Sustainably Chic

Lifestyle

Pure, Safe & Supportive, This Organic Crib Mattress is Fit For An Eco Nursery

Lifestyle, Brand FeaturesNatalie Kay
organiccribmattress

The Savvy Baby by Savvy Rest

{find a discount code at the end of the post - good through 7/1}

I’m sure you’ve seen my Esmont Platform Bed and Organic Kapok Pillows on the blog time and time again. Savvy Rest makes such wonderful products so when I heard they had a crib mattress, I knew it was the perfect fit for Elliott. We spend 1/3 of our lives on our mattress and pillows, and I want to make sure my son is sleeping on something good for his health and development. The amount of chemicals used to create the majority of mattresses on the market, today, does not make me feel comfortable. I’m constantly checking labels and making sure I understand exactly what’s in the product. With the Savvy Baby, you can feel confident knowing every material used is safe for your little one. 

Made in a GOTS-certified facility, this organic {also GOTS-certified} mattress is made of a single, solid 5" layer of firm natural Dunlop latex in the Savvy Rest organic casing. The true natural latex {Dunlop} uses rubber from USDA organic tree plantations and is processed under the Global Organic Latex Standard. So what that means for us is no toxic memory or polyurethane foam which you usually find in synthetic latex. Even the wool batting, which acts as a natural flame barrier {no chemical flame retardants used}, is certified organic and helps regulate temperature through airflow. The casing around the mattress is made from unbleached, GOTS-certified organic cotton. Feeling good about all of that, right?! 

When I first took the mattress out of the box, I couldn’t believe how soft and comfortable it felt. If I could take a nap on it, I would. I thought, ‘my baby is going to be sleeping on total luxury’! It fit perfectly in a standard sized crib, and has worked well with every sheet I have purchased. Eventually we will move him into a toddler bed {which takes crib sized mattresses}, and I know this type of quality will be able to withstand the next several years.

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A little more about this company: 
Savvy Rest is a US based {Central Virginia} organic brand specializing in mattresses, bedding, furniture and more. They are B Corp Certified, which means they value community, employees and environment within every aspect of their business. They have partnered with American Forests, a conservation organization protecting our forests, and with every purchase made at Savvy Rest, 5 trees will be planted through their Global ReLeaf program. Also, with their Safe Sleep Pillow program, Savvy Rest reaches out to local domestic violence organizations to donate pillows for women and children who have escaped these situations.


ATTENTION parents {& gift givers!}:

From now until Monday July 1st, save 20% on the Savvy Baby mattress with code CHIC20

- the original price is $549, but $440 with the discount -

Click - here - to shop! 

Sweet dreams to your little ones <3
 

IKEA is Weaving a Way to a Better Future

Brand Features, LifestyleNatalie Kay
sustainable rug

IKEA

I can’t say enough how impressed I am with Ikea’s sustainable initiatives. Like I mentioned in my last post with the ODGER chairs, it is so important for big brands like IKEA to lead the way in creating more eco and ethical products. Sustainability within consumerism needs to be accessible to the masses in order for real change to occur. It also has to be within a price range affordable to the majority. When I first started looking at rugs for our new place, I couldn’t believe the prices. I understand there is a ton of work and tradition behind the textiles, but it was completely out of our budget, as I’m sure it is for most other people, as well. Travis and I went into the process knowing we would like to spend under $500. We found out either we get a product we can’t trace back to the maker or the quality was too dull. 

Jacksonville had recently opened up their first ever IKEA, which many were very excited about. After the initial excitement wore down {I don’t do crowds}, I went to have a look with my family. I was so happy to come across the rug selection, which was full of rugs made from cut offs and then they have several made by women’s cooperatives. I’ve always been an advocate for fair trade, and learning more about how they have incorporated social entrepreneurs and weavers really gets me pumped on the future of ethically-made, affordable products. 

The KATTRUP

How  gorgeous is this rug?! The colors and patterns are so vibrant! Plus, it’s easy to vacuum with its flat surface. I feel like you wouldn’t believe me that it’s $200 so click - here - to check it out for yourself!! We’ve been looking for the perfect rug for our living room for quite some time. Going back to what I said in the beginning, price was a huge deterrent in biting the bullet. We couldn’t find the right rug at the right price. IKEA solved this issue, and I’m sure many of you will be just as thankful! Even though they use natural materials and provide fair wages in good working conditions, the prices are totally reasonable. This is the accessibility I’ve been talking about! More people are going to be able to afford and find this in their own backyard, which will only lead to more responsible products being produced in the future.


another exciting collection available at select IKEAs:

