Day 260 / 365
You would think, being the granola crunching bohemian that I am, that finding eco fashion to suit my style would be easy, but surprisingly (or maybe unsurprisingly considering my type, a.k.a creatives and freelancers, have an effervescent relationship with money which is completely unsustainable for both ourselves and brands who aim to serve us), most the clothing and accessories I come across are a little more conventional than my particular tastes desires.
With the plethora of choice available in the sustainable fashion industry, it is not a question of if there is a brand on the market that will suit your style, it's the matter of finding them, a fact which reveals the truth behind why sustainable fashion hasn't gathered a stronger current than that of the mainstream. The simple fact is, there is less money in it. There are less pinterest worthy pins, smaller marketing budget, less money going to SEO and so on. The internet world makes it hard for those doing good to compete, which is why it is so important we all do what we can do support the community overall with our voices and our dollars. This is how the organic food movement grew, and this how the rest of the conscious culture commerce will catch up.
I wrote a piece a few months back about my breakup with Free People, a brand which sells, along with its clothing, the bohemian, hippie, salt-of-the-earth culture I wished to omit and to this day still identify with. They go so far as to share organic beauty DIY's, 'Earth Day Face Mask", vegan foodie posts, spiritual guidance, and even guides to living a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Yet they don't produce their own brand ethically or ecologically. The smoke and mirrors goodwill they create by their pseudo-bohemian musings has created a thriving community which blindly supports harm to the earth and its inhabitants with each Free People purchase. Driven, in part, by their inspiring ecological and ethical blog rhetoric.
Over the duration of this #GoneGreen2016 series, I've been searching for a brand which encompasses the same vibe with their products that Free People does, but does it genuinely. One with ethically and ecologically produced items consciously curated to develop a collection which tells a circular story that aligns with my morals, created with an aesthetic which reflects the style I identify with.
I received an email from TRUNK COLLECTIVE about one month ago, with a kind message asking me if I wanted to work with them, and a link to their site which I clicked on one late working night. I was immediately drawn. Their selection of sustainable, cruelty-free, charity loving, handmade and fair trade items which are intended to challenge our own purchasing decisions, while contributing to community growth, female empowerment and protecting artisan skills.
They hold a consciously curated collection of select brands in their embrace. Ones which I wholeheartedly support and am inspired by. From workout apparel and jewellery; to accessories, homeware and beauty, each and every item is aesthetically and moralistically on point.
There's GUADALUPE DESIGNS, which produces bags like the one pictured which are hand woven and hand dyed in India keeping the millenary traditions of artisans alive. GUADALUPE DESIGN uses upcycled materials and fabrics to preserve and encourage the techniques of the Tyra Aja artisans, empowering women in their networks and providing them with financial stability.
One of my favourite jewellery brand SOKO is amongst TRUNK COLLECTIVE's selected brands too. SOKO creates bohemian beauties made with recycled brass by artisans in developing countries through the first mobile driven value chain which allows the artist to engage in an international marketplace, despite having no access to internet, computers or even a bank account. Thier way of creating not only drives social and economic development in their community, but also encourages healthier family dynamics as well.
Along with supporting and curating brands which are beautiful outside and in, TRUNK COLLECTIVE donates 7% of all their sales to a charity partner focused on environmental and wildlife conservation chosen every quarter. Providing well-made products produced with the planet and her inhabitants in mind is a commendable task, choosing products which don't make you miss fast fashion is another, but sharing profits from sales rounds out their own individual circular story for me.
Shops like TRUNK COLLECTIVE are what we as the conscious community of consumers need and they need us in return. Through our purchases we encourage them and enable them to grow further, allowing them to compete with Fashion Fashion giants, and in turn support and encourage selected conscious circular thinking brands too.
* P.S. This GUADALUPE DESIGNS Boho Hindi Tote is the first bag I've owned which fits every single work / zero waste item I carry with me daily. Previously I was wandering the streets of Paris pulling off bag lady chic terribly with multiple organic cotton totes which are now safely stored inside this bag too for surprise grocery shopping and such.
Photos: Shane Woodward
*Sponsored post: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.
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.