Posts tagged social justice

The Root Collective Giveaway: Completed!

The-Root-Collective-GiveawayWe are so inspired by what The Root Collective is doing and we loved learning more about their mission and their partnerships.

The winner of a pair of sale Root Collective shoes is Kristy! We will be e-mailing you shortly to find out what style and what size you pick.

Be sure to check out their Fall Lookbook to see some of their new styles, like the new smoking shoe! Talk about a shoe that is versatile!

And of course, don’t forget to 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!

My Experience with Dressember 2014

This past December, I participated in Dressember, where I pledged to wear a dress each day of the month to raise money for International Justice Mission to stop human trafficking and end sexual slavery in the world. Far more women and girls are shipped into brothels annually now, in the early 21st century, than African slaves were shipped into slave plantations each year in the 18th century. (Half the Sky) And this isn’t something that just happens overseas. I know of 3 brothels within a 5 miles radius of my home. Dressember was my small way to begin to take action.

I set a goal of $500 and raised $900 $1000 – double my goal! A big thank you to the 28 29 people that contributed to my campaign. (Although you can give through the end of January if the desire strikes you.) I find myself pondering each person’s small decision to contribute what they can towards the greater cause of fighting injustice. It makes me think about how the little things really do add up to something that matters. And it reminds me that our lives are thousands of these small, seemingly unimportant decisions strung together. The small decisions make us who we really are and can cause positive change in someone else’s life if you choose to do it. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” (Arthur Ashe)

Each day I spent time thinking about the injustices of human trafficking. It did bring about my age old struggle with the ‘cosmic lottery’ – why was I born to a life of privilege when so many don’t have access to clean water, food, jobs, education, healthcare? And I don’t know that I will every find peace here because I doubt that there is an answer to this terrible question, but I know that taking action helps quell the tumult that the question brings about. I can choose to use my privilege to help.

I recognize that fashion seems an unlikely way to create action and provoke change, as it has its own fair share of injustices. But it also offers its own special solutions. This is where my love of Noonday Collection enters – they use fashion and style to empower. They pull people out of injustice – with a focus on those that society deems unloveable, incapable, worthless. People’s lives are changing for good because of their model. And below, you can see I donned my dresses, wore my Noonday, took selfies (ugh, that word), and learned many things, two of which are 1) I love wearing dresses and 2) I have a dress thrifting problem! I hadn’t realized the extent of my dress collection until I began this challenge… But I was inspired by the founder of Dressember – Blythe – who wore the same gray, ethically sourced dress from Fair Indigo all month long, styled 31 different ways. Maybe next year?

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#StyleForJustice

Y’all, I just took a risk and entered a contest to go to Rwanda and meet the artisans there that sell to Noonday Collection. You guys have heard me speak loads about this company and the good they are doing in the world. Here’s the thing – I need you guys to vote to get me to the second round, only the top 7 entries get to move on! Will you please help? You can vote once every day! Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 8.11.27 PM

Please vote for me here (you have to scroll all the way to the bottom) and take it one step further and ask your friends and family to vote for me as well? You don’t have to like any pages, you don’t have to give your e-mail, just click the vote button. You can even watch my video explaining ‘why me’ for to go on the trip!

Please vote for me (once every day)! 

 

Mama to Mama: Second Round

So my coworkers donated some more t-shirts (yay for some colorful ones this time!) to make 13 more caps (for a total of 32) and I also completed 3 receiving blankets for Mama to Mama. I think one more coworker may be bringing in some t-shirts this week so there may be a round three of these caps. . . we will see.

I’m especially happy with how the three receiving blankets turned out. They were made out of the same bedsheets that I made the Anda Dress out of and I was happy to find another good use for that large amount of fabric. I thought I was going to make one side terry cloth and the other side cotton, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought that terry cloth may be too bulky for long term swaddling use so it ended up being double sided of the cotton sheets. It was also very fun to find a use for some of the decorative stitches on my sewing machine. I love the little chains of flowers, row of stars and little leaves that adorn these blankets. I hope that all of these items end up as a blessing for these precious Haitian children and families that are in need.

It’s still not too late to whip up a few of these (they take no time at all) and send them over to Mama to Mama; c/o SouleMama; PO Box 8190; Portland, ME 04104; USA before December 10th.

