Beauty Find Friday: Warby Parker Glasses Try On!

Buying glasses online is not for the faint of heart. 

When I finally got a new prescription, I couldn’t wait to start glasses shopping. My first choice was Warby Parker, a company I’ve talked about before. For $95, you get a pair of high quality frames, including special coatings, and unlike companies with similar prices (BonLook and Rivet and Sway) for each pair you buy, one pair of glasses goes to someone in need. They’ve given 500,000 pairs of glasses!

Instead of just donating the glasses, however, Warby Parker partners with non-profits that train low-income entrepreneurs to start their own businesses selling glasses. Instead of creating a culture of dependence, they’re creating jobs and encouraging the local economies. 

Although several websites, including Warby Parker, allow you to upload your photo to virtually try on glasses, it’s just not the same. So, Warby Parker actually allows you to pick five frames and try them on at home for five days, with free shipping. 

I picked the Leigh, Sims, Marshall, Finn, and Wilkie. They’re all so similar, and yet so different. You’ve got to help me decide! I apologize in advance for the poor photo quality, I was in a hurry to get this post up so we could get to deciding. 

My Old Glasses:


Leigh:

Similar shape to my old glasses, but more square and little darker.


 Sims:

A little bigger frames, which I like, because then I’m not always looking over or under them. 


Marshall:

These are the biggest frames. It might be just me, but I think I look like I’m playing dress up with someone else’s glasses!


Finn:

Finn is a little smaller, a nice tortoise color, and not quite as square as some of the others.


Wilkie:

The Wilkie is the most square shaped of all of them, and also the darkest color.

This is going to be a tough decision. I’m leaning toward the Finn or the Wilkie right now, but I could be swayed. So weigh in in the comments: what ones do you like best? 

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Sponsor Scribbles in July and Support Rescue Her

In June, 20% of my proceeds from advertising on this blog went to Worthwhile Wear, an organization that provides employment and training in sewing skills to former victims of human trafficking and forced prostitution. They reached full funding last month, and are able to build a new vocational and employment sewing center!
This month, I’ll be donating to a Rescue Her project in India.

Human trafficking in India is overwhelming, but we want to make a difference. We are building a Rescue Home in India to help get young girls off the street and into a safe place and away from the risk of being trapped into sex trafficking.

Before Rescue Her can start building a home, they are raising $500 to cover legal fees. You can read more about their plan on Pure Charity. 

Ever since I first monetized my blog, I’ve given some of the proceeds to a cause. Making a difference, even with small actions of generosity, is important to me. Tracking income and finding causes to give to has become even easier since I started using Passionfruit Ads and Pure Charity.
You could probably find a bigger blog with advertising for the same price. But Scribbles From Emily is my corner of the internet from which I seek to change the world, one person at a time. One way I accomplish this is by donating 20% of my profits from advertising rates and affiliates to charitable organizations, usingPure Charity. That equals $4 from each Premium spot, $2 from each Popular spot, and $1 from each Pretty spot.
Other Ways to Sponsor:
Giveaways are an effective way to expand your brand awareness and grow your blog followers, social media profiles, or email lists. If you believe your product is a good fit for my blog audience, you may have a giveaway without buying sidebar ads. Your giveaway will get its own blog post, mentions in each successive blog post until the giveaway ends, daily tweets, and frequent facebook posts.
If you’d like to see your product featured in a post, send it to me to review! This option is open to all: you do not need to buy sidebar ads to qualify. I just ask that you allow me to pick out the item to review; that way I can pick what fits best with my tastes and appeals to my audience. 

I reserve the right to refuse a sponsor ad, giveaway, or promotion that I deem inappropriate for my audience. 

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Sponsor Scribbles And Support Worthwhile Wear

Ever since I first monetized my blog, I’ve given some of the proceeds to a cause. Since I write about making a difference, it follows that I use my blog income accordingly. Tracking income and finding causes to give to has become even easier since I started using Passionfruit Ads and Pure Charity.

Passionfruit Ads provides a simple, pretty, framework for purchasing sidebar ads. I discovered Pure Charity last winter, and I linked my cards to it to fund projects with my Christmas shopping. Last month, I realized how I could use it on Scribbles From Emily to fund projects through my sidebar ads.

