Fashion

23
Aug
2018

It’s Vegan… But Is It Eco-Friendly?

As a vegan fashion writer, aligning an appreciation for style with a love for animals has always come naturally.  The trickiest part of my job, however, is finding beautiful, animal-friendly clothing that is also eco-friendly AND made ethically in regards to factory conditions and wages.  This is a challenge, yes, but a worthwhile and rewarding one.  Aligning all of these core values takes extra effort but is NOT impossible, especially if you just give yourself permission take it one step at a time.  Today, we are going to start the process by quickly addressing which vegan materials are eco-friendly— soon, we will also tackle the big picture of ethics together!  We can do this!

eco-friendly fashion from reformation

(Wearing an eco-friendly dress by transparent brand Reformation )

Let’s go ahead and state the obvious: when shopping for vegan fashion, one’s initial reaction is “hey this isn’t that hard!”  Throw a rock, and it will hit any cheapie store selling clothing that doesn’t list any animal byproducts on the labels.  It is important to realize, though, that some of these materials are actually causing major devastation to our animals and the planet we all share and love. Water pollution, emissions, and little plastic microfibers which come off in the washing machine and end up in our oceans (and in our fish) are a few factors to consider when choosing fabrics to invest in.  Let’s break it down:

The Earth-Friendly Five

  1. Buying recycled/vintage/second hand pieces is always best!  Aside from not contributing to rising demand for new clothing to be produced, you are also keeping discarded clothing from going straight to a landfill.
  2. Organic cotton.  This is different from regular cotton, because no earth-harming pesticides or GMOs are used in production. (Regular cotton is very pesticide-heavy, which pollutes our oceans.)
  3. Bamboo. It is one of the most sustainable materials available to us, deriving from a grass requiring no fertilizer or pesticides.  It is very soft and moisture-wicking, perfect for sheets, towels, baby clothing, and more.
  4. Hemp. This is a high yield crop, also grown without a need for fertilizer or pesticides.  It improves soil quality, and is durable and strong as a fabric, which leads to a long wear-time.
  5. Linen. Made from the (entire) flax plant, this is a zero-waste material that requires very little energy/water/resources to produce on a large scale. Linen is recyclable and and biodegradable, plus it is super hardy so you can wear the same garment for decades.

The Fearful Four

  1. Polyester
  2. Acrylic
  3. Rayon
  4. Nylon

While readily available, the chemicals used in the making of these products—plus the chemical waste— is not a great thing for the environment.  They are not recyclable or biodegradable. The production of fabrics like polyester require petroleum, a non-renewable resource. Not to mention, these fabrics are known to contain and be treated with harmful, possibly-carcinogenic chemicals.

One thing to remember is that most of this is not black and white.  Organic cotton, for instance, while clearly the “clean” option, requires an excessive amount of water to be used in production. So, like most things in life, you do a cost-benefit analysis and buy mindfully, doing the best the you can. Remember to be kind to yourself– you care and are learning, and that is by far the most crucial step in becoming an ethical, conscious consumer.

24
May
2018

Artisan Subscription Box Review [ Featuring GlobeIn ]

I love a good subscription box… You know this!  However, I am also trying to reduce clutter in a major way in preparation for baby.  So I am being extra picky with which ones I will invest in and work with.  I definitely couldn’t say no to a GlobeIn box, though– I mean, handmade, ethically-sourced, artisan-supporting products from all around the world?  Thats a yes.  I will say, not every box is fully vegan, so I did take my time researching which ones I could use and promote in good conscience.   The broad term “ethical” as it relates to fashion/products/etc. has, to me, certainly come to entail supporting human rights, dignity, safety and welfare; but I will also never sacrifice my beliefs as it pertains to the rights and treatment of animals.  So for me it’s always gotta be cruelty-free (no animal testing) and vegan (no animal products). Always.

