5 Ways to Love Your Clothes Longer

When it comes to style and trends, there is always this idea that you need new clothes in order to stay fashionable. In my mind, that is just plain dumb. Yes, it’s always fun to incorporate new trends into your wardrobe, but you can also work with what you already have. By creating new pieces with these simple DIY projects, you’ll be able to turn some heads with your own unique trend. Just like you wouldn’t give up on a good friend, don’t give up on a good piece of clothing.

Switch out what is broken

I ended up washing the tank top above on the wrong setting and one of the straps broke. It has always been one of those shirts that I would throw on a day where I needed to feel good about myself (if you don’t already have one of these types of shirts you need one ASAP). Instead of doing the easy thing and throwing out my favorite shirt, I decided I wanted to save it by just cutting off the straps completely and sewing on pearl straps. Now, I constantly get compliments on this top because of the straps. So forget throwing out your favorite shirt, do something about the problem instead.

Create art out of the old fabric. 

I have a ton of old skirts in my closet that are waaaay too short to ever be worn in public again. Instead of throwing them away, I really want to make pillows out of them. Most of them are this obnoxious shiny material that would look way better as a pillow than a skirt. Thank you rebellious teenage angst. So instead of throwing away your tacky, youthful items, think of another way you can use them. If you don’t think you can salvage them… some of them might just make great rag towels too.

Check out more of my saved DIY repaired clothing pins here. 

Sew or paint something on top of a stain

I keep seeing these beautifully embroidered jeans on Pinterest and I’m dying to try it out. These faint x’s and dashes look effortless against the clean-cut jean material. I also love the idea of hiding a grease stain by painting directly on top of them. I didn’t have a stain on this pair of jeans but so far this is my favorite DIY project to date. I also have a jean pencil skirt that I wore out once and dropped gyro grease on… just my luck. I’m definitely going to incorporate it into a DIY project like this soon so stay tuned.

Distressed and patched pants always beautiful

One thing that never goes out of style is a unique pair of blue jeans. Whether you’re wearing a clean pair or styling a distressed pair of jeans, you look good. Cover up a tear with a patch or fray the rip even more by using sandpaper and a steak knife. You can make one pair of jeans look completely different just by adding a little bit of imagination.

If you’re bored of it or grew tired of it, change something about it

I despise the color grey. It’s a horrible color that I’m convinced looks good on no one. I know it and you secretly know it. Instead of just growing tired of this grey sweatshirt I decided to do something about it. It took me countless hours sewing on these little beads onto this sweatshirt, but when I was done I was so incredibly excited to showcase my school’s colors and constantly receive compliments on my cute DIY project. One day I’m going to retire the sweatshirt, frame it, and put it in my office. It’s a cute way to change a piece of clothing and make it art.

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How do you make your clothes last longer? Let me know in the comments down below. 

As always,

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Friday Blogger Finds

You know how bloggers on Instagram have been sharing each other accounts on “Follow Friday’s”? Well, I thought it would be a brilliant idea to start sharing some of my favorite articles and posts with you. This series will be a collection of some of my favorite blogs and maybe even some new blogs I’ve found on the way. If you have any other interesting articles or something you wrote and feel proud of feel free to comment in the comments down below. I would love to find some new pieces to read and spread the blogging love.

Sustainable Reads

  • What’s the Difference Between Green, Sustainable, Eco-Friendly, Ethical, Fair Trade, Clean, Organic, Non-Toxic, and Conscious? by EcoCult. This post is so helpful when trying to tackle all of the different words when it comes to “sustainable fashion. If you’re interested in sustainable fashion I would definitely check out EcoCult for a plethora of information. (Click here).

  • Wonderful Things. Okay, so this one isn’t a blog post but it is the most magical thing I’ve ever stumbled upon. Keira from Style Me Fair posted on her Instastories about this website and I’m blown away by how helpful it is. It is an online marketplace that redirects to Amazon so that it is easier for you to find products that are sustainably made, ethically made, made in America, or reduce and reuse materials. Plus, it links up with Amazon so it is by far the easiest thing on the face of this planet. (Click here).

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Fashion Reads

  • Money Saving Tips- My Best Shopping Hacks by Kelsey. Have you ever heard about ebates? Well, either have I! Check out Kelsey’s post to be blown away by how you can easily save money while you’re shopping. (Click here).
  • 7 Things You Don’t See on Instagram About Coachella by Emma. I read Emma’s blog literally seconds after she posts it. Her posts are always so informative and I’m dying to know more about each topic she covers. This one was no exception. (Click here).

