Tag: h&m

Labor Day Sales – How Fashion Bloggers Are Supporting Slave Labor & How We Can Stop It

Labor Day sales started a week ago even though Labor Day isn’t until tomorrow, Monday, September 1st. This day is huge for retailers and the bloggers that influence people like you to buy from those retailers. My inbox filled up with sale reminders from blogger platforms. I signed up for these platforms years ago when I first started blogging. These platforms give me access to affiliate links, resources to help me figure out what sells best and which items I should promote to get more sales. If you don’t already know, I get a small commission for every product sold via my blog. I never really paid much attention to these sale reminders because I never felt the need to push a plethora of items onto you all. I don’t like selling needless items. I like providing value and showing you helpful things/products. 

Don’t Fall Into The Labor Day Sales Trap

After seeing the film The True Cost this year, I decided to take a more minimalist approach to my wardrobe, for ethical reasons. I started closing my affiliate accounts and taking my name off blogger platform lists, newsletters, and pr lists. I didn’t want to clutter my wardrobe and home with more stuff and I don’t want to tell you to buy things you don’t need. These retailers are literal experts at making you think A) you need all these things they’re selling; B) the more you buy, the more you save; and C) you’re losing money if you’re not buying their products. Click here to listen to my podcast episode where I cover how to shop more consciously, sustainably, and with intention. 

It’s An Influencer’s Job to Sell You Things

This is always something that bothered me about blogging. I’d see (and still do) many bloggers cramming as many products into a post as possible in order to get you to buy more. Everyday there’s an entirely new outfit complete with new shoes and accessories. It’s not about style anymore. Maybe it was a first, but as the blogging industry grew and retailers noticed how much trust readers placed in their favorite influencers, they harnessed that buying power. It’s an old model with a modern delivery.

We tell our readers, via social media/blog posts, to buy the brand’s products and they pay us a commission. The more outfits/items we push on our readers, the more money we’ll make. That’s why you used to see a blogger/influencer post 1 outfit a day, maybe 2 sometimes, but in the last year it’s really ramped up. Influencers started taking to posting videos in order to showcase more outfits per post. I’m sure you’ve seen those short video clips where an influencer changes into 5 or 6 outfits in just 30 seconds flat. Then the description will show a link to buy the dozens of items seen in the video. This has been very lucrative for some bloggers, some of which rake in an average of $600,000 per year. Can you see how a blogger would be incentivized to create and endorse more looks/products?

 

“Buy less. Choose well. Make it last.” —Vivienne Westwood, fashion designer 

 

Are Your Labor Day Sale Items Supporting Slave Labor? 

Cheap Garments = Cheap Labor = Human Exploitation 

Gap sweatshop raided in India found children as young as eight working there (left). Gap embroidered shirt (right).

Big shopping days like Labor Day, are massive earning days for influencers. If you’re following any fashion bloggers you’ve probably already seen a few Labor Day Sale “Must Haves” posts. You are made to think you need these items and you’ll be saving loads of money by purchasing from these curated lists. Millions of you buy into those posts, but what you won’t see are the many massive negative effects of this type of consumerism. These blogger sales lists are typically full of items made in unethical shops where workers are exploited. You can recognize those items by their price point and their country of origin. If a garment was made in Bangladesh, India, Cambodia, Sri Lank, or China, it could very well be a product of slave labor. 

Forever 21 Labor Day Sale Ad 2019- $5 Tops are Unethical and Unsustainable
Forever 21 Labor Day Sale Ad 2019

There is no way to ethically and sustainably produce and sell a shirt, or any garment, for $5. Purchasing items at such a low cost means someone else is paying the true cost in the form of forced labor. There have been recent reports of H&M still using child labor. Additionally, hundreds of workers from both GAP and H&M have reported daily abuse. For more in-depth coverage on the topics of cheap garments, cheap labor, human exploitation, unsustainable production, toxic chemicals produced by the fashion industry, and more, see my IGTV video which you can watch by clicking here. 

