Where to Buy Ethical Special Occasion Clothing, Jewelry, and Cosmetics

Ethical Special Occasion Clothes

 

Did you enjoy yesterday’s post, Where to Buy Ethical Casual Clothing? Now that we know what modern slavery is, how ethical fashion fights it, and the fair trade difference, and we’re excited to make small changes to make a big difference, we’re discussing practical questions: Where can I buy a fair trade tee? Where can I buy ethical jeans? Dresses? Scarves? And how much is this going to cost me?

Today I’m going to share links for dressy, special occasion clothing and accessories.  Note that you don’t always have to spend a fortune to look good while doing good, although some classic, high quality items are what I consider “investment pieces.”

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Where to Buy Casual Ethical Clothing

Can you believe it’s already the 18th? Thanks for sticking with me this far of Fashion for Freedom! Now that we know what modern slavery is, how ethical fashion fights it, and the fair trade difference, and we’re excited to make small changes to make a big difference, let’s get to the super practical questions: Where can I buy a fair trade tee? Where can I buy ethical jeans? Dresses? Scarves? And how much is this going to cost me?

I’m going to break it down by categories within categories, so within “Casual Clothing,” lets look at tees and tops, jeans and bottoms, and casual dresses. Note that you don’t have to spend a fortune to look good while doing good, although some classic, high quality items are great investment pieces.

Fall Ethical Fashion

Ethical Tees, Tops, and Dresses

Stop Traffick Fashion: Support women freed from slavery with these tees! Several designs available. Budget Friendly.
Sevenly– each week, a new design with a new cause! Both men’s and womens, short sleeved, dolman style tops, and sweatshirts. Moderately Priced.
Good and Fair– Good and fair only offers short sleeved tees, but they have several designs as well as solid, and both men and women’s. Budget friendly.
Maggies Organics: camis, tanks, short, three-fourth, and long sleeved tees in a plenty of colors, as well as casual dresses and skirts, all fair trade and made from organic cotton. Maggie’s carries clothes for both men and women. I especially love the hoodies, which are only $25! Budget friendly. 
Global Girlfriend: One of the largest selections of fair trade tops I’ve seen, with several different tee designs, styles, sweaters, and skirts in a rainbow of colors. I’m definitely adding this adorable owl tee to my Christmas list. Budget friendly.
PrAna: For the outdoorsy, adventurous type who like quality over quantity, PrAna offers beautiful ethical sweaters, tanks, tops, coats, work out wear, and more. Also, if you’re not a fan of online shopping, see if there’s a location near you! Investment Pieces (check out the outlet for sale items!)
Raven and Lily : R+L has a huge selection of accessories, but only two options for tees right now. If you like them, don’t forget to use code “scribbles” for 20% off during October! Moderately Priced.
Threads for Thought: Recycled and fair trade tees in several styles, designs, and colors, as well as sweaters, hoodies, and casual dresses. See if there’s a brick and mortar store near you, or shop online. Budget friendly.

Ethical Bottoms

PrAna: Blue jeans, cords, yoga pants, leggings, and more. Investment Pieces. 
Threads 4 Thought: Recycled yoga pants, patterned shorts, leggings, and super cute skirts. Budget Friendly.
Francesca’s Collections: As far as I know, Francescas is not a fair trade company, but many of their jeans are made in the USA. Moderately Priced. 
Thrift Stores: For the very price conscious, this is probably the best way to go. Fair trade jeans tend to be pricey, due to the materials and labor involved. If you don’t have time to save up for a pair, re-use what’s already in the system at your local thrift stores and support your community. 
Catch up on all the posts here. 
If you’re anything like me, after you look at the price tags on some of those jeans, you might be thinking, “There’s no way I’d ever pay $99 dollars for jeans, even $48 is pushing it.”

Here’s what I realized: We’ve been conditioned to accept cheap clothes. We think super low prices are normal. Until recently, we didn’t know that the reason they can charge such low prices is because the people making the clothes aren’t getting paid.

But now we know. The cost of cheap clothes is too high a price to pay. But if we really want to making a lasting impact, we have to alter our ideas of how much clothes should cost. Fair trade does cost more – because the people making the clothes are actually getting paid a decent wage.

Consider this: If I saved all the money I would normally spend in a year on cheap shoes, clearance tops, and impulse jewelry buys, I could afford an expensive pair of jeans. Also, if I took into account the money I spend on clothes that are poor quality and only last a year, and invested in pieces that will last five years or more, that seems more worth it. I’ve realized through this experiment that I really don’t need more than two pairs of jeans anyway.


