StyleWise's Super Epic 5 Year Anniversary Giveaway: Over $400 in Ethical Goods

epic ethical goods anniversary giveaway soul flower, bead and reel, ten thousand villages, sharon z, national picnic, everlane
Five years ago last January I sat down to write my very first post on StyleWise.

What a ride it's been so far. I started StyleWise hoping to find community as a blossoming "conscious consumer." I had heard of maybe two fair trade brands ever (Ten Thousand Villages and Mata Traders) and didn't really know where to turn to learn about ethics in the fashion industry, but I knew I had to do something. A few months later, the largest garment factory disaster in history occurred when Rana Plaza collapsed, killing over 1,1035 people. It was a wake-up call for many, and before long the conversation was loud enough to start making a difference.

Over the years, I've read (a lot), joined ethical writing communities, asked questions, gained and lost readers, teetered on the edge of nervous breakdowns and burnout, felt inspired, and written hundreds of thousands of words.

Blogging, especially on ethics, is not always easy. But it has been life-giving for me and given me a real sense of purpose. It's helped me understand that I do have a role to play in movement building, but it might not be as "world changing" as I initially thought it would be. Still, knowing that I can play a small part is valuable, and I am determined to keep playing that part as well as I can.

So I want to THANK YOU, readers new and old, for sticking with me, looking me up, and bearing with me as I work through my cluttered thoughts.

I've partnered with five of my favorite ethical brands to offer a...


with a prize package worth $475
epic ethical goods anniversary giveaway soul flower, bead and reel, ten thousand villages, sharon z, national picnic, everlane
One Winner Will Receive:
Total Package Value: $475

a Rafflecopter giveaway Open to US readers only. Must be 18 years old or older to enter. By entering, you consent to have your email address added to listed brands' email lists (except for Everlane) and the StyleWise monthly newsletter.
epic ethical goods anniversary giveaway soul flower, bead and reel, ten thousand villages, sharon z, national picnic, everlane

Gift Guide: Entertaining | Ethical Loomed Goods for Home & Her + Giveaway

ethical woven goods from mayamam - ethical gift guide 2017
I was compensated for my time writing this post by MayaMam Weavers. 

The Holiday Season is about so much more than frantic shopping and gift giving. I was reflecting on this last month and came to the conclusion that I actually prefer Thanksgiving to Christmas because it isn't so fixated on commercialism. If done correctly, it is about the simple, life giving work of making and serving. We gather 'round to give thanks and catch up. We stuff ourselves full of food that took hours upon hours to prepare, then settle in for a nap or an afternoon walk. We enjoy simple comforts and small reminders of why living is good.

When I considered gift guides for this Holiday season, I tried to strike a balance between offering useful shopping resources and creating something rooted in meaning and human connection.

Our gifts should be an outpouring of the abundant thankfulness in our hearts, not a wasteful exercise. 

With that in mind, I'm prioritizing the work of artisans who work in ancient handicrafts, like weaving, and contemporary companies that value the individuality of handwork. I've become enamored with artisan work this year because it gives me great comfort to see beauty in human hearts and hands when there's so much ugliness in the world.

Today, I'm offering two mini-guides featuring the work of MayaMam Weavers...
ethical woven goods from mayamam - ethical gift guide 2017


(Starting from top, then left to right)
Adjustable ties, front pockets, sturdy cotton

Brocaded Pillows, $195

Hand loomed, one of a kind
Inspired by a traditional weave and woven on a foot loom. Pair with woven napkins.
Uses Insulbrite® thermal batting for hand protection.
Handwoven on the back strap loom.

ethical woven goods from mayamam - ethical gift guide 2017


Blues Border Wrap, $44

Lightweight, multi season with hand tied fringe

Rolltop Backpack in Caramel, $125

Handwoven cotton canvas with water bottle pocket and front zip pocket.

Champagne and Pearls Scarf, $25

Hand woven with hand braided fringe

Stormy Blues Unisex Toiletry Bag, $42

Lined in waterproof ripstop nylon with suspender style tie-downs.

About MayaMam Weavers  

Poverty and lack of infrastructure in the Mayan town of Cajolá in the western highlands of Guatemala have required more than 30% of the population to relocate to the United States. Founder, Caryn Maxim, met a small group of native Cajolans while volunteering in her hometown of Morristown, New Jersey. The relationship they formed with one another led her to go with them when they returned to Cajolá. They decided to partner together to create living wage jobs, particularly for women who were already fluent in the art of backstrap and footloom weaving.

The artisans are Maya from the Mam ethnic group, thus the name, MayaMam. Artisans have a say in compensation standards, have access to educational and vocational training, and are largely responsible for the design and running of the business. Caryn and the US team ensure that designs are marketable to US consumers and manage sales stateside. MayaMam is a member of the Fair Trade Federation.


Enter to win this woven cosmetic bag. To enter, simply complete the form below (leaving a comment is required, but other entries are bonuses!).

Open to US readers 18 and older. Giveaway ends Sunday, November 26th at 11:59pm. 

