Life+Style+Justice is a resource for stylish, sustainable living with an emphasis on social justice. I believe in the concept of "everyday justice"- that normal, everyday actions can affect change in the areas the world needs it most.
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Since moving to the Philippines, maintaining a zero waste lifestyle has been a bit more challenging than it would be in the states. Some stores have small bulk dry goods sections, but selection is limited. Many products come in single-serving size plastic sachets. Every time I go to the beach, I see lots of straws, takeaway cups, plastic food wrappers, and more- making me even more motivated to keep on going with my zero waste aspirations!
Meet Cambodian brand Good Krama. No, that’s not a typo- it’s a clever play on the word “Krama”, a versatile, traditional Cambodian garment that provides inspiration for the brand! Based in Phnom Penh, Good Krama produces a small, slow-fashion collection of garments made from both upcycled, deadstock fabric and locally handwoven cotton and silk.
I’ve been referencing “big plans” for awhile, now… And I think it’s time to share! I’m co-founding an ethical garment factory here in the Philippines!
As I've become increasingly disillusioned with the ethical fashion industry- "fair trade" factories that pay the same wages as sweatshops, "eco-fabrics" that shed plastic fibers into our water supplies, markups that thickly line the pockets of CEOs while giving an unfair slice of profits to workers- I've had this mantra beating in my head: we MUST do better.
When Untouched World reached out to me earlier this year I was intrigued by two facts about this New Zealand-based company: Untouched World has been recognized for the company’s high sustainability standards by the UN, which is extremely unique for a fashion brand, and the company is a pioneer in developing new types of wool and wool based textiles that perform well for everyday/all-climate wear. (Also, fun fact: apparently Obama and Prince Harry are Untouched World fans)!
Andrew and I have been working hard on our Tagalog skills. I am nowhere near fluent yet, but I know most of the "essential phrases" plus over 1000 words and can put some sentences together (though my grammar is often a bit off). I've spent a fair bit of time in the past few weeks having awkward, halting conversations with anyone who will humor me. Apparently word has spread among the staff (guards, maintenance, etc) in Andrew's and my apartment building that "the American can speak Tagalog" because they've all stopped using English when talking to me.
I woke up this morning to a flurry of posts on my social media feeds that made me sick to my stomach. While I slept, hundreds of white supremacist terrorists with tikki torches gathered in Charlottesville. Met by counter protestors, violence between the groups escalated and resulted in injury and even death for one demonstrator. The president of my country failed to condemn the terrorists' actions, instead issuing a statement that basically said both sides (white supremacists and peace activists alike) had behaved badly.