The Fight

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It’s not an easy place to be. It’s not easy to wake up every morning and know that the life I had planned and imagined for myself is suddenly gone. Why her? And why her too? How? What could I have done differently? These questions swirl through my head every moment of every day. It takes all the strength to quiet these thoughts but deep down I know I did absolutely everything I could.

I fought. I fought with everything I had. But it takes two people to fight for a marriage and only one to walk away. I want to share this journey of healing with you all because I think it’s an important one. Infidelity and divorce have become such common themes in our current culture yet there is still so much shame and embarrassment that come along with them. We don’t talk about it enough but maybe if we did we could understand people in a different way. This isn’t a decision I came to lightly. To share all of this. To be raw and vulnerable. I am terrified not only to walk this journey for myself but to put it all out there. But I’m going to do it because I hope this will bring about healing for someone else too.

Humans are messy. Love is messy. Our hearts are messy and so is life. It is all so beautiful though and I want to keep fighting. Some days it takes everything in me to simply get out of bed, while other days are filled with laughter and meetings with my dearest friends. Every day is new and different. It doesn’t always feel okay and there have already been so many days that I wonder if it ever will be. Then I give myself a moment to just feel. I let the sadness wash over me and I release it. A piece of my dream has been lost forever and for that I will grieve.

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Although he’s still here, there’s a part of my heart that never will be again. I know time will heal but it can never replace. These scars are a part of me now and all I can do is help them hurt a little less every day. I hope you'll come on this journey with me and if you're struggling with these things too, I hope you'll also find some healing.

Talk about too good- Two Fold Clothing

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I've had Two Fold on my 'Add to the closet' list for a while now. I discovered them shortly after my switch to slow fashion, and knew that eventually a piece would speak to me and I'd have to have it. Each piece is so beautiful and simple that now it's the perfect addition to my closet.

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The brand:

Two Fold is based in Charlotte, NC and focuses its efforts on environmental and social consciousness. They release two capsule collections per year (Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter) with everything being made to order. As opposed to the fast fashion "micro-seasons", releasing just two collections a year promotes quality over quantity. Two Fold is committed to using organic and sustainable fabrics, therefore sourcing fabrics like organic cotton, tencel, and raw silk. In addition to using sustainable fabrics they also use packaging supplies that are 100% recycled. 

Another brand focus is to encourage women and inspire all to live their best lives! Yesssss!! As women, we have such an incredible power and opportunity to build each other up, and its incredible to see the things that can happen as a result of doing that. Just another reason to get behind this brand!

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The clothes:

As mentioned above, all pieces are crafted from sustainable fabrics but the one piece that I fell in love with in the Spring/Summer collection was the Krissy tee. Linen, it gets me every time. The Krissy tee was available in a few different color options but when I saw the stripes, I was sold. The drape on this tee is so perfect and the top itself is so versatile. I've styled it with jeans or shorts and sandals; but I've also layered it over a dress and it worked just as well!   

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El fin:

I love love love Two Fold and everything they stand for! Sustainability, ethical production, and women helping women I honestly can't think of anything better to support.

I hope you'll check them out and fall in love with their pieces! 

You can shop Two Fold here.

Note: I was not compensated for this post, I just believe in this brand. All thoughts, opinions, and photos are my own. Thank you guys for reading and helping to spread the word about ethical fashion!

Baring it all in bamboo // White Rabbit

 Photos by Seleste Paige

Photos by Seleste Paige

I've been on the hunt for this for a long time. A bra and underwear that look great and have ethical production behind them. I've been following White Rabbit for a while now, and when they reached out to me about this collaboration, I'd be lying if I said I didn't fan girl just a little. ;)

The brand: 

White Rabbit began with one big question: "In a world where we care so much about what goes into our food, our bodies, our clothes, how is it that no one paid attention to how our underwear is made?" (from White Rabbit's About Us page)

Since the beginning their mission has been simple, to produce quality underwear in an ethical and sustainable way. They've stayed true to their mission and have created, in my opinion, some of the most comfortable underwear I've ever worn. Their pieces are made in a family owned factory that employs women, pays fair wages and offers numerous other benefits. By choosing to use a bamboo rayon fabric for most of their pieces, the brand is also doing its part to limit its environmental impact. Bamboo is considered one of the most sustainable plants because it grows fast and requires little water. Its breathability also makes it a great choice for underwear! White Rabbit holds high standards from the very beginning, which can be seen here where they talk about choosing to work with a knitter that also follows strict ethical guidelines.