You could probably find a bigger blog with advertising for the same price. But Scribbles From Emily is my corner of the internet from which I seek to change the world, one person at a time. One way I accomplish this is by donating 20% of my profits from advertising rates and affiliates to charitable organizations, using Pure Charity. That equals $4 from each Premium spot, $2 from each Popular spot, and $1 from each Pretty spot.

Currently, I’m funding Worthwhile Wear. 

Worthwhile Wear needs your help in the setting up of this new vocational and employment sewing center. This project is focused on reaching the women and girls exploited by sex trafficking and forced prostitution, and providing them with a way out. This is Phase 1 of the project, which is the renovation and setup of the space where the women will work and re-establish their self-worth.

Find out more about Worthwhile Wear on their website and on Pure Charity.

Other Ways to Sponsor:

Giveaways are an effective way to expand your brand awareness and grow your blog followers, social media profiles, or email lists. If you believe your product is a good fit for my blog audience, you may have a giveaway without buying sidebar ads. Your giveaway will get its own blog post, mentions in each successive blog post until the giveaway ends, daily tweets, and frequent facebook posts.

If you’d like to see your product featured in a post, send it to me to review! This option is open to all: you do not need to buy sidebar ads to qualify. I just ask that you allow me to pick out the item to review; that way I can pick what fits best with my tastes and appeals to my audience.


I reserve the right to refuse a sponsor ad, giveaway, or promotion that I deem inappropriate. 

Visit the Sponsor page for more information, and contact me with any questions!

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Shopping for Good

Are you planning your Black Friday shopping trips? I would rather not get trampled for a sandwich maker, so I’d much rather Black Friday and Cyber Monday shop online from the safety of my couch. In case you’re also planning to do some online shopping, I wanted to share how your holiday shopping can actually fund non-profit’s projects around the world. This is super exciting!

The Future of Philanthropy from Pure Charity on Vimeo.

With Pure Charity, you can shop online from their many partners, and a percentage of what you spend funds the project of your choice! Their partners include Target, Walmart, Apple, Forever 21, Gap, and many, many more.

You can buy your Christmas gifts, while giving back at the same time!

When you sign up, I hope you’ll follow me, and share Pure Charity with others!

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!

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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!

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! 

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?

Capsule Wardrobe: What I’m Wearing This Month

If you’re just joining us, welcome to 31 Days of Fashion for Freedom!

I’m wearing only 10 items this month to change the way I shop and fight human trafficking. And today I’m introducing my ten things!

1. Stop Traffick Fashion Tee

Stop Traffick Fashion sent me the Beloved Tee to wear, and it is 100% fair trade organic cotton. This tee was made in India by Freeset, “a fair trade business offering employment to women trapped in Kolkata’s sex trade.”


The tee states “Be Loved, Be Free.” A flock of freed birds flutter across the front. I forgot to take a picture of the back, but it features the STF logo on the back.

I’m wearing a large, because it is 100% cotton and I’m not sure how much it will shrink. I LOVE the color. As you can tell in the pictures, it’s a brilliant aqua blue. I like that it’s a “slim fit” shirt, meaning that it’s more fitted.

For your information, this shirt is now on sale! So are many of the tees STF offers, they’re getting ready for a new line of designs. So if you haven’t already, check out their tees!

3. Sevenly Tee

I bought this tee a few weeks ago, to support All Girls Allowed, an organization that fights forced abortions of girls in China and provide resources for orphaned girls. Sevenly sells a different tee shirt every week to support a new cause. Check out the past causes and designs here, and see what Sevenly’s doing this week.

I think the design is beautiful. I especially love the sentiment, “Live Life.” This tee is unbelievably soft, and produced in Los Angeles, California in a WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accreditation Production) certified factory, which “requires not only clean ethical cotton fields and sweat-shop-free manufacturing, but quarterly inspections of healthy workplace standards, and environmentally friendly products.” Sevenly states on their tees that they are a fair trade company.

 4. Thrift Store Tunic

This particular tunic was a find from a thrift store in Iowa; you might remember it. I wore this yesterday, and let me tell you, it is WARM. I wore it with the sleeves rolled up, but it can also be worn with them down. 

