim Kardashian flew to New Orleans for the evening for beignets. Except, I don’t leave with anything that delicious.

But to blame my struggles entirely on my program would be a lie. Truth be told, I’m an insecure writer, constantly invalidating and comparing my work to that of my peers. No matter how many times someone assures me I’m meant to be in journalism or that the talent I don’t think I have is real, I’m always doubtful.

I still love journalism and writing, but more so on my own terms. I’ll have to push through until that’s my reality and I can work on what interests me. Because, honestly, I don’t see myself doing anything else.

Graphic by Zeze Le Lin

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