warby parker try-on

Happy Sunday!

I have been in search of new glasses for a while now and I decided to give Warby Parker a try and boy am I in LOOOOVE.

I did the “try at home” option from Warby Parker which means that you get to choose five different frames that get to sent to your door, you get to keep them for five days, and then you send them back-all for free!

Trying my five frames on has been so much fun and now that I have to send them back and genuinely like all five of them I don’t have any idea of how I’m supposed to choose.

I love glasses because I feel like they say so much about a person. Within the five frames that I got, with each individual pair I felt like it portrayed me as a different person. There was an average frame, an “I sit at the library all day” frame, an “I kind of look like a rocket scientist” frame, a “super trendy yet serious hipster” frame, and a “cool mom” looking frame. I love the variety of identities and imagining what people’s first impressions of me would be when they look at my glasses-it’s really just so fun.

So here’s what the box and packaging looked like (excuse the quality):

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And now, for the actual frames.

Bensen

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Durand

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Nash

 

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Kensett

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Barnett

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How am I supposed to choose when I literally love them all???? The only one that I slightly disliked was the Barnett frame because it squeezed the sides of my head too hard.

Originally I was nervous about the frames because finding frames for a face as wide as mine can be really challenging. 4/5 of the frames that I chose from the “wide” selection fit which left me with 3 more options than I was expecting, and now that I love them all, I semi wish that only one had fit.

Oh well, I’ll make a decision at some point. But if you’re looking for new frames, try Warby Parker out. Or if you’re just looking for a fun dress-up activity.

And, by the way, you can order the frames without prescription lenses so that you can join the “people with glasses are definitely cooler” train.

TRY IT!!

You won’t regret it, I promise.

Emma

transitioning to ethical fashion/everlane

The other day I watched the documentary “The True Cost,” which talks about the ethics behind the global fashion industry and the environmental consequences, which inspired me to write my first post dedicated to this topic where I focused more on the psychology behind shopping and how we got to where we are now.

Now that I’ve had some time to come up with an organized post and found a wave of motivation to put the facts and research together, I present to you my first actual post regarding ethical fashion and how the fashion industry is quickly killing the planet.

I’m not going to summarize the entire documentary because that would deter people from watching it, so, go watch it! It’s on Netflix and it will leave your mind swirling.

There are many different alarming components behind the fast fashion industry. I am going to focus on two of them.

The first concern is the lack of respect for human decency when it comes to the global fashion industry. When you’re a person that can afford to buy new clothes, you don’t think of where they come from. You never consider how you’re able to find some clothing items for super cheap “great deals” and on sale etc. You’re only concerned with getting a nice piece of clothing for dirt cheap. What you don’t give is a single thought to the fact that every single clothing item has been touched by someone else’s hands. It could be brand new, but someone made it. Clothing is an area where we still need people to make it happen.

All of the major retail companies locate their factories in third-world countries where they can make the clothing for as cheap as possible, disregarding the welfare and lives of the workers who make them. When they need to sell an item at a cheaper price, they offer the factory two options. One, you make it for a cheaper price, or two, we’ll find someone else who will. Factory owners are concerned with their own profit, and not what they have to pay their workers. So, garment workers are paid even less.

The documentary focuses primarily on the garment factory workers in Bangladesh, which is a major hot-spot for “big brand” clothing factories. I don’t remember the exact wage, but the people who work tireless hours making our clothes are paid so little that if you heard it it would make your mouth drop, I swear.

Their wages are by no means able to sustain adequate living, and this economically traps a third-world country further into its third-world country title.

There is an argument that even though factory workers are paid painfully small wages that can’t support anything, it is still economically beneficial to the country because of the intense first-world interest, and the fact that the majority of garment-factory workers would not have jobs otherwise. I can’t explain economics well enough to go into detail with this, but basically, who cares about whether or not our people can get out of poverty when the factories are making money for the country?

While I see how this argument can be supported, there just has to be a better way. First-world countries have the money to pay the factories higher amounts so that the people that slave away at our clothes can make livable wages, but corruption and consumerism are taking away from human ethics.

Fun Fact: Until about 1960, 90% of American clothing was made in America. Now, 97% of clothing in America is made elsewhere. Crazy.

The other concern that the global fashion industry doesn’t seem to care about is that clothing is helping to destroy Earth! Fashion is the second largest polluter behind oil. What???

The world consumes 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year, and only 15% of donated clothing actually ends up being sold. So, where does it go? (source)

Well, either to landfills where it takes an extreme amount of time to even come close to decomposing, or it’s shipped in big boxes to markets in developing countries where it then kills the local industries.

Nice!

Think of all of the clothing that you have thrown away or donated in your life. Take that and imagine it just sitting in a landfill somewhere. What a big fat waste! Your money, equating essentially to garbage.

But of course, we just need to buy new clothes all of the time for the lowest prices we can find for each new season and it goes on.

Clothes polluting the earth, who knew?

I challenge you to really think about the next item of clothing that you throw out or buy. Is it worth it?

