No Issue || Sustainable Packaging for the Future of Consumerism

DSC_0541.JPG
DSC_0548.JPG

Remember when we had to get off our couches to go shopping? We couldn’t scroll our phones to find the best deals, we actually had to browse the clearance racks and “window shop” through actual windows.

Times they are a-changing.

Now, it’s rare for most of us to shop “in person”. We’re accustomed to scrolling for our must-have’s and price comparing via apps or a quick Google search. We can get our food delivered to our doorstep by a stranger (and anything else our shopping carts/hearts desire).

Along with this rise in convenience-based shopping comes an unexpected side effect — a massive increase in packaging and, therefore, waste.

According to Rubicon Global, the United States alone throws out $11.4 billion worth of recyclable containers and packaging each year. Some, but not all, packaging can be recycled, but most isn’t. In fact, the University of Southern Indiana reported that about 1/3 of every dump or landfill is made up of packaging materials like cardboard, plastic, styrofoam, packing peanuts, etc.

Packaging is a necessary byproduct of online, convenience-driven consumerism and something that, as shifts towards eco-friendliness move consumerism forward, will need to shift with the movement for the sake of our planet.

No Issue is a company leading the charge.

DSC_0556.JPG

The brand is a small startup aiming to “clean up” consumerism through something as simple as the packaging brands choose to use. They don’t believe shopping and eco-friendliness are mutually exclusive. In fact, they think the two have to go hand in hand in order for healthy consumerism and our planet to co-exist.

We believe that sustainable packaging doesn't have to be unattainable. You can be environmentally conscious and responsible while creating a premium product for your customers to enjoy, and we can help you do it.

— No Issue

No Issue creates recylcleable tissue paper (customizable with a brand’s logo or print) using plant-based inks. They also create stickers and, most noteworthy, mailers that BIODEGRADE.

We’ve all been left with the nasty predicament of what to do with our shipping materials once we’ve received an order, but No Issue takes the guilt out of the equation for both brand owners and customers by making packaging that can be easily recycled and composted (at home!).

DSC_0546.JPG
DSC_0544.JPG

Sustainability

  • No Issue used soy-based inks for their products which is free from petroleum, and enables their paper to be recycled more easily.

  • Their paper is all FSC certified, which means it’s been sourced from trees that are grown in a sustainable and regenerative way, to avoid deforestation.

  • The compostable mailers are certified by all three industry standard certifiers, making them acceptable to mail worldwide. They’re made from PLA (corn) and PBAT (a compostable bio-based polymer). They’re water-proof, durable (even for heavy items), and customizable. My favorite part of the mailers is that they’re at-home compostable, so you don’t need to find a commercial composting center for them to break down properly.

I’m not a brand owner who needs to ship items, but I am a consumer who receives quite a bit of mail, so knowing that there are options like No Issue for us to choose from will greatly lessen the waste of the fashion industry (and all of the other industries that require shipping), and can help us, as consumers, to rest easy knowing that our purchases aren’t adding extra strain to the Earth.

DSC_0537.JPG
DSC_0557 (1).JPG

*This post was sponsored by No Issue, all photos, opinions, and creative direction are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make SL&Co. possible!*

Solios Solar Watches || Sustainable Accessories

DSC_0524.JPG

Industries around the world dabble in clean energy, and slowly the fashion industry is catching on. Some factories use solar power or other forms of renewable energy, forego chemicals, and reduce their water usage, but there is still a long way to go before it’s the norm.

Luckily for the eco-curious consumer, there are a few brands that move ahead of the curve.

Solios is one such brand who has considered their carbon footprint from the onset and hasn’t been deterred from creating products that merge beauty, practicality, and eco-friendliness. Aside from using green energy and dyes, and eco-friendly materials to create their product (we’ll get to that later!), the product itself runs on clean energy.

It’s a solar powered watch, you guys.

