Meet the Ethical Souls Dressember Team – Luisa Kearney from Online Personal Stylist

This year I decided to take part in Dressember. Dressember has become a global movement to help aid the fight against slavery and sex trafficking of women and children which exists in every country all over the world.
The idea is simple, you as an advocate of dressember wear a dress every day for the 31 days of December. Your journey can be shared on all social media platforms to help raise funds and awareness of the fight against worldwide slavery and sex trafficking.

Instead of doing it alone, I decided to reach out to the world via social media for wonderful ladies who would like to take part with me and form the Ethical Souls Dressember Team. The response was great with lots of interest but in the end we formed a group of  amazing women and I would love the opportunity over the next few weeks  to introduce you to some of them.

If you would like to donate to our Ethical Souls Dressember Team and support these wonderful ladies just click here

 Meanwhile, let me introduce Luisa Kearney

Tell us about yourself?

I’m Luisa Kearney, a professional fashion stylist and blogger, animal lover, and advocate for sustainable and ethical fashion.

Why did you decide to join the Ethical Souls Dressember Team?

I noticed the advertisement on the Ethical Souls Instagram page and thought that it looked really interesting. This was the first time I’d ever heard about Dressember.

How did you prepare for Dressember?

I went through my wardrobe and pulled out all of the dresses that I own. This was about 3 days before challenge started. It suddenly occurred to me that most of the dresses I own are summer dresses – very light and cool. Just looking at my dresses, wondering how I was going to make it through 31 days wearing summer dresses made me feel cold! I’m also in the middle of a ‘1-year no clothes shopping challenge’ so I had to just use what I had. I realised I had enough dresses to see me through the month but I didn’t know how I was going to make them wearable for winter. So next I got out all of my winter jumpers and cardigans, as well as leggings, tights and patterned jeans that could be worn underneath. I began to pair up different winter sweaters with a compatible summer dress, folded them together and stacked them at the bottom of my wardrobe for me to simply take out and wear each day.

What have you learnt about yourself since starting Dressember?

For me personally, Dressember has definitely strengthened my belief in my own Wear Not Waste ethic, proving that clothes are very versatile and can be upcycled and revamped to suit your needs. Who’d have thought that the dresses we were wearing back in the summer months on the beach would be December wardrobe staples?! I’m a firm believer in buying less but buying better and preventing textile waste, so it’s great to be acting upon that along with other Dressember participants.

In terms of the cause, I feel that Dressember is a fun and creative way to highlight the issues for which we are campaigning. Through participating in Dressember and reading the information on the website, I definitely feel more aware of these issues and the importance of raising awareness.

What have you learnt about your personal style?

Interesting question! As a professional stylist I spend most of my time styling myself and other people, so you’d wonder what I could learn? I’ve actually learned quite a lot! I like dresses during the summer time but not during winter, as I don’t like winter style dresses on me. I’ve recently found that layering summer dresses can be much more flattering and versatile.

Have you found the experience difficult?

Initially, I was wondering how I was ever going to create 31 different dress outfits from the few summer dresses I have in my wardrobe. The second big issue for me was staying warm because 31 days is a long time to be cold, uncomfortable and miserable, not to mention potentially unhealthy. What I’ve found is that layering thick jumpers and chunky cardigans, or adding a shawl or dress gloves can really help to keep you feeling warm and comfortable. The benefit of dresses is that even at their shortest they still sit no higher than on your thigh, which means that you have the extra length that you don’t have when wearing a simple top and jeans. Team a dress with a warm jumper, a pair of decent winter leggings and boots, and you have yourself a cosy, warm winter outfit!

What would you like to be your message to others?

I’ve had so much fun styling my dress looks each day, which goes to show that all of your clothing can be transferred around from season to season. It’s very important to wear what you have and learn how to work with the clothing you own rather than constantly buying new. Everybody should learn the true cost of clothing production and be more mindful when shopping irrationally!

Would you do Dressember again?

Definitely!

Website: https://onlinepersonalstylist.com/

Meet the Ethical Souls Dressember Team – Dottie Sebez

This year I decided to take part in Dressember. Dressember has become a global movement to help aid the fight against slavery and sex trafficking of women and children which exists in every country all over the world.
The idea is simple, you as an advocate of dressember wear a dress every day for the 31 days of December. Your journey can be shared on all social media platforms to help raise funds and awareness of the fight against worldwide slavery and sex trafficking.

Instead of doing it alone, I decided to reach out to the world via social media for wonderful ladies who would like to take part with me and form the Ethical Souls Dressember Team. The response was great with lots of interest but in the end we formed a group of  amazing women and I would love the opportunity over the next few weeks  to introduce you to some of them.

