fresh, inspired living
We've been so happy to transition our own adult wardrobes over to capsule styling these past few seasons. Creating an easy to mix and match collection of basics has inspired us to shop cleaner, buy less and take care of what we have.
When we created our baby clothes collection, we had the same "capsule wardrobe" in mind; this time, pint sized. We wanted to offer key pieces that would work together, be easy to style and of course, lots of one pieces, from everyday pieces to our luxury knit rompers. Creating a capsule wardrobe makes life easier for parents, reduces the amount of clothes you buy and allows you to spend your money on pieces you love!
Tips for a Baby Capsule Wardrobe
- Pick 3-4 colors for all of your pieces: We like navy, gray, white and stone for boys this summer and a soft blush, gray, white and berry for girls. Then try to only purchase clothes and patterns that focus on those colors. That way, anything you pick from the closet will coordinate - no need to fret because something is in the laundry basket!
- Learn to Appreciate without Buying: Baby items are just too darn cute, and it's hard not to hit the add to cart button every time you see a onesie with a cute saying or a new pattern that feels on trend. Remember that it's okay to appreciate it without buying.
- Focus on Quality: Your little one may only wear something for 2- 6 months, but with a smaller wardrobe, you're going to be washing that item several times during its tenure. Focus on quality materials that will hold up well to everyday life. You'll still save over buying tons of clothes that will never get worn or used.
- Determine what's important to you in your baby's wardrobe: Warmth, comfort, color, ease of dressing? Find the value or two that makes the most sense for your life and feel good about purchasing things that fit.
We all know that organic cotton goods are better for farmers, workers and our families, but did you know that there are a host of our environmental and social impacts? We did some research and compiled our 3 favorite ways that your organic textile purchase is changing the world!
1. Soil Health: Without the use of synthetic fertilizers, farmers must use compost and manure to fertilize their crops. This increases soil organic carbon, which increases soil health. It also prevents soil and water contamination.
2. Supporting Organic Food: Because organic farming often uses crop rotation to replenish the soil, the fields that grow your organic cotton one season, may be home to organic fruits and veggies the next. This allows the land to be more productive. Don't forget that cottonseed oil is used in food production, so organic cotton production meeds an increase in organic cottonseed oil!
3. Farmer Profitability: Studies show that organic farming is 22-35% more profitable for farmers than conventional. Because most cotton farms in India are small, family run operations, this means more money in the hands of the community.
Most of us can still vividly remember the Rana Plaza factory collapse that happened in 2013. When the building fell, more than 1100 workers were killed and we were forced to reckon with the fact that the clothes we buy have a background - people, places and materials that created them before they ever ended up in our closet.
That year, we were just launching our line and we were too, learning about manufacturing in the home and textile industry. A lot of what we found out was unsettling and put us on a five year journey to understand what textiles that were safe for families and the workers behind them would look like. Over the course of our learning experience, we found out about Fashion Revolution and were inspired by their mission and motivated by their push for all brands to be more transparent with their supply chain and move towards environmental protection and human rights as key tenets in the fashion industry.
Fashion Revolution was co-founded by Carry Somers and Orsola de Castro and they envision a world where creativity, the environment, people and profit are all valued in equal measure. Their efforts span all year long, but April 22-28, 2019 marks Fashion Revolution Week and is their #whomademyclothes campaign. It's a week as consumers to ask questions of the brands who make our goods and for companies to share more information about the people and processes in their supply chain. Follow #imadeyourclothes and #whomademyclothes to learn about fashion brands that are charting a new path in transparency and ethical manufacturing.
I shared on Instagram stories a few weeks ago that my goal for lent was to try to "give up" (or at least reduce) single use plastic. We say all the time that living more organically and intentionally isn't an overnight thing and shouldn't be stressful. It's about finding the small ways that you can make life changes and using the money and resources you already spend in ways that are better for the environment and people. But I will be honest that attacking the plastic monster is HARD. I don't think I realized how prevalent it was in my life until I took the time to recognize it.
I know that if there's one area of the house that single use plastic reigns, it's the kitchen. We already strive to bring reusable bags to the store and don't buy single use water bottles, but we knew we were ready to take on some of the other plastic that was ending up in the garbage or recycling bin each day. With a bit of advice, I found four strategies that seemed to make the biggest impact on my plastic use. \
We are perimeter grocery store shoppers and buy A LOT of produce each week (I am not joking when I say that our family of 3 eats about 15 pears a week). Because we scan groceries ourselves, our fridge was always stocked with those thin plastic produce bags. I picked up these organic cotton mesh bags from Organic Cotton Mart and voila - plastic produce bags are gone! Our local grocery store doesn't have a way to input tare weights (the existing weight of the bag before the produce you buy), but I simply weighed the produce without the bag and then put it in the mesh container when I was done. I throw them in my reusable shopping bags so I'm never without them when I head to the store.
