The Natural Edition || Sustainable AND Affordable Basics

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Last month I shared a giant round up answering a frequently asked “where to shop for ethically made basics”. Today, I’m excited to dive in deep with one of the brands featured there and one I’ve been honored to work alongside for several months now.

Forever drawn to all things neutral, versatile, and timeless, The Natural Edition has quickly worked it’s way to hold the grand title of “most worn brand” in my closet. This brand, more than just another brand who has jumped on the “sustainability bandwagon”, The Natural Edition, owned by fashion industry guru Nicole Adamo, has truly taken every aspect of creating a piece of clothing into consideration and made the most sustainable choice possible for the planet, the garment creator, and the consumer.

Today’s post will give you a deeper look into the decisions that brand owners have to face when setting out to make a truly sustainable brand. It’s not a black and white arena and, as you’ll see, there are lots of aspects that we as consumers oftentimes don’t consider or underestimate the complexity of when it comes to ethical production. Learning from the brand owners I’m lucky enough to work with is one of my favorite parts of my little job and I hope you get as excited as I do reading about the “behind the scenes” of it all.

The “Basics”

Before we get into the backstory, here’s a brief overview of who The Natural Edition is in a nutshell:

  • Where: The Natural Edition is based in the UK and produces their clothing using a Dutch/Turkish factory that’s Fairwear audited.

  • What: The brand, newly launched this year, has a first collection of versatile basics including tees and dresses made from GOTS-certified organic cotton and Tencel (read more about both of those fabrics in my Ethical Basics Guide!)

  • Who: TNE is owned by Nicole Adamo. She’s no stranger to the fashion industry and owned a successful luxury-wear brand sold in stores all over the UK. She felt unfulfilled though and constantly worn down by the harmful effects of fast fashion, so she decided to switch gears and create a brand that would do good in the world.

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From Fast to Slow, TNE’s Backstory:

The Transition: “I immersed myself in research, attended every talk and event that was on in London that addressed sustainability or ethical production and while researching more into sustainability and the issues decided it was important to influence the hardest working pieces of the wardrobe- wardrobe essentials. Starting a sustainable and ethical fashion brand was a lot more difficult than a luxury brand..firstly it was very different production to what I made before so I had to find a new factory…after working in luxury fashion my quality standards are very high and this proved a bit of barrier.”

The Fabric: “We started with sampling in the UK with the plan on producing in the UK as we could do smaller quantities and I could oversee production, however the quality was not to my standard. When we first started sampling our main jersey was bamboo as many brands cite this as eco-friendly but after further research realised that bamboo was not eco-friendly due to lack of transparency with sourcing and the amount of chemical needed to turn it into fabric. I became aware that there was confusion over what was sustainable and not well researched information doing the rounds.”

…”we had to make our own signature fabrics that were bespoke with the downside being the minimums were high the upside being we could get what we wanted which was super premium sustainably sourced fabric that was super soft and luxurious. I looked for a designer who was experienced in athleisure as my designs were all about combining style with comfort and found someone who was the designer for Beyonce’s Ivy Park and Sweaty Betty who had just gone freelance with her baby on the way. “

The Packaging: …”I assumed a factory that only makes for sustainable brands had a solution that was NOT plastic..but they didn’t as no one had figured it out and those biodegradable bags just break down to micro-plastics. Currently, nearly all garments are packed in a plastic polybag before leaving the factory and end up as landfill, or worse, in the oceans and we did not want our legacy to be that. At the final hour we found a packaging supplier that was willing to experiment and we designed a kraft card pouch so we could say no to the poly bag!”

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As strange as this partnership may seem at this point in my life (ie. 9 months pregnant and very well out of clothing that truly fits), The Natural Edition is one of the few brands I’ve been able to wear for my entire pregnancy. The intentionally oversized design — with extra length in the sleeves and at the bottom of tees — along with the rounded hems has made each item I own from TNE truly worth its “weight” in my closet.

The pieces hold up to daily life (real daily life…I’m a pregnant mama to two over here…), wash extremely well, stretch when and where they need to without becoming droopy, and go with just about everything in my closet.

I’ll be wearing them all for years to come and am so grateful to have connected with a brand who truly understands the need for well-made, fairly-made pieces for real life at a real-life price point.

You can shop Nicole’s gorgeous first collection here, and don’t forget to use my code LIV20 for 20% off your order!

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*This post is the last of a long term ambassador partnership with The Natural Edition. Thank you for supporting the brands that make SL&Co. possible! As always, all photos, opinions, and baby bumps are mine ;) *

The Bendy Shoe

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As is the case for most industries, ethics isn’t typically at the forefront of many brands’ and consumers’ minds when they create or shop for new shoes. Creating shoes is admittedly more labor intensive than most garment production and, for most conventional shoe brands, convenience and cost trump eco or human-friendliness.

With the peak of fast fashion, shoes followed the trajectory of most other kinds of production. Exploitation, cheap corner cutting, and blind eye turning.


Luckily, there are always the trailblazers and the innovators who choose to look at footwear from a more all-encompassing perspective. They choose to create quality product without putting anyone else (planet or person) at risk. These are the companies I love to support and shed light on.

For decades, Mary Sue and her co-founder have worked in the fashion and footwear space. Their brand Ashbury Skies has always been a little unconventional, supporting small, independent shoe brands on their online retail space, but they haven’t created a product specifically their own, until the release of their newest endeavor: the BENDY Shoe.

