Sustainably Chic

Fashion Pt. 5

No Seasons, Just Pieces | Slow Fashion at its Best

Fashion, Fashion Pt. 5Natalie Kay
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1x1

When the fashion industry is on fast forward, it's refreshing to run into the ones who are slowing it down. 1x1, an LA-based sustainable brand, is changing the way products are launched. They are taking our favorite wardrobe staples, giving them a conscious twist and releasing them one by one. By taking this approach, they are able to take the time to give you the best garment possible! Plus, they keep it local. The materials used for each design are sourced responsibly. For example, one of their partners is committed to sustainably produced wool, and it looks very luxurious! Also, in order to maintain quality control, fair practices and transparency, 1x1 uses factories in their hometown of LA. 

I'm wearing the sophisticated Sleeveless Hidden Button Top from their 02 Shirt Collection. This top comes in three colors - white, black and blue - and has a beautiful fit. The asymmetrical cut and lovely drape brought on by the tencel/rayon blend set this button-up apart from the rest. The Shirts Collection also features two other designs - the Hidden Button Shirtdress and Side Slit Tank, and is the perfect workwear for the creative individual. 

If you're looking to cozy up, but still look chic at the same time, the 01 Wool Collection is made for that!

Plus, the guys can enjoy it, too {just size up!}. 

Diagonal Stitch Crewneck  

 Sleeveless Turtleneck Sweater

I believe 1x1 is setting a wonderful example for brands to put their foot on the brake a bit, and really concentrate on each design. The more time is spent on a garment, the more we can appreciate the work and art behind the design. Don't you think? 

To shop 1x1's designs, click here & make sure to stay up-to-date on Facebook and Instagram.

p.s. if you sign up for their mailing list, you receive 10% off your first purchase! 

Beauty in the Imperfect | Handcrafted Ethical Jewelry

Fashion, Fashion Pt. 5Natalie Kay

Aglaia Jewelry

When it comes to fine jewelry, there is nothing more special than handmade. Unless, of course, the piece is mindful and made with sustainable material. Aglaia Jewelry does just this, and in a way so unique and elegant, I know my fellow conscious ladies will fall in love. Created by Italian designer Elisa Finoli, Aglaia Jewelry is handcrafted in a NY studio. The line is inspired by Elisa's Italian roots and her life experiences within India & Nicaragua, as well as the Japanese 'Wabi-Sabi' philosophy where one searches for beauty in the imperfect. Within the handmade, there is so much beauty to be found in the differences. It is the imperfections that give a piece of jewelry character, and a different experience for each customer.

What is very unique to Aglaia Jewelry is the use of shapes, balance and texture. While the designs are clean and minimalistic, the connection between these elements creates such an unusual and lovely aesthetic. When I saw this line for the first time, I couldn't help but dig through each piece and stare at the beautiful photos {I've added a few into the end of this blog post for you to enjoy}. You can definitely sense Elisa's background in photography and design - she even has experience in architecture! 

Aglaia Jewelry is not only about the aesthetic, Elisa's eco and social values play a large role in the process, as well. All designs use recycled precious metals or fairmined gold, pearls and stones that are ethically sourced. Plus, chemicals are limited and packaging is sustainable {pictured above}.

Now - on to the beauties! 

I'm wearing the Drop Ring in Sterling Silver + Sterling Silver Drop. It's contemporary, sophisticated and designed for everyday. As someone who wears one or two pieces of jewelry at a time, it's the perfect size to make a statement and not feel the need to add more. Plus, the drop reminds me of rain and this makes me very happy :) 

*note each design comes in multiple finishes and is made to order within 3-6 weeks*

Since I'm back to being a Florida beach girl, I can't help but feel this collection is made to be by the sea {maybe holding a glass of wine, right?}. The coral resemblance in some of the finishes, like the Punto e Bacchetta Ring and the Cut Ring, is pulling me in! Absolutely stunning. 

or what about the nature resemblance in the Ninfea Earrings and Ring...

To shop the entire collection, click here. Make sure to stay up-to-date, and follow all the beautiful photos on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter

I'll leave you with some words from Elisa because our work is a great excuse to practice our values:

"I realized the jewelry profession was giving me personal satisfaction, independence, an opportunity to fully express myself, and an opportunity to follow ecological and social values of importance to me. And I fell in love even more."

Style with Cork | Eco-Conscious & Cruelty-Free Handbags

Fashion, Fashion Pt. 5Natalie Kay

Nina Bernice

I remember the first cork item I owned - it was a pen and matching diary, and I was 10. The only cork I knew of were in my parent's wine bottles, so I thought I was pretty cool toting those things around. It's been a while - well, 17 years - since I've owned anything made of cork. It isn't the easiest to come by, which is surprising to me. Cork is an amazing leather alternative, and it has such a unique look. It is always exciting to find brands like Nina Bernice who are breaking all the traditional handbag rules, and truly stepping the game up. A Melbourne-based eco-conscious handbag brand, Nina Bernice is merging sustainability, function and elegance into one. Their accessories are perfect for the modern women who seek the simple life yet love making a statement.

