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      How To Be Trendy AND Sustainable

      How To Be Trendy AND Sustainable

       

      Trends challenge us to fully express ourselves and also define the autonomy of the age. When you say 1985 what comes to mind? Is it acid wash jeans, sequins, and big hair? Is it Reaganomics and Family Ties? Yes, to all of these things and more. Fashion trends have the power to reflect, define, and even impact history. They are the epitome of life imitating art and art imitating life. 

      One of the biggest misconceptions about ethical, sustainable fashion is to view trends in a negative way. Quite the contrary, in greener fairer fashion, trends have purpose and meaning.  The sustainable, ethical fashion movement is not here to shame trends. Instead we are moving to redefine. Here are some ways to redefine what it means to be trendy -

       

      1.) Keep in mind, sometimes trends come back.


      Trends have the power to reinvent and revolutionize. They can be as timeless as the little black dress or as questionable as the popcorn shirt. If sustainability has been a priority for your closet for a long time you may have realized that trends ebb and flow. 

      For example, we are seeing a resurgence in vintage graphics and even butterfly clips are inching their way back into our vanity drawers. Think of all of the resources we could save if we let our trends take a vacation instead of throwing them out.

       

      2.) Appreciation vs Participation

      Time will tell if a trend is right for you. When you see something shiny and new sit with it awhile before making a decision. Give some space to discover wants vs needs. Check in with yourself. Ask yourself, “Would I want to run into an ex or frenemy in this garment? Would I feel confident and proud? Would mom tell me that we have this at home?” 

      Shop Short Sleeve Tees

      Many great decisions begin with conversation and feedback. Ask your friends for feedback. Follow influencers for style inspiration. Have questions about fit? Reach out to brands directly. We love to answer your questions and show you how we wear GOEX apparel

       

      3.) Explore. Experiment. Embrace.

      Explore new ways to wear favorites. Think of how many ways you can accessorize a vintage white triblend tee. A look can change drastically with a well placed tuck, layered up with a cover or wrap, or amplified with statement jewelry. 

      Experiment with color, placement, and style. Mixing your neutrals and basic staples with innovative and outspoken patterns can inspire a cardigan or dapper a fleece crew

      Elegant Sustainable Fashion

      We empower you to try new things guilt free. Embrace that you are an ever changing person and that what you like today might change tomorrow. You don’t have to beat yourself up over fashion that doesn’t fit your aesthetic anymore. Acknowledge the joy you once had and move on. Your separation is another fashionista’s journey. (The Honest Consumer has an excellent blog about the magic of online thrift stores.)

       

      4.) GOEX is here for you.

      GOEX has a continuous commitment to make comfortable, fashionable garments that have a positive impact on humanity and the planet. We will continue to expand our assortment of garments made of eco-triblend fabric diverting more plastic from landfills. Each garment is sustainably made of USA fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail. From heathered fabrics, subtle topstich, and versatile patterns we design in order for our customers to get the most out of their basics. We want you to try trends and explore your ingenuity with sustainable, ethical staples that will grow with you. When you go with GOEX, you're making an impact on the environment. PLUS you are helping to sustain dignified, fair wage jobs that help families stay together. 

       

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      We strive to be bold with our words and represent the ideals we believe. If you like what we stand for, we want to share more! Stay in the loop by signing up to receive our newsletters and following us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

      Strong Ethical Voices

      Strong Ethical Voices

       

      We take pride in bringing you the latest insight into the worlds of sustainability and ethical fashion. There are so many outspoken, vibrant voices out there that truly resonate with us. Social media is a wonderful platform to learn, grow, and offer support. Here’s a few of our favorite voices to follow: 


      Ms Paula Presents 

      Ms Paula is a NYC mom of two with a deep commitment to fostering sustainable fashion encompassing vintage and thrift practices. She uses her channels to add voice to the pursuit of a transformation towards conscious consumption in fashion. She hopes to inspire more people to consider sustainable fashion choices and a sustainable lifestyle by providing accessible information. Her journey began with home products and has since evolved into a desire to seek, learn, and share. Subscribe to her blog and follow her on Instagram for style tips, inspiration, and knowledge.

