This space is about simple beauty + compassion, so I've tried to keep ads at bay...including my own. I just thought I might let you know that I have a few pieces of pre-loved goodness on etsy at the moment. This is my way of trying first to get some of these pieces into the hands of people who can use + appreciate them and to keep them out of the waste stream. No pressure to shop...just in case it might be helpful.
Viva la fairdare! :)
It's still a bit brown + coldish outside, but I'm trying to remind myself + my tribe that we are almost out of the winter woods. A few happy hints that spring is here ::
Lightening up in the closet:
-My knits, hat, scarf, + gloves have been packed away in my suitcase with some lavender.
-It may be a few weeks until my wool blanket coat joins them, but I'm stitching up the holes in it now. The navy really hides the patches well.
-Not as many regrets when I go without socks (because I pretty much always do). :)
Sunshine on a plate:
-Mangos. Alone or like this...add some yogurt, honey, cinnamon, pecans, + chocolate chips!
-Spring reminds me of the simple goodness of egg salad on toast with a sprinkle of greens.
-Golden beets. With kale, onion, chickpeas, wild rice, + avocado.
Getting some fresh air:
-Spotted: crocus + daffodils + tree buds + blue bird
-Trying to get outside for a walk or just to sit in the sun for a bit on those rare warmer days.
-Or at least rolling down the car windows with some good tunes blasting.
-Welcomed fresh air indoors via an open screen door + also received a spider + itchy allergy eyes.
How are you experiencing it?
A well-thought out collection of clothes makes it possible to live with less. The same can be said for workout clothing. Of course the way to really do with less is to wear the same clothes for everyday + working out. In my case, however, I like to have a few things that I can get really sweaty in + wash frequently. With a little variety, I have just what I need for anything from sweltering, summer morning walks to frigid, winter evening yoga classes. My collection consists of a tank, a tee, leggings, shorts, + a layer. I thought I'd share a few dreamy options for small, fair, natural fiber workout collections. (A little background on why I'm avoiding plastic fibers.)
Semi-local mini workout collection (above) : these pieces have origins closer to home ::
tank :: Richer Poorer : organic cotton : made in Los Angeles, California
tee :: Pansy : Texas grown + North Carolina milled organic cotton : rubber/cotton elastic made in South Carolina : sewn in San Leandro, California 15 minutes from the designer's home : completely compostable
leggings :: LVR : organic cotton : made in Los Angeles, California
shorts :: Conscious Clothing : hemp + organic cotton : made in Rockford, Michigan
sweatshirt :: Jungmaven : hemp + organic cotton : made in USA
In the UK try :: Know the Origins :: From
In Canada try :: Free Label
In Europe try :: Base Range
In Australia try :: Shift to Nature
I'm not a super athletic person, so bear with my attempts to clothe one. :) If specialty clothing is necessary, substituting accordingly. I imagine that these pieces could provide useful for lots of activities...from snowboarding (base layer), to beach volleyball...hiking...yoga...
Outdoor sports mini workout collection::
tank :: United by Blue : organic cotton : made in USA
tee :: Patagonia : organic cotton : fair-trade certified : (there are some organic + fair-trade tanks as well)
leggings :: Tasc Performance : organic cotton + bamboo : made in a Tasc-devoted factory in India with 90% renewable energy : closed loop fabric manufacturing + dying : responsibly sourced fibers
shorts :: Prana : organic cotton : fair-trade certified
long-sleeved top :: Tasc Performance : merino wool + bamboo : made in a Tasc-devoted factory in India with 90% renewable energy : closed loop fabric manufacturing + dying : responsibly sourced fibers
The most inexpensive + ethical workout pieces of all are the ones we already own, of course. A closet clean-out might yield enough pieces that could be dedicated to sweaty activities, if desired. Thrift stores would be a great place to look as well, since they usually offer a wide variety of tees, tanks + sweatshirts. Both of my girls recently found perfectly fitting sweatshirts for around $5 each. These new, fairly made, organic cotton pieces are good last resorts. :)
Inexpensive mini workout collection ::
tank :: Pact : fair-trade certified : GOTS certified : organic cotton
tee :: Pact : fair-trade certified : GOTS certified : organic cotton
long leggings :: Pact : fair-trade certified : GOTS certified : organic cotton
shorter leggings :: Pact : fair-trade certified : GOTS certified : organic cotton
long-sleeved tee :: Richer Poorer : organic cotton : made in Los Angeles, California
More fair athletic wear here.
All beautiful photos via links provided.