 

To bring some positivity into this post, I’m now going to talk about Everlane, which is a super rad clothing company that truly cares about where their clothing comes from, and makes sure that you do, too. You can look at all of the factories that they source their clothes from, see the production costs of every item, and know that they truly care about what they’re selling. “Radical Transparency,” as they say.

After watching the documentary, my first thought was, “Wow, I need to replace my entire closet with ethically sustainable clothes.” Specifically Everlane because so far that was my favorite ethical brand, but then I though to myself? Did I learn anything? Replacing my closet with all new clothing completely defeats the purpose of trying to be more ethically sustainable in regards to fashion because most of it would go to waste. What I should do is make use of what I have, and if I want new clothing, then I should shop somewhere like Everlane.

(Everlane clothing is timelessly classic and fashionable, but I will say that their clothing is a little boring for my taste. I’m still embracing being able to dress like a teenager while I can. But I definitely see myself buying more from them in the future.)

After roaming through the website and seeing Everlane all over social media, I ran into their t-shirts, which are super cool. I had been looking for new t-shirts, and when I found t-shirts that supported things that I cared about, I was sold.

These two t’s are from the 100% Human Campaign, which is awesome.

The first one I bought, the Human Pride Unisex Crew in Double Print, donated some of my purchase to the Human Rights Campaign, which is America’s largest civil rights organization working to end discrimination against the LGBTQ community. I bought this shirt because I liked how it looks (unimportant in the grand scheme of things) and firmly believe that EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE should be able to love whoever the frick they want to love because it’s their choice and no one else’s and we should just be able to be accepting and peacefully coexist, ya know?

pride shirthuman rights campaign

The second shirt I bought, the Human Woman Box-Cut Tee in Large Print, supports and donated $5 to Equality Now, which really hits home because gender shouldn’t be something that causes inequality and I don’t understand why this is still and issue we’re all HUMAN and should all be EQUAL and the longer I spend writing this the more I understand the 100% Human Campaign. (also #girlpower)

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equality now

BONUS-the package came with stickers and a pin, so you know I’ll be a returning customer the next time that I need some clothes.

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To wrap this up, watch the documentary, think more about where your clothes come from and where they end up, and consider transitioning into buying clothes from more ethical brands.

Emma

shopping: a perspective look into shopping online vs. in-store, materialism and consumerism

++++JUST POSTED LIKE 35 NEW ITEMS ON DEPOP GO CHECK IT OUT+++

 

Today I am writing what I hope to be an insightful and thought-provoking post regarding the psychology behind shopping, the specifically American obsession of materialism, and the behaviors driving first-world consumerism.

While I spent most of today watching Season 5 of Orange is the New Black, I did take time to watch the Netflix Documentary, “The True Cost.” I found it from an awesome pin on Pinterest from Zero Waste Memoirs, a blog dedicated to the zero waste lifestyle and sustainability. This specific post is a tip about behaving in a more sustainable way for our planet inspired by different documentaries on sustainability. You can look at 10 Must-Watch Netflix Documentaries on Sustainability here.

Sometime in the near future I will be writing more specifically about “The True Cost” pertaining to what I learned with more of a focus towards the effects of the global fashion/fast fashion markets on the planet and third-world countries, but today I am writing about what I took away from it regarding materialism and consumerism. Consider this post inspired by the documentary but not completely related to the documentary because I am putting in more of my own input towards fashion and the psychology behind it and materialism/consumerism not related towards the horribly unethical processes of fast fashion.

To begin, I’ll talk a little about myself regarding shopping and fashion. I love fashion and find it to be one of the easiest and most reflective ways to express yourself. I don’t have the brain capacity to understand super high runway fashion, but I love the everyday casual street-style, desert-style, country-style, pacific northwest style, Scandinavian style, etc., the everyday clothing that people of different regions wear and can somewhat afford. I like to consider myself to be pretty fashion-forward when I try, but then again I don’t really know how others view my clothing choices. Maybe I always look terrible, but in my own brain I believe that I’m pretty trendy.

I am in love with shopping, but I am truly trying to cut down on my shopping and spending and trying to embrace what I already have and the things that I truly NEED. I have recently been cleaning out my closet, but just today I ordered a couple of new clothing items online. My promise to myself was for this to be the absolute last time I buy clothing for this year unless it is something absolutely essential, such as something to look professional in or stuff to keep me warm because Minnesota. I am going to give this promise everything that I’ve got, because I have forever been an extremely materialistic person who ends up buying things because I just can’t live without having them but then ends up not using them or giving them away.

In my next post about the documentary I will also talk more about trying to transition to shopping at more ethical and sustainable retailers, as well.

When I started to clean out my closet, I was taking advice that I had found on different media sources such as other blogs, podcasts, and youtube videos on how to reduce what you buy and make use of what you have. I took a long and hard look at what was in my closet (as well as my entire room because attempting to live a more minimalistic life is more than just having that one clothing rack of clothing composed of black shirts, white shirts, a black and white striped shirt, a pair of khaki’s, and some denim) and truly tried to assess what was in it. I learned that part of the journey to being more conscious about what you buy and how much you waste is about looking at what you already have in a deeper way than just how often you wear it. I have spent SO MUCH MONEY on clothing over the years that if I hadn’t spent I would be loaded, and the more I assess what’s in  my closet, the more upset it makes me.

