Sustainable Shopping: Sale Roundup, Black Friday 2017

It’s that time of year again in the U.S.A.! If you’re planning to go shopping for presents (or for yourself) this holiday weekend, join me in supporting brands and boutiques that care about the communities around them and the earth! I’ve put together a list of some ecofriendly and/or ethically run stores that are having sales:

Beauty:

  • Rituel de Fille: Twenty percent off all full-size items with code SHADOW20 from 11/24 through 11/27.

Clothing:

  • American Deadstock: Get 50 percent off everything and free shipping using code FIFTY.
  • Amour Vert: Twenty percent off everything using code GREENFRIDAY.
  • Arkins: Twenty percent off sitewide beginning on 11/24.
  • Beacon’s Closet: Twenty percent off using code BLACKFRIDAY. This sale is online only, and the code is only valid on 11/24.
  • Chromat: From 11/24 through 11/27, use code GIVE20 to get an additional 20 percent off all sale items. Additionally, 20 percent of the proceeds will be donated to empowering organizations like the ACLU.
  • Deadwood: Thirty percent off all items online using code BLKFRIDAY, starting 11/24.
  • Ecoalf: On 11/24, Ecoalf will place a number of items from previous seasons on super sale, and a percentage of every purchase on 11/24 will be donated to sea conservation efforts.
  • Faircloth Supply: Thirty percent off everything using code BLKFRIDAY17, from 11/23 through 11/27.
  • Groceries Apparel: Save 15 percent off purchases of $150 or more, save 22 percent on purchases of $225 or more, and save 30 percent on purchases of $300 or more.
  • Hackwith Design House: Starting today (11/23), get 30 percent off sitewide using code THANKSGIVING17.
  • Hazel and Rose: From 11/23 until 11/27, you get 25 percent off sitewide using code MANYTHANKS. (I also love Hazel and Rose’s blog post discussing their feelings about Black Friday.)
  • Nau: Get 30 percent off fall and winter styles using code SAVE30, from now until 11/26.
  • Nudie Jeans: Get 25 percent off select seasonal items (no code needed).
  • Outerknown: Get 20 percent off current styles (no code needed) and get up to 75 percent off in their warehouse sale.
  • Miakoda: From now through 11/27, use code ETHICALSHOPPING for 30 percent off your order.
  • Poppy and Pima: Get 30 percent off sitewide on orders over $7 with code GETYOURGIFTON, from 11/23 through 11/27.
  • Reformation: Get 30 percent off everything from 11/23 through 11/27, online and in store, no code needed.
  • Tradlands: From now until 11/27, use code BF15 for 15 percent off all orders over $100, use code BF20 for 20 percent off all orders over $200, get free worldwide shipping for orders over $200, and get a free $10 gift card with a purchase over $50.
  • Upstate: Get 25 percent off using code TURDUCKEN, now through 11/27.
  • Zero Waste Daniel: Get 25 percent off everything on 11/27. They are also debuting online their collab with Coyuchi! (The collab seems to be exempt from the sale.)

Home Goods:

  • Boll and Branch: Twenty-five percent off all orders over $150 with code BLACKFRIDAY.
  • Coyuchi: Twenty percent off select styles, plus free shipping; click through the link on their home page.
  • Package Free: Twenty-five percent off the entire store today (11/27) only with code CYBERMONDAY at checkout, plus free shipping with orders over $100!

Underthings:

  • Brook There: From 11/23 through 11/27, get 40 (!!!) percent off clothing and lingerie sets using code THANKFUL.
  • Hanna Broer: From now through 11/24, use the code Pre-Holiday-2017 to save 20 percent off all orders over $120, or, if you shop through her Etsy store, you’ll automatically get 20 percent off when you check out with $120 or more worth of her products.
  • Pact: Get 30 to 60 percent off sitewide (no code needed).
  • Sock Dreams: Get twenty percent off sitewide from 11/25 through 11/27 using code GIVESOCKS2017. Use their search filters to find ecofriendly and US made socks (not everything in their store fits those categories).

Shoes and Other Accessories:

  • Edge of Ember: Save 30 percent sitewide with code BLACK30.
  • Kayu: Save up to 75 percent through their sale section.
  • Oliberté: Save 30 percent sitewide starting now.
  • Proud Mary: Today (11/27) only, use code CYBERMONDAY to get 15 percent off sitewide plus free shipping.
  • Soko: Take 25 percent sitewide with code BLACKFRIDAY25.

I’m trying to buy less and buy more thoughtfully this year, so I’m exercising a lot of willpower right now in the face of all of these great sales from these great companies. If you buy anything good, let me know! 😉

❤ S. (a.k.a. AMisplacedPen)

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way to write about any organizations or businesses that I have mentioned. This post expresses my honest opinions.