Early on in this post, I'll reveal that this is probably going in the opposite direction of what the title suggests. I had a "discussion" this weekend regarding how I am striving for better. It led to the statement that sometimes it is ok to just be content. This is probably true in some situations...but that wasn't the position I was willing to take in that moment. I want to see change + growth...both in myself + in the world...and my focus is on trying to take the next step in that direction.
I recognize that the idea of contentedness has most likely been a focus of a few posts here. In theory, I am on a mission to find it + to find rest in it. I wish to find contentedness in order to lay down my desire to consume...once + for all. I covet contentedness in my closet + in my home + in my circumstances. I'm not sure, but someday I may find rest in these areas. Right now I'm willing to call it a journey + to actively engage in the pursuit.
What I know for sure is that clothes + furnishings will wear out. We'll get hungry again. Our home will need repairs + our car will get rear-ended (yup, this week). Our lives need constant tending, + I want to be engaged in making better + more compassionate choices.
There is plenty wrong with this world. The garment industry, climate change, plastic pollution, refugee producing conflict, racial inequities...the list is endless. There is + always will be a spot where we can direct our energies toward a new objective. Jesus said that the poor will always be with us + in saying so, He let us know that our work would never be finished (Matthew 26:11). I pray that I will never be content to just let it be.
It brings me to tears to hear the students saying that the adults have not done enough in regards to gun control + that their generation will. It breaks my heart, on one hand because I know that at least the first part is true. On the other hand, I know that there are mamas + papas whose life's work has become campaigning for change in gun laws after the loss of their own precious sons + daughters. It is not that no one has been working...it is that there is still so much to be done. Contentedness is not an option. Even with stronger laws...the real issue may be more about making sure that every kid + teen + young adult + adult knows that he or she is loved...that he or she is heard...that he or she is valued + worthy + necessary.
When Charity Water's founder is asked what he will do with his life after everyone on earth has access to clean water, he laughs + says he will take what he's learned + apply it to the next problem, of course.
Right now, I see life as a journey involving frustration...and contentedness a destination that may never be reached. I see my daily pursuits like an active yoga posture that engages all of the muscles in the pursuit of lengthening + deepening.
May we always find a cause for frustration, and may our frustration always move us to action.
Zero-waste, plant-based, tiny living.
We raise our hands. We raise our voices. We raise the next generation.
We went to Black Panther last weekend + loved it! I noticed some gorgeous knits + found that the costume designer who knit Nakia's scarf released a free pattern for it.
"If happiness is on the opposite side of success, your brain never gets there." This is so good!
Why are we making our children be braver than our politicians? Take a stand.
Have a lovely weekend, friends!
Tom: I consider what I need is mine, and everything else isn't mine. It came to me through a system that I don't support. And so, I'm getting wealthy by getting involved in Invisible Children or ending the child soldier problem.
Carson: You're rich beyond...you're richer than you've ever been.
Tom: I'm a fat cat, man.
~Tom Shadyac + Carson Daly, on living simply + giving money away
"At the end of the rainbow you find a pot of gold." ~Jo, regarding this soup
Here is another subtle change on a regular around these parts. This was an experiment in left-overs gone oh, so good. :) Left over spaghetti squash (we probably had about 2-3 cups- but the amount is pretty irrelevant) + half of a can of coconut milk (uncharacteristically grabbed on a whim) + a little switch in the spices = yum. Had to capture it here, so I don't forget. Hope you don't mind. :)
Pot of Gold
part of an onion, diced
4 cups water
left-over cooked spaghetti squash (or any squash/sweet potato)
potato, diced not peeled
2 carrots, sliced not peeled
handful or two of uncooked rice
jar of cooked beans
1 Tbsp. boullion
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper flakes
1 tsp. grated ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
half of a can of coconut milk
Amounts are approximate. Use what you have. Saute onion in olive oil until translucent. Whirl squash or sweet potato in a blender with a cup of water. Add water, squash (that Julia + I thought looked identical enough to a pineapple smoothie that it could be a good prank), + all the rest (except the coconut milk). Bring to a boil. Turn heat down + simmer until rice is cooked, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, stir in coconut milk, + enjoy!
Moving through our house + reassessing each room in terms of zero-waste has brought me to the bedroom. I admit that this may be my way of distracting myself from calling spring cleaning what it is. Since cleaning is not something I love, I often try to cloak it in another activity like rearranging furniture. Most often it is a combination of the three: cleaning, zero-wasting/minimizing + moving furniture. :) I thrive on a change of perspective. As with the living room, I'm using Bea's five steps toward zero-waste to deeply consider how I want to use this room + what we actually need (+ don't need) to make that happen.
