I always say, for every favorite jean there’s a favorite tee to go with it! I love collecting graphic tees almost as much as I love collecting denim. Another one of my favorite vendors I found at the Global Eclipse Gathering was Sacred Geometrix, a brand that features beautiful designs based on sacred geometry, on tees that are made from bamboo, organic cotton, and/or recycled materials. Since we spent a lot on this trip, I held back on spending any money at the vendor area (a huge accomplishment for me, but then again I did splurge at Lucidity Festival earlier this year). However, I had to get one of their tees: the ‘Manta Rays‘ tee in grey (seen below in black). Too freaking cute! Also cute, were handmade organic cotton crop tops with geometric prints (such as this one) that are great for yoga or festivals, but I’m focusing this post on the beautiful screen printed tees (and scarves) featuring totally unique designs that I found at this vendor’s tent.
I am so excited to share yet another new sustainable denim line with all of you! Here’s the spiel again: the clothing industry is quite dirty and wasteful, especially when it comes to denim. Think of the land, water, and pesticides needed to grow the cotton, the water needed to wash the denim and the chemicals used to create those beautiful worn washes and finishes we all love. According to Forbes, 1,500 gallons of water is used just to create one pair of jeans, and a whopping 450 million jeans are sold in one year in the United States. You can do the math.
When it comes to fashion, sometimes less is more. That’s why I’ve been a fan of Alternative for quite some time. This well known Atlanta-based brand has excelled at creating some of the most soft wardrobe essentials in the industry. Their mission of providing “that soft, lived‑in look and feel of our favorite vintage tee” has helped them land themselves on numerous celebrities and influencers alike, as well as style and comfort-conscious folks like you and me. But of course, it definitely helps that they are also one of the most well known sustainable brands out there! Over 80% of their products are made with either recycled or organic materials, and everything is manufactured under sustainable and fair labor practices. They also have implemented a G2 wash, which allows them to use 60% less water, and non-toxic dyes are used for all of their vintage-inspired tints.
The times they are a’changin’! By now it’s probably no secret that the apparel industry is a fairly dirty one—especially denim. Those pretty denim washes you love take up a lot of water, and oftentimes toxic chemicals. Cotton can contain pesticides, and take up large amounts of land to grow. More and more brands every year are adopting more organic and sustainable practices as the style industry continues to make a huge shift in awareness and manufacturing practices. It makes my heart so happy to see!
I’ve written about several eco-friendly denim lines so far, like Everlane, Sonas, Tortoise and Patagonia, as well as already well-established brands that have improved their production methods, like Joe’s and True Religion. I also did a summary in honor of Earth Month in April of 2015 of a bunch of other eco friendly denim lines. One of the brands I highlighted was Kuyichi, which continues to make awesome strides in sustainable fashion.
Kuyichi got its name from the Peruvian god of the rainbow who brings color into society. They are a Dutch denim brand which started the “organic revolution” by being the first to create organic jeans, sourced from Tanguis cotton from Oro Blanco in Peru. After witnessing the polluted and poverty-stricken cotton industry in Peru in 2000, the brand’s founders were motivated to make a change. Since jeans are the most common product created with cotton, they founded their journey by creating 100% organic cotton denim. Kuyichi also takes social responsibility seriously, working to improve manufacturing conditions in the industry. The brand also now incorporates recycled materials into their product lines, and releases sustainability reports every year which also includes information about their suppliers and code of conduct.
As I’m sure you know, fast fashion is insanely wasteful, both in quality and the idea that new clothes must be purchased each season. Kuyichi prides itself in supporting the “slow fashion” movement, creating timeless denim pieces that keeps its value all year, removing seasonal collections from its product offerings. In 2016, Kuyichi made a new start by bringing in four new owners, one being Dutch Televison host Floortje Dessing. This awesome lady knows sustainable fashion like the back of her hand, as she is the owner of two ethical fashion shops in the Netherlands since 2006 called Nukuhiva. Kuyichi also takes a step further in 2016 with their jeans by stopping the use of leather as brand patches, and instead using jacron which is a very durable material made from recycled paper.
