What to Wear and Where to Go
When getting ready for your night out on Valentine’s Day, you’re thinking about which little black dress you’ll reach for and whether to wear either your Dragon Girl or Cruella shade of red lipstick (when I can’t decide, I go for whichever shade will best pair with my red-wine stained teeth). We know that what we wear and how we appear tells a story about us and we want to make the best impression that we can. Often, the last thing on our minds are the hands that made our clothes or where the fabric came from. However, these elements are an important part of the story we tell about ourselves. You want to communicate love for your significant other on Valentine’s Day, but what you wear also sends a message of the love you have for yourself and others.
As someone who tries to be mindful about my impact on the environment, I was shocked to learn that the clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world. While I try to limit how long my showers are, it can take more than 5,000 gallons of water to manufacture a single t-shirt and pair of jeans. While I try to buy all of my produce at the local farmers market, my blazer, which was made in Vietnam, travelled thousands of miles in a shipping container that burns fossil fuels. And while I purchase all-natural beauty products, my pants are colored with toxic dyes that leak into our oceans. Thankfully, there are creative companies that are taking the guesswork out of finding clothing that is less destructive to our planet.
Major fashion labels have teamed up with Parley for the Oceans, a non-profit devoted to “synchronizing the economic system of humankind with the ecosystem of nature,” to turn plastics into thread. These companies are helping prevent plastics from ending up in our oceans by utilizing the plastics in their apparel. Their mission to turn “threats into thread” allows you to incorporate more meaning into what you wear and allows you to be a more conscious consumer.
There’s often the misconception that sustainable and stylish can’t be in the same sentence. When it comes to Amour Vert though, this myth is debunked. Amour Vert works with local mills to produce their own organic and eco-friendly textiles, such as Mulberry Silk and Beechwood Fabric, and 97% of their garments are produced within a few miles of their San Francisco office. The company has stylish pieces that make for a perfect Valentine’s evening outfit and you’ll feel even better knowing that for each garment purchased they will plant one tree.
On several occasions, I’ve found myself standing in the yogurt aisle for over 20 minutes trying to decide which brand I want to purchase. Do I want Greek? Skyr? Kefir? Goat milk? Coconut? Given how many choices we have to make every day, it can feel overwhelming to then have to consider what company has been caught up in the latest scandal of unethical garment factory labor conditions. Thankfully, there are now several apps and tools that have the information available to you right at your fingertips.
Good On You is an app that allows you to search any clothing brand and provide you with a rating of how ethical the company is based on the company’s impact on people, the planet, and animals. You can simply search a specific brand or filter for ethical companies based on the product that you’re looking for. Good On You also provides you the opportunity to contact the company to express your views on the issues that matter most to you.
After simply downloading this plug-in, products will disappear from your view while you’re online shopping that are suspected to have been made with unfair and unethical labor practices, including child labor. aVOID researches factories that have been discovered as having unethical labor practices and targets specific items made in those factories. Now, if only I could have all unhealthy foods removed from the grocery store shelves while I’m shopping…
Spritzing on your perfume before going out for your Valentine’s Day evening may seem like a harmless final touch, but there may be dozens of unknown chemicals lingering in the perfume that you’re applying directly onto your skin. A report by The Environmental Working Group (EWG) notes that “a rose may be a rose, but that rose-like fragrance in your perfume may be something else entirely, concocted from any number of the fragrance industry’s 3,100 stock chemical ingredients, the blend of which is almost always kept hidden from the consumer.” Perfume-makers are not required to disclose the chemicals used in their fragrance mixture, which leads to most perfumes having unknown chemicals that consumers then spray on their bodies.
An alternative to perfume, however, is aromatherapy. Not only is aromatherapy natural and non-toxic, but it provides numerous benefits and you can mix fragrances to create your own unique scent. The science behind aromatherapy and its benefits has been heavily researched and proven repeatedly. Some aromatherapy blends and their benefits include,: