sponsored

ABLE | Quality in Design, Promoting Quality of Life

ABLE spring line fair trade denim, earrings, shoes stylewise-blog.com

I received complimentary products in lieu of monetary sponsorship due to total product value. This post contains affiliate links.

Happy almost Galentine's Day!

When I saw ABLE's spring lookbook, I knew I wanted to put together a look that was appropriate for this season of love without being overly romantic. I don't think it's anti-feminist to dress up for my husband, but there's something nice about embracing a look for yourself, and putting things together that feel flattering and intentional, but maybe in a less conventional way.

It's still cold outside (well, today it's in the 60s, but when I took these photos, it was in the low 50s), so I got creative with layers to pull off this look. One thing I really love about ABLE is that their clothing and accessories don't subscribe to the typical boxy neutrals of many ethical fashion brands. Each piece has attitude, which means you can dress up your simple pieces with some snakeskin sandals or put everything together for a bit more eccentricity. These days I am embracing eccentricity, so I decided to wear everything together in this look.

ABLE spring line fair trade denim, earrings, shoes stylewise-blog.com
ABLE spring line fair trade denim, earrings, shoes stylewise-blog.com

ABLE's Ethics 

Nashville-based ABLE has a specific goal of empowering women in the US and abroad by providing fair wage, secure, purposeful jobs. Their current line of denim, cotton separates, jewelry, and handbags are made in Mexico, Peru, Nashville, Brazil, and Ethiopia in factories that have been audited for ethics. What's more, ABLE is in the process of publishing wages (with context) for all of their production locations. You can view information about their Nashville facility here. I'm planning to do a deep dive into the reports as soon as more are published. Even though the data isn't yet complete, I'm excited about the implications of this type of transparency.

ABLE does use leather products, but raw materials are sourced from local meat industries in the region of production. I am still in a period of exploration on this topic, but Alden at EcoCult just published a couple really good discussions around the ethics of leather: here and here. My current thought on leather is that it's an ethical choice if purchased from a company that prioritizes local, meat-industry derived sourcing and a focus on quality. If it can be used for years and years, the ambiguity is reduced at point of purchase.

ABLE spring line fair trade denim, earrings, shoes stylewise-blog.com

What I'm Wearing

Isabel Slouchy Moto Denim

These were perfect right out of the box, which is more than I can say for most jeans. I ordered in my usual size 29 and they fit pretty much like they do on the model, with a lower rise and slightly slouchy fit. They are a little bit wide at the waist, which is typical for my "pear shape," but fit so well in the hip and thigh that they don't slide down, and they don't stretch out too much with wear either, though I would say if you prefer a tighter fit, you may want to size down. 

Gisela Sandal

Coming in April, these sandals are so fun! The gray is neutral enough to go with everything else in my closet, but the faux-snakeskin effect adds texture. I find these true to size, well proportioned, and comfortable, though so far I've only worn them with socks due to the weather. 

Marina Earrings

I wear a lot of statement earrings with my short hair, and these add much needed color and pattern to my winter outfits, which tend to be very neutral. They're also lightweight and comfortable for several hours of wear.

SHOP ALL ABLE PRODUCTS

I'm also wearing a hand-me-down Eileen Fisher sweater from my friend's mom!

ABLE spring line fair trade denim, earrings, shoes stylewise-blog.com

I've reviewed ABLE products in the past (the Tigist Crossbody, which I tend to bring back out in the spring, and a customized necklace), but after being able to sample more of their product line, I've decided that ABLE is becoming one of my preferred ethical brands. I find that their pieces are special and well made, and align really well with my personal sense of style.

Shop ABLE here.

Holiday Recipe: Rooibos Chai Shortbread Cookies

Organic rooibos chai shortbread cookies recipe Organic rooibos chai shortbread cookies recipe
This post was written in collaboration with NUMI Organic Tea.

My husband is the baker in our family. He's the first one who tried adding spices and tea to shortbread. and his sweet, spiced cookies have always been a hit at holiday parties and weeknight get-togethers alike. I've eaten Earl Grey and Chai Shortbread before, but it seemed to me that Rooibos would make an even better addition to this simple, seasonal cookie due to its naturally sweet flavor and vanilla notes. The addition of chai spices makes it the perfect holiday dessert, enjoyed after dinner with coffee or tea.

This recipe is also fairly fool proof, with a simple ingredient list and no special prep. I hope you enjoy it!

Rooibos Chai Shortbread...

Organic rooibos chai shortbread cookies recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. Softened, Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 c. Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 c. Flour
  • 4 Roobois Chai Tea bags, opened, emptied, and lightly food processed (I used NUMI brand)

Organic rooibos chai shortbread cookies recipe
Organic rooibos chai shortbread cookies recipe

To Make: 

  1. Set oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream sugar and softened (but not melting) butter together in a bowl until fully combined.
  3. Place 4 teabags worth of tea in food processor and pulse until fine (see above photo for example).
  4. Add tea, vanilla extract, and flour. Knead dough in bowl with hands until ingredients combine.
  5. Form dough into log about 2" in diameter and wrap in wax paper. Cool in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Slice log into 1/2" pieces. Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes.
Recipe yields 25-30 small cookies depending on how you cut them.


Organic rooibos chai shortbread cookies recipe

Shortbread cookies are great for gift-giving because their low humidity helps them keep for longer. I'll be making a bundle to give to my coworkers this Holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

The Moral Wardrobe: Menswear-Inspired with Ethos Collection's Versatile LBD

Ethos Collection Little Black Dress, fair trade and sustainable
This post was sponsored by Ethos Collection and I received product for review. All opinions are my own.

A few months ago, I received an email from a reader who had recently discovered that we lived in the same town. She asked if we could meet up just to chat about shared interests, including community organizing, progressive Christianity, and, of course, ethical fashion. She mentioned in passing that her cousin was starting an ethical boutique and - long story short - here we are today. I've enjoyed being able to give some initial feedback on the brand over the last few months and I'm happy to be able to feature Ethos Collection today.

