EVERLANE

In my quest to find ethically made, sustainable fashion, I have found a gem of a company!  Let me introduce you to EVERLANE.COM!  They are strictly an online company which offers its’ costomers full transparency as to where their clothes are made, information about their various factories around the world, what materials and labor costs to make each item, what it would cost in a regular retail store and what they charge online.  Pretty neat, huh?  They have factories all over the world from China, Italy, Spain, Scotland and even the good old US of A!  Here are a few items that I purchased recently:

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This is a really good place to purchase basic tees.  They are made in Los Angeles and the U-neck tee I purchased was only $15!  That’s cheaper than GAP and it’s made in the USA…win,win!  I also bought a basic crew neck tee for my husband and it met his seal of approval, which is a miracle in itself because he’s very picky about his tees!  The silk dress and merino wool sweater were both made in China, but I didn’t feel bad about purchasing these because of the information available on these factories on the EVERLANE website.  They also have free shipping frequently on orders! This will definitely be my go-to website to shop when I actually need something in my wardrobe, especially tees.  Please check them out:

https://www.everlane.com/

I have also come across another website ZADY.COM.  I haven’t yet ordered anything from their website because they are a bit more pricey.  I will order at some point because their clothing is all made from organic cotten grown in Lubbock, TX!  How cool is that?  When I order from them, it will probably be their basic tee which runs about $36, but to me it’s kind of worth is to pay a little more for something grown in Texas and made in North Carolina!  Check them out!

https://zady.com/

O.K…now for this middle-aged gal’s daily look:

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Jeans Seven For All Mankind (made in the USA!); Cardigan and long necklace Madewell; Tee from JCrew (old); belt Gap (old); Kendra Scott Jewelry (except for long necklace); Shoes Clarks;  Coach bag purchased at Clothes Mentor Cedar Park.

Retail Employees Are People Too…Or, The Customer Is Not Always Right

At this time of year, I thought it appropriate to re-post this entry for all of my fellow retail workers. This is the first Black Friday in 9 years that I don’t have to work. So very grateful!

Graceful Middle-Aging

I’ve worked retail for many years now and for several retailers.  The are some really great things about working retail and some things that are not so great.  The best thing about working retail is the people…oh, no…who am I kidding…It’s the discount!!!!!  Then we also get to meet and help some really great customers and it’s great when you get to know your repeat customers, but……… the customers can also be the worst thing about working retail.  I think that the public tends to de-personalize sales people.  They sometimes treat us in ways that they wouldn’t treat a family member or friend (at least I hope not!).  It is almost as if they see us as robots with no feelings, no lives, we don’t get tired…we are nothing.  Nothing but a punching bag. This video sums up the plight of the retail employee very nicely:

Now that I work…

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A Source of Ethical Fashion

If you’ve noticed, I’m still wearing Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Madewell, Loft…these brands have less than full transparency on how they produce their clothes and what conditions their workers work in.  Many of the clothes I’m wearing were purchased before I became aware of the “fast fashion” industry or have been purchased resale.  A couple of months ago, I implemented a self-imposed ban on these companies after seeing the documentary “The True Cost”.  This self imposed ban has been really hard for me, especially when it comes to Madewell, because I love their style so much and I’m into the feminine tomboy look at the moment.  Buying these brands resale is O.K. because you are not directly supporting these companies and manufacturing practices, and you are extending the useful life of clothing that may end up in a landfill.

It is true that buying ethical, sustainable fashion can be more expensive, but how much do we really need?  Do we need 100 pairs of jeans or shoes?  The goal is to buy less, but better quality products.  In my recent quest to change my consumer habits, I have found this great app:

https://orangeharp.com/

And if you haven’t yet watched “The True Cost” yet, here is 7 reasons to hate fast fashion:

http://ecowatch.com/2015/11/17/hate-fast-fashion/

Make sure you watch the John Oliver commentary.  He talks about a serious topic in the most amusing way.  I promise…you will be entertained!  More to come about this topic.  Peace out!

