Thursday, December 18, 2014

Meet Gift Guide Guest Curator Amy from the American-Made Guide to Life

Amy from Made in America Guide to Life

The 2014 Holiday Edition of My Fair Gift Guide was a labor of love, and it would not have been possible without the contributions of my fellow eco-bloggers. In the coming weeks, I will be introducing you to some of the guest curators who contributed to the guide. First up: Amy!

Amy lives in New York City and writes about quality items made in the USA on her blog, The American-Made Guide to Life. She loves lip balm, her favorite pair of jeans, hot chocolate, Pilates, and math.

What are your three favorite items from your curated collection and why?

The Tradlands buffalo check plaid shirt is insanely cozy and the fit is perfect. My Bella cashmere socks get a lot of wear in the winter. They're luxurious, soft, and great for wearing with knee-high boots.
But most of all, I love my shearling-lined Bean boots. They keep my feet dry and warm in snowy weather, are reasonably priced, and come with a lifetime warranty.

What is your (latest) favorite ethical brand/product and why? 

 Right now, I'm obsessed with everything from the Faribault Woolen Mill Co. They have gorgeous, well-made blankets, throws, scarves, and accessories. Their recent collection for Target is all priced under $100 without compromising that traditional Faribault feel. They also just launched a small collection of capes and vests that are just divine.

Do you have a go-to or signature holiday gift you like to give? 
I always give my family members a pair of socks and they now request it. The key is getting a pair that is a bit more luxurious or whimsical than the person would get for themselves. There are so many great options in terms of textiles, colors, and patterns.

You can check out all of Amy's American-made gift recommendations to keep warm this winter on pages 24-25 of the Gift Guide: Polar Vortex Prep! 


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

My Fair Gift Guide: Holiday 2014 Edition

gift guide 14 cover page

I gave birth to two babies very recently, and both were late.

Translation: I am pleased to share that the Holiday 2014 edition of My Fair Gift Guide LIVES!

I invite you to peruse hundreds of green gift ideas for everyone on your list, curated by 12 of the kindest, most thoughtful eco-tastemakers I know. This year's guide would not have been possible without the women behind:

Stay tuned in the coming days and weeks to get up close and personal with a few of these fabulous guest curators, and to see even more last minute, ethical gift ideas for them and for you. 

In the meantime, sit down with a cup of hot cocoa, coffee or tea, get comfortable, and click through to peruse 36 pages of ethical items you'll love. Discover new brands, new blogs, and new online retailers who are churning out thoughtful content and products just for you. Shop for him, for her,  or for you, and above all, shop sustainably.  



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How to Shop Sustainably at Your Local Mall

how to shop ethically at your local mall

For those of you gearing up to get your holiday shop on this month, I give you the Ultimate Guide to Ethical Holiday the Mall. You can make a positive impact with your purchase power this year without ordering online from niche companies sight unseen. Plenty of stores in your local mall carry well-made products you can feel good about giving or getting.

But, first things first: the most powerful thing you can do in any store is ask, ask ask: 

The more retailers hear from their customers that these issues matter, the more they will relay that info to management and seek out ways to provide you, the consumer, with what you want. You hold all the power because you hold the power of purchase.

And now for the shopping fun! Here are several local mall stores that will make it easy to shop ethically this year, and a few of my favorite items from those stores.

Urban Outfitters
{Click to Shop!}

Urban Outfitters Urban Renewal line is made in the USA from upcycled deadstock and vintage fabrics a la groovy new line Reformation. They also carry made in the USA candles and a few clothing brands that make pieces in the USA, like Teeki (just posted about them!), as well as fairly made lines like Ace and Jig.

{Click to Shop!}

Anthropologie carries an array of sustainable, ethical brands. They have an exclusive collection of home goods from weave-masters Ace & Jig, who make all of their signature patterns in a small factory in India where the workers receive free healthcare and work under fair labor conditions-- look for scarves and table runners. They carry several pieces from Antik Batik, a line dedicated to preserving artisan skills and techniques-- each piece is hand-worked or hand-beaded. Last but not least, they carry several eco-friendly and made in the USA candle lines (including my fave, Voluspa).

