I shop with heart.
I used to call my old blog Adored Austin "an affordable fashion blog", but starting in August 2011 it become a guideline of mine that I shop with heart. For me that means instead of chasing every new trend and accumulating a lot of "fast fashion" or throw away items, I first consider pieces that can transition from season to season and from year to year. As a by-product, that means that I often promote affordability second to product longevity. I also aim to work with retailers and brands who offer a selection of products made in the USA, second hand or vintage, socially minded, eco-friendly, sustainable, and/ or items with a low price per wear/use. This means that instead of promoting "affordable fashion" I try to build a wardrobe that is purchased or accepted with heart and thought. Any "investment piece" that I purchase or receive should be of the highest quality and produced in a facility or country with regulated, monitored, and fair working conditions or by a company with a published commitment to sustainability and / or human working conditions.
These guidelines are in place for not only the things I buy but also for the courtesy items I receive, the brands that I work with, and the giveaways that I do. I will encourage Indiana Elsewhere partners to carry more items that fall into these guidelines, publish where garments are manufactured (by noting "imported" or "made in the USA"), ask them to make it easier to find "Made in the USA" items, and to adopt a published set of socially responsible guidelines.
I'm not wholly against products made in China, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Mexico, Vietnam, or Turkey [and etc] but I do want the retailers who I work with and the companies who I purchase from to be able to vouch for both the work environment of the places that produce their products as well as the quality of the goods they're selling. I'm not going to be perfect at this and I am not going to expect every company to be perfect at this, but I do want to make a wholehearted effort to try.
If you have any questions concerning my "I Shop With Heart" guidelines, please feel free to contact me.
I've listed some of my favorite shops at the bottom of my recommendations page.