Monday, November 30, 2015

Relaxed!

Cozy clothes are very important to me. 

It wasn't always that way. For years, my clothing was tight and totally inappropriate for everyday life, or I wore my middle school gym shorts, which for other reasons were totally inappropriate for everyday life. 

Casual clothing was a struggle.




This easy top from LARelaxed is flattering, super soft, and is a wonderful pomegranate color. It is absolutely perfect for after yoga, grocery shopping, or being cute around the house. 


I do not do Black Friday. One year I went, and I was 85% sure I was going to die a bloody pulp on the floor of Macy's.

However, I will forever be dedicated to Cyber Monday. Below are a few of my favorite deals for Cyber Monday (LARelaxed included). Put on your cozy casuals and happy shopping!

LARelaxed - use code LA40 at checkout

American Apparel - use code Monday15 at checkout

Reformation - Sale

Synergy - use code hooray30 at checkout


Conscious Pieces

Top - LARelaxed

Other

Shorts - lululemon

Shoes - New Balance

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Conquering Color Fears

I love this time of year :the anticipation of the holidays, getting time to spend with my family, and food. It's truly all about the food!






As per usual, I stock my closet with dresses. This one was quite the winner.

I tend to stay away from anything that is in the brown family. By "stay away" I mean I don't own any brown. It just has never been my color. But this rust color caught my eye and I took a gamble on it. Happy I did!


My favorite organic cotton company, Synergy, added unexpected detail in the neckline of this dress that allows for minimal accessories, which I am all about. It's easy to wear, and will be my go-to for family events this season. 

Synergy's new fall line is out. Check out a few of my favorites, here, here, and here 

Conscious Pieces

Dress - Synergy

Earrings- Whole Foods Market

Other

Shoes - Madewell



Tuesday, September 15, 2015

When you know, you just know

We all know my deep deep love for jumpsuits.

I am always pressuring my friends to buy one. The complaint I hear most about jumpsuits is that they "just don't fit my body." I NO LONG ACCEPT THAT EXCUSE.


This Seamly jumpsuit allows you to change the top to whatever way fits your body best. The ability create different silhouettes that are appropriate for every occasion is a major win.


I failed you, by not showing you the bottom, but it is a lovely wide-legged look that is soft and cozy, without looking like it is drowning you.


"But Abbey," you say, "How will I hit the ladies room without having to disassemble this bad boy?" 


There is an 8 inch zipper down the back, that allows for potty breaks. If you are going to buy a jumpsuit I very highly recommend this one. 

Happy experimenting!  

Conscious Pieces

Jumpsuit- Seamly

Earrings- Noon

For a jumpsuit tutorial click here

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Plunging necklines and Stacy London

Reformation. This brand is amazing. The cuts are simple with pretty lines, and upcycled fabrics always change. 

Reformation is to die for, but I will be honest it's not cheap (keep reading there is good news).



I rarely wear blue, and I certainly NEVER wear necklines this low, so this dress was an exciting challenge. 

Let's talk low cut dresses (sorry in advance dad, and coworkers), because things happen and undoubtedly they would happen to me. 

I went on the hunt to find the best, most reliable, doubled-sided tap. You will never guess who specializes in boob tape? 


STACY LONDON! The most annoying T.V. personality of all time! But hey, she is keeping my boobs from falling out of my new favorite dress, so I will forgive her for the countless hours I have lost watching "What Not to Wear."

Obviously, I wouldn't wear this to a family reunion or to a job interview, but it is a great date night outfit. AND I can get away with my lazy updo and simple heels. 



Good news for everyone, Reformation is having it's semi-annual sale. You're welcome. 

Don't forget Stacy London has you covered!

Conscious Pieces

Dress- Reformation

Earrings- Raven + Lily

Other

Shoes- Nine West

Boob Tape- Hollywood Fashion Secrets (at Bed Bath and Beyond...that's the beyond part y'all)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Summer Summer Summer!

I live in Texas.


Texas during the summer is exactly what you would expect (about 10 degrees less than what I imagine hell to be).

I love being outside and needed some light airy, day drinking outfits.


Usually, I strive to have at least one ethically made piece in my outfits, but managed to knock it out of the park with this one.