The  INNEHÅLLSRIK Collection

With few work opportunities for village women in India, it’s so important for big companies like IKEA to step in and empower these women in order to create stronger communities and sustainable livelihoods. India is known for their weaving skills and beautifully woven patterns. Unfortunately, most rugs you see today are being done on machines in order to produce quicker and cheaper. Because of this, many weavers are losing their jobs. With the help of IKEA, this traditional craftsmanship can be restored. For this particular collection, IKEA partnered up with two Indian social enterprises, Rangsutra and Industree, to showcase traditional hand weaving and embroidery with natural materials. Rangsutra employs over 3000 artisans with 70% being women. Industree, who uses unique natural materials like banana fibers, supports about 600 artisans. *note: the KATTRUP rug pictured in this post is not from this particular collection & can be found at many IKEAs nationwide*


Sustainably Supported by IKEA. As always, all views are genuine & products are truly loved! Help support the brands who support Sustainably Chic, so I can continue to bring you the best in sustainable fashion, beauty & lifestyle :) Thanks, everyone! #sponsored

I am a Brand Ambassadör for IKEA U.S. This is a sponsored post.

Take Care of Those Eyes with the new LCD Monitor from BenQ

Lifestyle, Brand FeaturesNatalie Kay
benqmonitor

The BenQ Eye Care Monitor

A couple years ago, I started researching about the blue light associated with the many screens I use on a daily basis. I spend many hours in front of a computer, then end up watching a few TV shows or a movie before going to bed. This means, I have a lot of screen time, and my eyes aren’t going to deal with it well forever. Blue light produces higher amounts of energy in a short wavelength. There have been numerous studies on the effects of exposure to this type of light indicating long-term damage to your eyes. I used to look into getting glasses I could wear to help tone down the blue light, but I never thought of an actual screen emitting less blue light. When BenQ reached out to me about their Eye Care Monitor, I thought ‘this is exactly what my eyes need!’. To me, health plays a large role in a sustainable lifestyle, and if I’m using products that are damaging to my body, what’s sustainable about that?! With my work, I know I won’t be able to lessen screen time {& who can say ‘no’ to netflix?}, so finding a product made to reduce damage is perfect. 

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Features I Love of the Eye Care Monitor

HDR Support & 4k High Resolution: If you are looking for quality viewing, this screen offers a stunning picture. The High Dynamic Range technology duplicates what you see in the natural world by increasing the range between true black and bright white. Compared to the other monitors and TVs I’ve had in my home, this picture is much clearer and lovely to look at. 

AMD FreeSyncTM: This feature is for the gamers and offers an incredibly smooth gaming experience. It’s technology that eliminates tearing, broken frames and choppiness. I’m not a gamer myself, but I live with one and he appreciates this a lot! 

Brightness Intelligence Plus Technology & Low Blue Light Technology: These two features work to ensure better care for your eyes. The B.I.+ Tech. balances brightness and color temperature to match the environment you’re in. This helps avoid overexposure to reduce eye strain. I don’t know how many times I’ve turned my TV on, and immediately had sore eyes because it was way too bright for the lighting in the room. 

Flicker-Free: Another reason for eye strain I was unaware of, flickers on the screen can cause major fatigue in the eyes so the BenQ Eye Care Monitor has eliminated this affect with stable flicker-free technology. 


Lightweight & Great Size: Since I’m no friend to heavy lifting, I love when my technology is light and easy for me to move. I do plan on using this monitor mostly in our room for movies {& games}, but when I have a bigger office, I’d love to move it in there to use for work. I think it will be great for editing videos and photos! 

 


Environmental & Social Responsibility of BenQ

I’m sure many of you have heard a lot about e-waste. It’s a serious issue, and one I don’t find many big businesses doing their part in preventing or eliminating some of that waste. It was refreshing to read up a little about BenQ’s initiatives and responsibility, and if it’s an interest to you, check it out - here

 

Learn more about the BenQ Eye Care Monitor & if you happen to purchase one, Happy Viewing!! Your eyes will thank you!

{& of course, my camera can't do the screen justice so make sure to check out the resolution photos} 

For the Coffee Lovers | Sustainably Sourced, Meticulously Roasted & Delivered Fresh

Lifestyle, Brand FeaturesNatalie Kay
sustainable coffee
 

La Terza Coffee

I can’t start my day without a good cup of coffee. It’s something I look forward to right when I wake up. Even during this pregnancy, I kept the same ritual - one cup a day {although, smaller than usual}! There’s just something about that cup of coffee that really paves the path to a productive and good day. It’s even better when I know it was roasted with love and mindfulness. La Terza puts a lot of thought into that morning cup of goodness! 

 

Why I Love La Terza

 The Taste & Meticulous Roasting: Okay, this has the be the most obvious part. I won’t talk about a coffee unless I genuinely love it, and this brew is so good, Travis asked me where I got it {he is pretty picky when it comes to his beans!}. It’s even replaced our previous favorite! 


