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*

Olli || Fair Flip Flops On A Mission

Olli || Fair Flip Flops On A Mission

I've mentioned before that when it comes to footwear, like most things in my life, I like to keep it simple. I need shoes that I can throw on easily, wear with 94% of the pieces in my closet, and chase a 3 year old and a 1.5 year old around in. While it's pretty safe to say that heels (of any shape or size) aren't for my lifestyle (or level of walking ability), flats, sandals, booties, and of course, flip flops most definitely are. 

When the ladies of Olli reached out to me about their Kickstarter campaign for fair trade, ethically made flip flops, I immediately knew I wanted to get involved. Believe it or not, for the past two or three summers I've been without a pair of flip flops for a few reasons. A) I was too lazy to buy a new pair, and B) I couldn't find an ethically made option that was in my budget AND higher quality than the Old Navy pairs I had been used to.

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A Summer Capsule Wardrobe + How I'm Transitioning To Slow Fashion

Ah! At long last, my Summer capsule is complete. This is by far my most exciting capsule yet — I've partnered with some amazing brands for several of the pieces you'll see and have explained a bit about them and their missions in the description below the photos.

If you read last week's post about my transition out of "fast fashion" and into a more ethical approach, here is the tangible evidence I hinted at. In no way did I throw out every unethical piece that I owned and replace it with a new, sustainable one. That wouldn't make sense, even if I could afford to do so. These pieces are all *very* carefully selected, even the ones I received from some of the brands below. Each and every one fills a gap, is true to my style, and is within my budget. (Speaking of that, I'm working on a guide for affordable slow fashion, so be on the look out for that). 

I included swimwear in this capsule not only because I've been living outside in the heat with my daughters, but because finding ethically made swimwear can be really tricky and I wanted to introduce you to the brand I bought mine from. 

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And as always, thank you SO much to IMBY, My Sister, Wakened Apparel, Citizen & Darling, LA Relaxed, and Elegantees for partnering with me on this post!

*This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may make a small commission off of any pieces you purchase from one (My Sister, in efforts of being transparent ;) of the companies below. As always, I only choose brands that I support and think you'll love too.

Tanks: 4

  • Striped Crop Top*: Joah Brown from IMBY (If you haven't already, you need to check out IMBY. Sara, who is the sweetest, personally curates each piece to create a capsule of ethical pieces that are affordable and easy to wear together.)
  • Mint Crop Top*: From My Sister, a brand that works relentlessly to restore dignity to women who are victims of sex trafficking. 
  • Blue Lotus Tank*: From Wakened Apparel, who works with different charities and donates a percentage of the funds. This particular tank benefits Not For Sale, a campaign that benefits victims of sex trafficking as well. 
  • Embroidered Tank*: Thrifted from Penny Thrift

Tees: 4

  • White Tee: American Eagle. Old. (Not a fully sustainable company, but as I've done research on them, I was actually pretty impressed with their transparency and the small steps they're taking).
  • Striped Tee: American Eagle. Old.
  • Graphic Tee*: Citizen and Darling, a small, ethical company out of CA dedicated to fighting sex slavery. They also have men's and children's clothes. 
  • Colored Tee: H&M. Old. (Not sustainable, and have been under fire several times for looking the other way, but they do have a small selection of sustainably made clothes in their conscious line. This tee isn't from that line though.) 

Outerwear: 3

  • Floral Kimono*: Thrifted. 
  • Grey Pullover: American Eagle. Old.
  • Chambray: Target. Old. 

Dresses: 3

  • Top Two Dresses*: LA Relaxed. These dresses are THE softest dresses I've ever worn and are ethically made out of LA. 
  • Embroidered Dress*: Thrifted. 

Bottoms/Skirts: 7

  • Distressed Denim Shorts: Forever 21. Old.
  • White Shorts: Target. 
  • Dark Wash Denim: H&M. Old. 
  • White Linen Pants: Kohls. Old. 
  • Boho Pants: Maurices. Old. 
  • Black Maxi Skirt: Kohls. Old. 
  • Yellow Skirt*: Elegantees. This canary yellow skirt is part of Elegantee's new Summer line and it's by far the best skirt I've ever owned. Their products are made in Nepal by rescued victims of trafficking.  PS. Use the code SIMPLYLIV and receive 20% off your order!

Swimwear: 3

  • Black top*: Bikyni. Ethically made swimwear that isn't outrageously expensive is hard to find. But I fell in love with the minimalistic design of Bikyni's suits and went with "the Plunge". Their suits are all made in the US with materials sourced from Italy. They are definitely on the more affordable end of the spectrum as well. 
  • Floral top: Sears. (Very) old. 
  • Bottoms: H&M

There you have it! As you can see, I'll be making this transition to ethical pieces very slowly and intentionally. But I'm excited for the journey and the challenge.