Sara, founder of Ethos Collection, is determined to get it right when it comes to curating ethical brands. And in a market that's increasingly crowded with a whole bunch of stuff - some good, some bad, some ugly - claiming to be "ethical," I find the clean layout and aesthetic extremely refreshing, especially as I continue to work on decluttering my house, my office, and my stylistic point of view this season. Ethos Collection is also the only domestic boutique that carries People Tree, which means Americans now (finally) have access to VAT free, hassle free fair trade goods from the hugely influential brand.

Ethos Collection Little Black Dress, fair trade and sustainable
I'm particularly interested in adding pieces to my wardrobe that are truly versatile, not just in terms of the setting I can appropriately wear them in, but in terms of styling. The Luxe Tank Dress from Indigenous felt like the perfect base for lots of outfits, dressed up with tights, worn by itself when the weather's warm, layered over various t-shirts and blouses like a pinafore, and, as shown here, worn over jeans as a tunic.

I went for a menswear-inspired look here by wearing the dress over denim with a pair of oxfords. I've admired the menswear look for a long time, but I shied away from it when my hair was short because I didn't want to look too masculine, as ridiculous as that may sound. I'm enjoying experimenting with it now that I have a bit more confidence that I can balance the feminine and masculine elements. I paired the dress with a thrifted top that I dip-dyed with indigo.

Frye Tracy Oxfords in GrayEthos Collection Little Black Dress, fair trade and sustainable
Ethical Details: Luxe Tank Dress (worn as tunic) - c/o Ethos Collection; Turtleneck - thrifted and indigo dip-dyed; Jeans - old, redyed with indigo; Shoes - Frye

The Luxe Tank Dress is made of silky soft, low-impact dyed organic cotton and produced under fair trade conditions in Peru. The fabric is medium weight, which means it holds its shape and provides a more flattering fit than thinner cotton, and the wide v-neck provides the right look for layering without being too low cut to be worn alone.

Since I'm participating in Dressember this year, I'll be road testing the Luxe Tank Dress more in December and highlighting my outfits on Instagram as often as possible. I'll let you know how it holds up!

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Shop Ethos Collection here. 


Follow along: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

The Moral Wardrobe: MORE Clothing's Avalon Tank, Styled Two Ways

Thanks to MORE Clothing for sponsoring this post and providing an item for review. All opinions are my own. 

Jeremiah of MORE Clothing reached out way back in July to tell me about his new-ish ethical clothing store, but it got lost in my inbox until I found it while searching for a different email. And I'm glad I did, because I'm really excited about their curated collection for men and women who love casual, classic clothing that won't go out of style 6 months down the road.

MORE carries several brands I've heard of - like Krochet Kids and Mata Traders - and some that are completely new to me. The Avalon Tank I'm wearing here is by a company called United by Blue, which specializes in ethically sourced, casual, outdoorsy wear in eco-friendly fibers. This tank is 100% tencel, made from eucalyptus fibers. Plus, with every item sold, United by Blue pledges to remove a pound of trash from waterways.

I loooove this rust color. I think having henna-red hair has helped me experiment with warmer tones in my wardrobe.


Ethical Details: Avalon Tank - c/o MORE Clothing; Denim - secondhand via Poshmark; Shoes - Oliberte via ebay

I'm trying to show more versatility on the blog this season by photographing items I own in several ways. The Avalon Tank is a great place to start.

When the long hem is half-tucked into jeans, it makes for a casual, comfortable silhouette. I paired it with Oliberte boots in this first look. I would wear this to work with a cardigan or maybe on a hike at a local park. The weather is just now getting into the 60s during the day, so tank tops are still a good option when the sun's shining.


Additional Details: Blazer and Boots - thrifted

This is my business casual look, aka #girlboss, aka #womanbossbecauseimagrownwomandamnit, aka #justabosswhyisbeingabossgendered.

It'd be perfect for attending a talk at UVa or leading a conference session where comfort is still a priority (and comfort is always a priority). I like the dramatic length difference between the cropped blazer and long hem tank.

MORE Clothing is working to partner with International Justice Mission, an organization committed to ending sex and labor trafficking. I'll be talking a lot more about trafficking in December since I'm joining a Dressember team this year, but I'm glad that people are getting the word out about the realities of forced labor and modern day slavery.

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Get 30% off your purchase at MORE Clothing with code, STYLEWISE.


Follow MORE Clothing: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

DIY: Transitioning Your Summer Wardobe Into Fall with Tea Dye

DIY ombre tea dye tutorial
Thanks to Numi Organic Tea for sponsoring this post.

I don't buy the old style rule about not wearing white after Labor Day, but I do like to bring warm fall tones into my wardrobe as the weather cools down. I had a white off-the-shoulder top that wasn't getting much use in my summer rotation, so I decided it would be the perfect test subject for a DIY ombre dye experiment.

Traditional textile dyes can be hazardous to your health and irritate sensitive skin, so I started hunting around for examples of natural dye alternatives, and ultimately decided to brew up my own concoction using a blend of Rooibos, Black, and Turmeric teas. The blend of Rooibos and Turmeric proved to be a winning combination, bringing in tones of blush and mustard, both big hits for fall, while the black tea provided a base tone to ensure proper color saturation. Read on to make your own ombre top...

dye your clothes with tea

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

  • Stock Pot
  • Tap Water
  • 15 Black Tea Bags, 15 Numi Rooibos Tea Bags, 4 Numi Turmeric Tea Bags, with all tags removed
  • White or Cream Natural Fabric Textiles (I used a white cotton top)
  • White Vinegar
  • Hanger
  • Stove Top
  • Timer
  • Test fabric (optional, but useful if you want to be sure that the end result won't surprise you)

how to dye with tea, featuring Numi Organic Rooibos and Turmericombre dyed t-shirt

THE PROCESS:

