Sharing My Favourite January Sales!

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Hello all 🙂

Okei, I’m first going to apologize for posting a blog post full of affiliate banners. I would roll my eyes if I saw this, so I’m certain you probably are as well. I hope this apology manages to take away some of the creepy. Speaking the truth, I wasn’t sure how else to do this. As an affiliate, I get advance notice of really good sales. Apparently, everyone is having a really good sale at the moment. As much as I love luxury everything, I never pay full price for it. I always wait for a sale, and I know that many of you are the same way. So I wanted to share these if any of the companies are companies that you like and have been waiting for a good deal to come your way. So that’s what this is about. I can promise you that this will not be a frequent occurrence on this blog.

Please also note that I am very selective about who I affiliate with. I only affiliate myself with those products or companies that I truly believe in myself. If I wouldn’t buy it myself,  I most definitely am not going to promote it  to you 😉

Because we are a world audience, I have opted to categorise my sales info according to geographical availability. And yes, I am placing banners instead of individual products because there are just so many that it will devour my entire years’ worth of storage. Sorry, you have to sort out what you like yourselves! ;D

Here we go, awesome January sales!

Global:

Mix & Match

John Robshaw is famous for his hand made, handcut, and hand painted or block printed textiles. They are gorgeous and I am waiting for the moment that I can fill my home with his pieces. He is currently having a 50% off winter sale and you DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS! Sales happen rarely and I suggest you take advantage when the opportunity arises!

Subscribe Now

Free Shipping on 1st Box of GlobeIn Artisan Box subscriptions

All sustainable & free trade items at Globein 😀 I genuinely love this place.
USA:


Ok, Kitchen Aid is actually having a 50% off sale with just about everything right now! Attachments, countertop appliances, ovens, fridges, stand mixers (both reg & mini in fun colours) which is insane because I really really want a stand mixer in the ice colour! (yeah, I’m doing the 50’s themed kitchen) Anyway, hubby has wanted one of these for sooo long and it’s actually affordable now! Kitchen Aid does have an international site and I suggest you check that also for January sales!


Winter Clearance- Up to 40% off Select Gear that Outworks Winter  

For a lady who spends a lot of time outdoors & in quite heavy weather, Carhartt workgear is my go-to. This stuff lasts forever!

Trendy Ethical Styles

 

AHAVA | Buy More, Save More $25 OFF $100 With Code: BUY25OFF | Shop Now!


subphantis

Life and Home Storage and Bin items

This start-up is a 1 stop shopping for

all home repair & reno items. You’re welcome 🙂

 

 

 

Available to EU only: 


 

*Cosme-DE has every skincare product imaginable, including La Mer and SK II

Thank you so much for checking out this post. I hope you manage to snag a great deal on something you’ve been stalking for awhile!

-Mliae

*Feature photo sourced via Pixabay

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Sustainable Clothing Spotlight: Love Justly

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I am really excited to publish a feature sustainable company spotlight on Love Justly! As you well know, if you’ve been following the blog for awhile, I am a firm believer in voting with our wallets. By that I mean, that by each of us making conscientious purchasing decisions, we do hold the power to create change. We are, after all, the driving force in consumerism/consumption. If our purchasing decisions were not at all important, companies would not spend such insane amounts of money trying to make us believe we need their items. The mantra ‘purchase better, purchase less’ is something I truly believe in. If we begin a paradigm shift with this mantra in mind, the fashion industry will follow. This is why I have chosen Love Justly to write a feature on. Their items are beautiful, fashion-forward, ethically sourced and made to last! In my mind, that checks every box I need in order to make a positive, guilt-free purchasing decision. I know that many of my awesome friends and readers feel the same way, and so I am happy to share a great place to bookmark and revisit again and again. 🙂

I did have a few questions:

Q- The fashion industry is severely competitive and there seems to be a lingering mistrust of good-hearted ethical companies due to the ‘green-washing’ phenom. What made you want to go into the sustainable fashion business?

A- I started Love Justly because I always wanted a place where I could go and get a good deal, but know that people on the other end of that product didn’t suffer. Often items are less expensive because people are paid poorly and treated harshly.

I partner with companies and buy excess stock or past season items at a discount and then sell those items at a discount. The companies I partner with are doing amazing work around the world, so when you buy from Love Justly you know your purchases truly make a difference!

 

Q- How long has Love Justly been in business?

A- A little more than 2 years.

 

Q- How does Love Justly define ethical fashion, as it relates to you?

A- For Love Justly, ethical fashion means the people who made the item are paid a living wage and treated fairly. All too often in fashion, this doesn’t happen.

 

Q- Sustainable/ethical fashion can mean a great many things to a great many people. What is Love Justly’s main focus? (Fair employment, creating little waste – if any, sustainable materials, long-lasting items, using sustainable shipping methods, et al)

A- Love Justly partners with a variety of companies and each of those has a different mission, but the heart behind all of them is a desire to provide hope and economic opportunity to people by giving them reliable income.