For more ethical clothing and accessory ideas, visit my Fashion For Freedom Pinterest Board! And stay tuned for posts on accessories, special occasion, cosmetics, and more.

Update: I recently discovered Pure Citizen, a daily deals site for ethical and fair trade clothing for men, women, and children, beauty products, and more. I’ve already discovered several new ethical companies through them! I just became a Pure Citizen affiliate, so I’d love if you signed up too! You can save up to 90% on ethical brands!

Which are your favorites of the companies above? What do you think about investing in more expensive fair trade pieces over cheaper brands?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

6 Ways To Find Out If A Product Was Ethically Made

You’re browsing the aisles of one of your favorite stores. Let’s say it’s Target, because, it’s probably a favorite for many of us, right? You’re shopping for groceries, but somehow, you end up by the clothing and accessories (or does that only happen to me?). With all the brands to choose from at a supermarket like Target, how do you know if a product was produced ethically? There’s a few ways to find out:

1. Check the package for a “Fair Trade Certified” or similar label. The Fair Trade Certified label isn’t the only indicator of a fair trade product, like I originally thought. Because there can be lots of red tape involved in this certification, some companies choose other certifications, like Green America, Domestic Fair Trade Association, and Free2Work Certified.

2. Check the package for information on how the product was produced. For example, on Starbucks’ coffee packages, Starbucks claims to ….

3. Check the label for the place it was made. Every clothing item has a tag that tells you where it was produced. If there’s no other indicator, products made in the USA, Canada, or Europe are more likely to have been ethically made.

4. Check the company website. Search the FAQ, About Us, and Our Story sections of the companies’ websites to find information about where and how they produce their goods.

5. Check the Free2Work.org grade. The work has already been done for you for many major companies! Free2Work gives brands a grade based on their efforts to ensure no child or forced labor takes place.

6. Scan it with the app! 


If none of the above produces any fruit, you can make your best guess, or look for alternatives that you do know are ethically produced.

Have you tried any of the tips above? What did you find out?

Getting to Know an Everyday Activist: Whitney Ray

Today I’ve got a treat for you! What I like about most about Noonday Representative Whitney Ray’s story is that she’s a wife, mom, and blogger, just like a lot of us, who took seriously the command to care for  the orphan and widows. I  believe you’ll be encouraged and blessed by our conversation. 

Emily: First, introduce yourself! Tell us a little about you.

Whitney: Hi, I’m Whitney Ray from Houston, TX! I am a wife, a mom to two red headed little boys, and an advocate for artisans around the world. I love fashion and following the call to care for the poor and oppressed.

E: Tell us about Noonday Collections. What attracted you to Noonday, and how did you get involved?

W: Noonday is a really incredible company that begun as a fundraiser for the founder’s Jessica Honegger, Rwandan adoption. Jessica has lived in places that are resource poor around the world and had friends who said, “here, sell these items handmade by people in our community and your can raise money for your adoption.” The paper bead items come from Uganda, the seed jewelry from Ecuador, and the woven items from Guatemala. Each item is a craft that has been made for generations in their community, the design has just been tweaked to appeal to the American marketplace. The idea is to provide sustainable, meaningful work, not just a one-time aid donation.

I had begun reading Isaiah 58 every day for a month when I came across Noonday Collection online. Coincidentally, Noonday gets its name from Isaiah 58:10: “When you care for the poor and the oppressed, your night will shine like the noonday.” With a background in fashion design, and a heart that was being awakened to the needs of the poor and oppressed around the world, I knew that Noonday was something special and something I was made to be a part of! I clicked on the “Become an Ambassador {learn more}” button on the webpage, and the rest was history! I was the 9th Ambassador to join in September of 2011, and now they just accepted their 100th Ambassador in September 2012!

E: What’s the best part about being a Noonday representative?

W: For me, the best part about being an Ambassador is the opportunity it gives me to use both my love of fashion and my passion for justice. I get to get together with my girl friends, have a fun night of style, all while offering them a chance to be a part of something bigger, something that can change the world! The passion at Noonday Collection is to connect you with the lives of artisans struggling for a better future while styling you along the way. With Noonday and attending a Noonday trunk show, fashion and design can be a vehicle for opportunity and change. When you shop with Noonday or advocate as an Ambassador, you, too, can be a voice for the oppressed!

