jo: bastille :: glory
julia: oh wonder :: drive
jane: cry wolf :: wake + rising, rising (thanks jo)
jo: Holding up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
julia: Charmed Life series by Jenny B. Jones
jane: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
fave place visited:
jo: San Diego
julia: a new, local icecream shop :)
jane: the coastline between Santa Cruz + San Francisco
jo: Bernie Sanders
julia: Brooklyn Duo
jane: that Westcoast Craft was happening while we were near by
Relient K, Switchfoot
Oh Wonder (with Kevin Garrett)
What were some of your 2016 favorites? We'd love to hear! :)
Jane + Jo + Julia
How this tribe does fair, closet by closet. I spend a bit of time focusing on my own closet here, but in this house, each closet's owner really has his or her own way of doing fair. Our tribe consists of a home-schooled teenager, a working college student, a papa who works in a casual office setting, and a stay-at-home mama. So...I guess we're back to me + my closet. :)
key fair closet tool :: less
style :: California natural ? (this is a tough question)
We're in the thick of our cold weather here, so I'm aware of exactly what I like to wear when it's cold...pieces that work as well for yoga as they do for curling up comfortably under blankets...easy pieces that don't bunch or pinch + layers that are generous enough to wrap up tight. (It's kind of weird how that can be a bit hard to grasp in the weeks before the wind is biting at my ankles and the cold, even in the house, reaches my bones.) (so, yeah...thick socks too.)
Again this autumn, I hunted for a few things: tops (I mentioned at the end of last cold season that it might be time to let a few go + it was), a pair of pants, a sweatshirt, and possibly a sweater too. I was specifically looking for a pair of wider (but not too wide) legged, very slightly cropped pants that aren't jeans...a closer fitting, slightly cropped sweatshirt...and a big, snuggly sweater.
I ended up deciding that my black tencel Nehelem pants could stand in for the desired pants. They are comfortable for wearing around the house, yet look nice enough to wear out when jeans are not appropriate. I found the sweatshirt in a color I love + made fairly. The sweater was supposed to be in the bag already. I'd found a perfectly cozy, oversized one in a thrift store this summer. When I pulled it on a couple weeks ago, ready to be cozy all day, I soon started sneezing and itching my eyes...ugh...allergic. Maybe thrifted sweaters are not the way for me to go. So I kept looking and found a long, cozy sweatshirt that I am quite happy to layer over a tee and leggings (also fair!).
Shopping these days often involves shipping, since there aren't very many places to find fair (without sky high prices) in my neighborhood (outside of thrifting...which doesn't always include a win for me). I admit that it is very easy to get frustrated with this process. I'm looking to have a very small number of items in my closet, so the ones I keep really have to work. Sometimes I honestly start to wonder about my goal...but I know that more things that aren't quite right won't make me feel any better. I've been able to really scale shopping down to twice a year at this point and that is quite satisfying.
I really do feel best with less, so here's what I'm wearing right now:
-white linen top
-2 long sleeve white tees
-2 long sleeve black tees
outer layer tops:
-long black sweatshirt
-slightly cropped olive sweatshirt
-2 pairs leggings
-2 pairs brown boots
total: 17 pieces
-wool blanket coat
-red plaid scarf
At the moment, I am just keeping all of these pieces in my closet instead of switching things in/out for monthly wardrobes. (and I like it.)
I've written a little more about my fair closet approach here, if you'd like a bit more. :)
"It all matters. That someone turns out the lamp, picks up the wind-blown wrapper, says hello to the invalid, pays at the unattended lot, listens to the repeated tale, folds the abandoned laundry, plays the game fairly, tells the story honestly, acknowledges help, gives credit, says good night, resists temptation, wipes the counter, waits at the yellow, makes the bed, tips the maid, remembers the illness, congratulates the victor, accepts the consequences, takes a stand, steps up, offers a hand, goes first, goes last, chooses the small portion, teaches the child, tends to the dying, comforts the grieving, removes the splinter, wipes the tear, directs the lost, touches the lonely, is the whole thing.
What is most beautiful is least acknowledged."