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My Summer Shopping Plan

It’s summer! Which means it’s time to lounge on the beach, plan some getaways, and get really sweaty. (I sweat so, so much in warm weather. . . .) Summer is also when lots of sales start popping up. The thing is, I’m on a mission to be a more environmentally friendly and ethical consumer. And that means buying less, and buying smarter. But I also like a good sale. What am I to do?

Well, here is my shopping plan:

  1. Make a list of things that I need. Then make a list of things that I have been wanting for over a year. Make it clear to myself what is “necessary” and what is a “want.”
  2. If there is a sale that might satisfy something in one of those categories, I will take a look at the sale.
  3. If I find the right item, I will put it in my shopping cart and consider it. The first question I will ask myself is: Was this item made in an ethical manner, with eco-friendly materials? If not, will buying this item at least help me be more environmentally conscientious in my daily life? If the answer is “no” to both questions, then the item won’t be bought!
  4. If I can answer “yes” to at least one of the above, then I will consider which category the item falls into. If it falls into the “need” category, I will ask myself: Do I really need it? Or can I live without it? Might it be possible to substitute something I already own for it?
  5. If it falls into the “want” category, I will ask myself: Will I enjoy this item if I buy it? Or will it fall into a forgotten corner of my closet or apartment after the novelty fades away? Is it possible for me to make this item myself?
  6. If I still believe the item in my shopping cart is a worthwhile purchase, I’ll buy it!

I’m hoping that my shopping plan will reduce any unnecessary spending on my own part. I also hope that the above shopping plan also helps me reduce the number of new items on my want list (because, frankly, whenever I look at a sale I always add something new to my “want” list).

Anyone else have a shopping plan that helps you reduce spending and shop in a more ethical manner?

By the way, if you’re curious what sales I’m looking at right now, here’s the roster:

  • Bambeco: 60 percent off sitewide (with some exclusions) using code FIREWORKS17
    • About the brand: Ecofriendly home goods. Not every item has a detailed description of its materials and manufacturing policies, but on each product page you can post questions to the company about their products.
  • Beacon’s Closet: No sale, but I love looking at what’s new in the online shop.
    • About the brand: A well-curated resale store, stocking lots of vintage and designer goods for affordable prices.
  • Brook There: 40 percent off using code SUMMER40
    • About the brand: Silk and organic cotton lingerie made in the USA.
  • Hanna Broer: No sale, but I’ve been coveting some more of their items after I bought a bralette and undies from them last year!
    • About the brand: Organic-cotton underwear and recycled-polyester swimsuits made in Vermont. I love that their models are a variety of sizes and ethnicities; diversity is important!!
  • Hazel & Rose: 30 percent off through Tuesday using code HBDUSA
    • About the brand: A boutique that stocks eco-friendly and ethically manufactured beauty products and clothing from a variety of brands.
  • Pact: 40 percent off sitewide! (Click “apply offer” in the little green banner that pops up on the top of the homepage.)
    • About the brand: Underwear and cotton basics made with organic and fair trade cotton! I have their boyshorts and they’re extremely comfortable. M. has their boxers, and they are very flattering. 😉
  • People Tree: Large sale section!
    • About the brand: UK-based clothing brand; modern styles for men and women, typically made with organic cotton and fair-trade practices.
  • Tradlands: 10% off of select items! Click the link on their front page.
    • About the brand: Shirts made especially for women; made in the USA, some items are made with organic cotton.
  • Zero Waste Daniel: There isn’t a sale, but I’ve been wanting something from this brand for a while now.
    • About the brand: They make basics out of 100 percent scrap materials discarded by Brooklyn factories!

Time to start browsing. . . 😀 I hope you all have a safe and happy week!

❤ S. (a.k.a. AMisplacedPen)

Ethical Holiday Shopping

The whole Black Friday through Cyber Monday weekend used to be a period of joy for me; I love scoring deals, and I love shopping. The websites and stores I would frequent were not always aligned with my ideals, but the thought of snagging a designer or trendy piece for 70% off would often trample my conscience into the ground. Happily, I would fork over hard-earned cash to companies with questionable practices.

Times have changed, and I have explicitly made a commitment to revamping my wardrobe in an ethical and eco-friendly way. I am better educated and have more tools at my disposal to use in my decision-making. But old habits don’t disappear easily, and this sale-heavy weekend has been full of opportunities to break my commitment. Already I have made one purchase I am not proud of (in full disclosure, it was a cashmere scarf for my mother; her happiness upon receiving it will be wonderful to witness, but I cringe knowing that the cashmere industry is destroying arable land and is likely rife with inhumane practices).

