Help Provide Meals for Children with FEED Bags

While I absolutely love discovering new brands with a charitable program to give back to those in need, it’s also great to see the well-established, tried-and-true and well-loved brands evolving and still staying strong to their respectable initiatives. FEED is one of them. Founded in 2007 by Lauren Bush, after witnessing hunger (which affects about 795 million people around the world) after a trip to Cambodia, Chad and Guatemala. She saw children not receiving adequate nutrition in the form of school meals, and founded FEED to help change that. Every bag purchased has a number stamped inside that signifies how many meals or micronutrient packets will be provided to someone in need. FEED’s mission is to “connect customers to the cause, one bag at a time.” FEED works closely with The World Food Programme (WFP), Unicef, and Feeding America to help combat malnutrition globally. So far, there have been 95,619,215 meals provided to date!

As mentioned, I’ve been familiar with FEED for years, but I had only seen their signature burlap totes. However, the brand actually now provides a full range of beautiful crossbody bags, diaper bags, totes, duffles, backpacks, wine bags, bracelets, bibs for babies, pouches and more, all made with sustainable materials. Whether you like military-inspired or classic leather pieces, FEED has something for you! I myself am craving some of those leather totes…and there’s even a collaboration with Rebecca Minkoff (in the form of a clutch, crossbody or tote, seen below)!

Several of FEED’s bags are artisan-made, pulling in local traditions of craftmanship to benefit communities in Kenya, Mexico, El Salvador and even right here in the United States. With every purchase of a hand-made artisan bag, you are not only helping provide school meals, but also helping support the lives of artisans and their families.

Well, here’s another one to add to my most-watched list! Here are some of my favorites below.

“It is hard to believe that hunger is a daily reality for 795 million people around the world. Hunger and malnutrition have devastating effects on individuals, families and communities – making people more susceptible to diseases, causing physical deficiencies due to lack of nutrients and stunting mental abilities.”

“Lack of food is not the cause of hunger. In fact, enough food is produced each year to feed everyone on the planet. The key to solving hunger is improving vulnerable communities’ access to nutritious food…every time you buy a FEED product, you are participating in the solution. You are investing in better futures for children and families around the world.”

“One of the most effective solutions in combating hunger is school feeding, which we support in 63 countries. Not only does this intervention ensure children have access to daily nutrients, but it also empowers them to break out of the cycle of poverty they were born into, and allows them to grow, learn, and thrive.”

“Every one of our products has a number stamped on it that signifies the amount of meals or micronutrient packets provided with its purchase. Nine years later, we’ve built a movement connecting our customers to the cause, one bag at a time.”

Read more about, and shop FEED bags here!

Fran Denim Kelly Crop Jeans Review

Fran Denim Kelly Crop Jeans Review

It’s been almost two years since I last wrote about Fran Denim, and I’m glad to see them still going strong! It’s great to see such a huge response in the denim industry for fits that are made for body shapes outside of the typical model type; more and more big names (and some new) are putting out collections fit for the curvy ones among us. However, there still isn’t a whole lot out there for athletic types, even though sometimes we can fit in the “curvy” demographic. I might not have a super muscular shape, and I do easily fit into most jeans on the market, but I am a gym rat (#ISquat), and many of those jeans I do fit in could definitely fit a little better. I have the larger bum and smaller waist which often leads to a least a slight waist gap, causing me to hike jeans up a few times throughout the day. Or, sometimes the waist is fine, but the legs don’t quite accommodate much muscle. I even have situations where the whole jeans do fit, thanks to stretch, but they are tighter in my more toned areas which still make them slide down or shift throughout the day. Enter Fran Denim…a true lifesaver! Read on for my review of the Fran Denim Kelly Crop—a new release!

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Denim for Every Occasion at White House Black Market

As you can imagine, I’m not usually one for big chain stores. American Eagle Outfitters is an exception, and sometimes Topshop or ASOS if I feel so inclined. Of course, you can count in all the big denim brands I write about, but I don’t really throw them in the same category. I don’t really like shopping in physical stores, because online shopping gives more flexibility and freedom to search for discount codes or mull over a piece you kind of like for a few days before purchasing (and I don’t like feeling watched when I shop). Also, a lot of brick & mortar stores are painfully specific to me…you’ve got either teen you young adult-oriented boutiques or the ones that cater to the older crowds. I never really see anything in between, other than maybe Express, but I haven’t even stepped foot in one of those stores in awhile. I guess I have a bit too much hippy in my blood.

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Innovative and Eco Friendly Hemp Bags by Kahush

Innovative and Eco Friendly Hemp Bags by Kahush

Image: Kahush. The Asa backpack.

Of all the renewable materials around, hemp is definitely the strongest and most versatile. It’s tougher than cotton, and has natural antimicrobial properties. It’s also a fast growing plant, making it extremely sustainable. It can be used for paper, clothing, construction materials, biofuel, plastic composites, bath & body care and so many more, and it’s really unfortunate that it’s not quite reached industrial use yet. However, many companies are working on that by promoting its use, such as Hemp Blue, Nomads Hemp Wear, The Body Shop and several others. It’s always exciting to me to see so many startups working to change the world in terms of sustainability, and I’ve got another one to share with you today: Kahush.