~Laura McBride :: We are Called to Rise
How this tribe does fair, closet by closet. I spend a bit of time focusing on my closet around here, but in this house, each closet's owner really has her or his own way of doing fair. Our tribe consists of a home-schooled teenager, a working college student, a papa who works in a casual office setting, and a stay-at-home mama. Here is Mr. Tribe + his closet.
key fair closet tool :: ethical brands (and my awesome wife)
style :: functional. I'm a dude. Patagonia style.
Do you have an outfit that makes you feel like you when you where it?
Patagonia or Prana denim...thrifted plaid button down shirt...old skool Vans...Patagonia "live simply" hat...Twin Six "Cars Are Coffins" cycling socks
Do you have a piece in your closet with a special story or meaning?
A grey Mollusk wave t-shirt from a cool local SF surf shop. My wife picked out the t-shirt, so I know she likes it, and it reminds me of an awesome vacation our family had, and one of the coolest cities I've ever had the opportunity to explore with my family.
What does fair mean to you?
Fair means a piece of well made clothing, by a company that chooses to make decisions that might mean less profit for them, that prioritizes the people that make the clothes, prioritizes the people who source the fabric and prioritizes the ecology that is necessary for all those factories. Also, a piece of clothing that looks good, but also functions well and will still be cool 5 years from now.
Does "less" play a role in your closet?
Less is helpful...keeps decisions easier and it means that everything I have in my closet is something that I really like.
Do you struggle with any part of buying fair?
Less so with everyday clothing, because I have found a couple of companies that I'm stoked on that are "fair"...like Patagonia, PACT, Taylor Stitch, Nisolo. But I like to ride my bike a lot and there are not a lot of companies that make technical cycling garments that are "fair".
Do you have any goals regarding "fair" in your wardrobe for the future?
If I have something in my closet that I love...wear it til it's worn out...then buy something else I love to replace it that is "more fair" than the piece I'm replacing.
(Jane again) I feel like it is easier to find fair clothing for men. Styles change at a slower rate and the pieces themselves remain stable...t-shirts, pants, button-down shirts, etc. There are some fair brands doing quality work on men's clothing that doesn't have the same high price point that women's fair brands seem to gravitate toward. If we find a brand that Mr. Tribe likes the look + fit of, we can search for his size on ebay and often find pre-owned pieces in good shape. We've also had some good luck in thrift stores.
Mr. Tribe + I share the 6 1/2 ft. x 2 ft. closet in our bedroom and don't have a need for a dresser or any other storage for our everyday clothes. My coats and footwear live there too. Mr. Tribe has the coat closet to himself + some space in the garage for his bike gear, jackets + shoes which are not so minimal. :)
Thanks Mr. Tribe for taking the time to write some thoughts about your fair closet. It's been cool to see the progression that has happened in your thinking (+ mine) as we talk about all of this...need/want, excess, fair clothing, thrifting, long wearing, etc. I'd say that Patagonia's Worn Wear campaign had an impact as well. It's so well done + really makes wearing longer seem cool (especially for guys).
"Experiences don't just make us happy while we're consuming them or when we're telling stories about the afterwards, but indeed even before the experience has happened at all. If you're looking forward to a dinner or concert, that period of waiting is a positive state." ~Amit Kumar via
I don't pretend to be an expert on all teenagers. I have two girls (one no longer a teen!) who are very different + unique...individuals in the best sense. Each teenager is an individual exploring individual interests and that's one of the things that makes them so great! If you are the parent of the teen you are buying for, you know their likes + interests. If you are buying for a teen who doesn't live in your house...well, you might want to ask for some advice from someone who does (if not the recipient her/himself). We've always made wish lists around here, not extremely long ones but helpful, specific ones. I like to add a couple of surprises too. :)
Zero-waste gift giving to me is a bit less about the amount of packaging that comes with the gift itself (though the best gifts often don't come with much) and more about the appreciation of the gift itself. If something is discarded or just becomes clutter...that is waste. A beautiful scarf knit by hand may be lovely and useful in theory, but if the recipient already has ten scarves or never wears scarves at all...it is waste. Careful thought must go into material gifts whether or not they involve packaging. Appreciation + usefulness of the gift is key.