I give you a complete outfit that has an ethical competent in every piece (finally)! 

Conscious Pieces

Shirt- Onzi

Shorts- Threads for Thought

Flip Flops- Feelgoodz

Sunglasses- ICU Eyeware

Bra- American Apparel 




Friday, July 3, 2015

One Color, Some Sort of Animal




I clearly have a penchant for outfits that are monochromatic, and feature some sort of animal. As much as I would love to wear pink sweats and throw shade, I am a grown up and must dress accordingly. So an all black outfit with giraffes on it counts, right?







H&M's campaign to re-purpose used clothing is upon us, and I have been pleasantly surprised with what they have come up with.

Check out your local H&M and look for the items that have a green tag on them.

Conscious Pieces

Shirt H&M Conscious Collection

Earrings- Raven+Lily

Other

Pants- Madewell

For more about H&M Concsious Collections click here



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Wedding Season

People all around me are getting hitched! Before going to weddings, I always find myself staring at my closet fearing I will be wearing the exact same dress as the bridesmaids (it happened once). I don't have that anxiety with this dress.





This dress by Thought Collective is absolutely perfect for an outdoor Texas wedding. It is pretty enough that I can get away with an updo, and light enough to withstand a warm outdoor celebration.

Conscious Pieces

Dress- Thought Collective

Earrings- Raven+Lily

Other

Shoes- H&M

For more about Thought Collective click here






Thursday, April 23, 2015

My arms are telling me no, but my legs, my legs are telling me yes.

I'm not sure what it is about shorts and long sleeves that makes me feel great. But, man I love it.I spoke earlier about missing out on a killer red sweater from Slumlove. It's all mine now!

Ava, the owner of Slumlove, answered some questions for us!


Tell me about Slumlove!
Slumlove Sweater Co. is all about selling ethically-made and stylish clothing that is improving the lives of those who made it! Our mission is to help people make a difference in the world through their everyday purchases. 






What was most striking thing you have learned in creating Slumlove?
The most important thing I've learned so far is to not give up! Running your own business is tough, and there are constantly issues and problems. There's been several times I've wanted to call it quits, but I'm so glad I never did! I feel like Slumlove is a better & stronger business now. 


What has been the most difficult day/part/experience you have had in the eco conscious game?
The most difficult thing is trying to operate a business from the other side of the world. All of our production takes place in Nairobi, Kenya, so when problems arise it's more complicated to try and fix them. Recently, I've been trying to find new natural & Eco-friendly yarn in Kenya. I've had to rely on emailing people who are over there for information, and sometimes it takes several days to hear back. 


The most rewarding day?
The most rewarding part of Slumlove is when I am in Kenya working in the slum. Our company is all about helping people who live in extreme poverty provide for themselves and their families, and it's where my heart is also. I founded Slumlove after working for a non-profit in the slums for 7 years. My relationships with these communities and people is what drives me to work hard everyday. So getting to be with my people in Kenya seeing the impact Slumlove has made in their lives makes everything worth it. It's not always glamorous. There's times when we are working on production in Kenya and I'm sweaty and all my makeup has melted off. I'm covered in dirt and there's flies buzzing all around me, but there's no place I'd rather be! 

How has this endeavor changed the way you consume?
Founding Slumlove has completely changed the way I think about fashion. Since I owned an ethical clothing line, I started to do more research on the fashion industry and other socially-conscious brands. The current state of the industry is very upsetting. There are people all over the world who are quite literally dying to make the clothes we buy, and unfortunately, we don't even give it a second thought. I've become very convicted about my own shopping habits, and now I only purchase ethical and responsibly made clothing. I thought it would be really difficult, but it hasn't! I've found so many great brands, and the best part is I can wear these clothes with a clear conscious!



Why do you care about conscious apparel?
I care about conscious apparel because I care about people. It really is that simple. I've been fortunate enough to travel all over the world, and I've worked in some of the poorest communities. Poverty is a cycle that is hard to break, and unfortunately a lot of companies exploit the disparity of these people by having them work for very little money. Companies that value people over profit are helping people escape this cycle of poverty and provide a better life for themselves and their families. I believe that fashion can help change the world!


