All photos via Harvest + Mill.
Harvest + Mill is one of those brands that makes me so happy. They make their clothing in San Francisco from organic cotton that was grown, milled + spun in the USA. Just a few well thought out pieces make up a collection of versatile basics. Unisex tees + pants are simple, uniform worthy pieces. The women's tee tucked into pants of the same color would make a cute, comfy, faux jumpsuit...as well as offering separates that would serve an existing wardrobe well. From traceable, organic beginning to compostable end...there is just so much to love about these special pieces!
All photos via Harvest + Mill.
Whimsy + Row takes sustainability seriously. They utilize deadstock, biodegradable fabric + Los Angeles sewing. Unnecessary plastic + waste are avoided. Their shapes are simple + straightforward. This is the type of clothing that would mix well into an existing collection + will get worn over + over again for all kinds of occasions.
Whimsy + Row will join our growing list of ethical brands, so that when a need strikes...we have a few places to start the search. :)
All photos via Whimsy + Row.
I am loving Tonlé for the colors, the breezy fabrics + those hand-woven textiles. Tonlé states, "We adhere to principles of transparency, fairness, and waste reduction in everything we do." Their pieces are fairly made in Cambodia out of remnant fabrics from the garment industry (even the wovens + chunky knits). Each person who worked on each piece is named. Beautiful!
Tonlé is listed under the ethical brands tab (above) along with so many other brands putting fair labor first.
All photos via Tonlé.
Known Supply is an exciting find (I happened upon it at the grocery store). I thought this top looked perfect for Jo. An eager look at Known Supply's website revealed that they offer a number of pieces for women + men. Not only are many of the garments made with organic cotton under fair labor conditions, but each piece of clothing is signed by the person who sewed it!
Known Supply says that they "are out to humanize the apparel industry by introducing you to the person who made your clothing." The website offers a little information about the maker + even allows the purchaser to send them a note of thanks! Amazing!!
Patagonia needs no introduction as a fair brand. They have been pushing the clothing industry toward practices that consider the earth + those who depend on it for years. This new collection is made from 80% lyocell (from wood) + 20% recycled cotton. It is made in an accredited Fair Labor Association participating supplier factory in China. The shapes are basic + versatile. Add a few fair-trade, organic cotton tees + tanks along with a pair of tencel lyocell (again...wood derived) Allbirds trainers...and a small fair wardrobe is born.
Of course the tops with the pants are obvious combinations. It's the same color combinations that intrigue me the most...the grey tank + grey pants = jumpsuit combo...or the olive top + olive dress = new dress combo. The purple tee knotted over the dress could also be cute. I imagine that this collection would travel for weeks quite well + would pack like a dream!
All photos via Patagonia + Allbirds.
Leggings hold an important role in my + my girls' wardrobes. In the colder months, there is nothing more comfy than leggings. For working out, they are a necessity. Our favorite exercises are yoga + walking + cycling + rowing + strength training. Leggings work for all of it (lengths varying with the seasons). I've been on a mission to find the best leggings for years now. For a while I was devoted to Anthropologie's organic cotton/made in the USA Pure + Good leggings. By the time I needed to replace them, they were made out of polyester + imported (with no mention of fair labor). Then I found Outdoor Voices' made in the USA athletic wear + believed that I'd never have to look any further. I bought a pair of shorts, but when I went back for leggings their clothing was no longer made in the USA + made no mention of fair labor (+ now I'm not into polyester fibers either).
So the search continued.
Here are a few of the leggings that we have tried lately...along with a little overview of each brand + our thoughts too:
production: fairly made overseas
fiber: 92% India grown, organic, fair-trade, GOTS cotton + 8% elastane
use: worn by Julia + I at home + for exercise for a few years (this year, exercise only for me)
performance: need to be replaced about once per year, because of thinning + holes between the legs/knees...I do repair the holes as often as possible...and do wear them quite a lot
pros: low cost, fair-trade labor + cotton, organic cotton, perform well for exercise, opaque, long + capri length options
cons: lower waist (I repeatedly need to pull them up during yoga), slight sheen, could be more durable between legs, a bit long + baggy at the ankles (accordion fold up works), too short for tall/slim Jo
overall: Julia + I like these for working out, but I would love for them to have a higher waist. They are thinner than Pansy + therefore not as warm (as winter loungewear).
