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Production of anything, no matter how ethical, requires the use of resources. Even organic, plant-based fabrics, while better for the environment, still emit pollutants and, most create some amount of waste. Buying or creating something new requires that resources be used up, in some way or another. 

In an ideal world, creating something new wouldn't add to the already existing amounts of pollution or contribute to the endless piles of textile waste. In an ideal world, adding beauty to our lives would reduce waste and create good, instead of push the fashion industry further up the line of most harmful industries. 

That ideal world can't be achieved overnight - and I'm not naive enough to think our world will ever be "ideal", but with the help of brands like Mother Erth, the waste from fashion and manufacturing gets a bit cleaner every day. 

Mother Erth is a newly launched brand doing something quite revolutionary for the fashion industry. Instead of adding to the waste, Mother Erth creates their products from waste. 

Zero-Waste

Each bag that the brand sells is made from repurposed plastic waste. Intercepted on the way to landfill from manufacturers in Asia, Mother Erth collects discarded plastic, cleans and cuts it and uses the bright colors and flexible yet sturdy material to weave something purposeful and beautiful. 

Empowering

In addition to reducing waste, Mother Erth is on a mission to empower mothers through fair and safe employment. Their artisans are paid three times the average wage, allowing them to support their families and work in a safe, stable workplace. 



Thanks to being made from the material that never dies or breaks down, Mother Erth's pieces are incredibly durable, waterproof, rip proof, and can hold their fair share of weight. They have an impressive range of bags from small credit card holders and clutches, to shoulder bags and totes. 

I used my Mixed Weave Artisan Tote for a chilly day at the beach with AJ and the girls and loved how perfect it was to toss our essentials in and enjoy the day. There was ample room for our towels, changes of clothes, water bottles and snacks, and it cleaned up easily after being set in the sand for an afternoon.

Heart

Before I committed to this collaboration, I had the chance to speak to the owners of the brand over the phone and was immediately impressed by their genuine desire to connect their pieces to people who care. They took time to make sure that we'd be a good fit and that my readers (you!) would genuinely be interested in their mission. Their bags are unique, and fit a unique group of people (IE. they're not the minimal, tan, black and grey aesthetic I usually adhere to), but I can't get over how multi-faceted and all around beautiful their brand is. And their products are wonderfully functional to boot.  

There are a lot of beautiful and ethical handbags out there, and I've written about and reviewed more than my fair share over the years, but it's hard to find a brand like Mother Erth, who so perfectly melds conservation, waste reduction, job creation, and high quality pieces into a single product. 

Head to their website to shop their gorgeous and colorful collection and stay tuned to see how I use my tote throughout the Summer!

Sunnies: Feller Shades, Swimsuit: Azura Bay, Shoes: Sseko Designs, The rest: Thrifted



*This post was sponsored by Mother Erth as part of an ongoing partnership. All images and opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links which means I make a small commission off of any items purchased via these links*

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This was supposed to be a sponsored home tour - a review of my favorite "home brands" that I used daily and displayed in my home. But then we moved. Suddenly and without much of a plan, we had to leave our first home here in CO (a tiny, overpriced two bedroom condo that needed lots of attention and TLC). We've relocated - er, moved in with my wonderful parents - in efforts to save some money for a house of our own and "get back on our feet" after a long period of job hopping for my husband and discouragement for both of us. 

It's a fresh season. It's a good season. But, strangely, we don't have a home to call our own at the moment. All things considered, this probably isn't the best timing to publish a blog post about home goods. But I'm nothing if not an eternal optimist and so, the homeless blogger will blog about home things ;) 

I've lived in lots of "homes" in the lifespan of this blog - there was the cozy one bedroom house on G street, the loft above the garage, then the three year stretch that we were first time homeowners of a gorgeous Victorian fixer-upper. Home, the belongings we put inside it, and the feelings attached to it, has been in a state of flux for my family and I for years. And as much as I'd love to feel "settled" in a space that was all my own that I could host guests in and decorate to match my dream aesthetic, I've learned a lot about what constitutes the concept of home for me in these semi-nomadic years. 

