Category #DressWellDoGood

Stitch Fix Style = Ethical Style?

We get a lot of questions about using Stitch Fix to try to create an ethical wardrobe. The strength of using Stitch Fix is that you can ask your stylist to look for ethical items made in the USA or Canada if you don’t have the time to do the research and searching on your own. They do carry several ethical brands for jewelry and accessories, favorites like 31Bits, Sseko, Soko, and Nakamol. If you have been dabbling in the ethical fashion market long enough, you know that when it comes to ethical clothing the options are fewer and the prices are higher and that is true with Stitch Fix as well. It is worth noting that not all items at Stitch Fix are made ethically, or made in the US, so if you follow them on social media, the items they post may not fit your personal criteria of ethics.

As you may know, Beth and I have both used Stitch Fix in the past and I recently received a fix focused primarily on Made in the USA items. Here’s what I got!

(A quick note: if you see an item marked with an asterisk *, it is an affiliate link. We love these ethical items so much that we feel confident recommending them to you. Clicking on those links and placing an order may generate a commission for Dress Well Do Good. Thanks for your support!)

Stitch Fix – Outfit 1


Fair Indigo Princess Seam Organic Fair Trade Pocket Dress / From Stitch Fix* – Lysse Jylyn Ponte Legging, Made in USA /From Stitch Fix* – 31 Bits Spiced Strands Beaded Necklace /From Stitch Fix* – BC Footwear Society D’Orsay Flats 

I’ve been having a lot of fun styling my Fair Indigo Dressember dress so it was easy to start my flat styling by pairing it with made in the USA Lysse leggings, BC Footwear flats, and the 31 Bits necklace. These leggings are so thick and flattering – they are high waisted and suck your tummy in for a smooth look under tunics. And the burgundy color is perfect for fall. The beautiful and versatile 31Bits necklace is made out of 100% recycled paper by women in Northern Uganda who were paid a living wage. The shoes are the BC Footwear Society D’Orsay flats. (Side note: I have not received a clear answer on whether the shoes are ethically made; we DO know that BC Footwear cares a lot about animal rights and being eco-friendly. We would love to know more about this company’s production ethics and will keep you posted on any news we receive!)

Stitch Fix – Outfit 2


Roxy Jeans purchased locally at ATown / Old Navy tee, but similar available at Everlane* / From Stitch Fix* – Absolutely Landa Open Cardigan / From Stitch Fix* – BC Footwear Society D’Orsay Flats 

Cardigans are the perfect layering piece for fall and winter in Texas and buffalo plaid is so much fun. Although this is a fun piece, a word of warning – the sleeves fit a bit tight (might want to ask for a size up if you request this) and it is 100% acrylic so it doesn’t have a great hand feel. It is still a fun, on trend piece that feels very festive this time of year!

Stitch Fix – Outfit 3


From Stitch Fix* – Le Lis Annalise Textured Knit Top / Symbology High Waisted Stylized Feather Trousers / From Stitch Fix* – 31 Bits Spiced Strands Beaded Necklace / Fortress of Inca Victoria Luz Heels 

I’m always looking for more ways to wear my High Waisted Stylized Feather Trousers and this slouchy sweater was a perfect match. This is the one piece that I decided to keep from my Fix. It is so soft and just slightly oversized for the perfect slouchy fit. It is also technically a jersey knit top which makes it ideal for Texas winters because we don’t need our sweaters to be overly chunky! The 31Bits necklace rounds out this look with a tiny bit of color. Even though I didn’t keep it from this Fix I’m putting it on my Christmas wishlist!

Overall, I really enjoyed this Fix full of cute and on-trend ethical pieces. If you are interested in trying Stitch Fix, make sure you let your stylist know that shopping ethically is very important to you. Be clear that you would like pieces made by ethical companies or made in the USA or Canada. Enjoy the experience of receiving a box of clothes curated for you on your doorstep!

Haven’t used Stitch Fix yet but would like to sign up? Please use our affiliate link here!

Mata Traders Giveaway: Completed

Mata-Traders-Shirtdress-SittingWe love Mata Traders for so many reasons – their mindful fair trade practices, the beautiful vintage silhouettes that inspires their styling, and all the beautiful handmade details that sets their clothes apart! We hope you enjoyed learning more about them and want to remind you that all Dressember participants get 20% off regularly priced items with the code ‘DRESSEMBER’.

Now, what you all have been waiting for!

The winner of this giveaway for $100 gift card to Mata Traders is Crafty One! Be looking for an e-mail from us so we can get your address!

And of course, don’t forget to sign up to receive our posts by e-mail (upper right side of blog) and follow us over on Instagram at @DressWellDoGood. We post ethical outfits of the day, questions to our followers and more. We would love to have you join us as part of the conversation over there!