 

Q- How do you select the items you sell on your site?

A- The companies I partner with often will let me know what they have to sell and then I select from that. I also take feedback from customers and buy based on what they want to see on the site!

 

Q- Fast-fashion driven consumption has forced the fashion industry to go from 2 seasons per year to 12-52 seasons per year. This seems to me to be absurd. No entity can crank out reliable, sustainable fashion that is long wearing and fair at that pace. How many seasons (or seasonal updates) does Love Justly add per annum?

A- Love Justly doesn’t follow a set seasonal update. We just added many new products before the holidays and add more based on customer demand and areas we’re starting to run low.

 

Q- More often than not, ethical fashion can understandably be quite expensive when compared to fast-fashion prices. I think this why so many people hesitate to purchase ethically made items. How do you manage to offer such fair prices on your site?

A- I typically buy items at a discount from companies, which then allows me to sell them at a discount. Due to this structure, I have a more limited selection to choose from, but it helps introduce more people to ethical fashion, where price may have been a barrier before.

 

Q- How do you ensure the manufacturing standards of those companies whose items are sold on Love Justly?

A- I do research on each of the companies based on what is available on their site and through conversations with them and then go from there in determining whether they would make a good partner for Love Justly.

 

Q- We have all heard horror stories of companies who destroy their remaining merchandise and send it to the rubbish heap. What do you do with any un-sold merchandise? Or do you order low quantities and keep them for sale until they are sold?

A- We order low quantities at Love Justly, so things are more likely to sell out quicker than they would with other companies.

 

Q- If a beloved item is sold out, do you offer any way that a person could be placed on a waiting list for that item? Or is it gone forever once it is sold out?

A- Some items we can reorder and if an item is sold out there is a spot where people can enter their email. If that item can be re-ordered we typically will, but sometimes we’ve taken the last items and the company we bought it from may be sold out as well.

 

Q- I have noticed that you offer international shipping (Yay!). Does Love Justly offer the possibility of basic shipping in order to keep the postal price low?

A- International shipping isn’t realistic for most people, so this is very limited. Since Love Justly is a discount site the high shipping costs of international shipping often don’t make sense. We’re happy to ship internationally, but the shipping costs often make it prohibitive.

Some of my fave products:

holiday giving plate love justly

This incredible Holiday Plate that’s perfect for sharing leftovers and holiday goodies with those you love!

LJ-scarves-gold-cashmere-scarf-1_600x

Gold Cashmere Scarf by Komodo.

LJ home-candy-cane-soap-1_600x

For the person that loves all things peppermint-y (uh-hum, me.) this handcrafted candy cane soap is the perfect stocking stuffer!

LJ-dresses-kimono-sleeve-v-neck-dress-2_600x

Kimono Sleeve V-Neck Dress by Liz Alig.  This cool and comfy looking dress is made from 100% recycled T-shirts!

LJ-bags-mini-clutch-2_600x

Mini clutch from woven buriti palm fibre.

LJ-dresses-peacock-party-dress-1_600x

Peacock Party Dress by Symbology. Beautiful and 100% cotton!

See? I told you they have pretty items! And yes, to answer your question – I would never promote a company that I wouldn’t use myself. I purchased the following gorgeous Liz Alig cotton maxi dress from Love Justly that I love:

IMG_E8849

If you are interested, each item tells in the description which company it is from and what good things that company is doing with your purchase. Love that!

Get 15% off any order now!

-Mliae
Trendy Ethical Styles

*Photos sourced with full permissions via Love Justly

 

 

 

Holiday Gift Ideas Part ll.

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Hi there 🙂

I wanted to write a follow-up gift ideas post, this time separated into categories by receiver. Many people have completed their holiday shopping already in June (ugh) but I know that I am not the only person who takes their time and then freaks out when I look at the calendar and realize I barely have time for shipping. *All items I am listing will make it wherever its going by Christmas 😉

For the man in your life:


“Burgundy Melange Merino Jumper”


Made from up cycled leather and firehose, this Elvis & Kresse Wallet with Coin Pocket is definitely a hit!

Green gifts for the eco-friendly:

holiday giving plate love justly

This newly marked down Holiday Giving Plate from Love Justly

olive boat

Ceramic Olive Boat from Globein. Love this!

Arc-Cuff_1000x

This hand forged in USA Arc Cuff from Bead & Reel

For the Luxury – lover:

ANINE BING SILK CAMISOLE - RED LEO

ANINE BING SILK CAMISOLE – RED LEO

Scarf - Abstract Plaid Silk - Darby Scott

Scarf – Abstract Plaid Silk – Darby Scott


15% off everything using code TREAT15 – live now!

