ethical fashion

White Rabbit Makes the Best Ethical Bras for A Cups

ethical bras for a cups white rabbit stylewise-blog.com
White Rabbit provided items for review and sponsored a portion of this promotion.

For some reason, it seems I've become an underwear blogger.

To be honest, I always have to pysch myself up for shooting bras and underwear. It's definitely not my comfort zone to model them, but I also like to take it on as a (minor) challenge to overcome insecurities and internalized taboos (and I remind myself that people wear swimsuits in public all the time!).

And, as I've said before, I really do believe that necessities like bras, underwear, and socks are some of the most important things to swap out when you decide to shop more sustainably. You can buy most clothing secondhand and extend the life of the clothes you already own with the proper laundering techniques.

But we tend to be hard on our underthings - and understandably don't want to buy them secondhand - so finding staple items from brands we trust ensures that those repeat buys are less resource intensive and more ethical.

ethical bras for a cups white rabbit stylewise-blog.com
I've been eyeing the bras at White Rabbit for a few months now, so when they reached out for collaboration, I was immediately on board.

About White Rabbit: Ethical + Eco-Friendly

All White Rabbit products are made entirely by women at a family-owned factory in Mexico City. Fabrics are sourced from eco-friendly manufacturers that follow OEKO-TEX standards, which ensures that dyes and other chemicals used in processing are nontoxic. The bulk of the collection is made with new bamboo rayon, which is considered eco-friendly because bamboo grows very quickly, uses less water than conventional textiles, and doesn't contribute to deforestation. Lace is sourced from a US manufacturer. In addition, White Rabbit partners with social enterprise, Fabrica Social, in Mexico City to help women build and sustain their own businesses.

Why They're Great For Small Cup Sizes

If I could, I would speak to the full range of women's bust sizes, but I really only know what it's like to live as an A-Cup, so here's my two cents: White Rabbit's bras actually fit.

I think I'm a true A-cup, but often the bras I've tried, especially underwire, either have cups that are too full coverage or gape in weird places. I also have a genetic blip that leaves me with a deeper depression than most in the center of my chest, so underwire bras often gap there, as well. For the last couple years, I've been wearing lightly padded bralettes rather than t-shirt bras because I realized I don't actually need that much support at my size. White Rabbit's selection of bras fit very true to size and also offer a perfect balance between comfort and structure.

ethical bras for a cups white rabbit stylewise-blog.com
Wearing the Madison T-Shirt Bra ($55) and Ann Bralette ($40)

My Review

The Madison T-Shirt Bra is the first underwire bra I've tried in years and I really like the way it fits. As you can see, there's only a very minimal gap at the center of my chest, which is unusual given my specific body type. The cup size is perfect and the wide set straps work well for wider necklines. I received the Madison Bra in a 34A, my usual size.

The Ann Bralette is a pretty, delicate bralette with removable padding. I really like the look and feel of it - and the adjustable straps - but plan on replacing the removable padding with slightly wider ones from another bra, as these felt slightly too small. One of the best features of this bralette, and what sets it apart from other bralettes, is that it has hook and eye closures on the back for an adjustable fit. I received the Ann Bralette in a size Small.

Final Thoughts

White Rabbit's dedication to ethical sourcing sets it apart from standard bra producers, but its price points aren't that far off from what you'd buy at Victoria's Secret or a department store. For everyday bras for A-cups, I highly recommend them. You can also pair your bras with their selection of soft, bamboo underwear.

Shop White Rabbit here.

White Rabbit the best bras for A-Cups and they're ethical stylewise-blog.com

Inside an Ethical Wardrobe: Spring 2018

ethical capsule wardrobe with vintage style spring 2018 stylewise-blog.com
I confess I got a little ahead of myself this season and stocked up on tons of sandals even though it snowed only last week. For that reason, I decided to go ahead and split up my Capsule posts into spring and summer. The clothes will (mostly) stay the same, but the shoes will change with warmer weather.

As always, I have to add the disclaimer that I'm not a *true* capsule wardrobe person. I believe in flexible dressing - removing and adding things as needed - but I have started moving off-season items and other things I've grown bored with out of sight in order to curb my need for novelty. You can read more about that here.

This season, I've stayed very true to my style inspiration and color palette, and I'm looking forward to wearing old and new things that feel fresh and match the flowering trees and lime-colored spring leaves. I've also developed a pretty clear cut set of formulas, similar to last season: plain tee + skirt, striped tee + jeans, or vintage dress.

