wardrobe

My Journey to Ethical Fashion

Back in my college days I attended a popular Christian conference over one of my Christmas breaks. I went with my two roommates and we met up with several other friends from Mississippi State for a weekend of refreshment in the Word and Godly fellowship. Little did we know at the weekend's beginning that we would acquire information during our time at the conference that would seep deep into our hearts and souls and call us to action. We learned about human trafficking. 

I had never heard of this problem before believe it or not, and I can remember for days after we returned from the conference my roommates and I would sit around our kitchen counter discussing this issue. We were so burdened yet so unsure of how to play a part in the ending of trafficking. After many emotional conversations we came up with the idea of hosting a 5K to raise money for International Justice Mission and their fight against injustice around the world. 

This race began a work in my heart that deepened my compassion for others and opened my eyes to the reality of human depravity around the world...it also led me to my husband, which is a funny story for another day! All this to say, once I became aware of human trafficking I simply could not forget about it. 

So what does this have to do with fashion? 

Well I desire to live my life in a way that aids the fight against human trafficking. Ben and I have made small decisions since marriage that we believe are truly making a difference. We buy our coffee every month from Sweet Aroma Coffee, a company that gives money to different organizations around the world who fight trafficking. I also have made the decision to buy jewelry from companies such as , a company that creates jobs and has ethical production practices. So now I want to take this to my closet. 

For quite some time I have felt as though the clothes hanging in my closet did not fit me. I do not mean I could not get them on my body or hated the way they hung on me (though this is true in some case)...no I mean they don't match my current season of life. I was married right out of college, so my wardrobe is full of "sorority college girl" clothes. Everything is oversized, too dressy, and flashy. Nowadays basic tees are acceptable every single day, even at church since we attend a laid back home church. I have been eager to figure out "my style" and even more eager to build a wardrobe that is both fitting and ethical. 

WHAT IS ETHICAL FASHION?

The first step is to learn about the differences between ethical or sustainable fashion and fast or mainstream fashion. Similar to the slow food versus fast food movement, ethical fashion is about promoting sustainable sourcing and quality garment production. In contrast, the fast fashion movement is in a perpetual race to the bottom to create more garments in less time and less money. The inevitable result is a frenetic industry that depends on unsustainable resources and often exploitative production. Ethical fashion turns this model on its head and promotes quality items made with sustainable materials and by workers paid a fair wage.
— DANIELLE L. VERMEER

I feel that these words by sustainable fashion advocate,  Danielle L. Vermeer, describe it the best, ethical fashion is about promoting sustainability and high quality products. For me ethical fashion is also buying from companies that are transparent about their production process, factory conditions, and worker conditions. These things can often be hard to find but with some really great resources out there on the internet today we can learn a lot more about clothing production than we could 10 years ago. My goal today is to share my findings after hours of research.

RESOURCES FOR YOUR OWN RESEARCH - 

  • Know The ChainA company that works hard to provide production information on hundreds of business and clothing companies.
  • Free to Work - This company provides scorecards for different clothing brands based on policies, transparency, monitoring, and worker rights. 
  • GoodGuide - A website where you can find product reviews for ethical, green, and environmentally safe products. 
  • FairTrade USA - Great starting point to help you understand what fair trade is, what companies there are out there, and more. 

Also, as a result of the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, all companies that make a certain amount of money every year are required to disclose what they are doing to fight human trafficking and forced labor slavery within their production process. So you can go to a website like Gap, or Anthropologie, and by law they must have a statement about their practices that you can read. 

ETHICAL CLOTHING COMPANIES

This is not an all inclusive list by any means. I was amazed at how many companies out their are a part of this ethical, slow clothing movement. For more lists check out these here, here, and here. I have included the companies that best fit within the style I am working towards for myself! 

  • Everlane - I list this company at the very top of my list for a reason. They are amazing. I recently purchased two simple tees from Everlane, and am in love. The quality is amazing, and the prices are not too terrible either. But my favorite part about this company...radical transparency is their motto. They list every single factory they use in their production process, as well as the exact costs of every item on their site. This is a must visit site even if you do not go to another option listed below. 
  • Alternative Apparel - A little more pricey, but full of beautiful staple closet pieces. I am looking at this tank, and this dress for my spring capsule. 
  • Seamly - Another beautiful site full of simple basics, this company celebrates creativity and art in the form of clothing. 
  • Threads for Thought - I have recently gotten really into holy yoga, and the collection of trendy tights, tanks, and tees are amazing on this site. 
  • TheRootCollective - This shoe and accessories company partners with small scale businesses in marginalized communities to create jobs. Their ballet flats are a must have. 

