Be Free, Sustainable and Rebellious with Z Shoes

Can shoes really be sustainable... can a single pair actually make the world a better place or save a life? We think about sustainable, ethical or eco-beauty products, clothes, and even packaging but have we thought about the full life of a pair of shoes and how they may save or harm us? The "sustainable shoe" world may be new to some but there's an ethical brand I discovered that's leading the way and shedding light on a critical issue.

 

Z Shoes Challenges today's business model by putting human

dignity and environmental impact before profit.

 

There are countless documents, articles, and films that show you the reality of fast fashion. The truth is retailers want to make products as cheap as possible around the globe. When needs (or wants) are not met production is likely to relocate to countries where labor costs are lower. This brings up major Global Labor Issues like child labor and sweatshops where working conditions and labor laws are often violated. Now, male, female (everyone) of any age can be affected but the largest targets are females and children. There are millions (and that’s not an exaggeration) of children under 15 years of age that have been involved in child labor. Many of these exact children are victims of slavery and human, sex and drug trafficking. Females specifically endure possible forced abortions while exposed to harmful chemicals. So who’s fighting to make this scary truth better? What are brands doing to make an actual change? Well, it takes me back to the question can shoes, a single product, actually be created to make a difference?

Z Shoes fights human and environmental exploitation by bringing financial growth to native communities in the Peruvian Amazon. Made from Organic Cotton and Wild Rubber, these sweet shoes can easily be a staple in your closet but what I LOVE most about Z Shoes is the story and impact they possess. A perfect match… Z partners with Not For Sale, a non-profit that fights human trafficking. Not For Sale, addresses human trafficking at every level, supporting survivors worldwide while helping to provide economic opportunity. It's a meaningful mission that unveils the shoe industry proving that it is possible to produce shoes that aid individuals rather than depend on sweatshops and harmful materials that have a negative and sometimes deadly effect.

 

 

So what's the difference between conventional street shoes compared to Z's? The Material. The Cause. Z uses 100% organic cotton, what that means for us... real ingredients on our feet. You don't have to worry about synthetics, harsh chemicals or plastics because this sustainable cotton is from the Solo y San Miguel regions in Peru, how cool is that?! With the use of Amazonian Sharinga wild rubber straight from the tree and organic plant dyes, Z Shoes assures that their kicks are then manufactured at a factory in Lima. Here, workers are treated with respect and paid a fair wage for their production, time and efforts.

It’s a classic shoe with a unique and grand message. Not only is Z pioneering the path for shoes created from organic materials but assuring they are doing it in a moral way. That’s why this brand is perfect for the active eco-friendly girl and yes, the guys too that are in search of a shoe on a mission.

Take a look at how I styled my Z’s

 

My absolute favorite pair is the 'Sharkskin' Women's Originals. The color, captured from plant dyes are easy to match and wear with numerous outfits.

 

 

If you are still in search for the perfect gift I picked several of my top favorites for both guys and gals below.  You can save on your purchase by using code ALLTHEREAUGUST20 for $20 off your entire order.

Now let's shop ethically...

'Great White' Men's Originals

'Deep Sea' Men's Originals

'Coral' Women's Originals

To learn more visit zshoesorganic.com and see how they are fighting the good fight with dedication, craft and most of all bravery.

Shop Sustainably! Live Balanced. Live Great.

Jessica Salazar

 


5 Cruelty-free Bags with a Purpose Under $50

The Holiday's are here and with Thanksgiving already under our belts (possibly loose belts) a lot of us will now start prepping for Christmas. So to start the season and in honor of Shop Small Saturday I wanted to highlight To The Market, a company that Partners with Artisans to give us products with a purpose.

TTM assists artisan groups by employing vulnerable communities which connects them to global consumers, resulting in, their business growth.

What I discovered about TTM...

They empower women through artisan enterprise.

TTM showcases handmade goods made exclusively by passionate artisans who have overcome abuse, conflict, and disease.

They take an active role in equipping the survivors they employ with economic independence while raising awareness of the challenges they face.

There's plenty to choose from over at TTM but I wanted to focus on bags for you all. So, I picked my Top 5 Cruelty-free Bags Under $50 from To The Market, perfect for any occasion and ready to be added to your closet for this Shop Small Saturday season.

1. Love Bead Clutch

The story behind the bag: Based in Agra, India. Pushpanjali provides marketing and financial support to small and marginalized producers to improve their living. They also support educational and medical programs that help girls attend school.

Why I love it: This bag is fun and detailed. It's a statement piece that can be matched with color and pattern for a bold look.

2. Black and White Striped Paper Beaded Clutch

The story behind the bag: Handmade in Uganda, these beads are made of upcycled paper. Each purchase helps to provide the artisans' families with housing, education, food, and medical treatment.

Why I love it: First, it's black and second... it's white. I loved this bag for the "sporty" style it embodies. A great bag for daily use that can be matched with almost anything. Perk! This very bag is discounted so make sure to use code AUGUST10 for $10 off through Wednesday, November 29th.