The graphic above represents a mix of exact wardrobe items and references to thrifted and older items I've picked up over time.

My Mostly Ethical, Always Thoughtful Spring Capsule

Items with an asterisk (*) next to them were purchased this season. Other items were purchased in previous seasons. Contains affiliate links.

Tops:
Pants & Skirts:
Dresses:
Cardigans & Jackets:
Shoes:

ethical capsule wardrobe with vintage style spring 2018 stylewise-blog.com

The Moral Wardrobe: Hot Fuzz

ethical outfit with vintage jeans and combat bootsethical outfit with vintage jeans and combat bootsethical outfit with vintage jeans and combat bootsethical outfit with vintage jeans and combat bootsethical outfit with vintage jeans and combat boots
Ethical Details: Sweater - old; Thermal Shirt - thrifted; Jeans thrifted; Boots - old

Oldies but goodies...

I bought this H&M fuzzy sweater in 2013, back when I thought H&M was the pinnacle of ethical labor standards. Turns out, that's not really true and, at its massive scale, there's no way it's ecologically sustainable either. Still, this sweater has been a worn and loved for many years now. It's incredibly soft, quite dense, and really fun to wear. I paired it with some boots I purchased a few years ago for something like $15 at a Ross store in a neighboring town. Not ethical at all (they're Steve Madden), but the pleather is completely water proof and there's ample toe room, so they work well with thick wool socks.

I originally intended to resell these vintage jeans in my now defunct vintage shop. No one purchased them after several months, so they were tucked away in storage until I pulled them out last winter. They fit me so well and have stretch in them, so they're tolerable to wear, unlike many mom jeans.

Just goes to show that sometimes purchases that look like ethical mistakes can still be put to good use. The important thing is to love them and wear them!

The Moral Wardrobe: What I Wore on a Saturday

ethical style postethical style postethical style postethical style post
Ethical Details: High Neck Tank Top - c/o Live the Give; Blue Tank Top - thrifted; Megan Cardigan - c/o Liz Alig; Boots - thrifted; Jeans - #30wears

Not much to say other than that I really enjoyed myself a couple Saturdays ago. The weather was perfect (73 degrees), so Daniel and I ate outside, then headed to the Downtown Mall for a stroll. Later in the afternoon, we met up with some friends to bowl and eat pho, a belated celebration of my 29th birthday.

I haven't gotten a lot of use out of this Live the Give tank because the cut isn't suitable for work, but I think I can pull it off by layering a tank top under it to make it a bit more modest and cover my bra straps. I think the high cut neckline is really flattering.

In case you were wondering when I'm going to post an Everlane* denim review, I'm not, for now. The first pair I ordered was way too tight in the hips, which made it impossible to button them up. By the time I got them in the mail, everything was backordered until November.  If I can get enough store credit, I might purchase several pairs to sample when they come back into stock, but for now I'm happy with my locally purchased (and not very ethical) jeans.

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P.S. Neo-nazis showed up in Charlottesville again this weekend. Fortunately, they disbursed their torch lit rally after about 15 minutes without any (physical) violence. State and local representatives are trying to figure out how to stop this from happening, but free speech and assembly laws and rather lax gun (and torch?) laws have made it very difficult to push back. Local clergy and activists were present near the synagogue during Sukkot services because police detail was, inexplicably, denied. I was out in the countryside enjoying dinner with friends at the time, so didn't hear about it until much later in the evening. I wanted to share what I know in order to correct any misinformation you may receive from national news coverage and/or twitter.

The Moral Wardrobe: Are Mom Jeans the New Corsets?

mom jeans and everlane outfit

If you have enough patience, you will find the exact thing you want at the thrift shop.

Sure, it might take three or four years, but don't let anyone convince you it's just not available. I'm being a bit facetious, obviously, because you don't always have half a decade to find the clothing item that fills a hole in your closet. But when it comes to vintage, high waist denim, there's really no replacement for the real thing, and the online vintage market is currently pricing them around $100, so I figured it was worth it to wait patiently.

These finally showed up at the shop where I work, crumpled up on the floor of the dressing room (apparently they didn't work out for that person). I figured I might as well try them on before putting them back on the rack and, lo and behold, they fit!


mom jeans and everlane outfitmom jeans and everlane outfitmom jeans and everlane outfit
Ethical Details: Top - Everlane (similar); Jeans - thrifted; Shoes - Julia Bo*

I should qualify that last statement: they fit when I'm standing up.