More than a single place or building, home has become a feeling. It's where my husband and daughters are, of course, but it's also where I feel most myself. Home is where my introverted self feels authentic and where I can be at ease. Sometimes home is a cozy coffee shop filled with people (literally. Coffee shops have always felt like home to me.) Sometimes it's getting lost in a conversation with someone I care about. Sometimes home is a place, but more often than not, it's the feelings I associate with a particular object, place, or person. 

So what is one to do when the walls around you change more often than you can track? When your plan for the future isn't set in stone and you don't have that "settled" feeling that so many of us long for? 

For me, intentionally gathering items that travel well from place to place and mimic my "dream aesthetic" has been huge in creating a home-y feeling wherever I'm at. I've gathered these pieces slowly, over the year(s) and some, like the fragrances, will need replacing, but others will last through the years whether we continue to house hop or we find a home to call our own. 

Organic Cotton Sheets || Jefferson Lane Home

It took me a long time to upgrade my bedding to a more sustainable option, but now that I have, I can't sleep on anything else. Jefferson Lane, who happens to be one of my sweet freelance clients, sent me a pair of their Organic Cotton Sheets and the benefits of switching from conventional cotton to organic are hard to beat. Even though we're staying at my parent's house, our sheets were one of the first things to come out of the box when we got settled in. 

Candles & Diffusers || 1502 Candle Co.

There's nothing like a beautiful fragrance to instill a sense of calm and home. Even though we're just occupying a single room, I have multiple candles and (my new favorite) a reed diffuser spread throughout. I love lighting my White Sage & Orange Blossom soy wax candle from 1502 Candle Co. at night when AJ and I are settling in after work. The reed diffuser keeps the room continuously fresh much more effectively than a candle and I love how they can function as a decor piece as well. 

Freeleaf

My handknotted rug from Freeleaf is a statement piece with a beautiful story. Each Freeleaf piece is handmade from a single strand by a woman overcoming abuse or trafficking. That fact alone gives me hope each time I look at my rug.  

Ten Thousand Villages

One of the "pioneers" of the fair trade movement, Ten Thousand Villages has been supporting artisan craftsmanship around the world for decades. I've partnered with them before, but recently added this stunning Bamboo Reflections mirror, handmade by the Dhaka Handicrafts artisan group in Bangladesh, and it's an heirloom piece I can't wait to display in my home for years to come. 

What pieces make you feel most at home? Is home more of a place or a feeling for you? 

*This post was sponsored by several brands. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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This week is my official "two year anniversary" of shopping ethically. Although not without bumps, doubts, "mistakes", and challenges, I can firmly say that even if my blogging days come to an end and I'm thrust back into the world of "real shopping", I'll never support Fast Fashion again. Knowing the things I know now, and equipped with the tools I have for making ethical shopping both convenient and accessible, two years will translate to a lifestyle for, well, life. 

That longevity can seem scary, or even over the top. What if I'm in a pinch? What if I can't afford to save money for "investment pieces"? What if my kids need new clothes more quickly than I can buy them? For every question that arises, I've learned that there are ethical answers for them all. Sometimes it's waiting longer to make a purchase. Sometimes it's not buying anything at all. Sometimes it's going to a thrift store to dig for alternatives, Sometimes it's making something myself. Sometimes it's putting "secondhand clothes" on my girls' birthday list. Sometimes it's practicing contentment.

And at a certain point, most people who make the commitment to shop ethically realize that ultimately, fashion is just the beginning. 



One of my favorite brands, that I've partnered with several times (three, in fact. 1, 2, 3,) and will continue to promote regardless of whether I'm "partnered" with them or not, embodies this "change beyond textiles" notion in more ways than one. MATTER Prints strives to foster connection and community - rather than exploitation and individual gain. They strive to mesh artisan trade with designer skill and, most excitingly to me as a consumer, to inspire customers to value "provenance", or, the story and art behind creation, not just the speed of it.