It's easy to throw plastic wrap or aluminum foil over a pot or container without second thought (and then toss it into the trash can just as easily). Bee's Wrap can be washed and reused, and while they do have a lifespan, we've heard that you can rub them with new wax to bring them back to life. If you ever do need to toss them, they're biodegradable and compostable. Our other favorite perk. No plastic chemicals in contact with our food! It took a bit of time
3. Shopping the Bulk Bins
One thing I noticed during this experiment was how much plastic was used in my off the shelf purchases from the grocery store. Easiest way to combat this - shopping the bulk bins with reusable bags. Nuts and grains are available in bulk bins at most grocery stores for way less than their prepackaged counterparts. We head there first for pantry essentials and snacks and store everything in resealable containers. We're even entertaining the idea of a grocery co-op membership so we have more bulk options!
We're a Ms. Meyers family (Honeysuckle is by far our favorite scent). Instead of buying a new bottle each time we run out, we're purchasing bulk containers so we can refill our dispensers. We also bought one big container of multi purpose cleaner and have been making our own surface/counter cleaner. It's reduced our need to buy five or six different cleaners, reducing our plastic use and keeping us more organized under the sink.
What I loved about this experience is that every change I implemented, I plan to continue (way better than all of those years giving up caffeine and chocolate only to gorge myself at the end of lent). My next goal is to head to Phase II and figure out how to extend this plastic reduction to other rooms in the house. First on my list: The Bathroom. More to come!
Over the past year, we've been actively discussing ways to embody our company's core value of transparency. As a company with ethics as the backbone of our production process, we wanted to share the stories behind our products and introduce you to the people who inspire us to do better every single day.
Phase I of our lot number program is rolling out this week. Select products in our travel, home and baby category have a lot number on the back that you can use to find out more about the certifications, factories and artisans behind your new zestt purchase.
Simply visit www.zesttorganics.com/transparency and enter your lot no. You'll be taken to a page where we share your GOTS certification number, talk about any additional certifications your product boasts, as well as introduce you to the factory where you product was made and what they are doing to create a more ethical production environment.
Our goal is to have this lot no. as part of every zestt organics product by January 2020 and to continue to expand the information we share.
This past September we had the opportunity to travel to India to spend time with our suppliers, their families and employees. For us, this business has always been about more than a 'brand." We wanted to create a company that allowed our customers to create an impact with each purchase. When you click check out and bring home a baby blanket, comfy throw or cozy wrap, your purchase is creating demand for organic cotton, supporting a factory that adheres to the strictest social and employment standards, and supporting environmental stewardship in production.
While we wish that we could take every customer to India to see this impact first hand, we figured that visiting and sharing these stories would be the next best thing.
There is no way to capture our visit in one blog post, and I'm certainly not going to try. Rather, our hope is to use our stories, photos and videos from the September trip to share pieces of your impact. We wanted to start today with three of our biggest lessons learned.
1. At our core, all people want to be seen, recognized and appreciated.
One of our favorite memories was meeting the gentleman who oversees fabric cutting at our woven manufacturer. He's been doing his job for over 10 years and he's really good at what he does. You could tell that the other workers respected his abilities and considered him the best at his craft. You could also see his pride in our interest of his job and the accolades of his supervisor and co-workers. Creating jobs and supporting factories where all people are able to feel pride in what they do is essential to the human experience and we loved being able to see it first hand!
2. Women are at the heart of textile production in India. Buying ethical textiles is key to supporting women there.
Only 28.5% of women in India participate in the formal labor force. The textile and garment manufacturing sector is critical to supporting women in the workforce, BUT it is critical that these jobs are safe and pay fairly. Supporting GOTS certified textiles and clothing and understanding the labor practices of the brands you support is essential in supporting women worldwide. We also look to see how women are included in the management team with our manufacturing partners. From being an owner, to being given the opportunity to manage accounts and finances, we were proud to see how women are integrated into the highest level of responsibility with each company.
3. The regulatory requirements required for us to be a GOTS certified company are worth the effort.
As a young business, we are often frustrated with the amount of paperwork and cost associated with regulatory compliance. Spending time with the people behind our product was a reminder of WHY we do it. Inspections ensure working conditions are safe and fair wages are being paid. Testing ensures that harmful chemicals aren't in the products you buy for your family and that our craftspeople aren't exposed to their risks.
This can also apply to us at shoppers. We'll be the first to admit that as busy moms and business owners, we will often pull up amazon or head to a big box store out of convenience. At times, this is what needs to happen. But oftentimes, we have the time and energy to do more research. How are the products we are buying being made? Is the supply chain committed to ethical practices? If we don't know, we need to ask! Simply calling customer service and asking these questions sends a message.
Next week, we'll be sharing more information about our lot number program, including how our visit to India spurred our motivation for the project.