The thick cotton denim and total lack of stretch means these are almost intolerable to sit in, and don't even think about eating in them. I'm trying to figure out if this is an accepted part of the mom jeans experience, or if I just have a really low tolerance for things that pinch. In any case,  I guess I'll be wearing these on days when I'm standing most of the time, and totally avoiding them when I'm going out to dinner. For $4.00, my cost-per-wear will still be quite low.

In other news, I splurged on this pair of slip on shoes for my upcoming 29th birthday. Not perfectly ethical, but they are made in a regulated family factory and made to order, so less waste is produced.

The Moral Wardrobe: Feminist Frump




Ethical Details: Carmela Apron Dress - c/o Conrado; Tee - Elegantees; Sandals - Betula

Last week, my friend Catherine sent me this tongue-in-cheek post about female frumpiness as a feminist statement:

The dominant sensibility of femininity, which we will call Sexy Adult Woman (SAW), values flattering-ness, attractiveness above all else—pleasing the eye. In common parlance, “frump” is the defective result when a feminine person tries and fails to achieve SAW. Frump is not. Frump is a whole sensibility in and of itself, entirely distinct from, and in valid alternative to, SAW... 
Frump is a way of being feminine. The way of Frump is not in terms of attractiveness but in terms of freedom, comfort, and self-delight. It can be observed in objects, structures, and people of any sex, but because it was born of the machine of patriarchy and male domination as a way to shame the feminine for failing to subscribe to SAW values, it is a sensibility most fundamentally of and for the feminine.

As a teenager, I realized pretty quickly I wasn't going to win at the attractive-to-teenage-boys game. For one, I could tell it was unfair, and that a variety of factors, including family income and socialization, impacted the kind of social capital I could build based on looks. So I dressed for other girls, the girls who read Teen Vogue and appreciated a bit of eccentricity.

I embrace the sack dresses of this current age because I think they defy expectations. They say that we don't exist to please others, we exist to build our identities however we want. So tight dresses and apron dresses are both right.

Season to Season in Verry Kerry's Kimono Dress

verry kerry boho and sustainable kimono dress
This post is in partnership with Verry Kerry, who sent me items for review.

Ever since I got a kimono jacket earlier this year, I've been on the hunt for similar, drapey pieces to wear layered over simple tees.

My love for patterned jackets took me by surprise: everything had gotten so streamlined in my closet that it felt like a block printed piece might throw a wrench in the whole thing. But I've always been a lover of color and pattern, and soft statement pieces strike that balance for me between standing out and feeling comfortable in my own skin. When Very Kerry reached out to me, I knew it was a good match.

Verry Kerry is a UK based women's clothing retailer specializing in kimono-inspired robes and dresses in stunning patterns. They use sustainable materials - like this ethically certified bamboo - and azo-free, nontoxic dyes, producing their collection in fair wage, safe, family run factories. Read more about their ethical policies in detail here.



verry kerry boho and sustainable kimono dressverry kerry boho and sustainable kimono dress
Details: Dress - c/o Verry Kerry; Sandals - Deux Mains; Hat - thrifted

Verry Kerry Sent me the Kimono Dress in Flame Lily to review. To show its versatility across seasons, I decided to style it two ways: as a simple summer dress and as an overcoat.

I like the soft, opaque fabric and the fact that this is one size fits most style, which means there's enough wiggle room for me to drape it with a belt, wear it like a sack dress, or layer it over a sweater.

verry kerry boho and sustainable kimono dressverry kerry boho and sustainable kimono dress
Details: Dress - Verry Kerry; Tee - c/o Live the Give; Boots - thrifted; Laptop Case - c/o Verry Kerry

This second look is how I originally dreamed of wearing the dress. I love this length over jeans, and the fabric belt makes a groovy scarf (though, for fear of choking myself, I'll probably tie up the ends).

The Bamboo Kimono Dress retails for £75.00, a fair investment for ethics, quality, and versatility. Let me know if you have any questions about it. I'll be featuring a couple more items from Verry Kerry later down the road.

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Shop Verry Kerry here. 

My Ethical Fall Wardrobe Picks

fall17
Contains affiliate links

While I certainly don't need to add half a dozen items to my wardrobe right now, I like visualizing what I already have against the silhouettes and specific styles I'm drawn to this season. I've become much more of a pants person over the last year or so - I hardly wore my skirts this summer - so I'm looking forward to being able to wear pants every day as the weather cools down. 

