Welcome to the Cultivated.Fashion blog! Melissa and I have big dreams for this space on the web. Until we reveal all of those dreams, we want to give you a glimpse into why ethical purchasing is important to our families.
Today, you get to hear from me, Kara.
We each have our own journey to ethical. For some people it was through a friend who opened their eyes to the need for ethical process in different industries. For me and, by default, my family, it was our son.
You will see this cute kid around the site often. He is my sunshine, my energy stealer, and biggest joy of my life. Yes, he was adopted. During his adoption process, we learned about kids around the world who are orphaned due to economics. They have living parents, but their family lacks the means to care for them. A job with a livable wage would alleviate the need for them to find an alternative option for their child. This research lead me into the ugly hole that is trade.
In our son's home country, coffee is the main export! Oh, boy! Do they know how to make the perfect cup of coffee?! This American junk just doesn’t compare. I drank coffee all day everyday, on our trip to bring him home.
Thus became my big rule in our house: ALL coffee drunk in our home will be fair trade!! For months, I grilled my husband every time he purchased coffee. “Did you look for the fair trade symbol?” (Bless him!) One day, he brought in a gift from our friend, Tyler. It was from a local roasting company. I grilled Tyler, who happens to work for the roasters, about the coffee. Could he guarantee me that the farmers were paid a fair wage? Are the farmers treated well? Does the farm employ children? Bless me! I know he rolled his eyes in his head. However, he graciously took the time to explain direct trade to me.
Direct Trade is a term used by coffee roasters who purchase beans directly from growers/farmers. This cuts out the middleman, and is often more effective at fair wages and ethical practices than the fair trade way of purchasing coffee.
During this time, I thought about purchasing my clothes ethically, but it was just too overwhelming! So, I just tried to cut back on my purchases (I stress “tried”) and cut out notoriously bad fast fashion companies. Then in 2016, I took the leap to full-time ethical fashion. Since that jump, I have only purchased undergarments and one pair of shoes non-ethically.
Here is our family breakdown:
For me: fair trade certified, ethical (I research each company to determine if I am comfortable with their standards), OR consignment. LOTS & LOTS of consignment.
For my kids: It’s all consignment or gifts. Currently, our family cannot afford ethically made children’s clothes.
Husband: Rarely shops anyways. He recently began purchasing some items from Prana and Patagonia.
It’s all a journey! My family has made some significant changes over the past two years, but it was a slow process. Those closest to me know my purchasing habits and convictions. When I compliment them on their clothing, they usually reply “It’s not ethical.” I will tell you what I tell them. I will never be “All in or nothing!” kind of person, and neither will this online space. It will never be a place to shame you into purchasing ethically. We want to be a friend who helps answer some questions so you can take the next step for your busy family. You are welcome here and we cannot wait to journey with you!
We would love to know about you! What has prompted your interest in purchasing ethically?