Labor of Love

labor of love: my new favorite fair trade and ethically made clothing and accessory lines

The Printmaker Scarf, Toms Coral Crochet Strappy Wedges, Toms Kitty Honey Tortoise sunglasses, Noonday Collection Mediterranean Sea earrings, Noonday Collection Reflection earrings, Worishofer 505 black and white sandal

Lately I’ve been on a fair trade and made in America kick. It’s not that I’m all “America, heck yeah!” I’m not not “Yay, America!” I think this country is great. But my real motivation – if I were to reveal it to you – is that there is a still small voice inside of me that keeps reminding me we’re made to be free. And that adorable clothing is not meant to be made by warehouses full of wonderful people sweating through harsh conditions so I can look cute.

Soo… I have spent hours doing my research. And it was grueling. I browsed the internet as if my life depended on it and took my Pinterest obsession to new levels. And I prayed and asked God to (I kid you not) “show me adorable clothing like Ann Taylor LOFT that’s not made by exploiting unethical labor.”

I am not trying to buy my way into heaven, literally or figuratively. I’m good on that score. So this is not one more thing on a list of things I think I need to do to be “good.” It’s a thing that Jesus is choosing this time and place to speak to me about, and it’s a thing I’m trying to choose to say “Yes, Lord.” to.

Not to my surprise – because when God asks me to think about doing something He likes to provide a way to do it – He’s answered my ethical Ann Taylor LOFT prayer. Like many an answered prayer, it’s not necessarily going to be easy or without a bit of discipline to make this happen, but at least He’s opened my eyes to a start by showing me that ethical clothing can be had.

These are a few of my favorite fair trade / ethically made things I’ve found so far. I’ll post my fave made in America finds soon.

global girlfriend tanks

Global Girlfriend Organic Essentials Yoga Tank

I love tanks as a summer staple, because they can go anywhere and be worn with anything from shorts to cute skirts (and unribbed tanks are totally work appropriate, too!) Also, check out what Global Girlfriend’s website says about these:
“Global Girlfriend’s super soft 100%-organic cotton line is made at a non-profit employment program in the Tamil Nadu region of India. Run by an order of Franciscan Nuns, the sisters employ and care for 120 young women who are handicapped and/or economically disadvantaged. The nuns provide employment training and support along with food and accommodations. The group supports 300 local small organic farmers in the Maharastra area. Each garment is lovingly produced from seed to sewing machine. Good for the environment, good for you!”
They’re made by nuns! Who help other women! And they’re organic!

worishofer montage

Worishofers

Worishofer’s are my hands-down favorite summer time shoes. I love them in all capital letters. Steph turned me on to them years ago when they were featured in Lucky Magazine and became all the rage. But my love for them is truly based on the fact that they are not only sexy orthopedic shoes, they are also handmade in Bavaria, Germany.

noonday montage

Noonday Collection

Noonday Collection was started by Jessica Honnegger as a means to advocate for orphans by providing jobs (making beautiful jewelry and accessories) that create a pathway out of poverty for families, help families raise money for their own adoptions, and giving towards orphan care and prevention. I found out about Noonday a couple months ago when Jenna Beaugh from Eat Live Run became an ambassador, and I’ve been smitten with them ever since.

Toms wedgesTOMS Shoes

Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person in America who doesn’t own a pair of TOMS shoes, and I’m OK with that since I like to only own a few pairs of shoes for each season. But this year my summertime shoes are begging to be replaced, and if I’m gonna buy new shoes I want them to be the non-slave labor kind whenever possible. I’m not saying I’m going to succeed at that this year. But I do like the idea of investing in a pair of TOMS at some point, and knowing a pair of shoes is going to a needy kid in the process.

Tell me – what are your summer staples, and are there any more clothing companies that you know of that do good and look good? I’m on a mission!

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2 comments

  1. I totally laughed out loud at your “Ann Taylor LOFT” prayer! I do understand the desire to support fair trade and other worthy causes with what we purchase and hope to do more of that in the future. I buy the majority of my clothes second hand, which at least is a good way of stewarding resources, even if it ultimately doesn’t support any other cause. As such, I don’t have any clothing makers to recommend, but I do know of a couple good places for buying products that support fair trade and such: Ten Thousand Villages (online and local stores) and Freeset Global (online). The latter is a fair trade business supporting/freeing woman in India from the sex trade.

    I’m definitely keeping the Worishofers in mind! I’ve never heard of them before but I’m always in the market for comfortable cute shoes 🙂

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    1. Courtney, I totally hear you! Right now 99% of my wardrobe are hand me downs from friends or gifts (including my beloved LOFT items), so I’m right there with you. This is more of an “if I buy new stuff someday, I’ll check out these vendors” thing right now. LOVE the recommendations. I remember someone talking about Freeset at the (in)RL conference. Girl, if you ever get your feet into a pair of Worishofer’s someday let me know. They’re the best (cute) granny shoes out there. 😉

      Like

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