Conscious Pieces

Sweater- Slumlove

Shorts- Goodwill

Sunglasses- ICU Eyeware

Other

Tank Top- Nordstrom Rack

Necklace and Shoes- Madewell

Learn more and shop Slumlove here

Friday, April 10, 2015

Business Spotlight: Vallarta

Summer is upon us, which means flowy tops over swimsuits and short shorts!

Luck for us, Vallarta Co. specializes in ethically made, light, airy summer clothing!


Angela from Vallarta Co. was kind enough to share her story with us.

"I was extremely blessed to inherit this wonderful company from my mom, Maria Resendiz, about a year ago. My mission is to spread awareness about Ethical Fashion and create as many fun/safe/profitable jobs in my moms hometown Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and my hometown Austin, Texas.
  
A little back story on how Vallarta Co. began --- my mom has had her clothes custom made since she was 11 years old in Puerto Vallarta (the woman who first sewed her outfits then is still one of our head seamstresses to date)! She started the company when I was a about year old when she became a single mother and noticed everyone loved her unique style -- she needed something that allowed her to work from home so she could take care of her young kids. Not only do we pay our seamstresses fair wages, we allow them to work in the comfort of their own homes. This allows them to take care of their families while making a good living.



That brings us to one of our main struggles which is price point. It can be difficult to compete with companies who produce in factories/use cheap plastic based materials (we use 100% cotton always) because in order to cover our costs our prices have to be higher. Since taking over and learning more about the process that goes into each garment I have become more conscious about where my clothes are made/the quality/materials used.

My favorite pick is the Maddie top because it is simple and it's something I can wear everyday no matter what I'm doing!"



Angela in the Maddie Top
 Conscious Pieces:
Shirt: Vallarta
Earrings: Raven + Lily

Other:
Shorts: Hemline 
For more about Vallarta click here

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Week Sale Round-up

Hi loves!

Believe me I know how expensive it is to shop ethical. So, I give you this weeks sales!

  • BeGood 40% off sale items with promo "springfling" at checkout. 



Happy Shopping! 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Defining sexy (in bluebonnets)

Sexy: up until my mid-twenties I thought that sexy was short short skirts, full make-up, straight hair, and cleavage!

I had the totally realistic opinions of the E! network to tell me what made me look desirable. (At least I admit to my faults. GIMME A BREAK!)


It was very easy to buy whatever was "hot" when I was shopping at F21 on a weekly basis.

Generally, I would end up squeezing into something that 1) didn't look great on me 2) was exhaustingly trendy 3) always made me seem like I was trying too hard. And I would wear that polyester blend dress one time.



Once I started buying quality pieces, (and got rid of cable television) I had to define what made me feel best.




What I look for now is a little shorter of hem line, and I have traded in low necklines for a lower cut in the back. As cheesy as this sounds knowing that I have put forth effort to find items that are conscious makes me feel even more confident.

When a brand works for me, I am a die hard. You got me again Loup. I love you.

Conscious Pieces

Dress: Loup

Other

Necklace: Free People

Friday, March 20, 2015

First Love

You know that piece that you put on, and you just feel great? No matter what had happened, how tired you are, how crappy you feel, that piece makes you feel gorgeous?



That is this dress, and this is also the first conscious piece of clothing I ever bought. I was at an event with a friend and I was a little hesitant to buy it. It was a little more expensive than I was used to spending on a dress, so I winced as I handed over my debit card.

I am happy I did. This is a very special dress to me, and I wear it every chance I can.

This week has been extremely challenging for me, and I really needed to feel good about myself. I felt myself reaching for this dress a few times. And you know what? It made everything a little better.


I hope you have an outfit that makes you feel this way. If you don't, go buy one. It is not frivolous or vapid, you deserve something that makes you feel beautiful.

Tips for buying THAT piece:
  • Set yourself a budget and don't be scared to buy at the higher end. 
  • Avoid super "trendy" pieces that will likely look dated in a year
  • Does it do your body justice? If not, walk away.
  • Where can you wear this? Only weddings? Only bar hopping? You should be able to wear it AT LEAST two places. 
  • Can you wear this with minimal hair and make-up? So on those challenging days you can wear and go. 

When you have icky weeks I promise, it will be worth every cent. 