Sophisticated Suede Shopper
Sophisticated Suede Shopper

For the new home owner:

One World Trading Company

Marimekko Home – Kitchen and Dining

BED_Makki_Indigo.jpg

This gorgeous hand made Makki Indigo Duvet

GlobeIn_Comfort_-118_1024x1024

This too fun eyeglass holder from Globein

So that’s it for today. I really hope you found something that will fit your gifting needs! If you didn’t, but you are still looking, take the time to quickly check out these sites. Many of them offer a ton of options and I just picked one fave of mine to post here. Because, well…I love it, so hopefully you will too!

Happy Hunting!

-Mliae

 

I Respectfully Disagree.

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I was reading up on chemicals in clothing and I found this article by Who What Wear. Now, I know that Who What Wear has like a zillion readers and an enormous fan base. I am aware that I will most likely be lynched on the internet for disagreeing – respectfully or not. But there are some ‘facts’ here that leave me scratching my head.

In this post, its stated that she will reveal the WORST fabrics for you. This is what she reveals, and in the same order:

  • Bamboo
  • Wool
  • Synthetic Fabrics

Uuuummm…WHAT?! I’m sorry, but…no.

I have to defend bamboo. Even though I don’t wear so much of it (I have 2 bamboo items of clothing). Agreed, there are some byproducts of turning Bamboo into the bamboo-rayon fabric we can wear. However, It is not near as bad as synthetic fabric.  Bamboo and bamboo fabric has naturally occurring antiseptic properties. Even after washing. That’s part of the whole appeal! Not to mention, bamboo is one of the most sustainable – alongside hemp – because it grows at an alarming rate. Because the regrowth is so speedy, the need for sprawling land mass to grow it, reduces drastically. I am not just pretending like I know what I’m talking about here. I’ve spent months of my life researching bamboo fabric and its anti-allergen, sustainable, antiseptic properties for a business related project.

I would also not put wool as the 2nd on this list. I mean, really??? ‘Triggering eczema flare-ups’ is the reason cited. Now, I understand the kernel of truth behind this. I also used to be under the impression that all but merino wool is super itchy and dries out the skin. Some of it does, I’ll give her that. But I have more to say on the matter. In my opinion, and personal experience, it is the cheaper wool clothing and yarn which will kill your skin. I have higher quality wool (i.e.; Aran wool sweater) and less expensive wool which doesn’t annihilate my skin. I have a few unbelievably affordable wool options that I had to buy, that I can’t wear because its so uncomfortable (thus the sale price, I assume.) I also have wool gloves that I suspect as the culprit that turn my knuckles red and make my skin bleed. In my mind, this is purely an issue of quality. The softer wool is much more gentle, agreed. But I would not strike out all wool but merino because some heavy wool is needed to keep warm in arctic temps – and does its job very well, and some wool can be so buttery soft and light that it makes your skin sing. And I would hate for anyone to miss out on that experience!

Now, please understand that disagreeing respectfully with what a blogger who has a following larger than some countries, is not a declaration of war. I just see things a bit differently and the urge to say something was too strong to smile and keep quiet. Especially when it is inevitable that some of the followers of a blog that size will blindly believe whatever is written.

What are your thoughts on this? I’m interested to know!

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

The Minimalist Closet: An Intro

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Hello there 🙂

This is my closet. You’ve seen this pic a few times, especially after I decided to keep only my natural fibre or sustainable clothing options.

I’ve decided to start a new experiment series regarding the minimalist wardrobe.

I browse the internet… A LOT. I’ve noticed that minimalism and the capsule wardrobe have garnered a ton of attention as the new trend. I hate to admit it, but I have to laugh when reading about the ‘French Wardrobe’ or the 33 items for 3 months – trend. You see, in my mind, it seems to be more a case of people wanting what they don’t have (i.e.; time, space, clean lines, easy decisions) than a case of really taking stock of what they have and using it to its full potential. This isn’t always the case, but it seems to be more so than not. People who have, want less. People who have not, want more. Welcome to the vicious cycle called Trends in Consumerism.

I live in Europe. It’s true that the storage space is minimal here, and also that the clothes cost a small fortune. (Especially when you have mentally/physically or age-wise outgrown H&M and all the other fast fashion warehouses.) It’s also true that basics need to be of good quality, since you will get the most wear out of them & that trendy items should be kept to a minimum. (The rules to the French Capsule Wardrobe state that you can buy unlimited basic, but purchase only 5 trendy items per fashion season: Spring/Summer & Autumn/Winter) This seems normal. I’m not sure who is able to buy an entire wardrobe of items every few months. (Basics or not) I go months without buying anything sometimes, but I guess that’s because I have more pressing financial priorities. I have a difficult time with refraining from purchases sometimes because I go ga-ga over items that are different. If the sleeves are different on an otherwise normal cashmere sweater or silk blouse, it will be mine. Fortunately for me, this is a rare occurrence when it means the item in question must also be 100% natural fabric. Unfortunately, there are 2 such items at the moment which are waiting patiently for my purchase. Hmmmm….