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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.

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Shop Mawu Lolo here. 

Follow along: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Simply Wood Birth Flower Ring: For Mothers & Mother Earth + Giveaway

Simply Wood Rings Birth Flower Mother's Day Ring and Giveaway Simply Wood Rings Birth Flower Mother's Day Ring and Giveaway
This post was sponsored by Simply Wood Rings and I received an item for review. Scroll all the way down to enter the giveaway.

To kick off Earth Month's eco-friendly brand features, I want to orient the discussion around our planet in the broadest sense. 

I'm interested in coming to understand the way we've anthropomorphized and even worshiped the earth through the character of Mother. An earth goddess exists in several of the world's ancient religions, including those of the Inca, Algonquian, Mesopotamians, Indo-Europeans, and Egyptians. And in ancient Rome, Gaia stands in as the ancestral mother of all life. As one character in a larger, polytheistic narrative, these earth goddesses interacted with others gods, as well as humans, on a regular basis in tangible, everyday ways.

You don't have to adopt particular religious beliefs to see the value in the symbolic figure of Mother Earth. Framing the earth as a mother strips back the dominating, industrial narrative of the last few hundred years and forces us to imagine what an interpersonal relationship would look like with this humming, diverse planet. Mother is a role of origination and sustaining, of protection and discipline. As a child, I saw my mother through a lens of respect, gratitude, wonder, and deep love. If we could consciously see the earth and its ecosystems through this framework, I think much could be accomplished for sustainability.

Simply Wood Rings brings this ethos of respect and wonder to its sustainable, eco-friendly wood rings.

Simply Wood Rings Birth Flower Mother's Day Ring and GiveawaySimply Wood Rings Birth Flower Mother's Day Ring and Giveaway

Simply Wood Rings is a Chicago-based ethical business that produces one-of-a-kind, custom made rings for any occasion.

Their business model is community based in that all raw materials are sourced through an organic network of friends, clients, and small businesses. Wood is gathered from local cabinet makers, donated from clients' home projects, salvaged from fallen branches in local woods, and even saved from an old xylophone and marimba factory. Flowers for inlays are taken from friends' and families' gardens, or purchased from small scale etsy sellers. And gemstones are purchased from vendors and co-ops that prioritize US-based, sustainable industry, including turquoise scraps from Alltribes artisans.

Being able to wrap a beautifully polished piece of tree around my finger makes me feel rooted. It's a reminder that the most meaningful things in life are simple: a laugh between longtime friends, birdsong, sharing a meal, walking through the woods, watching a child play pretend.

I'm wearing Simply Wood Rings' new Birth Flower Ring in these photos, customized to represent meaningful dates in my life. Coming full circle, the Simply Wood team made this ring with mothers in mind, with the intention of having the mother select wood that represents her birth month and floral inlays to match the birth months of her children. Since I don't have children (and my mother was unlikely to wear a ring), I selected the components of my ring to represent Daniel's and my relationship.

The base wood is cherry (July) to represent Daniel's and my wedding month, as well as strong expression and compassion. There are two floral inlays: Aster (September) for my birth month and magic, mystery, love, and daintiness, and Gladiolus (August) for Daniel's birth month and moral integrity, infatuation, and fortitude.

Simply Wood Rings Birth Flower Mother's Day Ring and Giveaway
Wearing an Everlane tee, c/o Emma Suzanne Scarf, and c/o Simply Wood Rings Birth Flower Ring

The Birth Flower Ring makes a definite statement without feeling clunky; in fact, it feels quite feminine in a modern way. I plan on making it one of my everyday rings in addition to my wedding and engagement rings. For me, it symbolizes the continuing, everyday relationship Daniel and I share. It's so much more than that single wedding day, so much more vibrant, deep, and all-encompassing.

As we look toward year 8 of marriage this summer, it feels right to honor our marriage with a stunning piece of jewelry, just as much a keepsake as the rings we exchanged on our wedding day. (This piece, all in, totaled about $310, but costs vary by complexity of design and materials used, so if you're interested you can fill out a commission form here.)

This year, Simply Wood Rings is celebrating Earth Month in a special way:

From April 1st to the 22nd we are donating 10% of all purchases made to an environmental charity of your choice. We have four options to choose from this time around: the Environmental Defense Fund, the National Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, and Earthjustice. 

I can highly recommend Simply Wood Rings for their quality, beauty, sustainable ethos, and professionalism. My ring came packed in biodegradable cardboard and tissue paper, and was cushioned in a little wood tray. Whether you're looking for a Mother's Day gift, a wedding ring, or commemorating another event in your life, Simply Wood Rings will work with you to make a ring that suits you distinctly, and with the sense that there was equal nurturing given to you and Mother Earth.



ENTER TO WIN 1 Customizable Birthflower Ring from Simply Wood Rings 
here and on Instagram (@stylewiseblog).

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Must be 18 years old or older to enter. Open to US readers only. Winner will be able to customize 1 Mother's Birthflower Ring to their heart's content - no price or customization cap. Giveaway ends midnight EST 4/18/17.