This fall, I want easy, flattering pieces that fit well and make me feel comfortable and pulled together during my work day. In terms of ethics, I'm sticking with a balance between fair & sustainable and well made & well fitting, as the best ethics in the world don't matter if I'm not going to be able to wear the heck out of what I've purchased.


Keyo Trio Bar Jacket Studs, $26.95

Upcycled brass, made fairly. I love the look of brass, especially against red hair, and these feel both minimalist and sort of vintage, my ideal combination.

Everlane Cotton Vneck Cropped Sweater, $50

Cropped sweaters are versatile, because you can pair them with higher waistlines or layer them over dresses and tunics. I bought this one with credits in an XS for a tighter fit.

Julia Bo Slip-on Derbys, $105

I've been looking for a pair of slip-on oxfords or derbys to be the fall equivalent of my crossover sandals. I'm much more likely to wear a pair of shoes if I can easily slip them on, so I'll likely be selling the Frye oxfords I purchased last fall and replacing them with these (in a cognac brown). Julia Bo hand makes shoes at a family factory in eastern Europe, and everything can be custom made to order. 

Vintage High Waist Mom Jeans

I finally found the perfect pair of mom jeans at the shop where I work. Only took 3 years! The ones shown here are a similar color, but not the exact pair. 

Everlane Wide Leg Crop Pants, $68

The thick twill on these will be great for cooler weather. And I think the cropped look will pair well with my secondhand suede ankle boots and my black boots, too.

I would probably wear this as a tunic over jeans or leggings. Krochet Kids' stuff is made fairly and they're expanding their organic cotton collection. 

Verry Kerry Kimono Dress£75.00

Made fairly with sustainable bamboo and azo free dyes with a one-size-fits-most fit. Verry Kerry sent me this dress to style a few different ways, so stay tuned for my dedicated post. I like wearing it unbuttoned as a drapey jacket. 


In case you're interested, I'll have some thoughts and links about Charlottesville out tomorrow. I know that a lot of people are already moving on, but I've seen so much misinformation floating around (and so many dehumanizing conspiracy theories *cough cough* George Soros) that I feel like I need to offer more context and clarity. 

What I'm Adding to My Ethical Wardrobe This Fall

building an ethical, minimalist wardrobe
Photo by Bart Jaillet on Unsplash

Before I'm inundated with fall promotional emails, I thought I'd take a moment to honestly reflect on what I "need" for the upcoming season.

Uh...nothing.

You read that right. I've been doing this ethical fashion thing for almost 5 years and I can finally, confidently say that I have all the wardrobe building blocks I want in my life.



It's not that I needed to transition my whole wardrobe over to "ethical" items in order for it to feel complete. It's that my time on the fast fashion hamster wheel had so effectively discombobulated my sense of self that I wasn't really sure what I, 1. liked to wear and 2. would actually wear. Through lots of trial and error, I've arrived at a place - at least for now - that feels like home. It doesn't hurt that there seems to be an increasing freedom around what silhouettes and styles are in at any given moment. I've been able to confidently keep things for years and years, both because the sustainable purchases I've made are better quality in general and because the styles just work for my life.

Now, once those emails arrive, I might be tempted, which is part of the reason I'm recording this publicly right now. No matter how long I'm at this, I'm always itching for shiny and new. It's human nature.

I should also mention that I will be reviewing a few clothing items in August that I plan on incorporating into my fall wardrobe: a cardigan, a dress, and a kimono-style robe. These pieces are practical for me, because they allow me to add interest to my daily uniform of Everlane tees. Each piece is versatile and can be worn a few different ways.

I love fresh fashion seasons even if I'm not shopping because the magazine spreads and style blogs are brimming with inspirational content. I'm looking forward to sharing outfits made of old things that still feel vibrant and interesting.

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Are you tempted by sales and new arrivals? Are you adding anything to your wardrobe in the upcoming season?

DoneGood: Get Ethical Bargains & Boycott Trump With One Extension

DoneGood ethical fashion and shopping browser extension and app
This post contains affiliate links

DoneGood is a browser extension and app developed with the express purpose of helping consumers avoid fast fashion and discover ethical brands without the burden of endless research.

I'd bet a day's wages that the number one reason people don't shop more ethically is because of the time it takes to sift through endless websites, articles, blogs, and marketing claims to find what they're looking for (a close second is price point). Though I'm an ethical shopping nerd, even I get exasperated over the difficulty of accessing and assessing ethical companies. Bloggers and advocates are working to change this in big and small ways every day, but without some creative thinking and intentional teamwork, we're not going to be able to make things much easier.