Youtube Videos

  • Ugly Location Photoshoot Challenge. Tess Christine yet again with the killer video ideas. This time she did an “Ugly Photo Challenge” video and did an incredible job. Seriously hope she does a video on poses one day because yah girl really needs some help. (Click here).
  • This is America music video. This video has been popular in every other country but America. I’ve rewatched it more than 10 times and still am catching new references. (Check out the music video here. Also, check out this blog on the references in the video here).

What was your favorite thing you wrote or read this week? Let me know in the comments down below. 

As always,

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What the Heck Does Organic Cotton Even Mean?

When you first start diving into the world of “sustainable and ethical fashion” you instantly become overwhelmed. There are so many factors that go into being a sustainable and ethical product and come to find out it’s almost impossible to find something that has the whole package. When it comes to shopping more ethically I’ve had to evaluate what parts of ethical fashion I find the most important. For example, an item can be sustainably made (with organic cotton and dyes) but not be made ethically (fair wages and normal work hours). The five most common factors in sustainable and ethical fashion are ethical production, transparency in the company, made with natural fibers/earth-friendly dyes, gives back to a cause, and local manufacturing. I happen to care about these factors in the order in which they are listed. What do you think is most important?

With that said, let’s dive into the reasoning why it matters to have natural, organic fibers such as cotton.

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Although cotton takes up less than 2.5 percent of global cropland, 10% of all pesticides are used. 

Remember learning about organic food in high school and how bad GMOs were for your body? Come to find out that we’re all wearing something that is way worse than consuming GMOs. Your skin is your largest organ yet we allow a plethora of chemicals lay on our skin… well unless you’re a hippy and don’t wear clothes. The constant contact of pesticides can cause you to have irritated skin, rashes, and even can cause headaches and dizziness. Umm… no, thank you!

These chemicals are up and personal with your goods every day and night. Ever forget to wash your jeans before you wear them and end up with blue/black hands from the dye? I’m super guilty of this and have plenty of blue/black hands before. Although pesticides aren’t as visible as the dye rubbing off on your hands, the same amount gets stuck onto your skin and rubs against sensitive areas. So if you don’t buy organic cotton make sure you wash your item before you wear it so that it removes some of the pesticides before you wear it.

The Cotton Industry is notorious for human rights violations in India, the world’s largest cotton producer.

The problem with cotton that as soon as you start to treat it with pesticides it only needs more and more pesticides. As soon as the farmers start to use the pesticides, they need more and more in order to keep up with the crop. This causes them to be in tremendous debt and sell some of their land to the people who sold them the pesticides, Monsanto. All while these transactions are going on, local communities near the farms are born with birth defects and mentally deficient as a result of the extreme pesticide exposure. When pesticides are sprayed they can actually travel two miles from the air and waterways. If that wasn’t worse enough, the same people who are selling the pesticides, taking the land, and allowing neighboring towns to get sick are also selling the medication to help with the illnesses. It is one big money scheme.

This isn’t only happening in India. The Environmental Protection Agency considers 7 of the 15 pesticides used on conventional cotton as possible or known carcinogenic (cancer-causing) agents. Farmers in the United States are also suffering from the harsh pesticides and are dying from cancer.

Organic Cotton

What are the requirements to be considered organic cotton?

  • No pesticides, fertilizers or other chemicals are used when growing organic cotton
  • To be certified organic the soil must be free from chemicals for at least 3 years
  • The land, and soil, benefits from crop rotation
  • Organic cotton gets a GOTS certification (Global Organic Textile Standard) to make sure that it is organic.

So how can I help this issue?

Cotton is in so much that we consume even away from our clothes. Our bedding, towels, money, tampons, make up wipes, q-tips, and so much more. So how can you help the cotton industry? By buying organic! So many companies are coming out with organic lines each and every day. Keep your skin and the environment happy by choosing to buy organic cotton. Here are just six of the many companies that have an adorable line of organic items:

Organic Cotton

You can even find some organic cotton in the sea of clothes at TJMaxx and Marshalls! I found these perfect casual t-shirts at Marshalls. They have been my go-to when I’m rushing to get out the door in the morning.

Do you own anything that is made out of organic cotton? Did you know that cotton was such a demanding crop? Let me know in the comments down below. 

As always,

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Fashion Revolution​ Week: What it is and Why it Matters

Guys, I admit… I’m a pretty obnoxiously optimistic person and this blog tends to be an extended arm of that. I mean after all, who really wants to read dreary stuff? But that is the problem. There is no way to say what I’m about to say nicely, positively, or without beating around the bush. I’m going to tell you guys the harsh reality of fast fashion, why we should care, and end with positive ways we can fix the industry. Okay, don’t say I didn’t warn you…

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Five years ago 1,100 lifeless bodies were pulled underneath the rubble from the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse.

