manos zapotecas

the moral wardrobe: tried and true

bonlook selfie glasses and ethical outfithannah naomi bar earrings manos zapotecas purse fair trade made in mexico ethical outfit native american textile bag
Ethical Details: Top - SkunkFunk via Ash & Rose; Purse - Manos Zapotecas; Cardigan - thrifted (similar here); Shoes - old; Earrings - Hannah Naomi

Today I want to talk about the work horses of my wardrobe. Though I rarely photograph it, this thrifted cashmere cardigan has gotten me through weeks of cold weather and even a midday nap or two. It's cozy and lightweight, so it's a great layering piece. 

I deliberated for months over the perfect glasses and finally settled on the Selfie frames in Rose Sepia from BonLook. BonLook's manufacturing structure is comparable to Warby Parker, but they don't have a charitable branding strategy. That's alright, though, because I decided to donate to the presidential campaign of my choice in tandem with my glasses purchase. Sometimes I get so caught up in buying ethical things that I forget I can always donate cash to causes I care about. Don't forget to vote in the primaries!

These Converse All Stars have been in my wardrobe now for 11 years! They've seen me through three moves, heartbreak, high school, college, and beyond. I don't wear them often, but I'm reconsidering now that sneakers have made a comeback. 

The earrings and top are relatively new, but I love anything that's simple-with-a-twist. The top is made of sustainable bamboo viscose, which is both soft and sturdy, and the earrings are by Hannah Naomi, one of my favorite jewelry designers.

The thing about conscious consumption is that you get to have a connection with physical objects, not in an unhealthy way, but in a way that makes you thankful for the warmth and comfort a well-loved object can provide.

Fair Trade Federation Holiday Gift Guide 2015

fair trade federation gift guide

It's here! The moment you didn't know you were waiting for. The Fair Trade Federation just published their 2015 Holiday Gift Guide chock full of ethical gifts for everyone on your list. Just click on the Isuu reader below to start reading.


I support Fair Trade Federation shops whenever I can, because I believe in their mission and find them to be a trustworthy source for fair trade goods. The FTF isn't a third party certifier - it's a business association that provides networking and other resources for companies that believe in ethical, transparent supply chain practices.

A few of my favorite FTF brands are Mata Traders, Education & More (support them via their sidebar ad), Manos Zapotecas, and Ten Thousand Villages.

I know it's a bit early to be talking about the Christmas holiday (at least I think so), but it's hard for fair trade companies to compete with big box retailers if they don't start the season early like everyone else. We're only a couple weeks away from the biggest fair trade sales event of the year - Fair Tuesday - so I'll be busy researching sales and creating lists and gift guides for you all.

Are you looking for anything specific this Holiday season? Let me know in the comments and maybe I can find an ethical version for you to include in a guide.

an ethical outfit: anytime, anywhere

ethicaloutfit



I've been waiting for Everlane's breton stripe tee to be made available for what feels like forever. I bought a J. Crew striped top 3 years ago and it's really starting to show wear, so I'm so happy to have found an ethical and well made replacement. 

This outfit is my comfort zone: basics with simple jewelry and patterned bag. I'd be happy wearing it anywhere. 

The duster-style cardigan is currently on clearance at Nomads for $24.37 USD, if you're interested.

the moral wardrobe: where I came from

Ethical Details: Top - thrifted; Cardigan - thrifted; Dress - old; Leggings - old; Purse - Manos Zapotecas

When I first started this blog, I eased into things. Rather than go straight to fair trade, I looked up Corporate Social Responsibility standards for the companies I already liked. But, after doing more research, I began to realize that merely placing standards on top of a broken fast fashion system isn't ultimately sustainable. I could no longer justify shopping at old standbys like H&M and Old Navy.

So, I made my decision and I cut ties, but I still had a whole bunch of sweatshop stuff in my closet. For months, I felt uncomfortable that so many components of my every day outfits were unethical and I strove to find ethical replacements to present to you in my outfit posts. But I realize now that that's also unethical. The fact of the matter is that I have stuff that was produced by people in unhealthy environments who didn't receive a living wage. But it would be a greater injustice to throw it all away and get stuff that makes me feel better about myself. I should honor them by cherishing what I have and I should honor the environment by using these perfectly good things until they turn to tatters.

My wardrobe is my journey. Maybe it's good to remember where I came from.

fair trade Christmas List

christmas
Sources: 1. Sweatshirt, 2. Scarf, 3. Shoes, 4. Glasses, 5. Purse

I don't anticipate receiving most of the above items, but they certainly would make beautiful Christmas gifts. I'm encouraged to see a huge increase in both the number of fair trade companies and the number of interested consumers. The fair trade blogging community is growing and I'm excited to be part of a passionate, uplifting group of like-minded women.

I have to admit, however, that a part of me has felt as though my mission is less meaningful now that there are more voices advocating for fair trade, but I realize that this is what I hoped for all along! I had no idea when I started this blog two years ago that I had inadvertently joined a movement, not just a fledgling cause. Striving to live ethically and sustainably takes constant consideration, but it is getting easier to find fair trade options.

I prefer to buy all fair trade for Christmas presents because it's the perfect opportunity to support companies I believe in and start conversations about fair trade with my friends and family.