And it’s gorgeous. No battery necessary — Solios’ timepieces rely solely on the sun, saving about 20 batteries per watch. In fact, two hours of sunlight charges this watch for six months.

Although single-use batteries can be recycled, and often are, there are growing concerns about their effects on the environment and on our mental health. A solar powered option is much cleaner to produce and doesn’t consume as many resources, since their lifetimes are much, much longer.

DSC_0535.JPG
IMG_8336.JPG

The Eco-Composition

Solios’ watch straps aren’t made of conventional leather, instead they use a PU and PVC-free leather alternative (most vegan leather’s contain PU (ie. polyurethane), making them not only bad for our bodies, but terrible for the environment to produce, so this is a step in the right direction). Their leather, with a recycled plastic interior, is also recyclable, so if there ever comes a point when it’s damaged to the point of no repair, it can be recycled into something new.

They also sell stainless steel mesh straps, if leather isn’t your jam.

Sustainable from the onset, your watch will also arrive in packaging made from recycled material that you can compost or recycle.

DSC_0538.JPG
We want to enable those wearing Solios to be proud of the positive actions that have been taken and to remember that improving one’s lifestyle is an ongoing process.
— Founders, Solios

Minimal Design

When it comes to aesthetics, Solios intentionally keeps it simple. Their watches are gender neutral, with two face sizes to adjust to your preference. I chose the Eclipse watch with the larger sized face and Eco-Green Leather for a fun “neutral pop” of color — in contrast to my usually very minimal (ehm..camel leather) tastes.

They have a variety of sizes, colors, and watch face styles so that anyone can design the perfect watch that will never run out of batteries.

IMG_8335.JPG
DSC_0524.JPG

When a gorgeous, sustainable option exists that’s even more high quality than conventional watch brands, why would you choose anything else?

The brand’s founders admit that perfect is an illusion, but each step towards a more sustainable future is worth taking.


*This brand was sponsored by Solios. As always, all thoughts, photos, and creative direction are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands who make SL&Co possible.*

Sourcery the Label || Luxury Simplified

DSC_0574.JPG

Motherhood isn’t a luxurious business.

It’s messy and sleepy and, usually, a general blur. It’s taken me three kids to somewhat get my feet under me and still, there are days where it’s all I can do to pull on a pair of leggings and do the dishes. Between the spit up stains, crayon markings, and spilled dinners, I need a wardrobe that can keep up with my messy reality.

When most people think of silk — the worm-grown fabric that’s been craved for centuries around the world — the words “practical” or “day to day” don’t usually come to mind. In fact, the fabric usually conjures up the opposite. Words like “luxury” and “excess” typically spring to mind.

Buy why, I ask, can’t we demand both? Can “practical luxury” be a reality too?

Motherhood (or any other lifestyle) doesn’t have a one-size-fits all aesthetic (or fabric) and our wardrobes shouldn’t either. Sourcery is one label on a mission to mix practicality and luxury with their machine washable silk garments.

DSC_0529.JPG

The Fabric

Yep. It’s Machine washable. Aside from the environmental and health issues associated with most dry-cleaners, the majority of us don’t have time to drop our clothes off somewhere else to be washed. That’s the kind of excess and “luxury” that most silk garments demand, until now.

Sourcery creates all of their pieces from silk that can be washed at home, free from the risk of carcinogens and other toxins at the dry-cleaners. The fabric is incredibly light-weight and soft, but durable. It doesn’t stain easily, like other silks I’ve worn and, if something happens, you can toss it in the washing machine on cold and wash with the rest of your clothes.

The Factory

Sourcery is incredibly transparent about where they source their silk and where it’s dyed and spun into fabric. Their raw silk is sourced from a supplier located where silk production originated 5,000 years ago. The fabric is dyed using Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification, which means it’s free of most chemicals present in most dye-houses.

