Fox & Robin launches ethical women’s activewear line
ORO releases two new strappy tops
Earth Caps releases new hats
Shop clothing from brands that DO GOOD on Choobs.
Almost gone are the days of shopping fast fashion brands. Companies from industry leaders to emerging brands are focusing on their societal impact now more than ever. These conscious brands care about people, the planet, and profits.
You may recognize this model because TOMS famously created it. For every pair of shoes TOMS sold, it donated a pair of shoes. Since then, other conscious brands like ROMA and Bombas have taken on the Buy One, Give One promise.
This model works best when the donations do not undermine the local economy, as TOMS found out when its shoe donations undercut local shoemakers in the community.
Brands take on specific causes and donate a percentage of sales or profits to organizations that help that cause.
For example, Patagonia donates 1% of sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment. While it may not sound like much, Patagonia has donated $140 million in cash and in-kind donations to domestic and international grassroots environmental groups since 1985.
Another example is Olori, a conscious brand that donates a percentage of sales to provide tuition for girls in Africa.
This model is the most blurry, as many brands claim to be sustainable. However, when done right, this model is the most impactful.
The truth is that fashion is incredibly wasteful. Most clothes you wear are made from material that will sit in landfills for hundreds of years. They were made using a process that wastes tons of water and emits tons of carbon. This contributes to environmental issues that affect our health and the health of our descendants.
Conscious brands are solving this by using natural materials, recycled post-consumer materials, or green processes. While donating to environmental causes is good, it just replaces the bucket under the overflowing sink. Being sustainable actually turns off the sink.
For example, SAOLA is a conscious shoe brand that makes kicks from recycled and bio-based materials like natural cork, natural algae, and recycled plastics.
The brands you know likely take advantage of disadvantaged people. These brands give overseas factory workers poor working conditions and poor wages, then turn around and sell their products back home for a hefty profit. Unfortunately, only 2% of garment workers around the world make a livable wage. This means they can’t afford basic needs.
A conscious brand gives opportunity to disadvantaged people. They empower their workers to get out of poverty, avoid human trafficking, or get an education.
For example, Daria Day is a conscious jewelry brand that works with artisans living in the remote mountain communities in the foothills of the K2 Mountain in Northern Pakistan – some of which are the most isolated and poor communities in the world. “By supporting the economically disadvantaged, Daria Day hopes to make a difference by breaking the cycle of poverty and to show that we are all connected.”
Another example is Fox & Robin, a conscious activewear brand that audits all the factories that handle its products and is the only activewear brand that publishes the wages of workers. Its goal is to ensure 100% of factory workers are paid a livable wage. “Two of our (eight) factories do not pay what we deem to be a livable wage to all employees. Additionally, the average workweek of our factory workers is 55-60 hours with one day off. As a small brand, we do not have a lot of leverage with these factories, but as we grow and gain more leverage, we are committed to pushing our factories to continually improve workers’ compensation and workplace conditions.”
Here at Choobs, we categorize brands by their cause. Some brands support environmental causes, while others support women’s causes. Whatever cause they support, all brands we sell are conscious brands!
Many people start their day with coffee and end their day with wine. In between coffee and wine, there’s soda, juice, energy drinks, milk, and smoothies.
But they don’t drink nearly enough of the most important thing… water. The truth is, 60% of the body is made up of water. We need to drink water in order to perform at our best (and survive).
Below, we’ll answer how much water you need, why you need it, if sparkling water counts, and the best ways to drink more!
Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine, and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.
If you don’t, your body has a system for controlling when and how much you drink. When your total water content goes below a certain level, thirst kicks in.
It’s hard to determine how much water you consume every day because there’s water in foods – especially fruits and vegetables – and drinks like milk and juice. You actually get an average of 20 percent of your water from the foods you eat.
So how many cups of pure water should you drink a day?
Men should drink 100 ounces (12.5 cups) of water, while women should drink 73 ounces (9 cups) of water every day. Gulp!
The best indication of whether you need more water or not is the color of your urine. Aim for pale, clear urine.
Our bodies need water for many reasons. Here are the most important:
Every office in America has one person with loads of La Croix, Sparkling Ice, or Bubly cans on their desk. Sparkling waters are taking over the world, although the writer of this hates the taste of them. (We know, it’s an “acquired taste”)
Fortunately, sparkling water does hydrate you just as well as still water. If the fizz helps you drink more water, go right ahead! Some sparkling waters may have more sodium than still water, which could make them less hydrating, so just pay attention to that.
