what is your slavery footprint?


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Questions you could consider asking the brand

  • What do you do to ensure decent working conditions in the factories where your clothes are made?
  • How do you support workers being able to negotiate their own working conditions?
  • Are you confident that the price you pay for your garments is enough to ensure that the workers who make them earn a sufficient wage to support themselves and their family?

Vintage fashion and second hand clothing is also an option

As a consumer you can buy things from second hand stores, borrow, swap, and generally find ways to buy less new clothing. This is one way to slow down the ever increasing speed with which we consume clothing. This approach also pays heed to the environmental problems of clothing waste and over consumption of materials.

However, we don’t propose this as the simple solution to the industry’s problems. Jobs for workers in the fashion industry are a life line for many. We feel it is our job to promote these jobs, but advocate for them to be well paid and secure. Buying less first hand clothing could slow down production, reduce pressure in workplaces, and help improve conditions. But it could also cause job losses for workers who rely on the fashion industry for their livelihoods, and not improve workplace pressure at all. We have no way to measure this effect. {Yes, we know it’s not a pretty picture!}

It is also important to mention the big problem of waste created by the second hand clothing business. It is often the case that second hand clothing, when not sold, is dumped on emerging markets in developing countries, and their local fashion industry is damaged. If and when you support a second hand clothing retailer, it is important to ask questions about their waste and ensure that it isn’t having this effect.

We realize that this is not a very clear answer, but it is all we are in a position to give, right now. The main point is that, as with first hand clothes, it is important to be aware of the possible effects of our actions, also when buying second hand or vintage. Clearly the long term solution to all these issues is that changes in the production process have to be introduced in which respect for workers’ rights are embedded.

 

 

JO’S FAVE ETHICAL CLOTHING BRANDS:

 


is makeup shaming really a thing now?

I have been wanting to address this topic for awhile now but I was not sure how to describe it. Then I noticed it had been given a name, ‘makeup shaming’. It has been bothering me that people who are used to expressing themselves through the art of makeup are being made to feel guilty. For any of you who are thinking…’Huh? What did I miss?’ I came across this article which explains it quite clearly, MAKEUP SHAMING by Huff Post.

In my early twenties I became very sick. Until that point, I had felt pretty invincible. So I kept expecting to wake up one day and feel myself again, the way you do after suffering from the flu. Instead, I had to take a leave of absence from my career and I spent the next decade in and out of the hospital, often in debilitating pain. I was used to being the person people could count on. Even though it took patience and a lot of prayer, I was eventually able to get my health back, but the experience changed me. Makeup had always been a passion, but in those quiet days of solitude, makeup became a lifeline for me. It kept me sane. It gave me something to look forward to. It was like therapy.

A few years ago I heard about a makeup artist named Talia, who had been diagnosed with cancer. Doing makeup for her seemed to be like breathing, it was a natural outlet. It saddened me to see her becoming more sick. I knew of that place she went to when she did makeup. It was an escape from the doctors and medicine and pain. Talia passed away in 2013 but I still think about her often. I was never able to meet her face to face but through her art I saw her beautiful soul. Even though she was only thirteen when she passed away, she accomplished a lot in her life. She reminded me to seize the moment and to focus on what I am passionate about.

These days, I often feel more like a makeup ‘naturopath’ than a makeup artist. On a weekly basis I have clients and friends who need makeup and skincare advice after being scarred from a serious skin condition, disfigured from an accident, or because they are recovering from cancer. They are not trying to use makeup to be someone else, they just want to get back to feeling more like themselves again.

You might be wondering what this has to do with ‘makeup shaming’. That is just it. From my point of view, it doesn’t really make any sense. Yes, there are some people out there who wear their makeup as a mask and hide behind it. But you cannot put everyone into that same category. And if someone has deeper issues, I don’t believe that ‘makeup shaming’ is going to bring about any kind of positive results. We need to lead with empathy and encourage young people to express themselves, not the opposite. I think if you can see makeup as a form of art, you will understand that we are all creative artists. What is the shame in that?

I want to extend my gratitude to all of you who put yourselves out there by sharing your story. Below is a photo from a beautiful client and friend from New York who, like each of us, has become her own artist. She is a cancer survivor, and although she has regained her health, her skin has changed and it has become part of her story. If there is anyone out there who is looking for full coverage makeup that is also healing for skin, we would love to help. Just send us an email at iartists@hautcosmetics.ca.

 

Jen

six tips to spark self love

Imagine having only self-affirming, positive thoughts about yourself. Instead of harsh, critical words creeping in and bringing you down, sparkles of self-love would continually lift you up throughout the day. Your potential would be limitless! You’d be fully confident in your strengths and ready to take on the world in your own goddess-like way. Sadly, as I’ve witnessed over the past eight years as a full time yoga teacher, this is usually not the case. Many of my students, women in particular, are so hard on themselves, especially when they get in front of a mirror. You can literally see the judgement in their eyes, even while practicing yoga – which is intended to be a journey of self acceptance.

To help you put self criticism in its rightful place, I’ve compiled these six yoga-based tips. They’ll spark some awareness and self lovin’ so you can stop being blocked by your thoughts and start using them to maximize your haut-ness.

  1. Start tuning in. Take five minutes in a quiet room by yourself, sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Start paying attention to your thoughts. Listen carefully. You’ll notice your mind bouncing around. What exactly are you telling yourself about yourself? Just observe.
  2. Meditate with eyes open. Now that you’re observing your thoughts, notice what crosses your mind during the day, like when you look in the mirror. How about when you’re falling asleep? Notice if you have a tendency to judge yourself for what you’re thinking. Just step back and be a witness to the chatter going on inside your head.
  3. Take note. Once you have started hearing your internal dialogue, try jotting it down. Seeing the negative bits on paper can help so much in realizing how untrue they are!
  4. Give yourself compassion. Once you’ve shone some light on your self-thoughts, you can start to practice what I call compassionate logic. For example, if you looked in the mirror and thought ‘Ugh, I look terrible today.’, first give yourself gentle compassion for speaking unkind words to yourself. Would you say that to someone you love? Your most treasured friend in the entire world?? NO!! Start treating yourself like your best friend (because you are!) – with the care and kindness you deserve.
  5. Use logic to solve the underlying issue. The statement ‘Ugh, I look terrible today.’ needs some logical deconstructing. Do you really look terrible, or are you just in a mood? If you really don’t look your best, what is a step you can take to feel better about it? Maybe some mineral makeup touchups and a smile to refresh your face? If you have bags, maybe you need to get some better sleep and ease up on the coffee. If your skin is not looking fresh, perhaps it’s time to up your water intake, reduce stress and get some outdoor activity. Be specific about what you perceive as the problem so you can deal with it constructively.
  6. Use compassion and logic together to create real, lasting change in the way you think about yourself.

Self love is radiant. It is more flattering than any outfit, hair-do or expensive yoga pants. So next time those harsh thoughts creep in, be aware, be kind, and use your logic. You’ll be taking on the world in no time.

xoxo,

Jennifer