 

E: How has being a Noonday Representative affected you personally and your life?


W: Each day that I am involved in Noonday as an Ambassador is another day that I get to reach outside myself, that I get to remember artisans in areas I may never travel but have become dear to my heart, and that I get to share this chance to be part of something bigger to those around me. My heart has been moved and I love sharing this chance we all have to be the change we want to see in the world!

E: Is buying from ethical, conscientious companies important to you, and why?

W: It is so important to me that I buy from ethical, conscientious companies! We all say we are against slavery, oppression, and/or abuse, but if we shop from companies that practice this then we are in effect supporting these deplorable actions. We can write letters to the editors or post things to facebook all we want, but it is how we spend our money that talks. The more companies see an economic reason to make changes for the better, the more they will. This is why we have seen a rise in companies like Toms shoes, Fair Trade coffee and chocolate, and companies like Noonday Collection. The more we raise the demand for ethically made products, the more companies will supply them!

E: What would you say to the reader who wants to make a difference, but doesn’t know where to start?

W: Start small! It is easy to be overwhelmed when you begin to learn about the numbers of those in poverty or the numbers of those effected by un-ethical companies around the world and feel like you have to throw out everything and begin to grow all your own food! But as Mother Theresa said, “we don’t do great things, we only do small things with great love.” Begin to make small changes in what you wear or what you eat. Buy only fair trade coffee or buy an accessory from Noonday Collection. Each time you drink your coffee or wear your accessory, think and pray for the person who made this item. Then, step-by-step you will begin to see other areas of your life that you can begin to make a difference. I read Isaiah 58 every day for 30 days and that kick-started a lot of changes in my own life, maybe that would be a place others would want to start as well. The most important thing is to do something, no matter how small!

*
I couldn’t agree with Whitney more (she used my favorite Mother Theresa quote too!). Making a difference starts with small things. Here’s five easy things you can do to start:
1. Look inside your closet, finding out where your clothes are made. 
2. Discover your slavery footprint.
3. Choose fair trade items when shopping.
4. Download the Free2Work app to find the most ethical companies by industry. 
5. Shop with companies who put your money to good use. Noonday, and the other companies on our sidebar, are great places to start!
Catch up on all the posts in this series here. 
Did you enjoy this interview? Let us know in the comments, and if you have a chance, check out Whitney’s Noonday page!

25 Unique Ways to Wear a Scarf

Ever have trouble figuring out how to wear a scarf? I know I’ve shared another of my favorite “how to tie your scarf” videos, but this one from the FashionABLE stylists features some ways I’ve never seen before!

What’s a FashionABLE scarf? “Their stories are not uncommon, but their courage is.”

I have the Bezuayhu scarf. This is her story:

“I am now 19 years old. My parents had passed away and I used to live with my aunts and grandparents. They always wanted me to work and not to go to school. So, I came to the city, and there I came to this life of prostitution. Now, it feels so good to get up in the morning and say I am going to work. It feels so good to have a scarf named after me. I’m so proud to be called a scarf maker.”

I truly love this scarf. I wore it at the ladies’ retreat last weekend, and was surprised by how light and yet warm it is! Some of my other favorites include:

Abeba in Marigold
Etanesh in Cerulian Blue
I also found out last weekend that these scarves are very popular with kittens!
Oscar is more concerned about how it tastes than what it looks like…
Right after Brian took this picture, he took this video. Can you tell which of us hates cats? 

And, stay tuned for a chance to WIN your own FashionABLE scarf later this month! 
Read the whole series here.

An Update, And The 10th Item Reveal!

10 Items, One Month, So Far

Since starting this series, I’ve had strange dreams, more like nightmares really, about shopping. In one dream I found myself in a small boutique filled with cute dresses. But then, the racks were so crammed with clothes it was impossible to pull them off and look at them, and the racks got closer and closer together, until they almost smothered me.

In another dream, I searched up and down the endless aisles of Walmart looking for Christmas presents for my sisters. I wanted a particular type of bodywash scented like different flavors of candy and soda. All I could find were pixi stix and root beer flavored. But then, I couldn’t find any prices. I looked on the bottles and on the shelves, and then I realized that nothing in the store had prices posted. I started feeling panicky, not sure if I could afford to get them or not. To increase my anxiety, the store swarmed with people. I noticed that many of the people had already gone through the checkout line, but weren’t leaving. Why aren’t they leaving? I asked a man nearby. “They’re afraid to leave,” he said. 

