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FashRev Week | My Fashion Revolution Love Story

Fashion Revolution Love Story Fashion Revolution Love Story ethical fashion

Welcome to the Fashion Revolution!


Fashion Revolution was founded in direct response to the Rana Plaza Garment Factory collapse that killed over 1,100 people on April 24th, 2013. This week, we remember the victims of this and related garment factory tragedies and use our voices to demand justice for garment workers around the world.

The fact is that many survivors of the Rana Plaza collapse are still awaiting agreed-upon compensation and, among those who were injured, over 40% are unable to work. Meanwhile, workers around the world continue to fight for fair wages and safe working conditions. For more information about the current state of the industry, read the suggested links at the end of this post.

Through Fashion Revolution, consumers and fair trade organizations around the world join together to hold companies accountable for their labor standards, asking #whomademyclothes? and sharing positive stories about beloved garments and better business models. This year, the Ethical Influencer Network has decided to focus on one particular prompt provided by Fashion Revolution: Love Story.

The idea is simple: share a story about a piece of clothing that you cherish. We do this to combat the idea that fashion is throw-away, and to consider the ways that pieces bought and cared for with love positively impact our lives.
  Fashion Revolution Love Story ethical fashion
Wearing: Dress - The Kissing Tree Vintage circa 2011; Shoes - Etiko
Fashion Revolution Love Story ethical fashion
College Graduation, 2011 | Spring 2013 | Winter 2016

The item I'm featuring this year is a vintage 90s skater dress I bought from The Kissing Tree Vintage* in 2011 (oddly enough, the owner lives in the town I grew up in) . It means a lot to me because it was my first foray into vintage shopping, and I was hooked. I love the sturdy knit cotton of an early 90s garment, and I've always found this dress to be flattering and comfortable, with its wide v-neck and eye catching back seam. It creates an hourglass silhouette while gently skimming over my body, and the crochet accents on the sleeves are a big hit - they always prompt an amused comment or two.

I wore this dress under my gown for my college graduation, at the crappy customer service job I had the following summer, during my first Virginia summer, at parties and church gatherings, and off and on when the weather and occasion suited it.

Now that I'm in my late 20s and manage a shop, the hem feels a little short to be appropriate for everyday wear, but it goes great over leggings and is still perfect for weekends winery-hopping or hanging out with friends.

This dress has seen me through the highs and lows of post-college soul searching, tragedies, and triumphs, and I can't look at it without feeling thankful for the journey it's seen me through.

To join in Love Stories on social media, post a picture with a description and use the hashtags #lovedclotheslast #fashionrevolution #30wears and/or #fashrev.

Suggested Reading:


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Learn more about Fashion Revolution here. 


Makeup Free for 40 Days: 5 Things I Learned

what i learned when i gave up makeup for lent


It was late February and Lent was quickly approaching. 


Lent is a season of fasting and deep reflection that mirrors Jesus' 40 days spent fasting in the desert in anticipation of the hardest test of his time on earth: his radical, self-sacrificial death on the cross. For many Christians, the practice of giving something up is meant both to remind us of the immensity of Christ's sacrifice and to keep us rooted in spiritual disciplines that help us let go of material things and focus on what matters.

I had been feeling guilty about a few recent expensive makeup purchases and had some eye irritation as the result of a new eyeshadow, so makeup was on my mind. It seemed like the natural thing to give up. I've never worn a lot of makeup, not because of any moral stance but more out of a sense of lazy-ness. I also have easily irritated eyes, so heavy eye makeup is out of the question. When I told a few friends I had given up makeup for Lent, the response was mostly: "Do you even wear makeup?"

But see, this test wasn't about others' perceptions of me. It was about my perception of myself, right down to the core of my identity.

What I Learned When I Gave Up Makeup for Lent


1. Makeup is a security blanket

One of my friends, an older woman named Mary, passed away a few weeks ago. When I got the phone call, the first thing I thought was "I wish I was wearing makeup." The shock of grief hit me square in the face and I just wanted to wrap myself up in something and feel safe. Before that moment, it had never occurred to me that makeup was about security, but I guess I felt like, if everything else was going to be wrong in the world, at least my pores would look small. It sounds trivial, but I can see how it's mixed up in lots of legitimate emotions.