The February temperatures have us all dreaming of a dream vacation, but it's no question that international travel has a carbon footprint. As lovers of travel and conscious consumption, we sought out to create a wish list of Carribean eco resorts to visit. We've combed through them all and these are the best of the best in each category.
Most Budget Friendly: Natura Cabana, Dominican Republic
Nestled into the landscape with natural building materials, like thatched roofs and stone walls, the 10 cabanas that make up this resort create an idyllic backdrop for a carribean vacation. They are open air, with no AC or televisions, but the connection to their surroundings and the price tag ($200/night with breakfast included), make them an ideal budget friendly option.
Most Remote & Luxurious: Tiamo Resort, the Bahamas
It's a journey to get there, but this luxury eco resort located on South Andros Island in the Bahamas, will cure any residual jet lag. In addition to their environmental commitment seen in everything from solar water heaters to ecological friendly cleaning products, they also educate their guests to help create
All Around Winner: Lodge at Chaa Creek, Belize
Chaa Creek bills itself as a "wildly civilized luxury resort," and it more than fits the bill. 10% of the resorts REVENUE (not profits) goes directly to environmental and community projects. Our favorite initiative is that they run a free, week long summer camp for Belizean kids each summer that teaches them about biodiversity and environmental stewardship. They also work to keep ecotourism at the heart of everything they do, ensuring that their guests can help Belize maintain its beauty and charm for future visitors. They boast a variety of room styles, ranging from $429 to more than $1,000 per night. We are dreaming of the Kukulan Master Suite which boasts walls of windows that open to the surrounding jungle, an outdoor shower and private pool.
If you're like us, then you love any opportunity to spread love in February. Valentine's Day is the perfect opportunity to let our kids, friends and spouses know how much we care. But there's no need to sacrifice consumer ethics in the name of love. We're here to help with our favorite picks for Valentine's goodies that are environmentally friendly, organic or fair trade! Even better, we found something for everybody, from your kid's classroom bash to your partner in life.
FOR THE CLASSROOM PARTY
Nothing is more fun as a kid than the big Valentine's Day party. Exchanging cards, candy and notes with your friends is always a cause for excitement. Of course, as a parent, it also means you need to coordinate each year's treat for your child.
So many reasons to love these Valentine's from Mercy House Global. The bracelets support families in the Phillipines and come with recycled cards with a witty saying. Fair trade + puns = true love.
The perfect way to share some organic goodness. There's enough in each box for the entire classroom and each wrapper includes a space to write TO/FROM, so there's no need for additional cards or paper!
Valentine's Day is about celebrating love and there's nothing better than taking the time to let the women in your life know how much they mean to you.
Whether it's for your mama who's always there for you, your Aunt who always keeps you laughing or your best friend who's only a text away, this warm and cozy wrap will make them feel wrapped in love for the 14th.
Created by the Have Hope Artisan group, these bracelets are perfect for any jewelry lover and go with everything. Each time your friend wears them, they'll know your purchase helped women work with dignity!
FOR YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER
They see you through your best and your worst... they at least deserve a nice card and some chocolates!
Forget a last minute trip to the store for a generic card leftover. This card from Globe In is made lovingly in the Phillipines by victims of sex trafficking. It's so beautiful, you won't want to toss it in the garbage. Frame it as a work of art!
If you pay attention to the Fair Trade movement, then you know that chocolate manufacturers are under increasing scrutiny to clean up their act. Some of the largest sweets producers have been tied to child labor and farmer poverty in their supply chain. Purchasing fair trade chocolate means that
Twice a year, we enter market season, where we debut our new collections with our retail partners from around the country In most cases, we've been working for more than a year on the new catalog of introductions and this is the first chance we have to share it with the outside world. It's also our best opportunity to discuss the product line with the stockists who help share it with you - the end customer. We love hearing what is selling well, what customers are loving and how we can continue to bring new organic cotton products to market.
Today, we wanted to share some of this market's customer favorites! In late February, they will be in stock with our retail partners across the country so get excited for more than 70+ new introductions.
Lounge Robes $98
Our newest addition to the lounge collection - these robes are spun from our softest organic cotton. They'll be available in two sizes (S/M and L/XL) and four gorgeous colors.
everyday kimono bodysuit ($24) + hat ($14)
Our everyday clothing collection is new this season, with all of the basics for dressing baby (in organic cotton, of course). Made of super soft interlock fabric, the pieces are high quality and made to last. Customers loved the soft hand and durability.
essential knit throw ($128)
This season, we wanted a knit throw that felt lighter. Something that everyone would want by their coziest chair in just the perfect weight. Customers commented on the fringe detailing and 4 color options.
Travel Poncho in Blush ($68)
We added blush to our usual neutral line up this season and sales showed that customers responded. It's the perfect pale shade of pink for our travel wraps and ponchos. Even better, all of our travel items got an upgrade, with their own travel pouch.