We work with an eco-friendly knitter that is OEKE-Tex certified and follows ISO-9000 and ISO-14001 manufacturing practices (international safety, reliability, quality and most importantly, environmental standards for products and services), and uses new 3-4 year old bamboo trees from the Yunnan province in China. 
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Their commitment to sustainability also shows in their packaging. When I received my pieces, there was only one plastic bag and the rest was recyclable paper packaging. This choice is not by accident and I love that they've considered all aspects of business when it comes to their environmental impact.

The bra/underwear:

And now to the best part.. the actual pieces. I'll be the first to admit that I am INCREDIBLY picky when it comes to my underwear. I do not like "traditional" bras and at this point will pretty much only wear something if it more resembles a bralette. Second part of that though, I still like them to have hooks in the back and not be pullovers. I know, I warned you..I'm picky. Now the fabric.. I like my bras and underwear to do what they're supposed to do but in a way that I forget I'm even wearing them. Well guys let me tell ya.. these pieces did it all for me.

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The bra:

I decided to go with the Ann bralette and I'm so glad I did. It has the perfect amount of support for me, while still being incredibly comfortable. It also has removable liner pads which can be added or removed depending on what you're looking for. Also, let's not forget about that gorgeous lace detail! Ugh so good!

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The underwear: 

I went with the Carmine high-rise because I love high rise anything and I was not disappointed! They are so soft and so comfortable. The lace waist band has a bit of stretch to it which also makes them even more comfortable. 

Both of these have held true to my "forget I'm wearing them" rule. They honestly have been so comfortable for me. In deciding what sizes to get, I followed the sizing chart but also read some of the reviews. I ended up with a M in the bralette and a S in the underwear. The sizing guide for the underwear recommended to go up, if you were in between sizes so I followed that and they fit perfectly. Even though the sizing guide said I should be a S, based on the reviews I went ahead and sized up in this one too. For me, it was definitely the right choice in fit! The great thing is that White Rabbit stands so confidently behind its pieces that even if you end up with a size that doesn't work, they're gonna do their best to get you the right one.   

El fin:

In conclusion, I love everything about my White Rabbit pieces! Something else that's really great and unique about the brand is they offer a try-on program if you live in the US. So basically, you can order pieces to try them on and wear them around to really find out what they're gonna feel like and if they just don't work for you then you can send them back! I love this idea not only because it allows you to have pieces you really love but in the end it also limits waste because you don't end up with pieces that you can't return and are never going to wear. 

White Rabbit really is such a dream! I hope you check them out and fall in love too!

Shop new undies here!

Note: Thank you, White Rabbit, for gifting me this bra and underwear to review for this post. I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts, opinions, and photos are my own. Thank you for reading and helping spread the word about ethical fashion!

Skipped Spring and headed straight to Summer // My top 5 Summer Essentials

 Photo by Seleste Paige

Photo by Seleste Paige

Welp, this blog post was supposed to be about all my favorite springtime essentials, but since we basically skipped over Spring and jumped right into Summer this is now a post about all my summer essentials. Also, for me, the only things that really change between Spring and Summer in my wardrobe is the addition of light layers for cooler mornings and evenings during springtime. 

One: SHORTS!

For most of my teenage years and early twenties I would have one pair of shorts and they were always denim. As I've dared to venture out more, I've come to appreciate other types of shorts and how they can not only be comfortable but also taken from day to night really easily.

 Photos by Seleste Paige

Photos by Seleste Paige

I've had this pair of denim Citizens of Humanity shorts for a couple years now, and they are still in PERFECT condition. I'm pretty picky about the length of my shorts, and typically lean towards shorts with more length. These are so perfect and are just so comfortable. They are pretty casual to me, so I usually keep them styled that way. With either just a tee or tank top and some flat sandals, they're great to  run around in or spend a day adventuring in. 

Similar: The Cut Off short from ABLE- shop it here

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These Elizabeth Suzann shorts are my first pair of "adventurous" shorts. Haha! I call them adventurous simply because I've never owned anything like them but honestly I wish I would've had them my entire life! The silk crepe is so light and breezy, making them perfect for hot summer days. I've worn them dressed down with a basic tee and flat sandals, but they're also perfect with a wedge and a blouse for the summer nights out!