It’s a very common practice among bloggers to buy massive amounts of cheap clothing from fast fashion retailers like Forever21, FashionNova, Shein, H&M, Zara, TopShop, Amazon, to name a few, in order to create as many outfits as possible. Typically bloggers market their cheap finds as “budget-friendly” or “dupes”. They may think the’re doing their readers a favor, I thought I was when I did this, but they’re not. We have the power to decide what kind of conditions these exploited workers will have. If we stop buying fast fashion, they’ll stop making it. If we demand more ethically made clothing, brands will have to pay workers more and provide them with better working conditions. It’s my responsibility as a blogger to share this with you all and it’s our collective responsibility to shop more conciously and ethically. 

 

“The customer has to know they are in charge. If they don’t like it and don’t buy it, we don’t have jobs.” – Stella McCartney

 

Are Your Labor Day Sale Items Supporting Animal Cruelty? 

Then there’s the animal exploitation aspect. Most bloggers use a lot animal materials in their outfits. There is nothing chic about using animal products in your wardrobe. There are many faux versions of these materials now. Here are some of the most commonly used animal materials. 

Leather: used for shoes belts, bags, jackets, coats, accessories, etc.

Wool: used for coats, sweaters, tops, pants, blankets, socks, gloves, jackets, hats, rugs, shoe linings, coat linings, dresses, shawls, pillows, handbags, etc.

Feathers: used for dresses, skirts, coats, jackets, accessories, jewelry, handbags, pillows, duvets, etc.

Fur: used for coats, jackets, shoe linings, coat linings, fake eyelashes, accessories, rugs, pillows, home decor items, etc.

Silk: used for shirts, dresses, jackets, coats, pants, accessories, shoes, home decor, etc.

The methods used in producing these items are horrific. If you haven’t seen how fur is produced, take a look at this 60 second video (warning: it’s explicit). Click here to watch on Youtube.

How can you spot the difference between faux fur/leather and real fur/leather? Click here for my post on how to tell if your clothes and shoes are vegan. 

Most (I assume) fashion bloggers don’t know about the cruel and horrific ways animals are tortured and killed for their skins and fur. I certainly didn’t know up until 2 years ago when I went vegan. But once I learned, it was obvious that eliminating animal products from my wardrobe was the right thing to do. If you agree with that using animals is cruel and unnecessary, send this post to your favorite fashion/style blogger and tell them to stop using animal products. 

Are Your Labor Day Sale Items Supporting Environmental Degradation?

The best thing you can do to avoid buying unethical, unsustainable, anti-animal friendly items during Labor Day Sales is to not buy anything at all. If there’s an item you truly need, consider the following options. 

Repair

Instead of throwing out your freshly ripped tee or jeans, consider taking it to an alterations shop to have it repaired. These types of repairs only cost a few dollars. You can also fix ripped jeans yourself by adding a fun and decorative patch in matter of minutes with just an iron, no sewing required. 

Recycle

Consider recylcing your unwanted clothing into new items. Old jeans can be turned into shorts. A hole can ruin a shirt but if you choose to add more holes it becomes a cool new distressed tee. You can also remove sleeves off a shirt and now you have a new shirt, I’ve done this with ruffle sleeve shirts. Conversely, you can add sleeves to a sleeveless shirt to create a whole new look. 

Swap

Instead of buying new items, consider having a swap party with friends, family, neighboors, or all of the above. You can swap unwanted items for new items to freshen up your wardrobe or even household goods. 

Thrift

Thrift stores are a great way to shop sustainably. When you buy new items, you create a demand for more new items which means more resources will be used to create those items. Shopping thrifted does not create a demand for more new items, in this way we save resources and directly stop funding forced labor. If thrift store options are limited in your area, consider thrift shopping online. Click here to read my post on the top 5 places to thrift online. 

Cheap Garments = Unsustainable Production Methods = Toxic Chemicals Dumped into Our Environment

Cheap Garments = Poor Fit = Short Garment Lifespan = Garments Quickly End Up In Landfill

Cheap Garments = Poor Quality = Item Warps/Fades/Rips = Garments Quickly End Up In Landfill

Buy Ethically Made/ Sustainably Sourced

If you really need to buy something new, look for an ethically & sustainably made option. Websites like DoneGood.co can help you source great options. You can shop from catergories like Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Eco-Friendly, Made in the USA, Recycled/Upcycled and more.