Ethical Blogger Network Holiday Gift Guide: Kids Under 10

ethical-holiday-gift-guide-kidsWe are excited to participate in the very first blog post circle for ethical gift guides for the holidays with our friends at the Ethical Blogger Network! Make sure to check out the other gift ideas in the links listed below.

As the holidays approach, we have a choice in how we spend our money purchasing gifts. We think this is especially important when interacting with the children in our lives. They can be taught about the impact that our decisions have on people around the globe, that we can choose to empower others and lift them out of poverty, even in the gifts we give and receive around the holidays. We have put together some of our favorite ethical gift items for boys and for girls. And please, don’t stop at the items we have listed, check out the brands and see some of the other amazing options they carry!

Ethical Gifts for Girls

We love shopping for little girls and there are some really fun ethical options that are out there now. Here are a few of our favorites:

Ethical Gifts for Boys

Boys are sometimes difficult to shop for but we have some ethical favorites that we think are perfect for the little boys in our lives:

Ethical Gifts for Boys & Girls

Ethical Blogger Network Holiday Gift Guide: Moms

ethical-holiday-gift-guide-momsWe are excited to participate in the very first blog post circle for ethical gift guides for the holidays with our friends at the Ethical Blogger Network! Make sure to check out the other gift ideas in the links listed below.

As a mom, I like to think that I am the easiest person in my family to shop for, but some of you may have a mom in your life who is a little more difficult. No worries because we have some great ideas for ways to delight her with gifts that are doing good in the world!

We know some of your are on a budget, so we broke it up into two categories, ‘Budget Friendly’ – $35 and under, and ‘Splurge’ – over $35. We hope that you are inspired by the items we’ve selected and please, don’t stop at the items we have listed! Check out the brands and see some of the other amazing options they carry!

Budget Friendly $35 and Under

Splurge Over $35

Don’t stop with only ethical gifts for mom, view other ethical holiday gift ideas in our ethical blogger network gift round-up!

Company Profile and Giveaway: Mata Traders

Mata-Traders-Paper-Doll-RedEllie and I have been so impressed with the styles and craftsmanship of fair-trade fashion brand, Mata Traders. Their timeless styles are flattering and unique since their prints are hand block printed, hand screen printed, or hand embroidered. And yay, sleeves! I have a tendency to thrift lots of tank dresses, so I’m always happy to find complimentary silhouettes that include sleeves.

Mata Traders started with three best friends who visited India for four months. They were so enamored with the people, markets, and textiles that they vowed to make the country a part of their life story.

A love affair with India evolved into Mata Traders – a design driven, fair trade brand helping to end global poverty and inspire ethical companies and consumers to change the fashion industry. Made by artisans in India and Nepal, their colorfully original designs provide a stable source of income for families in some of the world’s poorest communities. Mata Traders partners with several fair trade organizations in India and Nepal that train and employ hundreds of artisans in marginalized communities, with a focus on gender equity and empowering women.

The artisan cooperatives are similar to social service agencies in the support they provide to end the cycle of poverty for the members and their families. Health care, paid maternity leave, retirement pensions, and daycare: all part of the membership package. Social workers on staff assist the artisans in addressing their personal needs, from opening a bank account to situations of domestic violence and dealing with HIV/AIDS. There are literacy classes, computer training, and regular workshops on topics like hygiene, nutrition, and parenting.

By partnering with fair trade organizations, they ensure that there is no child labor used in the production of their products. But more than that, fair trade is a preventative measure. Every year thousands of children migrate to the megacities of India to find work and send money back to their families. Providing a stable income to women at the poverty level is a way to combat the problem of child labor at its roots. The change can be seen not only in the lives of the women employed by the co-op, but in the next generation, the children the they can afford to educate.

We are so inspired by their ability to combine beauty and empowerment. The women at the cooperatives have experienced such transformative life change by using their skills to make the clothing that Mata Traders carries. We are so excited to be giving away a $100 gift card to Mata Traders so that one of you can experience their beautiful clothing firsthand!

Also, if you are a Dressember participant, you can get 20% off regularly priced items with the code ‘DRESSEMBER’! 

Mata-Traders-Shirtdress

Please enter to win a $100 gift card to Mata Traders by using the giveaway interface below. You can enter once a day with the Facebook and Twitter entry options, so come back and enter again to raise your chances of winning! Contest ends at Midnight CST on Sunday, December 6th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends Sunday, December 6th at 11:59 PM CST. Open to Residents of the US only. Winner will be selected by Random.org and be notified by email. Winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. Our opinions are our own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to thinkliz.com and thinkliz.com alone. We do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner.

___

Follow Mata Traders on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, & Pinterest!

