FEATURED GUEST BLOGGER on LIVING. PRETTY. NATURALLY.

LPN

I recently had the pleasure to be a guest blogger on Living Pretty Naturally, the natural beauty blogger Kate, whose wealth of knowledge is shared weekly on her site. She dives into every topic from health, beauty, food, body, organic, natural, raw, eco, sustainable… it’s all there!

My guest post was a first for her, on sustainable fashion. See below, as originally posted on here.

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I am constantly thrilled to learn about new sustainable brands, companies and organizations which are setting the benchmark for inspiring design an innovation. Long gone are the old stereotypes of bland “Eco” fashion.  That mentality is slowly melting away as people become better educated and interested in sustainable design.

And with this in mind, now that summer may be approaching an end, lets take this moment to recap some of my summer fav’s from head to toe; jewelry, swim, clothing, accessories and shoes! Focusing on New York based designers. It’s best to remember though, that fashion conscious brands like the ones listed here run in smaller volumes using high-quality materials with sustainable and ethical practices, thus these are not forever 21 prices. You pay for the integrity of these brands, which I must say are fairly priced when considering the alternatives!

MARA HOFFMAN

mara hoffmanA total babe & spiritual goddess, Mara is undoubtedly known for her kaleidoscope of tribal prints, evil eyes, dream-catchers & crystals that create a truly modern take on the boho style.  Oh and how could I almost forget, her swimwear! They are top of my list for summer purchases.Having met her a few times now, I feel a tease in her presence.  She collaborates with a number of local artists with sustainable fashion initiatives, such as Pamella Love & Osborn Shoes.Why I like her label,? Well besides the bold prints and lively colour palette, her brand radiates good karma. Although I wish there was a stronger focus on sustainable initiatives within her own styles, many of designs are made in the US, while she promotes those who do and designs with positive intention.Mara is a contemporary designer brand, you can expect prices between $200- 800 +.Mara-Hoffman-Carava#12BEF07MH 1MH 2MH. strappybandeautop_shaktiblack_swim__(1)Where to Buy: Online at www.marahoffman.com

 LEMLEM

liya-kebede OF LEMLEMLemlem may very well be the coolest way to breeze through the summer heat. But first lets start with the founder, Supermodel / actress and former World Health Organization’s Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, Liya Kebede! She discovered that traditional weavers in her native country of Ethiopia were losing their jobs due to a decline in local demand for their goods and wanted to do something about it. Recognizing the beauty, quality and historic significance of their work, Liya started Lemlem in 2007 as a way to inspire economic independence in her native country and to preserve the art of weavingI have a total crush on the Rucha Split Cover-ups, as well as their scarfs. And well for those with kids, she’s got that covered too!Lemlem is a contemporary brand fairly priced btw $110-500.LEMLEMLEMLEM SCARF2LEMLEM-kebedeWhere to Buy: Online on Lemlem’s website (stock list also available), as well as Barneys, Jcrew, Scoop & Creatures of Comfort.ACE & JIGace and jigI discovered Ace & Jig in my native home, Vancouver a little over a year ago at another fav boutique, One of a Few in Gastown. I was drawn to the gauze cotton cut in minimalistic styles and bold pattern and colours. I quickly inquired about their story and learned that the label works with textile specialists in India, weaving on ancient wooden handlooms. They travel several times a year to work one-on-one with weavers to create their authentic fabrics. Their Indian partners equally share their core values and practice holistic kaizen philosophy, while providing free childcare and using reclaimed water to grow organic produce for their employees.This contemporary brand is affordable with price points between $150-500 respectively.Where to Buy:Online on their website: http://www.aceandjig.com . New York: Barneys, Steve Allan among many others… In Vancouver Canada at: One of a Few. Check on the website for the entire global stock list.

