A thrifted sweater from Eileen Fisher
When Degree Clothing reached out to tell me about their sustainable, organic clothing line, I hopped on over to their website to take a look at their offerings only to find that I couldn't understand the product descriptions! Degree is a German brand that caters to a German market and yet, despite the language barrier, I appreciated their design approach and ethical priorities (plus, they have an Etsy shop in English). With the help of Google Translate and my German literate husband, I narrowed in on this beautifully hued graphic tee that says:
Weil bayern berge hat
According to our German church organist, this means "Because Bavaria has mountains." The phrase is meant to conjure the nostalgia, warmth, and culture of mountain-side living. I was drawn to it because I know a thing or two about the beauty of the mountains, nestled as I am in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Did you notice that the shirt just happens to be Blue Ridge Mountain Blue?
As fate would have it, I wore this shirt to take my very first tour of nearby historic landmark, Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's mountaintop home. While I enjoyed viewing Jefferson's unusual and eclectic home, I was deeply moved by the 45 minute tour about the enslaved people who called Monticello home.
The thing that stuck with me the most was a comment the tour guide made about personal agency and family life. You were owned from dawn to dusk, but when night came, you finally had the chance to cultivate your real identity among friends and family who grounded you in cultural traditions and reminded you that you had a right to exist on your own terms. Historians of slave documents note that slaves often ranked fear of family separation above fear of death. Can you imagine waking up in the morning and someone telling you that your husband, wife, or child was going to be sent away, never to return?
It's brutal, and yet it was commonplace for our founding fathers and their contemporaries. In the retelling of these stories, we are reminded that deeply rooted, terrible injustice can be - and is - normalized. We can know something is wrong, as Jefferson knew about slavery, and continue to benefit from it. It's not enough to know. We have to f*ing change the systems that allow cruelty to be perpetuated, condoned, and institutionalized.
Ethical Details: Top - c/o Degree Clothing; Skirt - thrifted; Sandals - Sseko Designs
Well, that was a tangent (nevertheless, an important one). Anyways, Degree Clothing is fairly and organically produced with a contemporary streetwear aesthetic. Lots of cool tees and sweatshirts at really reasonable prices. This tee will cost you about $29.00 if you purchase through the Etsy shop.
If you're based in Germany, shop the Degree site here.
(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.
date by fracturedradiance featuring a woven bag
Hannah of Lifestyle: Justice posted her date night outfit this week, which inspired me to come up with an ethical date night outfit of my own. Daniel and I rarely go on intentional dates, but we do have Chinese Food Thursday, which consists of ordering takeout and pigging out after I get off work on Thursday evenings. I've been really into Tofu with Mixed Vegetables with an eggroll or egg drop soup (yum, eggs).
I'm really hungry, if you can't tell. I'm going to convince Daniel to order Chinese food.
Oh, and Meg Ryan came into the coffee shop this morning! I made her a double shot soy cappuccino. I was starstruck the rest of my shift. It was exhausting.
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