New Ethical Bohemian Designs by ZhenNymph

Being exposed to the “transformational” or “conscious” festival circuit has opened me up to such an incredibly awesome new world of independent style. Many people know they should be shopping more sustainably, but aren’t quite sure where to look…and browsing through (and getting to know) the vendors at many of these events has gotten me accustomed to the true benefit of supporting some of these hard working artists—supporting small is always good, but it’s also about the quality (you can tell when there’s real love put into someone’s work), ethical nature (no sweat shops), and unique appeal (the creativity always blows me away)! I’m sure you’ve seen me pouring out my love for plenty of these particular designers over the years, but apart from specifics, this newfound knowledge has been a very useful lead in finding others that I may not find at festivals. One of them being ZhenNymph, one of my absolute favorites!

I first wrote about ZhenNymph about three years ago. It’s hard to be unique nowadays as a creative but this beautiful brand, founded by designer Henn (a.k.a. “Zhenn”), has such an awesome standout distinguishable style. Henn first began creating and selling clothing on her travels around Europe and Asia in 2007, and gathers a lot of her inspiration from attending meditation retreats, as she is currently also a meditation practitioner. ZhenNymph is a great example of “slow fashion” vs “fast fashion,” as everything is created in small batches by a team of six tailors in India. The team prides itself in ethical and fair trade practices as well as a warm and playful family atmosphere in the production environment. I absolutely love the attention to detail and high quality of everything—at the time of my first post about them, I had yet to own any of these pieces, but I now have three (Chilling in my Jogger Pants in Teal, the Mia Crop Top, and the Ixia Hooded Crop Top in Tribal Blue) and I can vouch for all three! I’ve worn them each at festivals or while out and about. I’ve already got my eyes on more! This is a brand I can’t ever keep my eyes off of.

One other thing about Henn is that she does not follow the usual flow of fashion in terms of seasonal releases. Instead, she creates when she is inspired to do so, so you never really know when something new and awesome will be available! I think three years between posts has been long enough to have several new items to share with you all, and there are a whole lot more where that came from. Here are my favorite new releases from ZhenNymph!

“I am Henn a.k.a. “Zhenn”, dreamer and creator of ZhenNymph. I create with a focus on comfort and flow. Basically creating what I feel inspired to wear 🙂 adding unique details to make each design a truly special one.”

“We produce in very (very!) small batches. It’s more economic for both the environment and for us. Hence why often designs run out of stock and ‘sales’ are rather rare.

We are not part of the ‘fast-fashion’ industry and do our best to deliver a more personal, ethical, and a loving experience.”

“Smelling fabrics and feeling colors I always had a passion for playing with fabrics and created my own clothes already as a teenager, so when the need to support my free spirited life style came.. well.. ZhenNymph was born. In 2007 I made my first collection and was selling it while traveling around Europe and Asia. It felt amazing being able to support my ‘out of the system’ life style with my creations. There was such a YES vibrating in me when creating my line and a clear knowing that in this chapter in my life. ZhenNymph is what I was simply meant to be doing. A huge part of what’s fueling me to keep creating is the appreciation and recognition I have felt for my work by my amazingly loving customers. Without that encouragement and support ZhenNymph wouldn’t be.”

“I’m kind of a mess really 🙂 in the best way possible (or I’d like to think so). ZhenNymph has no catalogs, seasonal collections etc.. I create when I feel inspired to, which is the most authentic way for me to run this little show. Respecting my organic creative flow helps me make sure this brand remains my love and an expression of my passion and does not become a burden. #ILoveWhatIdo”

“I currently own a small workshop with 6 tailors, that I personally work with closely, and produce solely for the ZhenNymph brand. My workshop is located in India. I do not believe in ‘fast-fashion’ and completely avoid the services of big manufacturers. All of my designs are made in very (very) small batches (hence, often designs are out of stock) and we definitely insist on very ethical/fair trade practices and a warm (and even playful:)) family atmosphere.

We are 100% sweatshop free and all of our garments are ethically made with much attention to detail and lots of love.”

“My Slow Fashion attitude does mean that manufacturing costs me more. But I feel that it is more fair to everyone involved. Including our planet. Producing small amounts allows me to organically grow and produce according to what I see you like buying 🙂

(big brands produce thousands of pieces in each design which reduces costs but will also create a lot of waste and the need for huge sales/markdowns)”

“I make a point not to mark up my designs and do my very best to keep my prices as low as I can while making sure my team both in India and in the US are paid more than fairly. My vision is to have an alternative brand that offers something different and unique all while remaining inclusive and affordable.”

