It’s hard for me to find adequate adjectives to describe this documentary. Moving, convicting, fascinating, and heartbreaking all come to mind. I stared in shock at images of waste water from leather factories and blinked back tears as I listened to a young woman in Bangladesh describe her working conditions and the consequences her job has had on her family. As someone who has done some research on the fast fashion industry, I was not shocked at some of the statistics, but was pleasantly surprised to find myself learning new information throughout the movie. I highly recommend this film to anyone, regardless of age, gender, or level of interest in fair trade/ethical/eco-conscious/insert-your-favorite-buzzword-here fashion. It’s incredibly interesting.
Anddddd…great news! True Cost is currently on Netflix! So add it to your queue and get watching, friends. You can also rent or buy it on Amazon, iTunes, or the True Cost website.
Finding fair trade clothing retailers PERIOD is hard enough to begin with, but when you’re on the hunt for a specific, specialty item, I’m learning that you’ve really got your work cut out for you. When hubs recently commented on how he needed some new suits for work, I quickly jumped on the opportunity to browse fair trade men’s suits online (I knew the chance of finding a local store was 0%). However, there was nothing to browse. I found zero (ZERO!!) suits online that were fair trade certified. I’m trying to give the universe the benefit of the doubt by assuming there’s got to be at least one fair trade suit out there on the market, but it’s just buried on a website whose developer doesn’t do good SEO.
What gives, clothing industry? Or maybe I should say, what gives, American businessmen? Is there really so little demand for fair trade suits that companies see no point in making them?
So, what’s a socially conscious man to do? Despite the dearth of fair trade options, I did find some ethically-made suits.
Y’all, flowers can be expensive. If you’ve actually grown flowers yourself, you probably understand why. It takes lots of nurturing to grow a beautiful flower, which has to then be carefully cut and transported. And, if you’re purchasing from a florist, you’re also paying for the time, materials, and skill that go into professional arrangements. And you know where most beautiful wedding bouquets and reception arrangements go come midnight when the party is over? A big white trash bag. Yes, most wedding flowers are tossed in the trash mere hours or minutes after they stood in all of their splendor at one of the most important events of your life. That’s hundreds, often thousands of dollars worth of gorgeous flowers, headed to the landfill. Doesn’t the thought make you sick? Thankfully, I’m bringing you some wonderful alternatives today that will allow your gorgeous flowers to be enjoyed just a bit longer.
1. Donate. It would probably really make someone’s day to receive one of your beautiful arrangements! Thankfully there are programs out there that will come pick up your wedding flowers and deliver them to local nursing homes, hospice facilities, etc. I used one after my own wedding! The Flower Shuttle, based out of Raleigh, NC, has used recycled event flowers to create 123,802 arrangements since 2006. So amazing! Look for similar organizations in your area, or contact local Meals on Wheels groups, assisted living facilities, and other such programs to see if they might be interested in your flowers.
As you all know, I’m all about saving money when it comes to planning your big day. As one of our smart featured brides put it, “it’s just one day, so there’s no need to break the bank.” I recently stumbled across these three money-saving websites and can’t wait to share:
1. Bravo Bride: Looking to recoup some of the money you spent on 200 navy crinkle linen napkins that you’ll never, ever use again? Or perhaps you’re interested in purchasing a worn-once designer wedding gown to get more bang for your buck? Look no further–Bravo Bride provides a space for past and prospective brides (and grooms!) to buy and sell wedding attire and decorations. I love the feature that shows how much of a discount you’re getting based on the original list price!
I don’t know about y’all, but I was personally shocked at the price tags on wedding dresses when shopping for my own. Yes, I can appreciate that many dresses use premium, expensive fabrics and that sewing on beading is truly a labor of love. But spending upwards of $5,000 on a dress I would only wear for a few hours? Not for me, belles. If you’re looking for a way to keep dress costs down, here’s an idea: choose an “already-loved” dress.