Resources

Resources
Ethical Resources

Shopping

Shopping
Favorite Shops

Style

Style
Personal Style
Powered by Blogger.

Ethical Sale Alert: Memorial Day

ethical memorial day sales
Image via Unsplash

An incomplete list of Memorial Day Weekend sales. If you know of any others, please comment and I'll add them to the post. This list contains some affiliate links.

Synergy Organic Clothing:
25% off with code, twentyfive, through 5/29.

PACT Apparel:
25% off with code, hellosummer, through 5/30.

ARO:
25% off with code, memorial day, through 5/30.

Accompany:
Up to 30% off sitewide through 5/29. See site for details.

Threads for Thought:
40% off sitewide with code, memorial40.

Ember & Aura:
40% off sitewide through 5/29. No code needed.

Eileen Fisher:
15% off sale items with code through 5/29. No code needed.
$25 off your order with code, efdress, through 5/29.

Hackwith Design House:
20% off sitewide with code, memorial20, through 5/29.

Alter Eco:
15% off with code, memday15, through 5/29.

Indigenous:
20% off with code, 3daysale, through 5/29.

Garmentory:
Up to 70% off select items through 5/29.

Wrapped in Nature: Clothing Is An Agricultural Product, by Mary Kingsley

Cotton Plant in Fall

This piece was written by Mary Kingsley of forthcoming sustainable brand, Lady Farmer. Images provided by Lady Farmer. I met Mary and her daughter, Emma, at an event they hosted here in Charlottesville and they're the real deal - they even run a farm in Maryland! Read more about the brand in the footer of this post or on lady-farmer.com

---

Here’s a question. Where do your clothes come from? 


The first thing you might think of is the retailer: LL Bean, TJ Maxx, Target, etc. But before that, before they land in the store, where do your clothes come from?

This might stump a few, but many people have a sense that our clothing nowadays is produced overseas, so you might be thinking China, Vietnam or Bangladesh. But before that, before they are actually sewn together, where do your clothes come from?

Before it’s all sewn together, clothing is made of some kind of material, and unless it’s something completely synthetic, that material is going to be fabric from some kind of plant such as cotton, flax or hemp. So going back that far, where do your clothes come from? 

Your clothes come from seeds placed in the ground with the intention of creating the raw material for a textile, almost certainly on a farm somewhere.

Clothing is essentially an agricultural product.

Agriculture, of course, is commonly associated with food production. In that industry we’ve recently experienced a huge increase in consumer concern with sourcing, as evidenced by the boom in organic foods, the proliferation of neighborhood farm markets and the rise of demand for local produce, meat and dairy. After decades of non-transparency in our food system and the resulting epidemic of metabolic problems, allergies, diabetes, heart disease, digestive disorders, certain cancers, and more, consumers are exercising their right to question the health effects of pesticides, herbicides and antibiotics in food production, and the environmental consequences of certain industrial farming practices.

There’s a movement towards fresher, simpler, healthier, maybe not-always-so-quick-and-convenient food, real food. Slow food. People are caring about what they put in their bodies. They are asking where their food comes from, what’s done to it, what’s added to it and how far it travels before it lands on our plates.

Hemp and Organic Cotton Fabric to be used in Lady Farmer goods

Likewise, consumers are beginning to care what they put ON their bodies and can begin asking not only where their clothes come from, but how the materials are cultivated, and how the process affects the product itself, the producers and manufacturers, and certainly the environment.  

They are waking up to the fact that current practices in apparel manufacturing present significant health hazards. Our skin is our largest body organ and absorbs the toxic chemicals being used not only in the growing of the textiles but in the processing, treating, and dyeing of garments. For instance, your brightly colored clothing accessories might well contain dangerous amounts of lead. And many of the chemicals used in the dying of fabrics can cause cancer and/or be disruptive to normal hormonal functioning.

All of those cozy fleece jackets and the ubiquitous yoga pants? Turns out they’re full of microscopic plastic bits that are showing up in our seafood! Watch out for the hazardous chemicals in your outdoor gear that “can cause adverse impacts...on the reproductive system and immune systems.” As for sleepwear for your child, beware those containing the “flame retardant,” shown to cause hyperactivity and reduced IQ.

The issues and concerns in the apparel industry are closely parallel to the problems in the food system. Yet because most textile farming and apparel production now takes place overseas, the health, environmental and human rights problems have been largely out of sight and therefore easily ignored by an unconscious consumer base. Cheap, easily affordable and accessible clothing supplied by retailers heavily invested in feeding this widespread consumer frenzy has created a juggernaut of addictive buying and toxic waste.

