Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Eco-friendly, Maternity-friendly Workout Clothes from Teeki

4 teeki yoga pants eco-friendly maternity workout leggings
WEARING:  Teeki Yoga Pants in Northern Lights, made in the USA from recycled PET;
Tank top in organic cotton from H&M's Mama / conscious collection

Sports bra is conventional, but Gaiam makes a similar one for $12 out of recycled polyester from plastic bottles saved from the landfill, just like Teeki pants.

There are a lot of companies out there marketing their exercise clothing to us ladies with growing bellies, but I was pleased to discover that my trusty Teeki leggings proved my most comfortable pair, which meant I didn't have to purchase a new (and very short-term use) item of maternity clothing, which makes me very eco-happy.

You last saw these Teeki Northern Lights leggings a while back when the dancers of Capital Movement Company modeled several pairs with me for My Fair Vanity, and I've been wearing them non-stop ever since then. Teeki leggings will run you $68-$72, but these babies will LAST and are well worth the investment. They've held up beautifully throughout grueling six-hour dance rehearsals, a half-marathon, and countless yoga classes over the last few years, with no signs of wear or tear at all.

teeki yoga pants eco-friendly maternity workout leggings

The key to their comfort is their super-soft, elastic-free waist panel that can be worn up or folded down. You can see from these photos and the ones in this post that the top seam is much lower than your usual leggings, so that it bends where you bend at the hips. Plus, the panel is simply a swath of soft material, so there is effectively no waistband there to squeeze your belly, whether it's full of a full-term baby or a Thanksgiving dinner. I think it's genius, and of course I love their crazy, trippy patterns, which make it fun to get dressed for your favorite workout.

7 teeki yoga pants eco-friendly maternity workout leggings

teeki yoga pants eco-friendly maternity workout leggings

A closer look at some of my favorite Teeki styles:

Ulterior Motive for This Post:

I want to tell my fellow pregos out there that yes you CAN do regular yoga [insert running, dancing, gym workouts, etc]! Pre-natal yoga can be very soothing and is an especially great idea for folks who have never done yoga or who don't practice with frequency, but for those of you expecting mamas with a regular practice, I want to encourage you to continue it and to ignore the crazy people on the internet who seem intent on scaring you into limiting your exercise regimen while pregnant.

I can't tell you how many articles and emails I got from babytime websites on "10 exercises to avoid" or "When Not to Exercise While Pregnant," as if your actual doctor's recommendations might not be sufficient. I'm 40 weeks in these photos, as in 9 months, as in as pregnant as I could possibly be, and I do only a few very simple modifications like knees-chest-chin for all of my sun salutations/vinyasas, and open twists instead of closed. I do cat-cow stretches instead of laying on my belly for cobra or bow pose. I also do this crazy thing where I move slowly and carefully, listening to my body as it changes each week, and modifying the way I move to accommodate what it can do. Some days I can do a lot, and some very little.

Exercise, and particularly yoga, has been key to keeping me feeling good through the toughest parts of pregnancy and to easing any aches and pains I wake up with or acquire throughout the day. I just don't want any of you active ladies out there to feel afraid for one second of continuing to do a form of exercise that you love or that makes you feel good. I continued ballet throughout my pregnancy and I even did some running in my first term  (I had already started training before I became pregnant). I did what I knew that I could, and you can, too!

That said, it is equally important to rest, to let chores go, to sit on the couch and watch Netflix, and to indulge in pregnancy food cravings. It's all about balance, and you know best what you need.  I think that goes for all of us, pregnany or not, right?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Perfect Holiday Gifts from AHAlife {Sustainable Sale Alert}

AHAlife is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to discover new brands and new designers that are creating thoughtful, long-lasting, handmade, and/or eco-friendly products. And with the holidays roaming around the corner, I feel like they will also become my go-to when it comes to giving (and getting!).

Bonus: for three more days, they are having a major holiday pre-sale of 20% off your total purchase using the following codes:

20BACK on $100 / 50BACK on $250  / 100BACK on $500 / 200BACK on $1,000

To get you started, here are a few of my favorite items to give and a few I daydream that I may get, all at a variety of price points, from $18 handmade slingshots for kiddos (or grown-up kiddos) to state of the art, American-made, electricity-free espresso-makers for the gourmand in your life at $199:

For more fair holiday gifting inspiration, follow me on Pinterest

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Best (Maternity) Jeans EVER: AG Jeans

3 AG Maternity Jeans for Pea in the Pod Baby Bump Style

I know I just talked about these jeans in my last post about eco-friendly maternity clothing essentials, but it bears repeating: Adriano Goldschmied officially makes the best maternity jeans ever. They are like pajamas that appear to be skinny jeans, I swear. I encourage you to try on AG Maternity Jeans at Pea in the Pod (or regular AG Jeans at Nordstrom and other department stores), all the while knowing they:
  • Are Made in the USA 
  • Use eco-friendly fibers like Tencel
  • Use their signature Ozone wash technique that minimizes use of water and chemicals in their manufacturing process
  • Partner with Charity:Water

2 AG Maternity Jeans for Pea in the Pod Baby Bump Style

I'm wearing my AG maternity jeans with secondhand heels from Reddz Trading and a grey turtleneck sweater I've had forever that happens to be the perfect long length. I'm a little concerned I may be ruining all of the nice long sweaters I have been living in, but only time will tell...

