Songa Designs Launches Bohemian Handbag Collection

Ecofriendly Handbag

We’re no newbies to Songa Designs, an eco-friendly fashion and home decor brand that helps provide economic independence for women in develop countries. I already own one of their beautiful necklaces that we featured in the past. Now, I’m happy to announce their recent release of their Fall 2016 Boho Handbag Collection!

A brand with purpose, Songa Designs handbags are carefully crafted by Rwandan women over the course of a week and helps create economic independence for each artisan. Known for their specialty accessories and baskets, Songa now offers consumers socially conscious handbags to expand their personal style. The collection was created using traditional Rwandan weaving techniques passed down through families over generations. Each purse is solely composed of locally sourced and recycled materials that otherwise would have ended up in landfills. The collection, released on October 15, 2016, will be available through the end of 2016.

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Ethical, Vintage Engagement Rings

Engagement rings are a historical symbol of marriage and commitment. However, as we have progressed, engagement ring styles have become static and plain right boring. In a world full of duplicates, its becoming more difficult to find a one-of-a-kind anything. Unique engagement rings are gaining popularity, with obtuse shapes, geometric design, and colored stones. Trumpet & Horn vintage rings are the perfect option for an ethical statement piece. Ranging through the era’s Trumpet & Horn have an amazing selection of truly unique rings.

Not only are these rings unique, they are also ethical and environmentally friendly. Many people who purchase traditional, new diamond rings have little knowledge of blood diamonds. Blood diamonds are also known as conflict diamonds, a heartbreaking scenario where your diamond was mined in a war zone. These diamonds originate from areas by controlled forces that oppose legitimate governments and are used to fund military action in opposition of those governments, according to the United Nations.

Trumpet and Horn

Featured: // 1 Beechcroft // 2 Beachollow // 3 Cardiff By The Sea // 4 Ocean Spring // 5 Redfern // 6 Rockwood // 7 Orchard Park // 8 Innsbrook 

When you buy an antique ring, you be assured that your stone was mined before the mining of conflict diamonds. Its important to buy vintage because it causes no additional strain on the environment, as it utilizes existing stones rather than demanding new ones to be mined. Trumpet & Horn challenges the modern diamond industry by thinking of diamonds of heirlooms, to be treasured, loved, and then passed on to the the next generation.If I still haven’t convinced you to purchase an antique ring, Trumpet & Horn does offer newly-made, vintage-inspired engagement rings made with recycled metals and antique accent stones, re-purposed from broken vintage jewelry. They still choose to use vintage diamonds and antique colored stones whenever possible. All vintage-inspired pieces are made in the U.S.A in downtown Los Angeles.

Trumpet & Horn is compliant with two major processes. The colored gemstones sourced for the vintage-inspired pieces are all compliant with American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) code of ethics. The AGTA is committed to responsibly sourcing colored gemstones with environmental and social impacts in mind. Trumpet & Horn also supports The Kimberly Process which is an international effort to create transparency and assist certifying that diamonds are legitimate and sourced in conflict-free areas. Learn more about Trumpet & Horn’s ethical sourcing.

All product shots are courtesy of Trumpet & Horn
Featured Image courtesy of Kayla Barker
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5 Ethical Brands You Need to Know About

“Every single day we do two things, we get dressed and we eat.” – Livia Firth

Each morning you get dressed for work, why not make it an ethical and conscious choice? We’ve complied a list of our current 5 favorite ethical brands  you should be shopping with.

People Tree

For over 20 years People Tree has partnered with Fair Trade artisans and farmers in developing countries to produce ethical and eco-conscious fashion collections. What I love about People Tree is not only their dedication to ethically derived collections, I sincerely adore their clothes! Each piece is simple, yet unique. They thrive on the simplicity in design so you can get more wears out of something, but they also included trendy and practical prints to work into your wardrobe.

People Tree

SkunkFunk

This brand started in the mid 1990s as a simple t-shirt line. Skunkfunk is a very transparent brand, they have an entire section dedicated to showing their sustainability commitments and a report on their carbon footprint. This brand does a great job of bringing you trendy pieces while staying committed to sustainability and value in the supply chain.

