Fair Trade Month

Happy October and joyous Fair Trade Month. If you read my last post, you’ll recall that I’m on a mission to spend my money on ethically produced products; now is the perfect time for you to join me.

You can take the Fair Trade Pledge over at Fair Trade USA. Check out their list of Products and Partners while you’re there.

I’ve compiled a mini list of ethical companies and resources for you to peruse:

Don’t forget to shop local, too. You likely have access to lots of small farmers and businesses from which you can purchase locally produced, organic products. Thrift shops and vintage stores are a great alternative to buying new. As Amy Skoczlas Cole of eBay’s Green Team says, “The greenest product is the one that already exists.”

fall prints

I ordered three StyleMint tees on sale through an eBay flash sale and am quite excited about the outfit possibilities (if they ever arrive; I’m prepared to leave some unsatisfactory feedback about shipping times).

fallprints

fallprints

To control my shopaholic tendencies, I try to pair new items with items very similar to what I have in my closet, to brainstorm in a practical and frugal way.

Outfit 1: Thrifted and altered polka dot cardigan; StyleMint tee; handmade knit skirt; knee high socks, Minnetonka moccasins purchased on eBay for $10; ModCloth watch (I don’t actually own that one…yet – Christmas present?)

Outfit 2: StyleMint tee; (of)matter necklace purchased with credit; high waist jeans; Target cardigan (my favorite from last season); Vera Bradley Saddle Up bag in Ellie Blue purchased for $30 on eBay (regular price, $68)

What I enjoy about having this blog, one with an open title, is that there are no rules. I can write on local events, daily experience, and style without worrying about whether or not I’m staying within my own guidelines. There are no guidelines! I think that personal style is a superficial topic. But I also think it’s fun to assess my wardrobe. Getting dressed is like drawing on a chalkboard: an outfit is temporary but it can still be thoughtful and inspiring.

On a slightly different note, I’m fairly certain that I need to go all secondhand/fair trade with my purchases. To use an evangelical term, I have felt convicted – for at least the past 9 months – that supporting companies that source and produce their goods in countries without fair labor standards is unethical, is sinful. If you followed me at my old blog, you’ll recall that I instated a “Secondhand Year” challenge, in which I determined to buy only secondhand and fair trade items for the entire year. I failed due to my own greed and lack of motivation. But I want to pick it back up. Even though keeping up with trends is the worst reason to shop ethically, I realized that it’s not as difficult as one might think to be fashionable and moral at the same time; it just takes a bit more effort. A combination of thrifting, buying secondhand on sites like eBay and etsy, and purchasing from fair trade companies provides a variety of products and price ranges. Companies like ModCloth also allow you to search by “Made in USA.”

I will stop rambling now and allow you to get on with your day.