Nothing I’m Wearing is Ethically Made

Some days everything I have on was bought from a major retailer, is in synthetic fibers (in intense colors that probably required several washes to dye) and was possibly even purchased off the sale rack!

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Yes, I am here everyday posting about all of the beautiful things I’ve found for you to buy that were safely made and relieve poverty and empower women and help, sometimes even relieve stress and harm on the environment.  AND I want all of that to be true about EVERY piece in my wardrobe.  But it’s only in the last year or two that I made that a commitment and I have a closet full of things that were purchased before that.  So what do I do with them?

Mostly, I keep them.  I try and restyle them in ways that are fresh and repair them or spot clean them when needed.  I do my best (I have young messy children) to wash them as infrequently as possible so that they last (and to conserve water in general).

But mostly, I have GRACE for myself and I walk tall, knowing that I’m trying and sometimes being good to others and the environment means keeping what I have, even if it’s story is not exciting and I really just ordered it from Zara (my skirt in the picture).

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I’m also really excited for our upcoming clothing swap in October!  Follow the link here for more INFO. Several of the pieces in my closet that fit the description above will be out that day.  I’m hoping I can switch for something new without completely getting rid of what I have.

So where ever your journey to a conscious closet is at…it is ALL GOOD.  Keep trying, being creative, rewearing, hunting, thrifting and know that you are not alone in it.

As always: Happy Ethical Shopping!

XOXO,

Christina

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Carrying Love

Ten years ago this month we had our first conversation about whether or not to start a nonprofit that would sell fair trade items to create employment in developing countries.  Our goal was to alleviate poverty and we felt so strongly that employment could make that happen.  As February starts and we take time to celebrate relationships and love and connection, I can’t help but take a few minutes to share what we have learned.

Employment isn’t enough.  Economic development, a good job, lots of money and opportunity are not enough to end poverty and the emotional havoc that it wreaks.  It’s the relationships, the connections between the maker, the designer, the supplier and the customer.  Every person who carries a product carries love to another.

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Three years ago when we were rebranding Route I read and at one point spoke (yikes!) on the essay “I, Pencil”.  It’s a brief essay  marveling on how supply chains are so complicated and really beautiful in their intricacy.  In our world, supply chains are simple, but reflecting on that essay I have come to almost charish how are products are passed on.  It is the passing from one person to another that creates the relationships that carry the love and the appreciation and the value.  AND then, when we are able to return again and again to those same people for more product, (which of course means more economic support) we also return to them in friendship and support and encouragement.

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In ethical fashion, these exchanges are more often than not done through women.  So this year, at Route we are going to salute the women who are committed to supporting each other, encouraging each other and giving strength in community to do impossible things.

Thank you to the women in our community who dream with us and challenge and support us.  Here is to each one of you, from maker to customer and every incredible person in between.  We LOVE you and THANK YOU for carrying the love.

– Christina