Top product: their signature, constantly-burning Capri Blue scent-- you know it as "the Anthro smell," I promise-- is made in Mississippi and hand-poured with soy wax, which is cleaner-burning than paraffin and absorbs scent better. These babies burn for a whopping 85 hours for $28, which is one of the best values I have seen for fancy-pants candles.

{Click to Shop!}

A gift from Origins in a wonderful way to pamper any special lady or gent in your life. Their ingredients are plant-based and gentle, and you won't find harsh chemicals or parabens here. In fact, you can read about all of their ingredients right now their site, and their sales reps will be able to answer very specific questions.

Nordstrom has become my favorite department store for many reasons. They carry so many made in the USA, fair trade and ethically-made goods that it's hard to know where to start. But the top items I will be looking for are Voluspa candles, jeans by AG and Paige Denim, and clothes from American-made brands like Wayf (so affordable!) and Bailey44

Bonus: At my location (Pentagon City), I've found that their sales associates are incredibly knowledgeable about their stock and where it's made, so again, don't hesitate to ask. If you're looking online to take advantage of that free shipping (both ways!), you can search any of their departments by "Made in the USA."

Black Friday Bath and Body Works made in the USA

Bath and Body Works
Their bath products may be filled with petro-chemicals and parabens, but their candles are made in the USA, and they make lovely, affordable gifts, especially to bring for the host and hostess of a holiday party.

The list above isn't exhaustive by any means. J Crew, for example, often does collaborations with companies that manufacture here in the USA or that produce handmade goods, for example, mostly in the Men's section.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Your Ultimate Eco-friendly Guide to Cyber Monday: Codes, Sales, and More!

cyber monday sale codes for eco-friendly and ethical brands

It's Cyber Monday, and it's easier than ever to find eco-friendly, ethical gifts for everyone on your list. To make it even easier, I've rounded up a bunch of  sales and discount codes from my favorite ethical brands and sites. Dig in, I will be updating all day!

26% off with SPREADCHEER, extended till Wednesday!
What to get: Luxe, unique, and handmade gifts for that person on your list who has everything. From kids items to gifts for him, this is go-to gift spot for everyone on your list.

Amour Vert
25% off sitewide w code THANKS25 plus a sitewide scavenger hunt -- discover codes for 50% off or $250 gift certificates hidden throughout the site.
What to Get: Made in California from all organic and eco-friendly materials, this newish clothing line really goes the extra mile and has a strong collection of basics and shift dresses from which any woman's wardrobe would benefit.

20-30% off select styles. Shwood sunglasses are also availabe on AHAlife.
What to get: Sunglasses handcrafted from sustainably sourced wood in the USA.

Heidi Merrick 
Spend $200, get $50 off with code TGIF
What to get: Made in Cali clothes for the hipster in your life.  Edgy, west coast styled clothing, coats.

- See more at:
Shop their collection of ethical, eco-friendly and sustainable fashion and accesories using code CYBERMONDAY for 30% off full-price items.

House of Hackney
"From Monday 1st to Friday 12th December, we’re giving our lucky shoppers the chance to get their hands on their most coveted homeware, fashion and gifting buys from the House of Hackney range during our 12 Days of Christmas event. We’ll reveal a unique code for a promotion each day, so be sure to check back here to see the next window unveiled on the Advent calendar and discover our next incredible gift to you."
What to Get: Gifts for design lovers, home decor officianados, and more. This pattern house churns out various items in their signature, lush prints, from clothing to teapots to sheets, and it's all made in England. I am obsessed with them.

30% off EVERYTHING. This company upcycles deadstock and vintage fabrics to make their entire line in the USA. A go-to for stunning, flowy long dresses, but they have a full variety of basics, coats and more. This plaid shirt and this vintage fur tote bag are my favorite Reformation pieces.

AG Jeans
Use code AGCYBERMONDAY to take an additional 20% off all sale items. AG Jeans are a favorite of mine-- they use eco-friendly dye methods and are made in the USA. Also available at Nordstrom and other department stores (Nordstrom does free shipping both ways. Just sayin.)

BLKFRI2014 gets you 30% off select styles of these made in the USA jeans.

Mode Marteau
Use code MANYTHANKS for 50% off sitewide! This is a crazy deal for this curated collection of secondhand designer wear.

Take an extra 20% off this collection of sustainable designer duds curated by Amber Valetta with code YOOXGIVING.

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