If you would like to donate to our Ethical Souls Dressember Team and support these wonderful ladies just click here

 

Meanwhile, let me introduce Dottie Sebez

Tell us about yourself?

My name is Dottie Sebez, and I’m a writer. My husband and I live in Colorado with our beautiful 10 month-old son and gentle giant doberman.

This past year, I underwent two significant life changes: I became a mother, and shortly thereafter, I adopted a vegan lifestyle. These two events have introduced me to the true meaning of compassion, and I simply thought I’d burst if I didn’t do something with all the love and blessings I’ve been experiencing.

I became an animal rights advocate, and then I came upon the Dressember Challenge, and I just knew I had to be a part of this fight as well. Who knew that personal style and dresses could be so powerful?

Why did you decide to join the Ethical Souls Dressember Team?

Thanks to scrolling through Instagram at the right time, I discovered Ethical Souls Boutique’s post seeking advocates. I was moved by Dressember’s mission and wanted to participate, but I also knew I couldn’t go about fundraising by myself so I joined the Ethical Souls Dressember Team.

How did you prepare for Dressember?

With only a few dress outfits in mind, I gathered my most basic, comfortable, and versatile dresses  along with some accessories and jewelry. I also shared Dressember and my fundraising plans with my network, including my social media savvy sister-in-law who became my first donor.

 

What have you learnt about yourself since starting Dressember?

I learned that, more than ever, I love my community of women. I realized that I want to become even more involved in ending voilence, and I need to learn more about fundraising.

What have you learnt about your personal style?

I once considered myself a chameleon when it came to style; however, these days I desire more of a uniform look that is both functional, classic, and sleek. With the Dressember Challenge, I’m realizing that I’m more of a minimalist dresser than I’d thought, and I desperately need to learn the art of layering and accessorizing.

Have you found the experience difficult?

As of now, I’ve hardly raised any funds, and I’m far from reaching my goal. I’m quite embarrassed. I’ve found it challenging asking people for donations; however, the most difficult part has been realizing that the people in my network are slow to take action.

What would you like to be your message to others?

Wear compassion. Bring it everywhere with you, and let everyone see it.

Would you do Dressember again?

Absolutely. Without hesitation.

 

 

Meet the Ethical Souls Dressember Team – Smriti Rai from iamsmritirai.com

This year I decided to take part in Dressember. Dressember has become a global movement to help aid the fight against slavery and sex trafficking of women and children which exists in every country all over the world.
The idea is simple, you as an advocate of dressember wear a dress every day for the 31 days of December. Your journey can be shared on all social media platforms to help raise funds and awareness of the fight against worldwide slavery and sex trafficking.

Instead of doing it alone, I decided to reach out to the world via social media for wonderful ladies who would like to take part with me and form the Ethical Souls Dressember Team. The response was great with lots of interest but in the end we formed a group of  amazing women and I would love the opportunity over the next few weeks  to introduce you to some of them.

If you would like to donate to our Ethical Souls Dressember Team and support these wonderful ladies just click here

      Meanwhile, let me introduce Smriti Rai

 

 

Tell us about yourself?

I am Smriti Rai originally from Nepal and now residing in the UK. I blog about travels and fashion. I love making videos too.

Why did you decide to join the Ethical Souls Dressember Team?

I was always interested in organic skincare products and recently turned to vegan. I studied Culture at Uni and learned about the brands that practises sweatshop so I started to become more conscious about where I shop. I found Ethical souls on instagram and read that the boutique stocks Elegantees brand who employs women rescued from human trafficking in Nepal. So at first, I wanted to sign up for this reason and now it has introduced me to a lot of other brands. So I am very glad to be part of this team.

How did you prepare for Dressember?

For me I planned to wear the old dresses I have. So I am trying to stick to minimum amount of dress and control the consuming habits that is quite apparent in our Western society here. Also I printed my handcrafted Christmas card to post to anybody who donates more than £10 as a thank you gift.

What have you learnt about yourself since starting Dressember?

Truly supporting the message although even on the days I don’t feel like it I try to motivate myself saying that it is not about me and it is about the message which puts me on a whole different place.  So, I learned that I can get really motivated.

I am so thankful for Dressember I got introduced to brand like Elegantees through Ethical Souls, so it has been quite a journey and I am grateful for all of it.

What have you learnt about your personal style?

Comfort, I cannot let go of my trainers. I am wearing dresses with my trainers! hehe

Have you found the experience difficult?

