For the Greater Goods

A lifestyle blog for the conscious consumer


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Decluttering 2016: Out with the old

January is the month of resolutions and new beginnings. New year, new you, right? That being said, start of a new year is the perfect time to go through all of your things and decide what you want to bring with you in 2016. Out with the old and in with the new. Start off the year on a conscious note by clearing out and donating the things you don’t need/like/want, so you can focus on the things you love.

Often times once the hype of the New Year dies down, so does our motivation to keep to our goals for the New Year. Here are a few ideas to help you stay motivated in the first few months of 2016 while you clean out, organize, and declutter your life.

1. Read a Book:

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But not just any book… While I have yet to read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I have heard WONDERS about it. Japanese cleaning consultant, Marie Kondo, gives you a step-by-step guide to organize, simplify, and store all of your belongings. Many organization methods recommend a room-by-room method, but Kondo explains a new category-by-category system that can help you achieve better results. She urges you to determine which of your possessions “spark joy” and which do not in order to minimize your possessions. The ultimate goal is to come to the realization that you have more processions than you need and it’s cluttering your life. This book will help you take the necessary steps to make a permanent change in your life.

2. Clothes Capsule:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z82_FIkosc4

Clothes capsules and mini wardrobes are a great way to weed out clothes you don’t need and figure out which ones you can and can’t live without. The idea behind a smaller wardrobe is that it saves you time when deciding what to wear, saves money, and simplifies your life. I recently heard about a clothes capsule challenge called 15 for February, which you can read more about here. Basically, you challenge yourself to choose 15 items to wear in the entire month of February. 15 for February is also tied to the charity Contact a Family, which is a British charity that helps families with disabled children. Get your friends involved, get sponsored, and get rid of all the clothes you don’t need!

3. Give Back:

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Now that you’ve successfully organized, cleaned, and de-cluttered, it is time to give back. Donate all the clothes you cleaned out to charity, which could be a homeless shelter, Salvation Army, Goodwill, etc.. You could even give them to a friend who will appreciate them. Or if you’re looking to make a buck, sell them to a consignment shop. All of these are a great way to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Only discard of things that you KNOW no one in their right mind would want. Those stinky, scuffed up, full of holes, used-to-be-white-but-are-now-pale-yellow sneakers are probably good to go.

I hope these tips will inspire you to take a good look at everything you own and take the time to simplify your life. Happy 2016!


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Orange Harp 2015 Gift Guide (For Her)

Every year I make myself wait until after Thanksgiving to start thinking about Christmas. No Christmas decorations, no holiday music, no gift shopping until I have properly stuffed my face with turkey. And every year I find myself in a mad rush to find last minute gifts. This year I’ve decided to take a new approach. In respect for Thanksgiving, I will still keep the holiday tunes and décor to a minimum, but I am going to start thinking about gifts a little earlier to spare myself any last minute stress.

I thought I would help my readers out too by creating my first gift guide of the year. Last year my first seasonal gift guide revolved around a company called Orange Harp. For those of you who have never heard of Orange Harp, Orange Harp is a mobile app that serves as a marketplace for high-quality, ethically crafted, socially conscious products. They partner with brands that make things the right way. The thing I love most about Orange Harp is that they believe you don’t have to sacrifice quality or style to lead a conscious life.

Since my original gift guideOrange Harp has grown in many ways. They currently have partnered with 45 brands and sell over 4,000 products. Orange Harp has also updated their app with filter options for easier navigation. In my opinion, the coolest new addition is their Orange Harp Heroes program. They encourage users to send in their socially conscious tips and stories so Orange Harp can share them with the world. You can email you tips to life@orangeharp.com for a chance to win a $10 gift card.

All the products below are available on the Orange Harp app which you can download from the app store. You can click the links to learn more about each product and why they’re considered socially conscious. This is your lucky day because you can also save some money by using the code GREATERGOODS at checkout to get 15% off your entire purchase (valid through November 30, 2015). Happy shopping!

Orange Harp For Her Gift Guide 2015

1. Aasha Glass Cuff

2. All Natural Hand Cream Smoother

3. Arapahoe Red Button Down

4. Ring Holder

5. Presidio Tote

6. White Sage & Wild Mint Tea

7. Kiss Ring

8. View Sera Cosmetic Bag


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Deadly Fashion

How would you feel if you spent the last 14 years sewing the same seam on the same sweater while making barely enough money to live? This may sound extreme, but it’s a reality to some garment workers in Cambodia.

I recently stumbled upon a Norwegian mini-series called Sweatshop- Deadly Fashion that follows three young fashion lovers on a trip to Cambodia where they see how their clothes are really made. At first I was going to include it in today’s Friday Finds, but I decided it deserved its own post (and Friday Finds will return to normal next week). The mini-series is five episodes long and each one is between 10-15 minutes. It only takes about an hour to watch all of them and it’ll give you a nice break from you’re Netflix binge. Sometimes its nice to get a reality check after 5 straight episodes of House of Cards. Amiright?

