birkenstock

the moral wardrobe: favorites

shawl collar top
lavender fair trade top
black and white skirt
betula birkenstock black sandals
eco outfit
Ethical Details: Top - c/o Gaia Couture (RIP); Skirt - secondhand; Shoes - Betula

It's always obvious whether I feel confident in what I'm wearing in my outfit photos. If I can't get a natural looking, happy shot, I give up on the photos and seriously reconsider the things I'm wearing. You can probably tell that I love this outfit. I got this skirt on ebay a couple of years ago on a whim and wear it at least once a week; the Betula sandals are comfortable and fashion forward at the same time; and the top fits me like a glove and has the most interesting neckline I've ever seen. Putting them together is outfit heaven. 

Plus, when I was taking these photos a butterfly danced across the yard, so I couldn't help but feel happy. 

the moral wardrobe: tree mourning

black and white striped outfit
aline skirt outfit
personal style black and white
Ethical Details: Skirt - secondhand via thredup*; Sandals - Betula; Earrings - c/o Bario Neal

About a month ago, the land lady emailed us to let us know she would be hiring an arborist to do some "tree work" on the property. I didn't think much of it; I knew we had some overgrown bushes and a tree on the side of the house that was growing dangerously close to the foundation. But when I got home from work on the day the arborist came, I found they'd taken down the lovely, sprawling, flowering tree that had lived in the center of our yard. I was devastated; in fact, I cried. And I didn't feel like spending time in the back yard being constantly reminded of what used to be. 

Over the years, I'd made a habit of observing the way the light shone through its leaves and branches every time I walked to and from my car, and for days after it was gone, I kept glancing over expecting to see something beautiful, instead seeing only a scattering of orange dirt. One can grow quite attached to something and not realize how important it was until it's gone. 

RIP, tree. You were my second favorite tree in the world.

*Referral link

the moral wardrobe: on being (sunburnt) with American Nomad

Ethical Details: Dress - Mata Traders; Sandals - Betula; Hat - thrifted; Necklace - c/o American Nomad

The weird thing about blogging is that I feel obligated to tell you that my mother-in-law just left town after staying a week at our house. Her side of the family is rooted in Baltimore, so we spent the last two weekends road tripping up for surprise parties and backyard BBQs, getting hugs from people we'd never met, and eating more than we normally would in a week, including steamed crabs covered in Old Bay seasoning (a regional tradition). Fortunately for me, my mother-in-law did the driving (fun fact: Daniel doesn't drive) and I sat in the back reading Being Mortal by Atul Gawende (I highly recommend it!). 

We dropped Kathy off at the airport in Richmond on Monday and decided to meander through Carytown for a little while before heading home, which is how I got my first sunburn of the year; I forgot to bring my sun hat, too!

On to my outfit: Michelle, the founder of fair trade accessories brand American Nomad, contacted me a few months ago to connect and see if I'd be interested in writing a guest post for the American Nomad blog. We both got distracted by other things, so it took awhile to work out the details, but the post is up now! She sent me this beautiful necklace as a thank you and I love it because it's modern and reminds me a bit of honeycomb. Thank you, Michelle. 

I encourage you to check out American Nomad online. The shop is well curated and the graphic design and photography work is stunning!

the moral wardrobe: all the neutrals

thrifted outfit
betula by birkenstock
minimalist neutrals
the moral wardrobe: all the neutrals
Ethical Details: Tee - Everlane; Cardigan - thrifted; Necklace - handmade via etsy; Sandals: Betula by Birkenstock*

I went through a couple of outfit changes to get to this one, but I'm so happy with the result. I used to avoid warm colors and neutrals, but I think last year's experiments with hair color helped me get a sense of what suits my complexion. I love coppery brown tones that highlight my natural hair color (isn't it crazy that I hadn't seen my natural hair color in all its glory for something like three years?).

I think my orientation to the fair trade industry has shifted slightly in the last few months. I'm trying to find and highlight more brands that are both fair trade and sustainable, because I think it's silly to avoid the inevitable conversation between the two movements. Additionally, I'm increasingly convinced that supporting factories with ethical labor standards in countries like China is just as important as supporting fair trade; they reform different parts of the same industry and I think supporting them in tandem is the way to go. Not everyone can be supported by a fair trade co-op. If there's greater consumer demand for well-maintained factories, more people can find good work. There are a lot of moving parts and it's easy to get overwhelmed, but I'm glad to know I can make choices that help.

*Betula sandals are made in Spain, where labor standards are high and regularly enforced. Parent company, Birkenstock, makes efforts to reduce energy and materials waste.

an ethical outfit: dinner outdoors

downtown dinner
downtown dinner by fracturedradiance featuring genuine leather handbags

The weather's gotten noticeably milder since the first of the month and it worries me. Last year's winter started too early and ended too late, which left us with barely a spring and a short summer. Having grown up in Florida, I have a difficult time adjusting to the cold, dark days and long nights of winter and I'm not quite prepared to live through another extended season.

But it's still pretty warm and the nights are pleasant, perfect for a drive over to the Downtown Mall for dinner outdoors. Maybe I'll bring a cardigan just in case. I just ordered a pair of floral print Betula by Birkenstock sandals off of ebay and I plan to get as much use out of them as possible before cold weather hits. I think they'll look great with skinny jeans and long cardigans. I don't know how you Northerners successfully live your lives with all the cold weather you get.

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fair finds august

faves
faves by fracturedradiance featuring gold dipped jewelry

I'm anxiously awaiting the unveiling of fall arrivals from my favorite ethical retailers, but there are still plenty of things to enjoy. I know Birkenstocks have been a big deal this spring/summer season, but I only really decided they were cool again when Dakota Fanning said they were in the September issue of InStyle (yes, I realize that's lame). I like the black triple strap style. I've also been obsessing over Dogeared jewelry for several months and plan on buying myself their Eye Ring for my birthday (or I could let Daniel purchase it for me).

Speaking of birthdays, Daniel's is tomorrow! Hooray!

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