 When I spent time thinking about what Change Beyond Textiles means in preparation for this post, I was struck by how applicable it is in a personal sense, not just for a sustainable brand or fashion designer. Change beyond textiles is a call for constant growth. It's a challenge to never stop questioning the norm, a push to go beyond. 

For me, this push means carrying a conscious lifestyle into more areas than just my closet. It means choosing to care more, about everything, which sounds exhausting, but as I've learned from watching the ripple effects of spreading conscious shopping, choosing to care is contagious. 

Change beyond textiles is lasting, it's life altering and, eventually, as more and more people notice and join in, it's world changing. 

Two years in, I'm not sure where this lifestyle is taking me, but the single choice to care about where my clothes were made and the stories they tell has opened more doors than I ever imagined. It's caused me to think about consumerism and ethics in a much larger scope, from the food I eat, to the way I parent, to the way I construct my "dream life". 

Change beyond textiles means there's hope for the contagion to spread. It means that taking a single step, be it a shopping fast, committing to reducing your waste, or researching before you buy that t-shirt, can cause others to ask the same kind of questions. Change beyond textiles means that the first step you take, no matter how scary or counter cultural it seems, is really just the beginning. 

This post is part of a long term partnership with MATTER Prints. All opinions and creative direction are my own. Photos by Jones & Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep SL&Co. running!*

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We interrupt our normal mess of fashion related posts to bring you a topic of a different kind. Something, in fact, that I've been holding off on writing about because, admittedly, I'm terrible at it. But if I've learned anything from blogging and the authenticity that goes along with it, it's that the posts that I avoid writing the longest are usually the ones most worth writing. 

I often sing the praises of "slow and intentional". And I believe in that lifestyle wholeheartedly. I try, as best I can in a world that promotes more/faster/better/haphazard, to slow down, make my choices from a place of intention, and to raise my girls to do the same. I'm an advocate for "boredom" and schedule as much intentional downtime into my 4 & 2 year old's lives as possible. But there's one area that I've always struggled to use intentionally, especially around my girls, and it's one that I already know I'm not alone in. 

Social Media. 

Of course, my girls are far too young to have their own devices or social media outlets, but the reality is that they've been born into the "digital age" and navigating that reality as a parent is far from easy. I think both my daughters understood how to work an iPhone from the time they were 18- months old. They both can run Netflix without help, answer my phone, and even like wasting time with Instagram filters with me. 

It can seem harmless and, of course, to some extent it is, but raising children in a world so immersed in social media, connection, and immediacy means that things like comparison, discontent, self-loathing, and wandering into unsafe "online territory" can begin happening at younger ages than ever before. 

To give some balance to the fear that can drive parenting, I've determined to never parent from a "sheltered" or fear-based line of thought. So, of course, I'm not hiding my girls from all social media or pretending like it doesn't exist. However, I'm equally determined to "use social media for good" in my family - despite the times I've failed to do so. 

Here are a few habits I'm hoping to implement more consistently in my day to day to teach my girls that social media can be used for good, but that it's not the "be all end all". 

1. Set specific times to post/check social media

I put this tip first because it's the one I fail at most often. I'm on my phone around my girls ALL THE TIME and although I don't feel like I have to be off it entirely, limiting my own screentime, especially around them, trains us both to value each other's company and detach from social media all the more. 

This is one of the "cornerstones" of my Social Media Detox from several years ago and, starting now, I'm hoping to make it less of a detox routine and more of an everyday habit. 

2. Be intentional with who you follow

Although this may not seem to directly impact your kids, they'll pick up on more than you realize. If you follow accounts that cause you discontent or to compare yourself in unhealthy ways, those feelings will bleed into your day to day life. The occasional sigh when you look in the mirror or exclamation that you "wish you looked more like so and so" can stick with your kids longer than you'd ever intend. 

Instead, follow accounts that inspire and uplift you.

3.  Decide ahead of time how/when your kids can "sign on"

Having a plan in advance when it comes to social media and your kids is a simple way to reduce anxiety and parent intentionally. They'll know, as they get older, what your expectations are and how social media fits into their lives at a particular phase. 

