Threads For All Weather

Fashion

The fall weather can be unpredictable so it is a wardrobe necessity to have versatility. Luckily, Threads 4Thought has a variety of apparel to keep you stylish during fluctuating temperatures. They are an eco-friendly and sustainable clothing company for men and women (now kids too.) The company was founded in 2006 with the principle of making fashion that has a minimal environmental impact. I have supported this brand for years and can vouch for the durability of their apparel.

You can shop this brand online or through Nordstrom Rack. REI Outlet also has a selection of Threads 4 Thought apparel at a discounted rate. I love that Threads 4 Thought is now carrying Veja shoes as well.

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Sadly, they no longer make dresses but you can still find a limited selection of dresses in their sale section.

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This outfit is from a prior season but you can shop this fleece popover and these feather fleece joggers to keep yourself warm.

Click here to learn more about the new and sustainable initiatives of the company. You can also explore their blog for interesting content.

Fortress of Inca

Fashion

Rich buttery cream is the best way to describe the color and leather of my Fortress of Inca shoes. The company’s collection of leather footwear is not extensive but the quality of their products is solid and beautiful. I have had my pair for nearly a year and they have only gotten better within that time.

This particular style is sold out but you can find similar here or here.

Fortress of Inca was created to provide a US marketplace for handcrafted shoes made in Peru. The company has worked with family-owned and operated factories since their establishment in 2010. They believe strongly in quality craftsmanship, timeless design, fair wages, and good working conditions for all workers.

If you live in Austin, TX you can go to Fortress of Inca’s brick and mortar shop. If not, you can still shop online through their website or visit one of their many retail partners nationwide.

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One of my colleagues liked my shoes so much, she became a convert and now we are Fortress twins! Her Carmen Style is still available for purchase.

Affordable Fair Trade Fashion

Fashion

October is Fair Trade month, making it a perfect time to dip your toe into exploring ethical clothing. Pact Apparel is a fair trade company that makes basics for men and women out of organic cotton. They sell casual bottoms, colorful tees, cute socks, cozy hoodies, and underwear. They also make comfortable and timeless dresses for ladies.  Best of all, they are very affordable with most everything on their site under $50!

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Men’s Crew Neck Tee and Classic Hoodie (make sure to check out their sale section too!)

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The classic Black Wrap Dress can be styled numerous ways because it is such a versatile piece. They also have a gorgeous fit and flare dress. Both dresses are only $40 each.

I am also really loving their cable sweaters and cardigans. The best part? In honor of fair trade month, shipping is free and you will also receive 20% off if you spend $100 or more using the discount code “fairtrade.”

What’s The Alternative?

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My purpose in creating this blog is to help consumers make more meaningful purchase decisions. I am not here to advocate that consumers should not shop mainstream brands or boycott companies. There are products I still purchase from large corporations; I have yet to find an ethical facial moisturizer with SPF that compares in quality to the mainstream one I currently use. However, I hope in reading these posts and discovering new brands, that my readers will begin to make subtle or gradual changes to their purchase decisions.

Fun with vintage styles and thrift store finds.

In terms of fashion, the biggest change you can make is to carefully love the items you own and not to purchase items you would not want to wear over and over. When I need/want something “new” in my wardrobe, I always see if I can find the item in a secondhand shop before purchasing brand new. If I am unable to find what I am looking for in a thrift store, I then check an ethical/sustainable brand to see if they have the desired product. I shop mainstream when I cannot find what I am looking for anywhere else. I recently purchased some slim cut chino pants from J.Crew because I could not find a comparable fit elsewhere. This is a brand I think could make vast improvements, so I will be reaching out to the company during Fashion Revolution Week using this wonderful email template.

There might not (yet) be a great tool for rating beauty brands but finding ethical or sustainable brands is not very hard. Pacifica, SheaMoisture, and Botanics can all be found at Target and Ulta. Purchasing a variety of makeup and personal care items is simply a click away through Petit Vour or The Detox Market. Your local health food store will most likely also carry an array of ehtical/sustainable beauty brands and products.

