Keeping the Holidays Slow-Focused & Sustainable – A Chat with Sheryl Luz-Soler of Artisella

Sheryl Luz-Soler

Welcome to the holiday scramble. We are just days away from Christmas and many of us are succumbing to a creeping sense of last minute dread or that very familiar feeling…overwhelm.

It’s tough to keep a sense of calm and poise during the holidays, let alone approach the season with a semblance of sustainability. From choosing ethically made gifts to finding time for mindfulness, taking a slow and sustainable approach to the holidays is a skill that requires practice.

This week I popped by Artisella, a slow fashion and lifestyle pop-up at CF Shops at Don Mills, to chat with founder Sheryl Luz-Soler about how she keeps her holidays slow-focused and sustainable.

First things first, why did you start Artisella?

In my work around brand distribution and my connections within the sustainable fashion community here in Toronto, I was meeting so many skilled and talented artisans that were bringing beautiful, sustainable fashion and lifestyle products to the world. I wanted to support them and the best way I could do that was to offer a well-curated retail avenue.

I noticed that you have a big banner on the wall talking about Slow Fashion. What does slow fashion mean to you?

To me slow fashion means sustainability for people and earth. The slow idea is about being mindful of our actions and their impacts. We can just rush out and buy an anonymous sweater without a second thought. Or we could be mindful about looking for a sweater that doesn’t harm the planet or take advantage of the makers. We could take the time to get to know what we need and what we love. I don’t think there’s anything better than making the decision to buy something and knowing that you’re made someone’s life better.

Just being in your shop gives me a sense of calm. How do you bring that slow-living perspective into the holidays?

Good question! And a hard question too! I’m definitely not the best at keeping a slow perspective but I try hard. I like to make sure there is room in my life for little moments – simple dinners with my husband, lighting a candle, reading a good book, just taking time to be quiet at the end of the day. And I’m actively practicing saying no. Do we have to attend every holiday party? I’m trying to be sensitive to my energy level and respecting my need for rest even though the holidays tend encourage us to go faster!

So many of us are overwhelmed at this time of year and keeping sustainability in mind is very difficult. Do you have any tips?

Don’t be too hard on yourself! We’re all learning how to be more sustainable in our daily lives and there is no perfect. At this time of year the last thing we need is to be hard on ourselves. Pick one or two things you’d like to focus on over the holidays and just stick with those. Maybe you’re trying to buy all your gifts locally or make your holiday meal organic. Whatever you choose, celebrate the effort, focus on process and let go of perfection.

That’s good advice, whether we’re talking sustainability or just holiday survival! What’s your sustainability focus for the holidays?

Reusable gift wrap! All that brightly coloured paper is torn up and tossed out after just one use. It’s just too wasteful to comprehend. I love figuring out ways to make my gift wrappings reusable, like pretty cloth bags and fabric. We wrap our jewellery at Artisella in little cotton bags that are unmarked so they can be used as a simple, reusable wrapping.

Artisella is open until December 27, 2017 at 5 Karl Fraser Road, CF Shops at Don Mills

@shopartisella |

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