PAMELLA LOVE

PAMELA LOVEHer name itself sparks interest. Even if you’ve never heard of her before now, you’re probably thinking you have, the name is just to familiar and has that star like quality. That’s not far off, as her gemstones have the luster and sparkle like the night skies. Pamella’s carefully crafted collection is committed to sustainability and local production. As stated on her website, “all gemstones and semiprecious stones are ethically sourced and almost all metal used is recycled. The entire jewelry-making process, from design to sampling to full-scale production, is completed domestically with the majority of it done in-house at Pamela Love’s Manhattan studio.”Too boot, Pamela Love’s creations are rooted with spiritual and intuitive influence from astronomy, astrology, alchemy, botany, the American Southwest and the architecture of her home, New York City. Quite often she incorporates traditional tribal artisan patterns from North Africa, Mexican folk art, and medieval European iconography into her designs. The result is signature pieces, easily identifiable with the Pamella aesthetic.Pamella’s collaborated with a number of designers, which include some of my favorites as well: Suno, Mara Hoffman, as well as, Zadig & Voltaire, Zac Posen, JCrew,, and Opening Ceremony.Her price point varies depending on the metals and gems used ($200-1000+) but you are guaranteed to have a timeless piece in your jewelry collection.Now that’s beautiful!PL. S4N53O_HALO_NECKLACE_BRASS_ONYX_largePL. PLOR1B_AjnaRing_18KYELLOW_WHITEDIAMONDS_WEB_cropped_largePL. Bullet_Talon_Cuff_Front_WEB_largeWhere to Buy: Online at www.pamelalovenyc.com (full stock list of stores available).

OSBORN SHOES

Last year I posted this photos on Instagram:OSBORN SHOES, MY PICA true summer favourite of mine. In fact when I love something I usually buy them in twos! This was no exception. I bought the ones above and these little lace slip-ons as well. Truth be told, I had to break them in and the first few wears were a little painful. However once they were broken in, they were a total dream to wear from morning to night, pounding the pavement!I discovered them at the New York, Brooklyn Flea Market in Williamsburg. After eyeing them on a few visits, I finally made the move to buy them. By that time I was a regular visitor to the co-owner who ran the market location. It was during these visits I learned and fell in love with their story behind the brand.Vertically integrated, these shoes are made ethically in Guatemala using traditional techniques sustainably to craft hand spun, woven & dyed textiles, using local leather for the soles and upper. They are among the few who carefully offer small-batch, direct to consumer footwear using eco-materials, which ultimately create one of kind creations.  In fact, I am wearing one of them now as I write this!There shoes are actually very reasonably priced, and the quality is fantastic. You’ll have them for years to come!OSBORN SHOESWhere to Buy: Online at www.shoposborn.com (stock list available)photos sourced from each designers websites/ instragram account.

star quality

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photo taken by me

I’ve always been fascinated by small sparkly objects. As a child when I would visit my grandma, I would run to give her a big hug hello and then b-line it directly to her bedroom and open her magical red velvet jewelry box. I would try on all her rings and necklaces and come out one by one and ask if one day I could have them. My fascination probably began with all my moms blingy 80’s jewels that initially caught my eye. To which I also ransacked her jewelry box all the time… oh wait I still do!

Today I love to mix and match my precious pieces with costume jewelry, very much the same way as I do with my clothing. Many of my pieces are mixes of precious and semi precious metals and stones. I love to stack rings, bracelets and necklaces, while wearing yellow gold, brass and silver all together.

I never gave too much thought on the origin or efficacy  of my pieces until recent years. Hollywood movies like, Blood Diamond, ignited those questions brewing in my mind, while in the last few years there has been a growth in small independent jewelers abroad. Whole waves of unique pieces, pendants, and styles have emerged, creating pieces far more interesting then your mass-market jewelry retail chain. Naturally, I like many are attracted to the variety of designs out there. It has also become interesting to watch the innovators who crafted individual styles and those who are mass marketing them in cheaper variations.

The jewelry industry is a very complicated one that proves challenging to trace the origins of its sources. The majority of precious metals and stones are mined in 3rd world and developing nations where ethical and sustainable regulations are not strictly enforced. Efforts to have universal certifications are making progress but still far from globalized.

Recently the BoF discussed the complications and delicacy of the industry behind the precious metals and gemstones used in the jewelry market. Needless to say the environmental and human efficacy is among the largest concerns the industry is faced with.

Never-the-less there are a number of progressive jewellers out there producing beautiful pieces at all price rangers.

Here are a few of my favs!

