From yogis and health gurus to vegan celebs, bohemian brands and #consciouscommunity influencers, many are emulating only the surface value of the movement. Exploiting the righteousness of the rise in consciousness to pulsate their own popularity, monetary success and fame. Taking advantage of a population and multiple generations searching for meaning and answers in a confusing and violent world.
Like bees to honey, we all seem to be enticed by the American-esque addiction to be ‘a part of something’, without actually understanding what the movement itself really, truly, and deeply means. We’re the product of propaganda perfection, tricked into believing that those who seem to represent the external image of what we feel the movement ought to ‘look like’ is part of being the change.
It always astounds me, when those with Trump-like confidence go as far as to brag about how deeply conscious and enlightened they are, simultaneously promote products made by exploited workers which cause harm to the planet and its inhabitants from creation to demise.
While I’m sure most of this isn’t intentional, it’s the ignorance or lack of self-education behind the lack of intention for both creator and customer, which is both caused by and causing the misinformation, laziness and lack of education that makes it hard to look away. Emoji hearts and prayer hands cascade down social media posts further unveiling the engagement this type of ‘consciousness’ perpetuates.
Yet Free People doesn’t produce its own clothing ethically or sustainably, profiting from being part of the movement’s ‘look’ without actually investing themselves financially or morally in the community which sustains them. Being that the fashion industry is amongst the top polluters and human rights harmers on the planet, this creates a hypocrisy that is, in my mind, unforgivable.
This world needs change, it’s screaming for it from every angle, but the triangular hierarchy we must dwell within perpetuates all that plagues us. We as a community, as a human community, not just a ‘conscious one’, need to embrace the inevitable growing pains associated with all transformation. We must find a way to soften the hard edges which poke and prod us and make them round again. Creating a circular story from cradle-to-cradle in all our doings, beings, and buyings.
Our consumerism must become conscious. It can’t just look or act ‘conscious’. Production of anything must occur by putting people over profit and materials used ought to come from natural sources which can biodegrade, or from substances endlessly recycled from the gyres of waste or landfills currently plaguing our waterways and oceans.
There is enough variety in those genuinely embodying the future this world needs to give consumers a choice. It is no longer a compromise of aesthetics nor functionality to find sustainable options for all that you might want or need.
If we as consumers could remember, each time we choose to purchase something that we are in many ways voting for or against humanity, for or against equality, and for or against our planet, it would begin to entice substantial change, not just in the health of our planet, but the health of our commerce and communities. By practising this with each dollar we spend, whether it be food, fashion, homeware, cars, technology, or stationary, we have the power to demolish the destructively dimensional while simultaneously supporting the righteously round.
|⟠ TUNIC: Bead & Reel ⟠|
⟠ BEAD & REEL ⟠
ETHICAL + SUSTAINABLE HOW? Bead & Reel carries a selection of carefully curated creations from over 60 independent designers, who have created their products free from exploitation of people, animals or our planet. The company is philanthropic as well, donating a portion of its profits to a different charity each month, choosing a ‘Charity of the Month’ to give back to and donating a portion of each sale to meaningful community and cultural movements. Bead & Reel is also responsible for the annual which this year raised over $31,000 to fight human trafficking.
⟠ JOSE AWAY FROM PARIS ⟠
ETHICAL + SUSTAINABLE HOW? I’ve made no secret of my love for alpaca nor been shy to argue that I believe it to be the greenest and most cruelty-free fibre out there. Alpacas will only produce a fleece if they feel loved by their owner and have an alpaca companion. If not, the fleece becomes matted and can’t be used. José is a travelling brand that aims to develop collections around the world with different craftsmen though ethical trade and ethical treatment of animals. Their first collection was developed in La Paz in Bolivia, and is handmade from 100% alpaca wool.
WHAT I WORE? Santa Cruz Verde
WHERE TO BUY? Currently taking pre-orders on Ulule HERE.
|SWEATER: Jose Away From Paris ⟠ DRESS: The Summer House|
⟠ LIZ ALIG ⟠
ETHICAL + SUSTAINABLE HOW? Ethical treatment is at the foundation of Liz Alig’s creations, taking clothing back to its roots. To a time when garments took months to make because the fibres were grown organically, the fabric handwoven, hand dyed and hand printed, and clothing was designed and sewn with love. Liz Alig tracks its garment from the seed to the shop room floor, and to be certain that nothing is met with unkindness toward the planet or her inhabitants, along the production path as well. These overalls were part of my summer capsule and have transitioned to fall with ease. You can read more of my thoughts on Liz Alig HERE.