The Sustainable Sourcing & Farming: La Terza only sources from the best farms in the world. They want to be able to pay farmers fair wages for their true artisan work. Each coffee they sell through their online shop comes with a profile of exactly where the beans are coming from. 


Freshest Coffee Delivered Quick: Within 48 hours of roasting, coffee is delivered straight to your door. They say their coffee tastes best within 7-10 from roasting, giving you plenty of time to get the ‘peak’ flavor. 


They Want Their Consumers Educated: La Terza designed their roasterie in Cincinnati, OH with us in mind. Coffee drinkers are allowed to come in for tours and classes, and they are always encouraging us to ask questions. I love a brand who takes the time to educate their customers!! 


sustainable coffee

What I’m Drinking 

Mexico SHG EP Topacio:

{Bright Acidity - Medium Body - Chocolate, Caramel, Citrus Flavor} 

This coffee is grown by a small group of farmers located in the regions of Jaltenango and Villacorzo Chiapas of Mexico. They hand-pulp the coffee and ferment it in little tanks before sun-drying. It really is one of the best coffees I have tried in a long time. This one has replaced our favorite, and we will definitely be stocking up for future morning brews! 

Mountain Water Process Decaf Colombia Excels Huila:

{Medium Acidity - Full Body - Graham, Citric & Heavy Flavor}

Since I'm pregnant, I have to keep my caffeine intake to a minimum. If I want a second taste of coffee in the day, I reach for this one! I actually learned something about decaf coffee I find really interesting. Most of the coffee industry takes unwanted, discarded coffee and makes it into decaf, which is why it doesn't taste nearly as good. With La Terza, there is more intentionality behind their decaf by choosing the best single origin coffees and blends so it tastes just as great. Plus, instead of using chemicals to decaffeinate the beans, La Terza only uses water to extract the caffeine! How great is that?! 

 

Completely Customizable Coffee Subscription

You can find all their roasts online - here - and choose according to how you like it most! They start with asking which you prefer from light to dark {they also have decaf & espresso}. Then you are able to customize frequency and coffee rhythm - aka ship date - if you end up loving your first try, which I’m sure you will! Then your account is created and you are able to modify based on your changing preferences and curious palette. Psst.. you can also give the gift of a great cup of coffee to your family and friends through their gift card program

 


Sustainably Supported by La Terza Coffee. As always, all views are genuine & products are truly loved! Help support the brands who support Sustainably Chic, so I can continue to bring you the best in sustainable fashion, beauty & lifestyle :) Thanks, everyone! #sponsored

Diary of an 'Ethical' Blogger | In a Colorful World, There is Little Room for Black & White Concepts

LifestyleNatalie Kay
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Let me start this off by saying I’m not perfect, nor am I anywhere close. I’m constantly learning & I’ve made a ton of ‘eco’ mistakes over the last 5 years. Most of these mistakes have been somewhat innocent like ordering a drink and forgetting to say ‘no straw’ or forgetting my bags at the store & asking for paper. The thing is - I’ve NEVER claimed to be zerowaste or all-knowing, yet I’m still put under a microscope as if I’ve made these claims. 

 

This Blog Has a Focus

I started Sustainably Chic to discuss sustainability within the fashion industry. This blog isn’t about my personal life, diets, travel, what have you... it had a purpose because I had a love for fashion. I wanted to do my part in making the industry more responsible & fair for the workers, and I would like to keep my focus on that task. It’s also the industry I’m most knowledgeable of; therefore, it’s the place where I can find & keep a sustaining job to provide a roof over my head. 

 

I've Been Working With Sustainability for over 5 years

After studying sustainability in college & beyond, I’ve been able to take this concept and apply it to many different facets of my life. Although I haven’t gotten it down pat, I’ve done the best job I could so far for my lifestyle. {I’m always thinking - I can do this better} Sustainability is often misinterpreted & not defined properly. It’s a subjective, complex concept that does not have one definite answer for all. Here is a video & webpage with associated links I find sum up the concept well & show how complex and ever changing it really is. 

 

The Disagreements

A couple times a week I receive messages from people online who disagree with some of the products I promote {it really is a small percentage - like less than 5% - of my usual messages and comments}. The disagreements are totally fine and normal to have, but I don’t have to have a conversation with everyone who disagrees with me. Honestly, I don’t have to have a conversation with anyone. The idea of an open dialogue is great for a discussion board, but there is only me on my site & my time is valuable and runs out quick. This entry is primarily for the ones with lots of time in their hot little fingers {as well as a large vocabulary for name calling} & expect platforms like mine to align with their values and principles. Let’s just get a few things straight - I’m not vegan, I’m not an environmentalist & I’m not zero-waste. I’m conscious & mindful of my everyday actions, but they aren’t always going to be the same as yours. For example, I choose to live in a neighborhood where I can walk everywhere to keep my driving to a minimum; however, I do my walking in a good pair of lasting leather shoes. Maybe my carbon footprint is much smaller than many vegans who travel constantly or have to drive to work, but that doesn’t make me more sustainable just because my usual daily impact is lesser than theirs. It just means we both make certain conscious choices to make our individual lifestyles more sustainable. 

