Since my last post, we fixed up our house (almost finished) and had a baby…so this blog has been VERY neglected.
Anyway, continuing on my journey on ethical and sustainable clothes shopping boat there were a few items I discovered while I was pregnant that were life savers, such as maternity underwear. Admittedly I bought them too late, at the end of my pregnancy when it was obvious my regular underwear wasn’t going to stretch anymore and I needed to stop being a cheap ass (because who wants to invest on clothing they’re only going to wear for like six months, right?! (how silly of me thinking that)) and get myself something more comfortable.
Enter Storq. I’m not entirely sure how I came across this company – probably through Instagram – but I immediately fell in love with the simplicity of the products and the color palette spoke directly to me: black and white! To top it all off their products are all made in the USA and the company was founded by a very cool mama!
I ordered their underwear bundle which includes panties, a bra and a pair of socks for $65 and my pregnant body had never been more thankful. The fabric is the softest lenzing modal, the bra has no clips and nothing has pesky labels, nothing digs into your body or rubs you the wrong way (see what I did there hehe). This is also my favourite nursing bra, because you can just pull it to the side and your boob just pops out; you don’t have sit there fiddling with the clip, which if you’re a first time mum and are trying to get the hang of breastfeeding, that clip can be an absolute nightmare. It also accommodates your boobie pads, because nobody likes milk on their shirt.
Full disclosure when I washed these guys a few bubbles popped up, but I contacted their customer service – who were extremely speedy (because they’re in LA) and helpful – and they assured me this one a one off and took care of me. All in all though, the comfort and happiness of having underwear that fitted that well and felt that good on my skin far outweighed the little bubbles on the fabric. So if you’re pregnant or nursing don’t be like me and wait until you’re 30 weeks pregnant to get new underwear… head over to Storq and treat yourself! I promise they’re not paying me to tell you that… I just like to share my favourite finds; BUT if you use this link, both you and I get $15 off a $100 purchase … hey, I’ve got my eye on the diaper bag 😉
Pictures via Reading My Tea Leaves and Storq.
At the beginning of the year I spoke about “putting my money where my mouth is” in regards to fashion and clothing; I got a great response from a lot of people, but the biggest question was “what next”, i.e. where do we buy clothing and shoes from transparent companies.
So, I’ve started doing some research and looking at companies whose supply line is as transparent as possible and will be sharing the ones that I like the most.
This week I’m sharing a tried and tested company: Sseko Designs. I first heard about Sseko sandals in 2013 at a Creative Morning talk in Portland. Their mission is incredible. The company was started by Liz Bohannon after a trip to Uganda. During her time over there she realised that while many young women were graduating from high school they weren’t making it to university, the reason being that there’s a nine month gap between graduation and the start of University. The gap year is intended to allow these women the time to work and save up to be able to pay for their education, but what really happens is that they go back to their villages, find jobs and never make it back for their degree. And this is how Sseko was born.
They employs passionate high school graduates, allowing them to save up and work with a clear purpose: to go to university. You can the nitty gritty details and see how it’s working here.
What I love the most about Sseko sandals is that while I (selfishly) know I can feel good about buying them because of their mission, they’re also really cute, comfortable and affordable. The leather sole (which comes in black, brown and tan) molds to your feet and you can mix and match your straps, they come in array of colors and patterns, I currently have the silver and the red ones – and you can also buy cute accessories for them like in the picture above. Perfect for summer vacation outfits. You can also tie them in tons of different ways, though admittedly some are more comfortable than others, but that’s more of a personal thing.
I’ve worn them on the beach, riding my bike, walking around Miami, and can honestly vouch for their comfort (they’re not paying me to say that).
I’ll be honest, while I’ve been trying to make conscious purchasing decisions this year, it’s not always easy. I have small feet and can rarely find cute shoes at thrift stores, nor can I get my head around paying ridiculous prices for over worn H&M tops when I know I can buy brand new ones for only a few extra dollars. But I am trying to buy items that I know I’ll wear for a long time by checking their quality and trying not to buy overly trendy styles that I won’t wear next year.
This is what works for me… what works for you?
PS: keep in touch on instagram!
First picture by Heylen Thienes, Second picture by Sseko Designs via Style Wise
About a month ago I came across Sackcloth & Ashes on Instagram and their short bio was enough to make me want to find out more: “With every blanket you purchase, we will give a blanket to your local homeless shelter”. I tend to be drawn to companies who are working to help their community, so this struck a note with me.
I headed over to their website and was really impressed by their story and ‘let’s do something about this’ attitude. After a series of events Bob Dalton’s mum (Bob’s the guy that started the company) found herself living on the streets. This is an educated woman, with two degrees non the less, she even had a family yet she ended up homeless. Not everybody chooses to be homeless and everybody most certainly deserves a second chance.
About ten years ago I volunteered at Crisis, a charity for single homeless people, helping with their monthly newsletter which was composed of stories and articles written by the people at the shelter. The contributors were far smarter than me, and most had not ended up homeless by choice. This totally changed the way I viewed homelessness and realised how easily and quickly it can happen.
After Bob’s mum’s experience, he called shelters and found out that what they needed the most was blankets. After all, winter comes round every year and even summer eves can get pretty cool in some parts of the country. So he started making blankets right here in the Pacific Northwest and selling them, and the same blanket that you buy is also given to a homeless shelter near you.
I looked through their shop and fell in love with their Night Sky Wool (80% wool and 20% polyester) blanket, and since my birthday was coming up I figured I’d give my sister a ‘hint’ about what to get me. She didn’t get it for me. But my mother-in-law surprised me with it. I think I may have actually squealed when I opened the box, and was genuinely taken back by the quality of the blanket and how cozy it is. This will be something we’ll treasure for a long time and take with us wherever we go… especially as winter begins to set in begging for nights spent on the sofa, bundled up in my new blanket.
To find out more information about what Sackcloth & Ashes is doing visit their Shelters page, and while you’re there have a look at their blankets – they have a fab selection!