Conscious Pieces

Dress: Raven + Lily

Earrings: Noon

Other:

Shoes: Madewell



Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Who has time for pants AND a shirt?

Putting together two articles of clothing has never been easy for me. Jeans AND a shirt? What kind of time do you think I have?!

Dresses have dominated my wardrobe since college for a few reasons:
  •  They flatter my shape 
  •  I don't have to wear pants 
  •  People assume I am putting forth way more effort than I am


I was pretty pumped when jumpsuits came along, one more way that I didn't have to fuss with two pieces of clothing.

This wonderfully, casual number from Thought Collective is now a pretty heavily utilized item in my closet.



It's flattering, it's comfortable, and the print isn't too overwhelming for my shorter frame.



Some tips for jumpsuit buying:

  • If you are shorter, stay with a simpler print/solid color
  • Find a jumper that hits at your natural waist
  • If the length is too long, but it fits everywhere else, suck it up and go see a tailor. 
  • Also, find a tailor
  • And most importantly, if it doesn't make you feel awesome, DO NOT BUY IT. If I have learned one thing from this project it is only buy clothing you love. The throw away fast purchases don't make you feel or look as beautiful as you are. 
Conscious Pieces:

Jumpsuit: Thought Collective

Necklace: Jacoby's Mercantile

Earrings: Noon

Purse: Purse&Clutch

Other:

Boots: Sam Edelman

For more about Thought Collective click here

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Loup: You've really made the grade

Sorry for the delay loves! Life has bee really amazingly rowdy!  And Texas has been a frigid tundra! (Not really, but it has been 30-40 degrees!) Anywho, back to clothes!

American made, when I say that what company do you think of?




American Apparel? I thought so. Since I was not super pumped on AA for a many reasons (models, owner, fit of clothing), I have been on the hunt for some American made clothing. 



But where to look? After stalking Blake Lively's blog (why is she so perfect?), I found Loup! Loup, manages to give simple, predictable cuts a fun twist without seeming cheesy.

This dress fits like a dream, and has a David Bowie-esque feel to it (hello pleather sleeves!). More importantly wearing this dress makes me feel good, and gives me an excuse to run around singing Space Oddity all day.  




Loup is having a killer online sale that I highly recommend. Check it out!



Conscious Pieces:

Dress: Loup

Sunglasses: ICU Eyewear

Other:

Shoes: White Mountain

Tights: Target

Photos by Faith Robbins:  check out her site here


Monday, February 23, 2015

Party Time Thursday!


Some of my favorite local conscious vendors are having a Pop-Up Party this Thursday! 

I will be there! Not only will Purse&Clutch be at Teysha (which sells beautiful boots), but Slumlove Sweater Co. be posted up there as well. 

Slumlove Sweater Co. has been on my mind since December. I bought my dad a wonderful sweater from them, and fought off buying a killer red cardigan for myself (because ya know it was Christmas).


Red cardigan, you will be mine!

Hope to see you mega babes there. 


Friday, February 20, 2015

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes!


TOMS has had the market on "do good" shoes for quite some time.

When they first became popular, I rocked a pair navy of TOMS until they met their smelly, slimy fate. (If you have owned TOMS you know what I am talking about)

Me and my TOMS circa 2008
After I retired those bad boys, I found myself avoiding investing in another pair.

If I was honest with myself, once the razzle dazzle of TOMS wore off, I saw them for what they were: pretty ugly shoes. (Not to mention what I discovered about TOMS when I looked deeper into their business practices. )

So where does a girl find a good pair of conscious flats?



I give you Fortress of Inca. These flats are cozy, more structured than TOMS, and are a great go to shoe. 



Fortress of Inca also carries boots, heels, sandals, and mens shoes. I love the variety and the quality of this company. Yes, they are a little pricier than TOMS, but I assure you they are well worth it. 



Conscious Pieces:

Shoes: Fortress of Inca

Top: Spiritual Gangster

Other:

Jeans: Luxe Apothetique



Monday, February 16, 2015

Business Spotlight: Tonlé


Kaitlyn Telge is the reason for this blog. About a year ago, when I was teaching yoga, Kaitlyn was a frequent student.