4. Teach them from a young age to unplug

A balance that is easier to imagine than achieve, setting boundaries with screen time/social media is tricky regardless of whether your kids are in school or daycare, whether you work from home with them, or a combination of it all. For me, since my job is entirely online, I try to keep the days when I work while my kids are "plugged into" Netflix to a minimum. Instead, I let them play and make messes around me while I work - not simple, inspiring, or easy most of the time, but it creates a balance between work and play that I think is crucial for kids. 

How have you decided to use social media in your household? I'd love to hear all of the tips and ideas!
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We interrupt our normal mess of fashion related posts to bring you a topic of a different kind. Something, in fact, that I've been holding off on writing about because, admittedly, I'm terrible at it. But if I've learned anything from blogging and the authenticity that goes along with it, it's that the posts that I avoid writing the longest are usually the ones most worth writing. 

I often sing the praises of "slow and intentional". And I believe in that lifestyle wholeheartedly. I try, as best I can in a world that promotes more/faster/better/haphazard, to slow down, make my choices from a place of intention, and to raise my girls to do the same. I'm an advocate for "boredom" and schedule as much intentional downtime into my 4 & 2 year old's lives as possible. But there's one area that I've always struggled to use intentionally, especially around my girls, and it's one that I already know I'm not alone in. 

Social Media. 

Of course, my girls are far too young to have their own devices or social media outlets, but the reality is that they've been born into the "digital age" and navigating that reality as a parent is far from easy. I think both my daughters understood how to work an iPhone from the time they were 18- months old. They both can run Netflix without help, answer my phone, and even like wasting time with Instagram filters with me. 

It can seem harmless and, of course, to some extent it is, but raising children in a world so immersed in social media, connection, and immediacy means that things like comparison, discontent, self-loathing, and wandering into unsafe "online territory" can begin happening at younger ages than ever before. 

To give some balance to the fear that can drive parenting, I've determined to never parent from a "sheltered" or fear-based line of thought. So, of course, I'm not hiding my girls from all social media or pretending like it doesn't exist. However, I'm equally determined to "use social media for good" in my family - despite the times I've failed to do so. 

Here are a few habits I'm hoping to implement more consistently in my day to day to teach my girls that social media can be used for good, but that it's not the "be all end all". 

1. Set specific times to post/check social media

I put this tip first because it's the one I fail at most often. I'm on my phone around my girls ALL THE TIME and although I don't feel like I have to be off it entirely, limiting my own screentime, especially around them, trains us both to value each other's company and detach from social media all the more. 

This is one of the "cornerstones" of my Social Media Detox from several years ago and, starting now, I'm hoping to make it less of a detox routine and more of an everyday habit. 

2. Be intentional with who you follow

Although this may not seem to directly impact your kids, they'll pick up on more than you realize. If you follow accounts that cause you discontent or to compare yourself in unhealthy ways, those feelings will bleed into your day to day life. The occasional sigh when you look in the mirror or exclamation that you "wish you looked more like so and so" can stick with your kids longer than you'd ever intend. 

Instead, follow accounts that inspire and uplift you.

3.  Decide ahead of time how/when your kids can "sign on"

Having a plan in advance when it comes to social media and your kids is a simple way to reduce anxiety and parent intentionally. They'll know, as they get older, what your expectations are and how social media fits into their lives at a particular phase. 

4. Teach them from a young age to unplug

A balance that is easier to imagine than achieve, setting boundaries with screen time/social media is tricky regardless of whether your kids are in school or daycare, whether you work from home with them, or a combination of it all. For me, since my job is entirely online, I try to keep the days when I work while my kids are "plugged into" Netflix to a minimum. Instead, I let them play and make messes around me while I work - not simple, inspiring, or easy most of the time, but it creates a balance between work and play that I think is crucial for kids. 

How have you decided to use social media in your household? I'd love to hear all of the tips and ideas!
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When it comes to versatility and timelessness, I can't think of any pieces that fit the bill better than the "LBD". A classic in it's own right, black dresses transcend seasons, events, life-phases, and can even accommodate changing bodies (hello pregnancy, or you know, period week). They can range from sultry and strappy to loose, modest and flowy, but if you've peeked inside my closet anytime in the past three years, you'll know that the t-shirt dress silhouette is my favorite for the LBD. 

