CottonPlantSweatshop-free, American-made, earth-friendly, and inexpensive clothing? Is there such a thing? As I try more and more to make my money mean more with what I buy this seems to be the next step. Turns out it’s pretty hard finding clothing that fits all of parameters above! I’ve researched a ton of companies to see if I could find clothing that fits all that and I’ve had to scale back my expectations. Now if I can find clothing that fits at least one of those first three then I’m good to go.

Okay, so first of all why am I even doing this? I’ve never been one to care much about fashion so my clothes are pretty basic and some of them are pretty old. I don’t spend a ton of money on clothes and while I don’t wear them until they fall off, I do patch them up as needed to make them last longer. It’s a pretty big industry though and where we spend our money has an impact on how that clothing is produced.

Sweat-shop free
Many clothing companies use sweatshops in order to crank out cheap clothing. Workers are paid very little and often are women and children working in horrible environments. Sweatshops are in the news all the time with fires breaking out in a factory and killing everyone because fire exits were blocked. Or unsafe work conditions that caused a building to collapse killing everyone inside. I definitely don’t want to be wearing clothing that someone risked their life to make and were paid next to nothing for. By supporting companies that are sweatshop free it helps those companies trying to do the right thing. Treat people well and pay them a fair wage for their hard work.

American-made
So far this has been the hardest thing to find! American Apparel is definitely the first place that comes to mind when thinking American made but their clothing isn’t the best quality and can be pricey. Unfortunately it’s much less expensive to manufacture goods out of the country. It would be nice to support American companies to boost our economy! Overall American-made goods are also higher quality that could justify the higher price point too.

Organic Cotton
Tons and tons of chemicals are used for cotton farming which obviously isn’t so good for the earth. It pollutes land and water and affects the health of the farm workers. If I’m going to go organic with the food I eat, then why not with the clothes I wear? Organic cotton goods are harder to find, and pricier usually, but if I at least buy a few items every now and then hopefully it makes an impact!

Some companies doing the right thing
If you’re looking for fashion then it’s pretty hard to find if you also want it to be all of the above. Most companies that fit those only manufacture basics actually. So far I’ve been frequenting a few places that have pretty good clothing for the price point and quality.

Buck Mason
American made clothing for men

Wear Pact
Los Angeles based company with organic cotton and sweatshop-free clothing

Alternative Apparel
Eco-friendly clothing with some organic cotton

H&M
I know this is a big company but they’ve come out with many organic cotton clothing items that are pretty affordable. Not my first choice but they’re trying at least!

 

I don’t always buy consciously every single time I shop. In fact I just bought a few items that definitely weren’t, but were too cute to pass up. It’s good to use my money in a more meaningful way for sure!

Are you into buying more conscious clothing?


7468313382_01dca95e64When it comes to pointing out who is the most frugal in the relationship, it’s a no brainer that it’s me and not my husband! My brain is always constantly searching for ways I can greenify life and save money at the same time. I introduced budget sheets into our relationship (yowza maybe that’s why he married me?) and I wouldn’t spring for the extra $300 to get the pearlescent white paint for the Prius. He recycles now because of me too hehe. I still have my weak points though…I’m such a sucker for personal stories.

Mostly what gets me lately is local goods. Striving to make a bigger difference with my money by buying local face-to-face with the people who grew the food or made the goods opened up the floodgates a bit to spend more if it’s locally based. When I find someone who is trying to do something good I also can’t resist wanting to help them too!

The reel in: I can’t resist an earnest face as they tell me their personal story
Just today I was walking through a festival area with lots of little shops. I snagged a free lemonade (yay!) and then happened upon a stand selling handmade soaps. There was a father standing there with his little girl. He told me his story of how he started making soaps for his daughter because she couldn’t use commercial soaps due to psoriasis. It didn’t help that his wife was also there. It was a family business! The soaps smelled really quite nice made from essential oils but they were pricier than I would normally ever buy soap for. The most I had ever spent on soap bars were $5 and these were $8 apiece. I got sucked in first through that little story.

Pushing me over the edge: I can’t resist helping if it’s charitable
Already more than halfway there I then found out that they donate 15% of their profits to charity! They sponsor kids in third world countries and actually go to visit them too! So not only would I be helping out this family if I bought something, I would also be helping out these kids who need it too. That definitely put my over the edge and I was definitely buying something at this point. A company that tries to do good by using fair trade and natural ingredients is awesome, but if they give back then even better! It’s how Tom’s got so big with their buy one give one concept. They certainly weren’t the first to do that but it made Tom’s look really good.

The kicker: Appeal to my money saving side
Still my frugal side was pretty strong. These soap bars were pretty pricey so I was thinking of maybe just buying one at least. That’s when I noticed the sampler packs! Four smaller sized bars for $18. Perfect! Bundling items always makes people feel like they’re getting a better deal. Ding ding! I was sold. If only I had ice encasing my heart…instead I walked away with some new soap and a pouch loofah.

 

Either this family was really just a good ole family trying to do something right and make some money, or they are master salespersons! They certainly sucked me in and I felt good about buying something from them! Haha. I definitely don’t regret it at all though.

And if anyone else wants to buy some soap check it out here: Morning Blossom Studio

What are you a sucker for?


teslamodel3

I put a $1000 deposit down on the Tesla Model 3 to reserve a spot!!!!!! Yay!

