Fashion Revolution: Who Made My Clothes?

Today is Fashion Revolution Day. This day marks the second anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, which killed over eleven hundred people and injured thousands more.

I’m joining others as we ask, “Who made my clothes?” Check out Instagram hashtags for #fashrev, #whomademyclothes, #fashionrevolutionday, and #whomadeyourclothes for lots of inspiring photos. You might see photos of people wearing their clothes inside out to show the labels–transparency in fashion!

who made my clothes?

I know who made my clothes!

Lois Eastlund label

Lois Eastlund made my dress. It looks fantastic (even inside out) because it’s handmade and she paid a lot of attention to detail. She’s a NY-based fashion designer and one of the founders of La Fashionista Compassionista–an awesome (and free) online magazine that you should get your hands on!

Lois Eastlund dress

Moses made my boots. They’re handmade in a factory in LA. The company, Nicora Johns, is helping to keep the US shoemaking industry alive. When I bought my boots, I got a photo of Moses in the shop where he made these. They’re also vegan–no animals or humans harmed!

Nicora Johns boots

Crystalyn Kae made my purse. It’s glazed fabric. Another great leather alternative. I met Crystalyn when she was located in Seattle. She’s based in NYC now, but you can find her amazing bags in stores nationwide and on her website.

Crystalyn Kae purse

Roque from Get Hell Bent made my cuff. It’s made from recycled bicycle tires. I have three of her cuffs. They’re so edgy and tough!

accessories

I made my earrings! It’s fun to create. My simple drop-chain earrings were easy to make and have become my go-to pair. They match everything!

I don’t know who made my tights. So it’s not a perfect outfit. But thinking about where my clothing comes from has opened my eyes. I heard 1 in 6 people is employed in fashion. But who are they? What are their working conditions like? How environmentally friendly is the factory? Animal skins require so many chemicals to turn them into leather and not decompose.

Fashion isn’t perfect, but I love knowing where my clothes came from and who made them. My goal is to buy exclusively from sustainable ethical companies. Sometimes that means things cost more. But do I really need thirty $8 tank tops? What if I had eight $30 tanks? They’d last longer, and I’d be putting my dollars where my values are.

Let’s start a revolution!

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Style Challenge: Fringed Blanket Top

When my mom came for a visit recently, she came bearing gifts. This top was one of her presents. I like that it has a Native American-inspired design, and looks more like a woven pattern than a knit. The fringes add a neat western flare. fringed top, two ways I paired my top with faded, bootcut jeans and a low-heeled bootie. top with light, bootcut jeans

Top: Ralph Lauren Jeans: Jessica Simpson via swapped Vegan suede shoes: Novacas Cuff: Lauren Harkness

My mom wore darker denim leggings and my knee-high boots (that’s the secret to how she packs light–she just raids my closet when she gets here!). top with darker leggings

Top: Ralph Lauren Leggings: Hue Faux leather boots: Kelly & Katie Bracelets: Cost Plus World Market

There’s no winner in our style challenge. We just wanted to show a couple of ways to change up a look and make an outfit look different. It’s always nice to have a few ways to wear an item so you know you’ll get lots of use out of it. I’m joining Sydney Fashion Hunter, Fashion Should be Fun, Happiness at Midlife and Style Sessions for linkups. See what all the others are wearing!

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Skater Skirt and flats

I started putting this outfit together, scarf-first. I wanted to wear this patterned scarf. So I grabbed some solids and let the scarf take the spotlight.

gray and olive

Cardigan: Swapped
Tank: Target
Scarf: Boutique in Portland
Skirt: Swapped
Tights: Target
Shoes: Beyond Skin

Gray and olive aren’t colors I usually mix together, but I really like they way it looks. I usually stick with warmer tones (khaki, tan, brown) when I wear olive. But the grey is fresh–plus, the colors in the scarf pulls it all together.

tights and flats

My Beyond Skin bowtie flats worked well with the short, flirty style of the skirt. These shoes were my “reward” for my contribution to a Kickstarter. They fit perfectly and go with practically everything. Score! Beyond Skin is a UK-based ethical shoe company. They’re animal-free (no leather) and work closely with factories in Spain to make sure people aren’t exploited in the making of these shoes either.

patterned scarf

I’m joining the Visible Monday, Style to Inspire, and How I Spring link-ups today. See what everyone else is wearing!