I am determined to return to my ethical standards for the rest of my gift (and guilty pleasure) shopping, however. And as I browsed the Web for eco-friendly and ethical brands to shop from, I realized that those companies hold holiday sales too. Perhaps I don’t have to kick my old habits entirely…

So here are some websites that I happened upon in my jet lag-induced browsing (did I mention I was in Japan for the past week and change? Hopefully more on that soon!). Some brands I have purchased from, some I have not, and I am not being paid by any of them, but as far as I can tell they all seem to be committed to their goals and have some nice sales or clearance sections:

  • Pact: I’ve purchased a t-shirt from them that has become a very comfy wardrobe staple of mine. They specialize in clothing made from fair trade organic cotton basics (underwear, t-shirts, socks for both men and women) but seem to have gone into more complex clothing items lately, which is exciting. Everything on their site is currently on sale!
  • Oliberté: Fair trade footwear, what’s not to love? I just purchased a pair of their sneakers off a different website, so I can’t speak on their products from personal experience just yet, but they seem well-made and there are a variety of styles. I think their site-wide sale may not extend to Monday, but they have some items on clearance if you are still looking to grab something at a discount.
  • Threads for Thought: Another clothing company, this time specializing in casual and sportswear items for men and women. They seem to incorporate a lot of recycled polyester and organic cotton into their items, which is great, although I have noticed a few items that are made of only new and non-organic textiles. So I put this on the list with a slight warning to check the fabric content in the description if you are trying to find something with the least environmental impact. I haven’t purchased from them yet, but their current site-wide sale is tempting.
  • Reformation: I haven’t purchased from this brand either, but I have seen their clothing in action. A friend of mine wore an amazing floral dress to this year’s Chicago Pride Parade. When I asked about it she told me the dress was made by Reformation, using vintage fabric, and I’ve been eyeing their site ever since. They are one of the more expensive brands that I am posting about, but their clothes are extremely fashionable, and they are wonderfully transparent about the environmental impact of each of their items. While, at the time of writing this, I can’t find evidence of a Cyber Monday sale, they do have a fine sale section that I may be picking from soon. Sadly, they only have clothes geared towards women right now (although that doesn’t mean only women can wear them!).
  • Seamly: Another clothing company geared towards women that I haven’t bought from, but they are more affordable than Reformation and have cute basics made from surplus material. They currently have a site-wide sale!
  • Bead and Reel: More of a boutique than a brand, this site curates products from various eco-friendly and ethical brands together for your shopping convenience. Unfortunately, this site is also mainly geared towards women and I have not purchased from them yet, but the selection looks fashionable.
  • Fair Trade Designs: The name says it all! This is probably a good place for buying gifts, and there are products geared towards men as well as women (I have not bought anything here yet either).
  • Bambeco: An eco-friendly and ethically produced home goods heaven. I have not purchased here yet either and some items can get a little pricey, but everything looks well-made and luxurious.
  • Sock Dreams: Another store I’ve eyed for a while, but never purchased from. They seem to get rave reviews though and have an eco-friendly section (which is where the link will direct you). They specialize in socks for all shapes and sizes, provide a lot of information about fit, and are fairly transparent about materials and manufacturing of their own brand.

Hopefully the above links will prove inspirational if you are also trying your best to be a conscientious shopper!

If you don’t want to buy from the above companies, but still want to shop in the least harmful way possible, here are some general tips:

  1. Buy recycled products, or products made from recycled materials. This way, no new waste is created! Thrift and vintage stores are wonderful resources. There are also plenty of brands nowadays that utilize recycled materials.
  2. Buy items made with natural and organically-grown materials. Do keep in mind that some natural fibers are inherently more eco-friendly than others, regardless of “organic” status. For example, linen is a very hardy fiber and requires little water or pesticides to manufacture, so even linen that is not labeled as organic will be probably more environmentally friendly than organic cotton, which still consumes loads and loads of water as it grows.
  3. Buy products that are made locally. The carbon footprint of locally-made products is less than that of products made overseas, as lots of fuel is used to ship the latter to you. Part of buying locally can involve buying from local artisans—that way you can also guarantee no sweatshop labor was involved!
  4.  Buy products manufactured in countries with strict labor standards. The likelihood that the product was made in a sweatshop will be lower.
  5. Buy from companies that have a history of being transparent about their manufacturing processes. A conscientious company should not act as if it has something to hide.
  6. Do your research! Information is a powerful thing. If you have some doubts, try to find out as much as you can about a material or a brand and base your decision off of what you learn.

I’ve also found this page very helpful for my purchasing process: http://www.nrdc.org/living/stuff/guide-greener-fibers.asp. It is a quick and simple guide to the environmental impact of the more commonly used textiles.

Good luck out there! I know ethical shopping can be difficult if you’ve been ingrained in consumerist habits most of your life (like I have been), but it’s doable. I certainly feel ready to renew my efforts after writing all of that out! Feel free to comment and let me know of other brands or companies out there that I should check out.

Love,

— S. (a.k.a. AMisplacedPen)