  1. Fill a stock pot halfway with regular tap water. Place on stovetop and heat until boiling.
  2. Take all the hang tags off of 15 Rooibos tea bags, 15 black tea bags, and 4 Turmeric tea bags.
  3. Once water is boiling, add tea bags to the pot. Simmer and steep for 10-15 minutes. 
  4. While tea is steeping, visualize your garment in 3 sections. You will need to keep these sections in mind as you dip dye to achieve a noticeable ombre effect.
  5. Run your garment under cool tap water, then wring out the excess moisture before placing in dye bath.
  6. Turn off heat. Do not remove tea bags. 
  7. Clip the shoulders of your damp garment to a hanger for easier maneuvering, then submerge garment to highest point you want dyed (I left a small portion near the top of my garment white). Immediately remove the top third of the garment for a light wash of color. This will be the lightest section.
  8. Make sure the rest of your garment is aligned as straight as possible with surface of the dye bath to get an even ombre effect. Set your timer for 15 minutes and let the bottom 2/3 steep.
  9. After 15 minutes, remove the middle third of your garment from the dye bath. Make sure the bottom third is still completely submerged, then let steep for an hour or more. At this point, I took my stock pot off of the now cool burner and placed it outside in direct sun to keep the dye bath warm. 
  10. After one hour, remove your garment and see if desired effect has been achieved. If not, continue steeping. 
  11. Once you are ready, remove your garment, rinse lightly under cool, running water, then place in a clean pot comprised of 1/2 cool water and 1/2 white vinegar. This will help seal the dye. 
  12. Rinse through once more, then let your garment dry.
  13. Wash sparingly to maintain dye saturation.

THE RESULT:

DIY ombre tea dyed off the shoulder top
Before and After
DIY ombre tea dyed off the shoulder top DIY ombre tea dyed off the shoulder top

As you can see, the rinsed and dried garment will be considerably lighter in color than it appeared while still saturated in tea. Keep that in mind and steep longer if you want a darker effect. I love this pretty yellow and blush-tan ombre and I think it suits my complexion better than the original top.

Have you dyed with tea or other natural dyes? I'm trying out indigo next!

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See my other collaborations with Numi here.


Recipe: Fair Trade, Organic Thai-Inspired Spiced Milk Tea

Special thanks to Numi Organic Tea for sponsoring this post

If you've ever been to a Thai restaurant (or better yet, Thailand) you've likely seen ombre Thai Tea served in a jar or a tall glass. My local Thai restaurant makes a great version of this with just the right amount of sugar and spice.

If you haven't had Thai Tea before, the flavor profile is reminiscent of iced chai or bubble tea depending on the spices used and the amount of sugar added. It's the perfect mid afternoon pick-me-up on a hot day because it's refreshing, energizing, and filling.

Traditional Thai Tea combines Thai Tea leaves with sugar and a spice blend of cardamom, cloves, and star anise. I wanted to put my own spin on it, so I opted for one of Numi Organic's spiced teas mixed with organic sugar, cloves, and half & half. Though the color and viscosity of my tea is different from traditional Thai Tea, the flavor and refreshment factor are right on par, perfect for a lazy afternoon spent reading in the shade of a porch.


Thai-Inspired Spiced Milk Tea for Two


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

TO MAKE:
  1. Add 2 cups of water, 2 tbsp. sugar, and a few shakes of ground cloves to a small pot. 
  2. Heat on medium high heat. Gently stir until all sugar is dissolved. 
  3. Once water is boiling, take the paper tags off of 4 spiced tea bags and submerse in pot. 
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes. 
  5. Take pot off heat and let tea continue to steep until the water is room temperature.
  6. Pour room temperature tea and tea bags into a glass or plastic container and let cool in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or overnight. 
  7. After steeping, remove your tea bags, pour tea in two glasses, and add cold half & half to taste. You may add ice if you wish. 
  8. Drink immediately or place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


I've tried to make my own spiced tea at home before with less-than-stellar results. But this recipe is my new go-to when I'm craving a sweet spiced drink. It's easy enough to make on an easy Saturday morning in between other chores and tasks, and it stores well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Let me know if you make it and how it turns out.

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See my previous collaborations with Numi here. 


Follow along with Numi on social media: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

The Henna Experiment: Dyeing My Hair with Henna + NUMI Organic Rooibos Tea

dye your hair with henna and rooibos tea Numi collaboration
Special thanks to Numi Organic Tea for sponsoring this post. All opinions (and results) are my own.

The last time I dyed my hair with henna, I was intrigued by the instruction booklet's suggestion to use hot tea instead of water to alter the final color: black tea to reduce the red undertone, red tea to enhance it. I stuck with regular hot water that time around, but I made sure to stock up on tea for the next time. And that time is now!

As I discussed in my last post on the subject, henna has been used as a natural, organic hair dye for centuries. It's known for it's thickening and conditioning properties and, of course, its distinctive red tone. Since I've been hankering for a new hair style (you may have noticed I'm growing it out), it was the perfect time to make a statement, so I decided to add red (or Rooibos) tea to my henna powder for vibrant red hair.

I chose to use Numi Organic Tea because of their commitment to fair trade practices, sustainable infrastructure, and quality. They kindly sent me a range of teas to select from for my little experiment and I decided to stick with their traditional Rooibos. Numi tea is really delicious - unlike many grocery store brands, they use full leaf tea in their bags for a richer flavor - so I made sure to use every last drop of it by drinking what I had leftover from the dye process while I let my hair steep. It's not every day that you can say you drank your hair dye or dyed your hair with a beverage. The efficiency freak in me feels quite satisfied, so I'm coining a new term for this process: tea-fficiency.

dye your hair with henna and rooibos tea Numi collaborationdye your hair with henna and rooibos tea Numi collaboration

The dyeing process is actually quite simple. Don't let the plethora of preparation materials intimidate you.

You'll need: 


Two tea bags, a plastic spoon, a glass or plastic mixing bowl, henna powder (I purchase mine from Whole Foods), gloves (definitely use them - I didn't and now my hands are orange!), a plastic bag or shower cap, and a towel.

Make sure you're wearing clothes you don't mind dyeing and avoid metal utensils and bowls, as henna reacts with metal.

For bright red hair...