Look, drinking the recommended amount of water is difficult. Who wants to think about and remember how many cups of water they’ve had today? Here’s the best way to make sure you’re getting enough water every day.
I used to just drink out of a normal cup, and I never knew how much water fit in it. Now, I have a 20-ounce water bottle and I can easily remember that I need to refill it 5 times a day. A woman would refill it 3.5 times.
Boom! Now I know how much water to drink.
And better yet, the brand I got my bottle from, Miir, donates a portion of revenue to fund clean water and healthy environment projects.
You can shop other conscious brands on Choobs!
We’re excited to offer another awesome conscious brand to the Choobs marketplace, and we think you’ll love them too!
SAOLA is on a mission to design casual kicks that look good, feel great, and are made with as many eco-friendly materials as possible. They are outdoor lovers, parents of future generations, and they are dedicated to making a difference.
SAOLA shoes are super comfortable and extra light. They’re so soft, you can even wear them barefoot! The insoles are made from natural cork, which makes you feel like you’re walking on a cloud.
These shoes are light as a feather! They weigh less than 0.4 pounds – lighter than Allbirds!
SAOLAs are priced fairly compared to other shoe brands, especially other conscious brands. You can get a great pair of shoes for as little as $69, and the maximum you’ll pay is $99.
A bonus is that you’ll get free shipping!
SAOLA knows that sixty to seventy percent of the environmental footprint of a pair of shoes is a result of the product’s materials, so they’ve made eco-construction the central pillar of SAOLA’s shoe development. They carefully selected the materials that go into the shoes…
As mentioned, the comfy insoles are made of natural cork. An advantage of natural cork is that the bark can be harvested without cutting down the trees! These trees continue to grow and generate a new bark which can be taken again a few years later.
The uppers of SAOLA shoes are made with recycled plastic bottles, otherwise known as PET. When recycled, PET goes through a cleaning, grinding, and melting process that results in a thread, giving second life to plastic and reducing trash in our landfills. And what happens to this thread? Well, it’s then woven into various fabrics to create the comfy and stylish uppers for SAOLA shoes. Depending on the style, each pair of SAOLA shoes contains between 3 and 7 recycled PET bottles.
If that’s not enough, check this out… Rising temperatures and excess chemicals in our lakes and rivers contribute to the growth of algae – harming the lives of plants, animals, and humans. SAOLA partnered with the team at Bloom Foam to harvest harmful algae and create eco-friendly, bio-sourced materials for the insoles and outsoles of their shoes. Bloom Foam removes harmful algae from the water and puts it through a process that dries, crushes, and converts it into powder. This powder is then mixed with EVA (a synthetic material) to become Algae Foam, used for sole construction. Using Algae Foam allows SAOLA to use fifteen to twenty percent less synthetic materials in their soles, cleans lakes of harmful algae, and prevents the release of CO2 into the atmosphere. Now that’s what we call a win for mother nature and a win for your feet!
Oh, and the laces are made from organic cotton.
Not only can you buy shoes that are comfy and sustainable, but you can also help support SAOLA’s social mission. SAOLA has been committed to the preservation of wildlife since its creation. It’s even in the name… the Saola is one of the rarest animals found on our planet with only 700 or so animals left.
This conscious brand donates one percent of sales to wildlife conservation projects so that in another 40 years, our planet’s animals are not a thing of the past.
SAOLA donates this money to MWALUA WILDLIFE TRUST, a grassroots organization in Africa that is fighting droughts to supply sustainable water systems to wildlife communities, while also promoting human-wildlife coexistence. Volunteers work with communities to raise awareness about conservation, promote ecological restoration, and increase ethical economic opportunities to protect Kenya’s nature and biodiversity.
Like all my favorite things, SAOLAs are easy to clean! Throw them in the wash (on cold) and you can also tumble dry them on low.
RELATED: Shop Consciously: Karma Collective
Choobs is an online marketplace for shopping socially conscious brands!
Life is slippery. You realize you need to get serious about health only after having a stroke. You realize you should’ve spent more time with someone only after they tragically pass away. You realize you should have taken a different career only after you reach a mid-life crisis. Too often, it takes falling off a cliff to realize you were heading toward it for years.
To avoid wandering off this cliff, you can become more conscious. Be in touch with yourself and how things are going. Here’s an activity to help.
Pause to reflect on each of the following questions. Write down one thing in each area that you’re satisfied with, and one thing you want to improve.
