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What Is Fast Fashion, Anyway?

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Each year, the clothing that is simply thrown away amounts to about 11 million tons in the US alone. These garments, full of lead, pesticides, and countless other chemicals, almost never break down and spend their life releasing these toxic chemicals in the air. Fast fashion’s carbon footprint is giving huge industries like air travel and oil a “run for their money.”Along with the effects fast fashion has on our earth, these processes affect the humans who wear them, and the humans who make them. Some garments and accessories even have dangerous amounts of lead in them, and exposure to lead increases one’s risk of infertility, heart attacks, and more. Skin is the largest organ of the body and putting these poorly made items on it is dangerous all on its own. This danger only grows in the factories, towns, and homes which are used to produce these items.A garment worker’s health is constantly being jeopardized through their long hours, lack of resources, exposure to harmful chemicals, and often physical abuse. The people who make fast fashion clothing have been confirmed to be underpaid, underfed, and pushed to their limits because there are often few other options. The Rise of Slow FashionAlthough the fashion industry as a whole is guilty of committing many crimes against people and the environment, it is most evident when it comes to fast fashion. Slow fashion is a movement towards mindful manufacturing, fair labor rights, natural materials, and lasting garments. Conscious fashion means there are brands, communities, and individuals who are fighting for the safety of our earth and fellow humans. Buying a garment from a responsible brand ensures that you have agency over your personal style, are getting a quality product, and are protecting those that need it most.

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10 Best Affordable Brands For Ethical Fashion On A Budget

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Ethics | Ethical trading, fair wages, gives back, recyclable packagingProduct Range | Adult apparel, children & baby clothing, accessories Price Range | $$Boden is one of our most-loved sustainable British brands. The company, which was founded more than 25 years ago, is renowned for its clothing collection, which is equally ethical and expansive. Customers local and abroad can shop for the whole family, as the brand offers expedited worldwide shipping options for its adult, children, and baby apparel. The clothes even ship in recycled (and recyclable) packaging. For sustainable and affordable apparel that will last, say ‘hiya’ to your new favorite clothing collection.Shop Boden

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What Is Ethical Fashion?

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How Industry Leaders Define Ethical Fashion“Ethical fashion” is a phrase only used in recent history even though some of its practices date farther back. One of the first papers debating this topic was published in 2002 and little evidence of the expression is found before the beginning of the century.In the last decade or so, fast fashion has taken over the industry and left carnage in its path. Large brands have been notorious for underpaying and overworking their employees in factory settings. This has resulted in most people’s interpretation of “ethical fashion” as one in direct response to that. Still, that runs a large gamut. Here are various definitions of the term by blogs, experts, brands, and consumers.Ethical Fashion is an umbrella term [used] to describe ethical fashion design, production, retail, and purchasing. It covers a range of issues such as working conditions, exploitation, fair trade, sustainable production, the environment, and animal welfare.- V&A MuseumWhen ethics are discussed within the context of fashion, it most often refers to the treatment of people in the stages of raw material, processing and manufacture—activities typically carried out in the developing world. – Study 34I think the term ‘ethical’ is open to interpretation, as my ethics are likely different from yours and highly personal.- Sass Brown, FashionhedgeThe only thing it really means is “not as bad as mainstream fashion.” – ForbesWhile some have made a valiant effort to clear up the confusion around the phrase “ethical fashion,” others have no desire to attempt to understand the seemingly open-ended phrase. We can all agree that ethics are meant to guide us towards being better people—but what does that mean? The Problem With Ambiguity

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10 Plastic-Free Kitchen Essentials To Help You Go Zero Waste On A Budget

