virginia

shop local: Latitudes in Staunton, VA

Latitudes Fair Trade Staunton

Finally, a fair trade boutique that carries a variety of fair trade brands and products within driving distance of Charlottesville! 


Don't get me wrong, the local Ten Thousand Villages is amazing and the staff is kind and knowledgeable, but Ten Thousand Villages' products tend to be seasonal or gift items - it's not a one stop shop for ethically produced goods.

fair trade jewelry Thistle Farms display

Daniel and I decided to spend the afternoon in nearby Staunton last Saturday, because it has a charming, historic downtown and I swore I saw a shop that carried fair trade goods last time we were there. Funnily enough, Latitudes just opened, so I wasn't thinking about this particular store (there are a couple other shops that carry Made in USA and fair trade stuff, so I was probably thinking of one of them).


It was clearly fate.


There was a Mata Traders dress on the mannequin in the front window and a huge Thistle Farms selection on display as soon as I walked in the door. I felt like a kid in a candy shop, gushing and pointing at all the familiar labels.

Manos Zapotecasstriped socks fair tradeLatitudes Fair Trade Shop

Latitudes carries Greenola Style, Matr Boomie, Manos Zapotecas, Serrv, Mata Traders, Maggie's Organics, Thistle Farms, Level Ground, Equal Exchange, and lots of other reputable fair trade brands.

They've got clothing, home goods, accessories, jewelry, food, cards, and gift items, plus lots of free literature on the fair trade movement. 


I bought a pound of Level Ground coffee and a Thistle Farms candle, which I am happily burning as I write this post.

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If you're in the Charlottesville/Staunton area, make sure to check out Latitudes at 16 East Beverly Street. You can shop some of their selection online, too. 



Learn about other local shops:
Ten Thousand Villages
Betsey Boutique
Low Vintage

shop local: Betsey Boutique

betsey boutique charlottesville

Betsey Boutique is a new-to-Charlottesville women's clothing shop on Market Street near the Downtown Mall. I first heard of it while using Mata Traders' find-a-retailer search tool and was so excited to see that Mata Traders had finally come to Charlottesville. I intended to stop in several weeks ago, but it was closed before I could get there.

By a twist of fate, however, Betsey Boutique had been asked to participate in the Sew What fashion show I was set to model in, so I met owner, Lisa, during fittings for that event a couple weekends ago and got to wear a few Betsey items on the runway! In our conversations during show prep, she told me she recently relocated from a small Virginia town and loved to find unique items at reasonable price points, the latter being something sorely lacking among Charlottesville boutiques. She also features local designers when possible.

sew what fashion show
photo credit: Keith Alan Sprouse

Yes, that's me (my own mother had trouble recognizing me at first). Here I'm wearing a tunic dress from a local designer. 

I finally got a chance to check out the store a couple weekends ago and was pleasantly surprised to see a wide range of fair trade and made in USA options (Betsey is not exclusively an ethical retailer), including lots of Mata Traders' jewelry and dresses, ethical bags, and cute soaps made in New York. 

mata traders charlottesville
betsey boutique charlottesville
betsey boutique charlottesville

I plan on stopping in again to shop when I have more time (I have my eye on a dress and some earrings). 

betsey boutique charlottesville

Lisa wasn't there when I took the tour, but a friendly shop attendant welcomed me. Thanks, friendly shop attendant!

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Check out Betsey Boutique on facebook!

the moral wardrobe: gray gray, go away

american apparel green fleece cape outfit on stylewiseblog.blogspot.com
american apparel green fleece cape outfit on stylewiseblog.blogspot.com
american apparel green fleece cape outfit on stylewiseblog.blogspot.com
Outfit Details: Top - thrifted; Jeans - AE; Boots - thrifted; Cape - American Apparel

Today was Day 4 of endlessly gray skies. It's somewhat unusual for Charlottesville this time of year and it's especially unfortunate because we have friends in town. We've been having fun in spite of the weather, though, and managed to do lots of quintessential Charlottesville things like eating downtown, apple picking at Carter Mountain Orchard, visiting Skyline Drive, and going to Peter Chang's restaurant (it's the bomb). 

Tomorrow I'm heading back to work, but Daniel's on fall break, so hopefully they'll have successfully cooked our apples into a pie by the time I get home. 

fog on skyline drive

harmonies

navy and yellow with sseko designs stylewiseguide.com casual outfit featuring everlane stylewiseguide.comminimalist featuring everlane stylewiseguide.com
Outfit Details: Top - Everlane / Skirt - Thrifted / Shoes - Sseko (straps c/o Hannah) / Necklace - (of)matter on etsy

Life the past few days has been a tremendous adventure. On Friday afternoon, we embarked with two other passengers to an Episcopal camp in the Shenandoah Valley for a weekend retreat. About an hour into the drive, Daniel noticed a loud clinking noise coming from the car. As I attempted to accelerate, we heard a dull boom from the back of the vehicle. I pulled over, then we waited for 45 minutes for AAA to come tow it to the nearest town. Fortunately, a mixture of friends in the nearby town and other members of the congregation spotting us on their way to the retreat ensured that we all had safe passage to our destinations. After a nice dinner with friends at an adorable co-op restaurant, we heard the news that there was a 6" hole in the engine. My car, dearest Goldilocks, was a goner. 

Despite the bad news, we journeyed on to the retreat where we enjoyed ourselves immensely. I went on a hike with an ecologist and geology aficionado and learned a lot about central Virginia terrain.

On Monday afternoon, my grandfather in Florida generously agreed to sell us his car, so we're headed down there shortly to pick it up. I've been asking for rides and taking the bus to get around town. I also have a cold, likely a byproduct of stress and too little sleep.

The past few days have been full of the sorts of things that should make me cry, but I'm oddly encouraged by the whole experience. I know I have friends and family who watch out for me when things get tough. I know I live in a world full of wonder, full of bubbling creeks and baby deer and a Capella music and the harmonies of hearty laughter. 

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the moral wardrobe: royal

vintage midi skirt, stylewiseguide.com thrifted look self portrait, stylewiseguide.comvintage outfit, stylewiseguide.com

Just me in my favorite vintage midi skirt again. Crazy patterned skirts and pants is (are?) pretty much my signature look. It's important to know your signature look in case you become famous and need to share that information with People or Us Weekly.

I meant to take an hour long nap after working the opening shift at work today, but I ended up staying in bed for nearly 3 hours. After hour one, I awoke and heard the mail man talking to Daniel, so of course I immediately dozed off again and dreamt that the mail man stole our house key with the intent to break in at a later date. Daniel chased him all around the neighborhood. It's a sad dream, really, because our mail man is awesome in real life.

Oh! Did I tell you I'm modeling in the Floyd Fest fashion show this year? I just met the team and consulted with hair and makeup and they decided to dye my hair lavender! My appointment's in a couple weeks. I get to wear sustainable Synergy clothing and pretend I'm from The Capitol in The Hunger Games.

Ethical choices are bolded below. Retailers taking steps to become more ethical are bolded in gray.

  • Top - thrifted

  • Skirt - thrifted

  • Necklace - handmade via etsy

  • Shoes - Old Navy (old)


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