DoneGood has done a lot of creative thinking in addition to technical development to make something that can move the industry forward - at least as it pertains to consumer interest - much more rapidly than before.

I downloaded the browser extension right when it premiered in late November, so I've been using it for more than 8 months. Not only does it allow me to pinpoint ethical alternatives when I'm doing a Google search for a particular brand or item, it offers up discount codes for a number of fair trade and social good brands right from your search page. And since February, it even alerts me when a website I'm on sells Trump products, allowing me to boycott them - or at least feel that necessary pang of guilt that I'm just as much of a sucker for retail giants like Amazon as any other consumer.



DoneGood boycott Trump


I prefer DoneGood over any other ethical application for one reason: it's incredibly user friendly (I don't even have the other apps). I don't have to consciously open it up to find ethical companies. I don't have to sift through needless copy. I don't even have to be thinking that much about being an ethical consumer for it to show up on my browser and reorient me to what matters.

As someone who has been working with ethical companies for nearly 5 years, I'm familiar with almost all of the brands DoneGood recommends (Groceries Apparel, YSTR, Amour Vert, ZADY, and Victoria Road to name a few), but for a new or less informed conscious consumer, I think this could be the first small step to getting on board with long term lifestyle change.

In addition to offering ethical alternatives, DoneGood partners with ethical brands to offer discount codes accessible immediately through the extension popup window. Most brands offer discounts of $20 or 20% off, which can make a big difference.

DoneGood ethical fashion and shopping browser extension and app

If you're searching for ethical items on your smart phone, DoneGood offeres an app that helps you narrow down your ethical criteria and find companies that sell what you need. It's a user friendly option when you don't have access to the browser extension.

DoneGood recently launched their first DoneGood Together offer, which provides an ethical item at a significant discount if a total sales threshold is reached. This allows companies to make some fast cash to support their artisans and helps consumers try out ethical products at a really accessible price point. The first offer is for 40% off a pair of Root Collective Flats. DoneGood has already met their minimum of 16 orders, so the item is guaranteed at the sale price until the offer disappears at noon EST today.

I feel like I'm rambling at this point, but honestly, DoneGood is good.

Download it here.

Inside an Ethical Wardrobe: Summer 2017

an ethical capsule wardrobe for summer, stylewise-blog.com

Hey! I actually managed to photograph two seasons of wardrobe items in a row.


I actually wanted to do my first video now that I have a camera with recording capabilities, but I couldn't figure out how to get the sound going (maybe I need a microphone?), so photos it is.

As I always mention, I don't do capsule wardrobes because I'm a big believer in versatility and layering. My style is cohesive enough across seasons that a lot of basics, like t-shirts, can be worn year round. This, however, doesn't represent everything I own. I focused on the things I've actually been wearing throughout the summer and disregarded those aspirational items that don't suit my lifestyle.

I've linked to items that are currently available for purchase. This post contains some affiliate links.

an ethical capsule wardrobe for summer, stylewise-blog.com
Left to Right: Thrifted Shorts | NeoThread Co. Tee | GlobeIn Hat | Mawu Lolo Suborsubor Sandals | Elegantees Giselle Top | Thrifted Skirt

New this season: Shorts, Tee, Sandals, Skirt

an ethical capsule wardrobe for summer, stylewise-blog.com
Clockwise from Top Left: Everlane V-neck | United by Blue Tank | Thrifted | Everlane V-neck | Everlane Striped Crew | Logo Tee from Retreat Center (not ethical) | Thrifted Stripes (similar) | Everlane V-neck | Everlane Linen (similar) | Old Tee

New this season: Logo tee, bought to commemorate my time at my favorite retreat center

an ethical capsule wardrobe for summer, stylewise-blog.com
Thrifted Skirt | Thrifted Shorts | Thrifted and Cropped Shorts | Krochet Kids Prescott Maxi Skirt

New this season: Skirts and one pair of shorts
  an ethical capsule wardrobe for summer, stylewise-blog.com

New this season: Pyne & Smith Dress

an ethical capsule wardrobe for summer, stylewise-blog.com

New this season: All items
   an ethical capsule wardrobe for summer, stylewise-blog.com

New this season: Live the Give Tank and Songa Designs Sarong

Not shown: YSTR Jumpsuit, Vintage Sunflower Dress, Live the Give Vintage Tee, Wide Leg Cropped Jeans, Thrifted Denim Skirt

My Favorite Pieces: Deux Mains Sandals, Smockwalker Vintage Romper, Love Justly Kimono Jacket

What I Learned About Style This Season

I am a creature of habit and will almost always choose ease over a perfectly crafted outfit. Tees and simple accessories are the basis of my wardrobe, and I'm ok with that. I do like an interesting or unusual dress, though, and summer is the perfect time to wear printed and embroidered dresses. To my surprise, I haven't been as into skirts this year. I've been relying instead on wide cut pants that provide some airflow while allowing me to bend over, sit on the ground, and do whatever else I need to do at work.

