Introducing Wayre — the Travel Brand for the Modern Wanderer

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Sometimes you meet a brand and you just know they belong in your closet. Or, at the very least, they’ve earned your attention. This happened to me a few years ago when my beloved Sotela launched and, although brands like these are few and far between, today I’m thrilled to introduce you to another.

Everyone, meet Wayre. Wayre, welcome to the world.

It’s rare that I get to work with a brand from their very inception, but today is a special day. Wayre launched on Kickstarter TODAY, meaning they have exactly a month to “make it” or their beautiful collection doesn’t get produced and you don’t get to experience the beauty that is this garment.

Before I share more about the piece I was so lucky to sample from their collection, here’s a bit about Wayre.

The Mission

Wayre, like so many brands out there, began out of a desire for a garment that just wasn’t on the market. Rachael, the founder, had a light blue dress she loved for traveling, but lost it somewhere along the way. She tried to find a replacement, but after three years decided it was time to design her own perfect dress.

The Seville Dress became that dress and the other two pieces in their first collection grew out of the same desire to create pieces that traveled as well as the bodies who wore them.

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The Clothes

Wayre’s first collection is made up of three super versatile pieces: the Seville Dress, the Flow Shorts, and the Shift and Snap Tank. All three pieces are made from recycled water bottles (see their campaign to see how many water bottles make up each piece), and have a silky feel similar to Tencel.

The fabric is spill-proof (seriously, water and breast milk just glide right off…other liquids I’ve yet to test ;). It’s also “stank-proof”, because the fabric itself is UV resistant, antibacterial, and ultra breathable, so it doesn’t soak in body odors like other fabrics do. It’s also wrinkle-proof (my favorite feature) and has a 4-way stretch so it’s extra comfy even after Taco Tuesday (and Wednesday and Thursday).

The pieces are designed in California and cut and sewn in the Everest Textile factory in Taiwan — one of the leading factories for sustainability and ethics.

The Campaign

In case you aren’t familiar with Kickstarter campaigns, here’s how it works:

Wayre has 31 days to raise $50k. If they don’t raise the full amount, they don’t get any of it. There are several levels for backers to support the campaign, and they all (for the most part) get you a piece or two from the stunning collection at a major discount (30% for today only and 20% for the rest of the campaign!)

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As important as it is to support ethical brands in general, I think supporting them from the onset is an especially impactful way to vote with your dollar. And besides, when Wayre is all famous, we’ll be able to say we remember when they were just the little guy ;)

Here’s to a successful launch — shop Wayre’s incredible collection and support their campaign HERE.


*This post was in partnership with Wayre to support their Kickstarter campaign. All images, opinions, and creative direction are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make SL&Co. possible!*

Introducing Findlay || Minimal, Sustainable, Elegant

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I’ve written before that bags seem to be the “gateway drug” for easing into sustainable shopping. They’re easier to integrate into your pre-existing wardrobe, don’t require as much planning, and, not surprisingly, there are lots of incredible brands making ethically made handbags. I’ve written about my fair share this year, but I wanted to wrap up 2018 with a post celebrating a newly launched brand that I believe in wholeheartedly and think you just might too.

Findlay officially launched in November with a Kickstarter campaign that highlights their minimal aesthetic, elegant design, and versatile function. I’ve been lucky enough to test out their Combo Crossbody Clutch before they officially “hit the market” and, also not surprisingly, I can’t get enough.

The Story

Findlay is the brainchild of Andrea, who fell in love with leather for it’s durability and quality. Her story is similar to many other brand owners and designers — as she struggled to find a bag that would transition well through all the hats she wore, she decided to try her hand at designing her own. Andrea designs and produces all of her totes in Los Angeles using vegetable tanned leather from an ethical factory in Italy.

Sustainability

Currently, only 10% of the world’s leather is tanned with tannins from tree bark and plants. This process, called Vegetable Tanning, is free from the harmful chemicals of Chrome tanning and is an “artisanal process” that’s safer for the environment, the workers, and the consumer.

Findlay’s bags are also lined with organic cotton — a feature that, I believe, increases the elegance and functionality of the bags while prioritizing eco-friendly materials.

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Quality

Of course, with the materials mentioned above, Findlay’s products can be nothing but beautiful. I’ve had quite a few leather bags in my day and I’m still amazed at how each one is different. Findlay’s leather is sturdy, not floppy, with a gorgeous sheen that will wear well with time. The lining of the bag gives it an air of class and makes it perfect to dress up or dress down. I could just as easily wear my Combo Crossbody Clutch to a New Years Eve party as I could to preschool pickup.

Giving Back

Don’t stop now, because Findlay gets even better. As tempting as being one of the first to test their bags was, I was hesitant to accept this partnership because I’ve reviewed several other leather goods brands this year and didn’t want to appear repetitive or overly consumerist. I’ve even turned down other partnerships for the same reasons. But, when I read about Findlay’s mission, I realized the timing was perfect, and I’m so proud of the steps this newly launched brand is taking already to make an impact.

10% of all of Findlay’s proceeds go to non-profits in the LA area committed to ending human trafficking locally. With Dressember coming to a close, it’s an honor to highlight a brand who will continue to contribute to rescuing survivors, making a livelihood for victims, and funding the operations who make it possible.

Andrea told me that this focus on social justice is integral to Findlay’s business structure and it’s so exciting to see a brand prioritizing not only ethics when it comes to eco-friendliness and worker safety, but when it comes to using their business to contribute to a matter so close to my heart as well.

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It’s possible to find a brand that produces with eco-friendly materials. It’s also possible to find one that designs with minimalism and functionality in mind. It’s even possible to find brands who give back.

But a brand who does all three? That’s something worth supporting.

You can shop Findlay’s first collection of bags on their Kickstarter campaign until December 29 — after that, the prices will increase, so don’t wait too long. Each sale from their campaign will support their full production launch and, trust me, these bags are worth getting your hands on.

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*Thank you to Findlay for sponsoring this post (I don’t take it lightly when newly launched brands put their faith - and budget - in influencer marketing) — as always, all thoughts, photos, and opinions are my own.

Outdoor photos were taken by Shutter Story Photography.*


Outfit details: Striped top (Elegance Restored), Dress (Sotela — designed by me and Emily!), Booties (Adelante Shoes), White tee (The Great Beyond).

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.

Lauren Morgan Co. || Traceable, Sustainable Outerwear

Lauren Morgan Co. || Traceable, Sustainable Outerwear

If there's one thing that can be hard to shop ethically for, it's outerwear. Basics, sweaters, pants, shoes- those can all be found fairly easily (or, with a bit of help from an eco-fashion enthusiast ;) , but some things are hard for even me to find. 

I don't live in the rainiest climate, but having a well insulated, waterproof coat is a must during our cold, snowy, Colorado winters (bonus points for one that's ethically and organically made). 

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