Episode 1

I found the participants transformation from the first to last episode astounding. I don’t want to give away too much, but in the beginning the three participants were very naïve about sweatshop conditions. Like most of us, they hadn’t taking the time to think about where our clothes come from. I think a lot of us avoid thinking about this. We don’t want to believe or think about these things because they make us uncomfortable and force us to justify our actions. So we push the thoughts away and try to make ourselves believe a happier story.

deadly fashion 2

And I don’t think this makes anyone a bad person. It’s hard to know what you can do to help because we are so far removed from the problem. The great thing about this mini-series is that is breaks down the distances (geographical, cultural, emotional, etc.) that often lead to inaction. It gives a face to the problem. It shows us that these workers have higher hopes. That they didn’t grow up dreaming of sewing clothes. That they are unhappy.

It is also noted in a post production interview with the participants that the conditions in the factory that they filmed at were significantly better than most. This was a family owned factory and the only one that would allow them to film in. You can only imagine what the others must be like. I highly recommend reading the entire interview. It gives more behind the scenes insight and continues to show the evolution of the participants relationship with fashion and what they are doing/have done in order to improve sweatshop conditions.

deadly fashion 1

The main purpose of this mini-series isn’t to make you feel bad about buying clothes. The workers from the factory actually encourage you to continue to buy their clothes because if people stop buying, then their job is at risk. The main purpose of this series is to shine light on a serious problem and put pressure on big apparel companies to change their policies.

I encourage you to watch the entire series, read the interview, reflect, and remember to appreciate all that you have.


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Friday Finds

Friday Finds 2.6.15

Check out what I’ve been checkin’ out this week…

1. Inspired by the Joan Didion’s Celine ad, which hit the web this January, Fusion writer Elisa Rodríguez-Vila does some of her own model casting for other high fashion lines.The results are pretty fabulous and I really hope this sparks some diversity in the fashion world.

2. If you couldn’t tell by now, I love a good animal rescue story. I’ve featured dogs, cats, koalas, manatees and now… a flying squirrel. Let the cuteness ensue!

3. The American Edit is a website that celebrates brands that manufacture in the USA. And while we know it’s good to buy “made in America” products, it’s sometimes hard to articulate exactly why. That’s exactly what this article does.

4. Check out this article about the World Bicycle Relief organization, which brings wheels to those who need them most. As the article explains, “Mobility is as literal as it is metaphorical, and providing the means to move provides a tangible hope”.

5. We all cope in different ways. Check out this girl who created a bucket list for her dying dog in order to help cope with the parting of her companion. Yes, the story is sad, but it is also very inspiring.

Now here is a funny cat picture to cheer you back up. Happy Friday!

thin mints


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Friday Finds

Friday Finds 5

1. Need a some last minute gift ideas? Check out these DIY face mists. Since you make it yourself, you know there are no harsh chemicals in it. They even provide you with cute printable labels.

2.Here’s a your guide to buying natural fibers. Not only does it let you know which materials are better for the environment, but it also shows you where you can buy clothes made by these materials.

3. Any Gossip Girl fans out there? Check out these “All about that Bass” shirts. You so clever, Ed Westwick. Portions of the sales go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Also a great gift!

4. Staying grounded and relaxed during the holidays can be a little tricky. Check out this blog post about holiday “baggage”. I promise it puts everything in perspective.

5. And on a lighter note, here are some of this years unsung heroes of cute. WARNING: super cute!


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Orange Harp Conscious Gift Guide (For Her)

I will start off by saying I am a Christmas fiend. I love everything about it. I’ll even tolerate snow for a day. And although I usually wait until I pay my Thanksgiving respects before indulging in Christmas thoughts, I just couldn’t help myself this year. It also doesn’t help that I discovered Orange Harp, which is a great place for some conscious holiday shopping.

Orange Harp is a mobile app that sells high-quality, socially conscious products. The app is all about using your purchasing power for good, whether that’s buying products that are made of organic cotton or donate to charity or are made out of recycled materials.

The thing I love most about Orange Harp is that they believe you don’t have to sacrifice quality or style to lead a conscious lifestyle. I totally agree!

And on top of all that, Orange Harp donates 1% of their revenue to Not For Sale, which is a cause aimed at ending slavery.

So after downloading the Orange Harp app (available in the App Store) and going though every single product, I have a put together a gift guide for the lucky ladies in your life. Enjoy!

Orange Harp Gift Guide

  1. Small Purple Druzy Ring from Love & Piece
  1. Lacy Circle Necklace by Love & Piece
  1. Turquoise Stone Cord Bracelet by Love & Piece
  1. Hand Stitched Vista Ridge Hat by Zelma Rose
  1. honeyfox LoveBag by Sheswai
  1. The Linda Socks by Mitscoots
  1. Organic Cotton Split Tee by Purakai
  1. Long Lasting Lip Crayon by Ecco Bella
  1. Organic Cotton Yoga Pants by Purakai
  1. Hound’s-tooth Metro Tote by Rickshaw Bagworks
  1. Courchevel Down Jacket by Ecoalf

 

Like whatcha see??? All of these items and sooooo much more can be purchased easily through the Orange Harp app.