Kuyichi is definitely a brand to keep your eyes on!
“We started the organic revolution as being the first brand to produce organic jeans. Along the way we realized that our collection is timeless and keeps its value. We started loving the concept of slow fashion. A beautiful pair of jeans keeps it’s value. That’s why we have let go of the season collections.”
“Kuyichi uses organic and recycled materials. Our collection is made of recycled denim, recycled PET, organic cotton, organic linnen and Tencel. All the cotton we use is GOTS certified.”
Image: Kuyichi. Gita PLP LS Sweat[/caption]
“At Kuyichi we believe in taking environmental en social responsibility for our actions. This includes more than making just good products at the right price. We want to give a positive impulse to the garment industry by choosing organic and recycled materials. We select our suppliers with care and want to improve conditions in this industry. Since the beginning of Kuyichi in 2001, this has been the core of our company.”
“OUR name KUYICHI is derived from the Peruvian god of the rainbow who brought color in society as well. Why Peru? The first organic cotton we used was Tanguis cotton from Oro Blanco in Peru.”
Shop Kuyichi at their website here, or shop a few other denim options from the widget below:
It can be pretty hard to search out eco friendly apparel brands out there in the sea of fast fashion retailers, but it’s finally beginning to get easier. More and more well established brands, whether they have already staked their claim in the premium denim market or not, are realizing the importance of sustainability and environmentally friendly practices as awareness slowly but surely grows. Everlane is one brand I’ve had my eyes on for awhile, as a brand that provides modern, classic and mature wardrobe staples. Denim has never been part of their lineup, as denim is usually a very dirty industry. Creating those beautiful washes we love uses a lot of water, and often releases dangerous toxins into the environment. However, Everlane stayed true to their values and finally found a way to add a denim shop to their expansive collection of apparel for both women and men.
If you live in the western states right now, I’m sure you can agree that this heat wave we’ve been having has been quite unbearable! I have to admit that I haven’t worn a pair of jeans in weeks. It’s very hard for me to wear loose, light fabrics as bottoms because I feel like I’m wearing almost nothing—jeans give me a feeling of security. However, especially after the Global Eclipse Gathering two weeks ago, I’ve grown more comfortable wearing lighter fabrics in the heat. Even at work! Discovering all of the amazing apparel vendors at the event was great timing for me, as I found myself shopping and building wish lists with all of them more than I have the usual denim brands I love. I’m usually like this after any festival, but feeling a new sense of comfort and freedom in the heat (and year-round) with some of these designs has made them leave more of an impact in the direction I want this blog to go. I’ll always love denim, but independent and sustainable designers are such a huge passion of mine! Plus, it’s nice to break out of the usual jeans and a tee shirt rut.
OK guys, I’m back from vacation! As I’m sure you all know, we all often need a vacation from our vacation as it’s kind of tough to pick up the pace again after such a relaxing and memorable time, but the daily grind calls again as usual…as well as this poor blog I’ve been neglecting as other obligations took over and my much needed break finally arrived. For those who missed my last post, I was out for about two weeks on a trip up to Oregon for the week-long Global Eclipse Gathering to see the full solar eclipse, which was nothing short of spectacular! At the festival, I collected a ton of business cards for ethical and independent, handmade brands to feature here but it’s going to take me some time to sort through them all and gather material for a post. So, in the spirit of festival fashion I figured I would start things back up with one of the brands I am always so happy to feature, the Canadian-based Nomads Hemp Wear and their beautiful new Fall/Winter collection for 2017!
As time goes on in this journey of mine through sustainable, ethical, eco-friendly and cruelty-free style, I continue to grow impressed with the high quality variety of vegan options out there. I’m not vegan myself, although I do opt for vegan or vegetarian alternatives often when it comes to sustenance. Usually I prefer leather in the form of bags and shoes, usually because this material is known for its durability and ability to improve with age. However, I’ve been enlightened on multiple occasions with several brands! Angela Roi is one of them—they a luxury handbag brand that caught my eye almost two years ago, with their beautiful collection of bags made from vegan leather (EPUL, or Exquisite Polyurethane Leather). The second thing that kept my attention was the fact that each bag came in a color that corresponded to a certain charity, which a portion of that bag’s proceeds. The cherry on top is sweatshop-free manufacturing with fair wages as well as support for skilled artisans, who craft these beautiful bags. They are all set at a great price point too! Read my post from October 2015 on Angela Roi here!