Snake Print Shirtdress With Vegan Leather Wedges

Dress | Hat | Purse | Shoes (sold out, similar here and here)

[^ Click links above to shop ^]

This snake print dress is one of my favorite recent purchases. I’ve been telling you guys for a little while now that animal prints are going to be a huge spring/summer trend. This dress is a great piece to add to your wardrobe to be right on trend. I LOVE a versatile piece. The snake print makes it pretty neutral so you can wear it with just about any shoe. It’s still a bit cold here in Las Vegas, so I’m planning on wearing it with tights and over the knee boots. It can also be paired with booties and a cute hat, or sandal and belted at the waist for summertime. I also really love that it buttons all the way down which means that you can also wear it open like a bathing suit coverup.

Moving right along to this oversized extra large wide brim hat which I’m totally obsessed with. I love this piece because it instantly elevates your beach style. I’ve had this hat for years, since like, 2014. Quick story, back in the summer of ’14, I was coming back from a trip to Mexico. I was driving into Las Vegas and called Marc (my baby’s dad) asking him to meet my family and me for lunch. He said he was busy working; it was Memorial Day weekend. It was a little annoyed that he preferred to work instead of meeting up with us but this was typical of him so I said I’d see him later at home. When I got home, he told me that when I called him earlier, he was in the middle of auctioning off a website he’d been working on for the past six months. While we were having lunch, he sold his site, for quite a bit of money too! He decided to celebrate by taking us to Hawaii. This hat was the first thing I bought for that trip, so it holds quite a bit of nostalgia for me.  I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of it.

 

Baby Clothes Haul – Gap + Janie and Jack

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Janie and Jack

Fair Isle Mitten | Giraffe Shortall | Bunny Sweater Beanie | Cat Ear Sweater Beanie | Cable Sweater 1 Piece (similar)

Everyone gives you the same advice when you’re a first time mom. One piece of advice I keep hearing over and over is, “Do not buy too many clothes, they grow so quickly that they won’t be able to wear all of it.” As much as I appreciate all the advice and I do try to keep it in mind, when it comes to buying clothes for baby, I.just.can’t.help.myself. I want to buy it alllll! It’s so stinkin’ cute. H&M makes it even tougher to stick to this advice because they keep having sales, so you see, it’s not really my fault.

I purchased these items just a couple of weeks ago. I planned on linking to all of the items but I can’t find them online. However, they are still in store. I know this because I was just in again 2 days ago (buying more stuff, don’t judge me) and I saw all of these items. Most of them are on sale for $5 a piece so hurry before they’re sold out!

Janie and Jack is a new store to me. We have one here in Henderson at The District. They have the most beautiful clothing and accessories for kids. I kind of just wandered in one day while waiting for my mom to meet up with me and once she came in we couldn’t stop picking out things to buy. She has more discipline than I do though and I heard that same advice again. So I picked out just a few things and headed for the register. All of these Jack and Janie pieces are on sale now!

Suede Saddle Bag

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Are you guys not crushing on this red suede saddle purse, or what? It’s the bag you never knew you needed, am I right? Ever since Chloe’s “Marcie” bag debuted I’ve been obsessing over saddle-style purses. The rounded bottom and structured style lands this purse right on the casual chic line for me. It’s clean and structured but can easily be paired with a casual outfit, as demonstrated above. Also, doesn’t it look expensive?! It’s totally not. It’s from ASOS and priced below $50! It’s been on sale for a bit now, so hurry and get yours while they last!

Wearing:

Top: ATM

Shawl: Boutique (similar here and here)

Bottoms: H&M

Bag: ASOS

Boots: Via Spiga (similar here, here, and here)

Click links to shop outfit details.

