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9.27.2016

Three Prayers for Workers in the Global Supply Chain

ethical fashion and christianity

Tonight I had the opportunity to give a talk on ethical fashion and Christianity for the college group associated with my church. It was a good opportunity to hone my sense of why this type of advocacy matters within a Christian context, and how I can best relate it back to traditional Biblical texts and narratives. 

At the end of the discussion, we broke into three groups and wrote prayers inspired by traditional Anglican prayer forms as a way of engaging more deeply with the reality of our inter-connectedness with workers across the supply chain and to provide a starting point for daily meditations on conscious consumerism. I am really inspired by what they came up with, and I want to share these prayers in case they may be useful to you in your personal meditations and reflections. 

As I mentioned on Instagram earlier today, I think there's an unnecessary divide between the "spiritual" folks (read: hippies) and the "religious" folks (read: fundamentalists) in the ethical living space. Instead of making negative assumptions about how people's beliefs inform their ethical practice, or lack thereof, I'd rather jump right in and help inform interpretation so that all of our actions can be grounded in both compassion-oriented belief and our more tangible experiences of injustice in the world.

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Three Anglican Prayers for Workers in the Global Supply Chain


God of compassion and creation,

Bless the hands who have made
our jeans, shirts, and jackets,

Help us to remember that these
hands and these people are part of
the Body of Christ.

Be with the men, women, and children
who spend more of their lives
making our clothes than we spend
wearing them.

We lament those whose lives have been taken
For the sake of production.

May we be moved to action.
To spread awareness. To be thoughtful
in our purchases. To have compassion
for neighbors no matter how
far away.

Amen.

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God of justice,

You call us to be a neighbor to all,
Help us to acknowledge the toil that
laborers around the world face.

Watch over those who labor in unsafe
working conditions,
Help us remain aware of the realities
facing people who make our clothes
and be conscious of our consumption.

Be with policymakers as they make
decisions that impact these people’s lives.

We ask that you bless the hands that
come into contact with our clothes – production
to possession. Give us courage to
recognize our privilege and make
change in our own lives.

Remind us that we are all made in
your image.

Amen.

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O God,
Creator of all people and things,

Be with your people in the global supply chain,
who you created in your likeness and
whose work contributes to our comfort.

Give us the courage to fight against
systems of oppression,
and help us raise up the voices of
the oppressed, who already have
the right and the power to
speak for themselves.

Keep us ever mindful of
the inextricable link between us.

We ask these things
in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord,
whose first disciples were marginalized
wage workers,

Amen.

9.26.2016

Going Au Naturale: A Review Roundup of Credo Beauty Products

Credo Beauty all natural eco beauty review

I don't wear much makeup because I honestly think I look better without aggressive amounts of foundation, blush, and eye shadow. If my eyes weren't so sensitive, I could see myself doing a cat eye every now and then, but it's just not in the cards.

As I've said before, I have ridiculously sensitive skin. It built up over time, and I'm sure years of prescription benzoyl peroxide face wash did nothing to help. So, when I manage to find a beauty product that works for me, I will use it until they discontinue it which, unfortunately, is fairly frequently. I've been using The Body Shop products almost exclusively for the past few years. Their Tea Tree BB cream has great coverage and keeps my skin clear, and their eye shadow and blush shades are great for pale skin. They also source some ingredients from fair trade co-ops and recently re-committed themselves to their ethical and all natural stance.

That being said, I still *needed* to find a truly all natural mascara for my sensitive eyes, an aluminum free deodorant for my sensitive arm pits, and a new tinted balm or gloss just for fun.

Enter Credo Beauty...

Credo Beauty all natural eco beauty review for sensitive skin
Alden at EcoCult recommended Credo several months ago and I was just waiting for the right time to place an order. To get my free shipping, I went ahead and ordered 4 products: Lily Lolo mascara, HAN lip gloss, Fig + Yarrow Green Clay Mask, and Meow Meow Tweet deodorant. I purchased everything at regular price, but please note that there are some affiliate links in this post.

Here are my thoughts on each product:

Lily Lolo Mascara Review from Credo Beauty
Wearing Lily Lolo Mascara

Lily Lolo Mascara


Chemical and fragrance free, this mascara is both all natural and awesome. I've tried a handful of all natural mascaras before and they always, always flake or smudge. But this one doesn't and it makes my lashes look great with buildable coverage.

MY RATING: 5/5

Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Cream


Meow Meow Tweet makes this cream with and without baking soda because baking soda can irritate sensitive skin. I wasn't really sure which one to choose because I've never tried this or a similar formulation before, so I went with their standard cream at first, which includes the baking soda. First, let me say that this stuff really works. One application in the morning was all I needed to tame odors all day.