production: made in California
fiber: 90% USA grown, organic cotton + 10% spandex
use: worn for loungewear + day to day activity...not worn for exercise
performance: I chose not to exercise in these leggings, because they are thicker + not quite as stretchy as Pact. I forgot to change into Pact leggings before going to yoga one evening, and that was all it took for the crotch gusset seam to rip right along the stitching for about 5 inches.
pros: organic cotton, traceable materials + labor, warm, completely matte, opaque, high-waist, durable seams, well-made
cons: not great for work outs that need a lot of flexibility, expensive
overall: I love the fit of these leggings. They are high-waisted (with elastic at the waist that keeps them in place) + the length is that perfect 7/8 length (my favorite). They are cozy, which I love in the winter. The fabric feels substantial + never transparent. I was able to find mine on sale/half-off toward the end of the summer (they are on sale now). Pansy seems like the most ethical choice to me, but I cannot wear them for yoga.
Tasc Performance ::
production: made in a factory exclusively sewing for Tasc, in India, 90% powered by renewable energy including onsite solar panels
fiber: 52% organic cotton + 43% viscose made from organic bamboo + 5% lycra
use: I wear them to exercise.
performance: fabric is stretchy + feels cooler on the skin than my cotton leggings, haven't owned them long enough to speak too much about durability
pros: mostly natural fibers, cooling, long + ankle + capri length options
cons: had a hard time finding the right fit
overall: My first choice was the Crosstown 7/8 legging (high-waist + ankle length), but they just did not work for me fit-wise (strangely tight at the ankle + loose at the waist). Next I tried the Nola (not so high waist- but I can pull them up). I sized down + that worked for me. The fabric is cool for working out.
Girlfriend Collective :: (including Jo's words)
production: SA8000 certified factory in Vietnam
fiber: 79% post-consumer plastic bottles +21% spandex
use: "the gym, yoga + being lazy"
performance: have had one pair for about a year + they are "holding up just like the day I got them"
pros: "comfortable, don't make me hot, opaque, don't smell", high-waist, perform well + stay put during yoga, nice fabric weight (not too thin), matte, well-made, lots of colors + fits to choose from, great size range, long enough for tall/slim Jo, a number of rise + length options
cons: made from plastic fibers which will not biodegrade, but will break free with every wash + find their way into our waterways + drinking water
overall: "They are my best girlfriends". I (Jane) would love to try these too, especially because of the high-waist + ankle length option. The plastic fibers are holding me back though.
Please let us know, if you have a favorite pair of fair leggings! We're all ears!
Photos via links.
Jane + Jo + Julia
Botanica Workshop :: recycled nylon, made in Los Angeles
Lacausa :: made in Los Angeles
Reifhaus :: made in Portland, Oregon
Hackwith Design House :: made in St. Paul, Minnesota
Pansy :: organic USA cotton, made in California
The Ones Who :: made in the USA
Girlfriend Collective :: recycled plastic, SA8000 certified labor
Haight :: made in Brazil
Esby :: made from recycled plastic bottles in the USA
Outerknown :: recycled plastic, Fair Labor Association certified
Patagonia :: recycled polyester + nylon, fair-trade certified
Patagonia :: recycled polyester, fair-trade certified
Patagonia (kids) :: recycled polyester + nylon, fair-trade certified
Nu Swim :: recycled polymide, made in the USA
Shaina Mote :: made in the USA
Thief + Bandit :: innovative fabric, made in Halifax, Nova Scotia (little ones too)
Matteau Swim :: made in Australia
Baserange :: made in Portugal
-Azura Bay :: made in California + fair-trade in India, recycled fibers
-Beklina :: made in California
-Beth Richards :: made in Canada
-Bikini Empire :: made in Canada
-Galamar :: made in Los Angeles, recycled fibers
-Jessica Rey :: made in Los Angeles, recycled fibers
-Koru :: fair labor, recycled fibers
-Manakai :: made in the USA, recycled fibers
-Mara Hoffman :: recycled fibers, "responsible manufacturing"
-Rachel Comey :: made in the USA
-Reformation :: recycled fibers, made in Los Angeles
-Reswim Club :: made with remnant fabric in Adelaide, South Australia
-Riz :: board shorts made in England + Portugal, recycled fibers + recyclable (!)
