eco round up: white hot, ethical style

fashion revolution week is upon us, and today, i’ve compiled eight ethereal pieces in ivory + pale hues. creamy delights for all of you sustainable style lovers. i’ve used pics from my summer trips through the south of france as the romantic backdrop, so you can travel through marseilles + frolic in the mediterranean sea while perusing delicious ethical brands. check out wednesday’s post in which i’ve shared seven simple steps to join the fashion revolution for citizens + activists interested in protecting planet earth + all of its inhabitants.

1/ mara hoffman organic cotton dress, local eclectic shell earrings, indego africa straw bag, nae vegan slingbacks

2/ sezane open back dress made in bulgaria

3/ harley jae linen top + skirt and top handmade in canada

4/ tribe alive organic linen romper handmade in india

5/ all the wild roses boho dress handmade from remnant cotton in vietnam

6/ maison de mode billowing skirt handmade in ghana

7/ reformation tencel scoop neck dress made in los angeles

8/ by the sea organic cotton seaside dress handmade in india

{don't forget the tip} conventional products + clothing carry toxins that are absorbed through our skin and can negatively impact our health + the health of the workers producing the goods {the chemicals in coloring dyes, scouring agents + industrial detergents have been linked to skin rashes, hormone disruption + cancer}. choose sustainable apparel from responsible fashion labels whenever possible, and ask your favorite retailers whether their apparel is made using natural, non-toxic textiles + dyes.

remember eco boys + girls, ethical fashion is about voting with your dollars as a conscious citizen + consumer. only shop when you need to, and shop your closet first. oh, and if you’re feeling adventurous, pop into a vintage shop or thrift shop. there are always treasures to be found!

images via eco, ethical co’s

ethical fashion: join the fashion revolution

who made my clothes 2.jpg

remembering rana plaza

today we commemorate the 1,134 garment workers who lost their lives on april 24, 2013 when the rana plaza factory in bangladesh collapsed. thousands more were maimed + injured. nervous workers had stepped out on this day after cracks in the building were detected, but they were ordered back into the building by management despite structural neglect of the building + safety hazards. why? for the production of low cost clothing: to meet the demand for fast fashion.

here's what you can do to become a part of the solution

today, workers still toil long hours in unsafe working conditions around the world to make clothes, shoes + accessories. put your activism pants on + let the world know you will be a voice for those who can’t be heard. here are six simple steps to join the fashion revolution:

1. take a pic

take a picture of yourself wearing one of your favorite items of clothing turned inside out, with the label in full view. hop on social media and post the pic asking fashion labels "who made my clothes?" use hashtags #whomademyclothes #transparency #livingwage #fashionrevolution #peopleoverprofits

2. abstain

an important way to contribute involves what not to do. over consumption feeds the demand for apparel manufacture, with shoe + clothing companies racing to meet customer demand and forcing factory workers to labor for long hours in dangerous conditions to meet production deadlines. so this, my friends, is the moment to embrace quality over quantity. remember: loved clothes last. shop less + shop your own closet.

3. act

beyond conscious consumerism, learn how to engage decision makers by calling representatives and sending emails to government officials. fashion revolution encourages us to take immediate action in the political sphere + to become active citizens in the campaign towards policy + legislative change. 

become more politically involved by thinking beyond ethical purchases. to contact your government leaders in the u.s.a., simply enter your zip code here for state rep’s or here for state senators, then click on the “contact” page and write from your heart.

4. ask

one of my fave clean fashion advocates is livia firth. livia has an informative instagram account, and she + her staff answer questions about the world of sustainable living + ethical fashion to help you on your journey to greener, kinder living. to learn more, follow slave to fashion by safia minney, a pioneer in fair trade fashion + labor rights activist; labour behind the label, an organization that campaigns for workers’ rights in the clothing industry; and clean clothes campaign, a global alliance dedicated to improving working conditions + empowering garment factory workers.