I see people going all Mari Kondo crazed. No, I have not read the book. Yes, I do know how to fold. How could I not, after spending the years of my youth working in retail? (Whew! Sure am glad to be done with that job…) I’m sure that Kondo is a wiz at what she does. But, I mean really, do you only have things in your home that ‘spark joy’? My cleaning supplies do not overjoy me when I hold them. It’s more of an ‘Uggghhhh…do I have to?’ My empty nondescript flower pots in storage don’t make me smile. But they are a necessary part of my life when spring comes for sprouting. The piles of bills, tax forms and papers on my desk don’t make me happy, but I would be S.O.L. without them. I think its the same with your wardrobe. Of course, we NEED to have things that make us happy, feel sexy, feel great! But wouldn’t we be missing something if that’s all we had? I mean, don’t get me wrong. If I could wear what I felt best in all day, every day – I totally would! But if I’m going to drop 100€+ on a pair of trousers, you better believe I won’t be wearing them to clean the house, run the dog, or netflix & chill with my guy. I’m going to wear the shittiest uniform I own to clean, sweats to run, and something pretty – yet at least mildly comfortable to hang in with babes. However, I do get the basic premise of Kondo’s method, and I agree. She is correct in that if you love the items you own (clothes, for our purposes) then you will be happy in your space. You will take care of your special items, and you will get the maximum amount of wear out of an item that makes you happy when you slip into it. Absolutely! I always say that I would rather have 5 items of clothing that make me feel Ah-Mazing instead of 20 that are ‘Meh’. The fact remains though, that most of us aren’t models. We have active and demanding daily lives and we need clothes that can cater to that aspect of us. So the question (1 of many) is: How do we make this work with a ‘minimalist wardrobe’.

I like this post by Susie Faux, who’s been an advocate of the Capsule Wardrobe for the past 30 years. She outlines the practical reasons why a Capsule Wardrobe is recommended and does not lay out rules.

I have to use the term ‘Minimalist’ or ‘French Capsule’ wardrobe loosely here. For our purposes, there are no rules except for one. I’m not going to count my sweaters and then deny myself a few faves because somewhere someone said I should only have 2. Not gonna happen. Although, speaking the truth, it seems that the internet is telling me that my wardrobe – the one I have now, IS a minimalist wardrobe. How did this happen?

The only rule I am giving myself for the next 12 months is that whatever I buy needs to be:

– 100% natural fabric (I’ve already done this for more than the past year & I love it)

– Of good quality

– Something that fits the size I actually am

– Versatile

– Well researched & thoughtfully considered (So…no impulse buys)

– An investment. Ie; Something that I can see myself using for the next 5 years.

So, to get to the point, I’m taking on this challenge for the next 12 months. I will be posting regularly about my wardrobe, my progress, my insanity and my purchases. I do hope you will follow the journey with me.

Have any of you tried any of the minimalist wardrobe challenges? If so, please tell us about it in the comment section below!

-Mliae

Desperately Seeking Sustainable Style

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I had to share this post on sustainable style by www.hautemind.com There are so many of us, searching for sustainable fashion & beautiful pieces. We should support each other! Enjoy this post 🙂

My Sustainable Fashion Crush is Now Offering FREE Shipping Worldwide!!

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Yeah, Baby…YEAH! Thanks to Twitter, I’ve been made aware that Shift to Nature is now offering FREE GLOBAL SHIPPING on a trail basis. As most of you know, international shipping is a real bug in my brain sometimes. So, as you can well imagine, I’m hanging from the chandeliers over this deal!

If you haven’t yet read my sustainable fashion feature on Shift to Nature, you can read it by clicking here. I love this company! 🙂

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Please check out Shift to Nature, and make sure to use the promo code M15 at check-out for 15% off and a giveaway bottle of vegan Noa Lane nail polish!

Wooohooo! I guess you know what I’ll be doing this afternoon 😉

-Mliae

Sustainable Fashion Feature: Shift to Nature

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Greetings all!

As many of you know already, I have been on the hunt for friendly, fashionable, sustainable, fashion houses with great customer service which utilize sustainable business practices. And I found a great eco-fashion start-up that goes by the name of Shift to Nature, in Australia. They are awesome! Truly, super-cool and incredibly friendly and cooperative people! So much so, and I have to tell you this because it just never happens, that I was put in contact with the owner and personality of Shift to Nature and she is the one who made sure that every single one of my questions were answered, that I had all the facts, and went WAY above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that we have everything we need to make our own evaluations of the company! (and she returned all 8 million of my emails) This fact, in and of itself, really made me acquire a fashion crush on this company. I wish that more companies were able to understand the true value of incredible customer relations. As this can either make or break a sale, or a lifelong of sales, regardless of how pretty the item on the hanger is.