Not That Special

Living on this planet for almost half a century, I’ve come to learn certain truths:

  1. No one thinks your kids are as cute (or smart or acomplished) as you think they are.
  2. Your hobbies really are not that interesting to others.
  3. Your life is not that interesting as you would like it to appear on your blog or Facebook.

But I don’t care.  Many bloggers go on all day shoots for their blogs, so that their blogs appear really cool.  I can’t go to all that trouble, I just don’t have the time.  I don’t plan my outfits in advanced or go on shoots at special locations with expensive cameras.  My pictures are taken from work or at home…the two places where I spend most of my time with just my phone.  Nothing special, but it’s real.  No fantasy photos.  No fantasy life…just pure, boring, wonderful reality.

So here you go…outfits I pulled together for a very ordinary life.  Enjoy!

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Madewell dress; Clarks boots; necklaces Kendra Scott; Coach small backpack purchased at Clothes Mentor Cedar Park.

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Bobeau dress and Michael Kors bag from Clothes Mentor Cedar Park; Naturalizer boots (old); Long necklace from Loft; all other Jewelry from Kendra Scott; boot socks from Banana Republic.

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Paige jeans and Jolt denim vest from Nordstrom Rack; cami Loft, Plaid shirt Madewell; Madden Girl boots purchased at Clothes Mentor Cedar Park; Kendra Scott jewelry.

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Utility vest, jeans and long necklace from Madewell; Plaid shirt Old Navy; Madden girl boots purchased at Clothes Mentor Cedar Park.

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Madewell cardigan (old); Loft necklace; Tee from The Home Tee; Joe’s Jeans from Nordstrom Rack; Madden Girl boots purchased from Clothes Mentor Cedar Park.

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Jeans and Plaid shirt Madewell; Jewelry Kendra Scott; cami Loft; Gucci Boots purchased at Clothes Mentor Cedar Park.

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Plaid dress and necklace Madewell; Madden Girl boots and Dooney and Bourke backpack purchased at Clothes Mentor Cedar Park; Boot socks Banana Republic.

 

 

Bandwagon Activism

One positive thing about getting older (and believe me…there are 1 or 2 things that are positive, and here is one of them) is being able to care about things outside my little life bubble.  My teens and young adulthood were very “me” focused.  Once I got married and started a family the “me” became “we”, my little family, and that is where my focus had remained for years while raising my children (I’m not a good multi-tasker).  Now that I have two adult children away at school and my “baby” is a sophomore in high school,  I’ve been able to look outside my little bubble and find other things to care about.  Actually, I’ve found many things, and being a natural “worrier”, I’ve had to stop myself from worrying about things that I can do absolutely nothing about. There is one thing that I’ve found that everyone can do, that CAN make a big impact on our environment and humanity…and that is how we shop, buy, consume.

If you read fashion blogs, you will find more and more of them focusing on “The Wardrobe Capsule” or “Ethical Fashion”.  Well, I’m here to tell you that I’m officially jumping on that bandwagon!  If you have read some of my previous posts, this declaration will be no surprise…I’ve been slowly inching my way into that direction.  And although I don’t consider my blog to be a purely “fashion blog”, it does contain a lot about clothing because I’m using fashion as filler, so that I can write about other things that I care about. The fashion blog is a ruse…I want to lure you in and then write about other things on my mind.  I hope with time this blog will evolve into something more than what it is now.  But for right now…let me share this:

I’ve shared this link before, but it is worth sharing again.  This documentary is truly life changing.  If you are a consumer (and we all are) you need to see this on Netflix.  Now when I go to the mall (which is hardly ever now), I want to shake people holding their H & M, Forever 21, and Zara bags and scream, “NO, no, no!  There is a better way!”.  Most people have the misguided notion (and I was one of them) that you are being fiscally responsible for shopping these chains on the cheap.  Not true!  And watching this documentary will show you how shopping these chains have a huge negative impact on humanity.  Yes, I know, you like shopping these chains because you can get lots of stuff for cheap, but ignorance can only be bliss for so long.

