Maybe it’s time for a Fashion Diet

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By now, we’s all heard about the dangers of GMOs,  overeating, junk food, processed foods, pesticides. Fast fashion is no different. Our need for more and cheaper – our over consumption of basically disposable clothing – can be damaging to all involved in the lifecycle. The documentary True Cost is unveiling the human suffering, the damage to communities and their environments, just so that we can have a $5 t-shirt that we may wear only once. A few short sentences will never convey the destruction of the mass produced fashion industry, so I highly encourage you to watch the movie (Netflix/Amazon/iTunes). (For more info, here is our Beginner’s Guide to Ethically-Made Fashion.)

One of the many facts that you can’t unsee or unlearn:

Only 10% of the clothes donated to charity or thrift stores are sold.

The other 90% ends up in landfills or flooding markets in developing countries overseas. Hurting their economy and environment.

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(True Cost film still. Source.)

“The global trade of second-hand clothing is a multi-billion dollar industry for developed countries. With our clothing waste being sent overseas by the tons, there’s little chance of African countries, as a whole, developing their own textile trade. In the last 10 years, local industries, such as garment-making and tailoring, have collapsed, leaving hundreds of thousands of workers unemployed.”

Shannon Whitehead, “What really happens to your donated clothing

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I’ll be honest, I have always loved the idea of donating my clothes. You think you’re doing something to help out another person. I will be the first to tell you that I’m the Queen of Rationalization. I can find a bright side to most anything. Need a new dress for a party? No prob, I’ll just donate it later.

Before watching the documentary, I happened to read the popular The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and am slowly “Konmari-ing” the crap out of my house. Reducing and organizing my clothes was freeing, but also eye-opening. I had A LOT of clothes I didn’t wear. Either it didn’t fit or I didn’t really like it anymore, whatever the reason, I had clothes just sitting there. Taking up space and collecting dust. So after an honest purge, six garbage bags were filled.

The worst was the tiny little dagger I felt when looking at an item that I loved and it just sat there reminding me of time when it did fit. How freeing it was to kick those clothes – and the negative self-talk that came with them – out of my house.

These, the clothes that I loved but couldn’t wear, were the ones I gave to friends. What an absolute joy it was to see them try them on, twirl around, and feel beautiful. Clothes that give the gift of happiness. Another bag went to my dear friend who hand delivers clothing and food to homeless people on the streets of Boston. Clothes that can help keep them warm. The rest was dropped off at Savers. Clothes that will find a new home (and hopefully not in a landfill).

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  • Buy less.
  • Invest in quality pieces that will last. Here’s a list of some of my favorite ethical fashion brands.
  • Have extra jeans? Host a Sole Hope Shoe Cutting Party to cut shoe patterns to be made into shoes for kids in Uganda to protect their feet from harmful jiggers.
  • Trade/share clothes with friends.
  • Shop at thrift, vintage and consignment stores. Go rock a vintage Valentino jacket at your next holiday party. And jeans are always better worn-in.
  • Pull together clothes to be given directly to homeless or similar missions. Cradles to Crayons does an excellent job of involving the community (great for kids!) and giving directly to those in need.
  • Reduce the amount of cheap, fast fashion clothes you buy. I’m still working on this too, especially shopping for my boys. They only wear athletic pants (what they call “fancy pants”) and destroy them/grow so quickly that I end up at cheaply made places like Old Navy and Target.

Just as we teach our children: actions have consequences. Our need for more more more + cheaper cheaper cheaper has massive ethical and environmental consequences. The surprising thing for me, especially after Konmari-ing my own clothes, was the psychological impact of fashion in my own life. Why do we buy so much? Why do we feel like more will make us happier? Why do we feel like we deserve it? Stuff will never fulfill us. Stuff will never bring lasting joy.

As a side note, True Cost covers how horrible the cheap leather industry can be. At Bevy Goods, we are committed to investing in and using responsibly-sourced leather, which means our leathers are vegetable-tanned (reducing the amount of dangerous chromium that used) or comes from facilities that adhere to strict environmental codes and conditions. We are creating bags with lasting style + purpose: ethically-made bags that carry you from day to night. 

Sign up at Bevy Goods to join us on this journey and be the first to know when we are launching. And while you’re at it, let’s connect on InstagramFacebook & Twitter!

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Daily Advent Gift: Day 5

DailyGiftDay5You know I love Sole Hope. I’ve been a Sole Hope Advocate for a year and half and it brings me such joy to host shoe cutting parties & help spread the word about this organization. Why the love? Sole Hope offers Hope, healthier lives, and freedom from foot-related diseases through education, jobs, and medical relief.

They are living in Uganda, removing jiggers infested in the feet of children by hand, washing the feet of the infected and then providing them with free shoes. And these shoes originate with you and me, at these shoe cutting parties. The shoe patterns are then sent to Uganda where Sole Hope employs people to sew the shoes: providing jobs, empowering lives.

The cost of sponsoring one pair of shoes is $10. Please consider donating!

Sole Hope Donation Page


Going to Influence…

Many of you know I’m headed to the Influence Conference in Indy in just two week. Two weeks! Did you all just feel my blood pressure rise? Not out of nerves, but because I have So. Much. To. Do. I’m overwhelmingly grateful that I get to sell my Ginger Lane foldover clutches at the Sashes Market at the conference. Folks, this Ginger Lane business started with lots of prayers and God working through a stranger at a concert. And here I am, sewing and sewing and sewing to get the bags ready for these amazing women at the Influence Conference.

