Meet Maegan Lukian, a certified Environmentalist Professional by day and #yeg maker by night! As a food enthusiast and third generation maker, Maegan's free time is spent either making healthy snacks which she shares on her own blog, or hand-crafting her line of high quality bath products that she sells at a variety of local destinations in Edmonton. Anyway, keep on reading below to find out more about Maegan, why she became an environmentalist, and how she plans to #WearTheChange.

Is this is your first Local Portrait interview? No? Feel free to scroll down and read Maegan's interview! Yes? Then keep reading!

Since 2015, we've been showcasing awesome individuals from all around Edmonton in hopes of sparking a city-wide, and eventually nation-wide, conversation surrounding the issues of sustainability and ethical malpractices within today's mainstream fashion industry. With fast fashion quickly suffocating the fashion industry, it is easy to forget that our shopping habits and choices do have an effect on both the environment and garment workers within the supply chain. So, at New Classics Studios, we're asking you to join the slow fashion movement and help us slow down the rate at which we consume disposable fashion. Start shopping local, sustainable, or secondhand. Start investing in quality and timeless garments. Start thinking quality over quantity.  Help us #WearTheChange.

New Classics Studios: Tell us a bit about yourself!
Maegan Lukian: To keep it short and sweet, I’m a professional environmentalist with my B.Sc. degree from the University of Alberta.  I love food, fashion, French bulldogs and all things DIY.

NC: What is Hand-Meyd and why did you start it?
ML: Hand-Meyd is my blog and project journal, which grew into a bit of a side-business.  I now have a hand-crafted line of natural bath and body products that I sell online and in a few shops around the city.
My blog started as an artistic outlet and way to encourage myself to be creative on a regular basis.  I also hope to inspire people to try things they normally wouldn’t.  I’m not formally trained to do any of the projects you see on my blog; I’m just fearless with my creativity!  So I like to use my site as a tool to show people that you can practice and teach yourself to do anything you want.

NC: Can you describe your personal style?
ML: I would say I’m always polished, but also a bit of a tomboy.  Design and attention to detail are pretty important to me and my style color palette definitely falls more on the masculine side.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my heels and red lipstick, but you’ll catch me in a blazer and button up shirt before a dress any day of the week!

NC: What are some of your favourite places to hang out in Edmonton?
ML: My mom's house…no word of a lie.  Although I’m a bit of a homebody, I do love to get out and enjoy nature.  I live right on the Mill Creek Ravine, so my dog and I are running around in there almost every day.  You’ll also find me biking around the University of Alberta campus and river valley any chance I get!

NC: Where can we find you online? 
ML: You can find photos of my food and French bulldog on my Instagram account and all sorts of recipes and project tutorials on my blog.  Fair warning, don't follow me on social media if you don't like people who believe their dogs are their children.  

NC: Favorite boutiques/stores to shop at?
ML: Gravity Pope Tailored Goods is one of my favorites in the city.  Holt Renfrew and Simon’s are on my hit list pretty often too, but I’m getting more and more into online shopping to be honest, with New Classics (obvs), Acne Studios and Apiece Apart being my favorites at the moment.

NC: Latest show you've watched on Netflix?
ML: Lady Dynamite!

NC: They say there are two types of people in this world...Are you a cat or dog person?
ML: I'm very much a dog person.  I grew up with dogs and I currently have a stubborn and adorable French bulldog named Juniper.  She’s hilarious and one of the loves of my life.

NC: For what reason did you aspire to become an environmentalist?
ML: I’m a very passionate person; I want my ideas and voice to have an impact, so I knew I had to follow a career path that would satisfy my scientific mind and also allow me to make a difference in the world around me. 
I’ve been in the environmental game for about ten years now, with the last four years focused specifically on sustainable management and environmental policy & program development.  I also sit on numerous environmental chapters, boards, committees and working groups in the industry, so most of my work has a tangible impact on my community, city and province -- it's incredibly rewarding and I feel very lucky to do the work that I do.

NC: If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be and why?
ML: I love my city and have no desire to make roots anywhere else.  But if I had to choose, I would live somewhere in Scandinavia, purely for my love of minimalist design.

NC: How are you sustainable in your day to day life?
ML: One of my main focuses right now is around sustainable food and food waste.  I'm increasingly selective about where I get my groceries and I prefer to support local, organic farmers.  To reduce my food waste, I like to buy fresh and limit my purchases to what I'm going to eat within a day or a week.  I'm constantly challenging myself to make the most out of seasonal produce and to get creative with leftover food.  A lot of the recipes on my blog were born from the need to use something up before it went bad!

NC: Do you have any guilty pleasures?
ML: Designer furniture!

NC: You’ve won the lottery, what’s the first thing you do?
ML: I can't imagine my life changing very much if I won the lottery.  I would probably donate a lot of it on behalf of my dad, specifically to fund the research and treatment of epithelial mesothelioma.  Immediately after that, I would buy two more bulldogs!

NC: We’ve seen some pretty tasty snacks and recipes on your blog! What’s your most recent, favorite dish to make?
ML: Kale chips!  They’re not exactly recent on my blog, but I make them every week.  I’m obsessed and will easily crush two full heads of kale in one sitting.

NC: Weird fact about you?
ML: I'm good at Simpsons trivia.

NC: How do you plan to #WearTheChange?
ML: I'm a minimalist; less is more when it comes to my wardrobe.  Over the years I've become much more focused on the importance of quality over quantity.  I have a habit of cleaning out my closet every six months; if there are any items I haven't worn in that time, they get donated or sent for consignment.  That process has forced me to become very mindful when I'm about to buy something, to be sure I really need it and will wear it regularly.  I find myself having fewer and fewer items to purge because my wardrobe has become a collection of high quality, timeless pieces.  I also have mad respect for proper care labels, so I tend to get a very long life out of the things I purchase!
How I plan to #WearTheChange in the future is by doing more research into where my clothes are made and actively supporting designers and retailers that are committed to sustainable and ethical industry practices.

 

MAEGAN'S PICKS