More than anything, I'm enjoying wearing sandals every single day.

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See other seasons here. 

Giveaway: Win a Pair of Fair Trade Mawu Lolo Sandals

Mawu Lolo sandals review and giveaway - free ethical sandals
This post is sponsored by Mawu Lolo Sandals.

Mawu Lolo sent me a pair of their fair trade, Ghanaian made Suborsubor Sandals in March. It was still too cold in Charlottesville to wear them, so I took them with me to Florida for a couple of shoots. I liked them then, but I couldn't have anticipated how much I'd wear them throughout the summer.

The answer: a lot. Once or twice a week, mixed into my rotation of other summer favorites.  I wear sandals every day when the weather is warm and I need shoes that are comfortable enough for several hours of standing. The Suborsubor footbed is fairly simple, but it's thick and padded enough to keep my feet comfortable for several hours, and I've found these surprisingly good for walking, as well.

The best part is that Mawu Lolo prices extremely fairly, ensuring that artisans are paid a living wage and customers are able to afford their products. Their items range in price from $34.99 to $59.99.



Mawu Lolo sandals review and giveaway - free ethical sandals Mawu Lolo sandals review and giveaway - free ethical sandals

It's always a joy for me to be able to offer giveaways on behalf of beloved ethical brands. The hot days aren't over yet, so Mawu Lolo is giving away a pair of sandals to one StyleWise reader. I'm sure you'll enjoy them as much as I do. And the best part is that it's ANY pair of their sandals, so you can select a different style or color if you'd like: choose from Birkenstock-style, flip flops, and men's options. Check out the site to see all of the options.
  Mawu Lolo sandals review and giveaway - free ethical sandals

Mawu Lolo Sandals Giveaway

To enter: Fill out one or more of the prompts below (the first prompt is mandatory). Open to US readers only. By completing this form, you consent to have your email added to email newsletters for Mawu Lolo and StyleWise. Your information will not be shared with anyone else.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shop Mawu Lolo here. 


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Review: MATTER Sideswept Dhoti in Organic Cotton

MATTER Sideswept Dhoti Review, ethical fashion
This post was sponsored by MATTER Prints and I received a pair of Sideswept Dhoti pants to review.

I'm a Florida girl at heart and maybe I always will be. I live for long, hot, humid summer days. As I type this post, I'm sitting in my backyard enjoying 93 degree temps and drinking hot tea.

Summer means there's no need for formality, no need for constricting layers and multiple wool socks. I feel free because I don't have to cocoon myself in so much fabric. My toes get to stretch out in sandals, my shoulders can make full rotations without my pesky wool coat getting in the way. At the same time, these lethargic days make me nostalgic for all those other sunny days growing up: sleeping in then taking a dip in a cool pool, bike rides and walks through woods, family trips with my sister and I playing "news anchor and weatherman" in the back seat (my parents were always the witnesses and the foreign correspondents).

MATTER and I are a good match, because there's something special about the freedom of their clothing, linked to the past but not tethered there, intentional but never fussy, made with outdoor exploration in mind.


MATTER Sideswept Dhoti Review, ethical fashion

MATTER sent me the Sideswept Dhoti in Kangura Charcoal ($139), part of their new Organic Cotton line, to review.

Made responsibly with azo-free dyes (azo dyes, which are common in the fashion industry, have been found to be potentially carcinogenic), the pants were block printed in Jaipur and stitched in Delhi, India. One of MATTER's missions is to help their customers appreciate process and provenance, linking people like you and me to the people who developed artisan processes long ago and the people who keep them alive against all odds in a modernized world. MATTER seeks to make rural textile industries sustainable. I love this, because I think that the best work-life balance comes when we're able to stay in our own communities and work in disciplines that connect us to the beauty of humanity.
  MATTER Sideswept Dhoti Review, ethical fashionMATTER Sideswept Dhoti Review, ethical fashion

The Sideswept Dhoti is designed just like a wrap skirt, which means a single size can accommodate about 2-3 standard sizes (I'm wearing a size 1). This design means there's no need for any hardware: simply slip the tie through a slit at the waist and knot it on the other side. The fabric is draped precisely on the right side to create a pocket without any additional tailoring.