The average American creates 65 pounds of textile waste every year, creating an annual 10.5 million tons of clothing in landfills. Most components of these textiles are full of toxic chemicals and never break down.

Brown fabric dyed with black walnuts

When we think of clothing as an agricultural product - a result of soil and rain, sunshine, and microbes - we begin to understand it as one of our essential needs, an expression of the natural world. With this framing and perspective, we can become informed and use our power as consumers to shape the future.

The understanding of clothing as a basic human need affecting us every moment as we live and breathe, something that has its beginning as seed and is nourished by our own shared environment, this grounds us in our elemental connection with the earth, the bearer and sustainer of all life as we know it.

When we begin to care about these things is when we begin to care about our choices and recognize their power. It is at this juncture that true change can occur.  

Everyone eats and everyone needs clothes, but when these basic human needs come at the cost of our own well being, then something has to change. We believe that with this understanding, consumers will embrace “slow fashion” in much the same way as they have “slow-food,” and in doing so will rediscover something that goes well beyond what they’re eating or wearing.

---

Lady Farmer

Founded in 2016, Lady Farmer was formed in response to the growing movement of women who identify with nature and its cycles, simple comforts, tradition and sustainability. Our community of women is invested in real change - in themselves, their families, their communities - in a way that is accessible on a daily basis, from what they plant to what they eat to what they wear. We want to make our ladies’ lives simpler and strengthen our connections to each other and the earth. Any woman interested in the intersection of her own well-being and that of the planet will find a place here.

YSTR Clothing Part 2: Building Conscious Community

YSTR Clothing beach club conscious community YSTR Clothing beach club conscious community
I was not compensated for this post, but I did receive items for review from YSTR Clothing, and there are some affiliate links throughout.

In yesterday's post, I introduced sustainable fashion line, YSTR, which produces a capsule friendly collection in California out of eco-conscious and deadstock fabric.

In today's post, in addition to showing a few more outfits, I wanted to delve into the number one, non-material way to make strides as ethical citizens: intentional community. 


Intentional communities have existed in one form or another for centuries, most often associated with religious sects, but also taking form around particular ideologies. At its core, an intentional community exists to promote "a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork." Participants make and eat meals together, participate in daily rituals, share resources, and co-promote a particular lifestyle. My town boasts a still-thriving 1960s era commune that produces tofu and a small but mighty intentional community run through the Episcopal church. I bet if you look around, you'll find examples of these tiny socialist networks, as well (is there a convent nearby?).

YSTR Clothing beach club conscious communityYSTR Clothing beach club conscious community

Close knit, co-reliant communities can be effective paths to social and personal change because they create a foundation that instills confidence and fosters creative conversation. Because people start with similar frameworks, they can more easily build upon each other's ideas, and progress comes more quickly. My experience in conscious consumer communities online has illuminated that for me. The only thing better would be if there was a space to have conscious conversations in person.

Turns out, there is.


YSTR owns a beach club in Malibu where calm and collaboration are meant to thrive. In their words:

The goal in hosting our members at the private beach club is to create a community of like-minded individuals that think, love, and inspire one another. We want to share with you what a conscious lifestyle looks and feels like, and link you with people who share the same passion for a better planet.

Tier 2 and 3 capsule subscription members get automatic access to the house as a part of their membership, and can bring up to three friends. Though I haven't visited myself, I am intrigued by the concept, and think that we should try harder in our own locales to create spaces where these types of conversations can take place. It doesn't have to be a formal commune. We can do our part to promote community by eating more meals together, hosting "salon" type events with particular topics in mind, lovingly holding each other accountable, and participating in local community organizing efforts. My friends and I attend church together and eat together 2-3 times a week. Seeing each other often helps us stay aware of each other's needs and push each other toward our goals.

YSTR Clothing beach club conscious community
A quick note on what I'm wearing:

In the first full outfit, I'm wearing the Edie Top with the Jett Tie Pant in Black ($178). The Jett pants are made out of a linen/poly blend that is somehow both structured and breathable. A simple elastic band and attached tie belt make these super easy to wear.

In the second outfit, I paired the pants with the Anaelle Top ($128), a drapey, textured pinstripe blouse with a high neck. I'm kind of fascinated by the details - from the slit in the back to the buttons to the ruffles at the neck - that add a lot of interest without becoming overwhelming. The blouse feels, paradoxically, quite simple.

To read more about YSTR, check out yesterday's post.

---

Get $15 off your YSTR purchase with code, VIPXSTYLEWISE