After countless complaints the factory was unsafe, the factory was still operated in. Workers even asked to not return to work because of these unsafe work conditions and when they spoke up they were told that a month’s pay would be withheld if they did not return next day. The next day, more than a thousand of them lost their lives and 2,500 of them were critically injured when the building collapsed.

Brand name fast-fashion and designer brands such as Walmart, JC Penny, and Primark were finally in the spotlight for their unjust work practices and thousands of people were angered at the thought that their clothes were the reason for such injustices.

In 2013, I was a senior in college worrying about stupid high school things. I don’t even remember this being in the news and that is the problem. We all need to be informed about the injustices of where our clothes are made. Whether that be the environmental, social, or economic factors we need to know them all. By knowing more information about what happened at Rana Plaza and hundreds of other factories around the world we can make conscious shoppers.

 

So what is Fashion Revolution Week? 

Since then the Rana Plaza factory collapse, people from all over the world have been using their voices to tell brands that things must change… and it is working. The industry is starting to change. With that said, Fashion Revolution Week is April 23-29th and the idea is it that people ask more questions and learn about sustainable fashion. This could mean asking leading brands in the industry where their clothes came from or even joining workshops about sustainable fashion. The end goal is both the same: we need to change the fashion industry for the better.

One thing that hit me really hard in this movement was the idea that there are 40 million garment workers in the world and about 85% of them are female. They are some of the lowest paid workers in the world and are constantly faced with unsafe work conditions. With that said, fast fashion brands like H&M, TopShop, and Zara all make feminist slogan t-shirts where their female garment workers are not paid equally, do not receive maternity leave, and constantly face unsafe work conditions. Does that really sound like feminism to you?

 

So what the heck can we do?

During the Fashion Revolution Week, we are asked to contact our favorite stores and ask them the simple question “who made my clothes.” Here are all the different ways you can ask fashion brands who made your clothes. Note: this isn’t meant to be rude to these brands. This is meant to create awareness and an ongoing conversation about sustainable fashion. Good things do not come out of negativity.

Write an email or send a postcard to your favorite fashion brands asking them who makes their clothes

It’s important to have an ongoing conversation with fashion brands. This is not meant to call them out but instead to inform them that you care and it matters who makes the clothes. Once brands know more people are caring about who is making the clothes and where they are coming from they will change their policies. You can write your own or print out Fashion Revolution’s premade cards here. You can also download the app Good on You to send emails directly from the app. It takes less than a minute on the app!

Post on your social media #whomademyclothes

You can follow the hashtag to see what companies are being asked and you can add your voice to it. The best part about asking companies on social media is that you’re getting more people aware of the issue and what is happening behind the store doors. The whole movement is really about getting people informed.

Become more informed on what is happening around you

I highly recommend watching the True Cost on Netflix for more information on the overall structure of what is happening behind the store doors. I also recommend listening to the podcast Conscious Chatter by Kestrel Jenkins to hear what people who are in the slow fashion industry are saying. Lastly, follow bloggers, read, research, and engage. The change starts with you. I’ll be showing a few of my favorite bloggers on my Instagram later this week and doing a blog recap next week with all of their blogs listed. Be sure to check back for that.

Lastly, support the brands who respond to your questions and are becoming more transparent… they are setting the example for everyone else. 

You can find companies that are responding to the movement with the hashtag #imadeyourclothes but you can also download the app Good on You to find out how your favorite companies are ranked. I was pretty bummed about a few of my favorite companies so I would definitely check that out.

I’ve been reaching out to companies all week on my Instastories and on the app Good on You. Here are two examples of how I’ve asked big companies on my Instastory:

 

Overall, we all are in this together. Whether we’re trying to help the environment or the social structure of garment workers, we have an obligation to put our money where it matters. Plus, it adds an extra conversation piece to your outfit which is always a huge bonus.

Have you heard about the Rana Plaza Collapse or Fashion Revolution Week? What companies do you want to ask “who made my clothes?” Let me know in the comments down below. 

As always,

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4 Reasons Why You Need a Linen Dress This Season

Over the weekend, I went to a blogging event with a few local Connecticut bloggers. It was so much fun meeting everyone and learning what their blog is about. Even though all 15-20 of us were at different ages and blog popularities, it was so pleasant to see what people were really passionate about. For example, Courtney from Betty Juliet Diaries blogs about her incredible vintage vibes and the history of the era associated with it. Kelsey from Kelsey Lynn B finds the best sales and knows how to have a killer workout. Lastly, Caitlyn from Confessions of a Northern Belle, the one who brought us all together, blogs about her adventures with her adorable children. All completely different topics but it was so pleasant to see how much joy they have from blogging.