DSC_0578.JPG

I know the price tag may seem intimidating to those of us who shop with “practicality” in mind, but hear me out. The durability and quality of this fabric means it will last for years. Whereas a cheaper fabric — one sewn in questionable factories using questionable ethics and cheap fabrics — will likely deteriorate over several wears or require expensive dry cleaning under the guise of false expense. Sourcery’s washable silk, on the other hand, will last for years with proper care (which luckily means just machine washing it). The wear/cost breakdown makes Sourcery’s pieces far more sustainable AND cost-effective in the long run.

The Wide Leg Silk Crop pants pair well with dressier button down tops for work wear or they can be worn day-to-day, perfect for this work from home mama, with a simple tee or crop top, like my go-to ones shown here from ROUND + SQUARE. I’m excited to layer my denim jacket over the top and add my favorite booties as the weather begins the cool.

One thing I’ve learned in my (almost) six years of motherhood is that when I feel like I’ve put effort into myself, be it my outfit, some extra rest, time to pursue a passion, or anything else, I’m all the more equipped to be the kind of mother my kids deserve.

Sourcery enables me to run and chase and meal plan and baby-wear and mother while feeling like I haven’t lost any bits of my identity along the way. Practical luxury at it’s very finest.

DSC_0557.JPG

*This post was sponsored by Sourcery Label. All opinions, photos, and creative direction are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!*

Ubuntu Life || Colorful Shoes, Enabling a More Colorful Life

DSC_0410.JPG

“Colorful” isn’t a word I usually use to describe any aspect of my closet. Although of course, it doesn’t have to be this way, I’m lulled into the neutral aesthetic that’s so typical of the slow fashion movement. Despite my love of neutrals, I’ve surprised myself by buying a few “color pop” items that have stayed in my closet for years. (Case in point, my MATTER Prints wide leg pants).

My most recent color pop addition is a coral pair of “Afridrilles” from Ubuntu Life.

Even better than the color though, is the beautiful story behind these shoes.

They were made by a mother. A mother who, because of her work with Ubuntu Life and their color pop shoes, is able to send her child (maybe children) to school, buy better food for them, and create a better future for herself.

Ubuntu Life employs women in Kenya, giving 100% of the proceeds back to the programs that keep their more than 80 women happy, healthy, and whole. In an area where access to fair paying jobs is limited, this non-profit has committed to paying their employees above the local living wage, including health insurance. Jobs like these, that enable women to own their own homes in a country where less than 10% of the population has the opportunity to do so, have the potential to help break the cycle of poverty.

DSC_0407 (3).JPG
DSC_0413 (1).JPG

Founded by a pair of pastors from Kenya and Texas, Ubuntu Life began with the mission of helping children with disabilities and other life-threatening illnesses. These children’s mothers, freed from the weight of caring for their children alone, were now able to search for jobs and cultivate other skills and passions. The idea grew into a non-profit that cared for these families holistically - allowing them to meet physical needs, learn valuable job skills, and plan for their futures.

Nearly 20 years since then, Ubuntu Life now operates a cafe, Water Bottle Enterprise (a facility producing clean water to wholesale around the country), a production studio, and soon will operate a pediatric center on their 11 acres of property near Nairobi.

Colorful, is most certainly a word that applies not only to the product these women make, but to the brightness of their future with Ubuntu Life helping them lay the foundation.

The Shoes

The soles of the shoes are made from traditional jute and rubber for durability. The body of the shoe is made from Kenyan cotton canvas (sourced from a woman-owned cotton factory!) and feels sturdy but soft. They’re wonderfully supportive and comfortable, perfect for walking the beach, around the house, or to and from work.

I chose coral for my Afridrilles (a clever play on the Espadrille style) but they have a wide range of colors to choose from and even the option to design your own custom shoes via Zazzle.

They’re most notably a casual shoe, but I wanted to style them up a bit (heavy on the neutrals of course…wouldn’t want to go overboard with color, now would we?). I love how they look with whites and tans, but they' also look amazing paired with jeans and a tee, leggings, or even a summer dress.