Nina Bernice and I agree, fashion can inspire us to share our passions with the world. What you choose to wear makes an impact, and sharing what you wear can influence the minds around you. With Nina Bernice, the handbags advocate for cruelty-free fashion. Their line is free of any animal products and is 100% vegan. Since they wanted to keep their carbon footprint low, choosing cork was a no-brainer. They knew the cork oak tree in Portugal was harvested without any damage to the environment. After harvesting, the tree is able to regenerate and stay healthy. Pretty wonderful, right?! Plus, for every bag sold Nina Bernice has partnered up with WeForest to plant a tree in reforestation projects within India.

Did you know cork is waterproof and abrasion resistant? This makes for quite a durable bag - one you can easily clean and use time & time again. Nina Bernice handbags are lined with unbleached cotton fabric, and have several compartments for organizing all your daily necessities. I'm going to start sharing the collection with the Natalie Crossbody - naturally, eh? 

The Natalie Crossbody can be worn two ways - across the body or as a shoulder bag {the straps are easily adjustable!}. It closes with a magnetic snap, and has three pockets - two on the inside, and one on the outside. The gold detailing on the strap makes it easy to dress up for a day on the town - like I'm doing on the back roads of gorgeous Charleston ;)

The Olivia Cork Tote is the perfect everyday handbag. It has amazing divided compartments, and even metal feet to avoid dirty floors. Like the Natalie, it is also versatile, and can be worn two ways {comes with a removable strap, too!}. I've gotten a ton of use out of this bag already, and can already see the potential in how well it will hold up. {Check out this Fair OOTD from last week featuring the Olivia} 

Last - but not least - the Cate Cork Clutch is elegant, sophisticated and my go-to for date nights. I've been looking for an 'evening' bag, but finding a tasteful, practical one was difficult. The Cate is exactly what I was looking for! Just think how beautiful it would be with an ethically-made LBD... Fair OOTD in the making! 

To shop the collection & add cork into your life, click here.

Be sure to follow Nina Bernice on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram.  

A Conscious Capsule Collection of 'Not-So-Basic' Basics

Fashion, Fashion Pt. 5Natalie Kay

with Two Fold Clothing

I'm sure most of you will agree, the 'not-so-basic' slogan on Two Fold Clothing's Kickstarter project grabs your attention quick. I think we are all over seeing the same thing happen in the fashion industry when it comes to basics. We want fresh colors, effortless designs and lasting fabrics. We want the garments to easily transition from season to season, and we want to look great while being comfortable. Finding all of these qualities within one brand can be difficult, but Two Fold Clothing is answering our wants, and they are doing it in the most responsible way possible. If you are flirting with the idea of having a minimalistic wardrobe, I think I've found your new favorite. Two Fold Clothing's clean, crisp aesthetic is exactly what a lot of us 'conscious' ladies have been looking for! 

This small-batch, sustainable womenswear brand is based out of Charlotte, North Carolina where everything is created in house and made-to-order. Unlike the majority of fashion labels who have 6 seasons a year {or 52 seasons!}, Two Fold Clothing launches two capsule collections each year to provide quality over quantity. Being able to produce the entire line under one roof ensures quality control, and allows them to pay close attention to every minor detail in the process, as well as provide a healthy environment & fair wages for workers. Their current collection features 7 pieces and 4 environmentally friendly fabrics including; Tencel, Raw Silk Noil, Handwoven Cotton and Cotton Twill. Tencel is one of my favorite fabrics because of the way it is both sourced and produced. The wood fibers are sustainably harvested, and during the production process less water is used than conventional fabrics and solvents are recycled in a closed loop system. I'm wearing the beautiful Lois Coat which is made from one of the most durable fabrics, Cotton Twill. This fabric does not pill, thin or tear, and continues to keep its structured look while becoming softer with wear. I have been wanting a trench coat for years, so I'm excited for have my fix! The natural color makes it easy to pair with your existing closet, or you can go tres chic and choose to wear it in black. This modern trench has pockets {our favorite!}, and looks great cinched around the waist or untied at the sides. See below for the entire collection, and what you can pair the Lois with! 

obsessed yet? 

& not only are they conscious about manufacturing, Two Fold Clothing gives 10% of profits to impoverished communities through 410 Bridge. Morgan Wagstaff, the designer of Two Fold Clothing, has a passion for giving back. She also helps support a community of women in Karogoto, Kenya who have a business knitting sweaters for kid's school uniforms, scarves, and other essentials.