  1. Make sure your hair is clean. It may be damp or dry.
  2. Pour boiling water over two Numi Organic Rooibos tea bags and let steep for 5-6 minutes.
  3. Add a few tablespoons of henna powder to a glass or plastic bowl. You can always add more if you run out during application.
  4. Add tea until mixture takes on the consistency of yogurt.
  5. Put on gloves and apply mixture with your hands, making sure to cover each strand from root to end. Make sure to cover counter tops and surfaces, as henna can and will dye ceramic tile and other materials. 
  6. After a thick coat has been applied to your hair, wrap a plastic bag or shower cap around your head, then wrap a towel over that. 
  7. Wipe off your ears, wrists, forehead, and neck to keep henna from dyeing unwanted areas. 
  8. Brew yourself some extra tea to sip as you sit in a warm place (I sat in my back yard) for at least an hour. 
  9. Wash your hair thoroughly, first with warm water, then with 1-2 rounds of shampoo. Finish with conditioner, then rinse with cool water.

Remember:


Henna is heat reactive, so it's important to apply the henna while the tea is still warm, adequately cover your head to close in heat, and find a warm place to let it do its work.


The Result:


  red tea and henna hair dye with Numi
Before and After

red tea and henna hair dye with NumiNumi Tea DIY henna

The interesting thing about henna is that it will actually get brighter in the hours after you finish dyeing your hair as it continues to react to heat. You can expect your henna to last 4-8 weeks depending on how frequently you wash your hair. The color will fade back into your regular hair color over time.

I LOVE the result of my Henna + Numi Rooibos Tea experiment, and judging by the incessant compliments I've been getting, so does everyone else. The red is quite assertive without looking alien. Keep in mind that your results may vary depending on your base color, but the tea should deepen your red tones all the same.

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For more creative uses for tea, check out the Numi Tea Garden Blog. 


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

the moral wardrobe: mountains in 2 languages with Degree Clothing

Degree clothing ethical fair trade
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?

Blue Ridge Mountains Degree clothing ethical fair trade
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.
  Monticello The view from Monticello Degree clothing ethical fair trade
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

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Follow along: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

review: bonJOY spring subscription box

bonjoy subscription box review
I've been waiting to get my hands on a bonJOY box to review and the time has finally come! I'm kind of skeptical of the whole idea of subscription boxes because I figure you'll nearly always end up with a few things you'll never use, but I know a lot of people like having access to an affordable sampling of products before committing to purchase at full price. For that reason, the subscription box model makes a lot of sense for ethical companies that don't have a ton of brand recognition.

The bonJOY box is unique in that it sources most, if not all, products from social enterprises working to end human trafficking and pays full wholesale prices for all goods used in the box. Products are often produced by survivors of trafficking who are paid a living wage and offered resources for recovery, and a portion of proceeds are reinvested into social causes. The company is also certified carbon neutral! Learn more about the bonJOY mission and structure here.
  bonjoy subscription box reviewbonjoy subscription box review
So what's inside the spring box? I was scared when I opened up the box to pink tissue paper, pastel gloss, and rose-tinted beads; I tend to avoid anything I deem too saccharine. But, after giving myself a few minutes to play around with the contents, I discovered a collection of products that, while definitely feminine, suit me quite well. Plus, I was made aware of a few awesome companies that would have gotten lost in a sea of ethical companies had I not had the chance to sample them through bonJOY...

This box contained 4 items with a total product value of around $60.00 (at a subscription price of $45.00):


1. Tagua Nut Necklace, Tipharah's


Natural Tagua nuts dyed and strung by fairly employed women in Ecuador, this piece is beautifully handcrafted. Not my normal look, but I think it will look great with a simple u-neck t-shirt.

2. Free to Bloom Pouch, The Tote Project


I follow The Tote Project on Instagram, so I knew a bit about their mission to fairly employee trafficking survivors in India. The pouch is made of lightweight, organic cotton and I plan to use it frequently when traveling. It's a great size for toiletries, or maybe even dirty socks.


3. Rose Sparkle Lip Gloss, My Sister


This lip gloss is a real throwback to my middle school days, but I've got to admit that I love it. A friend recently gave me a My Sister brand balm that soothed my chapped nose after a never ending cold and I'm really impressed by the quality of both products. The bonJOY blog has some application tips you can read about here.

bonjoy subscription box review
And last but not least, my very favorite of the bunch:


4. 4Her Fragrance, The THX Co.


This perfume is like catnip to me (it's no wonder because it has notes of bergamot, blood orange, mint, and roses - just a few of my favorite scents). I don't even like perfume, but I can't get enough of this stuff. Floral at first, it mellows out into a rich, smooth, drop-of-rain-water-on-a-spring-leaf-in-the-forest sort of scent. I did some extra reading on THX Co., too, and I really like their business model. 100% of profits are donated at the end of the year to a handful of charities, sustainable sourcing, pricing transparency, a focus on building infrastructure, adequate financial reporting - they've covered their ethical bases.

The bonJOY box really did bring me joy in some small way, and I am surprised, really, that a subscription box could deliver that kind of emotion. But I had a lot of fun learning about new brands and researching their ethics, and I feel even more connected to this global community of people trying to be kind, aware, and focused on what matters most.

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Follow along with bonJOY on social media: Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook.

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!

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Enter here.


the moral wardrobe: Malia Designs' Spring Bag Collection

ethical outfit Malia Designs crossbody
Sometimes things just work out perfectly. One cold winter day, I was sitting in front of my computer pondering what type of handbag I wanted for spring and where in the world I would find it. I knew I wanted something large enough for my planner and a book, with lots of organizational pockets in a fairly neutral print. Plus, it needed to be a crossbody (I only use crossbodies). A few days later, I got an email from Lucia at Malia Designs asking me if I'd like to collaborate with them on a post about their spring line!

