Day 220 / 365
As I’ve adapted to a strict but fulfilling sustainable shopping habits over the course of this #GoneGreen2016 series, I’ve begun to notice gaps in the market. From missing or incomplete product offerings, to shopping experiences which replace ones normal habits.
In Paris and in London where I most frequently find myself, there are between the two cities, only a handful of shops (other than vintage and second hand) where you can enjoy the bricks and mortar retail experience with a shop full of pre-vetted brands, - saving you having to ecosia it (my new eco browser, story to come) your way through to find out if the item you wish to purchase was made in a way which morally aligns with you.
Online there is a lot more choice, but still very few options which fulfil that Asos or Urban Outfitters one-stop-shopping type experience. Ethos Collection, however, is one which is quickly filling that space, offering a variety of fashionable clothing made ethically and ecologically from brands I both trust and wish to obtain, like People Tree, Liz Alig, Beaumont Organic, Synergy Organic, Indigenous, and Half United. The shop shares the story of each brand page, allowing you to droll politely over the clothing / accessories and self educate.
Whenever I’m choosing a new piece for my very small but concise wardrobe, I spend a bit of time trying to imagine how I’d make it work year round. When Ethos Collection contacted me to talk about their shop, I realized I had the opportunity to test three season within a matter of weeks. I would be travelling to Barcelona, London and Paris during a month where the temperatures I’d meet would reflect spring, winter and summer. As part of the Zero Waste challenge I was doing at the time, I decided I would only travel with a carry on, which meant being clever about what I brought so I could layer up and down.
I selected the PEOPLE TREE Kendall shirt dress which is ethically produced and made from 100% organic cotton. I knew it would work well regardless of where I went and it fit me in a flattering but non constraining fashion, chameleoning itself from casual to dressy in a natural way.
For the warmer weathers in Barcelona I wore it simply with vintage cowboy boots, sunglasses, a few bohemian rings, and my Sonya KashmiriAlicia Bag. In London it was freezing and I opted to pair it with my Swedish Stockings, and layered it up on top with a short black cropped sweater. Ten I added on an old Zara jacket which I bought 6 years back before I started my sustainable shopping habits. When I returned to Paris it was Spring type weather and I decided to keep it simple with ankle boots, a vintage jean vest, my bag and sunglasses. Each piece I layered it with through the seasons was easily interchangeable making getting dressed actually considerably less stressful.
I had been worried about spilling coffee on it as white never lasts long with me, and sure enough I did while boarding the airplane (not my Keep Cups' fault, totally mis-angled my descent to the seat), but because it was made with cotton, I was able to get the stain out in the airplane washroom.
Though Ethos Collection doesn’t have as wide a selection as Asos or most of the other online department-esque stores we’re accustomed to loosing hours ‘window shopping’ on, it is through supporting boutiques like this through our purchases that we encourage them and enable them to grow further and compete with the Fast Fasion giants, and in turn support and encourage selected conscious circular thinking brands too.
PHOTOS: Shane Woodward
As a sustainable blogger, the subject of working with numerous brands while simultaneously telling readers to buy less, comes up often. It’s a sort of ‘do what I say, not what I do’ situation, as most of us bloggers accept gifts (we can’t honestly review something if we haven’t tried it) as part of our payment for researching, photographing and writing.
What I try to represent in any outfit post is repetitive use of my own capsule-esque tri-seasonal wardrobe (nothing distinguishes fall and spring for me outfit wise in Europe, it’s just ‘sort of cold’ on each end of the two seasons) mixed with consciously created clothing, produced both ethically and sustainably.
As much as my blog is a representation of the lifestyle I’m trying to embody, it is also a publication which supports the sustainable community, and part of that support involves giving props to brands who I feel are being the change I want to see in the world.