⟠ PEOPLE OF LEISURE ⟠
ETHICAL + SUSTAINABLE HOW? A purveyor of responsibly made garments, People of Leisure has created a beautiful bohemian collection, ethically sourced and manufactured in Los Angeles, California. It has a capsule-esque feel, covering casual to party wear with easy to style high-quality garments that are bound to last the ages. They altruistically donate 10% of online sales to Soles 4 Souls, a non-profit organization fighting poverty and commercial waste.
⟠ SONYA KASHMIRI ⟠
ETHICAL + SUSTAINABLE HOW? Brought to life in structured shapes of sustainability, Sonya Kashmiri is a collection quite consciously created. Each piece is internally strengthened with leathers upcycled from the discards of other’s creations, then lined with organic cotton, and topped with vegetable tanned leathers making use of a byproduct from French bovine meat production. Each piece is an attestation to the quality of craftsmanship, made to last multiple generations. You can read more of my thoughts on Sonya Kashmiri here.
⟠ THE SUMMER HOUSE ⟠
ETHICAL + SUSTAINABLE HOW? With warmth and grace, The Summer House effortlessly marries ethical production, sustainability and affordability into a touching trinity; eloquently embodying the artistry of fashion created slowly through conscious craftsmanship and pointed production that embraces a level of love and logic I’ve rarely seen. Their clothing is affordable, despite being tailored to each individual customer, they rival ‘fast fashion’ retail prices while offering luxury made without harm. They have created around them a unique, nostalgic, worldly and romantic aesthetic using organic raw materials which are handwoven into fabric in fair-trade factories, before being cut and sewn in their airy studio. The process createsg unity and community through lack of middlemen and utmost care. You can read more of my thoughts on them HERE.
|SWEATER: Ally Bee ⟠ BRACELET: Mujis ⟠ RING: Edge Of Ember ⟠ TOP: Thought Clothing|
⟠ TRUNK COLLECTIVE ⟠
ETHICAL + SUSTAINABLE HOW? This is my go-to online boutique for accessories, which holds a consciously curated collection of select brands in their embrace. Each one is sustainable, cruelty-free, charity loving, and produced ethically. From workout apparel and jewellery; to accessories, homeware and beauty, each and every item is aesthetically and moralistically on point.
⟠ VICTORIA ROAD NY ⟠
ETHICAL + SUSTAINABLE HOW? Their motto is ‘bridging cultures through design’, using fashion as a stepping stone towards positive cross-cultural dialogue, protecting age-old techniques by incorporating them into their creations. Rather than imposing foreign designs on another culture, each piece is designed by a local design team allowing for inspiration to be drawn from their own cultural aesthetic and craft. Everyone in the production team works in Fair Trade workshops and are paid living wage. One which provides valued benefits like paid holidays, overtime pay, regular working day breaks, state pension fund benefits, and assistance with access to health care. All the fabric and materials used are sourced from suppliers who share the same ethical principles as they do, sourcing locally to reduce their carbon footprint and upcycling scrap materials as part of their zero-waste workshop policy. As part of this zero waste production, they keep only a small amount of inventory for their website, each item made from scratch and shipped within 2-3 weeks of purchase.
⟠ TOP: People Of Leisure ⟠
|OVERALLS: Liz Alig ⟠ SWEATER: Jose Away From Paris ⟠ PANTS: People Of Leisure|
|⟠ TOP: Ally Bee ⟠|
|TOP: Thought Clothing ⟠ RING (left): Artisan & Fox ⟠ RING (right): Edge Of Ember|
|TOP: Thought Clothing ⟠ BAG: Trunk Collective|
|TOP: People Of Leisure ⟠ TUNIC: Bead & Reel|
|⟠ DRESS: The Summer House ⟠|
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Mai Trebuil ⟠ All Others: Shane Woodward 1, 15, 31, 31:
This post was sponsored by multiple brands, each of which I personally selected and approached for this collaborative post. The story, including all content, experiences, suggestions and opinions, are my own. I was gifted or borrowed the majority of what was pictured to style for this shoot.
AFFILIATE LINKS: There are a few affiliate links in this post.If you make a purchase from one of these brands I may receive a few cents from the exchange. Consider it a sip of coffee from you to me.