Malia Designs is a well established fair trade handbag company. The artisans and producers they work with in Cambodia - primarily marginalized or at-risk women - are paid a living wage and provided a safe working environment. Read more about one of their artisan partners here. Additionally, all materials are sourced locally, which is more sustainable and benefits the local economy. A portion of proceeds are donated to Damnok Toek, an anti-trafficking rehabilitation and resource center that primarily serves child survivors of sex trafficking.
  Malia Designs Pleated Crossbody reviewethical outfit with Malia Designs
That's all well and good, of course, but a product needs to suit your lifestyle and your personal taste, too. The cotton canvas Pleated Crossbody in Canary (part of the Khmer Collection) is sturdy, beautiful, and comfortable. I've always loved gray and yellow together, and the screen printed leaf print feels like spring without overdoing it.

It's such a luxury to be able to fit a lot in my bag after carrying a tiny purse around all winter (though there are benefits to carrying virtually nothing around, too). That being said, it's still a manageable, everyday size that transitions well, whether I'm going out to dinner or stuffing a day's worth of work into my bag. At $50.00, it's a reasonably priced option if you're in the market for a new purse this season.
  Malia Designs Fair Trade HandbagsEthical Details: Dress - secondhand; Sandals - Sseko Designs*; Earrings - Hannah Naomi; Pleated Crossbody Purse - c/o Malia Designs

I've been toting around the Pleated Crossbody for the past week and I've already gotten a lot of compliments on it. Plus, now that I have room for my planner, I'm not forgetting everything anymore (it was getting pretty bad - someone showed up at my house last week for a meeting and I asked them what they were doing here!).

Here's to warm weather, remembered meetings, and ethical handbags.

I'll be giving away this bag and more later this week, so make sure you're following me on Instagram!


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Shop Malia Designs here. Follow along on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

interview: introducing GoodWell, a new kind of ethical certification

GoodWell certification interview

If you've ever purchased something that was labeled "fair trade," you're already familiar with the idea of certifications. From GOTS to Fair Trade to Rainforest Certified, certification programs exist to ensure a minimum standard is met before companies can use that particular term to define their products. Not all "ethical" products are created equal, after all. Familiarizing yourself with the standards of any given certification can help you navigate your way to products you believe in.

GoodWell founder, Pete Gombert, likes the idea of certifications, but he felt that no current certification program embodied all of the qualities he - and fellow conscious consumers - looked for in an ethical company. A slew of certification programs not only confuses customers, it creates a financial burden for companies who must certify each component of their company through separate enterprises, stacking B-Corp on top of Fair Trade on top of organic cotton (GOTS) certifications. He and the GoodWell team are about to launch the first comprehensive ethical certification program on the market and, after reading this interview, I hope you'll be as excited about it as I am. 

Thanks to GoodWell for sponsoring this post.

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How did GoodWell get started? What inspired it?


About 6 years ago while I was the CEO of my third startup company, Balihoo, I was struggling to find purpose in my professional career. I have been fairly successful by conventional definitions, however, I found the work we were doing to be uninspiring and I needed more. I started looking into how I could leverage my position as the CEO of a technology company into something more purposeful and stumbled into the corporate social responsibility arena. The first book I read on the subject was Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chiounard, the Founder of Patagonia and it opened my eyes to the possibility of business as a force for good. Ever since that moment I have had a passion to solve the problem of the role of business in society. GoodWell is the manifestation of 6 years of research, conversations, interviews and thought on how we can slightly alter the existing system and produce massive systemic results.


What is the end goal of the GoodWell Certification program?


GoodWell’s mission is to create a world in which all businesses operate at a basic level of humanity. The GoodWell certification program will return a level of transparency to the market we haven’t seen for ages. In the past, consumers would hold companies accountable for bad behavior by not purchasing their products. Back in the day of Adam Smith, businesses were members of the community, they played a role and were expected to act with basic humanity. Today, we as consumers don’t have that level of visibility into the companies we buy from, they are simply too large and complex. Our only methods for determining if a company is worthy of our dollars are brand, price, quality and customer service. GoodWell’s simple, yet audacious mission is to change the world by giving consumers the information they need to support good, caring, conscious companies and avoid irresponsible, greedy, self-interested companies.

fair trade versus GoodWell certification

Is there a rating system? If a company reaches out and doesn't meet your minimum requirements, what happens?


GoodWell has developed a simple process to ensure companies act with basic humanity. It is a simple process with the possibility for unprecedented results:

  1. Companies join GoodWell and commit to the GoodWell Code of Conduct. 
  2. Companies measure 13 simple metrics each to demonstrate their adherence to the Code. 
  3. Every year as part of their financial audit, an independent third party verifies the company metrics.
  4. Companies display the GoodWell logo in order to provide consumers with the assurance they are buying from a good company.
If a company isn’t in compliance with all 13 metrics, they cannot become GoodWell certified. It’s a binary system that is intended to be simple, universal, and transparent, for all companies - of all sizes and in all industries. This is important because we are aiming to be the floor of corporate behavior. Our metrics should be simple for companies to achieve and as a result if a company can’t meet all metrics something in the business is wrong and should not be supported. We believe this type of transparency is critically needed in the free market today.

In the past, organizations like the Ethical Trading Initiative have been called our for having too broad a definition of what "ethical" means, resulting in labor abuses through the supply chains of some of their certified companies. How will your process differ from other broad certification programs?


GoodWell believes all companies should treat their customers, employees, communities, suppliers and the environment with decency and respect and operate in a sustainable manner. In order to achieve GoodWell certification a company must pass all 13 metrics, so one cannot become certified if it is stellar in one area but lacking in another. Further, the metrics and their collection method are required to be independently verified and audited by a third party on an annual basis.

In addition to the independent audit, GoodWell requires the company to certify their entire supply chain over a ten-year period. This is one of the most critical differences between GoodWell and other certification programs. This causes a cascading reaction all the way through the supply chain, to the very end, which is often in the parts of the world most susceptible to environmental and human rights abuses. This requirement makes it much more difficult for a company to clean up their own house and outsource their bad behavior.

For the purpose of certification, how do you define a living wage (in hourly wages)? If the federal minimum wage is raised to $15.00/hour, will this affect your certification standards in any way?


