Working Sustainable Fashion

Working Sustainable Fashion

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Nowadays there is a surplus of fashion brands for consumers to choose from, especially with the international market and social media constantly presenting them to us. Most people would assume this makes shopping easier as fashion has become more accessible with quicker ways to get what we want. On the other hand, shopping only among sustainable and ethical brands has made selecting pieces for my closet easier. Allowing myself to shop from the endless list of brands, I would become overwhelmed by all the available options. For example, I often had a difficult time sifting through all the existing brands to find the right piece.

As a way to deflect that, years ago I began thrifting as a fun way to discover unique and affordable pieces for my wardrobe. This hobby turned into habit, and after realizing the effect clothes have on the environment being the 2nd leading pollutant in the world, I have come to appreciate thrifting even more. It’s the most sustainable way of purchasing clothes as an everyday consumer.

Of course the other viable and ideal option is supporting brands that have conscious efforts in place whether it is being animal-free, incorporating environmentally friendly practices, or providing fair wages and healthy working conditions for their employees. As I run an eco-conscious vegan fashion blog, I diligently research and make efforts to be aware of all the ethical and sustainable brands out there. It’s become a must to support and showcase these brands on my blog to always provide you all with the best possible options.

 

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Burberry is claimed to be one of the first to have created the trench coat in the late 1870’s. The brand has since become a household name in fashion, and trench coats a staple fashion piece. Trench coats are the perfect transitional coat from fall into the coldest months of the year. Here, I’m wearing one by Reformation, a brand I respect for their active efforts as an eco-conscious label.

 

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The dream shoe is made out of recycled plastic bottles and named after my favorite writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson. These babies remind me of my tap dancing days (yes, I wore a leotard and tap-tap-tapped away in my shiny black shoes). When I initially committed to this lifestyle, I found that looking for vegan-friendly and eco-friendly shoes was to me the most difficult wardrobe item to shop for, given my shoe obsession and the limited selection of them coming into this lifestyle. There are indeed a lot of options now for vegan shoes, but most of these brands that carry vegan options may not follow eco-friendly nor ethical practices. Then earlier this year, Susi Studio launched and assuaged my shoe needs and melted away my wardrobe worries. On top of being a brand that has beautiful and well-designed shoes, their consciousness for the environment and the workers makes them an all-around brand.

 

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Photos taken by my best, Kathleen Carla.

Details*: Reformation Trench Coat || Reformation Shirt (old) || Ripped Black Denim (old) || Susi Studio Emerson Shoes || Vegan Suede Choker borrowed from Kathleen.

*100% Vegan. 100% Cruelty-free.

xx,

Joan

For The Rhinos

For The Rhinos

A few days ago, I bounced around San Francisco in ripped denim and a cozy sweater – my go-to look for extra comfort. Before heading to dinner around the area, we caught the gorgeous sunset.

The burst of colors that vibrantly bleed across the dimming sky relays an instant release of calming emotions. Also an indication that darkness will fall, this is the time for me when inspiration cascades and an overwhelming flow of ideas fill up my head. Sunsets are the beginning of that.

Night Owl

Sunsets and dusk, represent to me a stillness before dark. The end of our busy days transpire with the early stages of a sky to be painted in darkness. We stall the beauty of our thoughts, waiting and meditating until night-time settles.

Djuna Shay is a brand run by an innovative and driven mother-daughter duo that specializes in creating textile designs for vegan clothing. Together, they hope to make waves in the fashion industry to promote change through beautiful artwork displayed on cruelty-free clothes.

As a part of their brand, they created a collection called, ‘The Lonely One’s’ Club, with each design to support a cause that advodates for different endangered species.

Poached for their horns, Javan rhinos are the most threatened out of the five Rhino species. Sixty of them remain at Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia. For the Javan rhinos, Djuna Shay created this ‘Not Your Horn’ sweater to bring awareness and provide donations to fight for their survival.

15% of the proceeds from this sweater will go to the International Rhino Foundation. Visit Djuna Shay to purchase and support.

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X,

Joan

Into the Redwoods

Into the Redwoods

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I grew up in Northern California, where Redwood trees grow in every corner. In national parks around the area, the experience is full on; you will find a serene and beautiful site with endless green scenery as you breathe in fresh mountain air. Often we take for granted our home, and as I am about to leave the place I grew up in, I am beginning to reminisce the wonderment it has to offer – a region renowned for its promising nature scenes.

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My entire outfit is made up of pieces that are old, thrifted, or from ethical companies. This year, I’ve made a commitment to rid of my careless shopping habit by solely purchasing pieces I know I will wear multiple times, while selecting a majority from ethical and sustainable brands.

