America… Heck Yeah!

America! Heck Ya! clothing and accessories made in the USA

oka b. ballet flats, Mahi Gold Sunset Maxi

Hello! How are you guys? How’s your week? How’s your day? Last week I shared with my new aim to purchase clothing and shoes that are made with fair labor practices.

At first I thought you guys weren’t so into it, because it got pretty quiet round these parts. Then I got a few messages from people saying they’re into the idea of taking baby steps in our buying habits. And because I don’t actually spend money on clothes, I satisfy the urge with looking at them instead. So let’s keep looking!

By the way – my friend Amy writes more about consuming with intention on her blog, Amy Learns, and she has sooo much good stuff to share about getting started here, here, here, and here (I have a lot of catching up on reading to do!).

Steph pointed out to me that American made has an added bonus of a smaller carbon footprint, because they travel a lot less to reach us and use up a whole lot less fuel in the process.

Below are a few of my favorite American made clothing items I’ve found.

oka b shoes

oka b. shoes

How cute are these? Word on the street is that oka b. shoes are super easy on the feet, eco-friendly, and apparently dishwasher safe. Who knew? If only I had a dishwasher! That being said, I’m in need of a pair of warm weather rain-friendly shoes, and I don’t know if it will happen this year, but these are at the top of my list. Also, can I just say I think these are priced really reasonably.

Mahi Gold

Mahi Gold

Mahi Gold is kind of pricey for me, but I like this dress. It’s cotton, it’s cute, and how great would it look with those oka b. flats up there and the Noonday earrings I posted the other day? I just made an outfit! On the real, I’m not a big shopper. I like to buy just a few things a year that I can invest in for long term. Shopping ethically is going to take a little bit of getting used to in those cases where the prices are higher, but hopefully it’s something I can work up to. And I’m convinced there are more affordable options out there. It’s just going to take time to find them.

earth creations wrap dressEarth Creations

This wrap dress from earth creations is made with 100% organic cotton jersey. The website’s a little hippy, I’m not going to lie. But imagine this dress in your closet. It’d be cute, right?

splendid tank

Splendid

Splendid makes a bunch of their clothing in America, and they have some really cute basics like tanks, tees, and cotton dresses, so I’m going to try to go this way next time I need basics instead of stocking up at my usual places like Old Navy. Since I usually get a couple years out of my tanks and tees, their prices might not end up being so bad.

eliza b leather flats

Eliza B

Apparently Eliza B is popular with the country club crowd, though I wouldn’t know anything about that. What I do know is that I love leather flats, because these feet of mine do a lot of walking, and I need a shoe that can withstand the elements. My usual routine is to find a pair of flats I like and purchase it in three different colors (black, brown, and red), wear them for years until they’re busted up, and repeat. The cool thing about these is that they’re not only handcrafted in America, you can order them in an entire rainbow of customizable colors with customizable matching or clashing trim. I love it. These are another purchase I would have to plan ahead and save up for throughout the year. And it’s unlikely I’d be able to splurge for three pairs at one time. But I like the idea of at least one pair of ethical shoes, so they’re on my list with all of the others!

tipsy skipper shoesTipsy Skipper

Tipsy Skipper makes its items in Rhode Island, and apparently they’re also big with the preppy crowd. I’m posting shoes like I need ten pairs a season, which is obviously not true. But no harm in looking! Tipsy Skipper’s skimmers are super cute and come in a bunch of fun colors.

lisa leonard designs

lisa leonard designs

Lisa Leonard’s jewelry is beautiful, and it’s handmade by her and a team of people in San Louis Obispo, California. I loved her stuff for ages, and then I was given a necklace of hers as a gift. I like it so much that – I kid you not – I store it with my wedding ring. Silly? Maybe. Is her stuff cute? Yes. She also has a new fair trade line right now, and each purchase gives work to Ecuadorian women and helps send a child to school.

So that’s it for my “made in America” faves. While some of the items are definitely more expensive, overall it seems like buying with intention might be totally do-able, right? It’s pretty clear I’m not going to be perfect at this thing. I already bought a bathing suit (my first in 11 years – why is bathing suit shopping the hardest kind of shopping on the planet?) from Old Navy and a cheap blazer for summertime from Target as this season’s new buys. But now that I know my options and I have a hankering to do good with my dolla bills, it could happen. It really could!

What about you guys? Do you have any thoughts / desire / feelings about buying fair trade, ethical fashion, or made in America? Or is it all about the sale (I mean… I hear you. It’s hard to turn down a deal.)

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6 comments

  1. Thank you for challenging me to think about this! One of the ways I’m trying to be ethical about fashion is by buying used. I have a wonderful resale shop in town that I can sell to (receiving credit) and find well-made treasures for a lot less, but I also love to hit a thrift store or even the occasional same size woman yard sale. Sometimes my friends and I will have clothing exchanges as well. I love true vintage as well, when I can afford it πŸ™‚
    I’ve wondered too, as you mentioned at the beginning of this post, about whether people are connecting with my words even when they don’t comment. Just so you know, I always enjoy yours, and I know I’m not alone.

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    1. Cara, I totally agree. A huuuge portion of my wardrobe is used, especially because hand me downs from friends and clothing swaps fit my budget. πŸ˜‰ I know a big part of this post is fantasy and fun for now until I have more spending power, but I’m having fun looking! Keep writing! I enjoy reading, and I’m always reminded that it’s not about the comments, it’s about drawing near to God and letting Him speak to my heart. (That being said – I loved your post today and you’ll probably see a comment from me soon.)

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      1. I’m happy to know that you are a hand-me-down girl too! I notice sometimes that the things I inherit aren’t always things that I would buy, but that I end up loving them. Unexpected consequences.
        I think that doing the research is great, even when you can’t afford to buy what you’d like now. Not only are you building a wish list, but your research is encouraging to those of us reading.
        Thanks for your thoughts on my blog, I always appreciate your comments, and I love that we’ve found each other in this big blogosphere! You’re right, I have to remind myself constantly that my blog isn’t about comments and things I can measure or see, but about the ministry of God through me, and about me drawing near to Him and sharing the journey.
        Todays post was very vulnerable and a little scary for me, so your vote of confidence means a lot.
        You keep writing too!

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      2. p.s. Cara, I would be totally lying though if I didn’t admit that I do LOVE connecting with everyone who comments here and growing from their feedback and insights. I praise God for every person I get to “do community” with through this blog, and I think of them as friends (weird? haha.). So I totally hear what you’re saying and thanks for sharing in the conversation here!

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  2. I’m so happy to hear that you are making an effort to buy products made with fair labor practices! That absolutely thrills my heart! This is an issue very close to my heart. Thank you for sharing your beautiful finds! You can check out the organization Not For Sale (http://www.free2work.org/) to read summaries on popular brands. They rate them based on their labor practices. I also really like The Greater Good for shopping (http://greatergood.com/). They have all kinds of lovely things and each purchase supports the cause you shop under πŸ™‚

    Keep up the great work! I can’t wait to read more about your journey πŸ™‚

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