sustainable fashion

Season to Season in Verry Kerry's Kimono Dress

verry kerry boho and sustainable kimono dress
This post is in partnership with Verry Kerry, who sent me items for review.

Ever since I got a kimono jacket earlier this year, I've been on the hunt for similar, drapey pieces to wear layered over simple tees.

My love for patterned jackets took me by surprise: everything had gotten so streamlined in my closet that it felt like a block printed piece might throw a wrench in the whole thing. But I've always been a lover of color and pattern, and soft statement pieces strike that balance for me between standing out and feeling comfortable in my own skin. When Very Kerry reached out to me, I knew it was a good match.

Verry Kerry is a UK based women's clothing retailer specializing in kimono-inspired robes and dresses in stunning patterns. They use sustainable materials - like this ethically certified bamboo - and azo-free, nontoxic dyes, producing their collection in fair wage, safe, family run factories. Read more about their ethical policies in detail here.

verry kerry boho and sustainable kimono dressverry kerry boho and sustainable kimono dress
Details: Dress - c/o Verry Kerry; Sandals - Deux Mains; Hat - thrifted

Verry Kerry Sent me the Kimono Dress in Flame Lily to review. To show its versatility across seasons, I decided to style it two ways: as a simple summer dress and as an overcoat.

I like the soft, opaque fabric and the fact that this is one size fits most style, which means there's enough wiggle room for me to drape it with a belt, wear it like a sack dress, or layer it over a sweater.

verry kerry boho and sustainable kimono dressverry kerry boho and sustainable kimono dress
Details: Dress - Verry Kerry; Tee - c/o Live the Give; Boots - thrifted; Laptop Case - c/o Verry Kerry

This second look is how I originally dreamed of wearing the dress. I love this length over jeans, and the fabric belt makes a groovy scarf (though, for fear of choking myself, I'll probably tie up the ends).

The Bamboo Kimono Dress retails for £75.00, a fair investment for ethics, quality, and versatility. Let me know if you have any questions about it. I'll be featuring a couple more items from Verry Kerry later down the road.


Shop Verry Kerry here. 

Wrapped in Nature: Clothing Is An Agricultural Product, by Mary Kingsley

Cotton Plant in Fall

This piece was written by Mary Kingsley of forthcoming sustainable brand, Lady Farmer. Images provided by Lady Farmer. I met Mary and her daughter, Emma, at an event they hosted here in Charlottesville and they're the real deal - they even run a farm in Maryland! Read more about the brand in the footer of this post or on


Here’s a question. Where do your clothes come from? 

The first thing you might think of is the retailer: LL Bean, TJ Maxx, Target, etc. But before that, before they land in the store, where do your clothes come from?

This might stump a few, but many people have a sense that our clothing nowadays is produced overseas, so you might be thinking China, Vietnam or Bangladesh. But before that, before they are actually sewn together, where do your clothes come from?

Before it’s all sewn together, clothing is made of some kind of material, and unless it’s something completely synthetic, that material is going to be fabric from some kind of plant such as cotton, flax or hemp. So going back that far, where do your clothes come from? 

Your clothes come from seeds placed in the ground with the intention of creating the raw material for a textile, almost certainly on a farm somewhere.

Clothing is essentially an agricultural product.

Agriculture, of course, is commonly associated with food production. In that industry we’ve recently experienced a huge increase in consumer concern with sourcing, as evidenced by the boom in organic foods, the proliferation of neighborhood farm markets and the rise of demand for local produce, meat and dairy. After decades of non-transparency in our food system and the resulting epidemic of metabolic problems, allergies, diabetes, heart disease, digestive disorders, certain cancers, and more, consumers are exercising their right to question the health effects of pesticides, herbicides and antibiotics in food production, and the environmental consequences of certain industrial farming practices.

There’s a movement towards fresher, simpler, healthier, maybe not-always-so-quick-and-convenient food, real food. Slow food. People are caring about what they put in their bodies. They are asking where their food comes from, what’s done to it, what’s added to it and how far it travels before it lands on our plates.