It is not difficult but it is not as easy as it sounds cause people might think ‘ah yeah wearing a dress!’ but you actually have to think ahead as you have made a commitment. But I am loving the challenge so far.

What would you like to be your message to others?

My main message will be “do not underestimate yourself thinking you cannot make a difference because these small steps and small amounts that you actually donate makes a huge difference in someone’s life. So they are actually not small at all! They are just steps and amounts that makes difference.”

Would you do Dressember again?

Dressember? Definitely 🙂

 

http://www.iamsmritirai.com

instagram: iamsmritirai

 

Meet the Ethical Souls Dressember Team – Julia Brown from Tattymoo.com

This year I decided to take part in Dressember. Dressember has become a global movement to help aid the fight against slavery and sex trafficking of women and children which exists in every country all over the world.
The idea is simple, you as an advocate of dressember wear a dress every day for the 31 days of December. Your journey can be shared on all social media platforms to help raise funds and awareness of the fight against worldwide slavery and sex trafficking.

Instead of doing it alone, I decided to reach out to the world via social media for wonderful ladies who would like to take part with me and form the Ethical Souls Dressember Team. The response was great with lots of interest but in the end we formed a group of  amazing women and I would love the opportunity over the next few weeks  to introduce you to some of them.

If you would like to donate to our Ethical Souls Dressember Team and support these wonderful ladies just click here

Meanwhile, let me introduce Julia Brown

Dressember

 

Tell us about yourself?

Hi! I’m Julia. I left my job in fashion after more than a decade back in august, moved to our first home with my husband and son. I’ve been able to focus on my own business TATTYMOO.com where I design and make/photograph and model all products myself . I use factory Fabric waste, donated or thrifted clothing.

I keep all of the threads I trim off during sewing, and keep even the smallest of scrap fabrics so that I can remake it into new textiles. I urge my friends and family to give me textiles they would normally think about throwing away. I would like to be able to support more ethical initiatives through my work – I have pledged to donate 50% of the profit on one of my recent fully recycled styles to Labour behind the label.

Why did you decide to join the Ethical Souls Dressember Team?

I saw the post on Instagram and asked to be involved as it’s such a great cause

DressemberHow did you prepare for Dressember?

Reorganised all of my clothes- dedicated a rail just for dresses!

What have you learnt about yourself since starting Dressember?

I am feeling more myself again.. see next answer!

What have you learnt about your personal style?

Since we moved and I’m not at work in an office full of young fashion types, I’ve fallen into the sweater and jeans mum! It’s made me plan my outfits again and gives more thought into what I’m wearing. I am having more fun with my clothes again and just having a  “I don’t care what the locals think I’m wearing a see though dress over my jeans and a pair of pom pom earrings like a boss” moment every day!

Have you found the experience difficult?

Some days are harder than others but it isn’t about me is it? It’s about helping those in need so I just get on with it!

What would you like to be your message to others?

Think about the world you want to live in and how you want your children and the younger generation to see it too. It’s totally insane that sex trafficking & slavery still takes place in 2017.

Would you do Dressember again?

Yes!!

 

dressember Dressember

 

Why Recycled Leather Bags Make a Perfect Christmas Present

 

Are you drawing up your Christmas gift buying list? Christmas and winter are just around the corner, and the holiday spirit is in the air. And with Christmas come gifts that we give to our loved ones, but also to ourselves! But rarely do we ask ourselves: where do these gifts come from, and where is our money going to?

Think before you buy

Why is it important to think before we give our money away? Because a person or an entire environment might be suffering because of unethical trade. You may not support or want this, but it does happen and most people are blissfully unaware of this.

 

Why buy fair trade?

Sometimes people, and even children, work in horrible conditions for that particular item that you just bought. We’re often not aware of that, but by remaining unaware and not asking ourselves those crucial questions we are also indirectly supporting unfair trading practices. These practices are not just detrimental to people, but to our planet as well. Well, it’s time for something different this year!

 

The knowledge of what is going on in the world may not be pleasant, but it has prompted us to take some action. At Ethical Souls, all our products have been manufactured under fair trade principles, meaning all our clothing designers and brands that we collaborate with are fair trade and provide fair employment to all their employees. Also all beauty products are natural and free from harmful chemicals.

 

Affordable and ethical

If you’re worried about the price, however, no need to bite your nails!  All our products are also being reasonably priced, which you can see for yourself.  Once you get to know what’s it about, it’s hard not to love ethical and sustainable fashion!

 

Recycled leather bags are the perfect Christmas present!