Rainy day with Hunter boots

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Hunter-gloss-rain-boots-1Rainy days are sprinkled throughout the forecast for this entire next week here in Las Vegas starting today. I’m so excited because I love the rain and because I get to breakout my Hunter rain boots! I’d never been one for rain boots but the snow in Utah this past Christmas had me searching for a pair. Previous visits to Utah during snow season left me with vivid memories of slipping and sliding around on icy streets- not good. Not to mention several pairs of ruined shoes. So this year, I just had to find a pair of snow/rain boots. This however, would not be an easy feat since I have very wide calves and practically nothing fits me above mid-shin.

After looking through several brands and reading LOTS of reviews, I knew I had to go with Hunter boots. They are extremely well-made, come in a variety of colors and styles, and are very stylish. At first I bought a pair of the Original High Gloss, they were an ok fit but I didn’t have any room for socks. Next, I decided to try the Adjustable Back Gloss style and I love them. They have an adjustable strap on the back which give you tons of room in the calf area and plenty of space for thick socks. I paired them with some of Hunter’s Original Tall Fleece Welly Socks; they were warm and just perfect with the boots. Now I’m waiting on a third pair to arrive, the Huntress Boot. It’s like the Original Tall Boot but it has a full-cut shaft, which is a straight cut that makes it fuller at the ankle. The whole boot looks wider from top to bottom.

I ran around in the rain all day yesterday and today in my rain boots and didn’t slip even once. These boots are the real deal and it doesn’t hurt that they are stylish and comfortable 😉

Wearing:

Top: H&M (similar)

Coat: Sutton Studio (similar)

Bottoms: Reflex (similar)

Boots: Hunter (also here & here)

Sunglasses: Dolce & Gabbana

Book Clutch Purse

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Last week, when we shot this look, the chill of winter had yet to set in. I was warm and cozy with my knit tunic and cable knit scarf. These days, I’ll definitely be throwing on a coat over this. Freezing temperatures make me want for nothing more than to curl up with a good book and a warm drink- this was the inspiration behind this look. You guys won’t believe it but I found this book purse clutch at Marshall’s for $7, for realz. I pop into Marshall’s every now and then just to browse. About 95% of the time find something I really love. I get a large portion of my kitchenware from there as well as home decor finds, clothing, and accessories, of course. These MIH jeans are also a Marshall’s find! I’m new to MIH but have found the extra long length (5′ 10″ and wearing 5″ heels!) and curve-hugging stretchy-ness of these jeans amazing. I’ve been perusing MIH online to grab a couple more styles.

Wearing:

Top: H&M (similar)

Scarf: Target (similar)

Jeans: MIH

Shoes: Charles Jourdan (similar)

Bag: Le Miel (similar here and here)

Sunglasses: Tory Burch

LOLITA

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tory-burch-6You may recall I purchased these Tory Burch “Lolita” pumps a little while back. I finally got around to styling them. They are so comfortable despite having a 4 inch heel. Anytime I see an even remotely vampy-looking shoe I think it will be uncomfortable, but I’ve noticed that is not the case with Tory Burch shoes. What can I say, they’re just so well made.

Wearing Tory Burch “Lolita” pumps (similar here and here ), H&M pencil midi skirt (similar here), Converse button up, Fendi sunglasses, DKNY tote (similar here), Forever 21 necklace (similar here), and Monet bracelet (similar here).

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Compré estos zapatos “Lolita” de Tory Burch un tiempo atrás. Por fin me di el tiempo para crear un atuendo con ellos. Son tan cómodos a pesar de tener un tacón de 4 pulgadas. Cada vez que veo un zapato ni remotamente seductor creo que va a ser incómodo, pero me he dado cuenta que no es el caso con los zapatos de Tory Burch. Qué puedo decir, simplemente son tan bien hechos.

NOTHING TO WEAR

As you’ve probably already noticed, it’s been a while since I’ve posted something. I could use the excuse that I’ve been busy with work but that’s not the truth. The truth is I’ve been too busy having fun while my cousin Rachel was in town visiting from Seattle. But the real truth is that I’m stuck because I feel guilty.

