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!

 

 

Spring 10x10 Recap

 All photos by: Seleste Paige Photography

All photos by: Seleste Paige Photography

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My Spring 10x10 pieces:

  1. Linenstitch joggers
  2. Old Citizens of Humanity jeans
  3. Old Citizens of Humanity black jeans
  4. Elizabeth Suzann vented shell tank
  5. Jamie + the Jones T top
  6. Vetta oversized sweater
  7. Jamie + the Jones heavyweight T sweater
  8. Elizabeth Suzann knit tank
  9. Old Dankso clogs
  10. Fortress of Inca Adra flat
  11. Nisolo Mariella mule 

Welp, the Spring 10x10 challenge is officially over and I ended up making it an 11x10 because I needed another sweater on one of the days that is got unexpectedly cold. Although I didn't feel like I was super creative with my outfits, I did learn a few things. 

1. Less is More- At first, the idea of only having 10 pieces to pick from seems like a daunting task. I realized during the last week and a half though that I really didn't miss many of my other pieces of clothes. I picked my favorites from my closet because I knew the weather was going to be challenging. With the exception of a few pieces, I now feel like the majority of my closet is just extra. 

2. Simplicity is for me- All of the pieces I chose for my 10x10 were very simple and versatile. For me, sticking to neutrals makes things so easy and effortless.  

3. Layers, layers, layers- When limited to just 10 pieces I found that my creativity really comes from experimenting with layers. Sweaters over shirts, shirts over shirts, sweaters over tanks. It seems like I would've tried all of these things before, but it just showed me that with too many options, it limits my creativity and leaves me always reaching for something new. 

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Even though the weather proved to be a little tricky and I ended up repeating two outfits, I think it was a successful challenge. I learned things, had fun, and connected with some great people! What more could I ask for!? 

Did you do the Spring 10x10? If so, how did it go for you? If not, do you think you'll try next time? Comment below and I'd love to talk about it!

It's time to celebrate... my one year blogiversary!

 All photos by: Seleste Paige Photography // Taking a trip down memory lane with these photos. I'm sharing one from each shoot we did last year. 

All photos by: Seleste Paige Photography // Taking a trip down memory lane with these photos. I'm sharing one from each shoot we did last year. 

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"Follow your dreams, believe in yourself and don't give up." -Rachel Corrie

Wow, how has a whole year already gone by!? It's been such a whirlwind, and it feels like just yesterday I dreamt up this idea for The Purposeful Closet. I've learned so much about myself, blogging, and the world in the past year and y'all are such a big part of that. So after this crazy adventure of a year, this is my thank you to you:

Thank you to everyone who has followed along on this journey. I love connecting with and learning from each and every one of you.

Thank you to all of the brands that I've been so fortunate to work with and feature so far. You are true champions and paving the way for a better world.

Thank you for always being so kind and encouraging.

And thank you for allowing me to follow this passion of mine. None of this would be possible without you all and I am so thankful to call this my job. 

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I can't wait to see where we go this year, but I've already got some big plans! I'll be adding more beauty, home decor, and zero waste ideas to the blog and of course continuing to feature new clothing brands! This sustainable lifestyle includes so much more than just clothes for me and I want to share all of it with y'all! 

So much love for all of you! <3

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My favorite fabric, my favorite pant // Linenstitch

 All photos by:  Seleste Paige Photography

If you've been following along for some time now, you know all about my love for linen. Not only is it one of the most sustainable fabrics, but it's so easy to wear. It's breathable and light in the summer, but still easy to layer up during the winter. Now just imagine an entire brand built around this magical fabric and you have Linenstitch.

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The idea for Linenstich came from founder, Lauren, in late 2016. After realizing the less than ideal quality of her fast fashion purchases, and reading numerous articles about the harmful effects of synthetic materials; Lauren knew she wanted to make a change. She wanted to create high-quality, timeless pieces from materials that were not going to harm people or the environment.

She spent the next year working to create pieces that she couldn't find from other slow fashion brands and provide them at the best price. Linenstitch launched their products in February 2018  and I'm so glad they did! With only a handful of pieces created at an ethical partner factory in Korea, these pieces are minimalism done right!

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One thing I had been missing in my closet was a good pair of joggers. Denim is definitely my go-to bottom but I've really been trying to change it up a little and these black joggers looked like the perfect addition! Made of a linen, tencel blend they are so light and comfortable.