5. read

the most seminal book i've read since embarking on this sustainable living + ethical fashion journey is to die for: is fashion wearing out the world? by journalist, environmentalist + slow fashion activist lucy siegle. each chapter changed the way i think about my consumer habits and how i choose to spend my money, time + energy. knowledge is the start to making thoughtful decisions as an active citizen.

elizabeth cline is the author of overdressed: the shockingly high cost of cheap fashion. this is an engrossing + edifying read, and she just published her second book, the conscious closet, which you can pre-order now.

6. research

remember to look for fair trade labels to ensure decent working conditions + fair terms of trade for farmers and workers. if you can't find a label, be sure to ask a manager or customer service representative. when you walk into a restaurant, you are able to ask about the ingredients in your menu offering. in the same way, you should be able to walk into a shop {or browse online} and find out more about the clothes you may invest your money in. if a retailer doesn't respond to my email inquiries, then i shop at those companies where transparency is a part of their mission.

7. watch

each year, i recommend the documentary true cost by director andrew morgan. this film is about “the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the fashion industry is having on our world.” this movie introduces the hearts + hands that stitch our clothes, and it will forever change the way you think about your purchases as a citizen.

learn more about the families + brave survivors of the rana plaza disaster. financial donations to fashion revolution can be made here to continue the work of disseminating information + spreading awareness. your voice matters. policy makers + fast fashion companies must know that low wages, environmental degradation, unsafe working conditions + factory disasters are unacceptable in the work places where fast fashion companies offshore the manufacturing of their products. demand transparency + let your voice be heard.

{image via fashion revolution}

{eco boutique} the rescued collection: an eco, online thrift shop

the propensity to rescue dates back as far as my mind can reach. and not just defenseless animals. dusty, old books? i want them; i'll read them all. antique furniture left in the alley next to my flat? guess who's coming home with me tonight? clothes that no one else wants? i'll dust them off + wear them or reconstruct them. i see value in almost everything.

there's a little online eco boutique called bead + reel that you may already know about {i wrote about it previously here on finny + dill, singing high praises for this woman-founded + woman-run retail shop: that's right, it's entirely run by one fierce woman}, but did you know that owner sica schmitz has created an online resale shop that sells only vegan + ethically made wares? sica also won the sustainable business council's small business award this year. here's what the animal activist, shrewd eco entrepreneur + one of my fave everyday heroes had to say about acknowledging women's accomplishments + why size doesn't matter:

before we hear words of wisdom from sica, a woman with a powerful will, i wanted to take a moment to introduce you to her fantastic new online second-hand shop that she has incorporated on bead + reel, her fab retail website. this is no ordinary collection of pre-loved clothes. the rescued collection is made up of eco, ethical + vegan wares only. which means you can purchase gently used + like new apparel, footwear + accessories from some of the best sustainable fashion labels for a fraction of the original price. 

the average american throws out 70 pounds of textiles each year, according to the council for textile recycling.

and it's so very easy. just drop the free shipping label into your cart, press send; within 24 hours you'll receive the ups label which you can print from home, then ta da! send your package via post, then receive a payment via paypal or keep the credit to purchase a shiny new bauble or that new set of strappy heels you've been eyeing. trust me, this is a great way to save money on eco items you'd like to invest in or to save your garments from the belly of the whale: and my that i mean the landfill. 

and now sica speaketh the truth. sica talks size, and why it doesn't matter: it was very intimidating to enter this competition as a one-person, $100,000 business competing in the same category as $1 million companies with teams of employees. there is a vast difference in resources and capabilities, and i am well aware of that. but for a small sole proprietorship to win means that any individual has the power to build their own business and to start creating their own unique impacts. don't wait until you're "big enough" to change the world; you, yourself, are capable of it right now.

as a woman whose company honors the earth by stocking only products that are made with respect to our natural resources, to people + to animals, i loved what she had to say about the importance of trees:

one of my friends asked how much money came with this award, and i had to laugh. this award offers only recognition, and a tree. a beautiful "giving tree" - a ming aralia, and it was probably the most meaningful award i could have received. my father used to give away thousands of trees every year to my hometown community - little douglas fir seedlings, free to anyone who would love them. his friends and clients and strangers would plant their jace trees - named in his honor - on their properties, and some people had decades worth of jace trees growing at their homes. he died 5 years ago, so he never got to see bead + reel or the tree that i won this week. however, his jace trees live on, a beautiful and constant reminder that our impact on the world doesn't end when we leave this earth. so give trees, and plant trees, and live the kind of life that continues to grow, even after you are gone.

and finally, sica reminds us why female leadership matters: 

bead + reel is an entirely woman-founded, women-owned, woman-run business, and it is only in acknowledging more women's accomplishments that we can start to shift towards a reality where there are as many large companies run by men as by women.

thank you to sica for her work as a pioneering entrepreneur  + a rockin' role model. 