For a while now, I’ve been staring at my overflowing closets (yes, plural), wondering why I can’t find anything to wear. Working from home affords me the luxury to put on a pair of pajamas or to be completely honest, underwear and a plain t-shirt. This has become my “uniform”. However, this can not go on for much longer. What if there’s a fire? Or a zombie apocalypse? I’ll have to put on clothes before leaving my apartment, I suppose. But this means facing the problem, ugh. What if I just never open the closet door again? Or wrap myself in the bed sheets like a toga? Grecian chic is back in style, no?

After countless hours of contemplating the reason I couldn’t find an outfit in 40 pairs of pants, 65 tops, 75 dresses, 50 pairs of shoes, (all approximations) and countless accessories I finally found the answer. My first real problem is that I feel that blogging about clothing is not very important. It’s not helping humanity, and it’s not a helpful contribution. I don’t want to be another blogger that tells you what to wear and why you absolutely need to buy that “it” bag or be forever shamed by the fashion world for carrying around last season’s identical $3,000 handbag.

The second reason that’s also adding to my guilt is, my passion-less wardrobe. It’s become generic, repetitive, and chaotic. I’ve been sucked into the Target, H&M, and several other cheap corporate giants that shall go unnamed. I have one too many $10 dresses that made me feel like a savvy genius when I purchased them. Time and time again I would wonder how stores could afford to sell items for $10 or less. The answer is mass production and cheap labor. Without getting into the horrible mess that accompanies that duo, it still left me thinking about the aftermath created in my closet. What am I going to do with all these cheap “bargain” items that become faded and warped after a single wash?

The most common thought would be to donate them. Well after much research, guess what? The salvation Army doesn’t need these horrid “bargain” items. Do you know what happens to all your donated items? They are sorted, what is in near new condition will be put out for sale, if not sold in 30 days it goes in a giant bin. Then it’s put into a giant compactor that makes giant bricks of unsold clothing weighing a ton or so. Then the bricks are shipped to another country, like Africa, to be sold. But African’s don’t want your warped, irregular, bargain items. With modern tools like cell phones and access to the internet becoming more widely available in the continent, Africans are becoming more picky in what they buy, and rightly so.

This means that a large portion of what we’re buying is going into the trash. It’s unnecessary waste. So I beg of you, next time you’re out shopping, ask yourself if you really need what you’re about to buy and consider quality over quantity. Don’t even get me started on buying things from China and yes, I understand it’s nearly impossible to avoid buying things made in China but when possible please support your local artisans. In the coming posts I’ll be sharing some of my favorite Etsy stores for clothing, shoes, home goods and other items. I’ll also be posting some of my favorite DIY projects that will inspire you to upcycle unwanted wardrobe instead of tossing it.

Though this blog is relatively new, I felt it was heading in the wrong direction. I’m not sure when or how that happened. The point is, things are going to be a little bit different and I hope you’ll stick around. Thank you  🙂

Nada que ponerme

Como ustedes probablemente ya han notado, ha pasado un tiempo largo desde que he publicado algo. Podría usar la excusa de que he estado ocupada con el trabajo, pero eso no es la verdad. La verdad es que he estado demasiado ocupada divirtiéndome mientras mi prima Rachel estaba visitando desde Seattle. Pero la vera verdad es que estoy atorada porque me siento culpable.

Desde hace un tiempo, he estado mirando mis armarios (sí, en plural) desbordantes, preguntándome por qué no puedo encontrar algo que ponerme. Trabajar desde casa me permite el lujo de ponerme un par de pijamas o para ser completamente honesto, un calzón y una camiseta. Esto se ha convertido en mi “uniforme”. Sin embargo, esto no puede seguir así por mucho más tiempo. ¿Qué pasa si hay un incendio? O un apocalipsis zombie? Voy a tener que vestirme antes de salir de mi apartamento, supongo. Pero esto significa enfrentar el problema, ugh. ¿Qué tal si nunca abro la puerta del armario de nuevo? O me envuelvo en las sábanas de la cama como si fueran toga? El estilo Griego es de moda de nuevo, ¿no?