I read this week about someone who gives each son/daughter one thing that they want, one thing that they need + one experience to share. I like this idea because the experience could be interpretted many different ways + for many different budgets. It could involve a new game or puzzle to play or do together...or it could involve a ballet or ball game...or it could even involve a roadtrip or a trip on a plane.
Traditions are fun, but they can evolve and morph as time goes by and family dynamics change. Expectations can be changed with conversations and input from everyone.
The holidays don't have to be the pinnacle of the year. Gifts are fun (+ often stressful), but the goal is to provide a little happy glow...not necessarily a fireworks display. This year, we have discussed that I am doing three gifts for each of the girls...a morning gift, a noon gift, and an evening gift. We do stockings too, so there will be three small, inexpensive gifts in each stocking as well.
Here are a few things that I think might be good gifts for teens depending on their interests:
-a piece of clothing they can use (introduce them to a cool, fair, indy brand), or the promise of a shopping trip together (with something specific in mind), including lunch/snack together
-a band t-shirt from a band they love (search the band's website for mercy or go vintage)
-a magazine subscription to a publication they like (bring finished issues along to dentist + doctor appointments to leave in the waiting rooms)
-gift cards to I-tunes, Target, or a favorite coffee shop (or give labeled cash to avoid the plastic)
-Klean Kanteen for avoiding plastic + paper cups +/or taking a favorite drink from home
-money for something they collect or love (the fun of searching for just the right one will be theirs)
-movie passes (either a movie date with you...or not)
-experiences like a yoga class, batting cage, museum, paint-a-plate, skydiving
-a special meal in a fancy (or not so fancy) restaurant
-gas card, or pay their cell phone bill for a month (I think teens should usually be paying for their own cell phones + gas (or at least be contributing), because then they will know what a gift this is)
-a favorite treat in triplicate...candy, smoothies, chips, Ben + Jerry's, salsa, etc. (maybe or maybe not totally zero-waste, but it's a rare treat...so your choice)
-a three month subscription to a fitness site that they already love
-something a bit luxurious to enhance an interest/hobby...like a beautiful journal + pen(s) for a writer, some gorgeous yarn for a knitter/crocheter, some new sheet music or accessory they've been hinting at for a musician, a new piece of equipment or gear for an athlete, a new lense or polaroid film for a photographer, a sketchbook + watercolors for an artist
-new bedding or a desk or lamp or a framed print, if they've been angling for a room update
-money toward a big ticket item that they are saving up for...a cell phone + plan, a car, + insurance + gas, a computer, a new instrument. (I personally think that it is very important for kids to make a personal investment in these larger items. The rewards of saving + planning ahead are too important to take away completely...but maybe contributing some money toward the goal is appropriate.)
-if you do stocking stuffers: bamboo toothbrush, deoderant, lotion, lipbalm (could be homemade or ingredients to make their own), a special treat or two (we always laughed when we unwrapped things like toothpaste + deodorant growing up, but were grateful not to have to spend our own money on them for a month or two!)
Links above give photo credit.
My December calendar page finally became a reality! Once it was finished, I remembered some blank cards that were cut from leftovers at a print shop in town. They made perfect Christmas postcards...which I love because there is no envelope to discard + postcard stamps cost less too. :) I also decided to print them this way so that they could become gift tags if cut in three, hole punched, + tied with string.
I made two extra sets for you too, so if you leave a hello in the comments...I will pick a winner (+ get your address at that point) and mail them out first thing Thursday morning. You can use the string that ties them to make tags or use them as cards. Thank you all for checking in here, when you get the chance! It's much friendlier with you here too! :)
Lots of love,
P.S. I'm happy to mail them internationally too. :)
P.P.S. Thank you all for your lovely comments! Kari, hope these make it to you in time!