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Tools For A Zero Waste KitchenIf you’re just starting out on your plastic-free, zero waste journey—or are somewhere in the middle of things—the kitchen is by far, one of the easiest places to make a significant change. Most of us would only need to open our top drawer to reveal the massive amount of single-use, disposable plastic items (baggies, plastic wrap, food items, and more) that have become a kitchen essential in nearly every household. Yet, as we begin to extract ourselves from plastic’s harmful effects on our bodies and our world, we might be left to wonder what essentials can take its place? The best kind of plastic-free kitchen essentials are beautiful, multi-purposeful, and budget-friendly to boot. That’s because they combine plenty of old-school wisdom with new and thoughtful innovations that make your plastic-free kitchen the perfect place for creative solutions and, of course, a little elbow grease. Remember, the goal is to work towards zero waste and ditch that all-or-nothing mentality that can quickly sabotage even the best laid plans. Take these small and practical steps towards a more sustainable future and embrace the simple swaps that add up over time.Ready to start? Here are 10 kitchen essentials to help you be plastic-free on a budget. 

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Self-Care Practices You Can Do At Home, Based On Your Enneagram Type

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The Enneagram is a helpful tool for self-understanding and growth in any season of life (learn your type here). Perhaps at this moment, though, it’s even more necessary than before. If we allow for it, the Enneagram can teach us about ourselves, our subconscious responses, and our emotional triggers. It illuminates new pathways for us, too—roads that can guide us home. “We’re all learning to be at home, at home,” says author and Enneagram teacher Chris Heuertz. I recently spoke with him about the Enneagram’s role in self-understanding, especially amidst COVID and safer-at-home instructions. “Home is a symbol of something,” he explains. “Learning to be at home, at home is the great interruption that we’re all wading through. The Enneagram will help you realize what that true home is.”No matter your number, we can all benefit from incorporating mindfulness, meditation, and self-care into our days. While I’ve outlined specific tips for each type, the Enneagram isn’t reductionist. If you read tips for other numbers that you feel will work well for you, adopt them as your own. These tools can serve all of us if we allow for it.

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5 Zero Waste Homemade Baby Food Recipes

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For Delicious & Nutritious Baby MealsNearly a third of parents spend their time whirring, puréeing, and blending different combinations of fruits and veggies for their growing babies. This stat might surprise you, or it might not. For many parents who already cook with locally grown, organic ingredients, it’s not a big stretch to simply set aside a few portions for homegrown baby food. Plus, it’s an easy way to avoid the excess sugar and sodium that comes from preserving and processing even the most natural foods. As it so happens, a more mindful kitchen is also a pretty economical one. Including your baby’s meals in your zero waste routine can help you save money. When you strip away the jars, pouches, and packing, something as simple as a puréed banana is much cheaper than its store-bought counterpart. Remember that it’s still ok (and safe!) to buy their meals when you need to, and to focus on weaving these recipes into your daily life for a nourishing approach to food that sustains you and your baby. We’ve hand-picked five recipes from around that web to help you curate a delicious and nutritious menu. They are easy to whip up and are packed with essential nutrients to support babies’ evolving bodies and minds. Bon appetit! 

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How To Go (Almost) Zero Waste At The Grocery Store

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Plan Ahead to Cut BackWhile not everyone loves meal planning, some live for the thrill of seeing a fully stocked fridge of carefully-prepared meals. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, food prepping is a good habit to try to get into. At the very least, you should loosely plan what you need before you grocery shop. When you shop intentionally, this helps curb overbuying and reduces food waste, a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.Buy It in BulkAfter you’ve meal planned and created a quick list of what you’re going to buy, you can hone in on which items you’ll be able to buy in bulk. Products such as flour, grains, nuts, oats, or even chocolate chips can be found in bulk at certain stores. Buying in bulk is an easy way to use less plastic and create less waste.

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7 Natural Dry Shampoos For Your Best Hair Day Yet

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Organic Dry ShampoosSo You Can Say Goodbye To Oil And Hello To Fresh HairMany of us take great pride in caring for our hair—and sometimes we care just a little too much. Over-washing strips our hair of its natural oils, and in turn causes extra oiliness and irritation. But thank goodness for dry shampoo. With it, we can opt to wash less and spray more for hair that feels just as clean, but without the hassle.Rather than using aerosol bottles or dangerous chemicals, you can find natural dry shampoos that have organic ingredients, are cruelty-free, and abide by eco-friendly standards. We’ve found seven brands that are giving our hair new life. It’s time to simply sprinkle a little on your roots and take on the day.When you’re not washing on-the-go, here are our favorite natural and organic shampoo brands!