Trying to cross something else off my dream list! I wasn’t really quite serious when I added a Tesla to my dream list, but as the Model 3 got closer and closer to it’s unveiling I kept thinking about it in a more serious manner. Plus I was skeptical that it was actually going to be in the $35,000 price range that rumor kept saying. On the day of the unveiling though, while I sat at home only a few miles away from the live event, it became a reality that this was going to happen! A fully electric earth-friendly car that looks gorgeous in a price point I could actually reach! My husband and I both didn’t intend to really get one, but since they were accepting refundable deposits to even get in the waiting line for the car…why not?

AM I CRAZY?
Okay okay first of all, putting a deposit down doesn’t mean that I have to buy the car. They aren’t even rolling out the first of these cars until the end of 2017 (or even later if things don’t happen on schedule) so until they actually get to our names on the list, we don’t need to decide if we’re actually going to get one or not. It’s entirely refundable if we decide we don’t want to buy it after all, or it’ll go towards the price of the final car. Most likely I’ll have a good 3-5 years to save up the mula and decide if this is something I really want to do. Yes I’m out $1,000 now, but if I don’t have that kind of money then I’m doing something wrong.

Common knowledge also says that new cars are the worst thing to sink money into. I’m scrimping and saving every step of the way only to throw all my money away on a new car? If it makes me happy, then yes.

Is it really worth the money
This is a fully electric car that starts at $35,000. Pretty darn hefty price tag but it’s comparable, or even lower than other electric cars! The Chevy Bolt is supposed to start at $37,500, and the Nissan Leaf starts at $29,000. There are federal and state rebates also out there but I’m not going to calculate that into my decision right now because they might not be around in a few years. I’ve been considering an electric car to further be eco-friendly, and now I might be able to get one that looks good too! It’s certainly going to be a big decision that I won’t come to lightly but it’s certainly a contender in the electric vehicle race.

It’s something to dream about
I never imagined that I would actually be considering a car that costs $35,000! Even buying the Prius V at around $25,000 was a huge deal for me. It’s the nicest car I have ever owned and before that it was my Corolla. If there are rebates still available and at the level it is now, then the Tesla Model 3 would actually cost the same as the Prius V! Whatever my decision in the end, it was pure fun to be able to put that deposit down to dream about getting a nice car that’s eco-friendly also. It’s certainly a worthy dream to work towards in the next few years.

 

My goals definitely will change once my husband and I start a family and kids take up all my money. For now though, it’s nice to dream about having a sporty electric car.

What’s a dream that you’re currently working towards?

 


3454694528_f1f84b8dec_oAnother month, another week, another day, another day to celebrate! Today just so happens to be earth day! Yay! Happy Earth day to everyone!

I did a little bit of celebrating the simple way. Took a walk to lunch and brought all my own tupperware, utensils and napkin! Haha. I don’t always remember so it was good to do it today. Wish I had the day off from work to do something more fun! But hey, every little bit counts!

What did you do to celebrate earth day?


Photo Credit: glenn_e_wilson via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: glenn_e_wilson via Compfight cc

 

In my quest to be more earth friendly I’ve tried a lot of different things to get there. Composting is a new one and I’ve been slugging along trying to learn as much as I can and do it as simply as possible. “Everyone” says it’s quite easy on every single forum I’ve run across. Of course nothing is ever as simple or as easy as it seems. If it should be easy then there’s always some bumps in the road, and if it should be hard many times it ends up being simpler than expected!

The simplest form is composting is just digging a hole in the ground and dumping things in. That worked for a while. Then our friendly neighborhood possum came round and decided it was a food buffet to be eaten and we had dug up dirt and food scraps everywhere for a while. From there I had to try something else.

Composting Bin made simple and inexpensively
So the next step was to try out a good old compost bin. Of course wanting to be frugal I went the simplest route I could and just bought a bin that I could remove the top from and dump things in. I punched holes in it with a electric drill and I’ve been good to go since then!

Maybe not so simple…
I don’t know if it’s working or not yet, no compost will come out of it for quite a few months. Plus I highly suspect I’m not doing the right brown to green ratio. Brown being dried items and green being wet food items. The first night of the bin I heard many strange noises. Turns out it was the possum coming round looking for it’s buffet. I spotted it right by the bin after dinner. Crossing my fingers I hoped it would go away. It may look kinda cute and fluffy to some people, but that’s til you hear it screaming in your backyard and see it staring back at you.

Possum isn’t happy…
Weeks later I thought that finally the possum had gone away and found another food source. Til this weekend when I found a present from it. It left me a nice pile of doo doo on top of the compost bin!

I’m just trying to do something good for the environment…
In a way I want to laugh, but also I wanna cry because it’s pretty gross. I never thought that composting would be easy, but I also didn’t think I would have such a problem with a possum! Which by the way is the size of small dog since it’s a fat city possum. I’m going to keep going though and not let this deter me! So far this possum is my biggest obstacle so I have to figure out how to get rid of it. Should I throw food scraps in my neighbor’s yard? Or get a big dog that can live in the backyard to scare it off? Either way I don’t want to kill it but I don’t want it digging up my yard and pooping on my bin.

Round 1 : Possum digs up buried compost : Possum wins
Round 2 : I start a compost bin: I win
Round 3 : Possum poops on the compost bin : Possum wins

So far the possum is winning! I guess I’ll have to say that the possum probably isn’t so worried about saving the earth rather than where it’s food is coming from. Judging from the size of it, I’d really have to say it probably has plenty of options.

What’s something you’ve tried lately that was supposed to be easy, but is turning out to be much harder than you though?