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the moral wardrobe: here we go again

bonlook glasses nomads fair trade tunic outfitlong cardigan and jean jacket layered looklong layered cardigan seamly.co
Ethical Details: Tunic - c/o Nomads (Fall '14); Cardigan - Seamly.co; Jacket - secondhand via Thredup; Boots - thrifted; Earrings - locally handmade by A Pocket Novel

We got hit with another snowstorm Sunday night and the snow is still falling as I write this on Monday. I don't think we'll hit blizzard level this time, but I'm pretty sure it's going to mess up work scheduling. A lot is shifting and changing at work due to employee health issues and a general need for improvement to the building and store displays, so I'd rather just get back to work. Snow always insists that we slow down and I'm not in a slowing down mood!

I put this outfit together in my head last night. I like playing with lengths when layering and the cardigan and jacket together provide just enough warmth for a brief foray into the white wilderness. After over 3 years trying to make smarter, more ethical purchasing decisions, I'm finally starting to be able to pull together looks comprised of almost entirely ethically sourced things. 

It's important to use what we have regardless of where we got it, so it's not a huge accomplishment, but it's nice to see how items purchased from various fair trade and secondhand shops work together to create a wardrobe that is distinctly me. I don't feel limited at all!

Ten Thousand Villages Charlottesville WFTD event

world fair trade day at ten thousand villages

I had the opportunity to check out the World Fair Trade Day event at my local Ten Thousand Villages on Saturday. Manager, Sallie, and assistant manager, Valerie, were warm and welcoming, and plenty of volunteers and staff members were on the floor to show people around and let them know about the day's special offers.

Ten Thousand Villages was the very first fair trade company and their business still serves as a model for the industry. Begun by Mennonite Edna Ruth Byler in 1946, it has since built partnerships with artisans all over the world. Artisans are paid in full before products are sold to consumers, which provides security and assists with the costs associated with production. Additionally, artisans are encouraged to use sustainable practices.

ten thousand villages charlottesville

The shop was putting on several raffles for beautiful fair trade goods, including a scarf, sarong, bag, and the book, Fair Trade: A Human Journey, full of breathtaking images and concise information about how fair trade impacts workers across the globe.

They were also offering free chocolate samples from Equal Exchange and Divine Chocolate, fair trade coffee and tea, and coloring activities for children.

ten thousand villages charlottesville
ten thousand villages charlottesville

I couldn't resist doing a little shopping while I was there, so I picked up a few things for my mom and received a delicious Equal Exchange fruit and nut chocolate bar and a sample of Level Ground dark roast coffee free with purchase!

ten thousand villages charlottesville

I had a great time getting to know some of the team, talking shop with the managers, and swapping fair trade brands and resources with others who care just as much as I do about shopping ethically.

Sallie let me know that the Charlottesville store was chosen to receive special recognition from Corporate due to its success, which means they'll have the opportunity to operate as a test market for new and exciting products in the coming months.

Congratulations on your success and thanks for having me, everyone!

12 months, 12 goals

Style Wise is one year old! To celebrate, I'm rolling out a new series in which everyone can participate!
1212goals

12 Months, 12 Goals is a year long challenge that breaks down ethical shopping goals into easier-to-manage, month long chunks. These challenges are emphasized during the month in which they are originally announced, but can continue throughout the year. The intent is to develop habits one-by-one that contribute to more ethical, sustainable living and to confront both unhealthy consumer habits and our broken retail system. By taking slow and thoughtful strides toward ethical and intentional living, I hope to develop lasting positive routines that benefit myself and others.

I'll announce a new challenge at the beginning of each month, then post on my progress at the start of the next month.

Goal 1: Shop secondhand.


For the month of January, my goal is to shop only secondhand. This is a fitting goal for the start of the year because it requires very little money and it's the surest way, at least in the short term, to ensure that my purchases are ethical and sustainable.

Potential goals for the following months include:

  • Learn to sew.

  • Shop local.

  • Shop handmade.

  • Donate to a microloan organization.

  • Invest in a fair trade garment.

  • Write an article on the state of the garment industry.

  • Explore more fair trade food options.

  • Start a petition that demands manufacturing transparency.

  • Spread the word about fair trade in my community.


We're better together, so let me know if you plan to get involved. Tailor your goals to your personal struggles and desires and let me know! I'd love to link up with you.

While you're at it, grab a button for your blog:

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