In addition to their Afridrilles, the brand also sells gorgeous tote bags and bracelets.

DSC_0404 (2).JPG
DSC_0405 (2).JPG

I love the impact this non-profit is having on their Maker Mums and, in turn, the community at large. There is so much truth in the notion that to empower a nation, one must first empower the women, and Ubuntu Life, through their colorful, beautifully made shoes, is doing just that.

To contribute to the mission of Ubuntu Life, head to their shop and use the code OLIVIA15% for 15% off your purchase.


*Thank you to Ubuntu for sponsoring this post! As always, all opinions, photos, and creative direction is my own*

LA Relaxed || Organic Loungewear You Won't Want to Take Off

DSC_0504.JPG

Remember three years ago when I published my capsule wardrobes and was just venturing into the depths of slow fashion? (If you do remember that, wow, I love you for sticking around this long). Back in those days, my connections to brands were limited and each time a new brand reached out to me it was like a small validation that what I had committed to (not shopping fast fashion) was worthwhile and that my little slice of the internet might make a difference somehow.

LA Relaxed was one of those brands that reached out to me at the beginning of my blogging journey and, three years later, we’ve both grown a lot but our missions remain the same and it’s been such an honor partnering with them yet again (this time much more officially and long-term).

Back then, I opted for summer-y dresses that I loved but weren’t necessarily a great fit for my lifestyle. This time around, I’ve fallen for their lounge-wear.

My life is very “lounge-y” these day. Between nursing sessions every few hours, cleaning our tiny home, working from home, and chasing around my older two, anything other than comfortable clothes don’t make the cut. As much as I love a good linen pant or a dressier jumpsuit, sometimes some comfy joggers and a stretchy tank top is the most practical (and comfortable) thing for my day to day mama lifestyle.

DSC_0480.JPG

Organic Fabric

LA Relaxed has always used the most earth-friendly fabrics available, but recently, they’ve upped their eco-game even more. Most of their pieces are made of organic cotton, but they also have some amazing options made from hemp, tencel, and linen. (To read more about each of these fabrics, check out my guide to sustainable textiles).

Real Life Designs

Another thing I love about the brand is their commitment to designing real day-to-day clothing. Many slow fashion brands create only “elevated” basics or pieces that you wouldn’t wear during your downtime. For people with 9-5 day jobs, these brands are amazing, but for those of us who work from home, stay at home with littles, or just enjoy a good pair of leggings, we need clothes designed for the real, cozy, raw, chill, normal moments of our lives. Not just the ones where we’re posing for Instagram photos or at a business meeting.

LA Relaxed has mastered the art of the everyday outfit.

DSC_0486 (1).JPG
DSC_0505.JPG

Disclaimer: wine drinking and breastfeeding were not done simultaneously, despite the looks of these photos. Also, I’m aware of the fact that I own too much grey.

My Go-To Pieces

Journey Sweatpant in Charcoal (pictured above, in oddly the same exact shade as my couch).

Bailey Pant in Heather Grey (these are THE softest, flowiest (yes, that’s a word) pants I own. I wore them at the birthing center with Aria and they were oh so comfortable).

Lila Tank (I have this in Black Stripe and Navy stripe and adore it. It’s made of modal and goes with everything).

Daily Crew Neck Shirt (This is the only white crew neck I have and it’s perfectly soft and easy to layer).

LA Relaxed from Pregnancy and Beyond

If you followed along while I was pregnant, you’ll know that my LA Relaxed pieces were on constant rotation almost the entire 9 months. They’ve been incredibly versatile and great for breastfeeding too.

Click the photos to shop each piece!

Don’t forget to use SIMPLY25 for 25% off your order.


*This post is the final post of a three month collaboration with LA Relaxed. All images, opinions, and stylings are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make SL&Co. possible (and Olivia’s wardrobe a lot cozier).*