As I talked to a few bloggers and even a few coworkers, I found myself lighting up when I talked about sustainability and fashion ethics. When a coworker compliments me on an article of clothing, like these white jeans, I find myself spewing knowledge about how denim is made or who makes the product. Sometimes it gets to a point where I say to myself “girl, calm down before they frame you as a psychopath”. Green Linen Dress and Everlane Denim JacketGreen Linen Dress and Everlane Denim Jacket

Everlane Jacket | Artisan NY (Can’t find anything similar) |Giving Key Necklace | Shoes

Despite starting my journey to more ethical shopping, I still find myself wandering through Marshalls and T.J. Maxx line no one’s business. Sometimes I’m able to find “Made in the USA” or “Organic Cotton” shirts whereas other times you can see where the quality is missing out of the garment. A missed stitching here… a spaghetti strap that was just slapped on… or jeans that have that weird chemical smell that you can’t seem to get rid of. We’ve all bought these products in our lifetime. As a recovering shopaholic, I have tons of pointless fashion items in my closet that barely see the light of day. With challenges like the 10x10challenge, I’ve been trying to use the items I already have more but that doesn’t take away from the fact that I love shopping. Which is why I’m slowly easing into the sustainability world by focusing on the quality of the items I’m buying and how often I will wear it. Thus, the reason why this adorable linen dress came into my life.

So why the heck is linen so great? What makes it better than other fabrics and why is it so darn expensive?

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Linen as an environmentally friendly product.

When linen is made, the entire part of the flax plant is used to make the linen yarn. The by-product, Linseed Oil, is even used and can be used to preserve wood. Flax uses 13 times fewer pesticides than potatoes but is only approximately 1% of the world’s apparel fiber consumption.

It is easy to grow, but not easy to make the yarn. 

Although Flax seeds can grow in poor soil while using less water than cotton, the process of making the linen yarn is very laborious and time-consuming. This what causes linen garments to be so much more than other items. Although it is time-consuming, to spin the yarn it is more durable than cotton which is the big benefit of having linen clothing.

Unlike polyester or acrylic, it is 100% biodegradable when it is not dyed.

This dress is actually dyed so it is not 100% biodegradable. But if this is something that is very important to you buy linen that is colored in its natural form which is ivory, ecru, tan and grey. This means that if you grow out of the dress in a few years or it just isn’t the same style you fell in love with, you can actually compost the dress! So forget clothes piling up in the landfills, if we wore more linen we wouldn’t have this problem.

On hot days it will keep you cool. 

Even though here in Connecticut I don’t have to worry about the warm weather just yet, I know I have this linen dress to fall back on once it gets warm. Since the linen fabric is built differently than cotton, it actually allows more airflow. It also is less likely to cling to your skin because of the how stiff the fabric is naturally. It is the perfect fabric for the spring and summer because of this.

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So, be like linen. Be easy to adapt and stronger when things get you down. Okay, that may be stretching it but I think it works well.  Next time you’re walking through Marshalls and you pick up that adorable t-shirt, look at what the item is made out of. If it’s made out of polyester, nylon, or acrylic (otherwise known as straight up plastic), you might want to put it back on the rack. Hey, this trick has been helping me save up for this adorable jean jacket (check out the factory it is made in and you’ll be hooked on this company).

What do you think about linen as a textile? Do you like wearing linen in the spring/summer? Have you ever meet up with local bloggers in your area? Let me know in the comments down below. 

As always,

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P.S. This week is Fashion Revolution Week where sustainable bloggers from all over the world are calling out big named companies and asking who makes their clothes. For more information about this week check out my Instagram to see how I’m raising awareness for the garment workers all over the world (40 million garment workers and 80% of them are female).

Double PS: Thank you for Amy from Amy Marie Blog and Lindsay from Lindsay Demo for making me laugh during these photos. We’re definitely going to have to back to Conspiracy to watch a drag show or hit up a cidery/brewery! 💕

7 Sustainable Products That Will Rock Your Socks Off

This month I’ve been really trying to incorporate healthier products into my life. Whether that is a better dry shampoo, an organic deodorant, or a fresh pair of socks I’m trying to tackle the intimating subject of sustainability. Scroll on to find out what sustainable products worked and not worked for me.

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Bombas: Socks that Give Back

The most requested item in homeless shelters is socks, which is why two guys set out to make it their mission to provide something as simple as socks to thousands of homeless shelters. For every purchase of Bombas socks, you also donate a pair of socks to a homeless shelter. So far, Bombas has been able to donate 7 million pairs of socks. Plus, these adorable socks come in so many fun patterns and incredibly comfy. Forget Nike elite socks and hello Bombas socks.