       

      Ms Paula Presents


      Links: Website| Instagram


      Manpreet Kaur Kalra 

      Manpreet Kaur Kalra (she/her) is a social impact advisor, anti-racism educator, brand marketer, and activist working to decolonize ethical storytelling. She navigates the intersection of impact communication and sustainable global development. She collaborates with businesses to address inclusion in all aspects, from business development to marketing strategy. Her activism focuses on the interconnectivity of economic, social, and climate justice. She educates using a variety of mediums, including the Art of Citizenry Podcast, where she shares her nuanced and unfiltered insights on building a more just and equitable future. Her work unpacks history and addresses systemic power structures. She is a founding member of the Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the Fair Trade Federation and sits on the board of the NYC Fair Trade Coalition.

      Manpreet Kaur Kalra (she/her)

       

      Links: Website| Podcast | Instagram| Twitter



      Eco-Stylist 

      Garik Himebaugh is the founder of Eco-Stylist, the go-to marketplace for stylish and sustainable clothes. He got hooked on sustainable fashion after a chance meeting with the founder of an ethical brand, which then led him down a path of countless hours of research into how un-sustainable the fashion industry is. Garik emerged from all this research with a simple question: “can I put together stylish outfits with only sustainable brands?”

       

      Garik Himebaugh, the founder of Eco-Stylist

      Once he knew that he could, he wanted to help others dress like they give a damn—and Eco-Stylist (@yourecostylist) was born! Along this journey, Garik partnered with non-profit Remake to utilize their sustainable brand criteria to power Eco-Stylist’s brand research. He is excited to leverage this criteria in order to start conversations around what “sustainable” means, and as a vehicle to move brands towards greater and greater transparency.


      “I wear my values by supporting brands that are creating the future I want to live in: a world where all people are respected as if they were family, and all of the planet is regarded as if it were in our own backyard. At Eco-Stylist we help you do the same.”


      Links: Website | Instagram | Twitter | Personal Styling


      The Honest Consumer 

      Meet Emily -  an anxious creative advocating for fair fashion, social impact, mental health awareness, & conscious living. The Honest Consumer shares the stories of social enterprises, advocates for fair fashion, spreads the word about ethically made products, and empowers consumers. In response to the blog's growth, Emily launched Give A Damn Goods in 2018. Give a Damn Goods focuses on affordable goods that make a difference, while encouraging consumers to shop their values.

       

      Emily, The Honest Consumer

      Stay up to date on ethical fashion & conscious consumerism tips & tricks be sure to follow The Honest Consumer on social media.


      Links: Website | Instagram 


      The world of ethical, sustainable fashion is predicted to experience exponential growth through 2030. This is due to awareness and a desire for meaningful connections in our everyday lives. Manpreet, Emily, Paula, and Garik have worked tirelessly to influence the world towards a healthier world and we can’t thank them enough for their work. 


      Who are some of your favorite ethical voices to follow?



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      We strive to be bold with our words and represent the ideals we believe. If you like what we stand for, we want to share more! Stay in the loop by signing up to receive our newsletters and following us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

      Makers First. For Good.

      Makers First. For Good.

      Recent news revealed that many major retailers purposely withheld payment from their makers  for garments already made. The reason cited by industry leaders was setbacks caused by COVID-19. The work had been done. The garments were ready to ship yet thousands of makers were left high and dry. There is a word for this exact predicament - slavery. The fashion industry has benefited from the suffering of others long before the pandemic. Enough is enough. 


      Our makers deserve better.

      Maker sewing


      Behind every item you purchase there are living, breathing human beings. Just like you they wake up in the morning and go to work. They dream of providing for their families and yearn to be empowered in their communities. Just like the consumer, the maker has the right to a healthy work environment, a fair wage, and dignified work. 


      Arguably, one of the biggest challenges with Fair Trade business is convincing the world to accept those few extra dollars on the price tag. We are conditioned to paying undercut prices, and change is hard to accept — especially when that change is not a tangible difference to the consumer but instead, a tangible difference to the producer.

       

      Those few extra dollars empower producers, who commonly get taken advantage of, to set prices within the framework of the true cost of labor, time, materials and sustainable growth. This is the motivation behind the fifth principle that GOEX and other Fair Trade Federation members must follow: Pay promptly and pay fairly. 

       

      In addition to ensuring not just a working wage but a livable wage Fair Trade enterprises strive to support safe and empowering working conditions. 

       

      “Fair Trade means a safe and healthy working environment free of forced labor. Throughout the trading chain, Members cultivate workplaces that empower people to participate in the decisions that affect them. Members seek to eliminate discrimination based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, age, marital, or health status. Members support workplaces free from physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal harassment or abuse.” — Fair Trade Federation

       

      We deserve better. 