SkunkFunk

MUD Jeans

One of the coolest concepts I have seen for fashion! This specialty denim brand thrives on recycling and upcycling. Worn out jeans are shredded, cut into pieces, and blended with virgin cotton. Returned jeans are upcycled and sold as unique vintage pairs and named after the former user…how cool is that!? This brand actually wants to return the jeans once you’re done wearing them so they can make a new pair! You can also lease a jeans and become a member of the MUD community.

MUD jeans

Zady

This lifestyle online retailer sells ethical, sustainable women’s clothing, men’s clothing, beauty + grooming, home, and jewelry. Talk about a win-win situation. Zady has created what’s known as The New Standard. Zady understands the systematic failure of low-quality, fast-fashion goods and how this industry hides the outrageously high environmental and social costs of its production. The New Standard is about reworking the current business model to reflect one with a higher standard for overall global health.

Zady

Everlane

It is so difficult to find relaxed, chic styles. It sounds so easy to find, but when it comes down to it…its dang right, hard! Luckily, my research has prevailed the ultimate company that just speaks to my style. Everlane is known for its drapey tees and effortless-Vogue style. They have an awesome range of prices to meet every consumer. They even have a travel section that I may just need to order from for my upcoming trip to Florida for my birthday (stay tuned for that post)!  What they call their, “Radical Transparency” is what makes this brand ethical. Everlane reveals their true costs, including their mark-up (it can’t get more transparent than that!). The team works diligently to ensure their products come from the best factories and they building a trusting relationship with their vendor.

Everlane

All photo credit belongs to each site
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Musing: What if We Loved From Afar?

I originally was interested in fashion, not because I necessarily chose to, but because there was an underlying social norm to ‘look good’. That intrigued me. I was interested (particularly in American’s) in women’s need and want to dress themselves in a way that made them feel not only good, but identified. It may sounds like a cliche, but the way we dress does reflect a certain quality about who we are.

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If you feel the need to be seen in the latest high-end designs or shop the most expensive rack at Nordstrom, chances are you have many insecurities that need to be addressed. I do not mean this in a demeaning way. I honestly empathize and sympathize with that. As women, we have this underlying desire to be accepted. The mainstream fashion industry has forced and taught us to believe that wearing today’s latest, hottest styles will allow us to feel validated. Now, do not get me wrong. I can appreciate a beautiful designed and executed couture piece. I still do believe in the beauty of couture fashion and the artistry it takes. However, as an average American girl, those specific pieces cannot identify with my daily life. I am constantly at struggle finding practical ways to express my creativity through fashion and putting too high of expectations on myself.

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Because we put such high expectations on ourselves as American women, we are actually degrading our fellow woman across the country. While we may adore a couture piece, in actuality, we cannot afford those pieces. So, we suffice for the fast fashion industry; a knock-off of couture or high-end pieces at an unreasonably low price point. I understand the appeal for fast fashion pieces — you can look like those high expectations without breaking the wallet of a struggling middle class.

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What if we loved from afar? Those women creating our latest fast fashion clothing items….what if we loved them without having ever met them? These women are certainly in worse situations than we are in the States. These women leave their children and families for garment factories, just to make some type of income. Even though they are abused and exploited in the process. If you saw your own mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, or niece struggling in the same capacity…would you advise them to keep pursuing a career with the garment industry?

 

Most likely your answer is no. So back to my question…what if we loved these women from afar? What if we respected them enough to say “enough is enough?” I demand change. Put your dollars where your values are.

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Should You Avoid Cheap Fashion?

cheap fashion

Should you stop shopping for cheap fashion?

Cheap fashion is a tricky, complex business. I have spoke on the subject previously, and the many issues within the fast fashion business model. We were all recently reminded of the horrors of work conditions. Last month was the anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy, where over 1,100 people were killed in the collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh. As I think about what cheap fashion means for me and my wardrobe, I find myself asking, “Should I be avoiding fast fashion?”

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