Image Source

I’m not into dream interpretation, but I could draw some analogies from those nightmares. How often do I shop out of fear?  I fill my house with stuff to make me feel secure. Sometimes we shop just to lift our mood, or to ease our pain and take our mind off a problem that needs to be dealt with. We’re afraid, afraid of losing status, or afraid of dealing with painful emotions, so we shop. It’s a bandaid, just like emotional eating, which covers the pain for a moment but when the pounds pile on, the sadness only increases. Ultimately, all the stuff we look to for security ends up smothering us.

Aside from the nightmares, this month is going well, but not how I expected. Some things are harder than I thought they would be, and other things are much easier. For example, telling people what I’m doing is much harder than I expected. When I try to explain why I’m wearing ten items, I feel like my brain freezes up and my mouth just keeps babbling on. I get all self-conscious and stutter-y. Luckily for me, my friend Tara is more than happy to tell everyone who will listen all about why I’m wearing ten items, and she does an awesome job! I’m very thankful for all of you who have shared, liked, and commented on this series. You have no idea how encouraging it is!

Last week I had moments that I forgot about only wearing ten things. When I’d get dressed in the morning, I’d reach for a different tank to go under my tee, and then remember. Once, though, I didn’t remember in time. Without even thinking, I laced up my tennis shoes and went to work out with Brian. I didn’t realize my mistake until hours later! Epic fail.

Just to clarify the rules, originally I wasn’t going to wear accessories or scarves, but in Brian’s words, I realized I’m a girl. So I am wearing my Noonday bracelet, and my FashionABLE scarf is one of my ten items. I could have counted all shoes as one item, but I know I have a big problem with shoes. I can’t resist them, and I have way more than I need. So, I really want to work on that area this month by limiting myself to my Toms.

The 10th Item

The results are in! The tenth item you chose for me to wear, is…

The Good and Fair Clothing v-neck tee!

Thanks for voting! It’s due to arrive any time now, and I’m SO looking forward to having another shirt to wear. I’ve mostly worn my Sevenly tee one day and my Stop Traffick Fashion tee the next. I still love my tees, but I’ll be very happy when I have another one to choose from! Although, it its supposed to cool off again here, so hopefully I’ll be able to wear my thrift store tunic again. 
Speaking of cooler weather, last Friday night Brian and I spent time with our friends who live out in the country, and it was COLD after the sun went down. I thought about asking Brian for his sweatshirt, but decided it would be cheating. Luckily, I had my scarf, so I wrapped it around me like a shawl. 
In other news, I have updated the first post of this series so that it contains links to all the posts, and I’ll continue to update it that it will be much easier to keep up to date and catch up. You might want to bookmark it so it will be easy to come back to. 
This week I’m going to share more places to shop for fair trade and ethically made clothes, a fashion tip, and an interview with a woman who is passionate about using fashion for good. I can’t wait! Thank you for joining me on this journey!
Read all the posts HERE.

Style Made With Love, and Fighting Trafficking with Lipsticks

Joe and Jessica just wanted to raise funds for their adoption by selling locally made fair trade jewelry, but God had so much more in mind. Today, NoonDay Collections helps numbers of other families afford adoptions, and provides families around the world with a good job and fair wage. Nicole left her dream job as a beauty editor in New York City to spend a year in Thailand, where amongst trafficked women and those trapped in commercial prostitution, she felt like she belonged. After returning to the states, she founded Radiant Cosmetics to fight trafficking one lipstick at a time.

You might have noticed their buttons along the sidebar, but in case you haven’t visited yet, here’s why I love Noonday and Radiant:

Noonday Collection

“At Noonday Collection, we believe every child belongs in a family. While the owner is no longer raising money for their Rwandan adoption (though they think more adoptions will come), the vision remains the same. We advocate for the orphan by:

  • Providing jobs that create a pathway out of poverty for families. A stable income means a family is less likely to abandon their child.
  • Help families raise money for their own adoptions. We give 10% of trunk show sales directly to the adoptive family when they host a trunk show.
  • Aside from donating 10% towards qualified adoptive families, Noonday Collection also gives towards orphan care and prevention. Watch the video to see one of our beneficiaries.
  • The dream: Take YOU on a trip to visit artisans and visit orphans in their distress.”

