Ethical & Sustainable Shopping Guide!

I am so excited to share my personal favorite ethical & sustainable brands with the community today.

Amazing baby clothes & wooden toys, sustainable fashion for women, and lovely beauty products…this list has it all!

**Click on any of the photos to go directly to the online shops!

Shopping ethically is so much easier than you think!

Baby & Toddler

As a minimalist family, we like to keep our clothing and toy selection small but very special.

Quality is key! Here is a list of my favorites for the boys.

DynurCo: Children’s Clothing for a Compassionate Future

The first thing that I loved about this company was their mission statement: “Every company starts with a problem. We choose a big one, the exploitation of animals for human use and consumption. No, we didn’t patent a genius feat of science and engineering to change the world’s addiction to meat (someone’s already doing that), but we did create some super-fly clothing to help children and families express their compassion for exploited animals and make a statement that these animals deserve to be respected, not served.”

This company was started by an amazing woman named Nina who comes from Sweden but was raised in Philly! Nina hand sews all of her 100% organic clothing in Philadelphia and the prints are all created in Sweden by her sister, Ann.

Nina found our family on Instagram and sent Leo and Alé two adorable sweaters; one turkey and one cow. The boys have been wearing them non-stop! The fabric is very high quality, soft to the touch, and it washes like a dream. So thankful for this company!

I am guilty of going overboard with purchasing from this company, but when you read their sustainability statement and ethical standards how can you not?!

From absolutely adorable baby onesies and t-shirts to my favourite everyday Tee’s, this company really has outdone itself.

“Our kindness and compassion doesn’t stop at animals. We have a deep compassion for people too. That’s why we are part of the Fashion Revolution. A global movement working for a more sustainable fashion industry. We love fashion. But we don’t want our clothes to exploit people or destroy our planet.”

Made in Bali, In The Soulshine’s production house is spacious, clean and bright in natural lighting. Employees are paid on a per-piece basis which gives them the opportunity for increased pay of up to 40% above the minimum wage. This is how a company should be treating their workers, with kindness and compassion!

Etsy: Home of the Handmade Goods

In a World of Kardashians, be a Joanna Gaines.

In a World of Targets and Walmart, be an Etsy!

Oh Etsy….this website has had my heart for so long and it is just a gift that keeps on giving when you have children. Would you like a hand sewn doll from Russia sent to your little one for Christmas? How about a hand carved train set from Mississippi? Maybe even a puzzle made from pine wood and carved from the blade of a 300 year old heirloom? Honestly….this place has it all.

Etsy is a place, if done right, where quality is the highest of standards. I have ordered items that have nearly brought a tear to my eye from the quality and beauty. You just cannot find these in your department stores my friends!! These toys will not only last throughout your children’s childhood, but they will last throughout generations.

A few favourite Etsy Toys…

The Grimm’s Rainbow Stacker (this one was handmade in Russia!) is one of our absolute favourite toys for the boys. There is so much imagination and creativity waiting to happen with this stacker! The options are endless.

This amazing set of wooden animals stole my heart as soon as I opened the packaging. Made from Romania, this hand carved set is one to pass down to your children’s children for years and years to come. The craftsmanship is stunning!

If you are looking for a “toy” that will teach your child fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, patience, problem solving, and creative thinking, this is it!

This toy imitates sewing the button as with a real needle to a cloth – it will not simply entertain, amuse or distract, but rather inspire child’s inventive and truly imaginative play. The boys love this so much!

Mama’s Turn!

Enough about the babies, let’s talk ethical and sustainable for the ladies!

Here are some of my absolute favourite brands. I wish I had photos of all the outfits from these companies but I tend to forget to take photos of anything except my children haha. I promise I will post photos of me in all these brands as soon as possible and update!

Bhava Studio: The best damn vegan leather shoes I have ever encountered

First off, I want you to take a look at these boots. Do you see the magic that is happening here?!?! Not only do these boots look like real leather (but have zero cruelty at all!) but these boots have an added UPPER that turns ankle boots into over the knee boots. How genius is that?!

I have these boots in brown and I wear them nearly every single day. The 2 inch heel is perfect for me (sorry but I am not longer a high heel gal) and they are so comfortable it is hard to believe. With the amount of walking I do every single day on these Italian cobblestone streets, you bet your butt these beauties are made to last.

People of Leisure: The most versatile dresses I have ever owned

People of Leisure is a curated boutique of responsibly made garments that are ethically sourced and manufactured in Los Angeles. They are change-makers in the world of design, filled with dreamy imagination and wild ambition.

When my People of Leisure dresses arrived, I had assumed that they would be hung in the closet until Spring and that was that….boy was I wrong. The fabric on these dresses is so soft and warm…it’s nothing like I have ever felt before on a dress!