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What is the alternative? To best answer this question, you are going to have to push up your sleeves and do a little research to find alternatives to the mainstream companies you currently shop. The “Brands to Know” section should be a great launching pad and rating tools such as “Good on You App” will help you find the fashion brands that align with your values.

Photo Credit: All images are the author’s personal photos.

Dog Mamas Choose Global Mamas

Fashion

Global Mamas is a fair trade retailer that makes clothing, accessories, and skin care. They also have a colorful collection of ties, bandanas, and leashes for pets. Their dog ties are only $9 and can work for any size pooch because it slides over the collar. I love my furbaby’s tie because it does not get in his way and somehow it makes him even cuter.

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Like many other fair trade companies, Global Mamas is focused on empowering women by providing economic opportunities. All of their products are hand-crafted in Ghana and the profits go right back to support the local community. As you browse through their website you can shop for beautiful handcrafted apparel/accessories and see the women who make the products.

Global Mama’s also sells children’s clothing in bold and vibrant prints, similar to the material used for women’s apparel. Last year I bought the below dress for my niece and she absolutely loved it!

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Photo Credit: All images are the author’s personal photos.

Alaffia

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Very few companies are as interested in empowering the communities they work in as much as Alaffia. The company was established to create jobs and economic opportunities for women in disadvantaged communities in Togo. Alaffia’s “Empowerment Projects” do not stop with providing sustainable employment, they also have programs focused on education, maternal health, reforestation, and eyeglass donation.

Another thing to love about Alaffia is their wide variety of personal care products.

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Photo Credit: Author’s Own Images

My husband and I first discovered Alaffia a few years ago when we spotted their body wash at Sprouts. We have been pleasantly surprised by their hair care products and soap too. My husband loves large bottles and affordable price point. The next items on my list to try are their face serums and creams.

“Beautiful Curl’s” is Alaffia’s inclusive hair line made for wavy to kinky hair. The company also has a super cute collection of products for babies and children.

The majority of Alaffia’s products are Made Safe certified, meaning they are made with ingredients that are non-toxic or not known to cause any harm to human health.  You can find Alaffia products at most health food stores or use the store locator tool to find the closest retailer to you that stocks their products.

AlaffiaOwnThese are all the Alaffia products I currently have in my own home.

Step In The Right Direction

Fashion

A common misconception surrounding conscious consumerism is the lack of stylish or affordable options. This might have been true years ago but now there are numerous “ethical” companies that sell fashionable items and “mainstream” companies adopting ethical initiatives. Finding companies that align with your beliefs are just a few clicks or swipes away. The Good Trade website and The Good On You app are excellent tools for checking and browsing fashion brands impact on people, animals, and the planet.

I was recently on a quest to discover sneakers that were cute enough to wear on casual workdays and sturdy enough to run in (if I were to ever run.) I had previously bought sandals from artisan cooperatives that I really liked but had yet to discover a sneaker that met my sourcing standards and budget. When I used the Good On You app to search shoe brands that were ranked “good” or better, I learned about all the steps the Adidas company has recently taken to improve their environmental impact and labor standards. Adidas is committed to being more sustainable and reducing their carbon footprint; they can also trace the majority of their supply chain.

I think it is important to communicate with companies, expressing your support and/or desire to see change. However, our dollars are sometimes the loudest voices we have so I sent Adidas an appreciative and encouraging email…then I bought a pair of shoes.

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Adidas Cloudfoam Racer Sneakers are super light and comfortable for all day wear.

I hope Adidas takes action to ensure living wages to the workers throughout all their supply chains and I will remind them that this is important issue for me as a consumer. They also need to speed up their sustainable timetable to meet their 2020 detox goal. That being said, we also have to demonstrate our approval of mainstream companies taking steps in the right direction and hope in doing so, more companies will follow suit.

Photo Credit: Author’s personal image.