You can shop the Florence short here

SIMILAR: Jamie and the Jones A Line Shorts, shop here 

Two: SANDALS!

I'm a firm believe in a few really good pairs of sandals and I also believe that if a shoe works, you can own it in multiple colors. Sandals are everything for me, so I love having a couple pairs of flat ones and one good wedge to dress things up. 

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A couple years ago I bought the Isla sandal from Nisolo in black and last year when the time came around for their summer sample sale, I grabbed the beige color. I had already gotten so much wear out of my black ones that I knew having the beige ones they would get worn just as much...and they have! 

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The other flat sandal that's been a wardrobe staple for me is the Serena sandal, also from Nisolo. The ankle strap is so cute and with the small wedge heel, they dress them up just a little. 

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Now onto the wedge! One more favorite, from Nisolo the Sarita sandal is so easy to wear and so comfortable!

Shop them here: Isla sandal, Serena sandal, Sarita sandal

Three: LINEN SHIRT!

Linen, linen, linen, linen! If you've been following along for some time you already know about my obsession with linen. If you haven't been, it won't take long to learn about it. I love it for so many reasons. It's one of the most sustainable fabrics, its light for the hot summer months, and its also so easy to layer during colder months. I purchased this particular shirt from EMLEE Design a couple years ago, but there are so many options when it comes to a simple linen shirt. 

Similar: Meryl top from EMLEE- shop it here , The Simple Shirt from Aurorei- shop it here

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Four: BLACK DRESS!

This one isn't necessarily just a Spring/Summer staple for me, it's pretty much year-round. I hunted for years and years to find the perfect one for me and Elizabeth Suzann did it again. The silk crepe makes this one so easy again to dress up or down. I love the midi length and how it is reversible. I'm wearing the Marlena midi dress which has been discontinued, but super similar is the Ella slip dress.

Similar: The Ella slip dress, shop it here 

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Five: BASIC TEE

This is another one that I consider a year round essential, but especially during the summer! Most days, it's so hot that all I feel like doing is throwing on something easy and walking out the door. Basic tees are perfect for EVERYTHING. I layer them over dresses, under jumpsuits, or throw them on with shorts, jeans, or a skirt! So many options! This tee is a couple years old from LACAUSA, but this Dream tee is very similar. Shop it here

Similar: The Jane tee from ESBY- shop it here , The Girlfriend tee from Cloth Shop- shop it here                  

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El fin:

Figuring out what I actually needed during the Summer really helped me to slim down my closet. I realized I was hanging on to so much stuff "just in case" and was actually never wearing it.

What are some of your favorite summer pieces? Also, if you have any of the pieces I talk about in the post I'd love to hear what you  think about them!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe in. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials.

Feelin' real fine in my recycled fabrics // Fauxgerty

 All photos by  Seleste Paige  

All photos by Seleste Paige 

In the past couple of years, I've really taken a step away from prints and a lot of color but when I saw this dress it was everything I wanted. For about the last year, I've had a floral dress on my list of pieces to add to my closet but I hadn't found anything that seemed right yet. This dress with its muted green and simple florals has quickly become one of my favorite things to wear. I've been able to wear it a few different ways which of course adds to my love for it. Anything that can be styled in multiple ways is a sure win in my book. 

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About the brand:

Fauxgerty was founded in 2013 by Chrissy Fogerty with the mission to create pieces that could be worn to a formal event or just while hanging out on the weekend. The materials of all their garments are up-cycled in efforts to keep these beautiful fabrics out of the landfill. All pieces are made from "pre-loved vintage fabrics, innovative faux leathers and suedes and sustainable fabrics, like hemp and fair trade, organic cotton." (Fauxgerty About Us page on website). I can't say this any better myself so here is a snap from the website on the sewers and factories:

All of our pieces are produced in Saint Louis and Los Angeles. Our sewers in Saint Louis work closely with our team, creating a close and collaborative work environment. The sewers are paid 36% over the regional average because we believe in the impact of their work and value it. In Los Angeles, we support a vertically-integrated factory that is dedicated to sustainable practices and fair pay.

From the pieces themselves to the packaging they arrive in, mindfulness and sustainability is at the forefront of all decisions. 

