A Week Of Outfits With Ava Darnell, Founder Of Slumlove Sweater Company
The Good Trade's Week of Outfits Series highlights women that have personally inspired us to shop and live with intention! Each woman takes her own unique approach slow fashion and demonstrates how beautifully sustainable fashion can come to life. Today we're excited to share a week of outfits from Ava Darnell, the founder of Slumlove Sweater Company!
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- Slumlove Sweater Company: Everything is made with love in Kenya, environmentally friendly, and gives back. Great ethical + sustainable basics and knitwear. My personal brand :)
- Everlane: Another place I frequent for my wardrobe staples and everyday pieces.
- Emerson Fry: Small batch, made in NYC. Beautiful and unique clothing released slowly piece by piece for a limited time.
- The RealReal: I’ve really been into shopping consignment designer pieces lately. We have a couple of great high-end consignment stores in Austin, but The RealReal has been a go-to for me. They are big proponents of the “circular fashion” movement, meaning clothes should be made well, thoughtfully purchased, and then resold for someone else to enjoy. They make buying and consigning very simple.
- Moss Designer Consignment + Garment Vintage: Sister consignment stores I frequent often in Austin.
- Ozma of California: I actually discovered this brand via The Good Trade and fell in love when I first visited their site! Comfortable, beautifully-made pieces that you will cherish.
I didn’t really start getting into ethical fashion until after I started Slumlove Sweater Company. Slumlove was a way to help provide employment and opportunities to my friends in Kenya, and through starting my own ethical fashion brand I began learning more about the troubling affects of the fashion industry. I became deeply convicted about my own shopping habits, and in August of 2015 I made a personal decision to only buy clothing from ethical companies for 1 year. It’s now been almost 3 years since that decision and I haven’t looked back! I found that changing my shopping habits and where I bought my clothes lead to me better discovering my own style and having a happier, more content (and guilt free) closet.
If I had to define my style in 3 words I’d say it is minimal, comfortable, and luxurious. I love great fabrics and design, and appreciate items that have been meticulously and beautifully constructed. I tend to “over dress” on most occasions, although I think that a long dress in a soft, breathable fabric is more comfortable than sweat pants! Easy, loose-fitting dresses, pants, and jumpsuits are always my go-to for both casual and fancy occasions and are the pieces I tend to buy most often.
My personal, ethical style is a mix of lifestyle basics from sustainable brands, more unique items from curated, small-batch collections, and designer pieces I buy secondhand. I do most of my shopping online, which I’ve really come to love. It gives me the time and space to research the pieces I have my eye on and think about how they’ll fit into my own wardrobe, which has allowed me to cherish and value the pieces I buy so much more. I am now confident in my personal style and never walk into my closet feeling like I have “nothing to wear,” and I love that my clothes reflect what I value in life.
// What I Wore To A Meeting //
This entire outfit (minus my bag) is secondhand and purchased at a local designer consignment store. I will admit, I have a weakness for high-end designer clothing. I love the details, construction, and fabrics of designer pieces. But I don’t love the price! Buying these items secondhand is a win-win situation. It’s good for the environment and easy on the wallet.
Although my shoes were bought on consignment, they were designed and produced by a really great brand called Pedro Garcia. They are a family operated shoe manufacturer, making responsible (and beautiful) shoes in a small town in Spain. You can read about Pedro Garcia here.
My bag is from a brand dear to my heart called Rift Valley Leather. My own brand, Slumlove, is produced exclusively in Kenya, and I love promoting other Made-in-Africa brands. Rift Valley Leather is a leather goods company based out of Kenya, producing lovely and well-made products for men and women.
// What I Wore Grabbing Drinks With The Girls //
There’s nothing I love more than a great jumpsuit. Bonus points if it’s as insanely comfortable as this one from Ozma California is. I first learned about this brand on The Good Trade, and immediately fell in love with their beautiful designs and beachy-chic aesthetic. This jumpsuit was perfect sitting outside on a dreamy patio grabbing a drink with my friends.
// My Everyday, Go-To Outfit //
I don’t think there’s anything chicer than a great-fitting tee paired with jeans and heels (if you don’t believe me, just google pics of Victoria Beckham—it’s her everyday uniform). It’s simple, flattering, and looks put together, yet cool and laid-back all at the same time. Throw on a blazer to add a professional touch for work or trade out the tapered jeans for flared jeans for a retro feel.
The tee is from my own line, Slumlove Sweater Company. Our tee collections are made in Kenya, providing jobs to a rural community, fighting deforestation, helping conserve the local elephant population, and funding high school scholarships for children from Kenya’s largest slum. I love that one tee can be doing so much good and am extremely proud of this collection. I own this tee in white, black, and grey, and trade out my blue jeans for black denim when I want to switch things up. Catch me on any given day in Austin and I will most likely be wearing one of these tees.
// What I Wore On A Date //
I love wearing dresses and will throw one on any chance I get. I bought this easy, breezy dress from Emerson Fry specifically to wear during the summertime in Austin. If you didn’t already know, Austin gets hot. Like hot, hot. The weather plays a big factor in the items I choose to add to my wardrobe. I selected this dress because the fabric is super breathable, the dark color will hide sweat, but the cut of the dress and polka-dot pattern still give it a fun and unique twist.
Emerson Fry is a great brand producing small-batch collections made in New York. The release items slowly, one at a time via email updates and limit the number of items made. I always get excited when I see an email from them announcing a new item and love the intentionality they put behind their brand.
// What I Wore Running Errands Around Town //
All of my outfits, whether dressed up or down, have to be comfortable and this outfit hits the bullseye. These pants from Everlane have become my go-to when I just need to wear something easy. I paired them with sneakers so I can move quickly and a silky top to still give it a pretty, feminine feel.