How I came to contact Shift to Nature

I have spent countless hours researching fashion houses. I’ve even spent loads of time searching brand names woven within massive e-commerce sites, in the search for a handful of businesses that offer fashionable sustainable clothing that I feel confident are the crème de la crème. However, even though sustainable and eco-clothing seems to be gaining in popularity, there are some boxes that need to be ticked for me to contact a company in the first place:

  • A majority of the products must be natural fabrics (I say majority because some of the businesses are doing good things by upcycling non-natural fabrics to avoid creating waste)
  • Fashionable items. I want to feel beautiful in my clothes at work, on a date and at home. I know you do too.
  • Fair trade (it doesn’t have to be registered fair trade. Using local artisans and product or helping those in need by paying fair wages IS Fair Trade…with or without the label.)
  • Sustainable business practices
  • Transparency in business practices
  • A non-market based orientation for their products. (Unfortunately, so many eco-fashion houses are mis-using the identity as more of a marketing strategy and less of a genuine concern)
  • Good customer service
  • Reasonable international shipping. (You know this is a MUST for me. I’m neurotic about shipping…not sure why.)

Shift to Nature has far exceeded my wish list.

To show you some of the 100% natural fabric women’s items I fell in lust with, I’ve created a virtual capsule wardrobe for ladies from some of Shift to Nature’s product line! Even the sunglasses are bamboo!

  1. Bamboo Wide Yoga Pants,  2. Bamboo Long Sleeve Crew Neck Shirt,  3. Merino Wool Eco Snood, 4. Aurora Black Scarf, 5. Tortoise Ethical Eyewear

1A. Black Stripe Bra and Underpants, 2A.  Long Sleeved Organic Cotton Stretch Dress in Charcoal Grey 3A. Bamboo Wrap  4A. Celestial Nightie, 5A. Bamboo House Dress

A bit about Shift to Nature

Shift to Nature does work with designers, some are smaller than others, which creates a great opportunity for new designer discovery as well as for the consumer to find an item they go ga-ga over without having to pay the usually astronomical designer price. (Hello Virtual Capsule Wardrobe…you will be MINE!)  New items from different designers are added monthly, as well as keeping with some of the continuous favourites. They do re-order stocks of the best-selling items, so if there is something you love that currently isn’t in stock, ask about it and wait whilst daydreaming. It will be back!
Product pricing is affordable compared to many of the eco-fashion stores, but it is not cheap. It is quite clear that they go to great lengths to provide fair pricing and to take into account the customers relative sticker shock when making the move to eco-clothing. They also offer very reasonable international shipping (Yay! Happy me 🙂 🙂 )

I’m doing something a bit different in this feature. I hope it works out. While I was looking over some of the answers to my questions I received, I wasn’t exactly sure how to put it into narrative. You see, my problem was this: The answers just ooze personality. If I were to reformat that into my words it would….lose something. I think that the personality is so important to a brand, especially when it is the owner speaking and you can hear the passion and excitement in your mind while reading. I don’t want to take that away because it is so important! So for the first time ever, I am leaving it in Question (me)/Answer (Shift to Nature) format.

Q – Does Shift to Nature work with any designers?

A – Shift to Nature is a really large collaboration with designers and brands for their own products as well as new in-house Shift Collaboration such as Faite, Noa Lane Nail Polish and Lily & Leo organic cotton kids range coming soon! Designers with their own brands are featured such as Alas the label with Sleepwear, Eleven44 hot yoga wear and more. All of the designers work on a small scale and have chosen to make the shift to eco fabrics. While this has been in no way limiting their designs, as each designer brings the wearability and softness of eco fabrics into a contemporary colour, lines, prints and fits. Our “in-house” designers are actually wonderful collaborations with notable freelancer designers around the world. Aude in France, Tess in Perth, Project Change collaboration in Cambodia, eco designers in Sydney. For me this promotes alternate economies for people. Lovely and creative women, often mothers can work at home, managing their own time and also having fun with the process. It’s one of my favourite parts of the Shift to nature process – there is now a community of very talented creatives around it – including Bloggers 😉

Q – I see that you also include Lenzig Tencel, any thoughts as to eventually incorporating Cupro into your catalogue?

A – Yes I would love to include Cupro which is a regenerated cellulose fiber derived from cotton linter (the ultrafine, silky fibers that stick to the seeds of the cotton plant after it’s been ginned) creating a silk like cotton fabric. However as this is a new fabric it is still very expensive to make it into reasonably priced eco garments. I noticed that high end designers such as Donna Karen are using it. This raises the question of cost in the fashion industry – hopefully as the new eco fabrics are developed and become widely available a drop in their prices can make them available to smaller designers who can find the balance between eco and acceptable purchase prices for the consumer. There is a tension here. While customers move toward ethical and eco purchases there is difficulty often to justify the higher prices. The higher prices are ethical and related to the real transparent cost of eco fabrics, fair wages and ethical business. However due to fast fashion companies producing incredibly cheap and plastic clothes, consumers are now used to purchasing leggings for $5. This makes the shift to eco very difficult, unfortunately. For designers and makers we are limited to reasonably priced organic cotton, bamboo, lenzig tencel and other such more available fabrics to keep the costs reasonable.