I love how I've been able to style them in so many different ways too. With a wrap top and some heeled mules they were perfect for a date night. I added a simple striped tee and some sandals for a casual day running errands. Lastly, I paired them with my Jamie+ the Jones tee top and flat mules for a casual but dressed up look! In the month since I got these joggers, I've worn them at least twice a week and they are definitely replacing jeans as my new go-to.

You can shop these joggers and other incredible pieces here ! BONUS- you can use code 'andrea10' to receive 10% off your purchase. I hope you check out Linenstitch and I'd love to hear what you think!

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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 will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials.

Shoes tell a story too // Fortress of Inca

 All photos by:  Seleste Paige Photography

Oddly enough, before making the switch to slow fashion I didn't think much about shoes. They were just something I wore and I probably had max 4 pairs of shoes. Maybe it's the fact that now I know each pair has a story and great talent behind them, I don't know, but I have a new appreciation for them and the work that goes into making each pair. 

 Pictured: the Adra

Pictured: the Adra

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Fortress of Inca began after founder, Evan Streusand, was inspired by Peruvian boots during a trip to South America. He wanted to bring the unique designs and incredible craftsmanship to the United States and brought them to Austin, TX in 2004. All shoes are handmade by fairly paid artisans in small factories that are either family owned or owned by women. Fortress of Inca ensures that working conditions are safe and the people who make your shoes are being paid fairly, because the lives of people are just as important as the finished product! 

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This is my first pair of shoes from Fortress of Inca and I can already tell they won't be my last. They are so comfortable and perfect, I just don't want to take them off. When I was shopping for a new flat, I wanted to add something unlike anything else in my closet and these were perfect to fill that void. The leather stretched in the best way and after just a handful of wears have a perfect worn in feel. The steel gray is sold down in most sizes and the caramel and black are going fast, but you can still shop them online. I can't wait to visit their brick + mortar next time I'm back home in Austin and I know they're going to have some new styles coming soon!

They were so nice to also offer up a little bonus for y'all! You can use the code 'PURPOSEFUL15' at checkout and receive 15% off your purchase on their website

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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!
 

Telling time just got so much prettier // Berg + Betts

 All photos by:  Seleste Paige Photography
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I'd been thinking about getting a watch for a while, because I really wanted to create some distance between me and my phone but needed it constantly to know what time it was. When Berg + Betts reached out to me, it seemed so perfectly serendipitous. I needed a watch, theirs are beautiful, AND they're ethically made... it was meant to be!

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I had no idea how much waste is created in the watch making process, it just wasn't something I had given much thought but once I dug in, I knew Berg + Betts is really doing something speical. They create their watchbands from leather cutoffs that would otherwise go to waste. These pieces come from shoes, bags, you name it; and because you only need such a small piece of material to make a watchband the scraps are more than enough. 

The second step is the actual watch parts themselves. The watches are all assembled in Canada from watch parts that are ethically made in the city of Dongguan, which is about 47 miles from Hong Kong. The suppliers are also carefully chosen based on their commitment to ethical standards and are members of SEDEX. SEDEX is a not for profit organization that drives improvements in responsible and ethical business practices worldwide. Being a member of SEDEX means that suppliers are regularly audited on labor standards, health and safety, environment, compensation and business ethics. Their goal is to create and maintain healthy and happy workplaces! Wow, music to my ears!

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I went with the blush and rose gold combo. I'm a HUUUUGGEEE fan of rose gold and blush isn't a color that I typically wear but I love it and decided to venture out a little! When I first opened the box, I screamed just a little because I was so in love with it. You can just tell that the quality is impeccable and a great amount of time went into it. 

I hope you check out Berg + Betts and fall in love with their watches and their mission like I did. And if you do, as an added bonus they were so nice to offer a discount code! You can use the code THEPURPOSEFULCLOSET for 20% off your order!

Note: Thank you, Berg + Betts, for gifting me this watch to review for this post. I was not compensated for this post. Thank you for reading and helping spread the word about ethical fashion!

Making all my sweater dreams come true // Vetta

 All photos by:  Seleste Paige Photography

If you've been following along on Instagram this winter, then you know how much wear this sweater has gotten and how obsessed I am with it. I love how warm it is. I love that it's reversible. I love that it has a turtleneck and BONUS it's removable. Basically, I love everything about it. What I love above all of this though is the brand behind it, Vetta. Their commitment to ethical and sustainable standards is key in their production and it shows in their clothes. 