So how do you get your hands on one of these pieces? They just launched their Kickstarter this week, and have 27 days to go in order to reach their goal of $16,000 {it ends March 8th!}. Click - here - to support a slower and more thoughtful way of experiencing fashion. Our world depends on it! 

Make sure to keep up-to-date with everything Two Fold Clothing on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest

Feminine, Vintage-Inspired Clothing | Made with Love for You & the Planet

Fashion, Fashion Pt. 5Natalie Kay

Margu

Classic silhouettes, great fabrics & serious attention to detail, Margu creates just for us conscious ladies. Designer Emily DeLong is extremely talented, and is giving handmade a whole new 'eco' meaning. She understands the negative impact of most conventional fabrics and over-production, and aims to always keep the Earth in mind when producing. What is so amazing about this collection, she sits behind the machine and does it all! As a sewer myself, I have a whole other appreciation for the ladies who manage to be the designer, producer and businessperson. It's just impressive, and extremely inspiring! Wouldn't you say so? 

Margu opened shop last year, and has been committed to a sustainable business model since day 1. The fabric, notions and trims are all responsibly sourced, and garments are designed, cut and sewn at Emily's studio in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Emily's journey in sewing began when she was a teenager. She would spend her weekends constructing a Vogue or Simplicity pattern, and just loved the feeling of being able to create something she could later wear {I know this feeling and YES, it is wonderful!!!}. When college came, she went on a bit of a hiatus and didn't find herself sewing again until after her studies were complete. Once Emily got back into the groove, she could not leave her machine. She went from using patterns to pattern making and sewing her own designs. After a couple of years, she noticed something - there was a lot of value in what she was creating. The quality, aesthetic and design wasn't on the market. This realization led to a leap of faith, and Margu was born. 

Emily,  Creator of Margu

Emily, Creator of Margu

This heirloom-quality womenswear line is made to last. Garments aren't considered sustainable if they fall apart after a few wears, right? Margu wants you to carry their pieces throughout time and A LOT of wears. The sustainably-sourced fabrics, construction and classic designs make this easy to accomplish. They make sure to only use natural fibers {cotton, linen, silk & hemp} and low-impact dyes in order to keep a small carbon footprint. Much of the cotton fabric is GOTS certified, and many fabrics within each collection are spun and woven by hand in India under fair and eco practices. Even their notions are sustainably-sourced. This includes items like thread, zippers, buttons and labels. Margu says if they are using organic cotton why shouldn't the thread be organic, too? Okay & they don't stop there... shipping materials are included in this process! All shipments and garments are packaged in 100% recycled mailers and tissue. Margu is seriously not skimping out on anything. Woo hoo!

It takes anywhere from 4 to 10 hours to complete a Margu piece. This is because they don't cut corners, and truly love the process of creating a quality garment. I remember sewing dresses, and having to get those perfect seams in order for prints to match up correctly. Let me tell you... this takes A LOT of time. If your closet isn't full of sustainably-made goods {yet!} go take a look at seams, stitching and the 'little' things. You'll notice some things may be off :P Once you get your hands on a Margu design, you will notice: 1. type of seams used {no serged edges!} | 2.  garments are full lined {basically two dresses in one!} | 3. buttons are sewn on BY HAND! Those buttons shouldn't fall off, but just in case they will always be there to send you a new one. Ah good customer service, so hard to find these days...

So let's talk about this lovely dress I'm wearing... The Tuesday. 

The Tuesday Dress in Ivory Plaid is made from khadi cotton & tussar silk handloom fabric. This type of fabric requires a high level of skill and craftsmanship which has been passed down from generation to generation in rural areas of India. Because of the scarcity of jobs, several workers in this area rely on sustainable incomes from the sale of handloom fabrics. I wish you could feel and see the ivory plaid fabric up close. It is incredibly soft, warm, breathable and the threads are beautiful colors of black, blue, grey, green, and tan. The buttons are vintage mother of pearl {my favorite!}, and the design is on point with my classic style - I love sleeves and collars! I feel so lucky to have a piece like the Tuesday Dress to add to my closet. I can feel all the love, work & thought which went into creating this piece.

p.s. it has pockets!!!!

Click the links below to start shopping some more of my favorites from Margu's latest collection:

Celeste Dress in Black Grid | Wallflower Dress in Midnight Floral | Delphine Top in Ivory Plaid

Louise Top in Mist Dot | Gemma Dress in Mulberry Twill | Archer Skirt in Black Twill 

I'm a sucker for classic pieces made from luxurious fabrics. I wouldn't mind having this entire line fill my closet!! Margu, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL :D 

To shop their entire collection visit them online at margudesign.com - and get social on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest