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}

fashion revolution: why transparency matters


a global movement for positive change

as a shy, soft-spoken gal, i've always relied on fashion to tell the story of who i am sans words. fashion is an evocative, tactile language that i employ daily. i respect the time, energy + talent it takes to construct a garment because there are a number of workers, including farmers, spinners, dyers + sewers, who will come in contact with each item of clothing before it reaches our hands. i've sewn my own clothes since the age of 14, so i understand the work that goes into crafting each item of clothing. 

The low prices [consumers] now expect to pay for clothing are built around the cost of production in other countries.

author elizabeth cline of overdressed shares, "clothing, even when produced in a factory, is really a handmade good broken down into assembly-line steps." in an interview with michael depalma, a factory manager in new york's garment center, we are reminded that fashion is a labor-intensive industry, not a technology-intensive industry, because you need someone to sit at a sewing machine. "the low prices [consumers] now expect to pay for clothing are built around the cost of production in other {low-wage} countries." today, 97% of apparel manufacturing is offshored to low-wage countries.

each week i focus my attention on brands + boutiques that value, respect + protect workers and our environment: eco-friendly + ethical brands honor the many hands, the myriad workers, that touch the garments + shoes we wear. because, as molly acord of fair + simple boutique reminds us, "behind every seam is a person." and the people who make our clothes + shoes are people with dreams + aspirations just like you and me. 

here's why transparency matters in the world of fashion + how you can get involved. 

from our friends at fashion revolution:

on 24 april 2013, the rana plaza building in bangladesh collapsed. 1,138 people died and another 2,500 were injured, making it the fourth largest industrial disaster in history.

that’s when fashion revolution was born.

there were five garment factories in rana plaza all manufacturing clothing for big global brands. the victims were mostly young women.

since then, people from all over the world have come together to use the power of fashion to change the world.

our clothes have gone on a long journey before they hit store shelves, passing through the hands of cotton farmers, spinners, weavers, dyers, sewers and others. approximately 75 million people work to make our clothes. 80% of them are women between the ages of 18 and 35.

however, the majority of the people who makes clothes for the global market live in poverty, unable to afford life’s basic necessities. many are subject to exploitation; verbal and physical abuse, working in unsafe and dirty conditions, with very little pay.

Every time we buy something that costs less than we think it should, we are implicit in the impacts of that transaction.

this needs to change.

at the moment, most of the world lives in a capitalist economy. this means companies must increase sales growth and make profits in order to succeed — but crucially, not at the expense of peoples’ working conditions, health, livelihoods, dignity and creativity and not at the expense of our natural environment.

human rights abuses and environmental degradation remains rife. the harsh reality is that basic health and safety measures do not exist for many of the people working in fashion’s supply chains. the legal minimum wage in most garment-producing countries is rarely enough for workers to live on.

150 billion items of clothing are delivered out of factories annually yet americans alone throw away approximately 14 million tonnes of garments each year, that’s over 36 kg per person. according to the environmental protection agency (EPA), 84% of unwanted clothes in the united states in 2012 went into either a landfill or an incinerator.

the way we consume clothing has changed a lot over the past 20-30 years too. we buy more clothes than we used to and spend less on them. a century ago, we spent more than half our money on food and clothes, today we spend less than a fifth. as a society we purchase 400% more clothing today than we did just 20 years ago. every time we buy something that costs less than we think it should, we are implicit in the impacts of that transaction.

there's a way towards a better future. read more about how you can take action + become a part of the solution with these six easy steps. today i'm asking levi's: who made my clothes? read more about transparency in the fashion world here. 


simple pleasures: still waters, eaux calmes

canal saint martin.jpg
Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.
— W. H. Auden

every time i hear the sound of water, run a faucet or i witness a calming brook, fountain or large, crystalline body of water, i think of how grateful i am for access to clean water. fast fashion is a major polluter of natural waterways around the globe; outsourcing leaves countries where garments are manufactured to fight industrial pollution of groundwater and drinking water. if you're interested in companies that are stewards of our planet's natural resources, then pop over to the ethical brands page for some of that good, clean fashion and become a part of the fashion revolution. jump on the slow fashion train + learn how to extend the life of your wardrobe by loving your clothes!

ethical brands: 10 vegan, ethical mules for every occasion

pineapple leaf fibers, recycled x-rays, natural cork: these are not your ordinary mules and slides, my friends. the little open-back shoe has returned, and here are ten spring + summer shoes crafted from innovative textiles that are  to get around town in, to take long strolls with your shelter pup in, or to wear out when performing your save-the-world, superwoman deeds in - ever so stylishly of course! all companies craft shoes using vegan textiles and with respect to workers and the environment. remember boys + girls, every day is earth day. walk on, my friends:

sydney brown

sydney brown is a luxury, vegan shoe label offering this little mule in a low or high wooden heel as well as some stunning clog mules in black or iridescent


bhava studio brings us the ubiquitous slide loafer: is it a loafer or is it a slide? it's the best of both worlds: an easy, chic + breathable design available in tan, blue or black. pair it with anything in your closet for a casual, cool look. 

bourgeois boheme

bourgeois boheme pinatex pineapple magic is happening here with these sweet little sliders. choose the wear-with-everything black design made out of the most eco-friendly textile in town: pineapple leaf fibers, an agricultural waste product reinvented by my eco hero dr. carmen hijosa, or choose a cream version for summer days ahead. if you're looking for a little crisscross action {i'm not talkin' 90's hip hop duo, although they were a fun pair indeed} here's a pair with those dreamy full-comfort cork soles.


rafa offers the most colorful selection of mules and wedges in bright jewel tones and saturated pastels. this is a shoe that knows it can be anything it wants: beautiful, bold + high quality. 


nae offers this cute, slow fashion version of the backless mule, made with respect to animals and people. i do love a heel, but i also love comfort, and nae is known for its dedication to both feet-friendly + animal-friendly designs.


nicora designs sell out fast! but sometimes they bring back crowd favorites. if you love a flat slider, but you're looking for a little attitude in your shoes, then step this way; these beauties are made from recycled x-rays with silver rivets, and they'll take you from daytime to playtime in a heartbeat. 


noah offers this sophisticated, lightweight pointed slipper: this is the versatile companion you dreamed of for day to night outings this spring and summer. ok, you say you're not a bow girl? parfait, then pop it off! it's removable! 

good guys

good guys has created a little clog that is perfect for mercurial summer days that are warm one minute and perhaps a little chilly the next. a cork footbed and all the comfort you could want in a flat that pairs perfectly with jeans, shorts + skirts alike. 


will's is serving up a minimalist huarache for a casual, je n'ais sais quoi look that is both animal and human friendly. step into a cushioned, velvety soft faux suede footbed for long spring + summer days. find a fun black and white version if you want to add a little fiesta to your fashion. 

beyond skin

beyond skin gives us a touch of sexy with with this clean, classic design that gives jeans the perfect boy-meets-girl look and gives dresses a pop of extra pretty. if you're a loafer lover, and you  like your loafers served up straight, beyond skin offers up the largest selection of faux leather loafers in multi-tasking nude tones, time-for-play metallics, and pretty pastels for those who love to sprinkle a little spring into their wardrobe. 

each slow fashion footwear company listed has built their eco-friendly business while tending to the needs of its workers, ensuring fair pay and safe working environments because crafting shoes that are animal friendly and human friendly is entirely possible.