Renpure: Coconut Argan Dry Shampoo

After my hairdresser told me I shouldn’t be washing my hair so frequently, I’ve been trying to incorporate a dry shampoo into my life. Since I really liked Renpure’s shampoo and conditioner, I thought I would try out their dry shampoo. Unlike most drugstore dry shampoos, this one doesn’t include sulfates, parabens, dyes, gluten, phthalates, or propylene glycol. It also smells like a delicious blueberry treat. Note: the smell is pretty strong so if you are worried that you might eat your hair from this you might want to stay away. Other than that, I think it smells amazing and really does the trick for second-day hair.

Simply Gum: Natural Mint

This was definitely an impulse purchase and I totally regret it. Not only was it ridiculously expensive for a little pack of gum, it tastes terrible. You know when you brush your teeth and then drink OJ? That is exactly how this tastes. The texture also looks and feels like fish food pellets. I’m all for trying to go organic but this gum was not the answer.

Burt’s Bees Chapstick

I’ve been a huge fan of Burt’s Bees for the longest time but never knew that they made chapstick flavors other than peppermint. Yes, I may hide under a rock. I’m addicted to the Pink Grapefruit because it smells and tastes like breakfast throughout the day. The Vanilla Bean is also lovely because of how subtle it is compared to the peppermint chapstick that I love so dearly. Burt’s Bees actually plants urban gardens to help recover bee populations. Find out more information on that by clicking here.

Soothing Touch Lip Balm

When I was wandering through Whole Foods, I found these two chapsticks 2/$5. I’ve been obsessed with iced chia tea so the vanilla chia chapstick was practically jumping off the shelf and into my pocket. 85% of the chapstick is organic which sometimes worries me because I’ve had some organic chapsticks that are extremely creamy and slip right off. Luckily, these two stayed put and smell amazing.

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LaVanila Natural Deodorant

At first, the thought of natural deodorant scared the crap out of me. Was I going to smell? Am I going to sweat a lot? Does it apply weird? The list went on and on. As I was scrolling through Instagram one day I saw an ad for the Lavanila deodorant and I put it in the back of my mind that one day I would finally get it. I was super hesitant because A. I didn’t know if it would work and B. $14 for deodorant sounded outrageous to me. After countless YouTube reviews, I decided to finally bite the bullet and finally purchase the coconut one. Ugh, it smelt terrible to me. I excepted it to smell sweet and floral but instead, it just smelt like old, wet baby powder. I almost wrote off the natural deodorant idea completely until I saw a new pesky ad for their vanilla + earth deodorant. A deodorant that contains patchouli? Count me in. I bought it then and there and was incredibly happy with the delicious smell. It smells like a sweet mix of spring rain, flowers, and baby powder. The deodorant is applied just like a dove deodorant but it doesn’t contain all of the harsh chemicals. Lavanila’s website that when you’re switching over to natural deodorant that you may go through a week where you smell because your pits are getting rid of the toxins. Luckily, I never went through that week. My pits smell like I’ve been frolicking in the woods and I couldn’t be happier. If you’re going to try one thing on this list… try switching out your chemical deodorant for something cleaner.

Raw Sugar Shampoo: The Bounce Back

Target is becoming my go-to for finding natural products like Raw Sugar. Their incredible isle helped me find all of these incredible products. This incredible shampoo and conditioner combo are made with ColdPres Technology. This means that the shampoos and conditioners preserve more of the whole fruit and plant so that it can deliver pure, rich essential oils, vitamins, enzymes and nutrients that nourish and vitalize your skin. If that didn’t convince you, Raw Sugar also donates a bar of soap to a family in need. Note: You can only buy this product at Target.

This particular shampoo reminds me of the Amalfi Coast for some reason. It has a sweet mango smell with a hint of vanilla. It is very subtle once you wash it out of your hair. I’m definitely going to be looking for more of Raw Sugar next time I wander through Target.

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Have you tried any of these products or any natural products I should try? Let me know in the comments down below. 

As always,

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Half United: 7 Donated Meals for Every Purchase

Do you ever fall so hard for a company that you just want to scream from the rooftops so everyone knows about them? That is how I feel about Half United.  In 2009, two siblings made an incredible company out of only $200. Their mission is that for every product a customer buys they will also be purchasing seven meals for children in the USA, Haiti, Fiji, and Cambodia. After running the company for almost 10 years, the company has donated over 800,000 meals to children in need.

I recently picked up two new items from Half United and wanted to share with you my little Half United Haul.

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Bracelet | Necklace | Shirt

The way Half United helps these areas in more detail:

USA: Helps implement farming programs into schools. This allows meals to be packed for the hungry, food to be planted, and community gardens maintained. Half United works with the local communities to help improve daily lives.

Haiti: Each beaded item from Half United is supporting the livelihood and well being of artisans in Haiti. Each beaded item is created by men and women in Papillon. The beaded item is then hand-signed and completely unique.

Fiji: The funds sent to Fiji go towards supporting sustainable, thriving feeding projects at the “NCTC” primary school. Half United has funded sweet potato farms, student garden projects, honeybee farms, chicken coops, and more.