       Woman smiling


      Can you truly feel good about wearing exploitive materials? Of course you can’t! However, we have sustained a way of life where it’s easy to add an item to your cart with little or no consideration for how it got there. Having an appealing product that was affordable may be enough to secure a sale but what impact does it have on the quality of life of those who make and on the planet? The conversation of how we can best connect the maker to the consumer continues.  


      Sustainable, ethically made products and education have become much more accessible than they were 20 years ago. With the rise of the internet and social media the fashion revolution has grown from a tick on a to-do list to a worldwide movement. From red carpet walkers to mindful bloggers, people are ready to remove the blinders and make purposeful purchases. It’s so amazing that we’ve come this far and we can be hopeful for even more progress. 


      The Journey ahead.


      Let’s face it, monitoring justice, equity, and sustainable development in trade structures is an ever evolving matter. There are many wonderful organizations advocating for accountability and dignity in commerce. Organizations such as the Fair Trade Federation have worked tirelessly to educate consumers and to advocate for workers. We are proud members of the Fair Trade Federation. The means we and the federation share the same ideals of fair, environmentally conscious business practices. By building our mission around the nine Fair Trade principles we can not only hold ourselves accountable but lead by example in order to influence real, lasting change. 


      Being a Fair Trade enterprise is a continued, conscious effort that requires constant introspection and full transparency. This journey is not only important for the makers and the planet. You have a big part to play too. You have the ability to change lives through a simple purchase decision. Perhaps most importantly, your partnership sets an example in the marketplace that ethical commerce can affect systemic bottom-up change through the dignity of work. They say, “it takes a village.” We say it takes the world. It’s a big dream but with every contribution we make together big dreams come true. 

       

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      We strive to be bold with our words and represent the ideals we believe. If you like what we stand for, we want to share more! Stay in the loop by signing up to receive our newsletters and following us on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

      Build Back Fairer

      Build Back Fairer

      World Fair Trade Day is an inclusive worldwide celebration of fair trade’s contribution to the fight against poverty, exploitation and climate change. This year, it takes place on May 13. 

       

      Fair Trade matters in this moment more than ever. Why? 

       

      Fair Trade companies do everything they can to keep paying makers around the world whose governments don’t have safety nets in place to provide for them. The world is ailing due to inequality and environmental degradation. The pandemic has shown us that we can work together to flatten the contagion curves, support each other through hardships, and celebrate victories. We can channel that same energy to bring about transformations in our economies and trading practices for a fair and sustainable future.

       Fair Trade Federation Members

       

      Fair Trade companies focus on making the world a better place every day. Today, we celebrate these four specific focus areas: 

       

      PROTECT

      Fair Trade means a lot of things, to a lot of different people. But if we get down to the nitty gritty, it means “better”. Better standards, better treatment, better pay, better conditions, just better. Member’s of the Fair Trade Federation seek to do “better” as they follow principle #6: Support Safe and Empowering Working Conditions. We are committed to protecting livelihoods and ensuring every maker can meet their basic needs. 

      When you make the commitment to ensure that your workplace has an empowering environment you are doing more than running a business. You are nurturing a place of growth, sustainability, and progress. Those who work hard should always have the means to lift themselves up.

       

      RESTART

      In order to ensure that true advancement occurs, we must diversify the decision making panels. Our workers and customers contribute directly to our success. It’s not the numbers on a graph or projections in a report. It’s about making connections and doing the right thing. We don’t spend money on PR ads telling you how good we are. Instead we invite you to see for yourself. When you visit either facility, you’re encouraged to talk with employees and get a better understanding of how we support the people who make your clothes. Transparency is only one of the ways we seek to do better in everything we do. 

       

      RESOURCE

      We are doing our part to uphold the pillars of Fair Trade including “Cultivate Environmental Stewardship”. For us, this means not only using recycled components or fabrics but also joining in conversations about environmental justice and equality. 

