Madeline: joy-filled photographer

Madeline Metcalf for Selflessly Styled

We've been experiencing a heatwave in Portland these past few weeks, but despite the 90+ degrees (and no AC), the atmosphere in Madeline's apartment is cool and breezy. Surrounded by crisp white walls and well-placed foliage, we sat down to talk about the heart and intention behind her lifestyle.

Besides being one of the most joyful and sincere individuals you'll ever meet, Madeline is an extremely talented photographer (see more of her work here). She effortlessly snapped these photos of her apartment as we chatted...

We're going to talk A lot about your style, but Can you give a few other tidbits about yourself?

As a photographer, I'm really passionate about relationships and getting to genuinely know people. In my free-time, I love spending time in the kitchen and improvising new recipes. Being outdoors is also incredibly refreshing to me.

What caused you to change the way you shop for clothes? 

The church I go to was talking about the consequences of fast-fashion and we watched True Cost. After that, I started researching ethical clothing companies and decided that if I needed a new item in my closet, it would come from one of those places. I started viewing the items I bought as investment pieces to save up for.

The first item I saved up for was a Stutterheim raincoat, which was perfect in Portland! After I was able to save, buy it, and love it, I was motivated to keep going on this endeavor of intentional purchases. It is so much more rewarding than impulse-buying. 

Have there been any major obstacles in your endeavor to purchase ethically?

Probably the fact that I don’t know many ethical clothing companies. And of course, the price tag is a little more than I was used to.

How have you gotten past those obstacles?

Changing my mindset and always assessing “do I need this?” before I shop really helps with the cost. If the answer is "yes, I need this," then I look at my go-to ethical brands and save for what they offer. 

Which companies are your Favorite?

Everlane is definitely my number one for basics; I usually find what I need there. And I've loved my Stutterheim jacket so much, that if I ever needed another, I would absolutely purchase from them again. 

Describe your personal style...

Madeline Metcalf for Selflessly Styled

I have a very neutral pallet. Because of that, all my pieces are timeless. I think I’ll wear them forever. I love flowing, loose tops with a good pair of jeans. Love a good chambray too.

What is your go-to outfit?

High rise black skinny jeans with a tucked-in black t-shirt or an oversized sweater. I always come back to those jeans with a neutral top. 

Has anything surprised you about shopping ethically?

How many ethical brands are out there when you start looking; there's way more than I ever realized. I’m equally surprised by how many people are shopping ethically ...and, on the flip-side, how many aren’t even aware of this issue. 

Are there other areas of life that this has affected?

It's made my perspective so much healthier about the way I shop for everything, not just clothes. Once I changed how I viewed clothing, it made me consider where I buy my food, my furniture, etc. 

It's made me more aware of the people who farmed or crafted the things I bring into my home.


Watch the True Cost to open your mind to the issue. Find resources online (like this blog!) to make your efforts easier. Check out Everlane to see how transparent they are in their manufacturing and compare other brands to their standard. 

Madeline Metcalf for Selflessly Styled

The photos of Madeline were taken by Dawn Charles, all other photos for this interview were taken by Madeline Metcalf