Sustainably Chic

Fashion Pt. 3

From Seed to Fashion | This Jewelry Line is Sweet, Lightweight & Sustainable

Fashion, Fashion Pt. 3Natalie Kay


I've spent the last few years lusting over MUJUS jewelry via Instagram. The colors, sustainable materials and structural designs have always caught my attention. It's different than a lot of what you find, and best of all, the entire business is mindful. Paola, who I've chatted with on & off since beginning Sustainably Chic, is extremely talented. When we speak, I can tell how much she cares about MUJUS' purpose, and creating a positive impact through fashion. The connection we have with what we wear can be so meaningful if we know it has a wonderful story. MUJUS has this, and wearing one of their pieces not only makes for a fairer industry, it also connects us to culture, Peruvian culture. Why Peru? Well, that's where Paola is originally from. She was working on Wall Street for four years when she decided to go on a self-discovery journey through her original home, Peru. This is where the inspiration for MUJUS began. With her entrepreneurial spirit, Paola mixed her traditional roots & urban life with non-traditional & sustainable materials to form a gorgeous jewelry line. 

Learn more about Paola here.

All MUJUS pieces are handmade under fair trade practices by artisans in Ecuador and Peru. Instead of using plastics and resins, MUJUS decided to go a more 'eco' route and chose to work with corozo, also known as vegetable ivory. It's animal ivory's sustainable substitute! Corozo are seeds from a palm tree, and can be carved & shaped just like wood. It gives an appearance of ivory, and is extremely lightweight making it the ideal material for jewelry! 

Now, how adorable is this necklace I'm wearing?! The Heard Pendant is too cute for words! Plus, it comes in several different colors {shown below}. Don't you think it pairs well with polka dots and stripes? Seriously has my name written all over it, and now that we have a black heart emoji, I know it was meant to be ;)

With all the gorgeous colors and styles, you can't just fall head over heels for one so I've made a little gallery below to make up my Top 5 faves! 

click the links to start shopping

Lily Leaf Necklace   |   River Rock Necklace   |   Sofia Necklace  |   Miro Necklace

Shop the entire MUJUS collection here. Don't forget to get social & follow them on Instagram. {oh & did I mention they create for men & children, too?!}

psst.. a MUJUS piece would make a great Mother's Day gift .. wouldn't you say? <3

Sustainably Supported by MUJUS. 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

Contemporary, Natural & Organic | A Conscious Womenswear Line

Fashion, Fashion Pt. 3Natalie Kay


In a small studio in Berlin, KEMP GADEGÅRD is combining nordic style and natural textiles to create a timeless, ethical womenswear label. All pieces are made to last and responsibly produced in Spain. The forefront of their philosophy consists of three things: (1) Aesthetics, (2) Comfort & (3) Attention to detail - and I can attest to each one of these! Their fabrics are incredibly well chosen, and the quality is impeccable. I'm comfortable, and I feel great knowing their clothing has so much thought behind its creation. Being a European brand,  KEMP GADEGÅRD wanted to have manufacturing close to home so they chose a small city on the coast of the mediterranean, Granada - and by they, I mean the two wonderful ladies behind the label, Eilis Kemp Arizmendi and Maya Byskov Gadegaard - women who are speaking up about this disposable society! They want their brand to bring awareness to how we consume, how we produce and how we take care of this planet. 

When it comes to keeping the environment in mind, KEMP GADEGÅRD knew their choice in fabrics would matter. For the Spring Summer 17 collection, they decided to stick with three fabrics: silk, bamboo & cotton. Naturally the favorite, silk is one of the most luxurious fabrics ever - it has the best feel, drape and weight. It is strong, biodegradable and lasting. You really can't beat its beautiful sheen. Another soft fabric - bamboo is fast growing, requires less water than cotton and has no natural pests. Plus, it's extremely comfortable, breathable and hypoallergenic. The perfect summer fabric is cotton, and KEMP GADEGÅRD uses only the organic kind. Unlike the conventional cottons, organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic pesticides or fertilizers, reducing its impact on the earth greatly. The Rodez Trousers and Pierre Bodycon are both made from this fabric {with a mix of bamboo in the bodycon!}. 