Thinking of buying a new bag for yourself or for your loved one? Whether you want a small and practical handbag like Hazel Half Moon Bag, or perhaps larger ones like  Hornbeam Holdall or  the Oak Weekend Bag, we’ve got you covered! Whatever you choose, you can’t make a mistake with buying a recycled leather handbag as a Christmas present for someone or for yourself.

 

what daisy did hornbeam bag recycled fair trade bagOak Weekend Bag recycled fairtrade leather

 

What’s special about our recycled leather bags is that they are sustainable, which means there was zero waste during their production. In fact, they are made from leather and cotton wasted by nearby factories.

 

Our fair trade bags and other items do not only allow for a charitable contribution on your behalf, but they are also unique and handmade.

 

Let others have a great Christmas too by purchasing at Ethical Souls!  For more stunning bags and purses check out here

We need you! For Dressember

Dressember      

Ethical Souls Founder Liz O’Meara has been providing  Fair Trade Clothing to the people of Ireland and beyond since early 2016 through www.ethicalsoulsboutique.com.  The primary goal of Ethical Souls, is to ensure that all factory workers are paid and treated fairly in happy working environment and help reduce modern day slavery.

One of the brands which Ethical Souls collaborates with is Elegantees who make beautiful cotton pieces and provide work and a safe place for women who were involved in sex trafficking in Nepal.   Elegantees have partnered with a global non-profit organisation called Dressember.

What is Dressember?

Dressember has become a global movement to help aid the fight against slavery and sex trafficking of women and children which exists in every country all over the world.

The idea is simple, you as an advocate of dressember wear a dress every day for the 31 days of December. Your journey can be shared on all social media platforms to help raise funds and awareness of the fight against worldwide slavery and sex trafficking.

More information on Dressember can be found here: http://www.dressember.org

How to get involved?

Liz O’Meara wants to create an Ethical Souls Team and would love YOU as a team member?!

All you need to do is wear a dress every day in December and share on social media your dress journey using the hashtags #dressember #dressember2017 & #ethicalsoulsdressemberteam. Don’t worry if you don’t have 31 dresses it’s time to be creative!

Liz says “Let’s see what powerful women can do, if we work together to fight for a world without slavery“

If you would like to get involved please get in touch with Liz on info@ethicalsoulsboutique.com or 085 1537084 and she will do the rest. Once a team is finalised prior to the 1st December a funding goal will be set.

Dressember      with        

Guest Blog: How to Wear Patterns and Prints for Your Body Shape by Online Personal Stylist

I’m Luisa, a professional personal stylist and fashion blogger. In this post I’m going to be teaching you how to wear patterns and prints to suit your body shape.

 

If you’ve yet to explore wearing patterns and prints then let me tell you that you are missing out! There is such a wide choice of beautiful prints on the market today that the right one for you is out there. Like with anything bold and a little undiscovered, there are many common misconceptions and uncertainties, which we are going to cover.

 

 

Common Issues about Wearing Prints

  • I don’t know how to colour coordinate my outfit. How do I decide what to put with patterned clothing?
  • I don’t have the right body shape to wear prints and patterns!
  • I get really overwhelmed when shopping got anything new or out of my comfort zone, so I tend to stick to my trusty basics.
  • Will statement prints drown my petite figure?
  • I thought patterns made you look fat?!
  • I’m wary of patterns because they can quickly look outdated…

 

 

And here are my top tips and solutions to the problems listed above

 

 

How Do You Colour Coordinate and Decide What to Wear with Patterned Clothing?

When you are sat staring at a fashion garment with a mixed colour pattern, you may feel confused and overwhelmed about what colour to wear with the garment. Dresses and other all-in-one pieces cause less confusion, but if you are trying to find a top to match a patterned skirt then there is one very easy and simple rule to follow. Rather than playing it too safe and opting for black or white, which may not actually match the patterned garment, pick out one of the colours from the patterned piece and wear your coordinating item in that colour. For e.g. if you are wearing a skirt that contains the colours blue, yellow and pink, simply choose from one of these colours (try to stay true to the particular shade as well) and wear this shade in other elements of your outfit.

 

 

How to Wear Patterns and Prints to Suit Your Body Shape

Let’s get one thing straight: no matter your height, body shape or weight, you can wear patterns and prints. The clause is that you need to learn how to wear them for your own personal physical characteristics. First of all, you want to briefly think about the type of body shape you have and then from there you will be better equipped with the knowledge to wear patterns well. Patterns and prints will not make you look “too fat” or “too thin” if you take note of how to wear these styles for your own body shape.

 

Below is a list of the most common types of body shapes and some useful advice on how to wear patterns best for each of these body shape types.

