Style Wise | Ethical Fashion, Fair Trade, Sustainability

SUSTAINABLE STYLE & ETHICAL LIVING

the moral wardrobe: old favorites

black and white dress stylewiseguide.com personal style black and white stylewiseguide.comthrifted outfit stylewiseguide.com
Outfit Details: Dress - secondhand via thredup / Shoes - old / Necklace - handmade by someone I can't remember

I got my hair cut today in preparation for my new job (it starts tomorrow!). Gotta look totes profesh (I promise I wouldn't say that out loud). I didn't realize my desired length was going to cut off all the lingering blonde in the back, however, so now my hair color looks pretty interesting.

I rediscovered this necklace in a backpack I use when traveling. It must have been in there for a year or more. It's nice when old things feel new again.

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floydfest style revolution

This weekend, Daniel and I headed off to the boonies of Floyd, VA for FloydFest, a folk music festival in the mountains. I got free tickets in exchange for modeling in the first annual FloydFest Fashion Show. The festival prides itself on sustainability, so all garments featured in the show were handmade, fair trade, and organic. It was great to be able to touch and see items from the headlining brand, Synergy Organic Clothing. I wasn't sure how flattering their stretchy, organic knits would be, but it turns out they look good on everyone.

The show's aesthetic was inspired by The Hunger Games, complete with fire pits at the end of the runway and epic opening music. Models were grouped as District or Capitol. Guess which one I represented:

mod1floydfest style revolution the hunger games

I really enjoyed wearing cool outfits and walking the runway (I got to wear a ball gown made of feathers, complete with feather gloves and a headdress!), but I don't think I'll go back next year. Big festivals in the middle of nowhere aren't my thing. It's a mixture of geographical isolation and social over-stimulation. I wouldn't say I'm agoraphobic exactly, but I'm definitely agorannoyed.

I'll post outfit shots if I can get my hands on them!

I'm just happy to have a long stretch of being at home after a month of endless traveling.

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life moves pretty fast

foggy cityscape charlotte, nc stylewiseguide.com

Two weeks ago, I was just shuffling along, driving my old car, working a regular shift at the coffee shop, and updating my blog according to schedule. But then my car broke down. Then I got an unexpected phone call offering me a job I applied for two years ago. Then I got on a plane and flew to south Florida. Then I took an impromptu road trip through the south (I love the south), hopping from town to town visiting family and old churches, staying on my sister's couch, eating soul food in South Carolina and takeout in Charlotte, North Carolina while watching a documentary about grocery stores.

chocolate pecan praline, st augustine stylewiseguide.com El Galeon St. Augustine, stylewiseguide.com

I don't know if it's unusual, but every time I spend a few days far removed from my daily life, I start to feel like a disembodied spirit, like everything's a dream. It's like I'm floating involuntarily from place to place. Rather than feeling grounded, I'm supremely confused. But eventually, after getting "home" (defining home gets more difficult as family and friends move away and apart), I start to ease back into things, albeit with a wider outlook and a better understanding of who I am without the imminent influence of a particular community's value system.

cat portrait stylewiseguide.com

My daily schedule is about to change (I accepted the job offer). My responsibilities will increase. But I hope that this new position will fill my need to take initiative and minister to my community. I'm glad that things happened by means of this winding path. I'm glad that I had a chance to remember who I am and remember how much I love my community before transitioning to new things.
Photos: fog over Charlotte, NC; Chocolate Pecan Praline in St. Augustine, FL; Boats and ships in St. Augustine, FL; my sister's cat, Wolfgang

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harmonies

navy and yellow with sseko designs stylewiseguide.com casual outfit featuring everlane stylewiseguide.comminimalist featuring everlane stylewiseguide.com
Outfit Details: Top - Everlane / Skirt - Thrifted / Shoes - Sseko (straps c/o Hannah) / Necklace - (of)matter on etsy

Life the past few days has been a tremendous adventure. On Friday afternoon, we embarked with two other passengers to an Episcopal camp in the Shenandoah Valley for a weekend retreat. About an hour into the drive, Daniel noticed a loud clinking noise coming from the car. As I attempted to accelerate, we heard a dull boom from the back of the vehicle. I pulled over, then we waited for 45 minutes for AAA to come tow it to the nearest town. Fortunately, a mixture of friends in the nearby town and other members of the congregation spotting us on their way to the retreat ensured that we all had safe passage to our destinations. After a nice dinner with friends at an adorable co-op restaurant, we heard the news that there was a 6" hole in the engine. My car, dearest Goldilocks, was a goner. 