Some of my favorite items (although it’s really hard to choose just a few!) include:

Patchwork Clutches
The Dainty Everyday Neclace
And of course, my bracelet! 
Check out all of their products at representative Whitney’s page here. And stay tuned for a fabulous giveaway from NoonDay later here on the blog!

Radiant Cosmetics

Nicole says about Radiant Cosmetics: 

The cosmetics industry generates $170 billion annually. Women dominate this industry and of the over 2 million human beings trafficked each year, 80% are women and girls. My dream is to awaken a generation of women to not sit back and allow this injustice to happen to our fellow sisters. My dream is to set the captives free, one lipstick at a time.

20% of each purchase goes to Redeemed Ministries, a faith based anti-trafficking organization.

Nicole sent me this lovely shade of moisturizing lipstick:

I’m pretty conservative with my lipstick, so the Peony shade appealed to me. It’s almost the natural color of my lips, but with an extra touch of pink. 

I LOVE it. I’ve been wearing it everywhere. To see in in action, I’m wearing it in almost all of the pictures in last Wednesday’s post introducing what I’m wearing this month.

I’m also planning to try these products:

Perfect Finish Concealer
Mineral Loose Foundation Powder
And Keratin Mascara
In closing, I hope this week has encouraged you to take action. Caring for the orphans and widows comes down to making a choice. Sometimes that choice is as simple as switching to fair trade coffee or Radiant lipstick. Sometimes it’s harder, like spending less on myself so I can give more to others. 
Have you taken any action this week? If not, look back over this week’s posts. You can: 
1. Look inside your closet, finding out where your clothes are made. 
2. Discover your slavery footprint.
3. Choose fair trade items when shopping.
4. Download the Free2Work app to find the most ethical companies by industry. 
5. Shop with companies who put your money to good use. 
If you’ve completed some of the actions above, let us know about it in the comments!

Fight Slavery? There’s An App For That

So now that you know how much of a difference switching to fair trade makes, how do you know what’s fair trade or ethically made? There’s an app for that. No joke.

All the work has been done for you! It takes about a minute to download the app, or if you don’t have a smart phone, use the website before you shop, and information about specific brands is RIGHT AT YOUR FINGER TIPS. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

 

That’s your homework for this week: Check out the grades for your favorite brands. How did they fare?  Share what you found out in the comments! 

The Fair Trade Difference

What if the coffee you drink, the sugar you buy, and the clothes you wear created schools, clean water, and a better life for someone else?

I don’t think it was a coincidence that I chose October for this blog series! I didn’t know at the time that it happend to be fair trade month, but I’ve found some great articles and resources as a result, like this video, that explains what it means to be fair trade certified:

Fair Trade USA estimates that the number of people in developing countries who are benefiting from the fair trade products sold world wide is about 5 MILLION.

5,000,000 people who are no longer part of this statistic:

Buying fair trade matters. As more and more of us choose fair trade, companies will get the message: 

 “If a business cannot afford to be ethical, then they cannot afford to be in business.” – Neil Kearney, former President of the International Garment and Leather Workers Federation

This week when you do your regular grocery shopping, choose fair trade whenever possible. A small choice to us means the world to 5 million people.  

Catch up on 31 Days of Fashion for Freedom:
Week 1: Inform
Week 2: Act
2. How Many Slaves Work For You?

3. The Fair Trade Difference

How Many Slaves Work for You?

We’ve talked about modern slavery and how to fight it, what ethical fashion means, and I showed you the ten things I’m wearing this month. Now, let’s get personal.

According to Stop Traffick Fashion’s informative page on human trafficking, one of the main differences between past slavery and modern slavery is the price:  

In the past the cost of slaves was high, the return on investment was good, and there was motivation to keep and preserve slaves. Today the cost of slaves is low, the return on investment extremely high, and there is little motivation to keep and preserve slaves. Slaves become disposable.

I saw the picture above on Facebook, and felt compelled to find out about Made in a Free World and the Slavery Footprint. 
I took the quiz. Even after all the articles I’ve read, a lot of the information was new to me and really opened my eyes. Plus, it makes the slavery issue very personal. 
Are you brave enough to take it too?
I’ll admit that mine was higher than I thought it would be, and in the results, the main culprit was my clothes. What about you? 
This week we’re going to start digging into the practical ways we can restore dignity and respect to the men, women, and children who are oppressed and exploited for profit. See you tomorrow!
31 Days of Fashion for Freedom
Week 1: Inform
Week 2: Act
2. How Many Slaves Work For You?