  • Cana Collection - Similar to Lululemon, this fitness clothing company features trendy work out clothing for men and women. 

Again, this is not an complete list, but simply some of my favorites out of all the companies I have stumbled upon through my research. I would love for you to leave other suggestions of fair trade, ethical companies that you know of in the comment section below. 

To be honest I am a littler scared about beginning this journey. It is so easy to purchase cheap clothing that I can afford right now on all the different trendy websites out there. However, I know this is worth the patience, money saving, and research that this practice requires. So I am committed to only buying ethically, as best as I am able, for the rest of 2015! Ah...I cannot believe I just typed that. Here we go! 

Do you shop ethically? What are your favorite companies? 


Bright and Bold - Creative Closet Link Up

I love colors, however I often find myself gravitating towards neutral and earth tones in my wardrobe. Nothing wrong with that, but my hubby loves when I wear bright colors, so I love wearing them because he loves them. I have tried to start stretch myself more in the color department, and knew I wanted to wear this exact combo when I signed up to be a co-host for the

Creative Closet

link up!

Also, I took these pictures while at the beach with my family back in July. So...I got my little sister and brother to jump in on the fun and share their fun, colorful looks with you also. :) I love my fam jam, and I think my little sister and brother are just so good looking, and I don't share them enough with you all. So meet my sweet sissy Taylor, and my handsome brother Reed.

Aren't they precious? My sister is a junior in college, and my brother is a junior in high school (they look older don't they?) I know...I look like I should be the youngest...yeah, yeah, yeah I get that all the time. One day I will be oh so happy to have that said, like when I am 40! right?! 

My sister can totally rock a kimono like no one's business, I think they look great on her, but I just cannot manage it. I think it may be because she is so tall, and I am well, not so tall. 

What are your favorite bold and bright pieces to wear? Link them up with us below!

The Creative Closet

<div align="center"> <a href="http://www.lifecouldbeadreamblog.com/category/fashion/the-creative-closet" title="The Creative Closet"><img src="http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r593/janalynne528/creativeclosetbutton_zpsfa38b641.png~original" alt="The Creative Closet" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

An InLinkz Link-up

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Bicycles, Books, and a Beautiful Dress

I was given this dress from eShakti as compensation for this review. However, all opinions are entirely my own, and reflect the way I genuinely feel about the experience and product!

I love being a girl. I mean seriously, pink is my favorite color, I love lipstick, and glitter, and dresses...oh how I love dresses. I especially love dresses that make me feel like I am stepping back in time. Back to a time where knee length dresses were at the height of fashion and flare skirts were in full swing. I am a sucker for old school dresses. Sometimes I think about what life would have been like if I grew up in the 50's, wearing retro dresses, and drinking root beer floats at a diner while listening to a jukebox...this dress makes me feel like Sandy from Grease.

So when

eShakti

asked for me to write a review on one of their custom made dresses I was thrilled.

eShakti

is a company that makes their clothing for you as the buyer. Every piece is tailored to your specific measurements so that you love what you are wearing and feel like it fits your body type. 

I knew I wanted to go with a dress, and I knew I wanted it to be something fun, but dressy enough to wear to a wedding ('tis the season of wedding bells am I right?!). So I chose this beauty. Complete with a bow and bicycles...and it was in my favorite color...hello perfection. 

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The dress fit perfectly. It hugs me in all the right places, but is very modest, and just classy. It is probably my new favorite dress, and the bicycles really add a whimsical touch that makes me oh so very happy. I really like that the dress is fit and flare, this is my favorite style of dress, and it seems to be flattering on so many body types.

The only issue I had with the dress whatsoever was the length. I am a shorty y'all. Ben and I both are not really gifted in the height department...So I never wear longer dresses like this without heels because of how they make me look shorter, and I hardly wear heels because then I will tower over Ben, sprain my ankle at least once, and have a few blisters by the end of the night. However, I made an exception for this gorgeous dress, and pulled out my nude wedges. I think they rounded out the look and length of the dress.

My experience with eShakti and their beautiful 50s inspired

dresses

 could not have been more pleasant, and I could not recommend them more highly. To have a personal tailor make clothing specifically for your body type is like a dream, and this company does such a great job. I will wear this dress for years to come, and cannot wait to buy from them again in the future.

Get $25 OFF your first order!

, I promise! Make sure and follow them on

Pinterest

and

Twitter

!

Also, thank you all for being so patient with me on replying to emails and comments. Things have been a little nutso around here lately, and I am slowly working my way through a daunting inbox and several posts worth of comments. I love you all so much for supporting my blog and engaging with me daily on this space. So just bear with me, and I plan to get back with each and everyone of you soon and very soon!

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