One day, she told me she was moving to Cambodia to work for an ethical fashion manufacturer. At that time in my life, I felt chronically uninspired; Kaitlyn whipped me into shape.

Kaitlyn works for Tonlé, a company based out of Cambodia that uses recycled materials and excess fabrics from garment factories to make clothing and accessories.


She took some time to answer some questions about her work. I am honored and so very excited to share her responses. Enjoy!


Tell me about your job!

As the marketing assistant, I help with all things public relations, social media, and website development. I get to help style Tonlé shoots, create social media content, plan local events and handle customer service.

Why Cambodia?

I wasn’t originally looking to move to Cambodia, but when the opportunity arose, I jumped. I was inspired by Tonlé’s mission and deeply rooted commitment to their ethics. I quickly fell in love with Cambodia’s deep history, incredible charm and beautiful culture, not to mention the friendly people and amazing food.



What was most striking thing you have learned about the garment industry working for Tonlé?

The most striking thing I’ve learned about the garment industry since living and working in Cambodia is that the solution is much more complex than simply paying workers more. After taxes and overhead it is actually quite expensive to manufacture in Cambodia relative to other developing countries, which puts immense pressure on the factory owners. The owners are also feeling the strains of fast paced Western deadlines, and pressure from the government to keep costs low to incentivize business. If the factory owners simply raise wages, brands will have to either move production elsewhere or increase prices. If they increase prices, the brands risk losing business from customers who have become addicted to fast fashion. In the end, both outcomes would end up hurting the garment workers. The issues are complex, and change will not come overnight. Compromise needs to happen between the brands, governments, and factory owners, but above all, consumers need to use their purchasing power for good and demand change in the garment industry.



Tell me about the most difficult day you have had at work

My most difficult day of work was during my first week. I was an hour outside of the city interviewing staff members in our Toul Sambo workshop. This community, displaced by the government over land disputes, now has limited access to jobs and education. I was there to tell their stories through the Tonlé website. Still being new to Cambodia, my body hadn’t quite adjusted to the food I was shocking my system with, and revolted while I was equipped with nothing more than squatter toilets. Did I also mention this was during the rainy season? Yea, not the greatest day. But in the end I was able to connect with the employees in this community and record their stories, making it worth it.

Now tell me about the most rewarding day?

The most rewarding day at work was also another difficult day in the beginning. I had the opportunity to join our fabric sourcer on her weekly trip to the remnant factory market. I was not prepared for what I was met with on the other side of town. The literal tons of discarded fabric were extremely overwhelming and saddening. Everyday, perfectly good fabric is thrown away by factories who deem the materials unusable because of a small hole or misshapen pieces. At Tonlé, we’re able to save 10,000 kg of materials from landfills each year, which is a small but noble amount. Knowing that we’re at least making a dent in the amount of chemicals ad toxins put into the earth was a rewarding feeling. It also motivated and inspired me to encourage people back home to think about how and where their clothes are made.



How has this job changed the way you buy clothing?

I have re-evaluated the word “need” since living and working in Cambodia. I used to think I “needed” new outfits every season. In college it was a cardinal sin to be photographed in the same outfit two weekends in a row. Now, I basically rotate the same ten or so outfits and the world continues to revolve. I try to buy less and shop ethical whenever possible. I also try to support local or emerging designers and shop second hand.

Why is it important for us to care where our clothes come from?

One of the most valuable lessons I've learned while living in Cambodia is that we’re all connected. You may not be able to trace a direct path between a 20-something-year-old in Austin and a 50-something-year-old Cambodian garment worker, but I promise you, there’s a link. What Tonlé has taught me is that we need the people making our clothes just as much as they need us, and there should be a level of mutual respect in between. Respect means safe working conditions, fair wages, and adequate hours for a quality product at a reasonable price. As consumers we have more power than we realize, and change begins with us.

Show us your Tonlé pick!

These are my all-time favorite pants-super comfy and perfect for traveling. They can also be dressed up with heals and a cute top.



It’s safe to say if I disappear, I moved to Cambodia to pester Kaitlyn.

Conscious Pieces:

Dress: Tonlé

Other:

Shoes: Madewell

Learn More about Tonlé here

 Quick Video about Tonlé from their past Kickstarter Campaign.