Now, back to GlobeIn!  The skinny is that you can get the boxes for yourself, or gift them… There are many different themes to choose from, and the boxes always contain at least 4-5 specially curated, artisan goods of at least a $70 total value.  The items come from all over the world, and, appropriately, the purchase of your box will support people all over the world.  From providing employment to handicapped artisans to saving elephants to feeding hungry children, you can see the full impact of subscribing to these boxes HERE.

In the photo in this post, I am wearing & carrying fair trade items from the Fashion Forward Box as I headed out for some pool time last weekend.  I LOVE the stories behind every single piece. The main item is the caftan, sustainably made by Symbology Clothing (I wrote an article on them a couple of years ago, here).  While I love the caftan as a chic cover up as shown here, if you follow me on Instagram you might recognize it from this photo! It’s super cute worn as a tunic with leggings or jeans.) My clutch was handwoven in Oaxaca, Mexico, and is roomy enough to hold all of my poolside essentials– sunglasses, sunscreen, phone, keys.  These types of woven bags are trendy right now, and I love that I have “the real thing”– and one that is ethically-made, at that. Also included in my Fashion Box was a delicate pineapple ring, handmade through a very intricate process in Bali to honor their culture. I love my ring, and have worn it twice with “fancy clothes.” I also scored some vegan, cruelty-free, yummy-smelling coconut vanilla hand & body cream.  The cream is by Alaffia, an ethical company that has ensured the health of almost 5,000 newborns and mothers and planted nearly 60,000 trees in West Africa.

I can’t say enough about GlobeIn.  Everything they offer is SO interesting and full of soul, and you get to help others while learning about other cultures via beautiful handmade items. Check out their various box themes, and give one a go.  Or gift a subscription to someone who would appreciate an outside-the-box (pun intended) present for the next birthday or holiday… What a meaningful way to celebrate life.

GlobeIn – Artisan Box Marketplace

 

23
May
2018

My Three Top Maternity Fashion Must-Know Brands

These past 9 months, I have made it my mission to really dive into maternity fashion.  It has not always been easy. In the maternity fashion world, there are loud prints and empire waists abound; neither of which I find flattering, modern, or interesting.  And as tempted as I’ll admit I felt at times, I also did not want to spend my money on fast fashion– i.e. cheapie, “throw-it-on, stretch-it-out, who-cares” preggo wear– like a lot of overwhelmed mamas-to-be end up doing. One: because I’ve moved away from fast fashion for ethical reasons, and two: because, for me, pregnancy is definitely NOT the time to suddenly say “screw it” and quit valuing your appearance. If anything, it has been more important for me than ever to feel truly good about the way I present myself… Not for anyone else’s benefit, but for my own. After all, your hormonal balance is completely out of whack, your body has changed form in ways you never dreamed of, and– especially near the end– you simply aren’t very comfortable.  So, I urge you, when your time comes: invest in solid brands offering soft, high quality fabrics.  Choose timeless, durable pieces that you feel you could potentially (want to!) wear after pregnancy is over, and then again with any subsequent pregnancies you may experience. Choose fashion that CELEBRATES your bump, because it’s an amazing and exciting time.  I went this route, and I must say: even on days where I was feeling my worst, I had a pretty good time getting dressed in the morning.

The following have been my go-to brands throughout my pregnancy.  I hope you love them as much as I have!

 

LEGOE.

All time favorite brand for maternity, nursing, and then life as a mama on the go!

maternity fashion legoe

legoe maternity fashion

Seen here in a casual mini which has since sold out (lots more like it on the site!) and then in the nursing-friendly  Louvre maxi dress (shown tied up and worn as a tunic)

*Check the “fabrication” details on any piece you are interested in. Whiile mostly vegan, LEGOE. is not a fully-vegan brand.

LEGOE. is an Aussie brand that focuses on high quality, versatile, minimalistic garments meant to transition effortlessly to your various life phases as a new mama.  I’d consider it the ultimate “cool girl” brand of maternity wear.  While undeniably high end, the prices are actually reasonable enough (and they always seem to have pretty awesome markdowns, too)– currently on their website, many of their pieces are half off!

