I’d like to shop more ethically, wouldn’t you? (If you wouldn’t I guess you can skip the rest of this post or something? Maybe click on Acadia’s author page and read some pop-culture jazz.) This post was inspired by an ad I saw on Facebook for Zuri, a (mostly) clothing company that sells ethically sourced items from textiles made in Africa. The company works with several local organizations in Kenya to provide good job training and fair-wage jobs including other benefits like free childcare to help people make a decent living and have options other than poaching and prostitution. 

Dressmaking in progress for Zuri in Kenya

Yes, some people have much worse problems than Starbucks forgetting they asked for soy milk in their latte. I checked out their site and loved the textiles and dresses and was sad that most of them were only available in one or two sizes (not mine). But, they do limited runs and sell out quickly so I guess I can check back. 

The company is founded and run by two women (Sandra Zhao and Ashleigh Miller) so, yay for a woman-owned business! However, wouldn’t it be even possibly more amazing to buy African textiles from, say, a black business owner? Great! Check out Piso Collection, founded by sisters Chara and Phyllis Itoka. Of note, these dresses are more like $45, as opposed to Zuri’s $145 pricetag.

A dress from Piso Collection

How about jewelry? I have a couple places to tell you about. First, my very favorite, Bang-Up Betty, handmade in Little Rock, Arkansas by Stacey (Betty is her cat). You might say I’m a super fan, as is BNev. She has a lot of cool pre-designed stamped necklaces but you can also get a custom one with your own word or phrase. All her stuff is wicked cool.

My first purchase from Bang-Up Betty, my #resist necklace.

Next, check out Eda’s Jewels, made in Brooklyn by Sade Mims, focusing on sustainability, each piece is one of a kind and handmade.

Earrings from Eda’s Jewels

Here are a couple more places to check out: Reformation makes clothing sustainably. The stuff is like… super L.A. I guess but I’m sure some of you who are even bigger hipster than me (this is per Acadia) will love it! And while you’re at it, check out Prairie Underground for some clothing that is also ecologically and ethically sustainable.

There is a range of affordability here. Sure, some people are never going to buy $300 sweaters. But almost anyone who’s buying a dress can buy a $40 dress. What’s my point? My point is that it took me about 3 minutes of searching the web to find almost 100 “good” businesses to support, so if we all just put a little more effort into what we’re buying we can support the kinds of business we want to thrive instead of buying stuff made under questionable circumstances just because it’s the easiest or cheapest. And yeah, I’m guilty of that too, so this is a reminder for me as well.

Let’s do better in 2018, folks. Because it’s not actually that hard. 

Here are some handy links:

50 Ethical Businesses

Shoppe Black

11 Black-Owned Businesses Changing the World

35 Fair Trade and Ethical Clothing Brands


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