{eco brand} armed angels: messengers of good

at armed angels, they're delivering messages of organic + eco goodness. and much more.

ethical fashion was born of the need for clothes that are made responsibly. but what was wrong with the way clothes were being manufactured in the first place? we'll rewind to the triangle shirtwaist factory fire of 1909 in new york city, before diving into today's ethical label, armed angels, based out of germany, a brand that believes fairness is never out of fashion.

how have armed angels created their own remarkable brand of fair fashion for over ten years? take a peek at their sunny pieces + learn how they came to be made by happy hands of materials that consider + protect the earth's natural resources; then meet two inspiring women who survived the factory fire of 1909 + went on to become impassioned labor rights activists:

if you're just tuning in, i'll share just a bit of history to bring you up to speed on the world of ethical fashion + garment production. march of 2017 marked the 106th anniversary of the triangle shirtwaist factory fire of 1911.

on a blustery day on march 25th in new york city, a fire broke out in a cramped factory where garment workers sewed blouses. 146 workers perished or jumped to their death within 30 minutes.

workers, mostly immigrant women, were trapped by flames, and an exit was illegally locked from the outside to keep workers at their sewing machines + to reduce the perceived threat of theft, a common practice still used today at garment factories throughout the world.

sewers worked 12-hour days, and were paid $3 per week. the international ladies garment workers union organized a strike in 1909, but were subject to police brutality + imprisonment.

the owners did not install sprinkler systems or invest in any other safety measures that might have protected the lives of its young, immigrant workers {most of whom were of italian + jewish european decent}.

while the owners were acquitted of manslaughter, never being held responsible, the industrial tragedy led to some of the first city, state + federal laws dealing with workers' safety, including the sullivan-hoey fire prevention law {requiring water sprinklers to be installed in all new york factories}.

a series of laws + regulations came into effect that better protected the safety + health of factory workers, including higher pay, shorter hours + eventually the wagner act was signed into law {the national labor relations act which guaranteed basic rights to employees to form + join unions, and it obligated employers to bargain collectively with these unions}.

today, the rights of american + european workers are better protected from egregious human rights violations, but offshoring has become standard company practice for large corporations taking advantage of lower manufacturing costs overseas to maximize profits {at factories lacking basic safety oversight}. today 97% of apparel in the usa is made abroad.

but some companies are leaders in the world of ethical fashion, protecting both its workers + the planet; ensuring the prohibition of forced labor + discrimination, while securing workers' rights to assembly + collective bargaining. the leader of the pack? slow fashion brand, armed angels.

we're reminded by the good folks at armed angels that it takes "a lot of sweat + time to produce clothes as many people are involved in this long process. it is our responsibility to make sure that every single one of them works under fair conditions." they share, "we just want to do the right thing. step by step, every day. organisations like fair trade or fair wear foundation help us to implement our high standards."

armed angels doesn't use cotton grown with pesticides, which negatively impacts the health of cotton growers + pickers, instead vying to use organic cotton + organic linen, along with recycled polyester as well as lenzing modal + tencel.

the talented young designers at armed angels are making real clothes for boys + girls, like you + me. breezy dresses + easy separates, the pieces are wearable, affordable + current.

most of us have a sense for what works best for our bodies + our wardrobes, and armed angels' cuts + color palettes have broad appeal: you can't go wrong with a classic pair of jeans + a breton striped pullover.

sylish + flattering basics that allow you to shine through, right this way.

{don't forget the tip} interested in learning more about the real angels + brave survivors of the triangle shirtwaist factory fire who went on to become fierce labor reform activists? read about rose freedman, who, throughout her life, spoke passionately for labor rights and all while wearing heels - even as a centenarian. and bessie cohen, who advocated for worker safety + never forgot the event that changed her life forever. rose had these words of wisdom to share before her death: "to me, 106 is a number. i lived that long, not only on account of my genes, but on account of my attitude. you've got to stand up for yourself. am i right?''

and we have the opportunity to stand up for others, too! that's the way to effect positive change in the world. stay tuned for more ways you can become a modern day fashion revolutionary as april 24 approaches, and with it, the commemoration of the rana plaza disaster.

until next time, stay green dear hearts ♥

{images via armed angels // artwork by ev}