3. Purple Banana Fiber Clutch

The story behind the bag: Circle of Hands Uganda believes in empowering women affected by Africa’s HIV/AIDS crisis as they become entrepreneurs, role models and leaders in their communities.

Why I love it: The dimensions and craftsmanship of the bag is pure beauty. Handcrafted of natural Banana Fiber leaves, gives creative touch and texture to the eye.

4. Pom Pom Pouch in Pink 

The story behind the bag: Based in Guatemala, El Sol Maya works with a group of fifty women. The Weaving tradition has been handed down from generation to generation and these women work to uphold their customs. With growth and support, workshops are now held in order for females to learn to be businesswomen and improve their quality of life.

Why I love it: This bag is as playful as it gets. I love poms and it is a great addition to spice up your bag game.

5. Mustard Paper Beaded Clutch

The story behind the bag: Handmade in Uganda, these beads are made of upcycled paper. Each purchase helps to provide the artisans' families with housing, education, food, and medical treatment.

Why I love it: Simple yet fierce. This color will create a buzz anywhere you take it. It's a wonderful way to add "drama" to your look while keeping it classic.

Accessories

The story behind the accessories: Handmade by Agustina in Chiapas.

Why I love it: The wonderful thing about these accessories is that they can be matched with any of the bags above as well as added to ones you already own. It's a sustainable way to swap a look quickly while adding flair and style.

Chiapas Pom

 

Augustina Tassel

To The Market is helping us discover new beautiful products with a meaning. They sell an array of goods such as jewelry, men's, shoes, home goods and more. So if you want to give a gift that "gives" TTM has you covered.

Discover more at TO THE MARKET

Happy Shop Small Saturday!

Live Balanced. Live Great.

Jessica Salazar

 

 

 


SixChel, The “Capsule” of True Fashion & Sustainability

Some of us know the value of sustainability in fashion while others may be new to the game (don’t worry it’s a simple/complex world) but you are all welcome to explore here. You see, “ethical brands” value different aspects of sustainability. This means some brands may use only organic (new) fabrics while others upcycle (used fabrics) or give proceeds to charity. So, it’s important for the consumer to be aware of “brand beliefs" and how they (as a company) personally partake in the Eco Fashion Revolution. So today, my focus is specifically on a brand I’ve been fortunate enough to discover, SixChel.

SixChel encourages female empowerment and believes that by supporting the diversity amongst women, they will create a positive and acceptable environment for all women who seek comfort in sustainable and stylish clothes. SixChel also focuses on slow-fashion principles as well as using the finest sustainable fabrics.

Here’s a look at the Capsule Collection

The Demi Halter Crop Top

The Elizabeth Dress

The Gia Halter Wrap Top & The Katherine Crop Pants

So what did I do? SixChel hosted several Pop-Up Shops in Austin, Texas and you better believe I stopped by to see this capsule collection in person. It was amazing to understand (in real life) how versatile these pieces were, lightweight, cruelty-free and sustainable…I was in heaven. I was also able to meet with the Boss herself Dina Chavez, who is absolutely a doll in person.

As seen in the photos above, you can easily pair each piece with items in your own wardrobe. My top pick is...the dress! It has a minimalist feel yet the simple touch of the added bow in the back will turn heads. In all, the show was intimate and welcoming where you could feel the vibe of women supporting women businesses. It was a one stop shop with mini-vegan makeovers, food, drinks, clothes and jewelry.

Pop-Up Showtime...

Final thoughts…it’s important to understand where your clothes are coming from and to realize that brands have their own way of expressing and “being” sustainable. For Dina, it’s about embracing sisterhood, using eco fabrics and creating a capsule collection that doesn’t run out of style. It’s slow, but this is the good kind of slow. SixChel doesn’t fall under the retail chain of fast fashion. Instead, each piece is made like a piece of art just as it should be.

Not only was it amazing to see the capsule collection (IRL) but also in collaboration with SixChel I was able to experience these pretty amazing Wow-men below:

To learn more about SixChel visit:

https://sixchelbydinachavez.com/

Jen Hearts Art

Talk about the ultimate Art Babe! We talked vegan cosmetics, life and a bit of business with a side of taking over the world! From MU Artist to Body Art, she's doing it right.

https://www.jenheartsart.com/

Perky Perky Coffee

Had an amazing "cup of jo" while I was at the show. I take my coffee black and loved it. Also, the fact she's a Female Boss...winning!

https://www.perkyperky.com/

Lisa Crowder Jewelry

The location is everything. Within Canopy, you will find this contemporary boutique filled with work from Metalsmith Lisa Crowder. Jewelry inspired by form, color, line and balance was the perfect touch to pull the entire show together.

http://lisacrowder.com/about/

Live Balanced. Live Great.

Jessica Salazar

 


Saya, the Ethical Hairpin that's Changing the World

Hair accessories, it’s the finishing touch to your look so small yet so important. Have you ever been in a moment when you realize “yes, I lost (or broke) my hair tie now what?” You are then in desperate need of one and the search begins asking people around you if they have something to tie your hair back. Most of us know that feeling or have witnessed someone in that moment. Hairpins, hair ties and headbands the list goes on for years women (and men) have used some kind of device to slick their hair back or use as ornamentation.