Today, the brand still thrives and has released several new bags and wallets with the same gorgeous modern flare as the ones that came before them. All bags support humane animal shelters that help our furry friends with rehabilitation, food supplies and medical care. Angela Roi bags are made with quality fabrics and durable thread, and feature gold hardware, magnetic snap buttons, and durable zipper closures. The EPUL is even processed multiple times to attain a special smooth texture! In addition, they offer free returns and exchanges on all orders. Their latest release is the super cute Sunday Mini below, and like all other bags, it comes in an awesome variety of colors toned down enough to work with any outfit or occasion (and you know me, I’m not all about those bright shades). I still haven’t had the opportunity to check out one of these bags in person, but they’ve been on my radar long enough, and have received so much positive press…I may just have to cave at some point…starting with that Mini!
“At Angela Roi, the belief is that the goodness of people has the calibre to alter the world for the better. In addition to the grandeur of luxury, we hope to pave a path of altruism. With passion, creativity and innovation it is not only possible to progress as a brand but promisingly make our planet a kinder place.”
“Nothing breaks a warm loving heart like seeing a mistreated puppy. Love for animals may have been the spark for this venture but it definitely did not stop there. From humans to animals, we believe a happy planet is where everyone is safe and jubilant.”
“We believe in constant evolution. We believe in improving unceasingly, from the quality of our products to the wellness of our world. We believe that by nourishing the world we nurture ourselves.”
“We proudly stand against animal cruelty and do our best to support mistreated animals with our donations to local shelters. In the quest of making the world a kinder place for animals, we will continue supporting humane shelters which help animals with rehabilitation, emergency care and food supplies. We will keep working to convey that fashion doesn’t depend on cruelty.”
“We pay special attention to the fair practice setting. We strive for a great work environment and fair wage. We firmly stand against child labor. To ensure all of these criteria are met at the factories, our correspondents visit them quarterly to inspect the conditions. We aim to create a different kind luxury.”
As someone who basically prefers shopping for leather bags or shoes for their durability and ability to age beautifully, I rarely ever considered any vegan alternatives. Of course, as a young college student, I shopped for the cheapest items I could find…and eventually learned the true cost of that as pieces gradually fell apart! Now, I understand the value of investments, but I’ve also learned something else over the last few years: that leather doesn’t always have to be the only guarantee for a quality product. I’ve been impressed with such brands as BLANKNYC, American Eagle Outfitters, Matt & Nat and MeDusa for their incredibly sturdy vegan leather items, and although I am no vegan, and still love my hard-earned leather pieces at home (and still treat myself now and then), I’ve gradually moved towards more vegan products with a much more open mind. When I find one of true quality, I share it here with all of you! I’m giving MeDusa a revisit for this post, after I first wrote about them in 2015 (see that post here), as I’m so happy to see they’ve expanded their amazing product line with some brand new totes and backpacks!
Sustainable and Soft Closet Essentials from Alternative
Part of the appeal of fashion is how crazy creative some designers get. It’s an art form, after all, and oftentimes I like window shopping as much as adding pieces to my closet, just to enjoy the artistry. But no matter where the latest trends and looks might take you, there’s nothing better than timeless pieces that will go with anything and keep you comfortable. If they are sustainable, they’re even better, of course! Alternative has been a longtime favorite of mine and I honestly don’t know what took me so long to write a full post about them. I’ve worn items from them in various reviews! My absolute favorite is a lightweight black cardigan wrap with a long cowl neck in the back that can be put over the head, and long sleeves for a super cozy fit (you can see it featured in a post here). I love shopping closet essentials from Alternative because as stylish as I like to be most of the time, I still just have those days where all I want is to be comfy first. Don’t get me wrong though! This brand definitely has some super cute pieces! Sometimes, less is more.