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Shop Sustainable Brands through ASOS Eco Edit

I’ve had a lot of favorite online shopping destinations throughout the years, but lately I’ve made a conscious effort to shop primarily through independent Etsy artists or sustainable brands I discover through my digging around for quality posts to share with all of you. I don’t really frequent many of the popular powerhouses, like Tobi, ASOS, H&M or Zara (I definitely stay away from fast fashion). However, it’s been nice to hear lately that H&M has actually been working towards more sustainable practices, and Zara released a sustainable collection last year. Just recently, while researching the next cool item to write about, I realized that all this time, ASOS has had their own eco-friendly collection as well, along with a fair-trade line. How on earth did I miss this?

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Head Turning Spring Denim Footwear from DSW

Head Turning Spring Denim Footwear from DSW

Image: DSW

After deciding to swear off (or at least cut down on) shopping at major retailers for awhile last year and focus more on sustainable and independent designers (thus staying more true to the focus of my blog), I was surprised with a gift card to DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse) on my birthday! Usually I love gift cards, as they allow for “free” shopping trips and flexibility to choose what you want, but I hadn’t seen anything on DSW that I felt didn’t look like something I already had. My wish list was growing though, and soon I found a few cute things to add to my closet! I grabbed a pair of Chooka rain boots (just in time for that crazy California rain) and a the Lauren Ralph Lauren Genna Bootie. After becoming a member and making my first purchase, I started getting their newsletters and decided to stay subscribed because I enjoyed how each was curated and brought some unique styles to my attention!

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The TOMS Haiti Artist Collective

The TOMS Haiti Artist Collective

Image: TOMS

Of all the charitable companies I enjoy writing about here, TOMS has got to be one of my favorites. Since their beginnings, they have been a big name bringing awareness about those less fortunate to the fashionable masses, and have set a model example for other companies with the same initiatives. Just about everyone is familiar with their One for One® campaign, where for every pair of shoes purchased, another pair will be sent to someone in need. Throughout the years, they have had other campaigns for fresh water in developing countries, to help shelter dogs find homes, to support endangered animal species, to give the gift of good eyesight, to promote safe birth for women in need, and so much more. I also love that they support artisans around the world! For their latest collection, TOMS has partnered up with a group of artists for their Haiti Artist Collective.

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The Ghost In The Shell Collection by Hudson Jeans

The Ghost In The Shell Collection by Hudson Jeans

Image: Hudson.

I’ll have to admit, I’m not a huge movie person. I often have issues sitting still through more than an hour, even if the subject matter is interesting to me. All I can think of is everything I have going on (or could have going on) outside the theater! Being the dreamer I am, you’d think movies would be more my thing, but there have been many very memorable movies throughout my life that I can still sit through over and over again (Mirrormask being one). My husband has tried a few times to get me to watch Ghost In The Shell (being a bit of a nostalgic movie for him), but I never really understood the anime thing, as awesome as the whole culture appears to me. The whole thing looks awesome, and I appreciate the unique storyline and the sci-fi genre it fits in. Anything dark appeals to me, at least enough to catch my attention, and I was curious when I saw the new remake coming out on March 31! Of course, with all remakes, I will probably want to give it time to see how well it sits with the fans of the original, but since I’m not all that familiar with it, maybe I’ll think differently, seeing it with a completely open mind. Either way, I was kind of excited when I saw Hudson, one of my favorite denim brands, coming out with their own apparel collection inspired by the movie!

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Trying Out a New Denim Brand: Johnny Was Blue

It’s always good fun discovering and trying out new denim brands…it always amazes me how many there are out there that I still somehow don’t know about to begin with, but it impresses me how many new ones pop up all the time, despite the crazy competition in the industry! My stint at Denimology as a product reviewer has been such an amazing opportunity to try all sorts of brands, both new and some I’ve known and wanted to try for a long time. The latest for me to discover and review is a new denim line from a brand born in 1987 and inspired by the California boho and beach life, Johnny Was. After 30 years of always searching for the best jeans to pair with their flowy, feminine tops, they decided to introduce their own denim line, Johnny Was Blue! The line consists of three signature fits: The Flare, The Skinny (in a medium blue or black wash) and The Tomboy, each made with supersoft Tencel-infused fabrics thanks to designer Christy Whitley. When I got the chance to review one of these styles for Denimology, I chose The Tomboy! I’d normally grab a skinny jean, but I’ve done sooo many of those and lately I’ve been more partial to, and curious about, more relaxed vintage-inspired fits.

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Sustainable Vegan Bags by Eve Cork

Sustainable Vegan Bags by Eve Cork

Image: Eve Cork

When I’m shopping for a pair of shoes or a bag, I usually gravitate towards leather goods in a desire for something that will last me more than just a few months. I know leather is a byproduct that would otherwise be thrown out, but I also know that the meat industry can be pretty bad for our environment. It’s a bit of a trade-off that sometimes I decide to settle with, since I know buying quality leads to less purchases, and thus less waste overall. However, I’ve been surprised lately by some vegan brands that have come out of the woodwork and proven to me that faux leather CAN be just as durable! Brands like Matt & Nat, MeDusa and BLANKNYC have been my favorites in that realm so far, and I might just add a fourth with Eve Cork!

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