I have worn my mustard coloured dresses layered with thick tights and a slouchy sweater over 6 times in 0 degree celsius weather and I was very satisfied! Paired with my Bhava boots….I seriously felt like a Vegan rockstar haha!

Bead & Reel: Ethical Fashion Community

Sica Schmitz founded Bead & Reel based on her own tireless search for ethical fashion. Even as a Hollywood Costume Designer she had a hard time finding beautiful clothing that met with her vegan and humanitarian values, so she decided to create the store she wanted to shop at. I am so thankful that she did because this is one of my absolute favourite shops for everyday wear. As a minimalist, this shop has saved me!

Bead & Reel is PETA Vegan Approved, a member of Fair Trade LA, and the winner of the 2017 Sustainable Business Council award.

Synergy : Organic Clothing

This is probably the most famous brand of all the brands listed on this page and for good reason! Synergy is a one stop shop for all of your organic clothing needs and the selection is stunning.

At the core, Synergy is not only committed to creating clothing with a minimal environmental impact, but also empowering men and women through ethical employment practices.  As a family run business in Santa Cruz, California Founder, Kate, and Husband, Henry, are directly connected to all of the moving parts that make up the business, and are connected to Synergy’s family of employees both within the United States and overseas. Together they have been able to fuse their passion for clothing design and the care of our planet, by creating a sustainable business model that is cared for with great love and dedication.

Liz Alig: Women caring for Women

Liz Alig is not only the name of this amazing online shop, but also the name if its founder! Liz is a wonderful woman who decided enough was enough with the  fast fashion industry, “Today our goal is still the same – to make fashion forward, effortless style that you want to wear – clothing that gives women in developing countries hope and a meaningful job. A large portion of the line is still produced with recycled materials, but now we incorporate sustainable and handwoven textiles as well. We partner with over ten amazing fair trade cooperatives, workshops, and NGO’s that not only create beautiful ethical clothing, but are so much different than traditional production houses. They use funds to offer free skills training to women, they offer free nursery for young children. They not only pay well but give paid holidays and benefits to employees.”

I chose the Betty Apron for my first Liz Alig item and it is perfection. This apron was made from button down shirts gathered from the markets in Ghana (the very markets that are overrun with our second hand goods that nobody wants!).  Next it is sewn by a women’s cooperative in the plateau of Haiti – a very rural village where the production of Liz Alig clothing provides a much needed source of income for families that have little opportunities in this very remote part of Haiti.  Because it is made from recycled materials it will be 100% unique!

Ethletic: The everyday vegan shoe

Not much to say here except that I wear these shoes nearly every single day in the spring/summer/early fall and they are so comfortable!

Ethletic products are made solely from resources of certified Fairtrade supply chains. The governing Fairtrade body ensures that premiums are received by participating producers and manufacturers every step of the way. Ethletic has also established its own fairtrade projects in the local communities where our production facilities are based. Ethletic products are made using only sustainable resources.

Beauty / Skin Care Products

I had no idea what I was putting on my face and body until my mid 20’s. I was absolutely disgusted with the beauty industry for many years after discovering all the toxic ingredients in these beautifully disguised bottles and simply abstained from purchasing makeup and even skincare for nearly 2 years!

I slowly began discovering small companies that fought the good fight and held their products to the highest standards. I am so thankful for companies like this! I do not wear makeup often, but when I do I know that it is not only safe for me but also for my children to touch (hello baby kisses!).

100% Certified Natural, Organic Makeup by Lavera

The company name Laverana already reveals that the brand and company are inextricably connected, as “lavera” stands for “true” and “na” for “natural cosmetics”. In a time when everything revolved around chemicals, Thomas Haase discovered his lifelong dream and dedicated his life to a vision of “organic and natural beauty care for all”. Since 1988, he has been developing the natural personal care market and leading Laverana as its founder and executive partner.

My favourite Lavera products are their BB cream and lipsticks. Just lovely!

Inika Cosmetics

Winner of multiple beauty awards, Inika is the world’s healthiest makeup brand as over 50% of its products are certified organic and all products are Certified Vegan, Cruelty Free and Halal. They only use the finest botanicals and minerals, chosen for quality, tested for purity and checked for safety. All products are cruelty-free, toxin-free, vegan and environmentally friendly.

Plaine Products: The Zero Waste Subscription for everything skin care

Imagine never throwing another shampoo, conditioner or face wash bottle away again. Imagine a company that sent you refills for your beautiful reusable bottles every time they were going empty? Imagine a scent so amazing that you didn’t want to get out of the shower….

This is Plaine Products. Honestly…I’m kicking myself for not thinking of this brilliant idea myself! This company offers a subscription program to refill your reusable shower gel/shampoo/conditioner/lotion/face wash/face moisturiser bottles each month. How has this not been a thing before?!

I highly recommend the citrus scent by the way….it is just delightful.

That’s a wrap folks!

And always remember…

“There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Hugging a cow