It is definitely fall, but here in Northern California the weather never quite goes below 50 degrees for the most part. This particular day, the weather was in the 70’s therefore I was able to get away with wearing these thrifted high-waisted shorts. I paired them with this lovely ‘Moon Phases Peyton’ top by Synergy Clothing.*

This brand has been around for nearly two decades, built on their dedication to create ethical and sustainable clothing. Being environmentally and ethically conscious is an automatic sell in my book. Through the founder, Kate’s travel journeys to Nepal and India, she was able to connect with the very people who were making and sewing clothes for a living. Most of these women were at these jobs barely making ends meet, with no other options to make a sustainable living. Big businesses who outsource their products, give little thought to the lives of these workers, which can lead to uncomfortable and often times dire circumstances for them. It was here, very early on where she realized how important it was, and how much of an impact it had to provide a specific attentiveness to the workers who would go on to create clothes for Synergy Clothing. This set the foundation for her brand to be one that is thoughtful of each step and process of creating a clothing line with the planet and the people in mind.

*Please note that they aren’t vegan as they carry some wool pieces. However, a majority of their clothing is made from organic, responsibly sourced cotton. 🙂

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Details*: Synergy Top || BHAVA Belt || PACT Knee Socks ||Urban Outfitters Maxi Cardigan (old) || Thrifted Denim Shorts || Urban Outfitters Booties (old)

*All vegan. 100% cruelty-free.

X,
Joan

My Fall Uniform

My Fall Uniform

Most days of the week I keep it simple because it’s more time and thought I can give myself for other important things throughout my day. With today’s post, I would say each piece that makes up my outfit can be a staple in most people’s wardrobe: a white button down shirt, a waist belt, high waisted denim, and black booties. It’s an easy combination to throw on when you don’t have the desire to waste any ounce of energy that day picking out an outfit, allowing your morning routine to run more smoothly. Understanding what outfit works for you aka your uniform will do wonders with sustainability and keeping your wardrobe minimal, and less overwhelming.

 

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As a recovering shopaholic, I have been getting better and better at extending my sustainable practices to purchasing items from brands that prioritize and practice earth-friendly techniques and ethical principles. Two brands featured here include, Bhava and Will’s Vegan Shoes, both are companies that focus on producing conscious footwear and accessories, advocating a life that supports no harm to animals and humans.

I’m wearing the Cork Waist belt by BHAVA. They are definitely all around when it comes to sustainable and ethical fashion, keeping the planet, the animals, the workers, and the consumers in mind. You can learn more about their cause and principles here.

 

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Wills Vegan Shoes is another wonderful brand with beautifully designed shoes from sneakers to booties. Their priority is ethics, as they create shoes that are animal-friendly while being fair and doing right by the humans who make them. Their entire line is also designed to be wearable all year-round. Way to go for sustainability.

 

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Photos snapped by my dearest, Kathleen. iphone 7.

Outfit Details*: Free People Shirt (similar here) || BHAVA Cork Waist Belt || J Brand High-waisted Denim || Will’s Vegan Shoes Boots

*100% Vegan. 100% cruelty-free.

xx,

Joan

Animal-friendly Winter Coat Wishlist 2016

Animal-friendly Winter Coat Wishlist 2016

It’s that time of year when people pull out their wool coats and fur lined down parkas.

I’ve seen a few people sporting their Canada Goose jackets around the streets of New York City and I can’t help but feel horrified every time. Fur and animal skin has been something that has always left me feeling uneasy. The thought of wearing the skin and fur of another animal is invasive and sickening to me. As humans we’ve evolved into compassionate and emotionally intelligent beings and I think it’s detrimental to waive these innate human behaviors. To deflect this and encourage others to dress cruelty-free, I’ve picked out a few stylish alternative pieces and brands that I’ve been eyeing – some are a bit pricey so be warned.*

*Disclaimer: As I do not support stores such as Forever21, Zara and Top Shop, their brands will be omitted from this post. If you want affordable jackets (under $100), please, please thrift! Thrifting is more creative and fun, while you get to discover unique pieces, and all at good deals. Just be sure to check the tag. If you’ve been vegan for a while, you’re already an expert.

Faux Fur

Fur on clothing is nasty. Fur on clothing is cruel. Fur does not belong on the human body. Fur is only beautiful if it is on the back of the animal it belongs. Fur is not sustainable, no matter the claims.

The Edith Coat by Shrimps

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Leopard Faux Fur Coat by Urban Outfitters40220725_029_b

Fur Free Fur Dan Coat by Stella McCartney
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Cropped Plush Fur Jacket by Free People
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Erin Faux Fur Jacket  by Nasty Gal

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Vegan Leather/ Suede

Vegan leather or suede is great for heat insulation. It’s a versatile piece that is fun for layering, and can be worn for multiple seasons.  Not to mention, everyone needs a vegan leather jacket in their closet.

