a gifty guest post, part of our 2015 Gift Guide series
Hi everyone! It's Stephanie from Good Cloth. I love that you all are making a difference with your holiday purchase decisions. It's so important. The fact that we can shop sustainably – in a way that's good for the planet, workers, and consumers – is truly phenomenal.
We, as consumers, are becoming increasingly aware that transparency, ethical sourcing, and less-convoluted supply chains are not mythical goals – they can really happen! What's more is that the amazing designers revolutionizing transparency in the fashion industry excel in design and focus on the quality and longevity of each piece they create, making it equally fantastic for consumers' pocketbooks. (My shopping rule is to take the cost of an item and divide it by the number of times it will likely get used. If an item is built for longevity – and I love it – then I know it will get plenty of use.)
Purchasing ethical fashion is an incredibly positive way for us to improve someone's life – namely the people who grew the material and produced the items that you are purchasing – without feeling helpless or that what's happening to laborers around the world is too remote to do anything about. You can actually do something – you can vote with your dollar.
What's important to me is that YOU know that you are our partners in swinging the pendulum in the fashion industry toward transparency and ethical sourcing. So, thank you!
Here's my gift guide:
1. New Society Publishers ::: Magnifeco: Your Head-to-Toe Guide to Ethical Fashion and Non-Toxic Beauty ::: $19.95 (50% off until December 12.)
This book examines the beauty and fashion industries from head (beauty and personal care items) to toe (shoes). It does an excellent job breaking down everyday questions posed by conscious shoppers such as – "Is my shampoo toxic?", "Why choose organic cotton?", and "Can leather be ethical?" Each chapter includes a purchasing guide to help consumers navigate toward better brands.
2. Elvis and Kresse ::: Dutch Tote ::: $299.99
This innovative bag is handmade by artisans in the UK from recycled British fire brigade hoses and reclaimed military-grade parachute silk otherwise destined for the landfill. Instead, these materials are given fantastic new life in this water-resistant, hearty, and stunning bag. The bag also features reclaimed closed-cell foam and the hardware is ethically sourced in Europe through members of the Ethical Trading Initiative. The company raises funds for the Fire Fighters Charity.
3. BeeZeeEcoLand ::: Baby Shark Wrap ::: $159.99
I instantaneously fell in love with this shark wrap and knew we had to carry it on the shop. It's made of 100% organic fair trade fleece and 100% natural organic fair trade cotton batting ethically sourced from the U.K., and 100% organic fair trade natural jersey cotton ethically sourced from Spain. Independent artisans in Slovenia handcraft this photo-op ready piece. All dyes are AZO free, eco-friendly and non-toxic. (Ages: newborn to six months. Too bad it doesn't come in adult sizes.)
4. Oka-B ::: Cha Cha Cherry Ballerina Flats ::: $43.00
Dorothy would be jealous. These are my go-to shoes year round but the red color 'tis perfect for this season. Made of recycled and recyclable materials in the USA these shoes can be thrown in the wash. I kid you not. When you kick them to the curb, just send back to the designer and they will upcycle them.
5. East Fourth Street ::: Bronze + Silver Feather Earrings ::: $119.99
Recycled bronze and recycled sterling silver are given new life with this phenomenal feather design handmade in the USA by artisan jeweler Susan Crow. Susan uses biodegradable materials in her studio to reduce the impact on the environment – all waste is collected and properly disposed and recycled.
6. Ichcha ::: Organic Cotton Scarf in Zebra Brown ::: $45.00
To say I love this scarf is an understatement. It's so lovely and goes with nearly every outfit. Made of organic cotton and vegetable dye, the objective of Ichcha is to work with partners that focus on development, innovation, and skill training for artisans in India. Workers are paid fair wages and are part of a non-profit that brings the market closer to artisans without any middle people.
7. Glen Echo Soaps ::: full-size artisanal pine tar soap ::: $9.50
Reminiscent of campfire, this handmade pine tar soap rocks at getting faces and bodies squeaky clean without stripping skin of natural oils. This is the perfect gift for his or her kit bag. Artisan Andria Dorsten Ebert in Ohio makes the soap – she uses time-honored, cold process soap-making methods. Andria handpicks and ethically sources each ingredient in this soap such as pine tar from Sweden and sodium hydroxide from the USA.
8. Gator and Crane ::: Reusable Fabric Bag Shopping System ::: $20.00
Made of organic fair trade cotton and produced with fair labor and wages, this high-impact shopping system can eliminate 1,000 or more plastic bags used by a single household each year. That's amazing! Each set includes two medium and one large produce bags, and a medium and large net sack perfect for root veggies.
9. Goods That Matter ::: Dish Hand Tea Towel ::: $26.00
Hand sewn and screenprinted with eco-inks in New Orleans, these 20" x 30" flax linen kitchen towels aren't just functional and lovely to look at, they also raise funds for wetland restoration. The linen is produced in New York and becomes softer and even more stunning with time.