Cambodia: Half United has teamed up with the EAI orphanage in Phnom, Penh Cambodia. EAI focuses on empowering children emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

Half United

Necklace

Half United sells different products ranging from slogan tees to jewelry. The big attraction is the necklace made from recycled bullet casings to represent the fight against hunger. I love the idea of using something negative and turning it into something good. I talk more about my necklace in my first Half United post.

Bracelet

The bracelet pictured is supposed to represent Half United’s connection with Fiji school NCTC. Half United provides meals to these children in need as well as fund the school for long-term sustainable employment. The Fijian people work on beehives to create wax and honey for profit.The brass hex nuts and washers on this leather bracelet represent the rugged farm tools needed to grow healthy food.  The symbol of the hexagon represents the shapes in beehives. The leather in this bracelet is from Georgia and the bracelet itself is assembled in Wilmington, NC at the Half United headquarters. I absolutely love the idea of working with beehives because of how necessary it is to have bees in our ecosystem. Saving the bees was actually one of my first “socially responsible” posts I’ve done on Peculiar Porter. You can check out that post here. (I can fully admit now that the dress in this post is waaaaaay too short)

Slogan T-Shirt

As someone who travels and is really diving blindly into the line of sustainable/eco-friendly fashion, I was thrilled when I saw this adorable slogan tee. I’m a sucker for any white graphic tee and this one really poked the inner wanderluster in me. This same shirt also comes in black and they have other adorable slogan tees that say “Giving Back is the New Black” and “Fighter”. Stay tuned on a few posts coming up because I’ll be styling this shirt ASAP.

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Have you ever heard of Half United? What do you think about repurposing bullet shells and using them for good? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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Rethink the Way You Buy Jeans

Let’s talk about America’s favorite piece of clothing: jeans. I’m jean obsessed. Growing up my brothers used to mock me because of my different colored jeans. They even had a song for when I wore my pink pair… “Logan pink pants Porter” still rings in my ears to this day. Nonetheless, my love for the classic pair of jeans has never faded.

It didn’t occur to me how jeans were actually made until I watched the Trust Cost. I figured cotton and a little bit of stretch make the ideal jean. I knew so little about how much jeans and the cotton production ruin the environment surrounding the factories and cotton farms. I never knew that although cotton is only planted on 2.4% of agriculture land, it accounts for nearly 11% of pesticide sales in the world. I never even though of the beloved plastic elasticity in my jeans being the exact reason why it is so hard to recycle jeans. The more I researched the more I started to feel guilty about the cheap pair of $12 jeans I found at Marshalls. Who made those jeans and what conditions were they made in? I started asking myself more and more questions and found myself researching until the wee hours of the night. That’s when it occurred to me that needed to make a vow to stop buying cheap, fast fashion jeans and either thrift of invest in ethical jeans that will last. So when I was looking for a new pair of white jeans, I found Everlane.

Everlane White Pants

Jeans | Boots | Sweater (Sold out… Similar) | Jacket (Similiar) | Belt (Same on eBay)

Everlane is a slow fashion company that focuses on basics with a touch of creativity. The reason I found this basic store so incredibly comforting is that they show the factories that make their clothes on the website and then break down the cost of the item directly  (see their jean factory here). I know, wild. So let me take you through the process of making these jeans and explain to you why these ones, in particular, are the white jeans you need for spring.

“Belly” washing machines that are used in standard denim manufacture plants waste up to 1,500 liters of water per pair of jeans (about 132 Gatorade coolers).

Depending on where you live water may not seem that important because it always seems like it is raining or snowing (ex: these snowy pictures). But 35% of the world’s population doesn’t have proper access to clean water. Instead of wasting all of that water, Everlane’s factory, Saitex, uses a closed water system and super-efficient jet washing machines. The result? Only .4 liters of water is lost due to evaporation. By being conscious of the water consumption, Everlane is making a difference in jean production and the community around the factories.

Often times factories in developing countries dump polluted water back into the waterway, which directly affects the surrounding communities. 

Saitex recycles 98% of all used water and when it comes out the other side, it’s so clean you can actually drink it. You don’t have to worry about Everlane’s factories polluting the surrounding areas. Instead, you can have a clear conscious buying a pair of wicked cute jeans.

IMG_0112.jpgIMG_0126Most denim factories use an insane amount of energy for their factories because they have to constantly dry the jeans. 

Saitex airdries 85% of their jeans and the rest of the jeans are dried with energy coming from solar panels. This has allowed their factory to reduce energy usage by 5.3 million kilowatts of power and reduce CO2 emissions by almost 80%. Kudos for clean energy!

All denim creates a toxic byproduct called sludge.