What am I bringing?

1A courageous & fearless spirit. My inner introvert is questioning why I’m going to a conference, by myself, where I know no one. But I feel like I know you all. You are my people. And I apologize now when I can’t remember names and blogs and previous conversations we’ve had. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you. I can’t even remember what I had for lunch.

2 Lots of these…

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What am I looking forward to?

1The Sole Hope Shoe Cutting Party kickoff! As a Sole Hope Ambassador, I’m out of my mind excited for this. Not only do I get to finally meet a few fellow Sole Hope-rs, but we get to share our passion with everyone from Influence. So excited.

2Connecting. Connecting with people I’ve only “met” online, yet I already know their hearts. My sisters in Christ. In a worldly sense they are strangers, but in The Body, they are sisters. Now I just can’t wait to finally, properly meet them. And if you’re worried that you won’t know anyone and you’re nervous and scared, I’ll tell you right now that I will notice and I will befriend you.

I can’t wait. Influence friends, here’s how to find me. Though I won’t be handing out waters & cookies. (Wouldn’t it be great if I were?)

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Help send my friend to Uganda! {Chrome Buffalo}

Sole Hope Ambassadors were invited to Uganda this summer, to help distribute the shoes, meet the shoe makers, remove jiggers, etc. Unfortunately, I am unable to make it, but I’m hoping we can all join forces and help send my fellow Sole Hope friend, Ashley!

Ashley has partnered with Chrome Buffalo to help raise funds for the trip. Chrome Buffalo, founded by the great folks from Light Gives Heat, is an online crowd funding platform that allows anyone looking to raising money to create a fundraising drive. They then select a t-shirt design, each which sells for $22. But the best part is that the participant receives $11 of the $22! And you get a great t-shirt. Along with the pleasure of helping someone out.

So here’s the only problem. I’m really late on this! We were frolicking on vacation last week, and now Ashley only has 2 days left of her drive. So drop what you’re doing, unless it is feeding a baby. And head over to Ashley’s fundraising page on Chrome Buffalo.

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From Ashely…

I will be traveling to Uganda, Africa for 15 days in July! I will be working with Sole Hope doing jigger removals, foot washing, shoe distribution, and working with the shoe makers. My work with Sole Hope has been extremely rewarding over the past two years, and I can only imagine how my heart will feel finally being in Jinja, Uganda with the shoemakers and children that I have loved from afar for so long. This will also be a very personal trip, as my sons had jiggers when they were growing up. Although I wasn’t able to be there to comfort my sons, I consider myself very blessed to be able to comfort their children during this painful experience. You can watch a video of my son Blake talking about jiggers here: http://youtu.be/vZIgoEqvG0o I know from my travels to Africa three years ago that this trip will forever change me for the good. My trip will cost $3,500 and I want to thank you for partnering with myself and Sole Hope to make this trip a reality!

Sole Hope: A gift for you, 100+ pairs of shoes, and me!

I’m beyond excited to share these 3 great things about Sole Hope today. So instead of making you read 3 separate posts, here they are. Keep scrolling!

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Sole Hope is celebrating their 3rd birthday! You know how most people GET birthday gifts? Not the awesome folks at Sole Hope. They are GIVING a 33% discount (code below) in their store, until the end of March. Shop away, my friends!

Sole Hope Birthday March Code

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Remember how Fancy Little Things devoted a month to hosting Sole Hope Shoe Cutting Parties, raising donations & awareness? Read first-hand from some of the participants over at the Fancy Little Things Blog about how they are making a difference. {Spoiler alert…over 100 pairs of  shoes were cut! Seriously, go read their stories – they are wonderful!}

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Fun! I’m featured on the Sole Hope Blog this week.  See why I love being a Sole Hope Ambassador! Go read why it has been such a blessing to be out of my comfort zone, and why I’m standing in the middle of the woods…

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I have more posts about Sole Hope. Check them out!

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Give love to She Does Justice & Sole Hope

Remember She Does Justice? Her March cause is none other than Sole Hope! 10% of all March orders from She Does Justice will go directly to Sole Hope! (Read all about the collaboration on She Does Justice.)

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And to make this collaboration even more beautiful, my fellow Sole Hope Ambassador, Natalie from Take the Cannoli, is offering one of her gorgeous hoop’s for sale in the She Does Justice shop!

She Does Justice Sole Hope Hoop

All proceeds from the ‘Sole Hope Hoop’ go directly to furthering the mission of Sole Hope.

Hand Stitched on Vintage Floral Linen and is display ready in a 5″ Hoop.

Hoops are made by Natalie of Take the Cannoli. All orders will be made to order and shipped directly from Natalie.

She Does Justice Sole Hope Hoop

Some other beauties you can shop for in the She Does Justice Shop?

She Does Justice mustard stripe  She Does Justice peacock scarf

She Does Justice purple green bracelet   She Does Justice black polka dot

Support She Does Justice.

Support Sole Hope.
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Want to learn more about Sole Hope? Consider hosting a Shoe Cutting Party!

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Fancy Little Things + Sole Hope

I am so excited to help announce this collaboration…

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Fancy Little Things is showing love to Sole Hope for the next month, by encouraging Shoe Cutting Parties, donations, prayers, etc. Head over to Fancy Little Things to read the full post (by yours truly!) and see how you can join in.

Don’t forget to join the Fancy Little Things Community and introduce yourself! We want to get to know everyone who is hosting parties!

I have more posts about Sole Hope Shoe Cutting Parties (and other Giving Parties). Check them out!

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