“I make a point not to mark up my designs and do my very best to keep my prices as low as I can while making sure my team both in India and in the US are paid more than fairly. My vision is to have an alternative brand that offers something different and unique all while remaining inclusive and affordable.”

Shop MANY many more gorgeous pieces from ZhenNymph here. If this brand sparks your tastes, your wardrobe will thank you!

New Unique Denim Pieces for Summer from BLANKNYC

I’ve been a huge fan of BLANKNYC for quite some time now! My experience writing reviews and content for Denimology.com has been such a great way to become more familiar with several brands I only window shopped in the virtual sense before, and this one has stuck with me strongly since then. I’d say they bridge the gap between the premium market and the more affordable side of contemporary fashion—they aren’t cheap, but the prices are awesome considering the edgy creativity and quality that goes into this super fun brand. So in that sense, I find them very affordable! I have a few of their jeans (the Skinny Classique in Good Vibes being my favorite), but it’s their jackets (especially their embroidered ones) that I seriously want to fill my closet with! The Embroidered Vegan Leather Jacket in As You Wish was a hit last year and is one of my favorites, as is a blue tie dyed piece and the Sea of Flowers jacket (shown below), which I recently acquired! There are so many more still on my wish list, even discontinued ones that I’ve had bookmarked on both Poshmark and eBay for years! I have to avoid looking at their site too much or my list grows longer and longer…

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New Colored Jeans to Brighten Up Your Summer Wardrobe

New Colored Jeans to Brighten Up Your Summer Wardrobe

Image: Shopbop

I remember when colored denim first popped up in the premium market, somewhere in the mid to late 2000s. It definitely seemed like a reasonable next step in a trendy sense, but this was still in the relatively early stages of the days of premium denim, when skinny jeans were still working on grasping a hold on the market. The super stretchy fabric technologies used widely today weren’t quite around yet and bootcut styles were still pretty darn popular. At the time, it seemed consumers were more interested in what brand insignia was displayed across their behinds rather than fit, feel or wash, but that’s not to say those weren’t important selling points. From my memory, when celebrities were first seen wearing colored denim, a lot of people weren’t quite ready for it yet. Nowadays, more and more people crave simplicity and well fitting pants regardless of the brand, and seem to be more willing to have fun with color, especially now that a lot of style influences from the ’90s have returned, thanks in part to the booming festival fashion market with the younger crowd.

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Get Into The Groove with the 70s Edit at Revolve

“’70s chic. It’s a thing.” I’m sure you’ve noticed, vintage styles have come back with a bang over the last few years. It seems the explosion of the popularity of music festivals and “boho style” certainly helped, but I prefer to stick with the idea that these classic styles simply re-emerged due to their versatility and timeless grace. Simplicity is often key in fashion, and less is almost always more. Maybe it’s the yearning for the golden days of yesteryear as we dive into more complex times, or just the realization that many of the fashions back then were definitely worth bringing back. Not only were they rooted in the notion of a free spirit, but they also captured femininity and playfulness. I personally love them, and they feel strangely nostalgic to me even though I wasn’t even around yet. Either way, I absolutely love ’70s style, whether we’re talking fashion or even home decor and architecture.

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Sustainable and Fair Trade Swimwear from Patagonia Surf

Sustainable and Fair Trade Swimwear from Patagonia Surf

Image: Patagonia

I know it’s Thursday…and usually my posts have been publishing on Wednesdays lately, but the previous 3-day weekend and busy life kind of threw me off a bit! It sure is nice having a Monday off, even though it often means a lot of catch-up work back in the office. I was just too exhausted yesterday…so I guess today is my “Wednesday,” if you will (although hooray to a shorter week). We’ve been having some weird cold weather here in California, and we’re all feeling fairly sleepy…Summer can’t get here soon enough! Whether your summer prep includes hitting the gym a little more or planning for your upcoming vacation, I’m sure many of you are about to hit the swimwear market, if you haven’t already. Here’s a little tip if you have yet to shop around: if you didn’t already know, Patagonia has a wide range of stylish, quality swim gear for men and women…and it’s all sustainable and fair trade!

