Slow Fashioned

One of my favorite slow fashion projects.

Do you ever wish you knew how to gauge your progress as an eco-fashionista? Of course, you are doing your best and constantly looking for the best options, but how well are you really doing? Try the Slow Fashioned Quiz to find out. This quiz asks simple, pertinent questions and gives some detailed feed back on what you are doing well and what you could do better. Take a few minutes to think over your results and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign the Slow Fashion Pledge.

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Going Postal?

As an eco-fashionista, I know that buying local is usually the most environmentally sound decision, but let’s be real. Often times, what I want or need is not available on the local market. Since mail order companies usually have the most diverse selection of eco-friendly, sustainable clothing, I often find myself shopping on-line (not to mention that I am helplessly addicted to both etsy and ebay). This makes the issue of greener shipping very real to me.

Today while I was in line at the post office, I noticed a flier of the USPS new green movement. Not only have they recently issued a set of eco-advice stamps, but apparently have been working on their ecological footprint for a while now. There is an entire website dedicated to this initiative and I must admit that it is quite impressive. Everything from the day-to-day function of the postal service to the creation of shipping cartons is being ecologically improved. When considering the greenest shipping option the site makes this very valid point about fuel conservation, “When you order a product on online, choose the Postal Service to deliver it. We are already coming to your house 6 days a week so it’s not an extra trip for us.”

Now, shipping USPS is more than just a convenience issue. It may just be the most eco-friendly choice as well.

*Image is property of the USPS.

Everyday Minerals Base

My girlfriends at MaryJanes Farm and I were having a long conversation about mineral make-up when Everyday Minerals was mentioned. As a girl who wears very little make-up (mascara and lipstick), I was looking for a light base to smooth out my complexion a bit for a more polished overall look. The dilema being that I tend to hate the way standard foundation feels on my skin. To me, even the high-priced specialty brands start to feel like a coating of lard halfway through the day (not to mention some of their ingredients are a bit frightening). Since it was fairly unanimous that mineral make-up has a much nicer texture and holds up better in the humidity than standard make-up, I knew that I was looking in the right direction. When one of the girls mentioned that the brand she uses (Everyday Minerals) offers a free sample pack of their bases, I knew which line I was going to try first.

Once on the Everyday Minerals site, it was extremely easy to find the free samples. Instead of being hidden in some out-of-the-way place, the offer is predominately displayed at the top of the homepage. Once on the page, you choose the color range that your skin tone falls into and add the sample to your basket. Included in the sample are five .03 oz jars of mineral base (one in each color of the range and in each of the four formulas available in the base). The first sample is always free (all you are asked to pay is the shipping) and additional samples are five dollars.

When my sample order of five trial sized bases arrived I couldn’t wait to try them. despite the fact it was nearly midnight, I had to see how they were going to look. My enthusiasm was dampened a bit by the difficulty of opening the jars. The clear plastic film over the sifting holes was not only difficult to see, but impossible to remove without help from the tweezers. Once all of the jars were open, I lined them up on the counter and started applying little daubs to my face to determine my perfect color. The colors I had to choose from were sandy medium, medium tan, olive medium, light tan, and sandy tan. I quickly narrowed my colors down to either medium tan (semi matte) or sandy tan (matte) and proceeded to apply each to one half of my face. Over the larger area, I soon decided that the sandy tan was a bit too orange for my skin but continued with the application anyway. The base felt light and blended easily, leaving no make-up lines. The semi matte formula of the medium tan smoothed out the small flaws while still looking natural. Once I had applied my jesters mask of bases, I finished my make-up regime as usual with a sweep of bronzer (another recent addition by the recommendation of my stylist friend), mascara, and a deep raisin toned lipstick. I looked great, but the true test was yet to come.

The next day, I really put Everyday Minerals to the test. I was going to work in a venue that had minimal air conditioning on a rather warm South Florida day. Although I always try to look professional, situations like this are usually the ones in which I avoid foundation type make-up at all costs. I applied medium tan base beneath my standard look and went about my day. To my surprise, I completely forgot I was wearing base. When I looked in the mirror at the end of the day, my face still looked smooth and clean with no caking or other ill effects of the humidity. These excellent results have been repeated three times now.

In short…yes, I do recommend Everyday Minerals Base . The “negative” I have seen regarding this product in other reviews is it’s sheerness, which is exactly what I love about it. I do not look or feel like I am wearing gobs of make-up. In this product, I feel like myself and I feel beautiful.

Not only is it a great product, the company providing it has a conscience as well. Everyday Minerals has signed with the Leaping Bunny Organization to verify their commitment to a cruelty free, no animal testing product. They also give back to their local Texas community by reaching out to women who have been victims of domestic violence.

Photo Credits: All photos are property of EverydayMinerals http://www.everydayminerals.com

For the Love of Feet!

For the past month, shoe shopping has been the bain of my existence. Having graduated from college, I am forced to face the fact that living in my dearly loved Sanuk flip-flops is no longer acceptable. I am trying get the world to take me seriously as a freelance artist and business women while the only thing my flops take seriously is the beach. So, the trials begin.

My demands in the shoe department leave even the most seasoned retail veterans cowering in the back corner of the storeroom. The shoe I want is eco-friendly and comfy (as my flops rather loudly suggest, I am a bit of a bum). Sounds easily enough, but that is just the beginning. I also need elegant and affordable. This is where the headache starts. Eco-friendly shoes that are elegant are rather expensive and those that I can afford are only available online, which means that I have no idea about the comfy factor.

Sometimes, knowledge is a burden. No matter how hard I try, I simply can’t justify buying a new pair of standard of shoes. I use to tell myself it was ok since I honestly wear my shoes to death, but even a worn out pair of conventional shoes leaves a negative ecological imprint. The standard pair of shoes is created with a brand-new rubber sole that takes at least 1,000 years to decompose. Considering how many pairs of shoes the average person goes through in a life time, that fact is astounding.  Since I absolutely need shoes, I decided to do a bit of research to aid in making a wise decision in my next shoe purchase.

leather: 24-40 years

cork: 8-9 years

canvas: 1 year

wood: 8 weeks-2 months

I know that the eco-friendly/sustainability issue goes much further than decomposition, but for now that is about as far as my budget will allow me to go.  I have been combing my favorite recycling facility (thrift store) for a like-new pair of suitable shoes in my size, but unless I hit pay dirt soon I will have to break down and make an informed purchase of conventionally made shoes.  Knowing that cork is a sustainable resource does make it more desirable than wood (dispite woods quick decomposition rate), so I will be looking for pair of cork wedges with a neutral colored canvas upper.  In the mean time, I am seriously doing some research on making my own shoes.