Conscious Creators: Gabby Masuda (@gabrielasage)
Gabby Masuda is 4th generation Japanese who was born in America, grew up in Los Angeles, and now lives in San Diego. She’s a mental health educator, sustainability advocate, model, and creator of @gabrielasage.
Let’s start with your background! What was your childhood like? Can you think of any defining moments in your life that shaped you into the person you are today?
I grew up in Pasadena my whole life and am the oldest of 5. I have two brothers and two sisters, and my whole family still lives in Los Angeles. I would say I had a pretty fun childhood. My siblings and I are close and having so many kids in the house means there is never a dull moment. I would say that a defining attribute of my family is that my mom and both my Grandma’s are very creative people. I always had art supplies and projects going on. Creativity is something that’s still deeply ingrained in me today.
What inspired you to start @gabrielasage? How has it evolved since you first started?
@gabrielasage honestly started off as a personal account but I would also share some of my creative projects as well. I used to have my own Etsy shop with calligraphy and abstract prints, and I also did some photography too that I’d post about. But in college I started to become more passionate about sustainability and second-hand fashion, so after I graduated I started focusing my IG on that instead. I started to share more about my journey into incorporating more low-waste habits and my different thrifted/sustainable outfits, and it just started growing from there.
Shop Gabby's Dress
What does sustainable fashion mean to you? What are some of your favorite brands?
To me sustainable fashion means loving what you have and being intentional with what you add to your closet. I think buying and supporting sustainable brands is great, but first I try to be creative with what I have before I add something new to my closet. When purchasing a new item I try to imagine the cost per wear and how much I’m going to get out of the piece instead of buying something to only wear a few times. Some of my favorite sustainable brands at the moment are Shop Loti, Back Beat Co., Hara the Label, Shop Arq, Girlfriend, Grail Haus, and Boyish Jeans.
How would you describe your style? Is it influenced by your Japanese-American roots?
This question is always so hard for me because I feel like my style is always evolving. Some days I dress like an Asian Grandma and other days I dress more like an LA city girl. I also am really inspired by Japanese fashion and I think I incorporate that into my fits that look more cozy but still put together. My style has also changed a lot over quarantine. When I first entered the sustainability space a few years ago, minimalism and capsule wardrobes were all the rage. I never fully committed to it, but it made me feel like I should only wear neutral colors and earth tones since they’re so easy to match. However, during quarantine I fell in love with styling colors and realized that fun vibrant or pastel colors will always be in style as well. I think dying my hair pink and then blonde also pushed me to experiment more with bold prints and colors, and to just have fun with my looks.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to readers wanting to live more consciously?
I would say to not be hard on yourself when you're starting your sustainability journey because it’s impossible to be 100% sustainable. And you don’t have to buy your way into sustainable living. There are so many other ways that you can reduce waste, reuse items, or upcycle what you have first before buying anything new.
Can you recommend any clean living must-haves?
I love my Stasher Bags because they’ve enabled me to replace all my ziploc bags. I also try to incorporate low-waste products like refillable shampoo, conditioner, and refillable cleaning supplies into my routines.
Which Conscious Creator should we talk to next and why?
Sally from @callmeflowerchild she is an incredibly talented content creator and parks advocate. She does a lot of incredible sustainable work online and in her 9-5 advocating for my equitable access to the outdoors.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this interview! You can follow Gabby here.
Who should we talk to next? To nominate a Conscious Creator, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org