(Philanthropy) LEGOE. donates $1 from every purchase to help mothers in underdeveloped nations give birth safely. Upon checkout, you can choose where your dollar goes; the concept is mothers helping mothers.

Storq

Another great transitional brand you can take with you from pregnancy to nursing to parenthood.  Focus on high quality basics and essentials. 

storq maternity fashion

Seen here wearing: Maternity T-Shirt Dress, size small.  Top pulls down for nursing postpartum. Every pregnant lady I ran into while wearing this asked me where I got it… Effortless and easy and flattering.

Go to Storq for the basics (you will wear them all the time), from your maternity leggings (while pregnant, regular pants will be a thing of the past… the Storq leggings are by far my favorite of my maternity legging collection, and bonus- they are eco-friendly and you can wear them after baby, too!) to easy throw-it-on dresses.  The clothing is all vegan except for their slip dress (silk). If you’re able to and want a fully functioning preggo wardrobe right off , I would definitively invest in Storq’s maternity basics bundle.

(Recycling + give back program) Storq has partnered with 2ReWear, so that when you recycle your clothing through them, all proceeds will go to the Homeless Prenatal Program. More info is available here.

Isabella Oliver

This brand has a little bit of everything! I just wish their preggo-friendly shoes were vegan 🙁

If you are an avid jeans-wearer, I can’t recommend their denim options enough. I got this pair in charcoal (for reference, size 1) and have been able to wear them throughout the entire pregnancy… the style and color makes them super versatile, and they are very high quality without completely breaking the bank like some alternatives out there.

Also, they have a whole maternity workwear section— so if you have an office job, this brand is a MUST for you.

Note: fabric details are listed in the description under each item. This is not a fully vegan line, but has many vegan options. 

I hope this maternity fashion brand roundup makes shopping for your bump a little less daunting!  This process should be fun!  As always, let me know if you have any questions at all about my experience with these brands, sizing, or anything else.  

26
Mar
2018

Vegan Leather Watches! (Featuring: CPTN Watches)

I’m so excited to bring CPTN Watches to your attention!

After months of looking online for the perfect vegan watch, I finally settled on an ethically-made, minimalistic, daily-wear one by CPTN.  Made in Australia, CPTN watches are unisex, versatile, and reasonably priced (mine was about $90 and I wear it ALL the time)– Plus, you get a discount code: FASHIONVEGGIE will get you 10% off!

cptn vegan watch

The vegan leather was high quality and soft, and I definitely don’t feel like the watch is super duper masculine or oversized like some unisex watches can be… I have small-ish wrists that can be easily overwhelmed with an enormous timepiece. CPTN watches are water resistant, but not waterproof (take it off before a shower!).  I like that there are a variety of options for you to choose from:  the vegan leather can be black or tan, the metal/hardware can be silver, gold, or rose gold, and the “dial” (face) can be matte white or black.  It comes in a nice, luxe black box with a black pillow, which I thought would be nice especially if I were to give the watch as a gift.

CPTN offers free shipping and a 12 month warranty.

Check CPTN watches out for you, your man, your family… Let me know what you think!  Don’t forget: a) the dollar amounts on the website auto-populate to AUS, so adjust that in the upper righthand corner of the website for accurate pricing; b) to use the coupon code (FASHIONVEGGIE) for a discount! Enjoy!

 

CPTN Watchescptn watches vegan watches

 

vegan watch on vegan blogger fashionveggie CPTN watch

 

21
Mar
2018

Dressing The Bump: Cape Dress + Jeane & Jax Vegan Bag

jeane & jax vegan leather bag

dress: ASOS maternity // vegan bag: Jeane & Jax // shoes: Stella McCartney (old); similar pair by Stella ON SALE linked here

