Style Wise | Ethical Fashion, Fair Trade, Sustainability

SUSTAINABLE STYLE & ETHICAL LIVING

birthday weekend

Things have been hectic recently and I'm looking forward to next weekend, when my schedule is clear and I can read and doze and play my banjo.

On Friday, a group of us headed out to Peter Chang's (not to be confused with PF Changs) for dinner, followed by cake and drinks at my place. Since it was my Golden Birthday, it had an understated gold theme and a couple friends gave me gold-adorned presents (but no real gold, unfortunately). Yesterday I went on our church's second annual hike in Shenandoah National Park. We had perfect weather and an enthusiastic group this year!

shenandoah national park mountain flowers, leah wise sunlit fall leaves, leah wisered leaves in the mountains, leah wise

For more photos from the hike, check out leahwise.com.

the moral wardrobe: low back

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Outfit Details: Top - thrifted via the Schoolhouse Thrift Shop; Skirt - Old Navy (old); Shoes - thrifted

I'm emotionally exhausted over the disappearance of local student, Hannah Graham, and spent the week being snippy with people I love. I'm feeling a bit down, but am encouraged by the way the Charlottesville community has stepped up to comfort one another and aid in the search.

This week is birthday week and I'm determined to count my blessings. I have lovely plans for Friday and am going on a hike in Shenandoah National Park on Saturday, so there's a lot to look forward to. I'm also excited to work on some new pieces on my banjo; I'm painfully inexperienced, but I think my guitar basics will transfer well enough for now.

tradesy: secondhand shoes galore


I know that the thought of wearing used shoes makes some people nauseous, but I've never taken issue with it. In fact, probably 1/3 of the shoes I own are secondhand. In a consumer culture dominated by 5-week trend cycles, people are doomed to impulse buy, which leaves a lot of gently used stuff on the secondhand market to trawl through.

I've typically thrifted or searched ebay to find secondhand shoes, but the popularity of online shopping has resulted in all sorts of new places to shop for secondhand goods.

I discovered Tradesy over the weekend. It's a mashup between the Ebay/Etsy, direct-from-the-seller approach and more curated sites like thredup and Twice. Basically, an individual lists items, which are placed both within their personal shop and within the larger marketplace. Once an item sells, the Tradesy team processes the order and sends the seller packaging materials, which the seller then uses to ship the item to the customer. Items ship free and returns are free, as well.

Tradesy's setup isn't perfect. Items that sell out are delayed from removal while the site waits to confirm the order with the seller, which means the customer has to scroll through a lot of extraneous listings to find something she can actually buy. But they're the best I've found when it comes to shoes. Prices tend to fall in ebay ranges with the advantage of avoiding the auction and having your item ship free.

the moral wardobe: color of the week

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Outfit Details: Top - H&M / Skirt - secondhand / Jacket - secondhand / Shoes - ASOS

Now that my hair is on its third color in a month, people have begun asking, "what color will it be next week?" I never thought of myself as the new-hair-color-every-week type, but I guess that's what I've become. I don't plan on making any more changes for awhile, though, so cross your fingers that the color doesn't fade into some weird green-blonde.

Things are looking rather autumnal these days, so I had the chance to wear a jacket I bought several months ago to our monthly potluck. We spent the evening telling (mostly bad) jokes, eating crepes and salad and delicious varieties of cheese, and participating in general merrymaking.

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an ethical outfit: afternoon lecture


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Details: People Tree Dress, Mata Traders Earrings, Malia Designs Bag, Ruby Dust Vintage Loafers

(Click the styleboard to be redirected to polyvore)

I don't have any lectures to attend, though I did go to a special talk given by one of Daniel's professors a couple weeks ago. It's important to me that I'm still connected to the academic community. I enjoy living outside of it while keeping up with the conversations within it; it's the best of both worlds. Being married to a grad student has its perks.

I love this People Tree Dress, but the conversion rate makes it pretty far out of my reach. Sad face. The Malia Designs bag, however, comes at a reasonable price at $38.00. It's made from a cement bag and has the most adorable graphic elephant print!

The weather is inching down to fall temps. I'm not excited for the winter, but Charlottesville is really meant for fall. It's a fireworks display of changing leaves and mountain breezes in October and November.

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the moral wardrobe: mauve

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 Outfit Details: Top - very old / Skirt - thrifted / Sandals - old / Necklace - handmade via etsy

No, I didn't re-dye my hair. It just faded into a unique shade of coppery pink over the past couple weeks. I like how well it matches the bricks on my house and the colors in my skirt.

We did a major overhaul of the thrift shop layout over the weekend. It was a lot of work (way more physical labor than I'm used to), but I can already see positive results. Customers gushed about the ease of their shopping experience now that the clutter is gone and everything has its place. I love being able to see the fruits of my labor. That sort of direct feedback can be hard to come by outside of school.

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Fashion Project


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fashionproject by fracturedradiance on Polyvore

Fashion Project is a new-ish online secondhand clothing retailer with one important difference from other companies in its market: 55% of proceeds go to charity.

The company focuses on well known, mid to high end designers and the site is distinctively modern, with clean lines and minimal use of color. It's a cool place to be. From a quick sampling of items within several categories, clothing is priced in about the same range as Thredup's higher end pieces (but noticeably lower on designer shoes), but the site layout and product images and descriptions are considerably better.

I don't tend to buy much from Fashion Project's preferred brands (Trina Turk, Elie Tahari, Anne Fontaine), so I don't really know where to start, but I think they're capable of appealing to a unique niche within the secondhand market, and that's a great thing. The more the merrier.

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