Shop Mothers' Rings here.

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Soul Flower Makes the Leggings I've Been Looking For + Giveaway

Soul Flower Yoga Pants Giveaway Soul Flower Made in USA Yoga Pants Review This post was sponsored by Soul Flower and I was provided an item for review. Scroll down for a giveaway!

I have a high tolerance for impractical garments, but when it comes to everyday essentials, I am as scrutinizing as a mean girl.

My t-shirts, socks, and leggings need to be particularly sturdy, because they're bound to be worn and washed again and again. My Everlane tees and J. Crew socks (not ethical, but high quality) are going strong 2 and 3 years in, but my ancient Old Navy leggings - purchased before I fully embraced ethical fashion - are definitely worse for the wear.

When it came to finding a replacement, I didn't want to settle. The old pairs are semi-sheer, too short, and cut a bit too low to be flattering at the waist. I knew I wanted to replace them with a high waist, thick, organic cotton pair that covered more of my ankle and wouldn't ride up. That's a lot to ask from a pair of stretchy pants, so it took my awhile to find what I was looking for:

Soul Flower Organic Cotton Stirrup Yoga Pants

Soul Flower Made in USA Yoga Pants Review Ethical Details: Top - A Beautiful Refuge; Legging Pants - c/o Soul Flower; Scarf - Synergy Organic Clothing; Fitbit - refurbished via ebay; Sandals - c/o Mawu LoloSoul Flower Made in USA Yoga Pants Review

Don't let the name fool you: Soul Flower's made in USA, low-impact dyed, organic yoga pants are super versatile. I wore stirrup pants as a kid in the early '90s and had been itching for another pair, because they stay put. They'll go perfectly with boots and high cut flats, because I can tuck them in and they won't ride up my ankle like other leggings. The thick stretch cotton means I can wear them as pants without exposing myself, or simply keep warm when I'm wearing them as a cold-weather layering piece.

As seen in these photos, the stirrup piece is sewn on like a cuff, so you can easily pull it up your leg and wear these like a regular pair of leggings depending on the activity and footwear choice. Every detail was carefully planned, from the wide waistband to the contoured reverse seams that snake down the front and the back of the legs.

I honestly did not expect to love a pair of leggings this much, but here we are. The quality is immediately apparent, and that makes me feel respected as a customer.

  Soul Flower Eco-Friendly and Ethical Leggings ReviewSoul Flower Eco-Friendly and Ethical Leggings Review

Soul Flower specializes in affordable, eco-friendly clothing for hippies, yogis, and people who like to wear comfortable clothes. They carry a range of original screen-printed tops, leggings, and accessories, as well as ethically-made jewelry from like-minded brands.

Each Soul Flower product adheres to a set of clearly labeled values, incorporating organic and recycled fibers, sustainable hemp, domestic production, low impact dyes, repurposed textiles, fair trade standards, and more. They're a testament to the fact that something can be made responsibly without costing $200. Most items in the Soul Flower line fall in the $25-60 range. The Stirrup Eco-Friendly Yoga Pants retail for $62.00.


Win a pair of Soul Flower's Stirrup Yoga Pants!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to US readers only. Contest begins midnight 3/7/17 and ends Wednesday, 3/15/17 at midnight. Additional entry on Instagram. No purchase necessary.

Additional entry on Instagram!

Photos by my sister, Jennifer Nichole Wells

Ember Boutique: Nature and Nostalgia + A Giveaway

Ember Boutique Ethical and Sustainable Cold Shoulder Top
This post was sponsored by Ember Boutique and I was offered products for review.

As much as I love my basics, a departure from plain t-shirts feels really good, particularly when it's a shoulder-baring top and the weather is unseasonably warm. 

When spring blows in, I become almost unbearably nostalgic for all the spring seasons that have come before. I feel hopeful, ready to start fresh, and suddenly confident that I can be exactly who I want to be.

It's funny how slight changes in climate or location can shift your perspective. It reminds me that we're animals after all, tied to our environment no matter how much we try to partition it off. It's important, I think, that we continually remind ourselves of that and extend it out to its logical end. If we are inextricably connected to "the wild," how can we continue to pollute and degrade the natural world and the people in it through our lifestyle habits? The false dichotomy between "civilization" and "nature" allows us to push corruption to the side, but ignoring it doesn't make it go away.
  Ember Boutique Ethical and Sustainable Cold Shoulder TopEmber Boutique Ethical and Sustainable Cold Shoulder Top

Ember Boutique gets it. 

Owner, Jamie, curates pieces that put the planet and people first because she recognizes their mutuality. Ember Boutique blends pieces from established brands, artisans, and boutique companies with secondhand finds. It's a mix I'm particularly fond of, not just because it's very much my personal wardrobe philosophy, but because I actually thought about opening a similar store a few years back.

