Every time winter comes around I stare at my shelves full of warm winter boots and think to myself…I could add another pair or two, right? I’m more of a warm-weather kind of person, but there are SO many cute winter boots out there that it’s always so hard to resist! If you’re like me and have a little bit of buyer’s guilt when you make a purchase you don’t really need (per se), sometimes it’s nice to know you’re getting a little more out of your money than just a cute new wardrobe addition. For me, that would be supporting a small brand or a cause of some sort. I’m glad that nowadays it’s a lot easier to find brands that give back (even though that doesn’t exactly help my attempts to save), and it’s awesome to see so many dedicated names in the apparel world doing their best to make a difference. One of the most famous ones would be TOMS, and as I have for years and years now, I sure am digging their collection of winter boots this year!
There definitely has been a huge surge in brands taking the sustainable route, and I’m obviously happy to see it. I realized I hadn’t written much about charitable brands lately, as it seems the eco-friendly train is the one to hop on these days. Because of that, I realize and worry that maybe the term “sustainable” has become a bit much of a marketing buzzword, but at least I can trust some brands who take on both avenues out of the goodness of their hearts rather than simply hopping on the latest trends to stay afloat. I’m sure most of you have heard of TOMS, the footwear company known mostly by their humanitarian efforts, whether it be donating a pair for each purchased, supporting artists in Haiti, supporting Nepal, helping shelter animals find homes, giving the gift of sight or contributing to the cause of clean water for everyone around the world. TOMS has just taken another step forward with a new eco friendly footwear collection, called earthwise™.
One thing I notice when out doing my usual sustainable shopping online and perusing topics to share here on my blog is the lack of any kind of guide integrated within your usual shopping sites to find those brands. There are so many these days who have taken the initiative to clean up their act when it comes to their manufacturing processes, and most major retailers online do carry their goods. However, it still takes a bit of research to find them if you’re a shopper with a conscience, and I know as well as you do that many of us just don’t have that kind of time. Sustainable shopping can be extremely time consuming! This is why I’m stoked to see that one household name retailer has taken action. Last month, Zappos introduced their Goods for Good initiative for those seeking to shop brands that care for the environment or give back in some way, and I’m really hoping other brands follow suit real soon, as more and more shoppers have become more aware of sustainable shopping (hear that, Revolve and Shopbop?)!
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.
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.
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.
Go Couture and Marc Allison Jeans
Well I’m back, and I have to say how tough it is to get back to the commercial world after a freaking transformational festival. For those who don’t know, I was camping and dancing it up with friends at Lucidity Festival over the weekend, and oh how great it was to be back there again. I always leave feeling so refreshed, re-inspired and reminded what really matters in life: camaraderie, spirit, love and personal growth. The little things that drive me nuts on a regular basis just don’t anymore when I return, so it is so awesome to start writing again with a fresh mind. I was debating whether or not to wait until next week so I have more time to decompress, reflect and enjoy the afterglow, but I hate leaving things for too long!
RESQ/CO for Shelter Animals at TOMS Marketplace
We’re all pretty familiar with TOMS‘s excellent business model…it definitely puts a wider smile on your face when you’re not only shopping for yourself, but also knowing you’re helping someone who needs it far more than you do! I’ve written a lot about the initiatives of this great company, including their Animal Initiative to shop poaching, sunglasses and an optical line for World Sight Day, the TOMS Roasting Co. for clean water, and bags to provide safe births and maternal health. Now it’s time to help out another kind of small voice amongst us, the tremendous amount of homeless and rescue pets in shelters all across the country! TOMS has partnered up with RESQ/CO, an online pet boutique that donates 5% of all profits to shelter and rescue animals, to help spread their reach and offer RESQ/CO products through the TOMS Marketplace! Within this collection you’ll find USA-made (handmade, actually!) leashes, collars, and a cute reversible chambray bandana for your beloved pet. The TOMS Marketplace also includes many other products charitable organizations, so while you’re at it, peruse what else is available to help better humanity and the world around us!
Feeling Playful with AG and Star Wars
Please forgive me for the graininess of these photos…I am a very busy girl so apart from my Denimology photos, which are done with my husband’s Nikon, I take a lot of quick shots with my work-issued iPhone! I took these after another super busy day at work, when I realized last minute I meant to take a shot of my outfit for the day and rushed to get them before the sun went down (thank god for daylight savings right now). I hadn’t worn my AG Jeans in awhile since due to a back injury and some fun with winter treats I wasn’t feeling all so comfortable wearing these ultra-tight beauties, but now I feel back in the game and I definitely missed how super soft these are! They are the AG Jeans Stilt in 6 Years Dive, which are no longer available except for a roll-up version on Nordstrom! You can grab a pair for yourself here. These AG-Ed vintage styles from the popular denim brand are seriously so neat. In fact, the first review I did for Denimology was for the Stilt in 10 Years Rio. I grabbed this Star Wars tee from Junk Food off Hautelook awhile back on a weekend “splurge,” if you will, and decided to wear it to work because heck yeah Friday…I paired it with my galaxy print Paul Van Dyk x TOMS collaboration shoes to top off the spacey look along with a Tractr Jeans jacket I found on Ideel last month.
A Yellow Jacket Kind of Day
I’m definitely not a yellow person. Not long ago I hated both yellow and orange, or any sunny sort of color, but at least orange has grown on me…maybe I’ve got a few more years until yellow does, unless this jacket changes my mind sooner! My sister called me over recently because she was donating several bags of clothing to charity and wanted to see if I wanted to steal anything before she took it all out. I grabbed a few items that fit my normal tastes, but this jacket caught my eye. I rarely take fashion risks, but something about it screamed FUN. It’s been a few weeks of mulling over, but I finally decided to just go for it and wore it to work a few days ago over a neutral sweater. I ended up loving the magenta hat with the yellow as well – both are a thick, wool-like fabric so it ended up being a perfect pair! This is why we take fashion risks, after all, right? You never know. Also part of my outfit today is something I’m fairly excited about—yet another addition to my expansive denim collection (le sigh). However, this pretty Levi’s Boyfriend Skinny Selvedge Jeans in Dense Forest pair is my first pair of selvedge denim! I grabbed them for a mere $20 bucks on a recent Beyond The Rack sale too. Selvedge denim is usually quite a bit pricier! Score!!