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Vetta is a brand built on the idea of a few pieces that can be worn many different ways. Their mini capsule wardrobes are composed of five pieces that can be worn various ways to create a MONTH'S worth of outfits. Thats right, a MONTH! Their clothing is made in a family run factory in NYC and their sweaters are knitted at a partner factory in Los Angeles. Both factories are visited often and audited to ensure best practices. All of their fabric is either deadstock (leftover fabric saved from the landfill) or sustainable. The fabric that isn't deadstock is mostly tencel (which is made from sustainably harvested wood pulp).. sooo cool, am I right!? BONUS all of the buttons and elastic they use are also deadstock! 

Vetta has really thought about sustainability in all aspects of their business because they've even committed to 100% recycled packaging. 

 

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This sweater was my first purchase from Vetta and I know there will be more to come. Getting ready is so easy when I know I have a piece that I not only love but can wear in so many different ways. So now let's talk about all the ways I've worn this sweater...

  1. With the turtleneck attached and buttons in the back
  2. Remove the turtleneck and buttons in the back
  3. Remove the turtleneck and buttons in the front 
  4. And lastly I've worn it open as a cardigan 
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I hope you check out Vetta and fall in love with them like I have! I'm already counting down to their next capsule release!

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!

You won't TIRE of these pieces but they are made from TIRES// Chic Made Consciously

 All Photos by:  Seleste Paige Photography

I've ooh'ed and ahh'ed over jewelry and accessories from as early as I can remember. Leather bags, gold cuffs, silver rings, I love them all! But what if there were pieces made just as beautifully out of inner tubes from tires!? Well, it's been done and these pieces are swoon worthy! Chic Made Consciously works with local artisans and makers in Bali to create these gorgeous pieces from tires! 

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Chic Made Consciously was started in 2015 by founder Cassandra Ciarallo with a desire to create pieces that are timeless and sustainable, while honoring the people who make them and the places they come from. After a trip to Bali in 2014, Cassandra met a local artisan who was creating accessories from repurposed tire inner tubes. She was fortunate to get some time to work with the pieces herself and fell in love. The repurposing of tires came from a hope to keep them out of the landfills, where they often pollute the island and waterways. Chic Made Consciously works with local artisans to fight the fast fashion mass production and instead create pieces that are upcycled and made to last. 

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When Chic Made Consciously first reached out to me I was so intrigued by all of their pieces; being that they're made from inner tubes they have an automatic individuality but each design is also so interesting. I was immediately drawn to the twist bracelet. I love the simplicity of it and I know I can wear it for years to come, plus even stack it with other bracelets! I also LOVED the fact that they come in different sizes! I typically have a hard time wearing bracelets because they always slip right off, but this one is perfect!

Head on over over to Chic Made Consciously and check out their pieces for yourself! I hope you fall in love, just like I did!

 

 

Running around in ECOALF

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For the better part of 6 months, I've been looking for an ethical alternative to my falling apart running shoes. With all the resources out there, I thought it would be easy. Now don't get me wrong I found quite a few options for lifestyle sneakers, but none that were going to give me the support I needed while running. And then I found ECOALF! Ecoalf was founded in 2009 after president Javier Goyeneche became increasingly frustrated with the excessive use of the world's natural resources and the amount of waste being produced by industrialized countries. He wanted to create a brand made of entirely recycled materials with the same quality as any other products out there; in order to "show that there is no need to use our world's natural resources in a careless way."

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All of ECOALF's products are made from recycled materials such as; plastic bottles, cotton, fishing nets, tires, and wool. The results are incredible! They've done the math and figured out that by simply recycling plastic bottles they save 20% of waste water, 50% of energy, and 60% of air pollution! 

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The running shoes feel just like any other pair I've bought in the past, but the biggest difference is I know I'm wearing something that was thoughtfully crafted as a way to help the environment. I was a little nervous about shipping time, with their headquarters being in Spain, but I received these shoes in a week! As far as sizing, I typically wear a 7.5 in shoes and like to get a half size up in running shoes, so I ordered a 38. They're perfect! 

If you're in the market for a new pair of running shoes, check out ECOALF "because there is no planet B."