Bohemian Vintage Inspired Apparel by Doên

Bohemian Vintage Inspired Apparel by Doên

Sometimes I feel the bohemian trend is a little overblown by now, especially when Springtime and festival season rolls around. I usually tend to skip the shops that specialize in this look (because so many of them look the same to me) and opt for independent brands and Etsy shops that make clothing for Burning Man-style festivals (or everyday) instead, for pieces that are truly unique and made with love. ZhenNymph is one I wrote about a year ago, and another just popped up for me, from a Refinery29 article that calls them an adult version Free People. Doên indeed looks just like that, but better! These timeless pieces are definitely more of a modern, everyday and mature take on the bohemian trend, but that’s not all that makes this brand so special.

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Support the Homeless with Mitscoots Outfitters

Like many of you out there, I love charitable causes…but I also understand how difficult it can be sometimes to actively contribute to charities while we all try to keep our heads above water in this big old rat race as it is. It’s been so great to see big brands doing their part by contributing a portion of sales to various charities, and making it easy for shoppers to get involved. The concept of “buy one, give one” is one of my favorites, like the One for One® campaign by TOMS, which provides a product to someone in need for each one purchased. I’m excited to say I discovered another brand that does something similar, with one extra (and awesome) bit!

Mitscoots Outfitters is an outdoorsy brand that produces socks, beanies, scarves and gloves (as well as logo tees) for men and women, but there’s something honorably different that sets every product apart. The brand was founded in 2012 after its founders were volunteering along the streets of Austin in 2008 and noticed that after food and water, the biggest requests from the homeless population were quality gear and a clean pair of socks. This inspiration led to the creation of a brand that not only works through local and national charities to send an equal quality item for every item sold to someone less fortunate (on your behalf), but also employs the transitioning homeless, through shelters and placement agencies, to package up and send your orders to you! Providing employment opportunities helps with increasing confidence, skill development, motivation, and network building. How great is that?! In addition, everything is made right here in America. Mitscoots calls this noble mission “Get + Give + Employ”.

While Mitscoots has the image of an adventurous, outdoorsy brand, their products are perfect for the commuter, the professional, lazy days or nights in or just anyone who enjoys the luxury of feeling both stylish and cozy. The additional good feeling of giving back is an awesome icing on the cake…but really it’s the foundation which made this company possible in the first place!

“While volunteering along the streets of Austin, Texas circa 2008, we discovered that right after food and water, there was no greater request among the less fortunate than for a clean pair of socks and some quality gear.”

“Mitscoots Women’s Socks are meant to stand out and be bold. They represent the heart of a girl who does more than just wear something that looks good, but chooses to wear something that means good.”

“So, for every item purchased, we give an equal quality item to someone in need and take pride in employing the transitioning homeless to get each and every style packaged up and ready to go.”

“Mitscoots Men’s Socks are meant to stand out and be bold. It’s time for fellas to step up their socks game, help others in need and go to bed having done something awesome.”

“Mitscoots makes GEAR with a Mission: Get + Give + Employ”

Mitscoots Outfitters is also running a Kickstarter campaign to launch a collection of men’s and women’s hats. “The Cause Cap” will work the same way the brand’s existing products do and are guaranteed for 5 years!

Support the Homeless with Mitscoots Outfitters - Cause Cap

Image: Mitscoots Outfitters. Cause Cap (Kickstarter)

Read more about Mitscoots Outfitters and shop their huge collection of stylish, comfy products here.

View and support The Cause Cap campaign on Kickstarter here.

The TOMS x Prabal Gurung Collection for Nepal

The TOMS x Prabal Gurung Collection for Nepal

Image: TOMS.

I’ve always got my eyes on TOMS. Of all the philanthropic companies that I love writing about, they are one of the most active, always building new collaborative relationships and collections to benefit those who need it most. This time, TOMS has joined forces with couture designer Prabal Gurung to benefit Nepal through the Shikshya Foundation Nepal. We all know about TOMS’ One for One campaign, where for every pair of shoes purchased, one is given to a child in need. This campaign takes things one major step further: rebuilding Nepal after that devastating earthquake. Prabal is from Nepal, bringing his unique designs to this collection of four women’s shoes. The Black Suede Contrast Women’s PG Nepal Boots look straight out of the country, and the beautiful black, white and red designs of the other three pieces are sure to please your style tastes as well. For every purchase, TOMS will donate $5 to the Shikshya Foundation Nepal, with a minimum contribution of $20,000USD.