Despite the bad news, we journeyed on to the retreat where we enjoyed ourselves immensely. I went on a hike with an ecologist and geology aficionado and learned a lot about central Virginia terrain.

On Monday afternoon, my grandfather in Florida generously agreed to sell us his car, so we're headed down there shortly to pick it up. I've been asking for rides and taking the bus to get around town. I also have a cold, likely a byproduct of stress and too little sleep.

The past few days have been full of the sorts of things that should make me cry, but I'm oddly encouraged by the whole experience. I know I have friends and family who watch out for me when things get tough. I know I live in a world full of wonder, full of bubbling creeks and baby deer and a Capella music and the harmonies of hearty laughter. 

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illustrated favorites: mid-summer

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Illustrated favorites take awhile to complete, but they always turn out so cute. This is about the limit of my drawing skills, in case you wondered.

You may recognize that floral dress from yesterday's The Moral Wardrobe post. It, along with a matching set I'm waiting to receive from The Floral Prince, are my two statement items for the season. I've been getting a lot of use out of my Leah Goren tote and various casual shoes that are suitable for work. I'm also anxiously awaiting new glasses from BonLook (they're not particularly ethical, but their production chain is roughly equivalent to Warby Parker).

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links

fortune photo stylewiseguide.com
Fortune from Monday's Chinese food feast

I'm following in Catherine's (of Walking with Cake) footsteps today and posting a few memorable links.

Palestinian teen killed in suspected revenge attack by hard-line Israelis, Al Jazeera America

Promoting better products or just promoting consumption?, This Kind Choice

Brainstorming Keywords, Etsy Blog (I've been working on SEO this week)

Set Me As a Seal, Rene Clausen (we sang this in church choir this morning; it's always a lovely one to sing and listen to)

Dus of Cuddly Cacti just got back from Mexico and has stocked Mitla Moda with some great new arrivals: Shop here

Over 50 Workers Injured in Yet Another Disaster..., North Face Death Traps

Retailer Asos Resumes Taking Orders After Warehouse Fire, Wall Street Journal (did you guys hear about this?)

Anything interesting on the fair trade front? On the internet cats front?

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Hobby Lobby Pro-Life?

I already talked about the Hobby Lobby case in various corners of the internet, but I realize it's something I should address here because I take an approach few critics are taking, and it has a lot to do with the topic of this blog.

If you haven't already heard, the Supreme Court exempted Hobby Lobby from providing certain types of birth control believed to act as abortifacients (basically, birth control that keeps a fertilized egg from implanting on the uterine wall). While I'm ideologically pro-life, I think it's better to regulate the market and make safe options available to women than to restrict more invasive types of birth control. But I'm not all that disturbed by the immediate repercussions of this particular case. What scares me is that the court had to argue that Hobby Lobby is protected under rights normally granted to individuals. Corporate personhood is a slippery slope!

hobby lobby quote

All that aside, Hobby Lobby represents a type of Christianity prevalent in America that so heavily favors capitalism it can't see the plank in its eye (that's a Bible reference! Matthew 7:5). I should know because I worked there for a year. Because I helped set up a local store, I got to see the first boxes of products arrive. I had a lot of time to read the labels and scrutinize the products. As it turns out, the majority of products are made in China. And this isn't artisanal stuff; it's sweatshop quality. Even the custom frames are shipped from China. It doesn't take long to realize that Hobby Lobby, a company that plays Christian elevator music over its speaker system and donates to Texan homeschool organizations, is making profit - a lot of profit - on goods sourced from sweatshops.

There have been several articles that point out the hypocrisy of buying product from a country with a one child policy, but I don't think this approach goes far enough. It's not just about abortion! If you're going to be pro-life, that should extend to everyone. Everyone deserves a chance at life, even poor people in China, even non-Christians, even people who don't like Americans very much.

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What kills me about the Hobby Lobby case is that they had the resources to revitalize their production chain and provide better wages and better protections to the people who toil to make cheap shadow boxes and "handcrafted" garden statues, but instead they directed their time and money to the petty task of trying to prove a point about the shortcomings of universal health care.