Q – Approximately how many farmers, artisans, etc can you say that your Fair Trade practices help worldwide?
A – Goodness, that is very difficult to say. It takes a lot of minds, hands and hearts to make quality products. Possibly 100’s of families are helped through the activities of Shift to Nature designers and makers. This is probably unique as Shift is a collective with people making lovely items across the world – from Estonia, Bali, Germany, India, Cambodia, Denmark, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Peru – rather than having a limited place of making. As we search for newly unique items everyday we find some wonderful items – and manage it all online, so as carbon neutral as possible in terms of business operation. And we are not limited to English – we love to stretch ourselves and make connections really finding the most unique products.

Q – Do your sustainable practices extend to logistics as well?

A – Yes so for items that come to us as stock, we use sea freight if international. For packaging and posting to our customers we use Australia Post who have good quality assurance and standards. We also believe in public shared economy – so it is important to utilise the international postal systems in each country – keeping them alive and serving all. Based in Adelaide Australia, we have recycle policies of our local council. We remove as much plastic wrapping as we can and then hand wrap the items with recycled tissue paper. We then recycle or reuse as much as we possibly can.

Q – Is there transparency in Shift to Nature’s business practices?

A – Yes there is as much as possible. We will be applying for B-Corp status such that, this certification will require reports. However we are a startup and so I am partly still self-funding the business. We do not make a profit because all of the funds go back toward research and development of new designs and eco products. We are hoping that this will carry us into the future. Our business aims is to create a self-sustainable business – meaning that it can survive as a business stand alone, without additional investment, and that its income is reinvested back into itself to create better products. We spend much much more on R&D than on marketing, for example.

Q – Any new product lines we can look forward to?

A – 🙂 Big smile – yes! Without giving everything away, we think eco and fair products should start with kids. Kids have a big sense of fairness and care and childhood is where a sense of wonder and concern for the planet is sometimes at its strongest. They also want fun and comfortable clothes. Lily & Leo is just around the corner – but no peaking!

Here are some of the items for Home, Kids and Men available:

1B. Luxury Organic Cotton Sheets  2B. Bells Beach Turkish Style Cotton Towels 3B. Men’s Tailored Hemp Linen Shorts 4B. Dino Quilt Cover Set

And this is where it gets even better! 😀

Shift to Nature has very generously offered us a 15% off discount promo code (M15) AND is giving away a bottle of Noa Lane vegan nail polish* with purchase (remember promo code: M15)! *While supplies last, colours may vary.

shift-to-nature-au-promo

A bit about Noa Lane:

Q – I would love to share more about the Noa Lane Vegan Nail polish that you have so generously offered as a bonus to our readers! What makes it vegan?
A – This is so exciting! People often say: ‘but nail polish has no animal products’ but it actually does. Regular nail polish does, in fact, contain fish Scales (usually from Herring) that creates the Sparkle. The iridescent qualities of the scales make them “ideal” for grinding up into glitter. Noa Lane Nail Lacquer does not contain any Fish Scales. The sparkle comes from mineral Micas! Naturally forming mica flakes are from Muscovite mineral rocks which are refined and for safe cosmetic use, the result combined with colour gives the beautiful Opalescent finish. When used in nail polish suspension base the Mica powders distribute freely and evenly leaving a uniform colour saturation. The shine and shimmer of the mica compliments glitter polishes and unlike powder pigments micas do not clump or cause streaking in nail polish. Noa Lane Nail Lacquer also Does Not contain these animal by-products commonly found in regular nail polish: stearic acid, glycerol and cochineal, or crushed bugs. Items from the Noa Lane Mineral Cosmetics range are Vegan and Not Tested on Animals. They are free of Five particularly nasty chemicals including formaldehyde which has been linked to cancer by national research bodies. Noa Lane Mineral Cosmetics is made in Australia with ingredients comply with International standards.

It has truly been a pleasure to work in conjunction with Shift to Nature in order to write this feature on sustainable fashion! They have gained a lifelong customer here and I know that your experience, should you so choose to check out the company, will be as awesome as mine has been!

Thank you so much for reading! And please remember, if you find yourself on the Shift to Nature website  use promo code: M15 at checkout for a 15% discount and a complimentary bottle of Noa Lane vegan nail polish! (*While supplies last, nail colours may vary).

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-Mliae

Capsule Wardrobe Survival: 8 Ideas to make your black dress work overtime for casual, office and evening!