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Vegan Handbags and Footwear from Matt & Nat

Vegan Handbags and Footwear from Matt & Nat

I honestly kneel down to anyone who has perfected the vegan lifestyle…I am not sure I’d be able to do it. It’s tough enough to just avoid cheese, bread and meat (which I do as often as I can as an almost-vegetarian and slightly lactose/wheat intolerant) wherever I go. Applying this lifestyle to other consumables and products across the home and wardrobe, I have a ton of respect for. It’s kind of an awkward topic; it’s not like I’m trying to be vegan, but I do like to support vegan products as often as I can. I do like a supple leather handbag or shoes, usually because they tend to last longer. Over the years though, some brands like BLANKNYC, MeDusa and Matt & Nat have relaxed that belief of mine with their super high quality, attractive vegan leather products. I own a few products from each, and they all have held up just as well as my real leather pieces (and of course, leaves me feeling just a bit more animal friendly). Fauxgerty and Angela Roi are two others on my radar that I hope to try out soon! I absolutely love watching this market expand.

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Denim Shoes for Everyone at TOMS

Denim Shoes for Everyone at TOMS

Image: TOMS

Denim Shoes for Everyone at TOMS

I’ve talked about TOMS so much throughout my blog here, for an obvious reason; the impressive charitable contributions for this brand are very well known. Just about every month I get an email from them highlighting something new, and sometimes I have to be careful to not turn my blog into a TOMS themed blog—everything they send is so cool and admirable. This one has another obvious purpose. Apart from the brand’s awesome One for One® initiative, where for every shoe purchased, a pair is sent to a child in need, they’ve recently released a denim and chambray shoe collection! Although the two fabrics are pretty similar (apart from a few differences in the weave pattern), I focused on just the denim side here since there were too many cool options for men, women and the little ones too. Most of these are also great options for stylish vegans as well! Here are some of my favorites below.

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Androgenous Denim by Dapper Boi Crowdsourcing

Androgenous Denim by Dapper Boi Crowdsourcing

Androgenous Denim by Dapper Boi Crowdsourcing

As we know, it’s already quite tough enough to find the jeans that best fit your body. Even though it has gotten better over the years thanks to better fabric technologies, brand research and customer feedback, but what about jeans that fit something more important: you know, like your lifestyle, and who you are? Last year I wrote about this awesome Kickstarter campaign that was a breath of fresh air in the denim industry, bringing up something I hadn’t even seen yet: androgenous denim for both men and women. We already are seeing a lot of crap in the political realm on gender-neutral rights, why should it also span across apparel—something we can fix right now? We already know we can’t always throw everyone into specific categories, especially when it comes to body shape, and that everyone comes in a wide range of different shapes, sizes and lifestyles. Dapper Boi came forth to help remedy that.

Androgenous Denim by Dapper Boi Crowdsourcing - Group Shot

In May 2015, Dapper Boi’s Kickstarter started with slim-straight jeans that had the details and the look of men’s jeans, while also featuring great fit and comfort for a woman’s body with the right amount of stretch. The jeans were meant to be a perfect fit for anyone and they even tested them out on some curvy men who ended up loving them too. With a goal of $18,000, the company was able to raise $26,000 to produce the first run of these jeans, which have already sold out with some happy fans buying their second or third pairs after trying their first! Dapper Boi has decided to change their business model to ensure their expansion without the use of outside crowdfunding sources.

Androgenous Denim by Dapper Boi Crowdsourcing - Male Model

Anyone can now purchase a pair of premium jeans for as low as $69 (wholesale!) for 3 weeks only by visiting DapperBoi.com and clicking on “Limited Wholesale Pricing“. If the minimum amount needed to start production is raised through this limited-time sale, customers will receive their jeans in 6 to 8 weeks. Every jean will be produced in a limited quantity, and once they are delivered to their customers, any additional inventory will be available for purchase at retail price within the “In Stock Now” section of their website. If the funding goal is not met in the three-week period, the jeans will not be manufactured and customers will receive a full refund. It basically puts the control in the customer’s hands! The goal is to run three 3-week sales every month.