GoodWell requires companies to pay at least 90% of their full-time employees a living wage, defined as a wage high enough to keep a family of four above the poverty level. The poverty level will obviously vary by country of operation. In the US this would mean someone working full-time would need to be paid more than $12.12 per hour. If the legal minimum wage was raised above that level, then that requirement would be automatically met.

ethical certification introducing GoodWell

On your "How it Works" page, your section on suppliers says that companies must strive to GoodWell certify their supply chain. What does that mean in practical terms? If supply chains are not certified up front, what steps are taken to ensure that they are in the near future?


GoodWell has a strict requirement for certified companies to ensure their entire supply chain is GoodWell certified over the course of a 10-year period. A GoodWell company must exceed the following supply chain certification levels for each year after they sign the GoodWell Commitment:

Year 1 – 20%, Year 2 – 40%, Year 3 – 50%, Year 4 – 60%, Year 5 – 75%, Year 6 – 85%, Year 7 – 90% Year 8 – 95%, Year 9 – 98%, Year 10 – 100%

GoodWell serves as the clearinghouse for the certification standard and as such we control the calculation of the supply chain adherence. As part of the audit process the auditor will provide GoodWell with a list of all suppliers to a given company and GoodWell will then match those suppliers with our database and calculate the score to determine if the metric is met.

I'm intrigued by the idea of a universal standard - and I think it's a step in the right direction - but I worry that standards that are made too broad will result in a sort of greenwashing (or ethical-washing) of the industry and obscure the truly conscious choices. What steps are you taking to ensure this doesn't happen?


There are two keys to our program which ensure greenwashing is eliminated.

  1. Binary metrics. Because our metrics are a binary pass fail there are no grey areas or room for interpretation. Each metric must be passed in order to achieve certification.
  2. Independent Auditing. Given the lengths companies will go to promote good behavior and hide bad (look no further than Volkswagen) we believe independent certification is essential and as such it is a cornerstone of the process.

Additional Info: GoodWell is a for-profit Public Benefit Corporation with the specific goal of creating social benefit. There is a certification fee that varies based on the size of the company and companies with less than $500,000 in annual revenue are certified free of charge.

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Special thanks to Pete and Kallen for reaching out and answering all of my questions!

Interested in learning more about GoodWell? 

Check out their website


Become a founding member here.
Follow along on social media: Facebook // Twitter

interview: meet Helga Douglas of sustainable lingerie brand, Svala

svala sustainable loungewear and panties made in usa

Svala is an LA-based sustainable lingerie and loungewear company that makes delicate, feminine pieces out of surplus lace and sustainably-sourced bamboo viscose under ethical labor guidelines. I've been hunting for simple loungewear pieces to replace some of my older items and Svala fits the bill. I had the opportunity to ask founder and designer, Helga Douglas, about the inspiration behind her collection, as well as some nitty-gritty sourcing and sustainability questions. Thanks to Svala for sponsoring this post. 


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FIRSTLY, TELL ME A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF!


My name is Helga and I am originally from Sydney but I have been living in LA for the past seven years. The name for Svala comes from Iceland where my mother is from. It is one of my favorite girls' names and means swallow (bird) which represents freedom and hope.


HOW DID SVALA GET STARTED?


I have always loved fashion. My first job out of high school was at the wholesale office for Versace in Sydney. I also love nature and the environment and as I learned more about the detrimental effects that the fashion industry can have, I started to research brands which were producing sustainably. I ended up writing about sustainable fashion for the Los Angeles Examiner a few years ago. Researching what other people were creating in the sustainable scene inspired me to create my own brand.


WHAT DOES A TYPICAL WORK DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?


I usually get up pretty early and try to get to a yoga class before starting work. Then I begin dealing with what needs to be done for the day, including marketing and design.


WHAT STEPS DOES SVALA TAKE TO ENSURE THAT FACTORY EMPLOYEES ARE PAID A FAIR WAGE IN LIGHT OF RECENT CONCERNS ABOUT LA SWEATSHOPS?


During production we use established companies that have a good reputation and pay their workers fairly.


I LOVE THAT YOU USE SURPLUS LACE IN MANY OF YOUR PRODUCTS. HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA TO DO THAT?


When I first started designing lingerie and sleepwear, I tried using organic cotton lace but it didn't seem to keep its shape very well and was difficult to work with. I love lace and started searching for alternatives and ended up choosing to use factory surplus materials.

svala sustainable loungewear and panties made in usa

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR ORGANIC COTTON AND VISCOSE TEXTILES SOURCING...


(...I know that bamboo viscose can be processed organically or chemically and that the latter poses potential environmental and health risks. Can you speak to that concern?)

Our supplier uses bamboo which is certified as organic by the Organic Crops Improvement Association (OCIA). The main chemical in processing the bamboo fiber into viscose is caustic soda or CS2, one of the most widely chemicals used in the world. This chemical is used in production of paper, soap making, food production and nearly all cotton fabrics including organic cotton (during the wet processing). It is approved for use on textiles under the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).


HOW DO BAMBOO VISCOSE PROCESSING PLANTS ENSURE THAT NO CHEMICALS LEAK DURING THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS?


Our supplier states that the process is done in a hermetic container where 100% of the chemicals that are used are trapped and contained, not released into the factory, environment or atmosphere and 73% of CS2’s are recycled while 26% are recycled into Sulfuric Acid (H2S04). They do not claim that the whole process is “green” but they do strive to be as eco-friendly as possible.


WHAT INSPIRES YOUR DESIGNS?


The colorful feel of Sydney and LA and the simplicity of Scandinavian design. I want everybody who wears Svala pieces to feel beautiful and cozy.


WHAT'S THE BEST SELLING ITEM OR SET IN YOUR CURRENT COLLECTION?


The Vivien lace lingerie set in beige floral and sky blue, which is my favorite set.

svala lace bralette set

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE IN TERMS OF EXPANDING THE LINE AND INCREASING SUSTAINABILITY?


I am always on the lookout for new fabrics and dyeing methods to expand the line and increase sustainability. I am currently looking for fabrics besides viscose from bamboo for the sleepwear range which are biodegradable and produced more sustainably.

