Where I've Been & Some Promised Resources
Long Overdue: An Explanation
The last time I wrote was before Thanksgiving! I wanted to get ahead of the holiday shopping season with some thoughts on compulsory consumption, so I sat down at the coffee shop down the street (the one that instantly permeates your clothes and hair with the smell of coffee and pastries) and wrote this. It was meant as the first part of two about how we can make changes in mind and habit to center the holidays around family instead of gifts, but the second part never got its day...
So here's what happened; I started this blog as a way to connect with people that share my desire to live intentionally and eat well, in the spirit of wiser generations that really had it all figured out. Then an opportunity came up, an unexpected one for which I could not be more grateful. I've always had a deep love for great cities, having been exposed to beauties like Paris at a young age by my wonderful parents. I couldn't identify why I appreciated these places so much, however, until I met my husband, a then-aspiring city planner. He taught me about urban design and density and walkability-all the things I had experienced overseas but never had a name for. He helped me find this passion I didn't recognize at first, but I never dreamed that I'd be able to play a part in reshaping a city.
My husband is the real talent, having pored over his grad school studies for hours (to which I was a witness) to become what he's been aiming for since he was 4. But as luck would have it, some community engagement work that I had done in high school and college happened to line right up with the qualifications of a job right down the street helping to launch a bike share system. Bike share may not seem like a lot when it comes to changing behavior in a city, but I think it's a step that this city desperately needs and deserves. I get to talk with and include people that are usually ignored. This job allows me to be a part of a group of inspiring people that focus on equity and the good of this city every day, and it's truly perfect.
So I've been busy. Sharing and listening and brainstorming with people I admire, coworkers and community members alike. I haven't had a lot of free time between work, events, and enjoying this wonderful city, but I want to be more intentional about my time and be sure to write more often. You might be reading about bikes a lot more.
And As Promised...A Shopping Guide
This is very late, and I wish I could say that I waited until after the holidays to share my go-to ethical shopping resources to make some kind of point about the irrelevance of gifts...but that's not true. So here they are! Better late than never, I hope.
- PrAna is one of our favorites. I have my one pair of jeans and one pair of shorts from them, as well as a white shirt, and we both have their Stretch Zion work/hiking/everything pants.
- Mata Traders has great quality dresses and skirts that are so beautiful and handmade in collaboration with women in Fair Trade organizations in India and Nepal.
- Done Good is not a shop, but a desktop and app resource that helps you search for a particular item or brand using filters like its environmental impact, vegan construction, women/minority ownership and treatment of workers.
- Lems is a shoe company that has provided us with two pairs of shoes each. I haven't yet gone into the impact of modern shoe design on our feet and posture, but I shall soon! Lems and a few other companies are creating some amazing, durable footwear that lets your foot be a foot...which brings me to...
- Vivobarefoot. Like Lems, Vivo makes foot-shaped shoes in tons of styles, from trail runners to everyday leather. These are a bit pricier, but their sales are great if you just watch the site semi-regularly (which is how I got mine, which I use almost every day that I'm not wearing Lems sneakers). They're so worth it.
And remember, just because it's ethical doesn't mean you should buy new clothes all the time! Quality really goes a long way.That's all I have for now, but I'm sure I'll come up with more great companies later. When I do, I'll try to share them in a more timely manner.