One of my goals is to start putting more of my day-to-day looks on the blog, instead of just on my Instagram…  Especially my maternity looks, in hopes that it will help someone else. Because let me tell you, dressing a new bod can be tricky!  Pictured here is one of my preggo OOTD (outfit(s) of the day), which I wore last week when I was in major “boss lady” mode, going from brand meeting to brand meeting.  (When you’re pregnant, you tend to want to be in leggings constantly. Unfortunately, life does not always allow for such behavior.)   Like the majority of my pregnancy wardrobe, dusty rose dress is from ASOS; they have such great, chic, mom-to-be looks at prices that won’t break the bank.  The shoes are last season’s Stella McCartney (I love these similar ones by Stella as well, and they are on major sale!), and the vegan bag is a brand new addition to my closet that came from ethical company Jeane & Jax.  You should check them out– they are super high quality and are also reasonably priced!  I love the neutral, high end lining inside the bag, as well as the rose gold accents.

Style tip:  I have always loved a monochrome look (specifically, wearing different pieces that are in the same color family– but not the very same color), and this is especially true when pregnant.  It lends an elongated effect to your look, and makes you look instantly put together… No one has to have a clue how nauseated and tired you actually are!

xoxo-

Molly

14
Mar
2018

Men’s Vegan Fashion (Featuring: Will’s Vegan Shoes)

My husband, Matt, has not bought leather in over a year! You know what has made his transition to men’s vegan fashion 100x easier? The mere existence of the all cruelty-free online retailer Will’s Vegan Shoes.

Don’t let the name fool you; in addition to shoes, Will’s offers vegan leather good for both men and women which extend way beyond shoes.  Matt has bought their  belts, briefcases (he even has multiple colors of the same briefcase, as you’ll see below… I’m telling you, the man is addicted), and wallets– and the quality never disappoints.  Another bonus: the super accessible price point!  Everything looks high designer, but is a fraction of the price.

In Matt’s two professional outfits below, all “leather” is vegan and by Will’s.  Check out their website, I guarantee you will be impressed and will find something that you/your dad/your husband/your brother needs in his closet to stylishly represent kind fashion!

Work Look 1

men's vegan fashion will's vegan shoes men's vegan fashion, will's vegan shoes will's vegan shoes, men's vegan fashion

Work Look 2

men's vegan fashion will's vegan shoes vegan fashion for men, will's vegan shoes men's vegan fashion, wills vegan shoes

MAS Photography for photos

 

Will’s Vegan Shoes for all shoes, belts, and briefcases

 

8
Feb
2018

Rêve En Vert – The Go-To For Consciously-Made, Luxury Fashion

Dressing the bump in:  Mara Hoffman

Rêve En Vert is changing the game when it comes to shopping for luxury fashion.  It has been called “The Net-A-Porter of sustainable fashion” by Harpers Bazaar, a description that is spot-on: The co-founders of REV created the company with the goal of only featuring fashion from designers who met one of their four sustainability criteria: organic, remade, local, and fair.  (But I can’t help but notice that “vegan” seems to have crept in there, as well, based on the availability of animal-friendly handbags on their site!)

Rêve En Vert offers the best of the best in activewear, casual wear, dresses, lingerie, resort wear, accessories, beauty, and more.  Under each item, there is a description of WHY this designer is considered sustainable– what are their practices, their materials?  I will say, I was pleasantly surprised more than once to find that designer I have known of and admired for years has been, unbeknownst to me, consciously making their pieces with sustainable measures in place.  The dress I’m wearing, for instance, is by Mara Hoffman.  I worn pieces by this designer for the past 10 years, having no idea that she actually partners with artisans to make everything in the USA, focuses on employing women using ethical employment standards, utilizes cutting-edge and sustainable materials such as lenzing rayon and birla viscose, and focuses heavily on reducing fabric waste.  Honestly, perusing the site’s featured designers is an education in and of itself.

I want to share some of my favorite, sustainably-made pieces from their site with you guys– I hope you love them!  And go check out the Rêve En Vert site online, it is truly inspiring.

Dream shopping cart:

Von Holzhausen, as seen on me here

Matt & Nat, one of my all-time fave handbag brands

tencel, non-toxic workout gear by Vyayama

Willow Beauty trio of organic oils- cruelty-free, vegan, organic

 

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