WHAT'S ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU LIKE TO GIVE TO PEOPLE WHO ARE TRYING TO LIVE MORE SUSTAINABLY?


Every little bit counts!


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Svala Pieces range in price starting at $25.00. My favorites are the Vivien Lace Bra in Beige Floral ($65.00) and the Mari Sleep Shorts ($60.00).


Keep up with Svala on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest

Shop here:

svala logo

the moral wardrobe: Greenheart Shop's Ikat Crossbody

fall outfit fair trade purse from Greenheart Shop knee high boots on ebay

A mild November means the leaves have been able to hold on just a bit longer than usual and I don't mind at all. I love the bright reds of late fall. The EXTREME sunlight, on the other hand, gives me a headache, but it makes for beautiful photographs, so it (sort of) balances out.

Chicago-based Greenheart Shop sent me their lovely little Ikat Crossbody to review this week and I honestly couldn't be happier with it. I thought it was going to be slightly too small to carry all of my stuff, but the multitude of storage pockets (3 inside, 1 outside) make it easy to keep track of my phone, wallet, altoids, keys, lip balm, and ibuprofen (for the sun induced headaches). Plus, it's fully lined in a contrasting fabric and accented with pebbled leather. The price tag may seem hefty at $85.00, but the quality is exceptional - you can tell skilled artisans were behind the design and production. The brand behind the bag, Opportunity Collection, provides survivors of trafficking in India and mentally challenged artisans in Kenya fair wages and job training.

crochet scarf and ikat purseorange and black outfit
Ethical Details: Sweater - thrifted; Skirt - secondhand via ebay; Tee (not shown) - Everlane; Boots - secondhand via ebay; Scarf - thrifted; Purse - c/o Greenheart Shop

I'm always a bit biased toward Greenheart Shop, because I got a chance to visit their physical store in Chicago in June and had a wonderful time. The selection is well curated and the women behind the company are knowledgeable, passionate, and down to earth.

If you'd asked me a year ago to review an orange-hued anything, I would have said, "No, I don't wear orange." But I'm really digging all the warm, earthy hues that are popular right now. I finally understand why my mom has always loved orange, too: it looks good on us. Plus, I've accumulated a nice little selection of pinky-peachy tees and sweaters over the past several months and orange is a natural accent color.

I'm off work for the week starting tomorrow, but I'm posting a million blog posts (as in, two more this week) so stay tuned.

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Visit Greenheart Shop online here. Stay in touch on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (they'll announce their Black Friday sales soon!). 


spotlight: ROUTE


Special thanks to ROUTE for sponsoring this post. 

ROUTE is a nonprofit, ethical boutique with both an online and physical storefront. They place a special emphasis on supporting women artisans around the world, making sure their stories are represented lovingly and honestly to customers. Today they're introducing the brand to Style Wise readers with a guest post. 

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Our goal is to inspire conversations, think thoughtfully about where and why we are purchasing, and do it all with a little bit of style.


We created Route with the knowledge that our fashion and clothing production system is unjust and exploitative. We want to bring another voice to the growing movement of people and organizations consciously working towards industry change.

 Education, as well as a call-to-action...


We are creating a community of women who want to consciously purchase. Route considers quality, fit, style and impact in every piece, carefully curating an impactful line.  Many of our jewelry pieces are named after a strong friend or woman we know and we are always looking for new suggestions. (Drop us a line, we’d love to name an item after a friend in your life.)

We have a strong desire to create a place where anyone can purchase simple timeless items that they are confident wearing. Our pieces are simple, beautiful, affordable, and classic.  It is a line that maximizes impact in communities, both locally and around the world. Our partner organizations support and employ talented women, bringing lasting change to their families and communities.


One of our partner organizations close to home and to our hearts is FORAI (Friends of Refugees and Immigrants), based in our neighborhood in St. Louis. They teach and employ women who then work out of their own home. Our most recent collaboration with these awesome women is a unique line of classic micro-jewelry. This little project gave us an excuse to spend some sweet time with FORAI’s artisans and friends.

The takeaway...


From the customers to the makers we are thrilled to be creating routes to relationships that change lives and change the world. Join us on the journey as we grow our community by asking hard questions, and making choices that enrich our lives and the lives of many others.


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Get 15% off at ROUTE with code, STYLEWISELOVE


Shop Route's fall collections here. Follow Route on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

review: Fouta Towels from Education and More



I heard about Fouta towels a few months ago on another ethical living blog and I was intrigued. Made out of woven cotton, the fabric reminds me of what I'd typically find in a scarf or lightweight throw. But according to Karen at Education and More, who kindly gave me a towel to review, the Fouta (or Hammam) style towel has been around for a long time in Mediterranean countries (it is most recognizable as the towel of Turkish baths) and is wildly popular in Europe right now. And I mean, if the Europeans think it's the bomb, I guess it's worth a try.



I gave the towel a wash and dry before using it to soften up the fibers and get the wrinkles out. It's a huge piece of fabric that feels luxurious compared to a standard towel.

I quickly found out that the large size lends to its effectiveness. The fabric is super absorbent, but it's very thin compared to a standard terry towel, so the added area is essential to dry off your whole body. There was a bit of a learning curve, as I realized I needed to shuffle around the towel as soon as a section soaked through to ensure a thorough drying-off. It took a few extra pats to get the water in my hair all sopped up, but it did work!



The real benefit is that the thin fabric and larger surface area means it dries super quickly and requires far less time in the dryer, which is great for the environment and my utility bill. I'm anxious to see how I feel about it with continued use. I think it would be a great alternative to a standard towel when traveling because it takes up less space, dries quickly, and can be used as a wrap, picnic blanket, and towel. I plan on styling it in an outfit in the next few weeks to give you all a better idea of its multiple uses.

Education and More's fouta towels are handmade by women under fair trade guidelines. Education and More's mission is to support the education and well being of children by providing sustainable employment for their mothers and local educational support.

Have you tried a fouta towel? What did you think?