Although until now, I've only owned one LBD. My trusty Sotela shift dress that I bought long before I ever partnered with the brand. The material of that dress, tencel, while great for dressing up and everyday wear, isn't stretchy or sweat resistant. These two qualities aren't typically on my radar when I choose a new piece for my closet, however, now that I've tried Zanni's "dresses for whatever", I'm hooked on a new kind of versatility that I don't usually consider. 



Zanni designs their dresses for quite literally anything. Made from a stretchy, workout apparel-like fabric, these dresses are meant to take you from a bike commute, to a meeting, to a post-work coffee date. Frustrated with the lack of "low maintenance" pieces in her closet, Zanni founder, Suzanne Brosnan, wanted to find a way to celebrate her love for comfort without sacrificing style or timelessness. So, she combined the two in the most dreamy way - stretchy, athletic-esque material with classic LBD designs that can take you just about anywhere. 

The Fabric

Sourced from an ethical and vetted fabric mill in Italy, Zanni's dresses are made with a blend of cotton, Polyamide, and elastane, giving them incredible stretch and softness. The fabric is UV ray resistant and waterproof to boot. 

I put it to the ultimate test by wearing my Zanni Wear on Repeat dress on a plane ride and, subsequently, several days in the humidity and heat of Omaha, Nebraska. No matter how hot I was, the dress never felt wet and actually did a better job of keeping me cool than anything else I packed for the trip. 

Suzanne has designed a wide range of dresses, including a maxi dress, a classic A-line, a tank dress, and more. The material is flattering, clinging where you want it to and falling away from where you don't. I've worn mine alone with sneakers, dressed up with flats and a statement necklace, or casually with my Tradlands denim jacket and Sseko slides.   

As someone who generally steers clear of "athleisure" fabrics for my day to day life (you'll rarely see me in leggings unless I'm doing yoga, going to bed, or having a really off day), I'm genuinely in love with the ease and low-maintenance feel of this dress. Although I love getting dressed, I appreciate any brand that helps me achieve a no-fuss, simple yet classy look and Zanni does it all with ease. These truly are dresses for whatever. 

*This post was sponsored by Zanni LA. All photography, opinions, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog alive.**

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I recently participated in an interview that asked my thoughts on the future of the slow fashion industry. As someone who has only been "in the industry" for a few years and only as an influencer, not a brand owner, or designer, or supplier, or garment worker, I sometimes feel like an observer of the industry as a whole, more than an active participant.

Of course, using my voice to share about brands who are making change is important, but watching and observing, and then sharing my thoughts on them is one of my favorite parts of this "role" of mine, as small as it may be. 

So this question about the future of the slow fashion movement got me thinking - as most things do - about my own daughters. At 4 and almost 3, they're as impressionable as ever, questioning the very fabric of their surroundings at depths that I usually have a hard time explaining. In my short time as a mother, much like my short time as an influencer, I've learned that sometimes things don't have cut and dry answers, as much as toddlers (or consumers) may want there to be. 

And the answer to my question about the future of slow fashion as it turned out, had a lot to do with what two sisters who, a lot like my own girls are teaching me to do, questioning the norm. 

MiaKoda was birthed out of sisters Julia and Laura Ahrens' frustration with the fashion industry's status quo. With a background in fashion design, Julia was immersed in fast fashion and after she and Laura both began practicing yoga, the mindfulness behind their practices started to seep into their professional and personal lives. 

Slowly but surely, they questioned where their clothes were made. Whether animals, people, or the planet were harmed in the process. And finally, what they could do to change it. 

Their brand, meaning "power of the moon", grew to symbolize the connectivity of humanity and, in a way, was a result of their questioning the norm, instead of growing accustomed to it. 

MiaKoda designs versatile basics using exclusively plant-based materials. Their pieces are meant to fit a wide range of bodies, for nearly every situation. I've been wearing their bodysuit and slim fit joggers for the past few months and to say that they've become true wardrobe staples is an understatement. 