Androgenous Denim by Dapper Boi Crowdsourcing - Model

The first collection launched on June 20th and features Slim-Straight, Premium Indigo Stretch Jeans. Darker than their initial OG jeans, this wash is versatile enough for any occasion and is made of lighter weight, 9.7oz denim with even more stretch at a 98% cotton and 2% spandex fabric makeup. This makes it a flexible, comfortable fit for just about any size and shape. This campaign will run through 11:59pm July 11, and once the jeans are back in stock they will return to their retail price of $138.

“We’re in the business of making people feel comfortable in their own skin and it’s only a matter of time before a mainstream department store takes on a gender-neutral department with its own fitting room. Until then, we want to be the pioneers to take us there.” -Founder and CEO Vicky Pasche

Androgenous Denim by Dapper Boi Crowdsourcing - Cellphone Pocket

But that’s not all. What would a great company like this be without a charitable cause? Dapper Boi aims to positively impact their LGBT and gender-neutral customers by donating $4.99 to the Orlando Pulse Shooting Fund, hosted by Equality Florida Action, Inc., with every pair of jeans sold from their latest campaign (assuming their funding goal is met). All of these funds will go to directly to the families of the 49 victims and the survivors from this tragedy. I am giving them a huge group hug through my screen right now.

Androgenous Denim by Dapper Boi Crowdsourcing - Inside Jeans

Shop the limited collection from Dapper Boi and read more about this awesome company here!

Read my previous post about them that I wrote last year here.

Gemstone Necklace Sale at Midwinter Co.

Gemstone Necklace Sale at Midwinter Co.

I am a huge fan of independent handmade jewelry brands…add in raw gemstones and you’ve got my attention! One of my all time favorite jewelry brands is Midwinter Co., due to their wide range of rustic and raw yet gorgeous pieces made from hand-picked “perfectly flawed diamonds, rough uncut gemstones, and high quality, uniquely styled metals.” I discovered them on Fab.com years ago and haven’t looked back since! I just can’t get enough of the raw gemstones (due to natural appeal and the fact that no two pieces are the same!) but even their polished, cut stones are just totally beautiful with a slight industrial feel as well when placed in gunmetal rings or necklace chains. I especially love that they donate 10% of all profits to charity. Check out my post about them from back in January here!

Right now, until June 27th, Midwinter Co. is having a necklace sale…so here’s your chance to grab your first piece and to check them out for yourselves if the brand is new to you, or to add to your existing collection if you are already a big fan like me! All pieces are 30% off, and you can get an extra 10% off with code ILOVEMIDWINTER.

I mean, come on, how could you at least not love those amazing labradorite pieces below?!

Shop Midwinter Co. here! Don’t forget to grab an extra 10% off with code ILOVEMIDWINTER.

Charitable Hand Painted Denim by Rialto Jean Project

Charitable Hand Painted Denim by Rialto Jean Project

It is so exciting to me to see so many artist collaborations in the denim world. Denim on its own is a kind of art, and there’s no question that fashion and art go together hand in hand. For awhile, I only witnessed the merging of paint and denim as kind of a spinoff of denim’s roots as workwear…with paint splatters accompanying other roughed up details like distressing and even grass stains as a coveted fashion statement. In 2014, I worked with Dragonfly by J. Claire, a made-to-order brand that created custom hand-stenciled paint jobs on a variety of different denim washes. Last year, Nok Nok came out with their Summer of Love Collection for 2016, which features denim painted with artist Jackson Pollock’s unique drip technique. Adriano Goldschmied’s daughter Marta collaborated her brand MADE GOLD with artist Yuki Haze for a limited collection of painted denim this year, and just a few weeks ago I stumbled across Rialto Jean Project.

Rialto Jean Project is “an eco-friendly, philanthropic denim brand specializing in hand-painted, one-of-a-kind vintage product.” Founder & Creative Director Erin Feniger personally picks out rare and unique American-made vintage pieces and paints them herself, in an effort to support children through art! She paints not only denim, but also offers sweatshirts, military jackets, and more. All proceeds from the sale of her pieces go to support innovative art therapy programs at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and New York Presbyterian Hospital. Rialto Jean Project calls their initiative ‘Denim Doing Good’, to represent their dedication and hard work to the cause! I know I am thankful I was introduced to art at a very young age, so this project definitely resonates with me. I truly believe an introduction to the arts at a young age helps foster personal growth and creativity!