I am naturally an extremely sweaty person, which leaves me wearing mostly white and black t-shirts, with anything else having to be layered with a coat. My sweat even goes through leggings and some sweatpants so jeans are always the best option. Looking through my about 20 pairs of jeans, I noticed that I really only have about five pairs that I actually wear. That’s crazy!!! And for my black or white tees, I have probably about four or five of each color, but wear maybe only two from each. Within my five black tees I obviously have a favorite that I wear the most, and then a next favorite for when the favorite is unavailable. Same with the whites. But why do I have so many extra shirts?? I honestly don’t even remember accumulating them. This, among MANY other things made me realize just how materialistic and absorbed into the fast fashion market I am.

I rarely ever shop in-store. I used to all of the time before I had my own debit card, but now I simply just become annoyed shopping in-person. I prefer shopping online because I shop from the same brands repeatedly and know my size, and can therefore filter the site for my size. Is there anything more annoying than seeing something AMAZING online and then clicking on it only to find out that they have every size but your own? Probably but in this case NOPE. I just find the ability to filter, organize, and control what shows up online to be a much more efficient way to shop. I love being able to list things from lowest price to highest (you know it), to be able to select the styles you want to see, the colors and even the brands.

While I find online shopping to be much easier than in-store, there are some majors drawbacks that come along with online shopping. There have been many instances where I have bought something that seemed awesome online, got all excited when it arrived, opened the package, and found something that looked nothing like the picture online. I have always loved Urban Outfitters clothing despite the prices, but they are a main culprit to this discrepancy between what I see online versus what comes to my door. Another major con is that I am much more willing to spend higher amounts of money online rather than in a store, and this is where the psychology of shopping gets the better of me. If I see a top online for $39, I will buy it no problem. But if I see that same top in a store and look at the price tag and see $39, there’s NO WAY that I would buy it. For whatever reason, I am just way more willing to spend absurd amounts of money online. I believe that it has to do with the physical action of swiping my debit card since I never pay in cash because that feels worse. In a store, I hate swiping my debit card because it really feels like I’m wasting money, but I think that online, since I don’t have to swipe my card, it sort of feels like I never actually spent the money at all. THIS IS A DANGEROUS TRAP TO FALL INTO REPEAT A DANGEROUS TRAP!!!!!!!

Just writing about that scares me that I do this, falling right into consumerism.

So that’s my behavior towards shopping. I have a really bad problem that I am really determined to fix. I want to be a minimalist but am a major materialist.

I next want to go into materialism. We as Americans are EXTREMELY materialistic, to the point where we just spend money that we do not have in order to accumulate more stuff that we probably won’t even use. We all have this false perception that if we have more stuff, newer stuff, we’ll be happier. WRONG! Look at Scandinavia (CANNOT WAIT TO TRAVEL THERE ONE DAY), the happiest area of the world containing some of the least materialistically-minded people out there. The forefront of minimalism. It goes to show that having more stuff does not make us happy, yet we still buy meaningless stuff consistently without even thinking of its impacts beyond ourselves.

When I truly look around my room, hardcore at all of the stuff that I have, I see just how powerful of a trap materialism is. While I do find joy in a lot of the stuff I have, I realize that I don’t need it. I didn’t need to have spent my own money on all of this stuff. I encourage anyone that reads this to look at what you have, think about it, and maybe use a little bit more consciousness into what you buy the next time that you shop.

This all lastly ties to first-world consumerism. We are surrounded with a never-ending world of ads for things that we just NEEEEEED to have or clothing that we just NEEEED to wear to be stylish this season, which is exactly the point. Companies have essentially brainwashed us into seeing something cool and new that more and more people buy that gets to the point of “If I don’t have this, I don’t fit in.” I think that while I am super materialistic, I am pretty good at not falling into ads and fads. The stuff that I buy is all stuff that I have individually searched out and bought for the most part not because I’d seen it elsewhere. When I shop, I know what I am looking for that will contribute to my self-expression and individuality.

Unfortunately for so many other people, and sometimes me included, our consumerism and a company’s need to fuel our consumerism is just one endless cycle. What we see has caused our culture to become materialistic in this fight to be able to fit in with what everyone else is buying and buying things just to say that we have them or buying things out of boredom or wanting them to make us happier, the list goes on.

And the more I think about it, in regards to clothes, when we see people on social media or in ads that we want to look like, it has nothing to do with how much clothing they have, but rather what clothing they are wearing and how they have created an outfit that we aspire to wear. It’s a mean trick for us all.

In the end, I hope that as a society we will be able to get out of this materialistic mindset that we seek hopeless happiness from and can all work towards being more conscious in what we buy and focusing truly on our necessities and quality of life not found in buying meaningless things.

If you read all of that, thank you.

Emma