2019 is here and in full swing! Does that make you nervous or excited? I’ve heard mixed reviews on the 2018 year and for myself, it had its ups and downs.
I like to start off the year with a few resolutions and maybe like you, they don’t always stick!
This year, I’m trying to be more conscious of my health and my well being, along with my continued goal of making conscious and ethical purchases when it comes to fashion. I’ve been going to the gym 3x a week now and if you know me, that’s a BIG deal (it’s so boring!), started off with the whole 30 diet and focusing on enhancing my spiritual life daily.
As you’re aware, Atonement Design is a shop comprised of fashion-forward & trendy products that are ethically made and help women around the world! I love my shop, but I don’t always have what you need!
With that being said, I thought I’d write you a little list of ways that you can shop consciously into 2019- maybe you'll even be inspired to make conscious shopping a resolution for yourself!
1. Take the sustainable road
Did you know we throw away 26 billion pounds of clothing and textiles every year? Can you even fathom that amount? I can’t.
I’ll be the first to admit I have a shopping addiction. Do I love clothes, who doesn't? If you read my posts, I have a feeling you might too. This little addiction can result in an expensive hobby and a lot of waste. The average American throws out 81 pounds of clothes each year- that’s the weight of a child! Anyway, I’ve found that buying second hand has completely saved me in this journey of conscious shopping.
My mother-in-law wanted to spend her birthday this year at a Stealer’s game. It was supposed to rain on game day and since I’m a true Californian, I didn’t own a waterproof coat or a jacket with a hood. I searched online for an ethically made jacket, but unfortunately, Patagonia wasn't in the budget that month, so I went to a thrift store. We have one in Sonoma County called Crossing The Jordan. Their mission is to help rescue women involved in human trafficking by selling recycled items. They had plenty of jackets to choose from and I walked away with the perfect fit for $18 dollars. The purchase was great for the planet and for my bank account!
By shopping second hand, we’re saving perfectly good items from the landfill and bringing new life to previously loved pieces!
Don’t know where to find a 2nd hand store? The Thrift Shopper will tell you all about the thrift stores in your area!
Sonoma County also has a lot of resale facebook groups. People post clothes, furniture, and other used products in great condition. You probably have a few in your area too! Check em out. There’s nothing like shopping sustainably from your couch!
Poshmark is also a great option for 2nd hand clothing!
Good On You App
Did you know there’s an app out there that helps you shop more consciously? It’s called Good On You. You just type your chosen brand into the search bar and hit submit. It then generates a company profile that tells you to avoid or buy and gives you ratings on company performance regarding labor, the environment, and animal testing. How cool is that? Shopping made easy.
- Made in USA
During the week, I work in marketing for an optical coating company. I travel a few times a year to facilitate trade shows and meet with other ad agencies. Not all on my products are appropriate these types of encounters, so I often find myself looking for business casual attire that matches up with my morals. It’s hard. Especially on a budget.
This usually leads me to Nordstrom Rack. They typically have a good selection of products made in the USA that are cute, modest, and discounted. What more could you want? Well, made from sustainable materials would be great, but we can’t always have the cake and eat it too...
Not every brand that manufactures in the USA treat their workers well, but many of them do (there are many debates about USA labor).
Do you want pieces no one else has? Something unique, made well and stands the test of time? Vintage is the answer. Vintage clothing has been an inspiration of mine since I was little - I love the intricacy involved in older designs.
If you have a special occasion coming up (and my dresses don’t suit your fancy), I’d suggest visiting a local vintage shop. They’ll always have an extravagant dress you’ll feel confident in!
- Going Local
Sonoma County is SUPER passionate about supporting local businesses. We even have a site (GoLocal) that outlines local businesses in the area, making it easy to find and support them. Maybe your county has a similar website or platform? Give it a look.
Do you have any shops in your town that you love? Do you know how they sustain their business? By the support of their local community- by people like you who want them to succeed. What small business can you support today?
We like to buy food from the local farmer’s markets. I’d love to shop this way more in 2019- we’ll see. JT really wants to grow our own food at some point. My soil scientist husband has a way with plants that I don’t understand (I kill everything!). One day when we have the land...
Do any of your friends sell products? Do you happen to like or find them useful? I have some great friends that sell things I love (like Young Living!). They're passionate about their brand and they always answer my questions in detail so I know I'm getting the best product. You know the best part? I know they do a little dance every time someone supports them in their endeavor. Let’s keep our friends fed this year!
I LOVE Etsy. They have lot’s of handmade items that support artisans around the world, and they have vintage too! Do you need a customized gift this year? Something with your pet’s face on it? Custom face cookie cutters? A mug in the shape of a cactus? Etsy is the answer! You can also encourage an artist in the process.
- Fair Trade
Last, but certainly not least, Fair Trade. If you know me already, you know my passion is to see people live healthy lives and be treated fairly within the fashion industry. So many are enslaved and forced to work at rates and in conditions that are inhumane. This isn’t only in the fashion industry- this is in every industry around us.
What fair trade brands can you support this year?
My boutique, Atonement Design, was founded upon providing women with a variety of fashion-forward products that have been made in an ethical manner. We help women out of sex trafficking, poverty, domestic violence and harmful conditions with the products we provide. Each piece gives back in some way and each piece is completely gorgeous!
Also, if you’re needing more products for your home & you want some fair trade options, check out my post on where you can buy fair trade home goods:
& here’s a link to a great article that shows you where to buy fair trade fashion (thanks, Remake!)
We vote with our dollar each day. We say to brands ‘I support you’ every time we slide our card through a reader. Do you vote for brands you can stand behind? One’s you admire and have a strong conscious? Let’s vote together this year. Let’s stand up for practices that make our world better- not ones that tear it down.
Disclaimer: Be careful when buying clothes at a thrift store. Do a little research on the store, look it over a few times and wash the products before you put them on!
Until next time,
Pssst.... here’s my closet (a small portion for this addict) of ethically made, fair trade & second-hand products!