Let’s explore another option:  RESALE

I am a resale retail employee.  I have worked retail for many years for the big companies, such as GAP, Ann Taylor and LOFT.  I don’t think I could ever work for these type of companies again, companies that do not have full transparency on how their factories are run and what conditions their employees work in.  I’ve discovered the big wonderful world of resale!!!!!  If you are in the Austin, TX area, here are some great options:

  1. Clothes Mentor (2 locations)
  2. Style Encore (2 locations)
  3. Uptown Cheapskate
  4. Plato’s Closet (several locations)
  5. The Buffalo Exchange
  6. Just Between Us

Resale stores will only take clothing from the last 1-3 years, and only very gently used and in “like new” condition.  We ask that sellers bring in their clothing freshly washed and free of pet dander.  You are very likely to find items new with original tags attached! If you love your Forever 21 or other less than ethical brands, resale is a good way to buy these because you are not directly supporting these companies and you are extending the usable life of these products by keeping them out of landfills.  Did you know that discarded clothing stays in landfills for about 200 years, often polluting ground water?

Here is how I’ve been shopping lately…I go through my closet and pull out my less worn items.  I try it all on to see if it still fits, if I still love it.  If not, into a bag it goes.

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I’m offered cash on the spot or 25% more that amount in store credit, which I use to buy things like this:

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(All of the above clothing items were purchased at Clothes Mentor Cedar Park, with the exception of the pair of Paige Premium Denim Skinny jeans directly above, which were purchased at Goodwill for $8!!!!)

Well now, you get the gist of it.  In a future post, I’ll talk about the wardrobe capsule.  If you are dying to know what that is right away, go here:

Un-Fancy.com 

If you are in the market for something specific, why not try resale first before heading over to the mall?  Watch “THE TRUE COST” and see how one small change can have a positive impact on humanity.

Here is the look of the day:

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Old Navy tee, Cabi Jeans, Kendra Scott earrings, Special edition Beatles sunglasses and Dooney and Bourke handbag purchased at Clothes Mentor Cedar Park; Gap belt (old), Madewell long necklace; Ugg boots Nordstrom Rack; Kendra Scott short necklace.

Dungarees…

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Yep, that’s me and my 48-year-old self wearing overalls/dungarees.  I found them at Target earlier this summer (before my ban on fast sweat shop fashion) and am now just getting around to wearing them.  Buying these at my age is a kind of risky fashion move…you either rock these or you don’t…there is no middle ground.  So what do you think?

I wore these to work today and felt totally comfortable with myself.  I usually pick my clothes to my tastes and try my hardest to ignore what society tells me what I should or shouldn’t be wearing because of my age.  Oh, and look at this little beauty…

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I purchased this new with tags Kate Spade beauty at Clothes Mentor, a re-sale shop near my home.  I paid nowhere near this price.  This bag was priced at $50 and then I got my employee discount on top of that!  I showed my husband this price tag and he was floored over the price of this little bag.  He said it was “obscene” that anyone would pay this for a handbag.  He’s lucky I’m not one to lust over luxeries I can’t afford.  I agree with him though…I could never justify spending hundreds or thousands on a handbag even if I had an unlimited budget.  In fact,  a Fossil bag is about as high flalutin’ as I ever got with my handbags (on sale with an extra 60% off).  But since I started working re-sale,  I have a nice collection of designer bags purchased here and there probably totaling the the full price of this one bag. Nice, huh?

And to round off the look:

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Overalls from Target; Loft Tee; Old Navy cardigan; Madewell flats; Kendra Scott Jewelry purchased from The Buffalo Exchange; Kate Spade Handbag purchased at Clothes Mentor Cedar Park.