But Ember goes beyond being a responsible company. Their mission encourages women to trust their gut and appreciate the stunning but often overlooked beauty of the world:

The Ember woman has a joyful curiosity of the world around her. Fashion isn't a rigid set of rules and trends to apply to herself on a seasonal basis. She relies on her intuition in all facets of her life, which naturally carries over into what she chooses to wear every day. These decisions are influenced by the outline of trees against the sky, the sound of a brush on canvas, and the way different fabrics respond to her own movements. She recognizes the cyclical nature of life, and knows that even a garment has a life span. From concept to creation to purchase and wear, each piece she chooses is infused with the spirit of the earth and hands that made it. She lives with intention, compassion, and fearless self expression.
  Ember Boutique Fair Trade Giveaway Ethical Details: Organic Cold Shoulder Floral Top - c/o Ember Boutique; Denim - old; Pouch - c/o Love Mert; Sandals - Melissa via Bead & Reel; Moon Phases Necklace - c/o Ember Boutique

Ember's Organic Cold Shoulder Top was made out of sustainable tencel and organic cotton in California. I like it because it achieves the off the shoulder look that continues to be a popular - not to mention universally flattering - silhouette, but with a bit of extra support thanks to spaghetti straps. It also looks great layered over a black turtleneck or crew neck tee if you need to adjust for weather or dress code.

Jamie also sent the Farrah B. Moon Phases necklace, hand carved on an adjustable chain. I have worn it 5 days in a row because it's simple while also feeling special, and the bronze tone goes with everything.


Enter to Win the Organic Cold Shoulder Floral Top!

Win this top in the size of your choice (a $58 value), courtesy of Ember Boutique. 

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+ Get an extra entry on Instagram

Contest ends at 11:59 pm EST on 3/1/17. Must be 18 years old or older to enter. Open to US readers only.


Shop Ember Boutique

Follow Along: Instagram 

Farm to Closet Style: National Picnic's American-Made Kickstarter Dress + Giveaway

The American Made Kickstarter Dress - National Picnic ReviewThe American Made Kickstarter Dress - National Picnic Review
This post is in partnership with National Picnic and I was provided an item to review.

If there's been one recurring style thread through my wardrobe over the last decade it's blending classic, wearable style with all day comfort. I can't function in constricting clothing, but I don't want to look like I just came from the gym either. My blazers are knit, my pencil skirts have stretch in them, and my shoes are flats. I look good and, more importantly, feel comfortable in my own skin and my own clothes.

There are some designers that just get you. 

For me, it's National Picnic. Until recently, National Picnic was mostly a one-woman show, with designs conceived of and sewn by Betsy Cook in her studio. She's always been interested in making clothes responsibly - read her interview from last spring here - but she thought she could do more. So she did.

A couple months ago, National Picnic launched a Kickstarter campaign for their popular Sweatshirt Dress. But this wasn't just a way to get some extra cashflow at the beginning of the season.

This is the American-Made Kickstarter Dress

The fabric Cook sourced for the campaign was milled in North Carolina out of organic, Texas-grown cotton (blended with recycled polyester to reduce shrinkage). Then, the products were sewn at a manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania. That means fair labor and responsibly sourced materials were used at every step in the supply chain, and both National Picnic and the end customer, like me, are intimately connected to the process.

Our president elect thinks we need to make America great again, but it seems to me that American makers are doing great without the added propaganda. This is what progress really looks like.

The American Made Kickstarter Dress - National Picnic Review
The American Made Kickstarter Dress - National Picnic Review

The sourcing is admirable, but beyond that, the dress is a winner. 

Made of a thick, terrycloth sweatshirt material, it keeps out cold wind without making me feel overheated. The sleeves are cuffed just above the wrist, which make it easy to work and type without having to push up the sleeves. The length is flattering without being revealing if you have to bend over, and I really like the contrast neckline. The bottom hem is slightly angled to give a nod to athletic wear, but nothing feels overly trendy or too casual. It's timeless without being boring. And the price point is under $100.00, which proves to me that Cook and the National Picnic team care about fair profit margins.

The American Made Kickstarter Dress - National Picnic Review
Ethical Details: American-Made Kickstarter Dress - c/o National Picnic; Socks - Hanes (made in USA); Boots and Leggings - old

I have a feeling I'll be getting a lot of use out of the American-made dress this winter. 

And maybe you will, too! 


Enter to win the American-Made Kickstarter Dress in the size and color of your choice. 

1. Subscribe to the mailing list by scrolling down to the form on this page.
2. Leave a comment telling me what color you'd choose in the American-Made Kickstarter Dress if you won (I'm wearing Dark Gray).

*BONUS: Additional entry on Instagram. Click here for instructions.

Contest will run through Wednesday, January 18 at 12:00 am EST. Open to US, Canadian, and European Union readers only. No purchase necessary.

Ethical Holiday Giveaway: Victoria Road Gold Chain Ear Cuff

Victoria Road Gold Chain Earcuff Giveaway Fair Trade

This giveaway is offered in partnership with Victoria Road

Affordable, fair trade luxury...

