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Love Justly Wrap Skirt: A Little Mod, A Lotta Fair

Love Justly and Dsenyo Fair Trade Skirt Review
This post was sponsored by Love Justly and I received an item for review.

It's Spring! 

Just kidding. Charlottesville is having a difficult time with winter this year. Last weekend, highs were in the 60s and 70s. As much as I appreciate a good bare-legged day, I worry that this weather that teeter-totters between hot and cold is a sign of climate change, an omen of strange and irreversible weather patterns that will become even less predictable as the years pass. The poor daffodils can't decide whether to bloom or die of frost bite.

Love Justly and Dsenyo Fair Trade Skirt Review Ethical Details: Top - Everlane; Dsenyo Knee-Length Wrap Skirt - c/o Love Justly; Boots - Po-zu; Moon Phases Necklace - c/o Ember Boutique

Still, I'm relieved the weather was warm for a few hours because it meant I could style this Dsenyo Wrap Skirt from Love Justly the way I'd imagined instead of having to cover up.

I was drawn to this print because it feels very mod, and the flare of the skirt reinforces the vintage design. Styled with high boots and simple accessories, I think I've found the balance between honoring the vintage motif and keeping the look current and wearable. Plus, the skirt is one size fits most, so I can wear it a little lower on my hips for more of a drop-waist effect and keep on wearing it if my weight fluctuates.
  Love Justly and Dsenyo Fair Trade Skirt Review

Dsenyo (the word is derived from the Spanish word Diseño, which means "design") works with fair trade artisan co-ops to produce their line of clothing made with traditional textiles. The Wrap Skirt was produced at the Vipambi Women's Group in Malawi. As members of the Fair Trade Federation, they are beholden to rigorous fair trade standards, and offer 3-4 times the minimum wage, or the equivalent of a teacher's salary in Malawi. Additionally, they offer free skills training that participants can take with them if they want to broaden their workload or develop their own businesses.

Dsenyo is committed to environmental sustainability, as well, using low impact dyes and natural materials, and composting and recycling whenever possible. Read more here.

Love Justly offers this and other products from Dsenyo at a reduced price as a part of their outlet business model. You can get the Wrap Skirt in your choice of 2 colors for $24.99.


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The Moral Wardrobe: Love Justly Kimono Jacket

love justly fair trade kimono jacket
This post was sponsored by Love Justly and I received an item for review. I have an ongoing partnership with Love Justly, so stay tuned for more.

When I was a teenager, someone told me I dressed like a "middle school art teacher." At the shop where I work, people ask me if I'm an artist because I dress like one. I don't know if that's supposed to be a compliment, but I always take it as one. I wouldn't say I'm an artist in the traditional sense, but I do like putting together outfits. Curation and color sense are components of art, right?

Regardless of where I fit into the "artist" spectrum, I certainly do appreciate art in many forms. It's safe to say that half the reason I'm intrigued by the fair trade movement is because it puts art and artisanship front and center.
  love justly fair trade kimono jacketlove justly fair trade kimono jacket

This kimono-inspired piece by Symbology, for instance, was block printed using traditional techniques in Rajasthan, India. Symbology pays a living wage to their employees in India and the West Bank with the specific goal of preserving traditional craftsmanship while making modern, wearable silhouettes.

I like the soft, flowing cotton rayon and the sheen of the peacock feathers. It makes an all black, Steve Jobs-appropriate outfit turn into something that maybe an awesome middle school art teacher would wear!
  love justly fair trade kimono jacket
Ethical Details: Kimono Jacket - c/o Love Justly; Sweater, Boots, and Jeans - thrifted; Turtleneck - Everlane

Since Love Justly partners with ethical brands to offer discounts on past-season and overstock products, you can snag the Symbology Kimono Jacket in a number of colors for $38.49. One of the best features of the site is that you can shop by brand, so if you really like the look of a particular product, you can see similar items quite easily and learn some background about the company while you're at it. 

Brand awareness has been so important for me when trying to shop ethically, so I appreciate that Love Justly offers itself as a resource for discovering brands. Even though it's an outlet site, it doesn't try to disguise labels, which means if you really like the look of something, you can scope out this season's offerings easily.


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Love Justly Offers Ethical Fashion at Unbeatable Prices

Love Justly Discount Ethical Clothing and Accessories Love Justly Discount Ethical Clothing and Accessories
This post was sponsored by Love Justly and I received an item for review. I'll be partnering with Love Justly on a few more posts, so stay tuned.

One of the biggest challenges of overhauling my lifestyle to make more ethical purchases was the higher price point of fair trade goods. Of course I wanted the makers to be paid fairly and work in safe buildings. Of course I wanted more transparency and a focus on sustainable textiles and processes. But I was a couple years out of college, working as a barista making $9.00 an hour, and married to a grad student husband. His meager stipend and my part time job hardly paid the rent and grocery bills!

How can you ensure that producers flourish when you're not exactly flourishing yourself?

At the time, my best option was to thrift and shop clearance sales at ethical retailers. But there weren't that many ethical fashion brands offering regular discounts, which makes sense because most of these companies were cutting their own profit margins to be able to provide living wages to their employees. 

Now, there's another option...

Love Justly Discount Ethical Clothing and Accessories Love Justly Discount Ethical Clothing and Accessories

Introducing Love Justly...

Jenny Foust, founder of Love Justly, didn't always plan to open an ethical boutique, but after searching high and low for discounted ethical clothing and accessories and seeing the gap in the market, she took action. Love Justly offers a range of overstock and past season items from popular ethical brands like Passion Lillie, Hands Producing Hope, and Liz Alig at reduced price points.

For her, and for me, offering ethical fashion at a lower price point isn't an excuse to over-consume - we still have a responsibility to make smart choices - but it helps create buy-in for those who don't necessarily have the income or frame of mind to take the plunge into conscious consumerism.

What I've realized as a result of working with dozens of brands over the last few years is that once I can actually see, feel, and wear a fair trade garment or accessory, I really can tell a difference in quality, and that makes me want to invest in higher priced, ethical goods every time I need or want something. It's worth the extra money.

But when you're used to shopping fast fashion, it's difficult to imagine how much of a difference quality makes. I had never even felt a good quality textile until I started down this road. So having access to popular ethical brands at a lower price point is a huge step in the right direction. Once you know it's worth it, you can justify the price the next time you need to buy something.
  Love Justly Discount Ethical Clothing and Accessories Ethical Details: Top and Cardigan - thrifted; Boots - Po-Zu; Tassel Necklace - c/o Love Justly

In this outfit, I'm wearing the tassel necklace from Hands Producing Hope (read the company profile here). I worked with Hands Producing Hope directly before, so I knew their products were good quality and work well with my aesthetic. I love the length and simplicity of this piece, and the yellow offers a great accent to the blues and citrus tones in my wardrobe.

I'm partnering with Love Justly on a series of posts featuring different items from the shop. In each post, I'll share more about the ethical criteria and shopping experience of Love Justly.

Today, I'd love to hear your stories of taking the plunge into ethical fashion. Was the price point intimidating? What tips do you have for changing your expectations?


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