Hemp and Organic Cotton Fabric to be used in Lady Farmer goods

Likewise, consumers are beginning to care what they put ON their bodies and can begin asking not only where their clothes come from, but how the materials are cultivated, and how the process affects the product itself, the producers and manufacturers, and certainly the environment.  

They are waking up to the fact that current practices in apparel manufacturing present significant health hazards. Our skin is our largest body organ and absorbs the toxic chemicals being used not only in the growing of the textiles but in the processing, treating, and dyeing of garments. For instance, your brightly colored clothing accessories might well contain dangerous amounts of lead. And many of the chemicals used in the dying of fabrics can cause cancer and/or be disruptive to normal hormonal functioning.

All of those cozy fleece jackets and the ubiquitous yoga pants? Turns out they’re full of microscopic plastic bits that are showing up in our seafood! Watch out for the hazardous chemicals in your outdoor gear that “can cause adverse impacts...on the reproductive system and immune systems.” As for sleepwear for your child, beware those containing the “flame retardant,” shown to cause hyperactivity and reduced IQ.

The issues and concerns in the apparel industry are closely parallel to the problems in the food system. Yet because most textile farming and apparel production now takes place overseas, the health, environmental and human rights problems have been largely out of sight and therefore easily ignored by an unconscious consumer base. Cheap, easily affordable and accessible clothing supplied by retailers heavily invested in feeding this widespread consumer frenzy has created a juggernaut of addictive buying and toxic waste.

The average American creates 65 pounds of textile waste every year, creating an annual 10.5 million tons of clothing in landfills. Most components of these textiles are full of toxic chemicals and never break down.

Brown fabric dyed with black walnuts

When we think of clothing as an agricultural product - a result of soil and rain, sunshine, and microbes - we begin to understand it as one of our essential needs, an expression of the natural world. With this framing and perspective, we can become informed and use our power as consumers to shape the future.

The understanding of clothing as a basic human need affecting us every moment as we live and breathe, something that has its beginning as seed and is nourished by our own shared environment, this grounds us in our elemental connection with the earth, the bearer and sustainer of all life as we know it.

When we begin to care about these things is when we begin to care about our choices and recognize their power. It is at this juncture that true change can occur.  

Everyone eats and everyone needs clothes, but when these basic human needs come at the cost of our own well being, then something has to change. We believe that with this understanding, consumers will embrace “slow fashion” in much the same way as they have “slow-food,” and in doing so will rediscover something that goes well beyond what they’re eating or wearing.


Lady Farmer

Founded in 2016, Lady Farmer was formed in response to the growing movement of women who identify with nature and its cycles, simple comforts, tradition and sustainability. Our community of women is invested in real change - in themselves, their families, their communities - in a way that is accessible on a daily basis, from what they plant to what they eat to what they wear. We want to make our ladies’ lives simpler and strengthen our connections to each other and the earth. Any woman interested in the intersection of her own well-being and that of the planet will find a place here.

Sumzine: a sustainable magazine

Sumzine is an NYC-based slow fashion magazine. Its conceptual photography and interviews with high profile designers and influencers in the sustainable fashion community make it a great resource for those who love fashion, but want to work to see real change in the manufacturing industry. In fact, that's exactly how it got its start:

After a decade of working in the fashion industry, Sumzine founder Jamie Ortega knew that she wanted to see a change. The industry employs over 75 million people and affects billions. Whether it is the 3 billion tons of soot released into the air or the 1,100 lives lost at the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse--the casualties of the fashion industry are clear...
Slow-fashion can mean a lot of things, but at its core it’s about making better choices. Whether it’s the material used or ethical practices, it’s about creating less waste. In the words of Dame Vivienne Westwood: Buy less, buy better, and make it last!
(from Kickstarter page)

Published bi-annually, the small staff relies on crowdfunding to publish new issues. They're working on their third issue and need a little help raising the last few hundred dollars on their kickstarter page.

They asked me to get the word out before their kickstarter ends on March 24, so I haven't had the chance to peruse an issue myself, but I encourage you to check them out for yourself.