Freewaters = 1 Pair of Flip Flops + 1 Person + 1 Year of Clean Drinking Water

I have a serious crush on social entrepreneurs who provide socially conscious brands and businesses. Maybe it helps me feel less guilty when shopping, or maybe it’s that they’re proving businesses can still make profit while helping better peoples lives. Either way finding a new social initiative with a quality product leaves me giggling like a little school girl.

If you’re a fan of TOMS, you’re going to love Freewaters. For every pair of flips flops you buy they provide clean drinking water to one individual for an entire year. It’s hard to imagine that clean drinking water is scarce in areas when here in the U.S. we not only have it in our fountains but bottled in our refrigerators. That being said, it’s estimated that in the near future almost 2 billion people will live where freshwater is scarce. Crazy, right? So check out these surfers who have new patent pending flip flips with a purpose. These make walking a whole lot sweeter.

Freewaters

Style: TROPICALI

Price: $36

Facebook: Freewaters

So…

WHAT’S YOUR VERDICT?!

Fantastic

or

Fad

Who, What, Where? (Fair Trade Fashion)

After a much needed trip to the oh so beautiful California and a brief stop at Baksheesh (an amazing store where I literally lost money by the seconds). I started thinking about the effect of clothing, jewelry, & all things I adore.

It wasn’t a rare meeting with the local beach hippie or a soft squeeze from a tree hugger (though that might have been nice), but a simple stylish store with a unique outlook yet common realization that people don’t know who, what, or where their buying their clothes. Not to mention some really cool Elephant Dung Paper. Yep, that’s right paper made of elephant poo!

Don’t get me wrong, I am no stranger to a good bargain or a “Made in China” sticker. I’m not even saying shopping at big retail stores are all kinds of bad. The thing is, we’ll never know if they are or aren’t unless we push for transparency.

(Emma Watson in People Tree)

What’s changed?

Well, there was once a time when dressing in fair trade or eco-friendly clothing mean’t paying an arm and a leg to resemble a burlap bag. Now a days you can skip selling valuable resources (a.k.a body parts), still look stylish, know where your clothes come from, and help support the world all at an affordable price. Sound a bit unrealistic?

Maybe, but caring about where our clothes come from should be one of our growing priorities. Think about all the times you’ve bought cheap clothes yet have donated money to charitable causes or local organizations. Why not support third world countries or a person directly through a purchase you’re going to make anyway.

Is your $8 tee a Whopper burger?

As more and more people change their food choices, the healthier and more transparent our food will become.  It’s a similar scenario. The more people pay attention to where their clothes come from, the more we’ll know who made it & what it’s helping. The more people buy from companies with “good techniques” the cheaper the products will become.

I realize it might take years for department stores to catch on, and I also realize not everyone can afford to spend $75 on a t-shirt. I don’t blame you. I can’t either! However, we can’t expect anything to change unless we fix our somewhat bad habits. Who knows maybe if I hadn’t fallen asleep in economics I would of remembered something about consumer demand.

This post is meant for nothing more than to make you think. It’s not to rant, chastise, or judge. It’s often we forget, especially as 20 somethings, how much power we have as consumers and how much knowledge we actually deserve. So instead of counting on who, what, wear. Focus on who, what, where? Don’t settle for less!

Organizations to Check

Fair Trade Federation

World Fair Trade

Fair Trade Resource Network

 

What is Fair Trade?

Here’s a couple fair trade explanations:

Baksheesh

People Tree

 

Steps to Take

1. Take Baby Steps

Start learning about where your clothes come from before buying them.

2. Labels Aren’t Everything

Just because a brand doesn’t have a “fair trade label” doesn’t mean you should write them off. Some brands don’t “pay for the label” but that doesn’t mean their techniques aren’t fair. Check the website (normally under Corporate Info) or send a quick e-mail.


Big Companies Taking a Leap

H&M

GAP

TOMS

 

What are you’re thoughts on Fair Trade, buying clothes, or the “Made in China” sticker?

Do you think it’s comparative to the food movement?

 

Old Navy and TerraCycle Celebrate Earth Day with Flip Flops?!

Earth Day is here, and unlike a majority of American holidays it’s not one where we’re showered with Hallmark greeting cards, excessive candy, or presents. Though if you’re feeling in the holiday spirit I’d be more than happy to receive any of the previously stated!

Recently, I got an e-mail discussing Old Navy & TerraCycle’s team up for Earth Day that sparked my interest!

  • Old Navy stores nationwide will collect used flip-flops during a 1-month long drive kicking off (literally) TODAY, April 22, 2011!
  • TerraCycle will recycle the collected flip-flops into four playgrounds to be installed in communities across the U.S.

Whether you’re a tree hugger or one who occasionally hugs trees I figured what 20 something doesn’t have a pair flip flops laying around? So go on and give the earth a little style by dropping off your flip flops!

Check out my interview below with Riki Brost of the Old Navy marketing team to elaborate a little more on the Flip Flop Replay.

1. Who is TerraCycle? Why did Old Navy decide to team up with this particular company for Earth Day?

TerraCycle, Inc. is an international up-cycling company that takes difficult to recycle packaging and turns it into affordable, eco-friendly products.  Founded in 2001, TerraCycle is the world’s leader in the collection and reuse of non-recyclable post-consumer waste.