I support some forms of leather, silk & wool because I believe it can provide great economic opportunity to many people while supporting traditional craftsmanship and avoiding waste {because meat eaters are not going to go away over night and we don’t want them to either < less people will be fed - soil would go bad > read this & find out why the vegan diet is ranked 5 out of 10 popular diets}. 

I choose to be an advocate for sustainability because, in my opinion, it provides the best balance. You are able to look into more than just the environment and take differences in peoples' cultures, behaviors & economic backgrounds into account. There is no room for black & white thinking which makes it so colorful and interesting to dig into. 

I understand the bigger the blog grows, the more disagreements {& messages calling me fake, fraud or stupid} I’ll have to deal with. I’m about to become a mom, and having to explain myself constantly isn’t a priority anymore. This will be your reference if you are one of those viewers who needs more answers. I highly suggest you taking the time to click the links I’ve added into this post. Our ethics won't be the same, just like our spirituality or religion may be different, so keeping an open mind and recognizing the true concept behind sustainability is the only way we can make real positive change {& just remember, it may not always go in your favor!}. 

 

FAQs

How is leather sustainable?  First, not all leather is created equal so not all leather can be considered sustainable. The question should be 'How can we make leather sustainable?'. Just like 'How can we grow these tomatoes sustainably?'. Veggie-tanned, fairly-made leather products can be argued as sustainable. The resource is biodegradable and in supply because of the majority of diets. It creates economic opportunity and sustains several different lifestyles all over the world. I hate waste and I detest plastic goods, so why not use it to our advantage? If it's a question of animal ethics for you, then that is different. I don't hold those same values. 

Why Aren't you Vegan?  I can't label myself something I don't entirely agree with. Veganism is not the same as sustainability. Technically,  someone who follows a vegan lifestyle can walk into a store, purchase strawberries wrapped in plastic that were picked by people who make $2 an hour. Not saying they all do this, but veganism doesn't prevent them from doing so. I have several vegan brands reach out who use harsh chemicals or PVC within their products, and I have to pass. It's not the right fit for sustainable fashion. Some of my closest friends are vegans, and I have absolutely nothing against the movement or lifestyle, I just don't consider it sustainable unless they adopt other principles outside veganism into their life. 

What's Your Diet?  People love to know what I eat - well the truth is, not much. My calorie intake is much smaller than the majority of people in my life, but it probably has something to due with the fact I'm 5'2'' and weigh 100 pounds {okay, not with this baby inside of me, hah}. Travis & I try to follow a plant-based diet in the home because we can and like to do so. However, we both eat whatever anyone makes us {especially with over 300 million people in the world suffering from malnutrition, I eat the foods I hate the most if in front of me}, and when we go out to eat we bend our house rules. For my body and busy lifestyle, a 100% plant-based diet has not worked out well for me. I'll spend a few weeks {even done a few months} where I've been very strict, but have felt mentally and physically drained. I'll keep trying at it to find my groove and perfect diet, but right now, I feel balanced and healthy during this pregnancy. 

Why Don't You Answer Everyone's Questions?  Crazy to think, but I have a real life outside of social media. Also, I don't usually get questions - they are more blanket statements! I don't have the energy or time to respond to everything. All of the information I have in this post can be found in my blog, but I can't lead everyone there nor is that my responsibility. I'm also tired of sounding like a broken record. I can't teach people to apply concepts and use critical thinking. I can't drill the concept of sustainability into each mind, and hope they use it properly. The thing is, most people need a black and white answer. They don't like to problem solve or make room for other arguments. They want to know 'is this sustainable?' rather than saying 'how can we make this more sustainable?'. I get it - it takes more work than watching a Netflix documentary and having someone tell you something isn't sustainable. If life was only that simple :D Sustainability will change and vary based on where you are in the world and who you are talking to. It's up to us to allow ourselves to absorb it and give the view a chance rather than a definite, straight-up 'no'. 

 

Back to my focus for sustainably chic....

This blog is a space for those who want to create a more conscious wardrobe. I take every material, every traditional craft and every style, and give you the best mindful & sustainable alternative I can find. It won't always be what you are looking for, but it may be exactly what someone else has been looking for. I believe fashion can exist responsibly, and it needs to in order to support the millions of people who pay the bills and feed their families because of this industry. 

 

I know this post won't end the comments or questions, and it may change/be added to over time. Right now, I'm focusing on my health and high-risk pregnancy. My family is my top priority so the discussions will have to take a back seat. 

<3 

Thanks for reading, keeping an open mind & being kind :)

-Natalie