No matter how clean a denim factory is, jeans will still create a byproduct called sludge. This byproduct is nearly impossible to get rid of until Saitex found out that when you mix sludge with concrete the toxic material can no longer leech into the environment. The factory uses this method to make concrete bricks to build affordable homes. So far, Saitex has built ten homes with these bricks. So not only are they creating jeans but they’re actually creating homes from a byproduct!

Everlane White PantsIMG_0137My top four picks for your white jean wardrobe:white jeans.jpg

Everlane ($68) | Able ($128) | Amour Vert ($178) | DL1961 ($188)

So if you’re ready to buy another pair of white jeans for this spring and summer why not buy a pair that is better for the environment. When you’re buying a pair of jeans that are better quality make sure to check what the jeans are actually made of. Look for the ratio of cotton to spandex and make sure that you’re not just buying a cheap pair of jeggings that will only last a few washes. A good pair of jeans will be made out of either 100% cotton or 99% cotton with 1% spandex. Staples, like jeans, that you wear again and again deserve to be invested in.

What do you think about Everlane? Did you know how jeans were produced? Let me know in the comments down below. (Also, I’m very curious if you think it’s wrong to wear white before Memorial Day… I clearly have no shame).

As always,

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Clean Reserve’s Citron Fig: an Ethically Made Perfume (Review)

If you saw my post from Tuesday, you know I’m pretty much diving into the world of sustainable, ethical goods blindly. No actually, you could probably put a blindfold over my clueless head and I’d be in the same exact spot. But one thing I do know is that I need to start researching more and more about what and how I’m consuming products.

During the Christmas season, my boyfriend gave me Clean Reserve’s Citron Fig perfume and not only did I fall for the delicious smell but I fell for the company itself. (Props to Rob for really knowing how to give good gifts). The more I researched Clean Reserve and their sustainability practices, the more I started to love the company. They not only use reusable materials, clean energy, eco-friendly oils, but they even pay their workers fairly. Literally, what more could you love about a company?

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Citron Fig by Clean Reserve

Fragrance Notes: Ginger, lemon oil, cardamom, mandarin, mint, copaiba, sandalwood, cedarwood, and musk.

What it Smells Like: Having a really good dream and then waking up to the soft glow of the sun on your cheek. It also has the possibility of taking you back in time to the moment where you were first able to ride a bike without training wheels. Hey, I warned you.

The Perfume’s InspirationInspired by a free-spirited confidence that awakens when you realize your true potential.

Perfect forThe up and comer (aka totally me because I’m still trying to figure out the big, bad adult world).

How long does it last: 6-8 hours

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Sustainable IngredientsThey procure Cardamom from a local supplier in Guatemala who works directly with native Guatemalan farmers. This allows Clean to guarantee that the local farmers receive a higher profit for the essential oils and a steady income. Working directly with the communities in the Amazon and providing them with technical and financial support ensures the sustainable sourcing of Copaiba Oil and an increase of income for the farmers.

There are so many reasons why I think this is such an incredible company but the main one is that they are actually paying their farmers a living wage. My mom grew up on a dairy farm and from this, I know how hard farmers have to work in order to get the job done. Most of the time farmers are undercut by big corporations even though the farmers are doing all of the hard work. You often see this in any type of farm work from cotton farming to milk production to even essential oils. Companies like Clean Reserve are putting a stop to this unfair practice. I couldn’t be happier to wear their playful scent because of this.

For more information about their sustainable practices including their packaging I decided to pull this super informative picture from their website:

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Now that I know more about their company I literally want to try them all… is that bad? If I had to try another one next it would definitely be the Sueded Oud because we all know how I feel about patchouli (if you don’t definitely check out my weirdly obsessive blog post on this candle. But Sueded Oud is apparently for “the boss” so I might have to wait a while until I get to that level!

Have you ever heard or smelled perfumes from Clean Reserve? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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5 Ways to Stop Buying Fast Fashion Today

Vent. Okay, so originally this post was going to be about my weekend and how wonderful it was visiting Terrain with Juliette from Julietteful (which by the way was all kinds of wonderful). But before I sat down to write this blog post I watched The True Cost on Netflix and I couldn’t focus because I was so unbelievably frustrated and overwhelmed. For those who don’t know, The True Cost is a documentary that explains negative impact fast fashion has on the social, economic, political, and environmental structures of developing countries. That was a mouthful. In short: fast fashion is ruining everything around us. But what really resonated with me were the following statistics:

  1. The fashion industry is the world’s second-largestpolluter. (Oil is the first).
  2. The world now consumes a staggering 80 billionpieces of clothing. (And we throw clothes away just as quickly as we consume them).
  3. One-in-six people work in the global fashion industry. (The majority of them are women and are being paid less than $3 a day).
  4. Only 10% of the clothes people donate to charity or thrift stores get sold (When the clothes are not sold, they are shipped to various developing countries where they are bought by the box and kill the local textile industry).