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13 Natural & Fluoride-Free Toothpaste Brands For A Brighter Smile

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Key Features | All-natural, fluoride-free, vegan, cruelty-free, recyclable packaging, organicMain Ingredient | Bentonite ClayPrice | $6.49Reduce plaque and whiten your teeth with Dr. Bronner’s toothpaste, made with over 70 percent organic ingredients! Free of fluoride, coloring, and foaming agents, this simple and effective formula comes in four flavors: peppermint, spearmint, anise, and cinnamon. Whenever possible, Dr. Bronner’s uses Fair Trade ingredients such as organic coconut oil and coconut flour, and users rave about the clean feeling that lasts afterward. Made in recyclable packaging, the entire lifecycle of Dr. Bronner’s toothpaste is all-natural and eco-friendly.Shop Dr. Bronner’s | Order on Amazon

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9 Of Our Favorite Natural & Organic Face Washes For A Fresh Face

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Based In | Waterbury, VTEthics | Vegan, cruelty-free, synthetic fragrance- and paraben-free, made in the USA, 100 percent PCR plastic bottleIngredients | Aloe, lemon, white tea, sugarcane, rice seed, coconut-derived surfactantsPrice | $28The Fantastic Face Wash from Ursa Major does it all. Good for normal, combination, and oily skin, the foaming gel cleanser removes grime, hydrates, and soothes. It brightens too, thanks to its hit of AHA exfoliation, and won’t strip your skin of moisture or alter its pH balance. Free from sulfates and synthetic fragrances, the cleanser’s aroma smells of cedar, lime, and spearmint. 

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How To Cultivate Independence In A Long-Term Relationship

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Solo socializing allows for our own personal network to blossom and, again, helps to advance personal goals. We’ve found that this goes for family time as well. If you’re in a long-term relationship, you most likely spend holidays with extended families from both sides. It’s really meaningful to make time for one-on-one trips to visit your own family or have dinner with a close family member without your other half. Nowadays, we’re both taking our own time to call friends and family. Again, creating a schedule and sharing it with each other is helpful. This way, we each know when the other person will be taking an evening or afternoon to touch base with loved ones.Prioritizing alone timeWe live in a society that encourages busyness, so notice if you fill your schedule so much that you’re not allowing for self-care. Especially in this slower season, it’s fascinating to witness time in a new way. For instance, I find myself reading a book on my couch at 2 p.m. on a Sunday when I would normally be out with friends or running errands. I go outside with a blanket, leaving my phone inside, to be alone in nature. These simple moments alone with yourself are so important. If you are in a long-term relationship, this need to find alone time will come up naturally but communicate with your partner when you are feeling especially deprived of solitude. Vacationing by ourselvesThere have been two notably large trips that I’ve taken since being in my six-year relationship with my now-husband. The first was a 14-day solo backpacking trip around London and Scotland that was incredibly liberating. I also spent 21 days in the desert of California earning my 200-hour yoga teacher training certification. During both of these trips, we got to explore new ways of communicating and developed a deeper sense of trust. 

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6 Produce Box Subscriptions For Fresh Veggies Delivered Straight To Your Door

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Produce Delivery Supports Local FarmsAs we settle into this new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been told to stay indoors or to socially distance from one another, to help minimize risk and spread. With this in mind, farm and produce box subscriptions are an ideal alternative to grocery shopping at major chains, and a wonderful way to give back and invest in local farms. We’ve found six brands that bring produce, protein, and hand-picked goods straight to your door; some work with surplus fruit, while others sell “ugly” vegetables that don’t sell in stores. These companies are bringing fresh, seasonal goods to the forefront, rescuing produce from landfills, and making it more convenient than ever. Check out these produce box subscriptions, available in various countries and regions—and if you’ve got a favorite local produce box you love, share it in the comments below!If you’re looking for full meal delivery, check out our guide to organic meal kit delivery services.

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