Some ethical companies are so good at telling their story that you can't help but be changed by the narrative. Victoria Road is a good example. Earlier this year, I featured Victoria Road in an informative interview and styled review, delving deep into issues of ethical sourcing and the value of timeless, ethical luxury.

I'm partnering with them this week to offer a giveaway that is sure to liven up your wardrobe. I'm not usually one for sparkles, but the Victoria Road Gold Chain Ear Cuff pairs classic glamour with an edgy chain detail that makes the piece feel very modern. I hand selected this item because I think it's the sort of thing you can wear again and again whenever the occasion calls for something a little fancy. In fact, this would look great with a festive New Year's Eve outfit, and fortunately, you'll have it in time for that!

Victoria Road Gold Chain Earcuff Giveaway Fair Trade

Pakistani designer, Rema Qureshi, designed the Gold Chain Ear Cuff from her studio in Lahore...

As a brand, REMA seeks to reflect the fusion of cultures in its on-trend designs produced in limited quantities with outstanding finishing and quality. The handcrafted jewelry is heavily influenced by Asian culture, the leather for the handbags is sourced from fine tanneries across the world, the hardware is from Europe and all items are crafted and perfected in Pakistan and delivered to clients internationally. Every time you wear an item from REMA, you embody the spirit of inclusive globalism.

Giveaway entry is simple. Just complete one or several of the entry options below.

By entering this giveaway, you give permission for your email address to be added to the Victoria Road newsletter. Open to international readers. Contest ends Friday, December 23, 2016 at 11:59 pm. If you win, this item will not be there in time for Christmas, but you should have it before New Year's!

Victoria Road Gold Chain Earcuff Giveaway Fair Trade


To shop the Gold Chain Ear Cuff (now on sale for $40.50), click here. 

To shop Victoria Road's full collection of clothing and accessories, click here

Emma Suzanne's Silk Scarves Bring Ethical Luxury to Any Outfit + $100 Giveaway

Emma Suzanne Khmer Golden Silk Ethical Scarves
This post was produced in collaboration with Emma Suzanne and I was provided products for review.

Refined Luxury | A Better World

I know silk scarves. The thrift shop I manage is currently inundated with dozens of lovely silk scarves in every floral and stripe. But I've never felt a scarf as luxurious as Emma Suzanne.

I know that sounds like an overstatement, and I'm not claiming to know the luxury market all that well, but for the price point and ethical standpoint, Emma Suzanne scarves are a cut above the rest.

Emma Suzanne Khmer Golden Silk Ethical ScarvesEmma Suzanne Khmer Golden Silk Ethical Scarves

The Emma Suzanne scarf line is woven on handlooms in Cambodia using local silk and natural dyes, with an aim to incorporate organic cotton into the line in the near future. The handlooming process means Emma Suzanne's scarves are nearly zero waste, and since silk is a natural material, the products are also biodegradable.

Artisans work in their homes on their own time, and receive fair wages based on hours worked and adjusted based on local incomes to ensure that the broader infrastructure is left intact. In the brand's words:
Emma Suzanne is a value-based business: we value beauty, we value ethical and sustainable fashion and we value happy and sustainable village lifestyles. Being handmade, no items are ever exactly the same. By purchasing our products, you own a unique creation.
Cambodia has been known for its Khmer Golden Silk for hundreds of years. It is a delicate, slow-developing product that was nearly wiped out due to wars that decimated the silk worms' ecosystem of mulberry trees in the 1960s and 70s. Co-ops and family-owned silk farms are working to cultivate and preserve this heritage product so that it can be enjoyed for generations to come. Emma Suzanne uses this specialty silk in some of their scarves, including the lovely River Runs Scarf in Burnt Amber I'm wearing here.

Emma Suzanne Khmer Golden Silk Ethical ScarvesEmma Suzanne Khmer Golden Silk Ethical Scarves

As soon as I took the River Runs organza scarf outside, it began to dance in the light breeze, much to my delight. It's smooth and lightweight, but surprisingly warm, and the peach and amber hues are the accent colors I'm drawn to right now. They go with my hair and offset all the blue in my closet. The most surprising thing about the scarf, though, is that it's only about $50 USD. A splurge, yes, but at this price point you could justify getting it for a loved one as a gift (or with your Christmas money!) without reservations.

Emma Suzanne Khmer Golden Silk Ethical ScarvesEmma Suzanne Khmer Golden Silk Ethical Scarves

Emma also sent me the Luxe Khmer Silk Scarf in Indigo so I would have a chance to sample a range of styles. I love the deep blue of indigo - I was on an indigo dyeing kick a couple months ago and was tempted to dye everything in my closet with it - and the raw silk is a bit more substantial than the organza, so it creates a different aesthetic and is probably a bit better to use as a barrier from the cold in winter months. The particular tie dye on this scarf reminds me of fossilized seashells, a nod to my Floridian upbringing collecting shells on the beach and looking for fossils in the woods.

This scarf is a bit pricier, at about $67.00 USD (I'm converting from AUD), but the quality means it could be passed down as a family keepsake. As I've gotten older, I've begun to think about those sorts of things. I want whatever offspring I have to be able to inherit a few key pieces to remember me by. Maybe these scarves could be it.

In a world of fast, cheap, throwaway goods, people don't pass things down as often, and I think it's a great loss.

Emma Suzanne Khmer Golden Silk Ethical Scarves Ethical Details: Dress and Sweater - Everlane; Leggings and Boots - thrifted; Scarves - c/o Emma Suzanne

Emma Suzanne Khmer Golden Silk Ethical Scarves

Undertaking the Dressember challenge and finding ways to incorporate review products into the limited wardrobe I currently have has been a surprisingly fun and fruitful experience. I wouldn't have considered wearing a sweater under a dress, but the encroaching winter has made it necessary to layer up. This bright pink sweater accents both scarves well. If you donate $10 today, I'll write you a custom haiku!



Enter to win a $100 AUD ($74 USD) Gift Certificate to Emma Suzanne!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to international readers. Ends Friday, 12/23 at 11:59 pm EST.


Shop Emma Suzanne.

For a limited time, free shipping on all orders + Buy 2, Get 1 free when you sign up for the newsletter!

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Ethical Giveaway: Dunitz & Company Leather Spiral Lariat Necklace

Ethical Giveaway: Dunitz and Company Leather Spiral Lariat Necklace


The Fair Trade Leather Spiral Lariat Necklace, made in Guatemala by Dunitz & Company. 
Details: Czech & Japanese glass beads and crystals, leather cord. $60.00 value.

See yesterday's post to learn more about Dunitz & Company and read my review! 

Fair Trade Jewelry Holiday Giveaway - Free, Coupon code

a Rafflecopter giveaway

// Additional entry on Instagram! //

The Fine Print: Open to international readers. Your information will only be shared with Dunitz & Company for entry confirmation purposes. Ends Wednesday, December 14th at 11:59 pm EST.

Ethical Giveaway: Dunitz and Company Leather Spiral Lariat Necklace

Ethical Giveaway: American-made Denim & Leather Clutch from Hem + Haw

Hem + Haw Conroy Clutch ethical giveaway, made in USA
This post was produced in partnership with Hem + Haw.

When Hope, founder of new domestically produced purse line Hem + Haw, initially reached out to me, she had no idea we shared the Charlottesville connection. It amazes and sort of baffles me how many people in the ethical consumerism space have lived for a time in Charlottesville. I'm grateful to be able to live in a relatively small town with all these interconnected, well traveled people. It makes it a heck of a lot easier to feel like you're a part of something, and to challenge yourself to be the best you can be.

Anyway, Hope lived here for several years while working for a local marketing agency, but she recently took a leap of faith to become a small part of the American manufacturing revival by producing high end clutches and purses with upcyled denim and American-sourced, new materials. In her words:

Here’s the thing that’s true about a good pair of jeans—they hang in there. It’s part of why we love them. We’ve worked to make our designs nimble, to maximize the material in a single pair of jeans as well as make use of the wide variety of washes available. 
Having seen firsthand what happens in communities when economic livelihoods disappear, we’re committed to U.S. manufacturing. We’ve sourced materials from all over the country and learned from a variety of local craftsman. We’re pretty thrilled that Hem + Haw bags have have been put together by hands that have been working in their respective fields for years.

Now Hope lives in Louisiana, but I had the chance to meet her at the Hem + Haw Launch Party she threw in downtown Charlottesville a couple months ago. Hope is one of those people who greets you like you're an old friend, and she's truly passionate about ensuring that every component of the line is traceable. She's also worked hard to ensure that the profit margin on each product is fair (a subject we ethical marketers and writers don't talk about enough, in my opinion).

The Goods...

Hem + Haw Conroy Clutch ethical giveaway, made in USA

Hem + Haw currently offers a mini collection of denim and leather clutches and convertible bags, available on their website. Today, they've offered to give away one Conroy Clutch in the color of your choice to a StyleWise reader, just in time for the Holidays.

The Conroy Clutch, valued at $95.00, is made from upcycled denim, American-made vegetable tanned leather and cotton, and Charlottesville-made antique brass hardware. Keep it for yourself or give it as a gift. Either way, you'll have a good story to tell about where the item came from and how it was made.

Hem + Haw Conroy Clutch ethical giveaway, made in USA

This giveaway will end on Tuesday, December 6th at 11:59 pm EST. By entering through the form below, you agree to allow Hem + Haw to add you to their email list. Open to US readers only. 

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Giveaway: OESH Artemis 3-D Printed Sandals (Closed)

OESH Artemis sandals giveaway

If you missed yesterday's brand profile on OESH shoes, make sure to check it out. OESH is a Charlottesville, Virginia based, 3-D printed, woman owned, podiatrist approved, all-around innovative company that specializes in active footwear for women.