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The dress:

I've loved experimenting with this dress and I've been able to wear it a few different ways. As a dress with flat sandals, it was perfect for a day date and just hanging out. As a dress with wedges, it was elevated and perfect for a night out or a special event. Lastly, by now you probably know that my love for jeans is real so when I wore this as a sort of over layer it took my love for this piece to a whole new level. I paired it with just a solid tank underneath and my Nisolo wedges. With this look I think a flat sandal could also work if you wanted to keep it even more casual. 

El fin:

Fauxgerty has created an incredible brand dedicated to mindfulness and conscious consumerism. Check them out here , you won't regret it!

Fixing those tired old soles // Peabody Shoe Repair

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As part of my slow fashion journey, I’ve committed to purchasing ethically made clothing but I’ve also started learning more about the ways that I can take care of the things I already have. I realized the need for a shift in perspective when my favorite pair of booties were wearing thin and the first thought I had was to throw them out. Suddenly I thought, why would I throw these away when I love them so much? My next thought was okay now I’ve gotta get these fixed. I had already heard some really great things about Peabody Shoe Repair, so I decided to go for it and now I can’t believe it took me so long to go see them. After connecting with Katie on Instagram, I was thoroughly shocked at how much more they can do there than just fixing the soles on your shoes.

What can they do?

Shortening purse straps

This can be helpful for us shorter women. By shortening the straps, you can have the purse that you love no matter what the length is.

Shoe stretching

The struggle is real when it comes to breaking in your shoes sometimes. Depending on the leather/shoe, sometimes it can take more than a handful of wear to get your new shoes to a place where they feel good. Shoe stretching helps alleviate those painful blisters and makes your new favorite shoes easier to wear.

Adding holes to belts and purses

My size can fluctuate a bit so having the ability to add holes to belts sounds ideal. Instead of having to buy a new belt for those “off days”, I can just add to my current one and get even more wear out of it.

Replacing heels and soles of shoes

This is part of what I actually had done and it is truly incredible how it can bring your shoes back to life. The soles on my booties were so worn down that it felt like I was just walking on the ground. After fixing the soles, they feel good to walk in again and I’m sure I’ll get another few years of wear out of them. On these particular booties, they were also able to patch the heels where parts had chipped off. 

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Replacing zippers

Peabody can also replace zippers which is amazing because I remember the days of thinking that once a zipper was done it was time to say goodbye.

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Last but not least...

Weather proofing is one more thing that can be done to ensure the safety of your favorite shoes. These Nisolo boots are my favorite, but I was finding it hard to wear them with the unpredictable Nashville weather. Now, I can feel much better about wearing them rain or shine. 

Repair or replace?

For me, this has become a common question, do I repair it or replace it? Whether it's a shirt, a pair of shoes, or a pair of jeans I've been asking the same thing of all of them. It's come down to two main ideas for me; is it worth the investment? Am I going to continue wearing it? In the case of my booties, I wear them just about everyday during the winter and I absolutely love them. And the cost to repair vs. the cost to replace was slightly less but then I also thought of it in terms of limiting waste. If I use what I have and don't invest in creating something new, that's one less item that has to be produced. When I come across pieces that are damaged but I don't really wear anyways, I've begun to recognize I no longer need them and they should go to someone who can get better use out of them. Again, a way of limiting waste and giving things new life! 

If you’re in Nashville, Peabody Shoe Repair is such a dream! I had the best experience there and everyone was so helpful. Their prices are fair and they do quality work. I’ve loved getting to learn about how I can love my things even more. If you're not in Nashville, Yelp can be a great resource to look for your nearest shoe repair shop.

Note: Thank you, Peabody, for the discounted shoe repair for this post. I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts, opinions, and photos are my own. Thank you for reading and helping spread the word about ethical fashion and sustainability!

A time for change // Fashion Revolution Week 2018

When did Fashion Revolution begin?

On 24 April 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed. 1,138 people died and another 2,500 were injured, making it the fourth largest industrial disaster in history.
That’s when Fashion Revolution was born.
There were five garment factories in Rana Plaza all manufacturing clothing for big global brands. The victims were mostly young women. - except from Fashion Revolution website, www.fashionrevolution.org
  Rana Plaza Factory - Bangladesh April 24, 2013. Image : Fashion Revolution

Rana Plaza Factory - Bangladesh April 24, 2013. Image : Fashion Revolution

What is Fashion Revolution?