      Environmental equity describes a society in which no single group or community faces disadvantages in dealing with environmental hazards, disasters, or pollution. It involves fair treatment from a region's authority and meaningful involvement with its constituents. It includes ethical practices that amplify better from seed to stitch

       

      REDESIGN

      Comfortable, sustainable apparel is wonderful and our mission is even better. The fact remains true: we’re a nonprofit organization. After costs to sustainably produce premium eco-friendly apparel and provide livable wage jobs, all GOEX profit — every bit of it — goes to fund projects set in motion by The Global Orphan ProjectThe Global Orphan Project exists to break the orphan cycle and one of the biggest contributors to the orphan cycle is poverty. That’s where we come in! We exist to create and sustain fair wage jobs that empower employees to care for their families. On average, one of our workers earning a fair wage supports six family members. GOEX exists to improve the lives of the workers and the communities we touch and one way we’re making good on that promise by providing fair wages to our workers in Kansas City and Haiti. Our profits go directly back to people. Our practices profit the planet. 


      The need for commerce to invest in people over profits has never been more clear. The World Fair Trade Organization says, “We cannot simply go back to the old normal. The old normal left millions behind and was destroying our planet. We have now/today the opportunity to reboot our economies so it is equitable and sustainable.Learn more about their #BuildBackFairer vision.  

      We exist to do good so the world can feel good. Thank you for choosing to care for others and our world through the power of your purchase. We are committed to every person who plays a role in producing your t-shirts, committed to the children and families who benefit from 100% of profit, and committed to providing you with complete transparency and a product you’re proud to wear. 

       

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      We strive to be bold with our words and represent the ideals we believe. If you like what we stand for, we want to share more! Stay in the loop by signing up to receive our newsletters and following us on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

      Real Talk: Disparity In Green Spaces Part II

      Real Talk: Disparity In Green Spaces Part II

      Last month we talked about Environmental Justice. This is an important conversation but it can’t be reserved for board rooms or government contracts.  When moving towards greener more sustainable practices it is vital that we include all who are involved. Two more pillars of Fair Trade respecting cultural identity and create transparent & accountable relationships. Anything done to a community from the top down is in violation of these values. Any new initiatives must include the community.


      If a company or organization chooses to change the way it operates there are numerous factors to consider. Who does this impact? How much should be invested in education and training? Will this create jobs or eliminate them? 


      These decisions can not be made on the word of the board members alone. We must include the organization as a whole. There is no one better qualified to provide insight to matters than those who are directly impacted by them. Artisans, logistic operators, managers, interns all have valuable knowledge and experience that can contribute to an equitable evolution of an organization. Consider the example below. 


      Over 20 years ago, scientist Esteban González Burchard discovered that a mutation of small protein that is key in cell signaling was linked to asthma severity. He also found that this mutation was common in African-Americas. From his previous work, he knew that Puerto Ricans had deeper African ancestry than most people realized. Thus he was able to make the connection between the gene mutation and the asthma risk in Puerto Rican communities. Before González, this was a problem that was being explored, and had he, a Mexican American, not had personal experience to draw from, the research wouldn’t have moved in the right direction. This is the value of diversity. 


      Bringing diversity is so much more than scratching off an item on a to-do list. In order to ensure that true advancement occurs, we must diversify the decision making panels.  Our workers and customers contribute directly to our success. It’s not the numbers on a graph or projections in a report. It’s about making connections and doing the right thing. We don’t spend money on PR ads telling you how good we are. Instead we invite you to see for yourself. When you visit either facility, you’re encouraged to talk with employees and get a better understanding of how we support the people who make your clothes. Transparency is only one of the ways we seek to do better in everything we do.

       

       

      As one of the elite few who have passed the Fair Trade Federation’s (FTF) rigorous screening, GOEX is dedicated to following the nine FTF principles established to maintain integrity: create opportunities, develop transparent & accountable relationships, build capacity, promote fair trade, pay promptly and fairly, support safe & empowering working conditions, ensure the rights of children, cultivate environmental stewardship, and respect cultural identity. These principles hold us accountable to serve for all hands that touch our garments. Honestly, it goes beyond accountability. It’s our dogma. We don’t do what we do so you’ll like us and buy shirts from us. We exist to make an impact - to create jobs, to heal the planet, and to do good. 


       Environmental justice is the right of the entire population to be protected against environmental pollution and to live in a clean and healthful environment. This is a basic human right whose necessity arose from our destructive impact on the planet. We are all created equal and we have the undeniable right to a clean, healthy living environment yet many are completely omitted from these ideals. As ethical and sustainable producers, movers, and shakers we need to have an open conversation about disproportionality in green spaces. For too long there has been disparity between what could be and what needs to be. 

       

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      We strive to be bold with our words and represent the ideals we believe. If you like what we stand for, we want to share more! Stay in the loop by signing up to receive our newsletters and following us on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.