They designed a shoe that reduces environmental impact without sacrificing comfort or style. entirely handcrafted in California. The BENDY is made with only four materials - a rubber sole, a front suede leather piece, a back sturdy leather piece, and thread. The shoes are designed to last, and are made with the utmost humanitarian standards.

Not surprisingly, BENDY surpassed its fundraising goal within a few days of launching, but that doesn’t mean that the campaign can’t use more support.

Today, Mary Sue and her co-founder have launched a scholarship program for emerging designers and students in the footwear industry who want to create an ethical brand or product from concept, to sourcing, to creation, to completion. The Ethical Shoe Design Course is a 12-week intensive course, and the first of its kind in the footwear space. The duo hopes that this course will create radical change for the future of sustainable footwear. And for each pair of BENDY Shoes purchased, a portion of the proceeds will support the scholarship fund.

BENDY, they hope, is a catalyst that will spark change and push consumers to continue to consider the impact of their purchases.

To learn more about BENDY or to support their campaign, click here.

Phillip Adam || Organic Bathtime

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Bath time has always been my girls' most cherished rituals. They'd stay in the bath for hours if I let them, pretending to be fish or dinosaurs or puppies. Now that they're older and are starting to take charge of their "self-care" more often, the products I trust in their care are even more important. 

They love washing their own hair, making bubbles, and letting the conditioner "rest for a few minutes" in their hair just like mama does, and usually, splashing most of the contents of the bathtub onto the floor. 

In my quest for ethically made, organic, and kid-approved shampoo brands, I stumbled across Phillip Adam and they were sweet enough to send over some products for us all to enjoy. 

Although I originally intended to use Phillip Adam's apple cider vinegar shampoo and conditioner on myself, I was excited to find out that it's perfect for kids and has had amazing results on both of my girls' (very different) hair. 

Phillip Adam is a Canadian brand that uses only natural ingredients. Their products are all vegan, cruelty free, gluten free and free of parabens, SLS's and GMO's. Their apple cider vinegar products are their best selling and it's not surprising - they smell incredible, work amazing on all types of hair, and give your hair/scalp all of the benefits of ACV with a few added ingredients for a boost.

I've never been one to splurge on body products - even when my kids were younger I had a hard time justifying buying pricey, ultra-healthy shampoos and body products. Although they're definitely a bit more than your drugstore or supermarket products, Phillip Adam is a brand making high quality, ethical and healthy products at an approachable price-point. Safe and ethical isn't the case for the majority of products on the shelves, so finding brands I can trust for my whole family is something worth sharing about. 

What ethical skincare brands do you love for your family (or yourself)? I'm always on the hunt for more!


*This post is in partnership with Phillip Adam. All photos and opinions are my own.* 

Arraei Collective || Elevated Hemp Essentials

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I've shared my love for hemp clothing a few times, but today's blog post takes that infatuation a step or two further with a brand I've been waiting to showcase for several months. 

As fun as statement pieces are, I've found that I consistently gravitate towards "elevated basics", be it a crisp white button-up knotted over some jeans, a black tencel jumpsuit, or something like this Cai Camie. It's simple, versatile, and more than a "basic black tank", easily falling into the elevated basic category. 

I had been hunting for the perfect black tank all summer and I'm so glad I waited for this beauty before buying something else. When Natalie, the founder, designer, and owner of Arraei Collective (pronounced "array") reached out to me about her soon-to-launch collection, I was in love from the get-go.

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The design of the tank itself is enough to have me wearing it on repeat - thin straps, reversible design, buttons, slightly cropped, and an easy crinkle material that wears extremely well. But when I kept reading about Natalie's collection and her beautiful attention to sustainability in addition to versatile design, it sealed the hemp-deal for me. 

Arraei Collective's pieces in this first collection are all made with hemp-blend fabrics. My tank specifically is 42% Hemp, 35% Silk, 23% Organic Cotton, all GOTS certified organic. The button are made from coconut shell, so it's truly a 100% natural, plant-based product. 

If you read my blog post from a few months ago featuring WAMA's hemp underwear, you might remember me singing the praises of the material back then. And nothing has changed since then. Hemp is one of the most sustainable plants to grow and use for fabric production for several reasons - hemp requires no use of pesticides or chemicals to grow, it grows quickly and in large, dense quantities, and it's naturally anti-bacterial and moisture wicking. 

The cotton and silk add texture, softness, and drape to the piece, making it such a dreamy fabric to wear often. 

In addition to this tank, Arraei's newly launched first collection features a gorgeous kimono, a dress, a trench jacket, and a wrap skirt, all made with hemp or other plant-based materials and all as comfortable and versatile as the camie . 

Through Arraei, Natalie hopes to encourage her customers to become rooted in the conscious lifestyle - with her pieces as the backbone of a thoughtful wardrobe. 

This summer, this camie has certainly become a staple of my summer closet and I'm excited to watch it easily transition into fall. 


*This post is in paid collaboration with Arraei Collective. All opinions and photos are my own*

MATTER Prints || Slow Sustainability

MATTER Prints || Slow Sustainability

By now, you're probably no stranger to MATTER Prints. Their beautiful pieces have made a few appearances on SL&Co, as well as many of my favorite fellow slow fashion blogs across the blogosphere. But, although these posts are thus far sponsored by MATTER, I assure that the hype surrounding this Singapore-based brand is all true. As I've worked with the brand on several blog posts, reviewed their pieces, and used them in real life (often — my MATTER pieces are some of the most worn and loved in my closet), I never cease to be inspired by their commitment to doing things in a truly slow, ethical, innovative, and creative way. 

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