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Hello ladies 🙂 This post is for all my comrades in the eco-fashion, capsule wardrobe journey. As well as those who, like myself, are wiling to invest in an item of clothing that can do triple-time, even if there isn’t exactly available funds for a luxury purchase. (Thus creating the necessity to make your few items work well for you in multiple social circumstances).

Today, I bit the bullet and purchased this dress. (Ok, it was actually a joy, not a chore.) Although I do have a Vince Camuto LBD that I purchased years ago and still get quite a bit of wear out of, its short, low-cut and sleeveless. It’s winter now. I just…can’t. Something about snow, wind and a mini skirt just doesn’t calculate well. I haven’t had a basic black dress for winter in many years. However, I thought long and hard about how I could make this purchase worth my while with the items I currently have available for my winter capsule wardrobe.

As most of you know, I have made myself a promise that I would not buy fast fashion (Which unfortunately, also means affordable for someone with a next to nothing budget) and that I buy only natural fabrics. I went on a long search and found this dress. 95% cotton and 5% elastin. (I prefer zero elastin, but hey, sometimes it’s just there. Like, good luck finding a pair of jeans with no elastin. Am I right?) Then I kept it bookmarked for a few weeks while I weighed the options. Today, I checked out 😉

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The following are the ways I will turn this basic black into a Capsule Wardrobe essential that will work overtime for a variety of occasions!

  • Firstly, you can just wear it like it is with a pair of black flats.

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  • Dress it up for a semi-formal evening  or a hot date, with a glamorous necklace and sexy heels (rose gold, in my case)
  • Accessorize a great look for the office with a big cozy scarf, a light necklace, and thick heeled ankle boots
  • Go boho with a loose cozy poncho and thick heeled ankle boots or wedges
  • For an easy to achieve highly sophisticated look, pair the dress with a brown leather obi belt and brown and black heels
  • For a super casual day, throw on those converse and a denim jacket! (I’m so glad wearing sneakers with dresses is fashionable now!)
  • For another business look, pair with a cashmere cardi, a skinny belt and highly sculpted suede ankle heels
  • If it’s really cold and you just want to be warm, cozy and look super cute; Throw on your favourite boyfriend sweater over top of it and pair with boots or sneakers.

It’s all about accessorizing, ladies! It’s amazing how versatile this one item can be when using items you probably already own to make it go from casual to office to a night out!

What are some of your must-have capsule wardrobe staples?

-Mliae

*Please note: These photos have been taken from pinterest, google and my own items. There are no shopping links contained within.

Does my choice to wear natural fabrics, really dictate my fashion options?

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…Sometimes, it really seems that way.

I am frustrated. I spent a large portion of my day doing some Christmas shopping online. Take, Zalando, for example. A website that is full of designer labels, clothing and accessories for the entire family. I scrolled and scrolled through for hours today. Literally, hours. Every time I found something that was stylish and somewhat affordable, it was a poly or acrylic blend. It is so frustrating.

Luckily, those I’m shopping for aren’t as picky about fabrics as I am. Though I would love to be able to get them some nice, soft, pretty items made from natural fabrics. I am starting to presume that this is a luxury wishlist, as it is just so difficult to find anything other than Tee shirts, the occasional college shirt or long sleeve Tee or cotton blend sweaters. I found 1…yes, ONE full cotton dress on the entire site. What is the deal?! I mean, I just don’t understand it. I would LOVE to be able to buy a silk maxi-dress for less than 1,000 ($/€) or wool pants for less than 500. Why is it, the fabrics that are most sustainable and take the least amount of processing, are also used the least and cost the most? Does anyone understand the logic in this?

How did we get here? How do we get the fashion industry’s attention to let them know that we don’t need a closet full of artificial, inexpensively made clothes that will be out of style in 6 months…that we need quality craftsmanship, natural fabrics and beautiful classic, versatile designs that will last years?! THIS I am willing to pay good money for, even save if I have to. Of course! What woman wouldn’t invest in her appearance if she knew she looked fabulous and that she could get her money’s worth out of her garment?!

I am amazed that I am able to find more natural fabrics and nice designs on amazon, than I am on Zalando. I never thought it would be this challenging to go ‘rogue’ when I made a deal with myself that I would only buy natural or sustainable clothing, at least for the year, to start.

Anybody else having this experience?

-Mliae

People Tree: A glimpse into the sustainable fashion web store

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Hi everyone and thanks for stopping in! Todays article kicks off my happily anticipated series on sustainable fashion. I have been on the hunt… high and low, searching for the best, coolest and friendliest homes of sustainable fashion.

Here’s how it went down: I think I spent at least 30 hours doing internet search on top of internet search for sustainable fashion businesses. I then compiled a list and went through each site that I had found (another several days of solid researching). Many were sadly no longer active. Another large group was those that specialized in like…socks. And then, THEN we have the massive conglomerates that marketed sustainable and ethical fashion, but in all honesty, it was just for marketing. I’ve worked in business; I know a marketing ploy when I see one. So once I was able to categorize these business even further, it left me with only a handful of genuine fair trade practicing, sustainable processing, natural fiber using fashion companies who have some really nice modern day designs. Works for me! I’ve been on the search for the best and now it seems like I’ve found a tiny group of them.

