A Week Of Outfits With Conscious Blogger Elizabeth Joy
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 to slow fashion and demonstrates how beautifully sustainable fashion can come to life. Today we're excited to share a week of outfits from Elizabeth Joy, the blogger behind Conscious Life & Style!
// ABOUT ELIZABETH //
Age | 23
Location | Around Chicago, IL
Occupation | Founder and blogger at Conscious Life & Style, freelance content and social media marketing specialist for conscious brands and creatives
Where To Find Her | Her blog and Instagram
Favorite Brands | Amour Vert, ABLE and many more!
I've been passionate about fashion ever since I was little—when I was 5, my favorite activity was to dress my dolls in different outfits all day long, and when I was in my teens, I would wait eagerly each month for that copy of Teen Vogue to arrive in my mailbox! It wasn't until learning about the Rana Plaza Garment Factory Collapse that I realized my love of fashion was at odds with my values. Not wanting to give up this love for design and style, I immediately went on a hunt for better fashion brands. Soon, I was introduced to the beautiful world that is ethical fashion, where fashion not only causes less harm but can actually create a positive impact on people and the planet.
This is really the message I hope to spread with my platform, Conscious Life & Style. I want to show that when done in a responsible way, fashion can be an incredible driving force for good in so many ways. Fashion can help preserve traditional art forms that are at risk of being lost due to the prevalence of cheap, mass-produced goods; it can create circular production models that inspire innovation in other product categories; it can help give a second life to old garments (through thrifting) or to waste that would otherwise sit in a landfill (through upcycling); and it can provide fair, living wages to families in marginalized communities around the world.
Of course, while this all sounds simple on paper, there are a lot of considerations to take into account as well. This is why I believe it's crucial to dive deeper into the various elements of creating a more responsible fashion industry—from tracking the environmental impact of the entire lifecycle of a garment to diving into how we can really ensure garment workers are earning a living wage.
I think the most important thing to remember for all of us on this conscious fashion journey is to never stop asking questions. Many of the issues facing the fashion industry and the potential solutions we have to fix them aren't black and white. There's almost always more to the story when you peel back the layers. So it's essential to stay curious and be open to diving deeper in any given area.
One of my favorite parts of traveling is getting out and exploring the incredible landscapes on this amazing planet. So this adventure with my family and boyfriend in Pololū Valley on the Big Island of Hawai'i was definitely a highlight for me.
While I normally opt for activewear for hikes, this loose-fitting organic cotton top paired with well worn-in Levi's proved to be a comfy ensemble. And, of course, I couldn't forget my favorite reusable water bottle from S'well, which is by my side nearly everywhere I went during this trip.
This was one of my favorite outfits on my trip, and it was not only sustainable but was incredibly affordable as well. I found this beautiful maxi secondhand on thredUP and purchased it using shopping credits I earned from sending in some pieces I cleaned out from my closet—I ended up only paying for the shipping.
I love the interesting stories that conscious fashion choices can lead to. When someone compliments your outfit, you can tell them more than just "thanks!" but really turn it into an opportunity to talk about how awesome thrifting is. Or, you can share how the brand you're wearing is enabling weavers to make a fair living from their craft so that they can send their children to school and afford healthcare. These conversations can really make an impact!
As part of my continual sustainable fashion journey, I've been researching the various earth-friendly fibers available. So, I was excited that as soon as I stepped out of the door with this outfit, I realized that I was wearing upcycled and sustainable fabrics/materials from head to toe! Pretty exciting for an eco-fashion nerd like myself.
This Altar Aegean Sea Jumpsuit from Made Trade was made with cupro, a regenerated cellulose fiber made from cotton linter, which is a byproduct of the cotton industry. Though it washes and breaths like cotton, the fabric feels more similar to silk.
My accessories are also made from some pretty fascinating earth-minded materials. This bangle was made by Lao artisans from aluminum that was recycled from undetonated bombs in Laos. My purse is made from Piñatex, which is manufactured from discarded pineapple leaves from the pineapple agricultural industry. And these artisan-made sandals were crafted with vegetable-tanned leather for the insoles and handwoven raffia for the uppers.
When I first began my ethical fashion journey, I thought the only options available were neutral and minimalistic. Although I find that to be a beautiful aesthetic, it's not quite my style. So, I was excited to discover Amour Vert a couple of years ago and find so many vibrant, printed, and feminine options on their site. The brand remains one of my personal favorites as well as one of my top recommendations when I get the question: "where can I find ethical fashion?"
I don't often participate in trends, as I find it at odds with a slow fashion mindset, (plus, adopting all the latest trends makes it more difficult to define our own individual style!) but the off-the-shoulder trend was one I absolutely loved. In fact, right before I was about to invest in an off-the-shoulder piece, I uncovered this top in the back of my closet that I had gotten back in middle school! Turns out I loved the "trend" before it was trendy.
This shirt was from a fast fashion store, but by caring for it well, washing it sparingly, and rarely ever machine drying it, it's still in good condition! That just goes to show that investing in quality is only half the conversation. We can also make sure we're being conscious of the way we're caring for and washing a piece to ensure that piece lasts the test of time.
Scrunchie from Momi Kona (a locally made souvenir!)
Old Levi’s Jean Shorts
secondhand Nike Shoes
There are some pieces that you can't just stop reaching for again and again—and this consciously-made midi is one of those! The dress is super comfy, I love how it fits, and it's exactly my style: feminine, flowy, and full of color. I paired the dress with my new favorite sandals from Made Trade, which were thoughtfully handcrafted by artisans in India.
The last day of vacation is always bittersweet, but to keep spirits up throughout the final hours, my boyfriend and I made sure to watch the sunset at our favorite sunset spot of the trip (you may recognize this beach spot from Tuesday's outfit photos!)
I'm wearing all fair trade pieces here: a beautiful (and comfortable!) dress from Elegantees made by women in Nepal recovering from sex trafficking, a 31 Bits necklace handmade by artisans working in safe environments and earning fair wages, and Salt + Umber sandals crafted by artisans in India in SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit) certified factories.