Style Wise | Ethical Fashion, Fair Trade, Sustainability

SUSTAINABLE STYLE & ETHICAL LIVING

people tree spring/summer lookbook

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People Tree just released its Spring/Summer interactive lookbook. I love everything in the Orla Kiely collaboration. The best part is that it's all fair trade and most cotton products are organic. Take a look by clicking here or on the screenshots above (all images clipped from People Tree lookbook).

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the moral wardrobe: paisley

threadsence paisely dress pa6mod look

I often use polyvore to create outfits out of things I already own. When I combined this dress with these ruby red sneaker wedges, I knew I'd come up with something I would love to wear. And sure enough, the pair worked just as perfectly in real life as it did on my computer monitor.

I've wanted red boots and sneaker wedges for a few months now, so when it dawned on me that I could combine those two things into one pair of shoes, I got busy searching through ebay for a great secondhand pair. The ones I ended up with are by Skechers and they're really comfortable.

Ethical choices are bolded below. Retailers taking steps to become more ethical are bolded in gray.

  • Dress - made in USA, won in Threadsence giveaway

  • Black top - H&M

  • Leggings - Old Navy

  • Earrings - handmade via etsy

  • Shoes - secondhand via ebay


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the moral wardrobe: no end in sight

winter look bean boots pr6pr3

I have never felt colder than I felt this morning on the brief walk from my car to the downtown coffee shop where I work. At 8:30 this morning, it was about 7 degrees outside, which may be nothing to those of you who are used to it, but it's incredibly low for temperate Charlottesville (and for me, a fairly recent transplant from Florida).

Anyways, I've been relying on my thrifted Bean boots whenever a walk through the snow is called for. With temps under freezing, the snow is hanging on.

Ethical choices are bolded below. Retailers taking steps to become more ethical are bolded in gray.

  • Collared shirt - thrifted

  • Sweater - old Delia's

  • Jeans - BDG

  • Bean boots - thrifted


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12 months, 12 goals: shop secondhand

secondhand shopping

It dawned on me, as I flipped and flipped through endless blouses at a local Goodwill on Monday, that thrift shops will never run out of items for me to add to my closet. Sure, there are a few items (like underwear) that I'd rather not purchase at the thrift store, but really, there's a lot to be found if you take the time to look.

A few of my prized thrift finds include LL Bean Duck boots, a BCBG Max Azria Flapper-style dress, and several items in pristine condition that I wear so much I forgot I bought them on the secondhand market.

And if that's not enough, internet marketplaces and local vintage shops allow me to shop curated collections when I'm not in the mood to spend 2 hours searching through crowded racks. I buy most of my shoes secondhand on ebay; I've purchased like-new Minnetonka moccasins and several pairs of sneakers for a third of their original price. I found my favorite vintage dresses on etsy and ebay.

The marketplace is flooded with piles of discarded clothing with plenty of wear left, so why do we insist on buying new? Secondhand shopping is easier than it's ever been - we can do it from our couches - so we really have no reason not to try it.

People are often confused about the ethical value of secondhand shopping, noting that many donated goods were likely produced in sweatshops. What they aren't connecting is that the thrift market doesn't operate according to traditional supply-and-demand principles; if you buy cast-offs, you aren't participating in the traditional market at all. Instead, you're opting out; you're boycotting; you impact it only because you're avoiding it. We're nowhere near operating in a market in which demand for secondhand items exceeds supply, so we can rest assured that we do no harm (to others, at least) when we make it rain at the thrift store.

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the moral wardrobe: hello bob

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This is the hair cut I've been envisioning for months. Those pixie cut layers just kept holding on, so it took until now to achieve it. Paired with an oversized collar, the top part of this look feels a bit mod to me.

Daniel and I hosted the monthly Young Adults church potluck on Saturday night. The house was packed full of people I love having interesting conversations and munching on delicious homemade platters. I never expected to love entertaining as much as I do because it feels so quintessentially domestic, but it's great to see people enjoying themselves and know you helped make it happen.

Ethical choices are bolded below. Retailers taking steps to become more ethical are bolded in gray.

  • Top - made in USA

  • Collar -handmade by Luminia

  • Skirt - vintage

  • Leggings - old

  • Shoes - old American Eagle


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TOMS: taking another look

toms

I was initially put off by TOMS' business model because it seemed that they were really just in it for personal gain; when you pay $40.00+ for shoes that won't last more than a couple seasons, you better hope that people are getting more than one pair of substandard shoes. But I have to give them credit for creating a more ethical, charity-minded business model that has since been copied by dozens of companies.

And they've really improved since the last time I perused the site. They still give shoes, but they've also created jobs that provide a living wage, donate to various charitable organizations, and feature like-minded companies in their marketplace. These improvements make me feel better about backing them.

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toms by fracturedradiance featuring TOMS

When TOMS first came on the scene, I was worried that their model was just another advertising angle. But recent changes make it clear that they really do intend to positively and sustainably impact the world - by spreading awareness, creating jobs, providing resources, and building up others. Good for them!

Do you like TOMS? I owned a pair a couple years ago; they were comfortable, but the quality was so-so.
*Click styleboard to be redirected to image sources.

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the moral wardrobe: hipster button

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I really tried to pull off the "hipster button" (all the way buttoned up), but I started to feel like I was suffocating about an hour into this look and had to undo it.

In other news, I burnt two fingers on my left hand with steam rising from the potatoes I had for lunch, so it's rather hard to type anything. Eek! It stings.

Ethical choices are bolded below. Retailers taking steps to become more ethical are bolded in gray.

  • Top - J. Crew

  • Pants - made in USA (won in giveaway!)

  • Shoes - thrifted

  • Hair bow - H&M


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