Pushing the envelope doesn't come naturally for everyone. And as revolutionary as the slow fashion movement is, a cleaner, kinder fashion industry is becoming a reality because of people who question the status quo. People who use their skills to create something better. People who use their voices to share about it. People who speak up with their dollars and vote for a better future. 

These are the people (and brands) that I'm inspired by and the ones that I hope, like my daughters, will continue to push boundaries, question the norm, and create a better reality. 




*This post was sponsored by MiaKoda. All opinions, photographs, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible*

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In the three-ish years that I've been blogging as a job (or in that general direction), the vast majority of the brands I've worked with have been "one and done" - not due to negative experiences or inauthentic reviews, but because that's just how partnerships usually work in the blogging world. Brands hope for an "exposure blast" and influencers get to make connections and review really amazing products. 

But after a while, it gets increasingly difficult to be creative with "one and done" reviews. Over the past year or so, I've worked hard to shift my focus to longer term partnerships, giving brands I truly love increased exposure, more authentic reviews and photography, and of course, forming a genuine relationship with them and their pieces. 

VETTA Capsule has slowly but surely become one of those brands. As my third season partnering with them rolls around, I'm equally honored to showcase The Casual Capsule as I was the very first time Cara emailed me. 

You can read all about them in my first and second reviews, but in case this is your first time encountering the beauty that is VETTA, here a few reasons I've decided to work with them time and time (and time) again. 

Why Shop VETTA? 
  • Responsible Production: All of VETTA's woven pieces (like the Boyfriend Shirt and Apron Jumpsuit I'm wearing in today's post) are sourced, cut, and sewn in a family-owned factory in NYC. Their knit products and t-shirts are produced in ethical factories in LA. 
  • Sustainable Fabrics: Since the beginning, VETTA has used deadstock fabric for their collections, saving excess fabric from landfill. They've recently added sustainable materials like Tencel and organic cotton to their lineup. Both of the pieces I'm wearing from the Casual Capsule are made of Tencel. 
  • Versatile Design: VETTA's pieces are designed to be capsule wardrobe essentials, which means they're the perfect pieces to own if you're looking for quality over quantity. Each piece can be worn in multiple ways, in multiple seasons, and mixed and matched with other pieces in the collection.
The Pieces: 1. The Apron Jumpsuit

I've officially declared this summer the summer of jumpsuits, and after slipping into The Apron Jumpsuit from VETTA's surprise summer capsule, my resolve is only strengthened. In stark contrast to my other "staple jumpsuit" from Sotela (a short sleeve skinny leg jumpsuit), this piece features a wide-leg, apron style straps, and a back tie that can be tied three different ways (at least). 

I'm head over heels for this sweet piece. The material (Tencel) is sturdy, thick without feeling heavy, and easy to care for. It has the perfect drape and layers over and under other pieces extremely well. 

The jumpsuit is (mostly) bra friendly - the open back tying can be hard to disguise certain bras, but tying it in other ways easily covers the back of a bra. The jumpsuit looks adorable styled over a white tee, or even over a long sleeve button-up for cooler weather (see an example in my THOM KELLY review from last week).  

(Sizing notes: I'm wearing a size 4 and am 5'6" and 135-ish lbs)

2. The Boyfriend Shirt

Another elevated basic that can be worn all year long, the Boyfriend Shirt can be styled with the buttons in the front or in the back. It is made of the same sturdy, soft Tencel as the Jumpsuit, but comes in either washed navy or black and white stripe. 

The shirt is rather long, so you can wear it untucked over a pair of skinnies, unbutton the bottom buttons and tie it up like I have, or tuck it in for a cropped look. 

(Sizing notes: I'm wearing a size small. It's meant to be intentionally oversized, so I would order true to size for this piece). 

VETTA is one of the few brands that is hard to match when it comes to quality, transparency, versatility, and timelessness. I've had a brand crush on them for years and don't see it ending anytime soon. 