Vegan Leather Jacket by BlankNYCspeaking-terms-3

Vegan Suede Jacket by James Payne
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Faux Leather Moto Jacket by Free People
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Wool Coat Alternatives

Wool coats for colder climates are a staple in everyone’s wardrobe. Bundled up in a long pea coat and wrapped in a thick knit scarf is a common appearance on the streets. Over the years, I’ve noticed that wool-free, animal-free peat coats or long coats are difficult to come by. So here, I’ve done a little extra digging for you.

The Classic Vaute Pea by Vaute
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Undercover Coat by Free People
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Coat by BLQ Basic

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Down Alternative Puffers

Duck feathers fly everywhere after a pillow fight ensued among your best friends during a sleepover. You don’t think twice about it. Bundled up in your down jacket, a feather peaks out and you pluck it. You don’t think twice about it. Feathers are hand plucked from the skin of ducks, most while they are still alive. Until their skin is red and raw, and us humans have gathered every bit. They are left without their coat. They are left to die. They are left without what belongs to them after living a life of confinement and in terror. This is purely for vanity and for means that can be resolved with the technology we have developed.

Black Marissa Coat by Stella McCartney

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Women’s Packable Long Puffer Coat by Save The Duck
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Certa Jacket by UNIF
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Nano Puff Hoody by Patagonia
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Alternatives to Fur/ Wool Lined Parkas

Parkas are often filled with down or the fabric is made of wool, then lined with sherpa or fur. A bit excessive? How many animals suffered to make one jacket, that is often way too overpried.

Ladies’ Long Coat by Hoodlambllhc_blk_2_1024x1024

Insulated Prairie Dawn Parka by Patagonia.
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Tayga Parka by Embassy of Bricks
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I hope this was helpful and encouraging to all of you to continue choosing cruelty-free. I understand the price tag is a bit steep on most of these, so I am going to keep that in mind for next time when I try to search for more options that are affordable (under $100) that follow sustainable and ethical practices. Also, please consider that a winter coat should be timeless and something that you can grab daily so an investment piece might be worth it. I did include some items from brands (Urban Outfitters & Free People) that are questionable in the area of ethics and sustainability, failing to be transparent about their environmental and social conditions with how they produce their clothes. So, I did think about this when I included them. We can only hope that there will be more companies who will join up on including practices to support ethical and sustainable fashion, so that it can eventually come to be a more common sight.

This was a post mainly to prove that there are in fact alternatives to cruelly made fashion items. This idea that animal skin and fur are necessary for warmth is archaic and runs excessively rampant. We are not entitled to their bodies and their lives. It’s absolutely an inhumane and selfish act by humans to claim, trap, and breed living beings for vanity. There is no other way to put it because it’s unreasonable and evil.

Thanks so much for always being a supporter of my blog and for being a part of the vegan movement and the environmental cause.

xx

Joan

A Wallet for Your Summer Travels ft. Luca Chiara

A Wallet for Your Summer Travels ft. Luca Chiara

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Luca Chiara reached out to me to send me one of their wallets and I was excited to try their brand due to their RFID safe claim. It wasn’t the first time I heard about identity scanning and stealing, so I feel safe knowing that there are options out there that can prevent this from happening. When it comes to travel, one of our top safety priorities is making sure our credit cards and identification do not get stolen. Lift some weight off your shoulders by carrying around your items in an RFID safe bag or wallet, like ones by Luca Chiara. You just have to be careful of purse snatchers. ;P

I received the RFID Red Zip Around Wallet. While I haven’t made any concrete travel plans this summer, I decided to test this wallet out and carry it around with me for a few days for everyday use. It fit all of my cards and cash comfortably, with extra room to spare. I am also the type that keeps it minimal with contents inside my wallet. On the other hand, if you are one that likes to stuff your wallets, I don’t think you will have any issues either; this wallet has 12 card slots, 2 large slots for cash on either side, a zippered coin pouch attached in the middle, and a zipper on the outside of the wallet to keep your items locked safely inside. On top of all of that, there is even a slot on both sides for anything you want to tuck in for easy access. I slid my Note 4 into one of the slots and the space was perfect and snug. So, what makes this item RFID safe? The wallet is lined with stainless steel for credit card/ATM card identity thief protection.

One of the main things I look for with brands is of course that they are cruelty-free and Luca Chiara is an entirely vegan brand. Their current campaign, ‘Did you know your wallet had a face?’ advocates for the lives of animals who are exploited in the fashion industry. Their designs are Italian inspired and made in NYC.

 

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To try out one of your wallets, enter ‘Luca20’ at check out for 20% off any item of your choosing. Feel free to always leave comments with any questions or feedback.

xx

Joan