 

 

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Misprint Skirt and Mustard Jacket

I love my Misprint Skirt! It’s on sale now, if you love it too.

 misprint skirt
Top: Old Navy
Jacket: eBay
Necklace: Herbivore Clothing
Skirt: Betabrand
Faux leather boots: Mia

This skirt is a terrific idea. Betabrand needed a way to use up the ends of colorful fabric. Their screen printer used to test ink on t-shirts but was asked to use the roll ends instead. Each panel is printed with ink “tests.” It’s a mashup of colors and patterns and I adore it! I can wear this with any panel on the front, and I can fold the waist over if I want a shorter look.

fleece and cotton

This is a great travel skirt. It packs well, looks different each time I wear it, and goes with everything. I’m a fan of Betabrand. Between this and the Perfect Dress I have, I’m going to be all set for my upcoming trip to Austin.

boots and skirt

I paired my skirt with a bright fleece jacket. Fleece is very Pacific Northwest. Everyone has a fleece jacket. I find most aren’t very fashion-forward, but in a moto style cut, I approve!

I’m joining Sydney Fashion HunterRachel the hat and Pink Sole for link-ups. See what all the others are wearing!

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Do You Wear a Uniform?

I recently read an article about an art director who ditched her creative wardrobe in lieu of a “uniform.” Not a uniform like a flight attendant or bus driver, but a go-to outfit. This woman worked in a creative field and was allowed to wear whatever she liked, but the time hit of finding the perfect thing to wear every day was too much. She simplified.

Her look: black trousers and a white blouse. She bought 15 white blouses and a few pair of pants and that was that.

There’s something appealing about skipping the morning panic of “what do I wear?” and changing seven times before heading out the door. But such a simple look would get boring. I have a better idea.

I would pick a few pair of pants in neutrals: black, gray, tan, denim. I’d gets tops in a few different colors, and add to them a couple of blazers and a cardigan. I’d still be able to get dressed quickly (in the dark even) because all the tops and bottoms would go together. I’d have endless combinations and never get bored.

Or, I would gather up 20 work-appropriate dresses–one for each workday in a month. Dresses are simple, one-piece, and polished. I’d wear them with tights in winter and bare-legged in summer. They’d work with boots and flats and sandals or whatever my mood dictated.

There are a lot of options, depending on the work climate and dress codes, that are more interesting than plain black and white. Still, the article gave me food for thought.

Do you have a uniform or go-to outfit. Could you (or would you) wear the same thing to work all the time?

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Black and Red Maxi Skirt and Nicora Johns Boots

Today, I’m starting from the bottom up.

striped skirt

Vegan boots: Nicora Johns
Skirt: Fred Meyer
Top
: Gifted
Scarf: Herbivore Clothing
Faux leather jacket: Aeropostal

My new Nicora Johns boots are my favorite thing ever! They go with everything and are quickly becoming part of my “uniform.” These are handmade in LA, in an eco-friendly factory (solar panels anyone?). NJ is keeping the craft of shoemaking alive in the US, while working exclusively with textile leathers (meaning they’re all vegan). I can’t say enough great things about this company.

nicora johns noots

I found out Nicora Johns is doing a fundraiser to upgrade their factory, increase production, and lower costs.

Turns out there are next to zero shoe manufacturing facilities left in the United States available to emerging shoe companies, which forces them to outsource. The USA has lost 70,000 jobs in the show industry since 1979! And unregulated foreign-made shoes often lack animal welfare laws or labor and environmental standards.

There are so many reasons to support Nicora Johns. Plus, these boots are comfy! I’ll be getting the Willow boots next. So cute!

black and red

Okay, up to the skirt. This skirt looks red, but is actually a fine red and black striped fabric. I saw it on clearance and couldn’t resist (even though I’m trying to stick to my shopping goals of supporting USA-made and/or small businesses–it’s hard to break old habits and shop in a new way!).

I wore my new skirt with a scarf (purchased in a small shop), so maybe that evens things out. Scarves are my favorite way to dress up an outfit (and stay warm).

scarf and maxi

I think a faux leather jacket goes with just about anything. I wear mine all the time–with jeans, pencil skirts, dresses, and long skirts. This quilted version has a nice texture and is my go-to jacket.

skirt and jacket

I’m linking up with Style ElixirRachel the Hat, Penniless Socialite, and Rhea Etcetera–check out what everyone else is wearing!

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Safari Jacket with Scarf and Jeans

No, I’m not heading out on safari, but I am wearing a handy safari-style jacket. I found this in Vancouver, and as soon as I checked to make sure the sleeves were faux leather, I bought it.safari jacket

Jacket: Bedo
Jeans: Suzy Shier
Sweater: Express
Scarf: Bebenoir
Boots: Novacas
Tote: Crystalyn Kae

It works well with lots of outfits, but this time, I paired it with a bright sweater and scarf with a bird motif (Put a bird on it!).

bird scarf

I’ve been trying to shop locally, buy sustainably, and support fair trade brands. I find these types of articles last longer, even though they often cost more–so it evens out. Of course it will take a while to convert my wardrobe to the ethical closet I want it to be, but with each outfit, I try to incorporate such pieces.