5. Grey Tank Top

This tank top has been in my drawers since early high school. At one point it had a fine sheen of glitter, but that’s long gone now. I think I got it at JC Pennys. It’s one of the ten so that I have something to wear under the thrift store tunic and Sevenly tee, as well as to work out in and sleep in. Yeah, it’s going to get washed a lot this month!

6. FashionABLE scarf

The lovely folks at FashionABLE sent me the Bezuayhu scarf to keep me warm this month! I’ll share more about FashionABLE in another post next week. Every scarf they sell provides sustainable business for women in Africa.

“Because of you, I am ABLE to Look forward to my future. Thank you, Bezuayhu”
Each scarf design is named after one of the women whose life has been transformed by working for FashionABLE. Each scarf comes with a handwritten note from the woman who made it, along with a picture. I don’t usually save the tags from clothes, but I’m probably going to save this one forever.

7. Bootcut Jeans

The dark wash jeans I’m wearing in every picture of me above are my favorite pair, and that’s why they’re one of the ten. They’re from Charlotte Russe, and I spent the most money I’ve ever spent on a pair of jeans on them: $30. I really wanted to find some fair trade jeans, but I thought since part of the point of this series is to stop buying so much, I should use what I already have. Baby steps, people!

But, if you happen to work for someplace that makes ethical jeans, and you’d like to send me some, hit me up! 🙂

8. Black Knit Capris

I thought about going to bed pant-less every night. However, I don’t think the women at the ladies’ retreat I’m going to this weekend would appreciate it, and those days when I’m lounging around eating breakfast when the maintenance men knock on the door would be 500 times more awkward. So these are here for casual days at home, sleeping, exercising, and when my jeans are in the laundry.

9. TOMs Shoes

The all-mighty Toms! I bought these at Ron Jon’s Surf Shop at Coco Beach in Florida a few weeks ago. At the time, I’d been wearing mostly sandals, and after a day at Epcot, my feet were KILLING me. I bought these shoes and breathed a gigantic sigh of relief. They provided just enough support and cushioning for my feet. 
While I usually don’t spend $44 on shoes, Toms gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased. So I think of it like they’re only $22.

10. Francesca’s Collections Dress

I wore this dress for my college graduation, and it’s one of my favorites. It’s made in the USA, and while that doesn’t necessarily mean it wasn’t made in a sweatshop, it is less likely, especially because it wasn’t cheap. Although I have a thrift store make-over dress, I picked this one because it is so versatile. You can wear it dressy or casual, with scarves, belts, or sweaters.

Speaking of which, a sweater is not one of my ten things. Hm.

10. ?

Yep. Question mark is right. After planning, emailing, asking on Facebook, and thinking some more, I cannot decide on the tenth item. 
For awhile I planned to have a pair of shorts. After asking on Facebook how often people washed their jeans, most said after 3-4 wears, or once a week. So, I think it’s doable to just have the jeans and knit capris. Jen Hatmaker did a similar month long experience, but with only seven things, and she only had one pair of jeans and a pair of gray knit drawstring shorts. If Jen could do it, I can too, right? 
Plus, I think I need another shirt more than I need another pair of bottoms. But what shirt? 
A long sleeved tee from Old Navy: 
Or, a Good&Fair Clothing tee. 
Short sleeved or long sleeved? Fair trade or Old Navy? In my closet now, or order online and wait for it? These are the questions I’ve been wrestling with for weeks now. Let’s decide it once for all today!
Keep in mind, I live in Phoenix. It’s 100 degrees outside today. However, the month is expected to end in the low 80’s, with lows at night at 52. This weekend I’m going up to the mountains for a women’s retreat, where the high is 82 and the low is 49. Also keep in mind that I’m usually cold when everyone else is comfortable. Also remember that I already have that surprisingly warm tunic and a thick scarf (#6). 
Cast your vote! 
Although they don’t count as clothing items, I did receive a couple of special accessories that I can’t wait to share with you! I’ll show you those next week.

Now I want to know, if you had to pick ten items from your closet to wear for a month, what would you pick?

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