What I forgot to mention yesterday is that the 3-D print process allows them to build a honeycomb design into the sole that disburses pressure evenly on the foot and helps prevent injury. My ankles typically roll inward when I walk and somehow the design of these soles helps prevent that.

OESH just came out with the Artemis, a new version of their sandal that wraps around the toe, and they're giving away one pair in the color and size of your choice! Simply follow the prompts in the widget below.

  OESH Artemis sandals giveaway

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For an additional entry, find the Giveaway announcement on my Instagram profile!

Contest runs through August 10 at 12:00 am EST. Must be 18 years old or older to enter. Contest is open to international readers. Winner will be selected randomly 1-3 business days after giveaway ends and notified via email. 


Shop OESH here. Read my review here.

Follow OESH on social media: Instagram // Twitter // Facebook

Giveaway: $100 Abrazo Style Gift Card

abrazo style mexican embroidered dress giveaway

As I mentioned in yesterday's review, Abrazo Style makes ethical, handmade pieces inspired and created by Mexican artisans. The Lilia Dress I own shows care and craftsmanship, from its subtle, asymmetrical hemline to the way it skims over my hips. And the embroidery, of course, is really well done.

In light of the fact that this style of garment is increasingly popular, it's especially important to know that the artisans received a living wage and work in an environment where they receive respect. You may be able to find similar pieces in markets throughout the southern United States and in Mexico, but there's a high likelihood that the people who made them were not compensated fairly. Abrazo Style ensures this, and their custom designs intended to flatter and fit makes them stand out.

I'm excited to announce that Abrazo Style is giving away a $100 Gift Card to one StyleWise Reader. The giveaway will run through Wednesday, June 22 at midnight.

Enter to win by following the prompts below! Good luck!

  fair trade clothing giveaway abrazo style

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shop Abrazo Style here.

Follow along: Facebook // Instagram // Twitter // Pinterest

the moral wardrobe: an epic ten thousand villages review + giveaway

ten thousand villages outfitten thousand villages giveaway
When Ten Thousand Villages reached out to me to see if I'd be interested in a collaboration, I was delighted. Ten Thousand Villages holds a special place in my heart as one of the first fair trade shops I ever visited, long before I even knew what fair trade was. They're also credited with inventing the fair trade model as we know it back in the late 1940s when Edna Ruth Byler came back from a trip to Puerto Rico determined to expand the market for artisans there.

Ten Thousand Villages works with hundreds of artisan partners around the world with a mission to empower women, build relationships, preserve cultural arts, sustain livelihoods, and show dignity. In my experience buying from Ten Thousand Villages for several years, the products are well made, with attention given to detail and consistency. Plus, they make great gifts and their Christmas ornaments are lovely.
  ten thousand villages outfitEthical Details: Top and Skirt - thrifted; Shoes - Sseko Designs c/o MadeFAIR; Necklace and Earrings - c/o Ten Thousand Villages

Ten Thousand Villages sent me the Honeycomb Blossom Necklace and Earring Set made by Tara Projects in India. The pendant pieces are made from dyed bone sourced as a byproduct from animals that have either died of natural causes or are killed for food production. My position on material sourced from animals is that it must be a byproduct of a preexisting industry so that as much of the animal is used as possible, so I'm glad to hear that. The bone makes these delicate and super lightweight, so sensitive ears will have no issue wearing the earrings. I also appreciate the unexpected way the tri-flower necklace pendant is attached to the chain. It feels very contemporary.

ten thousand villages outfit
The spring-time exuberance of this set inspired me to get out and take photos on one of those perfect, breezy, warm-in-the-sun, cool-in-the-shade early spring days. And now that the Northern Hemisphere is hurdling toward warmer weather, I'm excited to be giving away not one, but THREE Honeycomb Blossom Necklace and Earring sets. Details below.
  ten thousand villages charlottesville
I'm honored to not only be working with Ten Thousand Villages Corporate, but to be collaborating with my local Ten Thousand Villages store (Sallie and her team are the bomb!) to offer two ways to enter the giveaway.

Option 1: Enter to win one set at the Charlottesville Store. 

You'll have an opportunity to win one Honeycomb Blossom Necklace and Earring Set when you enter at the Charlottesville Ten Thousand Villages on the Downtown Mall. The contest will run for one week at that location, so check the store for details.

The address is:
105 W Main St
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Option 2: Enter to win a set for you and a set for a friend on my Instagram account (@stylewiseblog).

Head over to my instagram account for the opportunity to win 2 necklace and earring sets, one for you and one for a friend you tag in the comments. 

This contest will run for one week. The Charlottesville store will designate its own entry period and rules, and information can be found in store. The Instagram contest, in collaboration with Ten Thousand Villages Corporate, will run until Thursday, April 21st at 11:59 pm EST. Winners will be selected randomly.


giveaway: Malia Designs Pleated Crossbody + Matching Wallet ($80 value)

fair trade crossbody purse giveaway

Malia Designs has partnered with Style Wise for an Instagram giveaway, happening now:

Win a Pleated Crossbody and Matching Wallet from the Spring '16 Collection!