Shopbop is carrying a small collection of pieces from Rialto Jean Project, including this amazing, more modern piece from BLANKNYC! If you aren’t familiar with their Skinny Classique in Good Vibes, this jean has been stocked and restocked over and over through multiple online retail outlets due to it’s incredible popularity thanks to fashion bloggers everywhere. I have been seeing it circulating Instagram for almost a year now! I grabbed a pair for myself and can see the appeal, but the fact that Rialto decided to work with BLANKNYC to give this jean a whole new character is just so fitting and awesome.

Rialto Jean Project also worked closely with NYDJ for a pretty good sized collection of white denim that’s been painted in all sorts of eye popping colors. Check that out here!

Read more about and shop directly from Rialto Jean Project at their website here.

Shop the Shopbop collection here, or click through the widget below!

Today is Denim Day 2016 by Peace Over Violence

Today is Denim Day 2016 by Peace Over Violence

Image: Peace Over Violence. Maya Jupiter and Aloe Blacc, Artists and Official Denim Day Spokescouple.

Today is Denim Day 2016 by Peace Over Violence

You might remember this from a post I wrote about last year! With all of my writeups about sustainable and ethical fashion, it’s only natural to share political or humanitarian activism in the apparel industry. Peace Over Violence is a a sexual and domestic violence, stalking, child abuse and youth violence prevention center headquartered in Los Angeles and dedicated to building healthy relationships, families and communities free from sexual, domestic and interpersonal violence. For 17 years, they have been running an annual campaign called Denim Day, which calls for women and men everywhere to wear jeans in honor of Sexual Violence Awareness Month. Why jeans? In 1992, a rape conviction was overturned in the Italian Supreme Court because the 18 year old victim was wearing tight jeans—which, in their eyes, must have meant she helped her attacker remove them, thereby implying consent. After the outrage, Denim Day was founded to stand in solidarity with the victim, and other victims everywhere. Wearing jeans on this day is now a symbol of protest about destructive attitudes and misconception towards sexual assault. This year, April 27 is that day! I actually wear jeans every day (surprise surprise), so…count me in!

For the third year, denim brand GUESS has partnered with Peace Over Violence as the official sponsor. “The GUESS woman is sexy and confident but sexy is NEVER an invitation or an excuse to rape, and we are here to spread that message and create awareness even further by bringing Denim Day across the globe,” says Paul Marciano, Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder and President of the GUESS Foundation. As a further motion, GUESS will donate 10% of the proceeds from all denim and select accessory styles between April 25th and 30th. Shop and support the cause here! In addition, visit a GUESS store today for a free tote bag with any regular priced purchase.

In addition, GUESS encouraged everyone to stand up to sexual violence by creating their own video promise to wear denim on Denim Day in support of Peace Over Violence and survivors of sexual assault.

Today is Denim Day 2016 by Peace Over Violence

Image: GUESS

Read more about Denim Day and how you can support the cause here.

Read more about the 1992 Italian Supreme Court Case at the New York Times here.

Visit Peace Over Violence here.

Endangered Species Scarves by Threads 4 Thought

Endangered Species Scarves by Threads 4 Thought

I’ve been eyeing Threads 4 Thought® for some time now…mainly for their gorgeous prints in the form of activewear like leggings, tops and outerwear, as well as other everyday apparel items. I didn’t even initially realize that everything they create is ethical and sustainable, made from organic cotton, recycled polyester and lenzing modal®, a CO2 neutral fiber that is harvested from beech trees that never need to be cut down. On the manufacturing side, the minds behind Threads 4 Thought® travel around the world to solidify good relationships with the factories they employ and to make sure they share their same values. Some of these factories even recycle the water used in production! They are even accredited with Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), The Sustainable Apparel Coalition and are Fair Trade Certified. That was enough to get me to focus on a future feature here on my blog, but this new scarf collection benefiting endangered species really did me in.

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