How this tribe does fair, closet by closet. I spend a bit of time focusing on my closet around here, but in this house, each closet's owner really has her or his own way of doing fair. Our tribe consists of a home-schooled teenager, a working college student, a papa who works in a casual office setting, and a stay-at-home mama. This is Jo (the working college student) + her closet.
key fair closet tools :: thrift + indie brands
style :: maybe comfy thrifty southwest art school dropout, at least that's what i appear to be going for, not that i succeed.
Do you have an outfit that just makes you feel like you?
Jo: I have a cream Moon Collective hoodie with a hand printed in black ink on the back. I love wearing it under my pin covered thrifted denim jacket with dark jeans, and either suede hightop vans or thrifted boots. Almost all fair, save the jeans. This outfit, or a thrifted t shirt knotted and thrifted high waisted jeans, or high waisted Girlfriend Collective leggings, plus moccasin booties. If it doesn't fit just right I'll probably wear it.
Do you have a piece in your closet with a special story or meaning?
Jo: I have little memories attached to most things, sometimes helped by a little sand still stuck in the pockets. I love remembering how I lived in items, whether knowing that this t-shirt took me on a walk downtown, or a flannel kept me warm on the shores of Big Sur. I also love getting to know the little quirks about an item. For example, the tiny patches where the denim of my jacket is wearing away, or the little "<" i wrote into the inside of it during Shakespeare class. I love adding that touch of personalization, or seeing where my body and life impact the fabric. They become mine.
What does fair (clothing-wise) mean to you?
Jo: It's a matter of respect and love, I suppose. To respect those who create my clothing. To appreciate their work and design. To place some value into the slabs of fabric I happen to choose to drape over my body. I love looking down and always finding something thrifted or independently created. It makes me feel healthy, happy, and appreciative.
How do you approach fair in your closet?
Jo: I love thrifting... I love the search, the surprise, and the smaller dent on my wallet. I've always been incredibly lucky as well; with patience, I've found the perfect boots, the perfect flannels, the perfect denim jackets. It's fun, and happy. It makes me feel good, as I can give the clothes a loving home, saved from the landfill. Everyone wins: the thrift store, the earth, and me! Otherwise, I really love finding independent artists or tiny brands to support. People are doing such rad things and i love to support them. It's amazing what you can find and it's great knowing that they're able to make money from their art.
Does "less" play a role in your wardrobe?
Jo: I don't feel like I've ever been the best at "less", as I have a tendency to buy what I love... even if it's a second denim jacket (hey! it's a slightly different style!) However, I've been called a "serial minimalist" because if I love something, I'll wear it over and over and over... For example, I may have too many jackets and I may occasionally keep buying thrifted jackets, but I only wear one or two consistently. I like what I like and I persevere. And I feel the biggest struggle against "less" at a thrift store. The price is right and no one gets hurt!
Do you struggle with any part of buying fair?
Jo: Everything gets easier with time: candy gets a bit too sweet for me, and polyester feels a bit too nasty to tempt me. It helps that I know how much cool clothing is out there. I have a bit of guilt for spending more money sometimes, but... supporting more than just a middle man is worth that. There are those few items like skinny jeans that I tend to just buy from Madewell or Gap, because it's easier- I can try them on to find that perfect pair, and they aren't too expensive. However, I will wear those to threads.
Do you have any goals regarding fair in your wardrobe for the future?
Jo: My closet is dying for a ruthless clean out. I'd like to get it down to everything I love, rather than a lot of things I've had for a long time for whatever pointless or nostalgic reason, while I am fully aware that I will always choose to wear something else. Along with this, I could probably stand to buy a little less, but I assume that culling my closet will help me feel more content.
(Jane again) Thank you so much Jo! You are the queen of thrift to me + can almost always find something to love! (This being the case, we don't thrift too often.) :) I admire how you've been able to make your style out of what you find + always look unique and cool doing it. Your heart makes me beam + I appreciate you sharing it here! I love you tons!
Jo + Jane (Mama) :)
P.S. Jo did that clean out + back to the thrift store the excess went to make some more money for them + hopefully clothe someone else!
on a journey toward zero-waste, simplicity, + compassion :: daring to choose fair one choice at a time