To learn more about the Pleated Crossbody, ethical guidelines, and the spring collection, see my review post here. To enter, check out the Instagram post. Best of luck!


Enter here.

ethical giveaway: celebrating 1,000 followers

I'm celebrating 1,000 Instagram followers with a BIG giveaway on Instagram, running for the next week. Click on the embedded post to enter. If you don't have Instagram, simply use the form below to enter instead. Thanks for following along; I'm happy to be able to give something back to you all in the form of a non-sponsored giveaway.

ethical giveaway style wise

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thanksGIVING giveaway: Fair Trade Market Tote from Daisies & Doodles (+ a coupon code)

daisies and doodles fair trade
festive fall giveaway

Daisies & Doodles is an online ethical boutique with a focus on practical accessories, housewares, and stuff for kids. They carry an excellent selection of woven baskets and totes, including this Market Bag. Handwoven from water reeds under fair trade guidelines in Morocco, they come in a variety of patterns and are sturdy and large enough to use as a reusable market bag or work tote. One of my volunteers at the shop always carries her things in a little handled basket and this tote would work really well for her needs. And with tons of Holiday markets coming up, it would be a great item to bring along with you so you can properly stock up on local soaps, knitted things, and other handmade goods.

ethical outfit and market bag

I paired the Market Tote with a Shibori dyed scarf made by women in Rajasthan, India, part of Daisies & Doodles' scarf collection.

thanksgiving giveaway
Ethical Details: Scarf - c/o Daisies & Doodles; Dress - thrifted; Top - Everlane; Boots - Oliberte; Tote - Daisies & Doodles

market tote giveaway
Lucky for you, I'm giving away this Market Bag!
To enter:
- Simply complete one or several of the Rafflecopter prompts below.
- Tweet about the giveaway through the form for 1 new entry every day.

Open to US readers only. Winner will receive 1 Market Tote courtesy of Daisies & Doodles and Style Wise. Contest begins Wednesday, November 25 at 12:00 am EST and ends Wednesday, December 2 at 12:00 am EST. Winner will be contacted via email within 1 week of contest deadline. This contest is not affiliated with Instagram or Blogger. 

Giveaway Closed.


giveaway: win a set of Bracelets 2 Educate friendship bracelets

bracelets 2 educate giveaway

Happy fall, y'all. Charlottesville got the memo about the season change this year and is keeping things cool and sunny this week.

And now for a giveaway! Bracelets 2 Educate is Education and More's bracelet line that gives back 100% of profits to education programs in Guatemala. Check out my last post for more information about the company. Today they're offering a set of friendship bracelets in shades of blue to one lucky Style Wise reader! My birthday is Saturday, so think of this as a party favor!

You can enter two ways...

Option 1: 

Subscribe to the Education and More newsletter (find the subscribe box at the bottom of the homepage here), then come back here and leave the email address you signed up with in the comments.

Option 2: 

Find the above graphic on my instagram and follow the entry instructions.

The Fine Print: You can enter using each option once. Open to US readers only. Giveaway will end Wednesday, September 30 at 11:59 pm EST. 

Best of luck to all of you.

If you have more than one friend you want to give a bracelet to, you can use code, birthday, for 26% off your purchase at Education and More!

giveaway: Win $100 to MadeFAIR!

This post contains an affiliate link.

My excitement over new ethical boutique, MadeFAIR, still hasn't worn off and I've been wearing the heck out of my gold loafers, so my eyes are bulging out like a hyped up rodent over today's giveaway (I know this visual is weird and not particularly flattering to me, but I'm typing this while gazing lovingly at my pet rats, so the simile came easily).

Founder, Tavie, is offering a $100.00 gift card to MadeFAIR to be used at the winner's discretion. Just use the entry form below to enter and make sure to check out my giveaway announcement post on instagram for additional ways to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Open to international readers. Contest will run from Tuesday, September 8 to Tuesday, September 15 at 11:59 pm EST. Additional entry available on instagram. This contest is not affiliated with instagram. 


Get 15% off at MadeFAIR anytime using the code, STYLEWISE15.
Visit MadeFAIR on facebook, instagram, and twitter

giveaway: $50 Liz Alig gift card [Ended]

liz alig giveaway and review
recycled tshirt liz alig
liz alig robyn top
Ethical Details: Robyn Shirt - c/o Liz Alig; Shorts - thrifted; Earrings - handmade by Hannah Naomi; Glasses - Warby Parker

This shirt was made from recycled t-shirts, just like the Ada skirt I reviewed Monday. Check out that post for more about fair trade brand, Liz Alig

Liz Alig is offering a $50 gift card to one Style Wise reader. To enter:
  1. Follow @liz_alig on instagram.
  2. Comment below with your instagram username for entry verification. 

The giveaway will run from Wednesday, July 22nd to 12:00 am EST, Monday, August 3rd. Open to international readers.


Follow Liz Alig on twitterinstagram, and facebook. Check out the Fall '15 line, too.