2. People don't notice your flaws the way you do

Aside from one rather observant - and absurdly critical - volunteer, no one commented on my face at all. If I mentioned to a friend that I had gone makeup-free, they would universally tell me that they hadn't noticed a change. Of course, I could see the minor differences, but that eventually stopped bothering me as time wore on.

3. Flaws are human, and I shouldn't have to apologize for them

When I was a teenager, I remember reading an article in a fashion magazine on the topic of the best concealers. The author measured the efficacy of the product by how "awake" she looked in meetings after a long night of work the day before. It occurred to me then that the burden shouldn't fall on her to look perfect if she was being overworked. If you're tired, why aren't you allowed to look tired?

Seeing my skin without makeup made me acutely aware of the way my skin reddens when I'm nervous, the largeness of the pores around my nose, and the dark circles I get when I haven't slept well. It was oddly freeing to accept my skin in that state, to call it good.

4. My body tells me what it needs

On a related note, being able to see the sunburns and pimples and dark circles made me want to do right by my skin by treating my whole body better. I focused on getting rest, drinking water, and using nourishing skincare products to improve my skin rather than covering up the issues. I also tackled some recurring health concerns by making sure I was getting enough protein and taking probiotics. I feel much better because I learned to pay attention.

5. It's ok to have rituals

One of the things I missed the most about my daily makeup application was the ritual. I liked being able to focus in on my skin, paying attention to the nooks and crannies of my face as I applied powder and blush, carefully curling my lashes before applying mascara, and tracing my lips with tinted balm. But I got my tattoo about a week into Lent, so the process of caring for it became a new ritual.

Framing my routine as a ritual made me more observant of the other little things that help me start and end my days, like boiling water for pour-overs and herbal tea, applying lotion, even shaving my legs. These tactile things we do add a great deal of meaning even when they mostly go unnoticed.

what i learned when i gave up makeup for lent

So what's the game plan now?


I wore makeup on Easter morning and it felt weird. I had expected to love the return to normalcy, but I actually felt less like myself with makeup on after all of those days without it. For now, I've eliminated tinted moisturizer, powder, and eyeshadow completely. I've reintegrated light blush and my beloved Glossier Boy Brow. I've found that my lashes stay curled all day if I don't add any mascara, so I've said goodbye to mascara, as well.

It's really satisfying to have arrived at this place of confidence and renewed self awareness. Until the last week of Lent, I was still complaining about going makeup-free, but now I feel good in my own skin. And, though I know it shouldn't be about others, it's satisfying to know that people who care about you really don't care if you're wearing makeup or not.

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Related Reading: 7 THINGS I LEARNED WHEN I STOPPED WEARING MAKEUP FOR 3 WEEKS, Terumah

The Moral Wardrobe: Put a Scarf on It

ethical outfit with silk scarfethical outfit with silk scarfethical outfit with silk scarfethical outfit with silk scarf
Ethical Details: Top - thrifted (similar); Sandals - Betula (similar); Scarf - thrifted; Watch - c/o The Fourth Gentlemen

I'm so glad the adorable, 1950s scarf thing is back in, because it makes every outfit look just a little more elegant. And it means that I can make an outfit I've worn in some form or the other for 2+ years look current with minimal effort.

We've had several large donations come in at the thrift shop due to the passing of a few stylish ladies. I was close to one of them, Mary, and I enjoyed feeling close with her again through the process of sorting her clothes. I never met the other woman, but she had very good taste in scarves, so I purchased three of them. Some people are turned off by the idea that they're wearing things that belonged to dead people, but I like to think a part of them can live on through the thoughtful re-wearing of their belongings. Material goods meant something to the people who collected them, and there's no reason to discount that. I honor those passed by mingling my own sense of style with theirs.

Sometimes it feels like they aren't even gone, just away for a little while.