{don't forget the tip} when i first learned that people across the world dispose of used clothing, i was completely discombobulated. the average american throws out 70 pounds of textiles each year, according to the council for textile recycling. that just won't do. there are many options for recycling your gently-worn apparel + footwear. don't send those gently used items to the landfills, instead give them new life by donating them or selling them. now get ready to shop small. want to know what other options exist for redirecting the destiny of those perfectly wearable clothes in your closet? check out this post at litterless. 

{eco apparel: wearing organic cotton top by groceries apparel + fair trade jeans by monkee genes; find your own fair trade treasures at bead + reel}

until next time, stay green dear hearts!

{fashion revolution} take action: ask "who made my clothes?"

today marks the beginning of fashion revolution week, which brings people together from all over the world to use the power of fashion to change the story for the 75 million garment workers who toil in the apparel industry every day in perilous + unsafe working conditions

Fashion revolution is a movement towards transparency, ethics and sustainability in the world of fast fashion.

fashion revolution seeks to inspire people to think differently about the clothes they buy + wear. they ask citizens + consumers to explore the cause + effect relationship between our purchasing habits and the lives of those who make our clothes. fashion revolution encourages each of us to use our money and our voices to transform the fashion industry into a force for good. 

today we commemorate the 1,134 workers who lost their lives when a garment factory in bangladesh collapsed. thousands more were injured. nervous workers had stepped out on this day after cracks in the building were detected, but were ordered back into the building by management. why? for the production of low cost clothing.

here's what you can do to become a part of the solution

put your activism pants on + let the world know you will be a voice for those who cannot speak. here are six simple steps:

1. take a pic

take a picture of yourself wearing one of your favorite items of clothing turned inside out, with the label in full view. hop on social media and post the pic asking fashion labels "who made my clothes?"

2. abstain

an important way to contribute involves what not to do. over consumption feeds the demand for apparel manufacture, with shoe + clothing companies racing to meet customer demand and forcing factory workers to labor for long hours in dangerous conditions to meet production deadlines. so this, my friends, is the moment to embrace quality over quantity. shop less + shop your own closet.

3. act

beyond conscious consumerism, learn how to engage decision makers by calling representatives and sending emails to government officials. this provocative + clear-eyed article by alden wicker of eco cult urges us to take immediate action in the political sphere + to become active citizens in the campaign towards policy + legislative change. 

become more politically involved by thinking beyond ethical purchases.

4. ask

one of my fave eco heroes + clean fashion advocates is kate black. kate has a column on her blog magnifeco "ask kate" in which you can send questions about the world of sustainable style + ethical fashion. she provides honest + practical advice for compassionate living.

5. read

the most seminal book i've read since embarking on this sustainable living + ethical fashion journey is to die for: is fashion wearing out the world? by journalist, environmentalist + slow fashion activist lucy siegle. each chapter changed the way i think about my consumer habits and how i choose to spend my money, time + energy. knowledge is the start to making thoughtful decisions as an active citizen.

6. research

remember to look for fair trade labels to ensure decent working conditions + fair terms of trade for farmers and workers. if you can't find a label, be sure to ask a manager or customer service representative. when you walk into a restaurant, you are able to ask about the ingredients in your menu offering. in the same way, you should be able to walk into a shop {or browse online} and find out more about the clothes you may invest your money in. if a retailer doesn't respond to my email inquiries, then i shop at those companies where transparency is a part of their mission.

learn more about the families + brave survivors of the rana plaza disaster. financial donations to fashion revolution can be made here to continue the work of disseminating information + spreading awareness.

{artwork by ev / image via fashion revolution}

{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}