 

  • Apple = apple shapes tend to put on weight more around their midsection. Even if you are far below the “overweight” mark, you may find that you don’t have an incredibly defined waistline and can easily look bigger on the top than on the bottom half of your body. In this case, you don’t want to focus all of the busy patterns on the top half of your body because wearing too much detail on your top half will make your upper body appear far wider than your lower body. Try to stick to wearing patterns on the lower half of your body, such as skirts, trousers and shorts, and opt for a non-patterned, plain top. This doesn’t mean that you cannot wear dresses however, but instead opt for t-shirt style dresses that have a slim fit (not oversized or too clingy) and ensure that the pattern is balanced and symmetrical.

 

Mafrika Long Sleeve Shift Dress

  • Pear = pear shapes are wider towards the lower half of their body, from the hips and down. Just like with the apple shape (having to create a balance between the top and bottom half of your body), you will have to do the same to ensure that your top half doesn’t look significantly smaller than the lower half of your body. You can do this by keeping patterns, prints and any details plain and simple on your bottom half and instead, wear patterns and prints on the top half of your body. There are lots of cute tops with pretty details that would suit your figure perfectly! When shopping for dresses you want to find a style that has detail on the top half (especially around the shoulder or chest area), whereas the lower half of the dress must be slim fitting – not too tight but not A-line either and with as little detail as possible, i.e. no pockets, ribbons, bows etc.

Kampala Fair cotton tee

  • Straight = a straight figure means that as far as the eye can see there is no noticeable change in the width of your body from your shoulders down to your hips. This doesn’t mean that all straight figures are super thin; it just means that your body measurements do not differ drastically. The good news is that you have the option to wear patterns and prints on your upper and lower body. A very subtle A-line fit shirt will give the illusion of the accentuated waist and wider hips that you do not have but can easily fake. Seeing as you do not need to balance out the top and bottom half of your body like with apple and pear shapes, you can afford to wear oversized styles or even an A-line top together with an A-line skirt.

MAFRIKA pencil skirt

  • Hourglass = having an hourglass figure means that your shoulders, bust and hips are similar in size with less than 10 inches difference and your waist is 10 or more inches smaller. Basically, you want to wear clothing that accentuates your tiny waist, ankles, wrists and slim arms. Anything oversized will drown your figure and may look unflattering. Generally, you can wear patterns and prints on any garment you choose (top or bottom) but you must pay close attention the fit. Dress styles such as a wrap dress or an A-line skirt or dress will flatter your figure and show off your enviable figure! Choose styles with a tailored fit all over. If you want to wear baggier clothing, do so only on the lower half of your body by choosing skirts and trousers in wide-leg, flared or A-line styles.

KIAN_Dress_mango

Don’t forget to finish off your look with stylish accessories, such as an eye-catching bag.

 

 

Other Useful Tips

  • If you are worried about patterns and prints looking dated in the near future then stick to buying larger prints rather than small, detailed patterns. Big prints and patterns rarely date.
  • Wearing a new style for the first time can be daunting, so start with something manageable, such as a statement bag or a scarf and then build your way up as you feel more comfortable.

 

 

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My Wedding Dress

I had been lusting over Hazel Comyn designs for months and I just knew that when the day came for my wedding that I had to wear a dress designed by this lady.

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So when finally my husband to be popped the question, I knew who I wanted to design my dress. I also knew it wouldn’t be a traditional dress but I instead I wanted something elegant that represented who I was. It was also extremely important to me to know who made my dress, to know it was ethically made and even better for it to be locally made.

 

Meeting with Hazel for the first time was a dream she completely listened to what I wanted and after trying on a couple of her designs we sat down and designed the dress together. It was going to be raw silk, it was going to be fitted with a crisscross back. After our initial meeting, Hazel went off and drew up some drawings of the dress and after 3 fittings she had designed my dream dress …… elegant but simple…… me.

 

This fantastic lady just got me, got what I wanted and designed what I wanted. Hazel also designed a stunning head piece for me to match the shoes I was wearing on the day …. she really thought of everything and attention to detail was second to none.

It was also important to me to have a dress I could wear again. So now, that the wedding is over I will have Hazel dye the dress so that I have an evening dress to boot! My dress was never going to be hanging in the wardrobe to never be worn again…… well I have follow my ethical ethos even when it comes to my wedding dress

 

So on the 17th September 2016, I got married in gorgeous Lake Tahoe California with just my wonderful (now) husband and my beautiful, elegant, timeless, Hazel Comyns Designs dress.

 

Thank you Hazel for making my very special day even more special.

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