My Global & Ethical Style : How To Shop Consciously
Hi Boho Babes! It's finally summer in the city, and I couldn't be more thrilled about that. I'm such a recluse in the winter - it's pretty lame, but now I'm just about ready to partayyy. *And by party, I mean ride my bike, eat ice cream, lay in the park with a book, and pet random strangers' dogs.
My background is in fashion, so over the years I've accumulated a breadth of knowledge understanding how the industry works from the inside out. This is where I began asking 'WHERE' and 'HOW' and 'WHO' in regards to the origin of products I purchased. WHERE was this bag made? In China? HOW was it made? In a sweatshop? WHO made it? A child? - When we ask the tough questions, we probably won't like the answers we get.
Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. - Anna Lappé
It's definitely tricky to truly track down the origin of all of your purchases, but it's worth doing a bit of research to see what you find. I won't pretend all of my clothes are 100% made ethically - it's a PROCESS and a transition. It's not something that can be done overnight, but there are simple ways to start shopping more mindfully:
One of my favorite things to do is hit up funky, vintage and second-hand shops in my neighborhood. It takes some digging and patience, but sometimes you really hit the jackpot! My denim shorts (photo above) were thrifted from Buffalo Exchange for around ten buck-a-roonis. It's awesome, because you are reusing and recycling. Plus, you are paying way less than what the original retail price would have been.
Top: OmThreads (launching Summer 2016) - Handmade and dyed in India by local artisansJewelry: Mala Necklace handstrung by Tiny Devotions, Arm Cuff hand-made by my friend Renee Pawele Makeup:100% Pure Cosmetics
My style is influenced by my love of Spanish culture, so I often purchase my handmade accessories and handbags from companies that work with artisans in Central and South America. I also love buying jewelry from flea markets that were originally forged in Southeast Asia. There are so many beautiful and ethnic pieces to discover that are made stitch by stitch with so much precision, time and care. It tells a story, and it feels so special to wear - as if you're wearing a piece of history.
Handbag: Hiptipico - Handmade by talented Guatemalan artisans
DO YOUR RESEARCH
There are a few sites I like to use to determine the most conscious places to shop. Check out GoodGuide when purchasing beauty products, groceries, and other household goods. You can also take a survey through Slavery Footprint to see how many slaves work for you (very interesting). Another source for endless green inspo that I love is Ecouterre. Check itttt.
BUY FOR QUALITY
I don't buy nearly as many clothes as I used to. I've started shopping for quality, and buying into products that actually last. I would rather put my money into one extremely well-made shirt, than three disposable shirts that shrink, twist, and unravel after one wash. My style has simplified over the years, and I've started accessorizing more. It's always fun hunting for treasures on Etsy. Currently, I'm in love with Cowrie Shell Chokers by Cat and Winnies.
Shoes: Purchased from a local street vendor on the streets of Cartagena, Colombia Ankle Bracelet: Pura Vida Bracelets - every purchase helps create full-time jobs for local artisans in Costa Rica Nail Polish:Raga Nail Varnish - Made in the USA and free of Parabens, Formaldehydes, Camphor, DBP, Toluene, and it is 100% Vegan/Cruelty-Free.
It's always exciting when people ask me where I get my pieces from, especially when I get to tell the little story behind it. It's nice to think back on the incredible memories and friends I've made throughout my journeys. Shopping mindfully takes an extra jolt of creativity, and it's a fun adventure to embark on. If you start to implement even just one of the ideas from above, that's a beautiful start. Remember, it's a process, but if everyone starts getting into the mindset, then impacts WILL be made.
Little by little, one walks far. - Peruvian Proverb
Have an amazing week ahead, my lovely gypsies!