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Everlane Introduces Sustainable Denim Shorts and Skirts

Everlane Introduces Sustainable Denim Shorts and Skirts

Image: Everlane

OK, time to get back to more denim! Lately, I’ve been so excited to see the great strides being made in the sustainable apparel world, especially in denim. It’s still not quite to the point of being mainstream, but it’s pretty impressive how many brands, old and new, have been working hard to make this a widespread reality. Awareness of the importance of moving towards a more sustainable society is growing among consumers, and although there is suspicion that many brands may simply be feeling the push to maintain a competitive status, I know there are also several who are right on board with those consumers.

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Spring Summer 2018 from Nomads Hemp Wear is Here!

I usually do not include exclamation marks in my post titles…I’m not all that into sensationalism (and they aren’t the best for search engine optimization). However, I’m such a huge fan of this brand—I don’t think there’s any other seasonal release from any other that I look forward to with such excitement! I can’t even remember how I discovered Nomads Hemp Wear, but it’s been a sweet, sweet relationship between them and my wardrobe for several years now. Eco-friendly and sustainable apparel can be more on the expensive side, but this Canadian brand has almost revolutionized that market by doing everything they could to keep prices down while keeping their entire production fair trade, and everything is made with such amazing attention to quality and comfort, as well as unique, intricate detailing and prints. Their tops have been in several of my older denim reviews, such as this one and this one, and outfit posts like this one. Several other pieces of theirs I also wear at festivals, so I love how versatile their creations are! From parties to casual moments to the office or out on the town, they’ve basically got you covered. About seven days ago, they released their Spring/Summer 2018 collection, and (no surprise) I’ve already placed an order (that Demure Tank below, hello)!

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Chic Rainbow Pieces to Welcome Summer from Revolve

I’m not really one to wear bright colors, unless I’m at a festival or themed party (and even then, I prefer to darken it with a little black). However, it doesn’t mean I dislike color—I am a creative and started off as a graphic designer, after all. When the warmer summer days come around, I enjoy being around or looking at brighter colors to up my mood after the cooler months and look forward to fun in the sun and the parties that come along with it. I don’t need a closet that’s all black (although about half of it is), and I like mixing in some other super creative pieces in to have fun with building outfits for fun occasions. I opened my usual REVOLVE newsletter a few days ago and noticed they put together yet another edit I enjoyed browsing through, titled The Rainbow Edit, which features all the colors of the rainbow. Yesterday’s newsletter featured another one under “Looks We Love.” Seems to be a thing!

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20 Unique Last Minute Mother’s Day Gifts from Etsy

It can be quite hard to shop for moms…by that time in a woman’s life, she might be fairly particular and settled in her tastes and not quite feel the need for additional items around the house. Sometimes all that moms want is your company, which really is better than any gift! Jewelry, a card or flowers are always a given, but sometimes they can seem so cliché. Many people opt for DIY gifts, but how many of us have the time nowadays to craft something up? Mother’s Day is one of those times when a special, unique gift can go a long way. Personalization is a huge option, but where can you go for something emblazoned with a personal message that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? I don’t know why Etsy is still often seen as simply a place where creative folks offer whatever crafts they deem special enough to purchase (which it kid of is, but..), because it’s seriously one of the best places to find quality items made with love to pass on to loved ones (or keep for yourself), that you can’t find anywhere else. I’ve written several posts featuring this fun shopping destination, featuring Valentine’s Day gifts, leather tote bags, Etsy shops by friends, and some of my favorite general finds. I love supporting independent artists a whole lot more than huge chain stores or brands! So I decided to curate a post featuring 20 unique last minute Mother’s Day gifts from Etsy!

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Fair Trade Bohemian Apparel and Accessories by Cleobella

After all these posts I’ve been making pouring out my love for independent designers usually found at music festivals, I would be lying if I said I didn’t still peruse major retailers from time to time. Shopbop and Revolve are the top favorites, but because of being exposed to the little guys and the importance of more sustainable “slow fashion” efforts, I do my best to be conscious about what ethical brands might be available from those websites. Fortunately, there are several in the designer market that do care about humanitarian and earth-friendly practices. Last year I wrote about five sustainable brands found at Shopbop, one of them being Cleobella. I revisited this brand recently and figured it was worth highlighting them again!

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