A POST BY INDIANA . . .
As I mentioned at the end of episode 04, in 2011, overwhelmed with the amount of clothing I had acquired, I adopted a shopping philosophy I called "Shop With Heart". I stopped regularly indulging in fast fashion and instead sought out brands who had a give-back model, paid fair-trade wages, and empowered their manufacturers instead of exploiting them.
Since then, I've come to know and love a number of brands that do good. On my (now defunct) fashion blog, I championed brands like TOMS, Noonday Collection, Raven + Lily, Purse & Clutch, and more. While it was relatively easy to find Shop With Heart accessories brands, it was quite difficult to find brands that offered affordable, cute apparel.
So when Purpose Boutique reached out to introduce their new line of Purpose Dresses back in February, I was all ears. The Purposes Dresses are a line of flattering, cute dresses manufactured by the women of Open Arms, female refugees who have sought asylum with their families in the U.S. The dresses transition from season to season, wash and wear well, and are timeless and comfortable.
Open Arms is located in my old stomping grounds of Austin, Texas, and when I traveled back to the area to speak at SXSW and for TxSC, I was able to meet the women who manufactured the Purpose Dresses. What a privilege it was to shake the hands of those who sew the clothes that I (and so many others) wear and to hear a bit of their stories.
This is Odile, working on the new HÅLLNING line for IKEA. Do you see the smile on her face? I was struck by how cheerful the workroom was. Laughter rang out over the hum of the sergers and the small team worked together so efficiently. My plan was to take more photos, but when I got there, I put the camera down so I could talk face to face with these amazing women, instead of peering at them from my lens. If you're in Austin, I suggest setting up an appointment to meet this hard working production team. How often do you get to look into the eyes of the person who made your garments?
This dress is pretty amazing. I cannot reiterate how flattering the fit is. The length, the scoop neck, the slight swing in the skirt. I am so honored that Purpose Boutique sent me this dress to wear during my SXSW talk (1, 2) and since then, honestly, it's the one dress I reach for over and over again each week. If I lived in Washington, I have a feeling that I may as well get a job at Purpose Boutique because I'd be in the store so dang much.
CHRIS: So... I thought with the new website we weren't going to do outfit photos anymore.
INDIANA: Oh, we're still going to do them. Not every day as that's not our main focus now, but you know I can't give up style photos cold turkey, right?
C: You know the outfits were my least favorite part of your website.
I: Wait what? You least favorite thing was my outfits? Or taking the photos of my outfits?
C: Taking the photos of your outfits. I do like that dress!
I: Thanks. Me, too. I have it in navy blue now, too. So get ready. We can shoot that the next time I wear it.
C: You know I've bought you two tripods over the course of the last several years, right?
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