“We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
As you’ve seen in many past blog posts, I’ve create style sets for holidays and seasons, plays I’m currently working on, or awards events. Normally I give descriptions of sustainable and ethical fashion companies to tell the story behind the clothing and to inspire you with their accomplishments and gain support for this movement. While I plan on doing the same thing with my latest style sets inspired by my photos and experiences from San Jose del Cabo, I’ll share a few words with you on why I picked these specific companies and clothing and accessory pieces. Since I’ve come to admire and am passionate about advocating for sustainable and ethical fashion, why not explain the story behind my purpose for choosing a few of these organizations?
My first style set begins at the best place to start any vacation: the beach. Using tones of teal, a light sandy brown, and white from the ocean, I started this set with a bag from Fashion Compassion, mainly because the brown and white zig-zag made me think of the designs on blankets from the local Mexican markets and used a pair of shoes from vegan shoe company Beyond Skin to reflect the shimmer of sunlight on the waves. I also admire the work of both Faire Collection and Noonday Collection, who collaborate with local artisans to use local materials and traditional methods to create their products. In some cases they also provide loans to artisans to assist them in creating a sustainable business and partnership. What about the dress? That leads us to the next set . . .
I began this next style set by focusing on a photo from the work of one of the local artisans in Todos Santos, Benito Ortega Vargas. I located light blue and turquoise shades in addition to cream, tan, and gold to reflect this artist’s colors and started with some clothing pieces from People Tree, a fair trade clothing company from the U.K. People Tree first got noticed for its support from Emma Watson. Although she’s known for Harry Potter, I admire her for her recent campaign He for She with the U.N. and her continued efforts to empower women throughout the world. Another reason I like People Tree is that its retro-styled clothing is also sustainable since it was the first organization with a supply chain in developing nations to be recognized for a GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification. The numerous accessories I’ve chosen are also companies who are environmentally conscious (Arabelle Brusan) and feature sustainable brands (Hearts, Shop Ethica). Once again I’ve chosen shoes from Beyond Skin, which help bring in the brown purse from one of my favorite brands, Maiyet, a luxury fashion brand who works with artisans in developing countries to preserve their cultural traditions.
For the final set, I found myself back in San Jose del Cabo at the Estuary (El Estero). I found the various greens, browns, teals, and black to be a challenge when combining in an outfit, but with great options from People Tree, Faire Collection, and Maiyet I had a great foundation for my pieces. Since I’ve already mentioned a few of these organizations, I’d like to focus a little more on my reason for choosing the purse from Mercado Global. Although the company is based in Guatemala, I still found the patterns to reflect those of blankets and clothing items in Mexico, which drew me to the bag in the first place. Their various programs to educate and empower women about business practices, marketing, and connecting with the world marketplace as well as using traditional Guatemalan designs in their products is something I greatly admire and continue to support. Since Fortress of Inca also strives to preserve traditional Peruvian woven designs as well as ensuring their workers receive fair wages for their quality work—it’s a win-win situation I continually show my support for.
After looking through my choices, at the end of the day, Goethe’s words still linger in the back of mind. What resonates with me more is not just supporting ethical and sustainable brands, but sharing their stories and efforts in changing how the world views fashion. What I chose to love, support, and admire does shape how I look and feel, so why not chose products that have meaning and story behind them? Why not chose products that I can see a reflection of someone else’s world and life to connect with them? There is more meaning to life than acquiring things, it’s the connection and impact you have with others in the world.