After watching this film, I feel so overwhelmed. I have been so blind to what was happening right underneath my nose. More than half the products I own I don’t even know where they came from. I don’t even know how my clothes came to American or the processes in which they were cut, dyed, or sewn. I love shopping and the “rush” of finding a good deal but I’m quickly realizing how wrong that is. Do I really want a cheaply made garment that will unravel after a few washes? Do I really want a garment that people have made with their own blood, sweat, and tears? I think it’s time I drastically rethink the way I consume, which is why I plan on implementing these steps into my daily life.

Recycled Fashion - Thrift ShoppingIMG_9387Sell your clothes on eBay. 

I know it feels great giving your clothes to charity and thrift stores but the harsh reality is that only 10% of those clothes are actually being sold and the majority of those profits aren’t going back to charity. Some second-hand stores even have a 30-day cycle so that if they aren’t sold in the 30 days they are removed and either thrown away or shipped in a box to a developing country. Once the box arrives at the developing country, buyers pick random boxes without knowing what exactly is inside. Those clothes then flood the textile industry in that country and diminish work opportunities.

By selling clothes on eBay you not only make a profit, but you can potentially donate that money to a charity that you choose. You then can know how much of your proceeds are actually going to the charity. Or you can simply just keep the money and use it to purchase clothes that are sustainable. I’ve been selling clothes on eBay for about a year now and have made a decent amount of money. It is a great way to have a little extra cash and I often use that money to buy sustainable alternatives. Let’s face it, I own a good amount of fast fashion clothes but I’m not going to just throw them all away because that would just be adding to the problem. Instead, I can think of different ways to reuse these items and get the longest life out of them.

Shop on eBay or go thrift shopping. 

Now, I know this idea might deter a few people but hear me out. This adorable dress was actually found thrifting. Since the cut of the dress is way too rebellious for my taste, I just threw on a simple turtleneck and called it a day. When I go thrift shopping, I really need to be in the right mood or else I won’t find anything. You really need to be open-minded to different ways you can style something. If you are, you’ll find endless things.

This is a great way to find vintage clothes and clothes for DIY projects. Plus, you’re helping cut down the impact of clothes that would be going to landfills and adding to our pollution problem.

IMG_9496Research the products and companies you’re buying from. 

This is something I’m still trying to get used to. As an American and a blogger, I love consuming countless things I really don’t need. This is why I’m trying to refocus what I’ve been putting my money towards and seeing if it is really worth it. For example, instead of spending $50-70 bucks on a pair of cheap boots that I knew my awkward, pigeon-toed feet would ruin, I decided to buy a pair of high-quality boots from Thursday Boot Co. I did just as much research on these boots as I would on a camera. I looked up what type of leather they use, where they manufacture the boots, and what other consumers say about the boots. Since we live in such a technology-driven world, there is really no excuse to not researching a company before you buy from them. Plus, this really helps cut down on my impulse shopaholic habits.

Quality over quantity. 

Just like my boots, you really want to make sure the products you’re buying are worth it. Are your boots going to last walking around three airports at top speed? Will that white shirt still look white after the 20th wash? Will that seam stay pull or unravel after the third wear? These are all questions I am starting to ask myself as I shop. I admit, I still shop and Marshalls and Nordstrom Rack. The only difference is that when I buy products from there I really want to make sure they’re really good quality. I no longer buy a $5 cotton shirt that is thinner than a piece of paper because I know that I might only get a few uses out of it. Plus, if the shirt is $5 think of how much the person making that shirt is getting paid. I’m hoping that as I start this journey I can start developing a sense of what is good quality and what isn’t. IMG_9401Lastly, just be aware.

Since fast fashion is so ingrained in our lives, it is so hard to quit cold turkey. I totally get that and I’m right there with you. But now that I’ve opened Pandora’s box for you, you’re going to start hearing a little nagging voice in the back of your head every time you want to buy a cheaply made shirt. Sorry! But, hopefully, your bank account will thank you.

If you want to know more about fast and slow fashion I highly recommend watching The True Cost on Netflix, listening or reading the book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Fast Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline,  listening to the podcast Conscious Chatter by Kestrel Jenkins, and downloading the app Good on You. The following blogs are also great resources for finding more information on companies: Ecocult, Sustainably Chic, The Good Trade, and Ethical Unicorn.

IMG_9382Recycled Fashion - Thrift Shopping

Now I know conscious shopping isn’t for everyone, but I hope this makes you just a little bit more aware of where you’re getting your clothes. What do you think about fast fashion/slow fashion? Have you seen The True Cost? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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