**This post was sponsored by VETTA Capsule - all opinions are my own. Photography by Jones & Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Simply Liv & Co. possible!**)

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I knew I was going to own a THOM KELLY button up from the moment I hit "follow" on their newly formed Instagram page almost two years ago. Although there are several brands that make ethical options, I hadn't found one that fit the way I wanted it to, had a pattern I actually loved and was produced using values I could completely respect. 

Enter THOM KELLY

If you want to learn more about the backstory of the brand, and my borderline obsession with following their first ever collection launch, read this interview from a few months ago. Today's post, however, is all about the shirt and why I love it so much. 

The Details: 

For their first collection, THOM KELLY released their Sawyer Shirt in three colorways (and their Axel Shirt for men). Made with an organic cotton/Tencel blend, the shirt is as lightweight and breezy as it is sturdy and wrinkle-resistant. Everything about this button-up feels well-made, from the fabric, to the buttons and stitching. 

THOM KELLY produces in the USA, custom designs their fabric and patterns, is a member of 1% For the Planet, and uses sustainable materials - it really doesn't get any better. 



Styling: 

We all know how to style a flannel. They're the essence of laidback versatility.

For this post, however, I wanted to create a look that showed a more interesting way to style the shirt, other than my typical "front-tuck in my favorite pair of skinny jeans" approach. 

Since the Sawyer shirt is a bit longer than some other flannels out there that I've tried in the past (hello, cheap Target button-ups), it can easily be tied-up over a pair of high-waisted shorts or "mom jeans". It's also just as easy to layer under a strappy slip dress, overalls, or as I have, under a jumpsuit. 

The fabric makes this shirt perfect for all seasons. In colder months, you could layer it under a chunky sweater, or of course, wear it on its own with a knit skirt or cozy jeans. In Spring and Summer, it can be unbuttoned over a tank for an easy to remove layer, or tucked into a pair of shorts. 

Outfit details: Jumpsuit (VETTA Capsule), Slides (Sseko Designs)

I share a lot about "investment pieces" on SL&Co. and, as luxurious as THOM KELLY's shirts may seem, if you're planning to spend money on a flannel, choosing one that will last you years (not just a season or two) and is made with the utmost care and attention to detail, will pay off. 

Another thing I love about the brand is, in an effort to reduce waste, THOM KELLY offers their "second chance" shirts (pieces with minor flaws that don't live up to their high quality standards) at a very reduced price. 

Almost every other brand that I've tried in the past (with the exception of my Toad & Co. flannel) has worn out, shrunk, lost buttons, ripped, or deteriorated with less than 20 wears. After only a month or two of owning my THOM KELLY Sawyer Shirt, I'm fast approaching the "30 wear" mark and (with proper care, of course) I'm convinced this shirt will last me a lifetime. 

**This post was part of a long-term collaboration with THOM KELLY. All photos, opinions, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make SL&Co. possible!**

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I won't preface this post by saying that I'm not a beauty blogger (if you knew my makeup routine, you'd know how far that is from the truth), but I will say that my approach to skincare, makeup, self-care, and my own appearance overall has changed drastically in the past few years. 

Motherhood, for one, and simply "growing up" have both altered my view of how and why I take care of my body. In my journey towards a slower, simpler, cleaner lifestyle, skincare/beauty out of necessity, has to follow suit. However, much like transitioning from fast fashion to slow fashion, making the trek from conventional beauty products to cleaner ones is no small feat. 

This post has been years in the making, because, much like developing my personal style, it has taken a while to get to know my skin type, self-care style, and the way my body responds to what I put in and on it (thank you, Woman Code). Although it's not a comprehensive list of ethical skincare brands out there (not even close), it will hopefully provide a more in depth look at how and why I've chosen the products I use and an honest review of the brands behind them. 

Questions to ask before buying: 1. What is my skin type and what issue am I trying to address? 2. Can this product be used in more than one way? 3. How transparent is the brand about their ingredients/sourcing?4. Is this product worth the investment? 

If a product answers yes to all four of these requirements, then it's an easy choice. 