Give Well: Ethical Holiday Sales 2015

holiday-sale-guide-bannerMany of us will spend the next couple of weeks shopping for the holidays and we want to help you find ethical deals as you’re are making your purchasing decisions! Previously, on our tips for Ethical Shopping on a Budget, we recommended seeking out the sales for brands that you love. The holiday season is a time when many retailers, including ethical ones, put items on sale! We have collaborated with the Ethical Blogger Network and have compiled this list of sales that are going on during Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Fair Tuesday and beyond. The list will be updated regularly.

Enjoy the list, give well and with purpose this holiday season!

 

Handmade Style: Sewing Simple Skinny Jeans

Sew-Liberated-Skinny-JeansI am one of the lucky few in my generation who had a grandmother and a mother who sewed and taught me to sew. In the 4th grade I chose sewing over other extra curricular activities and took a class where I sewed my entire wardrobe for that year! I did a little sewing in high school and then nothing until my early 20’s, when I picked it up again and sewed mostly aprons and bags (I love bags!). When we started this blog I knew I wanted to sew some more clothes for myself. I thought it would be a good way for me to connect with some of the ideas we are talking about, especially what “fair labor” would look like in the fashion industry.

How much should clothing really cost? What efforts really go into the items that I wear?

I decided to sew myself a pair of jeans. My favorite fabric store in Austin, The Cloth Pocket (seriously, you need to go there!), has Sew Liberated’s pattern for Simple Skinny Jeans so that’s where I started. I’m not a particularly fast seamstress and I tend to make mistakes. This leads to tearing out seams, which leads to tension headaches and a frustrated stream of profanity. But these jeans were sewing together so well! It was my first time to use a double needle and I was so pleased with how much more professional it made the pants look. Sadly, when I sewed up the side seams my first thought was, “my, those pants look small!” Turns out, they were. Although I took my measurements carefully before I began sewing, the pants would not fit me. And by “they would not fit me,” I mean I couldn’t even get them on. I finished them anyway, but adjusting them enough that I could actually wear them was a lost cause. So there it is, the ugly truth. I tried to sew my own jeans and ended up with a pair of really cute jeans I could not possibly wear.

Will I try again? Yes, I think I will!

Sew-Liberated-Skinny-Jeans-BackThe jeans were simple to sew together, the instructions were clearly written, and I found the video tutorial that you can access after purchasing very helpful. These jeans turned out to be super low rise, so even if they had fit I’m not sure I would have enjoyed wearing them. I don’t think I will be using this pattern again because of the fit issues.

In Beth’s post about her Aster shirt she talked about what it would have cost to make her shirt. So here’s the cost breakdown for my project:

  • 4 hours (roughly estimated time because #sewingwithkids, am I right?) at Texas minimum wage of $7.25/hour = $29
  • $60 in materials (needles, thread, fabric, elastic)

The total cost for these jeans would have been $89 without any mark-up for profit.

Have you ever purchased brand new jeans for $8? I have. How are they doing that? Likely, by not paying the seamstress a fair wage.

Sewing clothes is hard, but it was such a good reminder of what goes into making a quality garment.

Doll-JeansSide Note: I felt like I needed to redeem the situation a little and I had some extra fabric leftover so I sewed up these tiny doll jeans! I even used vintage hem tape. I may have also cut out a tiny doll jacket to go with them.

Have you ever had any disappointing sewing experiences? Do you have any patterns that were huge successes?

Let’s talk about this some more over on Instagram at @DressWellDoGood. We would love to hear what you think about this topic! And of course, don’t forget to sign up to receive our posts by e-mail (upper right side of blog).

CAUSEGEAR Giveaway: Completed!

CAUSEGEAR-mustard-tote-winnerWe hope you enjoyed learning about CAUSEGEAR and the work they are doing towards Human Justice. Keep them in mind as you are gearing up for holiday shopping. Many of their items would make great, mindful gifts.

The winner of this giveaway for the mustard CAUSEGEAR tote is Paige! Be looking for an e-mail from us so we can get your address!

And of course, don’t forget to sign up to receive our posts by e-mail (upper right side of blog) and follow us over on Instagram at@DressWellDoGood. We post ethical outfits of the day, questions to our followers and more. We would love to have you join us as part of the conversation over there!

Giveaway and Company Profile: CAUSEGear

CAUSEGear-Mustard-ToteAccording to the Global World Bank, 33% of the world’s poverty is located in India, which is more than any other country in the world. The Global Slavery Index reports that there are 35.8 million million slaves in the world, with 14 millions of them (40%) living in India.

These sobering stats led the founders of CAUSEGEAR to a business model that would allow for opportunity where none currently exists, with a focus on dignity and empowerment, not charity. CAUSEGEAR is designed in Chicago and made in India. Their mission is to transform the lives of one million people trapped in poverty and injustice to become self-sustaining. The fashion industry is dominated by $2, 12hr/day jobs, many in India. When jobs don’t pay for essentials (food, water, clothing, housing, medical & education), many believe the lie of a better life from a stranger, only to be kidnapped and sold as a slave. CAUSEGEAR’s focus on human justice led them to their 5X model, which provides jobs that pay 5 times the norm. This allows crafters to pay for essential items, which ends the need for hand-outs and the cycle of dependency that can result. Good jobs support a pathway out of poverty and the means for self-reliance.