As I've mentioned before, MATTER is truly wearable art. That makes me excited, and slightly intimidated, to review their pieces. I'm so encouraged by ethical companies that innovate in this way. They ensure that the industry won't be seen as tired or crunchy.

MATTER Sideswept Dhoti Review, ethical fashion
Ethical Details: Sideswept Dhoti Pants - c/o MATTER; Sandals - Deux Mains

MATTER's organic line features a few different silhouettes and prints, which you can peruse here. They recently released two types (one, two) of dresses, too. 

I have one more post with MATTER coming up, so check back for that in a few weeks. 

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Shop MATTER.


Social Media: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

MATTER is offering 40% off shorts with code, WEEKEND40, through July 30th.

Questions

blogging, transparency, questions

Sending a few quick questions out there...


Would you all appreciate monthly/quarterly financial statements regarding my blog?

What other transparency-related things would you like to see?

What's one challenge you're experiencing that's discouraging you from achieving your sustainability goals?

What's something you'd like to know about me?

What's something you'd like me to know about you?

And finally, is there a conscious consumerism/sustainable living/social justice/religious topic you are interested in learning more about?

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Answer in the comments and I'll respond soon! 

Review: Soul Flower's Evocative New Flow Collection

affordable and ethical yoga clothing and exercise gear, soul flower affordable and ethical yoga clothing and exercise gear, soul flower This post was monetarily supported by Soul Flower and I received items for review. All opinions are my own.

When I hear the word flow I envision a spring fed stream - its water chiming over rocks - set low in a forest with glimmers of sunlight peeking in through the canopy above. 


This image encapsulates peace for me. That fissure where cool, clear water comes up from a dark, hidden underground, reminding me that the unknown doesn't need to be feared, that the earth is verdant and God called it good, that I'm another tiny mammal set in a big world, overjoyed at a watering hole and plants that provide good food and sunlight that warms my rattled bones. Flow is the paradoxically majestic and simple fact of being alive, and feeling that alive-ness in your core.

Soul Flower's new Flow collection is fittingly named. I wore two pieces from the collection at a weekend retreat nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains and they felt right at home.



affordable and ethical yoga clothing and exercise gear, soul flowerecofriendly and ethical yoga clothing

The Flow Collection consists of a simple cardigan, wide leg pants, and a layering skirt intended to add ease to your everyday activities, whether it's yoga, dance, lounging, or sitting down and writing a blog post. Soul Flower's pieces are made fairly with organic cotton (with a bit of stretch for longevity) and low impact dyes, so they tick all the boxes for me.

They sent me the roll top pants and layering skirt to review...

Flowy Pants in Gray, Size Medium | $56

I love the dramatic silhouette of these pants. The cotton is a bit thicker than your typical lounge/yoga pants, which means they're totally opaque and feel more supportive around the midsection. I like the color blocking, too. These are a really good fit in a size Medium. The pants do tend to wrinkle at the widest part of the leg, which could be fixed with some ironing, but for most leisure activities, that doesn't pose a problem.

These are really the ideal work-from-home pants. I'm prone to folding my legs up under me while I work, so leggings that feel tight at the knee aren't the best option. The wide leg on these means they won't constrict blood flow to my extremities.

Grade: A+


Ruched Mini Skirt, Size Medium | $36

This mini skirt is intended as both a layering option and a standalone piece, but my big butt made that an impossibility. Admittedly, I don't have the "standard" body type for yoga clothing. But the skirt is still a great option for me, because I'm always a bit nervous about wearing leggings as pants, even in an exercise setting. As a modesty layer, this works great, and makes me feel more at ease in my body. It fits tight enough to not be cumbersome, but doesn't feel restrictive.

I'm wearing the skirt over Soul Flower's Stirrup Leggings, which I reviewed here.

Grade: A

You can purchase items from the Flow Collection in three different color stories and there are screen printed versions, as well. See the full collection on the New Arrivals page.
  ecofriendly and ethical yoga clothing

I see Soul Flower as one of the best values out there when it comes to fair trade, organic clothing. The price point is where it should be and the clothing is of really high quality. That can be quite difficult to find in a market that is still working to define its standards and its marketing strategy. You can read more on Soul Flower's ethics here.

Read my previous review here.

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Shop Soul Flower here. 