1. How is your relationship with your family right now?
2. Do you have a few really close friends?
3. How’s your romantic life going?
4. Have you talked to your parents and grandparents enough recently?
5. Can you check in on an old friend?
6. Is there someone with who you want to become friends?
1. Where’s your career path heading?
2. Are you learning new skills?
3. Do you feel motivated to succeed?
4. Can you ask your manager how you can be better?
5. Do you need change?
6. Can you work even harder?
7. Can you take on responsibility outside of work to learn more?
8. Should you ask for a raise?
1. How do you feel right now?
2. Do you have the energy to get through your day?
3. Are you eating healthy foods?
4. Are you exercising enough?
5. Is your weight where you want it to be?
6. How is your hygiene?
7. Do you need some meditation to relieve stress?
8. Are you mentally ok?
1. Are you having enough fun?
2. Are there any hobbies you should take up?
3. Should you plan more social activities?
4. Do you need a vacation?
5. Should you learn to find more appreciation in simple things?
6. Should you create more?
Do this now and often to avoid slipping from where you want to be in life. This state of being awake and aware is called consciousness.
To become more conscious of your consumption and its effect on the world, check out Choobs. We sell the best socially conscious brands.
You know when you’re so busy that a day flies by, leaving you with a where-has-this-day-gone moment of surprise? If you’re not careful, your days, months, and years could fly by, and you could wake up someday with a where-has-my-LIFE-gone moment of surprise too. You don’t want to be left with this scary moment of regret for time well wasted. Thankfully, you can avoid this and find fulfillment by becoming more conscious!
You know what career you’re in – you’re a nurse, lawyer, consultant, coach, designer, accountant, etc. But do you know why you’re doing it? In the next few minutes, you will become conscious of your career path, avoiding that where-has-my-life-gone moment. You will come to terms with why you’re here, how you feel today, and where you’re going.
Get out a pen or your notes app, you’re going to write. Seriously…do it.
First, think about why you started the job you’re in. Maybe you took this job out of college or switched to it from a previous role. Did you do it because you thought you would be good at the job? Is it because someone told you to do it? Or maybe because it offered you the most money? Is it because you wanted to help people? Or it sounded fun? Was it the only job offer you had? Did you follow a friend or sibling?
Step 1 Be honest with yourself. Write this down: “I took this job because…” Then write a couple sentences with your explanation for why you took the job you have. What were you thinking at the time?
Let’s think about how you feel at work now. Do you feel that you’re a stud at your role, or just average? Can you feel yourself getting better and learning new skills? Did you wake up today feeling motivated for work? How many days per week do you feel frustrated when you leave work? How do you feel when you have to tell others what you do at work? Do work parties make you excited or annoyed? When was the last time you were in a state of flow at work? Do you think you’re being fairly compensated for the value you provide to the company?
Step 2 Write this down: “I currently feel this about my job…” Then write down your answers to the questions above. For example, “I currently feel this about my job…
I am already a stud in my role. I am not learning new skills. I feel frustrated most days when I leave work…” Seriously, write it all down.
Now, imagine the next 3 years in this job. Do you want more responsibility? Can you see yourself taking your manager’s role? Do you think you’ll get paid what you want? Are you interested in other positions at the company? Do you think your company will do well? Would the company lay you off in hard times?
Step 3 Write this down: “In the next few years…” Then write your answers to the above questions.
Now you’ve become more conscious of your career path. Maybe you realized that you’re really happy where you are. Maybe you realized you’re good but should look into changing soon. Or you realized you need a change right now! If you don’t have a conclusion yet, that’s ok too. Just keep checking in with yourself and remain conscious of why you got here, how you feel today, and where you’re going.
Being conscious will prevent you from waking up someday and saying why am I even doing this? Where has my time gone?
Always know why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Amanda Boersma sat down on her sofa, cozied up, and turned on Netflix. It’s a familiar scene for many who seek relaxation after a long workday, but what Amanda watched on one particular night changed her life. All of us wear fashion, but few of us know how our fashion is made. There are issues in the fashion industry that negatively affect lives across the world, and Amanda finds it important to become conscious of our role in those issues. Find out in this interview why Amanda became a conscious consumer and why she is motivated to educate others about sustainable fashion!
You grew up in the Chicago area and studied at Hope College in Michigan. Introduce us to your career and what you do now for work.
I grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago and moved to Michigan when I attended Hope College. I was enrolled with the Education Department, on track to become a high school teacher, but… one day I was scrolling through my newsfeed and saw someone share the SoYouThinkYouWillDance campaign by Stop The Traffik. It made me realize that advertising could make the world a better place. I soon dropped my education degree and went for marketing and communications. Rather than teaching classrooms of students, I wanted to teach the public. I’m currently a full-time eCommerce Digital Marketing Specialist, and my free time is spent teaching people about fast fashion. My first educational tool is my blog; I’m hoping there will be more to come!
At some point in your life, you noticed a problem in fashion?
I’ll admit that I never did much “noticing” of the problem in fashion. It came and woke me up itself when I was least expecting it: a night I chose to watch The True Cost completely at random (people at work were always talking about Netflix documentaries so I figured I’d give the genre a shot). As the footage rolled through the Rana Plaza factory collapse, I couldn’t stop thinking to myself why has no one told me about this? How the hell did I not hear about this?! It showed me how disconnected we are from how our clothing is made – so much so that a factory collapse killing 1,000+ people didn’t make headlines long enough to grab my attention. That made me feel so, so sad. I decided to start boycotting fast fashion the next day.
What advice can you give to someone who is just noticing that some fashion is harmful to the planet and people?
Great question! It wasn’t easy. I started my journey back in November 2016 when sustainability wasn’t as mainstream, so I did a lot of research. Fortunately, you no longer need to be a sustainable fashion hobbyist to lead a conscious lifestyle. There are lots of resources nowadays! Here are a few places to start:
You decided to start a side project called Unzipping Fashion, where you post about the social impact of fashion. Why?
I believe that reimagining fashion can alleviate poverty, heal discrimination, and halt climate change – among other huge issues that face our society today. Once I realized this, I felt a responsibility to get the word out. I also know that being the only person protesting doesn’t get much attention. The real power comes when all of us work together; I hope my blog can empower and equip people to join in the conscious consumerism movement.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned since looking more deeply into the subject of sustainable fashion?
Buzzwords like sustainable, eco-friendly, conscious and ethical are not regulated. They aren’t even agreed upon from person to person, let alone industry-wide! What is ethical to me may not be ethical to you. That said, never take these words at face value. For example:
Sustainability – This buzzword can refer to how a garment is made, the material it’s made with, the way it’s packaged, it’s biodegradability, and more. Many brands take advantage of this ambiguity. They tweak one part of a garment’s production to use less water or generate less waste and call it sustainable. While it’s a step in the right direction, baby steps don’t give brands a right to claim they’re fully sustainable. That’s greenwashing in my book.
Ethical or Conscious – It’s so difficult to agree on what ethics are that there’s an entire profession devoted to it! Is a brand “conscious” if it treats garment workers exceptionally well but uses leather products that are hard on the environment and animals? What about the other way around? It’s important to dig into the specifics of these terms. I’ve found a brand that claims it has “ethical factories,” but has no code of conduct on the website, no disclosure of factory locations, no audit trail, nothing. Information that substantiates a brand’s claims should be easy to find and understand. If it’s not, proceed with caution.
How do you remain sustainable today? Is it difficult?
I’ll say that I’m sustainable-ish. I definitely slip into complacency sometimes, so I watch documentaries to keep my eyes open; To zap myself out of living life through the lens of my own wants and needs. I also try to reframe the way I think about shopping. When I catch myself saying I need new pants for work, I correct myself and replace “need” with “want”. I want new pants. It’s been pretty freeing!
Overall, making conscious clothing decisions has become second nature to me. I enjoy thrifting (both in-person and online), shopping from ethical brands, and taking good care of the clothes I already have. To me, all of that stuff has become fun. If it wasn’t fun, I probably would’ve fallen off the wagon awhile ago. The next “fun” thing I’m diving into is replacing my regular disposables – like paper towels, plastic bags, and more – with cute, reusable options. Finding the new, cute things out there is fun! Plus, seeing how much money I’ll save in the long run gives me motivation when I need it.
What is your vision for Unzipping Fashion going forward?
Unzipping Fashion is a place to learn about how we can solve society’s largest problems through what we wear. I hope that everyone who interacts with Unzipping Fashion feels educated, equipped, and empowered to become a changemaker in their everyday life. As the community grows, I look forward to hosting social events, webinars, happy hours, and more. I definitely want to keep things fun. I’d love to build a community atmosphere where like-minded people can grow together.