CAUSEGEAR is a 4 year old company and has seen very tangible life change in the lives of their crafters already. Their crafters live in the slums of India, and their jobs with CAUSEGEAR have allowed them to care for their families in ways they haven’t previously been able, reduce their family’s vulnerability to being trafficked, and personally grow in their jobs to go from crafters to managers.

We are excited to give away this mustard tote to one of our readers today! This simple tote becomes a go-to bag for many, since it is well-made, spacious and versatile. We love it in mustard not only because it is a perfect fall color, but because this unexpected color can compliment just about any outfit!

CAUSEGear-Mustard-Tote-Giveaway

Please enter to win this mustard tote by using the giveaway interface below. You can enter once a day with the Facebook and Twitter entry options, so come back and enter again to raise your chances of winning! Contest ends at Midnight CST on Sunday, November 15th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends Sunday, November 15th at 11:59 PM CST. Open to Residents of the US only. Winner will be selected by Random.org and be notified by email. Winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. Our opinions are our own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to thinkliz.com and thinkliz.com alone. We do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner.

___

Follow CAUSEGEAR on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, & Pinterest!

Prepping for Dressember: Layering

imageWe have been doing a lot of strategizing and planning about the upcoming Dressember campaign because we put together a group of women that are passionate about participating in everyday advocacy and we want everyone to succeed in their campaigns. Of course, we are also excited about the creative challenge of styling our dresses for the December weather!

I recently went through my closet and noticed that almost all of my dresses are summer styles and I didn’t have a lot of winter options. Of course, I can layer outerwear with some of those summer dresses but I decided to purchase a more versatile dress for cooler weather. In the spirit of ethical fashion, I did not want to go out and buy a bunch of dresses for Dressember, so I decided to pick out one dress that I could wear for the majority of the month and use the few dresses already in my closet to help me out on laundry days and for holiday parties.

One of our favorite brands, Elegantees, came out with a great versatile dress specifically for Dressember and I highly recommend it if you are looking for something versatile. (Psst – you can get it for 10% off if you use our ‘DressWellDoGood’ code!) While, that dress is great, I had already had my eye on this dress from ethical brand, Fair Indigo! It is made fairly in Peru of organic cotton. It’s so soft and comfy! And it has pockets!

Since receiving it I’ve been thinking through the different ways that I can style it throughout the month. Here are some of the different ways I brainstormed how to wear it with simple layers.

image

If you follow us on Instagram, you know how in love I am with my olive cargo jacket that I thrifted from Savers. I had been searching for a cargo jacket for a while and patience paid off when I found this one for $4.99! I’ve already worn it several times and I think it will be an easy layer to throw on over my dress. Of course, I added my new Fortress of Inca Victoria Luz shoes because they look good with everything! Add a few Noonday Collection accessories and I will be ready to go.

image

I have not been able to afford an actual leather jacket, especially an ethically made one, but I bought this faux leather jacket from Stitch Fix* last year before starting my ethical journey and I know that I will continue to get a lot of use out of it. It’s casual and comfortable but also provides a bit of a statement with the Aztec print on the arms. Styled with leggings and boots this is perfect for running errands or a casual night out.

image

I already wore this outfit for Halloween and it was incredibly comfortable. The denim vest was thrifted from Thred Up* and I have already worn it a lot. It’s such an easy layering piece and I appreciate how it helps define the waist of this dress to make it a little more flattering and less boxy. I stayed cozy by layering on a Noonday scarf, easy-to-wear Toms flats, some additional accessories and it was perfect for hanging with my kids.

image

I mentioned before that I’m in love with my cargo jacket, but I’m also quite partial to my cargo vest! I scored this one on Thred Up* and it’s my go to layering piece to complete an outfit. A great benefit to this style is that it hides my midsection if I am feeling self-conscious. I paired this look with my booties and I think this will be another great outfit for being active with my kids.

Do you feel inspired?

We hope that you do! Would you to consider joining or contributing to our #DressWellDoGood Dressember team? This creative challenge is an easy way to bring attention to the social injustices of human trafficking and slave labor this December AND contribute to the solution through non-profits International Justice Mission and A21. By wearing a dress for 31 days you can advocate for the inherent dignity of all women. Consider doing it with only a few dresses and challenge yourself to style them differently every day! E-mail us at hello@thinkliz.com if you do sign up for our team so we can send you information about DWDG team challenges, complete with weekly prizes from some of our favorite ethical vendors!