TerraCycle works to collect used packaging and products that would otherwise be destined for landfills.  The waste is collected through TerraCycle’s Brigade programs such as the program with Old Navy.
2. Old Navy is the first retailer to use recycled flip flops for playgrounds around the U.S.! How did you all come about this fabulous idea?

The final idea was a collaboration between Old Navy and TerraCycle. Initially TerraCycle came to Old Navy with the idea of taking our old flip-flops and “up-cycling” them into items Old Navy would then resell such as tote bags, door mats and coolers. However, Old Navy wanted to do something where we could give back to the community which is why we landed on “recycling” the flip flops and creating the playground.

Old Navy wanted to take an item they are known for (or even somewhat famous for) and in turn create something that our customers could use- playgrounds! The Old Navy named “Flip Flop Replay” gives us the opportunity to create earth-friendly events inside our stores, and give us the opportunity to give back. In addition, while the retail market is very promotional, this message extends beyond any discount, and what customers get in return is a chance to support their communities.

In September, we will give away the playgrounds to four deserving schools or non-profit organizations. Customers can follow up on facebook to see how many flip flops we’ve donated and where the playgrounds will be built.
3. Can you drop off any flip flops, or are only previously used Old Navy flip flops allowed?

Any flip-flops and any brand. We don’t discriminate! ;)
4. Why is it important for 20-somethings to get involved with the Flip Flop Replay?

We’re making it quick and simple for our customers, showing them that it’s easy to get involved.
5. An extremely important style question: like many across the U.S. are you a sucker for flip flops year round?

We sure are! Everyone should have a different color for every outfit!
6. Last but not least, Reality Chic wants to know in fashion is going green the new black?

Well, even though Old Navy LOVES color, we don’t necessarily see this as a trend. Old Navy looks forward to finding ways to continue to get involved.

 

Keds Shoes Are Touring Like Rock Stars or Justin Bieber!

Once I heard about Keds new little adventure around the U.S. I knew a post was about to brew. (Like a magical blogger pot that needs to be stirred.)

I’ve always thought Keds were cool, even if my peers in high school or Skechers begged to differ. They can be stylishly worn with almost anything! Yet, they’re still comfortably chic. Their new lines feature eco-friendly shoes, canvas shoes, and design your own shoes!

Also, if you have upcoming summer trips that require any walking they make for a great 20 something tourist shoe, and as far as I know they too don’t sell or promote fanny packs!

Not only are they touring like rock stars or Justin Bieber, they are also donating money to local arts-based charities as well! They’ve hit up cities like Austin, Texas and are currently on there way to Bloomington, Indiana (my home state)!

Not to be worried if you can’t join them.  Just tweet these hashtags on twitter and they’ll donate $1 for your city’s charity every time you tweet!

If your city isn’t listed you can still “enter their HDYD Your City Shoe Design Contest for the chance to win $1000 cash, and a $5000 donation to a local arts-based charity of your choice in YOUR city.”-keds.com

#KedsHDYD
#KedsHDYDAustin
#KedsHDYD_LA
#KedsHDYDBoulder
#KedsHDYDLawrence
#KedsHDYDBloomington
#KedsHDYDSavannah
#KedsHDYDPhilly
#KedsHDYD_NYC
#KedsHDYDBoston

P.S. I have no affiliation with Keds just a longtime crush!

 

“Go Green for St. Patrick’s Day!” Or, “Stylish Eco-Friendly Clothes.”


Since my name is Erin Flynn, and it sounds like I literally stepped foot off the boat. I feel like it is my Irish patron duty to give an ode to St. Patrick’s Day. Then again if it must be known I have actually no relation to Ireland once so ever other than the translation of my first name.

However, my husband’s family is very Irish, which explains the whole Flynn part, but my maiden name happens to be Nigh. And that is apparently kind of hard to track down on the family tree. Rather than being a mutt with blended heritage from all over Europe. I prefer to just act like I’m hardcore Irish.

So while I’m not technically from Ireland I’m pretty sure there is some right of passage to celebrate when your name is in the holiday “Erin Go Bragh”. To be honest how can you not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?!

When else do people get by with drinking a bunch of beer just because the Irish do it, meet normal folks dressed up as leprechauns, and find a pot of gold even if it is chocolate wrapped in gold paper. There is really no reason for a 20 something not to celebrate!

In order to do St. Patrick’s Day justice Reality Chic style I figured there was no better way than to Go Green. These eco-friendly looks will not only keep you green during St. Patrick’s Day but for years to come! I’ve been wanting to write about stylish eco-friendly clothing brands for quite sometime now, but have yet to have the courage seeming how I am very much a newbie. I plan on continuing to write about ways to implement these fashionable clothes into your wardrobe in future articles. However, here is a start!

Why Should 20 Somethings Think to Go Green?

If you’ve seen Food Inc., watched Oprah, or read Michael Pollan’s books you probably have an invested interest in what types of food you’re eating and where it all comes from. Like food, fashion can have an affect on the environment, you, employees around the world, and much more… It’s an obvious thought to watch what you put in your body, but have you ever thought about what you put on it?

Take a look at Jenni Avins and her site www.closettour.com for more information on how to and why it’s important to know where your clothes are coming from.

8 Green Stylish Eco-Friendly Clothing Brands

1. People Tree

2. Loomstate

3. ASOS

4. Alternative Apparrel

5. H&M Organic Cotton Collection

6. Kind

7. Ecolissa

8. Ascension