Mama to Mama: First Round

So, I asked my co-workers for some t-shirt donations and they definitely came through. This weekend (amidst feeling pretty sick and not moving very far from the couch or the bed) I managed to whip up 19 of these precious little caps for Mama to Mama. They’re very simple to sew and I’m hoping to make another round of hats (and maybe a receiving blanket or two with some leftover bedsheets and terry cloth that is in my fabric stash) this upcoming weekend. I’m still looking for more t-shirts to be donated, so if you have a few and live in the Austin area, leave me a comment and we can figure out how to get the t-shirts from point A to point B.

Mama to Mama

In what I believe is the true spirit of the holidays and Thanksgiving, I would ask all of my crafting/crafty friends to consider participating in Mama to Mama. I think this is a great way to give to people in need from what you already have. “As crafters, the reasons we create are many. Just one may be to spread a little bit of peace into the world, to make a small but meaningful difference in one person’s life through a simple act of crafting with intention. Mama to Mama seeks to find ways to connect handcrafters with mothers, children and families in need of a little bit of handmade love.”

The essence of what to do is this: take old t-shirts that you already have, make two infant sized caps per shirt, send to Soule Mama (address on the website) and she will send the caps to Haiti to become part of a birthing kit to help ensure the well-being of infants being born there. You can choose to create simple blankets as well.

I can’t imagine these caps taking much time to make at all – they are very simple, two seams total. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can hand stitch them. If you are local to Austin, I will be doing a shipment of these December 3rd or 4th, and if you can get them to me, I will include them in my box. . . just let me know if you would like to participate with me. I will also take any old t-shirts that you would like to donate – I have no problems doing the sewing if you provide the materials!

“I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.”
-Stephen Grellet

Voting With Your Money

So we’ve voted as a nation and elected our new president. Now how do you vote with your money?

This is something that I’ve struggled with for over a year now because deciding to act on this information is very difficult but I believe my faith calls me to action, especially in financial areas of my life no matter how uncomfortable. Essentially it boils down to this, the money you spend goes back to corporations and supports whatever practices they’re employing – thus your dollars ‘vote’ for those conditions to continue. This includes sweat shop labor, inhumane conditions, child labor, etc. I personally believe that I should not put my dollars towards companies that are mistreating people just to expand their bottom line. I am not ok with that.

I feel like Americans (and I’m sure other developed countries), just gloss over the working conditions in which that trendy item of clothing was created in because materialism is king here. The bottom line is more important than human lives. People will buy anything just because it is cheap without questioning WHY it is cheap. Why is it that you can buy a shirt for $0.99? Who made it? How? And in what conditions?

I want the money that I’m spending to bless someone, not empower mistreatment. I am willing to spend more money, less times, to make sure that I am not buying an item made by a child or a worker in poor conditions. This is difficult to know when the majority of items available to me are marked ‘Made in China/Bangladesh/Indonesia/Pakistan/[inset other country name here]’. I am hugely at fault in purchasing items without thinking about where they came from, because I ‘need’ those new pants/top/dress/skirt. I own tons of Gap Inc. products, Target products, etc, and those corporations don’t have the best track record with child labor and fair working conditions. I have read that Gap Inc. and Nike are both looking to change and have begun taking steps to do so. . . hopefully they will set a new standard in the industry.

This is a difficult thing to consider. There is no clear and easy answer. Many of these cheap products help provide for those that don’t make a lot of money. What do you do if you can’t afford to not buy an item and spend a bit more on ‘fair trade’ items?

I think the answer is to prayerfully consider the items you want to buy and do your research. To consider where your money is going and who it is supporting and whether you agree with those practices. I think you buy less and pay more to support businesses you agree with. Or you buy reused products. Then you are no longer supporting the initial business that provide the poor working conditions.

I think Green Daily’s advice is worth repeating to as far as purchases go (yes, because these concepts of voting with your money are also very green): Buy less, reduce, reuse, recycle, precycle, create a plan for high-spending times like the holidays and take a breather (sleep on it for as long as you can) before making purchases.

If you’re interested in doing some more research on your favorite companies and how they rank in social justice issues, check out these two website for more information:

Sweat Shop Watch
CorpWatch

I would love to know if any of you have thought about this before and if it has changed your spending habits. Thoughts?