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Shop Fouta Towels from Education and More here.
See my previous post on Education and More here.

the moral wardrobe: Hands Producing Hope Tee

hand lettered tee
adventure tee
hands producing hope indiegogo
graphic tee
Ethical Details: Tee - c/o Hands Producing Hope; Necklace - c/o Hands Producing Hope (previous collab); Boots - Oliberte

Hands Producing Hope is the brand behind one of my most worn necklaces, the Shalom Necklace, which I featured here a few months ago. They're expanding their resource and employment program to Nkombo Island in Rwanda and are in the midst of an Indiegogo campaign. They're seeking $20,000 to:

  • employ staff on the ground to personally oversee the program's development 
  • offer consistent training to a group of women who will be our newest artisans 
  • provide an allowance that will allow the women to attend training classes with their children instead of working in the fields 
  • host a variety of life skills workshops to help equip these women 
  • set aside for scholarships for the women and their children to attend school 
  • purchase start-up supplies & place an initial order!

The nice thing about Indiegogo is that, unlike Kickstarter, the recipient gets to keep anything they receive even if they don't meet their end goal, which means any amount can make a difference. Plus, there's a tiered rewards system and you can unlock this "And so the adventure begins" tee at $50. I put my money where my mouth is and donated $25.00 toward the cause even though Hands Producing Hope let me review this tee ahead of time. 

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Donate here. Shop Hands Producing Hope here

Fashion with Impact with Bought Beautifully

bought beautifully akash necklace
bought beautifully fashion with impact

I met Emily of Bought Beautifully at the Justice Conference back in June. We had a great time fangirling over the ethical products at the Bought Beautifully booth - I had the chance to see a lot of things in person that I'd previously only seen on instagram - and getting to know each other a bit.

Bought Beautifully is a social enterprise committed to sourcing products from co-ops and companies that provide fair wages, a great work environment, and a spiritually enriching atmosphere to its employees and artisans. They have a nice selection of goods, but I especially love their jewelry. It's also a great place to find Christian graphic tees that are a little bit cooler than those "A Bread Crumb and Fish" tees that were popular when I was in youth group.

causegear bag review

Bought Beautifully is doing a really cool campaign this week called Fashion with Impact, which is sort of a virtual fashion show made up of looks inspired by their ethical goods. Two bloggers will post outfits they've styled using Bought Beautifully products every day this week and create an instagram chain for readers to follow. Additionally, when you follow along on Instagram, you'll be entered to win a $50 Bought Beautifully gift card. 

Bought Beautifully sent me two items from their collection, the CAUSEGEAR Canvas Day Bag and the Akash Necklace. I actually met the CAUSEGEAR founder while shopping at Chicago fair trade store, Greenheart Shop, also during the Justice Conference (talk about networking!). He and his team are committed to providing 5x the standard wage at their factories in India. As you may know, getting a "fair wage" just right can be tricky because disproportionately higher wages can throw local economies off kilter, but the founder is committed to making sure that CAUSEGEAR wages are good for everyone, not just their employees. This bag is a little bigger than what I'm used to, but the slouchy canvas makes it easy to carry and I can use it as an overnight or shopping bag, too. It's become my everyday bag.

The Akash Necklace is stunning in person. It's made by AshaBelle in New Delhi, India. The beads are made of shiny tile shards pressed into clay that sparkle in changing light. And the color makes it really versatile. 

ll bean boots outfit
causegear day bag
Ethical Details: Sweater - old; Striped Top - made in USA; Boots - LL Bean, thrifted (and made in Maine); Akash Necklace - c/o Bought Beautifully; CAUSEGEAR Bag - c/o Bought Beautifully

I'm impressed with the craftsmanship and ethics behind both AshaBelle and CAUSEGEAR and I'm pleased that Bought Beautifully has offered a marketplace for the brands.

Every Bought Beautifully product promotes safe working conditions, fair wages, an ethical supply chain, and the practice of wise stewardship. 

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Make sure to follow along with the Fashion with Impact virtual fashion show all week using the links below. 



- See the last look in the series on the Bought Beautifully blog.

- See the next look (coming this afternoon) on Carrie of The Zimmers blog.

- Check out the instagram chain and enter to win a $50 Bought Beautifully gift card on Instagram!

- Shop at Bought Beautifully here.

spotlight: Global Goods Partners Wishlist

Many thanks to Global Goods for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own. 

global goods partners wishlist

Global Goods is a well established fair trade accessories brand (and a member of the Fair Trade Federation!) with a mission to alleviate poverty and promote justice in the global south. As its name implies, Global Goods' partnerships are widespread, extending to 20 countries, from Namibia to Bolivia to Afghanistan and dozens of places in between. It's a central marketplace for independently run co-ops, which ensures that each artisan group can operate according to its specific needs and talents. This is the beauty of the fair trade system: it is meant to be small scale, which means any problems that arise are easy to spot and can be addressed quickly and correctly. That's something a giant corporation simply can't do.

From the looks of their product offerings, Global Goods' curators gravitate toward a lot of the things I love, like super saturated jewel tones, statement jewelry, and richly textured bags. I've highlighted a handful of my favorite things here (clockwise from top left):


I also thought it would be fun to accessorize an outfit I already own with Global Goods items. I would wear this to a grad student get together or a casual weekend dinner out with Daniel.
global goods fair trade outfit
Ethical Details: Skirt - eshakti; Lapis Drop Earrings via Global Goods; Ikat Crossbody Bag via Global Goods; Shoes - Sseko Designs

Global Goods items are beautiful things meant to be treasured. I like to invest once a year or so in a nice, fairly sourced bag that will get me through several seasons in style. It's nice to carry something with me everyday that reminds me of the commitment I've made to tread lightly. What I'm really trying to say is that the Ikat Crossbody purse is the bomb. Their smaller trinkets and accessories would make nice gifts, too. 

What items are on your wishlist this fall?


(I'm still trying to sort out exactly what I want my fall wardrobe to look like. This capsule wardrobe thing is hard for an indecisive person!)

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Shop Global Goods Partners here. Follow on facebook, instagram, and twitter



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!