For this outfit, my Novacas boots fit the bill. Made in Portugal, from green (non-leather) materials, the company prides itself in good working conditions and fair wages.

jeans and a sweater

My tote is glazed fabric and handmade by Crystalyn Kae, so it counts too (made in the USA, small business, sustainable, and ethical). I love her work and I’d encourage you to check out the line. She was one of the first brands to reach out to me to review a product, and I fell in love with her bags.

I’m joining the Penniless Socialite, Rachel the Hat, and Happiness at Mid-Life for link-ups. See what everyone else is wearing!

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Style Challenge: Tartan Top Two Ways

You might be aware that my mom loves it when we dress alike. I happen to not like wearing the same thing as someone else. She started the habit when I was too young to know better. Now, I do it only occasionally–just to indulge her. Personally, I like having my own style and take on things.

Thankfully, during her recent visit we came to a compromise. A style challenge!

tartan and denim

 

Blouses: Bliss Seattle
Pants: Lucky and Hue
Boots: Cri de Coeur and MIA
Necklaces: Thrifted and Fremont Sunday Market

This shirt caught our eyes because it’s such a unique cut. My mom focused on the blue in the top and paired it with dark denim leggings. The flowy top balances the skinny pants nicely.

mom in tartan

 

The wrap-style front and shirt-tails added a feminine flair to what might otherwise be a regular plaid shirt. The white running through it inspired me to pair it with my wide, white jeans. To keep from looking sloppy, I half-tucked the top into my pants.

my take on the top

We do have similar tastes and we tend to like a lot of the same things. (During my mom’s visit we did a bit of shopping and bought the same leggings, necklaces, sweaters, tights, jackets, tunics, blouses.) But now, instead of twinsies (AKA Thing One and Thing Two), we can show our own take on an item of clothing.

I’m linking up with Fashion Should be Fun, Passion for Fashion, and Happiness at Midlife. See what all the others are wearing!

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Stripes and Dots

Here’s a #TBT (Throwback Thursday) post for ya, taken about a year ago (before I stopped growing out my hair and started snipping it bit by bit until it was short again). I don’t mind posting this so late because I plan on wearing this tomorrow. It still works.

black and white

Sweater: Thrifted
Skirt: Ililana (via flea market)
Tights: Roots Canada
Faux suede booties: Old Navy
Pleather cuff: Etsy

I enjoy pattern mixing (is that still a thing?), especially when the look is monochrome. If everything is black and white, it has to work! Here, I paired a well-work black and white striped sweater with a Swiss dot wrap-around circle skirt.

stripes and dots

I love adding a pop of color and I thought the red cuff did the trick. I read recently that some clueless company in Norway made their female employees wear red bracelets during “that time of the month” so managers would know why they were taking extra bath room breaks. Ridiculous! Talk about TMI and “none of your business.: Well for better or worse, I think about that story whenever I reach for this bracelet. Then, I often decide not to wear it. Well, this is purely a fashion statement. I am discouraged to hear of such backward practices from an otherwise forward-thinking nation.

pattern mixing

Back to the outfit! I bought this skirt at a flea market in Brooklyn. It was new, from a company called Ililanga, but I can’t find them online anywhere. I guess you’ll have to go to Brooklyn to see their collection of skirts and dresses. I like the length and shape but I think a midi needs to be worn with heels–so that’s what I did.

I’ve joined a linkup at Fashion Should be Fun. See what everyone else is wearing!

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Going Boho with Jeans and a Jacket

Do you ever start creating an outfit from a single piece? In this case, I started with my shoes. I loved the sage green faux suede boots when I saw them online. They might not be the most neutral color but I’m determined to fit them in with my existing wardrobe.

boho vibe

Blouse: Bébénoir
Jacket: Forever 21
Jeans: Swapped
Shoes: Michael Antonio via DSW
Necklace: Brooklyn flea market
Cuff: The Base Project
Purse: Freedom of Animals

Jeans seemed like a safe bet. When I added my blouse, with its tone on tone embroidery, I felt slightly bohemian. So I embraced that boho feeling and added a peace sign necklace and PVC pipe cuff with a tribal vibe.

peace sign

My velvet moto jacket has made an appearance here before, and it’s such a classic style, that you can bet you’ll see it here again. I like pieces that I can wear in many different ways.

embroidered blouse

I can’t forget my purse by Freedom of Animals. I’ve wanted one of their bags for a while and jumped at the chance when I visited a Nordstrom eco pop-up shop on its last day and saw this on sale. Score! Freedom of Animals makes quality animal-free bags with great structure.

neutral and casual

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