 

Pamella Love.

pamlove1

Her name itself sparks interest. Even if you’ve never heard of her before now, you’re probably thinking you have, the name is just to familiar and has that star like quality. That’s not far off, as her gemstones have the luster and sparkle like the night skies. Pamella’s carefully crafted collection is committed to sustainability and local production. As stated on her website, “all gemstones and semiprecious stones are ethically sourced and almost all metal used is recycled. The entire jewelry-making process, from design to sampling to full-scale production, is completed domestically with the majority of it done in-house at Pamela Love’s Manhattan studio.”

Her designs are rooted with spiritual and intuitive influence from all areas of interest: astronomy, astrology, alchemy, botany, the American Southwest, architecture, North Africa, Mexican folk art, and medieval European iconography. The result is signature pieces, easily identifiable with the Pamella aesthetic.

Pamella’s collaborated with a number of designers, which include some of my favorites as well: Suno, Mara Hoffman, Monique Péan, as well as Zadig & Voltaire, Zac Posen, JCrew and Opening Ceremony… to name a few.

Her price point varies depending on the metals and gems used ($200-1000+) but you are guaranteed to have a timeless piece in your jewelry collection.

Now that’s beautiful!

Prices range from $150-$1000+

pamella love jewels

 Monique Péan.

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A New York based fine jewelry brand known for its unqiue designs, avant-garde style and unconventional materials, including sustainable fossilized walrus ivory, woolly mammoth ivory and dinosaur bone. Monique Péan is committed to partnering with artisans around the world to support traditional craftsmanship and cultural heritage. Through her company, she strives to raise awareness of art, culture and global environmental issues through design. Proceeds from her jewelry sales contribute to global philanthropic organizations such as charity: water, which provides clean drinking water and basic sanitation to people in developing nations.

Second to that, Monique Péan’s ensures all materials using environmentally responsible procedures. As shared on her website in great detail, she “combines 18 carat recycles gold and platinum with conflict and devastation free precious stones, diamonds and fossils. Fossilized woolly mammoth, fossilized walrus ivory and fossilized dinosaur bones are sustainably gathered with no mining involved. The company is also a member of the No Dirty Gold campaign and a supporter of the Too Precious to Wear campaign”.

For more detail about her initiatives, please visit her website! You wont be disappointed.

Where to buy? Check out her website for full stocklist. Prices go up from $1000

MP

MAIYET

A fashion conscious luxury love of mine, Maiyet produces more then just inspiring ethical and sustainable clothing designs and leather goods; they also create one of a kind jewelry pieces ethical sourced and produced. Although they come with luxury prices, they are timeless investment pieces in your jewelry collection.

Prices range from from $300-$1000+

MAIYET

EDUN

Primarily focused on clothing, EDUN’s recent collaborations with jewelry designer, Penny Winter has brought locally sourced and African made pieces to the global market, utilizing raw stones and training local craftsman’s the art and trade.

EDUN collaborations with URU Diamonds, guarantees a 100% conflict free gem stone jeweler, focusing on rough diamonds and precious gems. They actively work in cooperation with SOS Childrens villages, which support education for children in the rural areas where the stones are sourced.

Although EDUN’s jewelry collection may be small, the conscious effort is there to work sustainably with these artisans. Creative Director Danielle Sherman, traveled to Africa to meet with both local artists before collaborating.

Prices range from $400+

EDUN 

BARIO NEAL

A fairly recent discovery of this jeweler, I adore their unique style. Within the website they clearly outline the origins of their metals, diamonds and gemstones, which includes Canadian certified ethical diamonds from the Northern Territories, recycled and fair-minded metals, diamonds and gemstones with partnership with Tanzania Women Miner’s Association.

Helpful note: As noted on the website, “Fairmined certified miners are held to strict environmental, labor, and social and economic development standards. They are paid fair wages, work in safe environments, and mine on a small, environmentally conscious scale.”

Reasonably priced from $96- $1000+

BRIO NEAL

Alkemie Jewelry

Another recent find, Alkemie is a 100% reclaimed metal jeweler, reusing metals to create hand carved and crafted manifestations of all sorts. They use a gold and silver patina on lead and nickel free metals.

 alkemie

I would love to know who are your favourite socially conscious jewelry designers? Please share!!

 

xx

all photos sourced from company website and photoshopped by me