Since the tragedy in Rana Plaza people all over the world have joined together to create change that will prevent tragedies like this happening again. Consumers have become more demanding of transparency with manufacturers as to where our clothes comes from. Asking #whomademyclothes has put the responsibility back on major fashion brands to ensure that they're producing their clothes in the best possible way. What does the factory look like? What are the ages of people working? What processes and materials are being used? All of these questions are once again holding brands accountable for the clothes that they're selling. The mission of the movement is not to shut down all big brand retailers, it's not to shut down all the factories. The mission being fought for is to educate and bring awareness to the things that are behind the scenes; so that through education, changes can be made. 

How can I make a difference?

The first way to participate in Fashion Revolution week is to ask the simple question, Who made my clothes? The hashtag #whomademyclothes trends year round as people want to learn more about the clothes they're getting from retailers. Social media has become such a powerful platform for this movement and by calling these brands to action, we're seeing results. In March 2018, it was found by Fashion Revolution that 152 brands are now disclosing at least some of the facilities that make their clothes! This is huge!

During the week of April 23-29, 2018 events are also being held in numerous cities around the country to educate and connect people who want to change fashion. Below is a link to the events page where you can participate in things like panel discussions, open studios, and meet ups. 

Fashion Revolution Week- USA Events 

If you're not in the US, by visiting fashionrevolution.org/events you can search by country to see a list of different events around the world. 

The time is now

Fashion Revolution Week is such an inspiring week for me. I love connecting with everyone who is working towards this mission, learning more, and also spreading knowledge about ethical fashion. In just five years, there have already been so many changes made for the better and I know it's only going to get better!

I hope you join me in this special week!

RiverBlue

I recently watched the documentary RiverBlue and wow you guys, there was so much great information. As promised, I wanted to highlight some of the things I took away from the film. I would highly recommend watching it!

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Have you ever wondered where all the dye from our clothing ends up during production? Have you wondered what kind of precautions factory workers take when handling these toxic dyes day after day? What about how much water it takes to produce a pair of jeans?

A lot of these things I had heard a little about already but to actually see it on film, really puts it all into perspective.

  • Environmental Impact: The dyes from denim enter waterways all over the world , with little action taken to prevent pollution. It is said that in China you can predict the 'it' color of the season by looking at the water! Isn't that crazy!? To think that the amount of dye is so significant that it can turn entire rivers a different color.
  • Factory Conditions: Factory workers who are constantly exposed to these toxic dyes are given little protection from their harmful effects. Gloves, masks, and protective suits are not given importance. In some of the factories shown in the film, shoes are not even required. Can you imagine? All day long people are not only inhaling fumes but they are in constant contact with the toxins until they go home and do it all again the next day.
  • Water Usage: Xintang, China, is now the jeans capital of the world. 300 million pairs of jeans are produced each year, which accounts for ⅓ of the worlds’ supply. One pair of Levi’s 501 jeans uses 920 gallons of water and 32 kilograms of carbon dioxide. These amounts are respectively equal to running a garden hose for 106 minutes and driving 78 miles. In a year, one large fashion brand uses the equivalent of water in 43,000 Olympic sized swimming pools. The textile industry uses 3.2% of all water available to the human race.
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At this point you might be thinking, can we do anything to change this!? And the answer is ABSOLUTELY! 

The following brands are discovering new ways to produce denim and introducing new ideas to the denim world to cut down on toxic chemicals and waste. 

ITEL uses chitosan (exoskeleton of shellfish crushed into a fine powder) to help with the dyeability of their denim as opposed to traditional chemical techniques. ITEL also uses a water recycling technique that cuts down on their water consumption as well as recapturing steam to produce their own power. 

Jeanologia uses oxygen from the air to give denim the stone washed look that would traditionally be accomplished with water and chemicals. 

Other brands working to make ethical denim that weren't mentioned in the film include: Father's Daughter and ABLE.

Quotes from the film:

"Big brands and big retailers have been able to outsource their production and therefore they think they’ve outsourced their responsibility." -Riverblue documentary
"If I’m an environmentalist I can’t say I care only about the rivers of Bangladesh I have to care about the rivers of the world." -Sunita Narain

This was such an incredible film and so well put together. There was so much more information aside from just these facts but I wanted to just highlight the top 3 things I found most surprising! I hope you get a chance to watch it also!