There are many written topics out there about hair, what products to use, how to grow it or simply showing us the hairstyle trends for the season. A topic that’s not highly discussed though (or maybe not even widely known) is Ethical Hairpins. Now how can a hairpin be ethical? That may be the question on your mind right now, which is fair. As “consumers” we may not think twice when we grab that elastic hair tie or clip, I know I didn’t but I am happy to tell you there is an ethical option out there.

Victoria Jones, Founder of Saya Designs collaborates with Balinese artisans to create a timeless collection of nature inspired hairpins. Saya uses salvaged root wood from old plantation sites in Indonesia. By using this waste material they are not adding excess to the Fashion Industry and are able to tell stories about issues they deeply care about… yes, the rainforests!

For each purchase, Saya will plant up to 10 endangered tree species back into the rainforests of Indonesia. Not only does this aid in vegetation but the welfare of wildlife within the rainforests. This topic goes beyond a beautiful hairpin (which the hairpins are quite great looking might I add) it’s about doing good in the world. It’s about reducing the harmful impact we may have on our planet and being bold enough to use unconventional material to do so.

It is magical when a brand is ethical, fair trade, collaborates with local artisans and then gives back. It makes me stop for a moment and realize it’s not just a hair tie, clip or pin anymore. The choices you make as a consumer (for any purchase) has a domino effect and for me, I am pretty happy with this one.

A closer look on how I styled my Saya Hairpin

The countdown is on, to support Saya Designs and their efforts in making this world a better place. Visit their Kickstarter Campaign below and help make a change in your life and others:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/777882057/781150453?token=07bdd709

Saya has options for all hair lengths, colors and styles, to learn more about Saya Designs visit their website at:

http://sayadesigns.com/

Vegan Eye Bracelet: Michal Golan

Dress: Purchased at a local Goodwill

Live Balanced. Live Great.

Jessica Salazar

 


When You're an...Ethical, Vegan, Golfer Fashionista

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Who are you!? If I pay attention to Snickers and "I am not me when I'm hungry" then Snickers is really making people (including me) question who we really are.

Well for some of you that don't know (even though I am always hungry I still "know" ME) I'm an Ethical, Vegan, Golfer Fashionista and Animal and Women's Welfare Advocate. What this means is eco/sustainable fashion rocks! I am vegan and yes, I do it for the animals. I play (and coach) golf and I am a HUGE animal lover and feminist (everyone has their own definition of what they consider feminism is) so BOOM! My definition of being ALL THERE AUGUST (All Balanced, All Great in all areas of my life.)

-Ethical/Sustainable Fashion Consulting

-Wardrobe Consultant for Athletes/Golfers in ready-to-wear and sportswear

-Vegan food education

-Travel to golf courses to showcase their food, course and fashion

-Visit/work with charities dealing with animal and women's welfare

These are a few of my favorite things (as I sing this in the tune of Julie Andrews, thanks Jules!)

Why I love these "things" you might ask...to be honest they make my soul dance, they make my soul move and yet they settle it all at the same time.

So in celebration of today (because why not celebrate today and after all its someone’s birthday somewhere.) Let us talk sustainable fashion and a spice of golf.

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This is her, my Goodwill find!

I found this amazing purse at a local Goodwill and this jacket comes from a second-hand boutique. Using my sustainable fashion tip, mixing second-hand finds (old) with store-bought (new) has the potential to come together quite nicely. Of course you have to dig (and wash) these finds but taking a moment for yourself to explore a second-hand store is actually very relaxing and the best part is you give this fashion item another life. It had a story before you (and I often find myself wondering who had this before me and what their story was) but now you have it and it’s yours to make your own story with.

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"The Jacket" that's been with me for a long time now and I still love her.

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P.S. I use TaylorMade Irons because that's where my heart is.

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The Look

So this is my ALL THERE AUGUST moment, this is what makes my life balanced and great. There is no one way to be ALL THERE AUGUST (or ATA) it's what moves you what makes your soul dance and feel at home. So what is your ALL THERE AUGUST life or moment? What makes you balanced and great in your life? Whatever it may be share it with me and the world, celebrate your awesomeness, celebrate your gifts.

Live Balanced. Live Great.

Jessica Salazar

Edited By: Angela Salazar (She's the bomb...but really.)


Blogging With All There August

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It’s Jessica Salazar, Founder of All There August, an ethical athletic wear brand and blog promoting a balanced, positive lifestyle for athletes. I am an ethical entrepreneur, advocate, coach and professor. I received my undergraduate degree in Fashion Merchandising and Masters Degree in Fashion Entrepreneurship. I have been fortunate enough to work in the fashion industry in the US and Europe. With my knowledge and experience also as a college athlete I created a brand of ethical athletic wear that spreads love in positive ways. This blog was created as a space that provides athletes with knowledge on ethical fashion and beauty, organic health foods and health, travel and women’s and animal welfare. We will talk about how to be a Positive Lifestyler in all areas of your life, plus other interesting adventures and ideas I can get my hands on. Follow us with local and global topics and see what this ethical athletic world has to offer.

Jessica Salazar