Now I must tell you, that these people at People Tree are some of the most co-operative people I have spoken to. I understand, of course, that when a blogger contacts a company the immediate thought is ‘freebie request’. Now, I love freebies, it’s like Christmas when something that you really love arrives! That said, I merely wrote to request information. They not only understood my request for information and permission, they made sure I was well stocked in all the information I could possibly need and were at hand for any questions I might have. How awesome is that for this humble blogger??!

Now, a large part of the reason I developed a clothing crush on this company is because their designs are nice. They are comfortable and beautiful; suitable for office, home and a night out. Two of their featured designers this collection are Peter Jensen and Zandra Rhodes. They have worked with Thakoon, Laura Ashley, and Vivienne Westwood (to name a few). Having designer options at a reasonable price, in natural fabrics all the while incorporating Fair Trade and sustainable business practices, is what really made me find myself going ga-ga.

Some of this information is in the form of a social review, which is conducted every other year in order to ensure that The People Tree is maintaining or exceeding their fair trade practices. This was fascinating reading, as so many companies do not truly practice any form of transparency in their sourcing and business practices.

People Tree utilizes fair trade practices in every step of their production process. From Cradle to Cradle. Most of their cotton is certified organic and fair trade. They use safe, azo-free dyes for their clothing, they source locally and use recycled where they can. Even down to their natural buttons which use either shell, coconut, corozo ( a natural grain which resembles resin), horn or wood. All of the woven items are hand woven, and in many cases, People Tree uses recycled material so as not to create or contribute to any additional waste. Logistically speaking, they are brilliant – utilizing sea transport as opposed to air. They even take sustainability so far as to use solar panels in as many possible places as they can.

Safia Minney founded People Tree in 1990. People Tree is said to be the ‘first international clothing company to be awarded the World Fair Trade Organisation Fair Trade product label’. In the past 25 years, they have been able to perfect a supply chain, which positively affects in excess of 3,700 farmers, tailors, weavers, dyers and management due to Fair Trade practices. They employ some of the persons from castes which truly struggle and need a fair opportunity. Including as stated ‘Indigenous, disabled, refugees and people living in poverty’ from the Countries India, Bangladesh and Nepal. In total, they work with  34 Fair Trade producers who employ approximately 15,000 people. The numbers I was able to get my hands on states that there are approx 4,500 artisans & farmers in 13 countries (India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Laos & The Philippines). That’s a lot of Fair Trade going around!

Some of their Fair Trade practices include training, the possibility of advance pay without interest for business development, fair wages (which is why you won’t find a €5 garment here), good working conditions and market exposure. Ladies, you will love this; HALF of the leadership positions throughout People Tree’s production chain are filled by Women! Yeah, Baby! Yeah!

People Tree has two seasonal collections per annum, and these are some of the stand out items from the Autumn/Winter collection. I could not do a business feature without displaying some of my favourite lust-worthy products, of course!

Some of the items I love at People Tree:

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The Lara Pencil Skirt

95% organic cotton, 5% elastin

€65

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The Imara Top

95% organic cotton, 5% elastin

Formerly priced at €65, now €33,04

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Hesper Striped Skirt in Black

100% Organic Cotton

€99

&

May Turtleneck

95% Organic Cotton, 5% Elastin

€35

people-tree-cable-jumper-185-e250-lara-pencil-skirt-48-e65-www-peopletree-co-uk

Fisherman’s Jumper in Unbleached

100% Wool

€250

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Swallows Tee

100% Organic Cotton

€39

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Peter Jensen Jewel Tie Waist Dress in Multicolour

100% Organic Certified Cotton

Now €55.44

Another cool little thing they do on the website is that under the photo of the particular item you are looking at, there is a statement which informs you where the item was sourced and the Fair Trade aspects of it. Nice 🙂

Now here’s the icing on the cake: FREE delivery in UK on all orders, and an INTERNATIONAL delivery fee of only 5 British Pounds for ALL orders over 70 British Pounds. THAT is SUPER! You know me, I’m a sucker for affordable international postage! J

They have loads of fashionable items to choose from in both Women’s and Men’s. If you are interested in sustainable fashion, this is a great place to check out!

http://www.peopletree.co.uk

After so much time reading up on this company, the mantra that will remain ringing in my head is ‘slow fashion, not fast fashion.’ From here forth, every time I see a clothing shop which turns over their trends on a bi-weekly or monthly basis and are selling man-made fabric must-have’s on me for the price of €5-€7, I will mentally equate it to McFashion – the pre-processed, rubbery burger that you can get for €1 and regret for much longer.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this business, please share!

-Mliae

*Photos & permission provided by People Tree