The Brands:  1. Curie

The story: Curie aims to create perfumes and body care products with zero chemicals and as few ingredients as possible. You might remember my obsessive review of their Bella Flor fragrance (a perfume with only 9 ingredients, as opposed to the industry standard of 70. It's a woman owned company creating artisans passionate about the trade. 

The products: Perfumes, hand soaps, & lotions. 

Why Curie: Curie's fragrances are unparalleled and you can feel 100% safe and confident about putting their products on your skin, knowing they're not created with harmful chemicals or synthetic fragrances. 

2. Dulce de Donke

The story: After learning that their daughter had a rare autoimmune disease that attacked her brain (called PANDAS), Saundra and her husband, the owners of Dulce de Donke, were told that their six year old would have to be on antibiotics for the majority of her life. Unable to accept that as the final answer, they turned to history, and ultimately to donkey milk, a substance known for its health benefits in many other cultures, but one that is rare in Western culture. The family has since created a brand aimed at helping other families in similar situations and spreading the word about the benefits of donkey milk. 

The products: Dulce de Donke has a wide range of products, but I tested out the Dulce de Deodorant , Eucalyptus Mint soap bar, and their best selling moisturizer

Why Dulce de Donkee: Aside from their incredible story, Dulce de Donke crafts products that are gentle on the skin and truly work wonders. I use their moisturizer on my razor burn prone legs after shaving and it's so soothing. Furthermore, their deodorant is the first all natural deodorant I've tried that ACTUALLY works. 

3. Primally Pure

The story: Born out of a love for organic, pastured raised farming, Primally Pure evolved into a skincare brand that  uses only recognizable, natural, effective ingredients. They use expert recommended ingredients in their carefully formulated products that yield noticeable results. 

The products: Primally Pure makes everything from cleansing oils, to bath soaks, to dry shampoo. I've been using their Cleansing Oil, Everything Spray, and Jasmine Body Oil and can't recommend all three more highly. Will DEFINITELY be repurchasing. 

Why Primally Pure: If you're looking for high quality, all natural skin care products, Primally Pure is the perfect starting place. 

4. Axiology Beauty

The story: Axiology was founded on the principle that women shouldn't have to choose feeling beautiful over feeling ethical. Their products are made with 100% organic and ethically sourced ingredients, are 100% vegan and cruelty free, and (get this) the packaging is even made from paper waste gathered around the island of Bali and then hand decorated, filled with a lipstick, and shipped to your door. 

The products: Lipsticks and lipcrayons in a wide variety of shades. I bought Vibration (the perfect bright red), and then tried out The Goodness, and the Bliss lip crayon for this post. 

Why Axiology: Although $26-$30 may seem expensive for a lipstick, when you consider the high levels of transparency, the longevity of the product, and it's effectiveness, it's well worth the cost. 

5. Berlin Skin

The story: Speaking to my minimalism-obsessed mind, Berlin Skin encourages simplicity, contentment, and a deeply ingrained sense of self-care with their multi-use products. Each product is made with sustainably sourced ingredients, made in small-batches in Portland. 

The products: Body and face oils, masks, creams, toners and more. I've been loving their Matcha Honey mask and their Geranium + Rose Toner

Why Berlin Skin: Perfect for the aspiring minimalist or anyone trying to pare down and simplify their skincare routine, Berlin Skin's products are nourishing and adapt well to all skin types. 

6. Pouring Out Facial Oil 

The story: After spending time overseas in war torn Bosnia-Herzegovina, Pouring Out's founder wanted to craft a brand that combined their love for serving the marginalized with their passion for simple living and essential oils. Profits from Pouring Out are reinvested into supporting non-profits that restore and heal, much like their facial oils do for the skin. 

The products: A simple selection of a face mask and a face oil, Pouring Out uses all organic oils to hydrate, restore, and heal all skin types. 

Why Pouring Out: If you're looking for a safe, organic facial oil, Pouring Out is your new go-to, regardless of skin type. 

*This post was a collaboration between multiple brands and myself, combining purchased goods and gifted product. All opinions and photographs are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make SL&Co. possible!*

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