After a few days of use, however, I did have an allergic reaction, so I purchased the formula without baking soda through Amazon Prime (had to get it before I left town for the weekend!) and it's been working out well. I would say the staying power isn't as apparent in the baking soda free version, but it still does a better job than other natural deodorants.

MY RATING: 4/5

Fig + Yarrow Green Clay Mask


This was definitely a bit of an impulse buy, but I thought it would be fun to take it with me when I visited my parents for some mother-daughter bonding time. Though it may seem a little bit pricey, it comes in powder form that you can mix with yogurt, honey, or water for a custom facial. That also means you can make just what you need and the rest will store well, so it's a better value in the long run.

I liked this mask. My face seemed smoother after application, but not noticeably brighter or happier. To be honest, I'm not sure what I was expecting.

MY RATING: 3.5/5

HAN Lip Gloss 

HAN Lip Gloss in Nude Rose


Maybe it's because I've been nostalgic for childhood recently, but I am obsessed with this lip gloss! The vanilla fragrance is exactly the same as a gloss I had in middle school and it's fun to apply with the little wand.
A real throwback. But it's also a really good consistency - not sticky at all - and the subtle color is perfect for every day wear, especially with a fall color palette.

MY RATING: 5+/5



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Are there all natural products you can't live without? I'd love to hear about them!

9.22.2016

Small Steps Toward Zero Waste Living

Zero waste living tips and climate change discussion


As I've learned more about the long term environmental consequences of over consumption in the clothing industry - from carbon emissions that contribute to catastrophic climate change to polyester fibers entering our oceans - I've simultaneously started bumping up against similar issues in my everyday consumption of hygiene products, toiletries, and food.

I'm ashamed to admit it now, but as a teenager I had this weird compulsion to leave just a little little bit of shampoo, lotion, and other liquid toiletries in their containers when I tossed them into the trash (strike two is that I rarely thought to take the bottle down from my bathroom to the recycling bin). That type of behavior was wasteful and unthinking no matter how you look at it. I'm training myself out of it, trying to remember to add a little water to the solution to get every last drop and always recycling my containers.

And, while I'm not fully on board with the Marie Kondo minimalism trend, I think we can take an important lesson from all this clearing out and wasting not hype: 

Reducing our consumption in small and big ways matters.


Every single thing we consume must be created from raw materials, produced or processed in a factory, and shipped to us from who-knows-where. All of this takes energy. And then when we're done consuming the product, whatever it may be, we're left with plastic bottles and wrap, paper packaging and single use containers. 

This isn't just about the environment - though I think at this stage, when climate scientists say we're experiencing the hottest year on record and it's too late to correct course, we must start seeing the environment as more than an object for our use. This is about ecosystems and animals and people, and it's about the entire system working correctly to biodegrade waste, filter the air, and bring us nutrient rich food.

While I suspect I'm preaching to the choir here, I want to reiterate that caring about the environment and "believing" in global warming (i.e. taking the evidence collected and analysis of trained scientists seriously) is not a political issue. It is a "I don't want everything I love about this planet to suffer" issue, and I think we can agree on that. Making personal changes won't change everything - we need to elect leaders who will take renewable energy and other forms of pollution reduction seriously (ahem, and caring about clean water for Indigenous peoples - sign the petition here), but we can start somewhere.

I'm also well aware of the fact that choosing sustainable options is often a matter of class and privilege. For one, having the time and money to discern between products and lifestyle habits isn't always possible, and there are lots of towns and neighborhoods that simply don't have infrastructures that assist in living a more environmentally friendly life. If everything at your grocery store is wrapped in plastic, you can't immediately do anything about it, but perhaps over time you can help influence store and local policies on plastic waste.

That being said...

This fall, in addition to being an aware and active citizen, I'm ready to take the leap to a zero waste lifestyle. It won't come all at once, and I don't anticipate being entirely zero waste for a very long time, but I can continue to make small changes that add up. 


I've already switched to cloth menstrual pads and it's been an amazing, practical, easy experience overall. I don't buy plastic water bottles. I've also stopped using as much plastic wrap to cover leftovers, instead covering my ceramic bowls with small plates to keep out any dust and debris in the fridge. I use cold water when I wash my face instead of waiting for the hot water heater to do its job, thereby reducing my water usage. And I buy lots of my toiletries in bulk to reduce overall packaging waste. At the suggestion of a reader, I'm being more mindful about how much and what type of packaging ethical companies use to ship their products, too.

But there's plenty more I can do. I learned a lot from my friend Holly's recent video about her Zero Waste Sustainable Switches, so I encourage you to watch it below...





Have you reduced waste in other ways? I could use some more suggestions! It's easy to overlook things.

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