Our bedroom functions most predominately for sleep, so I would like this room to be as restful + clutter-free as possible. When we started from scratch (all 3 times), I considered a bed to be the only true necessity for the bedroom (+ I would still love for that to be all that is found here). Yet, I like to hang out in here sometimes during the day. This room is south facing + receives quite a lot of sunlight. So recently, I've added a comfy, but very clean-lined chair. After a lot of years sitting on my bed + the floor (which are also nice), my back appreciates it. The whole room received a rearrange, so that I could place the chair by the window. :) My sewing is done here on my desk. In order to keep things calm + uncluttered, I keep the sewing machine in the closet. Less clothes means there is room for it. :)
Refuse :: Refuse what we don't need.
-television- We can watch a movie on a laptop, if we want to.
-dresser- Mr. Tribe + I can fit our everyday wardrobes into our (non-walk-in) closet. We don't need a dresser. The top of a dresser can be fun to style, but ultimately just attracts clutter.
-desk- Here is where we need to really know ourselves. Do my girls like to do homework at a desk, or would they really rather spread out on the floor...or on the bed? Desks are helpful, when they are helpful! We don't need to get rid of something just to have less. I have a desk in my room now, because it gives me a space to set up my sewing machine + still be able to eat dinner at the dining table. Julia has a desk that lets her keep her keyboard at the ready + to draw or do homework. Jo never used her desk, so let it go. We just consciously reconsider each item...and then reconsider it again + again. :)
-workout equipment- We know if we use it. ;) I'd rather take a walk or do some yoga.
-bedside tables- I thought these were necessary once upon a time, because every bedroom tour featured them. At some point, I realized that I never touched the stuff inside mine...Mr. Tribe just piled receipts + pocket lint on his...and I got to dust them. :) Now our bed is low enough that we can reach our alarms on the floor.
-Any other furniture that seemed like a good idea, but never gets used. If it has piles of clothes or clutter on it, it's probably not necessary. I make the tiny effort to put clothes onto a hanger/shelf or in the laundry basket right away.
-freebies- It is not obligatory to accept others' cast-offs...even when we are just starting out. It's ok to say, "Oh thank you for thinking of me, but I don't think I really need it." No further explanation necessary. This applies to free t-shirts too. :)
Reduce :: Reduce what we do need.
-clothing- This is big! Check out the Fairdare. :)
-pillows- Ideally we'd each have one. I just need to find the right ones. (Recommendations welcome!)
-bedding- One set of sheets is enough for us. It goes right from the dryer back onto our bed. Sheets + towels are the only things we put in the dryer that was given to us.
-decorations- My goal is to have a restful space. I stop "seeing" things after a while anyway.
-curtains- This (like everything here) involves personal preference, but I prefer light curtains + find it easier to wake up with some light streaming through.
Reuse :: Keep it in use + out of the landfill. No new resources necessary.
-clothes- Wear, care for, tailor, repair + mend what is already in the closet. Sell or donate the excess. Buy second-hand.
-extra bedding- Cut it up + make bulk bags for the grocery store or replacement pillow cases or a slipcover for a thrifted chair or pajama pants. Donate it to a shelter.
-old t-shirts- Cut them up for cleaning rags (no sewing necessary).
-furniture- Craigslist is a great place to find desks, dressers, headboards or chairs, if deemed necessary. It also works for letting things go...as does the stoop or driveway.
-baskets- Laundry baskets may be found at a thrift shop, yard sale, or on Craigslist.
-unusable bedding + clothing- Bring them to Goodwill + they will get them to places that reuse the fibers in carpet padding, insulation, + rags.
-unwearable athletic shoes- Get them to Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe program + they will be made into sports surfaces.
-dry cleaner hangers- return to the dry cleaner for re-use
-natural fiber sweater pills or lint (including dryer lint)
-fallen plant leaves
Enjoy the uncluttered, restful space...or take a nap. :)
A big company like Prana deserves credit for an accomplishment like this. All of the cotton used in their spring collection is 100% organic! I'd love if they would use less polyester (recycled or not), but this is a big deal.
Another thing that I do appreciate about Prana (when I've ordered it for Mr. Tribe) is the fact that it comes just like the picture above shows...no plastic bag. Those "little" things add up! Just think of all those plastic bags saved! Ugh! (What is the point of them anyway?)
It takes a little work to find the Prana pieces that are made with both fair-trade certified labor + natural fibers...but pieces are searchable under the "fabric" tab. Here are a few of the pieces that I can appreciate...both men's + women's.
This is progress, friends! (Now to get removed from that mailing list...again.)
on a journey toward zero-waste, simplicity, + compassion :: daring to choose fair one choice at a time