Something New, Something Blue…Fashion With A Conscious

I’ve been on the search for more than basics that are made ethically with sustainability in mind. While one might think with the prevalence of ethically available brands like PACT carrying all the basics that finding something a bit more fashionable should be easy. My own search found it was far from.

Like so many other issues of inclusivity still effecting even the fast fashion brands I am on a borderline size that puts me out of range of many of the up and coming ethical fashion brands, which limits a short list even shorter. It was eye opening to go through and research brands I thought might be at least ethically based even if not sustainably to find out I was dead wrong.

I was ecstatic to find out Anthropolgie was releasing an extended sizes line thinking surely with everything their brand appears to represent they would be an excellent candidate for purchasing some lovely dresses. As I researched them more though I was met with shock and disappointment over what appears to be ill treatment of their workers with promises for change made, but not kept. The lack of transparency put a bad taste in my mouth and I decided to keep searching elsewhere.

While I know enough about fast fashion to be disturbed when I see a $20 dress. I’m not yet sure what price range equals fair wages, ethically made clothing and supports a business for the future. I tend to value quality over quantity; so I am very choosey about what clothes I invest in these days. About half my closet is vintage, if not antique, but I still have modern and new pieces as well. I value the vintage as it is a testament to how well clothing used to be made that those pieces survive today as well as helping keep my values on sustainability for the planet.

In my searching, thus far, I have come across two brands that I am adoring. The first is Symbology, which I will discuss a bit more in another post. The other is Christy Dawn, which I am so in love with.

Christy Dawn Petersen decided to invest her own money into creating a brand that is unlike anything I have heard of. In her own brilliance she decided to put focus on sustainability.

In that vein, she creates small batches of well made feminine dresses that are made using dead-stock fabric, AKA fabric remnants, from major fashion houses. By doing this she insures that tons of perfectly good fabric scraps aren’t just getting dumped into the landfill. This is a much needed solution to a problem that is far more serious than people might realize.

She and her husband have created a small factory that is also their office where they employ highly skilled sewing teams that are paid for their work with full benefits. Their focus on creating a business where their workers are taken care of and sustainability is a must just makes good fashion sense with an eco flair. You cannot help, but admire their determination and hard work to make this into such a successful business.

I had to see one of their famous limited dresses for myself so decided to purchase the “Dawn” dress as one of their most popular styles. I was not disappointed and was treated to some of the most lovely packaging I’ve ever seen. You cannot help but be romanced by the clear love, care for the planet and craftsmanship given by the team that makes up Christy Dawn. You’ll find no plastic here, which makes me love Christy Dawn all the more. They continue to grow, which to me says that there is a tide of change coming and I hope that in these enlightened production choices they are but the first of many.

Walking With Purpose

Take a walk…go. Right Now. Leave your phone or put it in your pocket, but leave it somewhere that will leave both your hands, eyes, and mind unfettered by texts, calls, app alerts etc. Walking itself is a great and gentle exercise that easily includes people of all ages and abilities. So no excuses on it being to hard or not inclusive enough. As you step out into the air and let the sun light hit your face and you realize things outside of the internet exist, take some steps along your street. Take it all in. Now look down. I will take a gamble that within 5 feet of you probably is some trash that has made its way to the world.

All of us are guilty of walking around through many parts of life with blinders on. It’s time to take those blinders off and walk with purpose. Recently, my partner and I volunteered and went on a trash pickup with our local Surfrider chapter. I was amazed at what we picked up in only a couple blocks in the city and in a very short amount of time. This one experience volunteering with other like minded individuals making a small difference in the world inspired us both.

We started looking around at our own neighborhood. Living in the suburbs you typically don’t think of litter as an issue, but as we walked around our neighborhood we realized it was not litter free. We promptly got a bucket and invested in some grabbers so we could pick things up without needing to bend over constantly or touch questionable items.

It’s becoming part of our daily walks with the dogs. One of us walks the dogs and the other is on litter duty. We trade off and so far we have not had a walk that hasn’t impacted others in some way. We have had numerous thanks and nods of appreciation and approval.

I know putting litter in a garbage bin that eventually goes to a land fill is not the end all solution, but perhaps it means one less cigarette butt making its way into the waterways where it poisons the water and helps manage the waste and contamination of plastics that are quickly ruining our world. My hope is that my walks inspire others to become more awake and aware of the litter and maybe just maybe make the earth a little cleaner for all to enjoy.

Cigarette butts collected with Surfrider

The Journey Begins

My journey and sometimes adventure towards conscious living and conscious consuming began about two years ago. What inspired it? Well I could say that I have always loved animals and nature, but really it was all because of a turtle. I was on my first sessions of really snorkeling in Maui when I encountered so many of these gentle giants in the reef. 

There was one special turtle that was resting on the sandy bottom about 20 feet below me and I could swear it looked straight at me with intention. With what intention I will never know. We locked eyes and it began to swim straight up towards me. I was in absolute awe of this beautiful giant turtle coming my way. It so effortlessly and calmly swam through the water with the light playing off its shell. It was truly beautiful to behold. 

My awe was broken as I realized it was coming straight to me and would likely bump right into me if I didn’t get out of the way very quickly. Turtles are protected and you are to give them their space; so I frantically paddled myself out of the way as it broke the surface. 

The turtle took some deep breaths of ocean air looking at me with wise eyes only a couple feet away as though it was acknowledging me and then dipped back below the surface swimming away into the blue abyss of the sea. It was a magic moment. 

I felt like I had been blessed or at least given an experience that would always be with me for the rest of my life. It wouldn’t be the last turtle I would see or swim with and even inspired me to become a scuba diver the following year, but that turtle set me on a journey that has changed and is continuing to change my life in the best ways possible. 

What follows is my discoveries, ponderings and research on a variety of topics, items, and more!