-Swoon :: reversible bikinis, made in the USA
-Vitamin A :: made in Los Angeles, sustainable fibers
-Lots of Australian options
I came across a wonderfully fair swimsuit the other day + it sparked the idea for this post! Personally, I don't wear a swimsuit too often...so the one I've had for a few years still works (I think...maybe I should try it on). :) That swimsuit in the closet is the most ethical one...but if a new one is on your list...here are a few fair brands to check out.
Stretchy synthetic fabrics might be just the thing for swimwear...but I am intrigued by the idea of a little organic cotton Pansy working in this category. It might be best for beachwear...and not in-the-water wear... but ah, minimalism! :) I'm also intrigued by the idea of using a Girlfriend Collective sports bra as swimwear with either a pair of their short gym shorts or a bottom from a different brand. This multi-use concept is making me all kinds of excited! :)
This post will be linked on the ethical brands page for easy access. All beautiful photos via links.
Hope sunny days are in your present + are plentiful in your future!
Let's just dive right into this one, K? Pantyliners. Very helpful, but in some ways problematic. Some options for pantyliners:
1. disposable liners
2. cloth, reusable liners
3. period panties
Disposable liners create landfill waste + need to be purchased over + over. Reusable, cloth liners can have a hard time staying put. A lot of people use them, but many reviewers do mention their shifty nature. (These would be my choice, because they are made from organic cotton + have a waterproof cotton layer.)
I've been experimenting with period panties for a few years. My top choices after considering my findings included:
pro: organic cotton
con: reviews mentioned noise with walking + leakage
-Dear Kate ::
pro: made in the USA
cons: thick, synthetic fabric + reviews repeatedly mentioned tightness around thighs
cons: synethic, not clear where they are made, poor press involving the founder
pros: organic cotton options, made in Canada, boy short option
con: reviews mentioned shiftiness of pad inserts
I tried ::
-Thinx High waist. I bought my first pair of period panties a few years ago, when I finally decided to spend more than I've ever spent on that item of clothing. I wasn't thrilled about the synthetic materials, but the reviews made Thinx sound like the best bet in the anti-leak department. Here are my impressions:
-the "cheeky" fit had me in a perpetual state of wedge...which isn't great for stopping leaks
-the material is like bathing suit material...slippery, hot, + not breathable
-they compressed like spanx, which may have been appreciated at any other time of the month, but was not comfortable in combination with cramps
Conclusion: I just didn't wear them.
-Lunapads MAIA brief. I chose Lunapads because of the organic cotton option + the fact that they are made in Canada. My plan was to use them without the extra liners anyway, so the shifty insert review was not a huge deterrent. These fit like my favorite Pansy. They are comfortable + have a larger absorbent area than the Thinx, which is nice at a night. They are breathable, + there is no noise with movement.
Conclusion: If I must, these are the ones for me.
Photos via Lunapads.
I can't leave this topic without mentioning a menstrual cup as a fantastic waste reducer for so many.
I would love to hear what you have to say on this topic!
I think I have finally found the makeup that I would be happy to add to my zero-waste mornings...as desired. :) Elate Clean Cosmetics address every detail ::
-reusable green certified, fair-trade bamboo compacts that magnetically hold the cakes of color...choose from larger palettes that can hold everything in one compact or individual compacts
-cakes of eyeshadow, blush, pressed powder + highlighter come in seed paper envelopes + recyclable metal
-mascara container is recyclable...break the bamboo outer layer off + compost...recycle the plastic inner portion
-cosmetics are about 90% organic...they will chose fair-trade over organic when both can not be had
-cosmetics are vegan, cruelty free, toxin free, gluten free + made in Canada
-while the price point is not cheap, it is less than a lot of similar products
-the products are shipped in paper mailers
Most of this information is available on the website, but I asked a few questions about the recycle-ability of packaging and received a prompt + thorough response. I'm excited about sharing this one + hope it's inspiring! Zero-waste options are growing!! So exciting!!
All photos via Elate Clean Cosmetics.
This weekend I came across The New Blak again. It's a brand made predominately from biodegradable bamboo + organic cotton by Amanda + her team in Louisville, Kentucky. Sustainability is even considered in the shipping materials (no plastic!). The pieces are available in a range of sizes + this photo alone makes me want to support whatever they are doing! Gorgeous, inspiring, sustainable + comfortable too!
on a journey toward zero-waste, simplicity, + compassion :: daring to choose fair one choice at a time