As for the shoes, kitten heels and pointy toed flats are elongating but still comfortable and do-able during pregnancy (for me, at least!), and they've been my go-to shoes for work meetings and date night. Along with my Birkenstocks and high-tops, of course. I'll do my best to try and squeeze in a few snaps of my weekend sneaker-head outfits before baby girl joins us, at a bare minimum over on Instagram, but things are touch and go from here on out folks-- due date is tomorrow!

Friday, November 14, 2014

What {I Want} to Wear on Thanksgiving

I don't know how anything could say Thanksgiving more than a sweater with an eagle on it that kind of looks like a Turkey. Do you?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Guide to Eco-friendly Maternity Style Staples

H and M conscious connection maternity style

SO. I'm on the home stretch with one week to go (in theory), and I wanted to be sure to show you three eco-Mama items that have been key to my comfort and were a central part of my wardrobe as my belly grew: my Birks, my H&M concscious collection tees, and my AG maternity jeans.

I'll start with the jeans. I tried on several pairs from J Brand, H and M, and more, but as soon as I put on the AG Jeans Stella Secret Fit Belly® 5 Pocket Maternity Jeans, I knew I had found The Ones. These jeans are super soft, and they feel like wearing your most comfortable lounge-around-the-house leggings. Like all AG Jeans, they're made in the USA, but AG also takes a thoughtful approach to their manufacturing, processing their jeans using ozone technology that slashes use of water, energy, and chemicals.  

Full disclosure: As I shared in last month's post, I waited until the very last minute to acquire maternity jeans, but even if I had bought them earlier in my pregnancy, I would probably not have paid full price for an article of clothing with such a short lifespan. Instead, I snagged my pair used from Ebay for about $60.

Next up: The Birkenstocks. Never has there been better cosmic timing (for me) then the resurgence of orthopedic sandals and being pregnant. What you should know about these sandals, though, is that not only are they built to last, but they are made in Germany (thus under fair labor standards) and made out of pretty eco-friendly stuff.  Ana over at The Distillerist outlines Birkenstock's eco-friendliness in more detail here, but I can tell you that the footbed is made of natural latex and upcycled cork, two renewable and non-toxic materials, and the soles are made from EVA, which is a cleaner alternative to the traditionally used PVC.

2 H and M conscious connection maternity style

BAG: Secondi (consigned) 
SWEATER: conventional (ethical options HERE and HERE)
JEANS: AG Maternity for Pea in the Pod, made in the USA

Last but certainly not least is my shirt, which is from H&M's Mama collection. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that almost all of the staple pieces (basic tanks and tees) in this collection are also part of the Conscious Collection, including the striped shirt above, which means they are made from organic cotton. I picked up a few layering pieces in black, white and stripes, and I've been pretty much good to go using the looser fall and winter sweaters I already had.

Shop the look {ethically}:

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sustainable Sale Alert: Cambridge Satchel Company on Gilt

sale on handmade leather messenger bags by cambridge satchel company

Welsh-born mother of two Julie Deane sat in her kitchen trying to work out how to pay school fees, and the end result is now the seventh-fastest growing company in England. I love love love her handmade satchels, but I love the story even more.

And right now, you can scoop up one of her beautiful Cambridge Satchel Company bags for more than 50% off on Gilt. The neon one is only $99. Just thought you should know. :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Meet Naja: Ethical, Empowering Lingerie

2 ethical underwear by naja

Naja is a rare find: beautiful, well-made underwear with an empowering mission and a reasonable price point.

A percentage of every Naja purchase you make goes toward supporting an entrepreneurial sewing program for women through the Golondrinas Foundation. And for every bra purchase you make, you contribute directly to the employment of a single mother. How it works: When you buy a bra, Naja gives you a lingerie wash bag so that you can wash your undergarments, each lingerie bag is made at home by one of the women employed through their Underwear for Hope program.

They also limit use of pthalates, incorporate nylon made from used fishing nets, and (if you take hte at their word) make every effort to produce pieces that are high-quality and fairly priced.

ethical underwear by naja

What I like most about Naja is that they have something for everyone in terms of style, from hippie-chic bohemian prints to their simple, sexy Noir de Noir collection (above).  I also love that they include patterns on the inside of their bras and little messages on the inside of their underwear-- it shows that each piece is truly for you to enjoy wearing, though they are certainly worth showing off for a captive audience, should you choose to.

Full Disclosure: I've not yet tried out any of their products-- I just like what I see. I plan on ordering a pair of their briefs as one of my first post-baby gifts to myself, though, and I promise to let you know how they turn out. 

3 ethical underwear by naja

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