I have to admit, I'm not a 'pants person'. However, the Rodez Trousers are making me change my tune. I LOVE THEM! The color, the fit, the style - everything about these pants has me excited. The way they just sit on my hips is so flattering and comfortable. I highly recommend getting a pair for yourself!! I have a feeling you are going to be just as happy as I am with them :D They pair great with the Pierre Bodycon, a top I have been wearing a ton over the last few weeks. It is practical, soft and a great basic. I'm a sucker for a low back and ballerina fit - one of my favorite ways to wear a basic tee! 

some more beauties from their collection...

To shop the entire KEMP GADEGÅRD Spring Summer 17 Collection click here & don't forget to get social on Instagram

Sustainably Supported by KEMP GADEGÅRD . 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

The Ideal Layering Piece for Your Summer Getaway | Lightweight, Packable & Versatile

Fashion, Fashion Pt. 3Natalie Kay

with  Ümran Aysan

& did I mention sustainable?

A London based resort wear brand, Ümran Aysan is using mindful fabrics and artisan techniques to create an elegant ethical fashion line - one we can easily celebrate this Earth Day! The pieces are sophisticated with unique design and patterns, yet classic enough for the minimalist's wardrobe. Designer Ümran Aysan is much like me in the way we both want to preserve traditional methods of craftsmanship. As a crocheter & tatter, I truly appreciate the art behind the craft. Naturally, I gravitate towards brands who have this same appreciation, and who reach out to artisans to provide sustainable work. Ümran Aysan has even been awarded the coveted Butterfly Mark because of their strong commitment towards social, environmental and philanthropic good.

Their Resort 2017 Collection, Caria, is rooted in tradition and sustainability, and is made entirely in Turkey. It was inspired by the designer's spiritual journey through the lands of Caria, and was created for women who seek comfort and timeless designs. From kimono jackets to tailored shorts, this collection will easily give you a mini vaca daydream. Who's ready to pack their bags and run away to a resort this week? I'm coming, too...

I may not be on vacation in these photos, but living in Florida feels like tiny getaways everyday. The beach is pretty much at my fingertips.. or toetips {since my feet appreciate it more} so I dress like I'm hanging out at resort most of the time. The Handmade Crochet Blouse is perfect for my lifestyle and northern Florida weather - especially those windy days and cool evenings. It's lightweight since it's made from a blend of cotton & bamboo, and has a gorgeous diamond woven crochet pattern. I'm sure this piece took days to create - it is so incredibly well done! Plus, it's easy to layer over most of my existing wardrobe, and the olive color doesn't melt you under the sun. If this isn't your color, the blouse comes in white and a rich blue hue, as well!

To shop the entire Resort collection click here.

Sustainably Supported by Umran Aysan. 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

Designing Change through Jobs & Organic Textiles

Fashion, Fashion Pt. 3Natalie Kay

Anchal Project

Before I dig into this beautiful brand and bandana I'm wearing, I think it's important to define its name. The noun 'anchal' has two definitions & both are quite relevant to the brand's mission. An anchal, pronounced on-chal, is either the decorative edge of a sari used to provide comfort & protection to loved ones or it can refer to 'shelter'. Both of these definitions represent this brand perfectly. A non-profit social enterprise, Anchal is providing alternative careers in textiles to marginalized and exploited women in India. Through design they are changing lives and supporting stronger sustainable communities. They believe 'design thinking' is the creative approach to problem solving, and I couldn't agree more. When applying this concept, workers are able to benefit from using methods like observation, collaboration, experimentation & evaluation to find solutions. 

Anchal was created by four women who believed design was key in social and environmental innovation. They traveled to India and met with local leader, Urmi Basu of the New Light, a non-profit organization saving girls from becoming victims of sexual exploitation and helping improve lives of those already affected. While exploring the Kalighat red light district they witnessed the extreme oppression so many women were facing. Unfortunately, they had little to no alternatives for work, and this is where the founders of Anchal saw an opportunity. They got to work and raised $400 through the sales of handmade notebooks and notecards. With this money, they bought a sewing machine, found materials and gave sewing instruction along with a stipend for the artisans. And in 2010, Anchal partnered up with their second NGO, Vatsaly. This organization rehabilitates street children in Jaipur, India, as well as supports rural women living in poverty.

By now I'm sure you know how much I nerd out when it comes to textiles. It's my favorite part of the industry, and I love when a brand uses fabric as a catalyst for positive change. Not only do they stress the importance of design, Anchal only chooses to work with eco-friendly materials. Since the fashion industry is the second largest polluting industry in the world, they understand real change doesn't stop with the business model - you have to think of every little detail along the way. Therefore, they source recycled materials {like vintage saris}, organic fibers and natural dyes.

Since I'm on the subject of their textiles, let's talk about this beautifully colored bandana! The Asha Bandana is hand-stitched from 2 layers of 100% certified organic cotton, and it's probably one of my favorite color combinations - what they call bone,slate,gold. I love how it is big enough to style a few different ways, and being it's made from cotton, this bandana is ideal for spring & summer. I think the visible stitching and paneled colors give this design a hip and contemporary vibe. What's so cool though, each one features a hand-stitched name of the artisan who made it. I think this gives you a much greater appreciation for the garment! 

Want to help make a difference? With each Anchal piece purchased, you are helping provide an artisan with a full-time job, health care benefits, design training, and educational workshops. To shop their entire collection {they have gorgeous home goods, too!} click here. Don't forget to follow them on Instagram and use the hashtag #designingchange when showing off your goods :D 

Sustainably Supported by Anchal. 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

Ethical Jewelry Helping Women & Families in Costa Rica & Rwanda

Fashion, Fashion Pt. 3Natalie Kay

Hands Producing Hope

I've always felt their name says it all...

Hands Producing Hope is providing dignified work, education and {of course} hope to women artisans and their families in Nkombo Island, Rwanda and Coppey Abajo, Costa Rica. They take the 'sustainable' approach to their mission by offering 'economic, educational, and spiritual resources necessary to empower remote communities to rise above poverty'. This is one of the first brands I encountered after starting Sustainably Chic almost three years ago. It's been amazing to watch them grow and expand to allow for more workers and opportunities. I have several of their pieces, and I'm excited to add more to my collection with their new Spring line! 

During a 6 month stay in Costa Rica back in 2010, Rebecca {the creator of HPH} realized the discrimination and hardships the native Guaymi people faced. After visiting the Coppey Abajo reservation and learning these women had a passion for creating, Rebecca felt inspired to help their community. In 2012, Hands Producing Hope began, and a few years later, in 2016, they expanded to include a group of artisans in Rwanda. What I love most about this brand {besides the beautiful jewelry & accessories} is their commitment to improving their workers' lives. It's not just about the job, it's about their quality of life - making this brand truly sustainable. 

To share some of their jewelry with you.. {I know you are going to love the colors!} 

The Naia Necklace is handmade by Faustina & Maria Elena, and features a single lagrima de San Pedro with glass beads and two bronze bars. The pink is perfect for this time of year and pairs well with the matching color Sonia Bracelets. These bracelets {one of their very first products!} come in several spring-friendly colors, and are handmade by Marcelina, Sonia, Virginia & Xinia.

The Radiance Necklace can be worn several different ways - wrap it around two or three times to get the look you want. I'm sure you will be seeing more photos of this piece worn differently on my instagram in the future ;) I paired it with the Oro Bracelets to complete the look. I think these pieces together give your outfit an elegant touch. Don't you think? 

Last, but not least, the Isla. This stunning blue adds a nice pop to your Fair OOTDS. If you want to make it a set, add some Splendid Strands

To shop their entire collection click - here - & stay up-to-date with all their new jewelry and accessories on Instagram