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Four Fair Finds | 3

ethical gorpcore fashion

This week, it's all about Gorpcore, the art of perpetually dressing like you're about to go on a hike. Coined by The Cut, as far as I can tell, it's named after a trail mix blend featuring "good old raisins and peanuts," and is viewed as the next phase of Normcore, the art of perpetually dressing like a normal human being.

Charlottesvillians have been dressing this way since long before I moved here, so I'm really excited to say that I live in a place that was at the forefront of a fashion trend. Hooray for mountain towns! I love the eccentricity and downright absurdity of fashion, and really, I love dressing like I'm perpetually going on a hike, so this works well for me. All but the first item are things I own (and am wearing today).



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1 | Ember & Aura Sol Earrings, $30 (on sale)

I wanted to feature something from Ember & Aura because they sell the best artisan made stuff, including these minimalist earrings. And they're doing a 40% off sale right now! All clothing and accessories on sale with code, 40summer.

2 | OESH 3-D Printed Athena Sandals, $135

Made in Charlottesville with biodegradable pellets and locally sourced straps, these are super comfy and versatile.

3 | Patagonia Kids Refugio Backpack, $49

Someone donated this to the thrift shop and I snapped it up to use as a mini backpack. It's great for an afternoon hike and has room for a full size water bottle, camera, sunscreen, snacks, and a phone with a little room left over.

4 | Everlane Cotton Striped Tee Dress, $38

I bought this last summer and wear it on super hot days like the one we're having today. It feels like pajamas, but the details make it suitable for casual day wear. I'm leaving for a church retreat this afternoon, so it'll be great for the drive and porch sitting later on.

What I Read This Week | 4


I've had a couple whirlwind weeks, with family visiting two weekends ago and a 5 day trip to NYC last week (I met some fellow ethical bloggers!). Trying to catch up on regular blog stuff, but the good thing about train rides is that you have plenty of time to read. Here's what I read this week...

Ethical Fashion

Why I Think Ethical Fashion is a Privileged White Girl Thing - You don't have to agree with all of her points to get something out of this one

Rwanda will proceed with the ban on used clothes despite threats by the United States


Relationships + Self Formation

The Golden Age of Bailing

Future Self (podcast) - explores what can happen if your idea of your future self is too rigid

Can one person make a difference?



Charlottesville KKK Rally

Protesters drown out KKK rally in Charlottesville - so proud of my friends, my church, and my community for their work on Saturday


Environment + Climate Change

The Uninhabitable Earth

Are We as Doomed as That New York Magazine Article Says?


On the Blog Last Year

The Moral Wardrobe: Sporting

Four Fair Finds | 2


My four favorite fair finds for the week...



1 | Accompany for Target Silver Foiled Candle, $32.00

Happy to see that Target is intentionally featuring fair trade products. Their collaboration with Accompany is beautiful.

2 | Ten Thousand Villages Bombcase Ring, $34.99

Simple and statement making.

3 | Po-Zu Pinatex Flats, £90.00

Pinatex, or pineapple leather, is the it fabric in the sustainable fashion world right now. If you've touched it or tried it, let me know what you think.

I've been using the Restorative Oil at night for the past several months, but I think I like this one even better. My skin looks glowy.

What I Read This Week | 3

what i read


Local White Supremacy:

Excuse me, America, your house is on fire: Lessons from Charlottesville on the KKK and “alt-right”

How Charlottesville, Virginia’s Confederate statues helped decimate the city’s historically successful black communities.


Culture + Image:

A new study shows sex doesn’t actually sell

What I Learnt from Karaikal Ammaiyar and Her Closet of Adornments - a beautiful piece on culture, identity, and art


Blog Posts: 

Reasons I thought about quitting blogging (and why I’m still doing it), Life Style Justice

7 Things I've Learned In A Year Of Ethical Shopping, Simply Liv & Co


Just For Fun: 

What is your Hogwarts House Percentage? - I'm mostly Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. I got Hufflepuff on the Pottermore Sorting Quiz, too.


What I Posted A Year Ago:

The Paradox of the "Ethical" Fashion Blogger

Summer Dressing with Abrazo Style

Megumi Project Brings New Life to Old Kimonos

The Henna Experiment: Dyeing my Hair with Henna + Numi Tea


Books:

A Harvest of Thorns, Corban Addison - I just finished this and will review it as soon as I get the chance.

Leaving Church, Barbara Brown Taylor - reflections on doing, and leaving, ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church

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Your turn. What have you been reading?