In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m talking about brands I’m currently LOVING.
After learning about the online retailer IMBY, I knew it would become one of my favorite places to shop because it carries clothes that are versatile, classic, and made in the USA. I found these Joah Brown Cool Cut Loose Leggings there and love the cuts along the knees because they’re a subtle detail that add an unexpected element.
To keep this look comfortable, I opted for my soft Frank & Eileen button up. You can find a similar style here. Frank & Eileen has won my heart because the fabric is imported from Italy and the button ups are made in the USA.
To stay cozy, I layered on my Velvet by Graham & Spencer sherpa jacket. You can find similar styles here and here. I love my sherpa jacket because it’s reverisble and makes a perfect companion for my wool Superga sneakers.
My ears are uber sensitive in cold weather, so I’ve been living in my hats and ear warmers this winter. My L.A.M.B. x Burton beanie has been a lifesaver for my ears. You can find a similar style here. These TOMS sunglasses have also been a seasonal staple during the sunny winter days.
When I found this heart shaped ring by We See Stars at Babel Fair in NYC, it was love at first sight. I’ve accumulated a collection of gold rings from my travels to remind me of the places I’ve visited. Now, everytime I wear this ring, I remember my trip to NYC.
Hippie and Heart is proud to announce its first GIVEAWAY. From the kindness of its heart, Greenheart Shop in Chicago has provided a vibrant WorldFinds purse AND beelove™ lip balm.
The WorldFinds bag is made from repurposed traditional Phulkari, meaning flower embroidery, textiles. The purse can covert to a clutch, as well! What’s more? The low-income women artisans in India who are working with WorldFinds are improving their lives through their work in a women’s cooperative!
The beelove™ skincare line was created by Sweet Beginnings in Chicago and uses local honey to make its moisturizing products. Sweet Beginnings hires formerly incarcerated individuals and individuals with significant employment barriers to care for the bees and hives, harvest honey, make beelove™ products, package and ship products, track inventory, fill product orders, and sell at retail outlets and special events. The transitional job allows the workers to gain experience that can be used towards work in manufacturing, food service, distribution, warehousing, hospitality, customer service, and more. Guess what? The national average recidivism rate is 65% and 55% in Illinois. The employees of former Sweet Beginnings is, wait for it, below 4%. How “sweet” is that!?
We applaud WorldFinds and Sweet Beginnings for creating a platform for those who want better lives for themselves and their families.
YOU can be the owner of both these life changing products. All you have to do is visit @hippieandheart on Instagram, click on the most recent post, and follow the rules provided in the caption. So excited to announce a lucky winner!
Cousinly love and a mutual passion for positive change built Ways of Change into a jewelry brand that hires refugees living in camps and villages on the Thailand Burma border. These refugees use their inherited craftsmanship to create jewelry inspired by their traditions. I had the opportunity to speak via email with Lauren Baird, co-founder and creative director of Ways of Change, about the jewelry brand she and her cousin Cara Boccieri created and what we can expect from the duo.
Ways of Change has become one of my favorite accessories brands. Explain why you started the company.
Lauren: Ways of Change was more than inspired by it was directly asked for by people on the Thailand Burma border when co-founder Cara Boccieri was carrying out research in 2011. During interviews and conversations she was repeatedly hearing, “You know we are talented artisans, we have many skills, but we have no access to any market place.” So we created a global marketplace through our website and began working with the talented refugee artisans who already had the skills to make beautiful pieces of jewelry but tweaking them with a more modern design approach to reach a broader market and to create a truly unique collection.
I’m obsessed with the Kan Bo Choker! What inspired the creation of the piece?
L: That is one of my favorite pieces too! The coil rings that many Kayan women wear around their necks directly inspired the Kan Bo Choker and the pointed ends come from the kan tan bo. These wooden poles are have during the largest celebration in the Kayan culture and represent the sun at the peak and the moon in the middle, these elements are embodied in the hand crafted points at the end of the choker.
Who designs and manufactures your chic jewelry?
L: All of our designs are a collaboration between the artisans we work with and my inspirations and ideas as creative director. Each piece is 100% handmade using traditional techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation.
What’s next for Ways of Change?
We are currently working on completing our second collection, which will add an element of vintage upcycled chains and will be launching soon. We are also in the beginning stages of our first big community development project, so stay tuned to learn more about what we are working on.
Oh, we will, Lauren!
Outfit: Top by Shaina Mote; reclaimed Levi’s jeans from Urban Outfitters; shoes by TOMS; glasses by DIFF; necklace by Ways of Change.
Use of organic and sustainable fabrics and certified Peruvian Fair Trade knits and dying without hazardous chemicals are just a few ways Eileen Fisher is a high-end ethical fashion brand trailblazer. But, don’t think the company stops there. No, no, no. It has committed to being 100% sustainable by 2020 under the program VISION2020. For example, their linen and cotton will be entirely organic!
What’s more? The simple yet complex designs of Eileen Fisher make getting ready a breeze. The versatile colors and soft, comforting fabrics are perfect for a refreshing autumn or winter day. Speaking of autumn, my very first Eileen Fisher purchase was the Icon Kimono Coat in black. It’s my go-to fall coat!
Layering is a pillar of the Eileen Fisher foundation and a major theme of this weeks’ post.
Loving these pieces and in Chicago on Saturday, Sept. 26? Then, head to Neiman Marcus at 737 N. Michigan Ave. to enjoy the Eileen Fisher trunk show! More information about the trunk show to come.
*A special thank you to Eileen Fisher for providing the featured clothes and Neiman Marcus on Michigan Avenue in Chicago for coordinating this collaboration.
Thank you Chicago for the cooler weather because I was able wear my brand spankin’ new jean jacket from Urban Outfitters. This jean jacket is from the Urban Renewal line of Urban Outfitters that uses vintage items and surplus materials to create new pieces in Philadelphia.
To balance the edginess of the vintage jean jacket, I paired it with a feminine skirt by Eva Franco. Eva Franco is based in L.A. where the company also manufactures.
The beautifully handcrafted necklace is by Sandpiper Imports. According to a sales associate at Greenheart Shop, the necklace was created for expecting and new mothers. An expecting mother can wear the necklace with a longer necklace to allow the jingling charms inside to soothe her unborn child. Or, she can wear the necklace alone to comfort her baby in her arms.
Now, back to Sandpiper Imports. It’s a very cool company that employs a small group of artisans in Bali, Indonesia. The company even makes pieces that are designed by the artisans. And, as a member of the Fair Trade Federation, it observes the nine principles that ensure ethical manufacturing and business practices.
It looks like ethical fashion can be edgy and sweet!