Después de incontables horas de contemplación de la razón por la que no pude encontrar un atuendo en 40 pares de pantalones, 65 blusas, 75 vestidos, 50 pares de zapatos, (todas las aproximaciones) y un sinnúmero de accesorios, finalmente encontré la respuesta. Mi primer problema real es que siento que los blogs acerca de la moda no son muy importante. No ayudan a la humanidad, y no es una contribución útil. No quiero ser otro blogger que les dice qué ponerse y por qué es absolutamente necesario comprar la bolsa “de la temporada” o ser siempre avergonzado por el mundo de la moda por cargar la idéntica bolsa de la temporada pasada que costo $3,000.

La segunda razón por cual me siento culpable es, mi armario aun ya no tiene pasión. Se ha convertido en genérico, repetitivo y caótico. He sido atrapada por gigantes corporativos baratos como Target, H & M, y varios otros que no serán identificados. Tengo demasiadas vestidos de $10. Que cuando los compré me hicieron sentir como un genio inteligente. Una y otra vez me preguntaba cómo las tiendas podrían permitirse el lujo de vender artículos por $10 o menos. La respuesta es la producción en masa y la mano de obra barata. Sin entrar en el horrible caos que acompaña a ese dúo, todavía me quedo pensando en las consecuencias creadas dentro de mi armario. ¿Qué voy a hacer con toda esta ropa “barata” que están descoloridas y deformes después de un solo lavado?

El pensamiento más común sería donarlos. Bueno, después de mucha investigación, ¿adivinen qué? El Salvation Army no necesita estos horribles artículos “baratos”. ¿Sabes lo que le pasa a todos sus artículos donados? Se clasifican, lo que está casi nuevo será puesto a la venta, si no se venden en 30 días se va en un contenedor gigante. Entonces se pasa a un compactador gigante que hace ladrillos gigantes de la ropa que no se vende. Estos “ladrillos” pesan una tonelada, mas o menos. Después, los ladrillos son enviados a otro país, como África, para ser vendidos. Pero los Africanos no quieren comprar tus artículos irregulares y despintados. Con herramientas modernas como teléfonos celulares y el acceso al internet cada vez más ampliamente disponibles en el continente, los Africanos son cada vez más exigentes en lo que compran, y con razón.

Esto significa que una gran parte de lo que estamos comprando va a la basura. Es derroche innecesario. Así que les ruego, la próxima vez que vayan de compras, pregúntense si realmente necesitan lo que están a punto de comprar, y tomen en cuenta la calidad sobre la cantidad. Y ni me preguntes de las cosas hechas en China y sí, tengo entendido que es casi imposible evitar la compra de cosas hechas en China, pero siempre que sea posible por favor apoyen sus artesanos locales. En los próximos artículos voy a compartir algunas de mis tiendas favoritas de Etsy donde pueden encontrar ropa, zapatos, artículos para el hogar y otros artículos hechos en los Estados Unidos. También voy a publicar algunos de mis proyectos de bricolaje favoritos que los inspirará para crear artículos nuevos con su ropa usada en vez de simplemente tirar la a la basura.

Aunque este blog es relativamente nuevo, sentí que iba en la dirección equivocada. No estoy segura de cuándo o cómo sucedió. El punto es, las cosas van a ser un poco diferente y espero que te quedes. Gracias 🙂

WORK CASUAL

jen-look-9.3 jen-look-9.4 jen-look-9.2 jen-look-9.1This, for me, is one of those outfits that screams casual work chic. It’s not too casual, not too dressy, and I feel it’s easy and super comfortable to work in. Should the moment inspire a pop over to a favorite restaurant for drinks with friends, I need not change a thing. I didn’t have time to blow dry my hair so I put it up in a bun, which I wasn’t too excited about. However, immediately after I got dressed I realized it was perfect. The whole thing was quite effortless and that in itself I find to be quite chic. Nothing helps an ensemble come off cool & chic like being comfortable in your own skin.

Wearing H&M midi pencil skirt similar here, Danskin scoop neck leotard, Ralph Lauren Crochet long cardigan similar here, Brian Atwood gold peeptoes similar here and here, 14th & Union tassel necklace, Ralph Lauren gold bangle, & Fendi sunglasses.