Shopping responsibly and conciously links

Links posts are a dedicated space here for a roundup of links (that don’t fall into my normal post categories) that are sharing information about Made in USA, and as the title mentions, shopping responsibly and consciously.

There is no title to this link, other than I recently stopped by what was my old Made in USA favorite and found an unannounced change. See the sign above, a picture I took years ago. This time I when I went in, I noticed the signs and labels had chanaged to Made in China!!

See how their Our Story section now states

We produce most of our line in San Francisco & Los Angeles, where some of the best knits in the world are made. For our more technical styles, we manufacture overseas in the same fair and ethical garment factories that we would use in the states. The relationships that we build with our sewers are important to us, and we are confident that our product and brand are in good hands.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a little disappointed. But a lot of brands have been moving this way.

Big Words, Little Actions

Susie broaches the subject of fashion and sustainability, and how it’s such a difficult subject – but that sustainability should not be a small slice of the conversation, it should just be the norm.

20 PEOPLE THAT ACCIDENTALLY DRESSED LIKE THEIR SURROUNDINGS

When fashion is influenced by anything and everything, follies like this happen more often! It’s pretty hilarious.

Is Your Product Truly American-Made? How Imports, Suppliers and More Play Into the Coveted Made in USA Claim

Now that consumers are driving the supply chains with more understanding of promotion and products, they’re finally questioning the origins of their products more. Can a company really claim their products were made in the USA when all the pieces came from another country? Some lawsuits are challenging that!

‘Made in USA’ jeans case settles

Case in point – man sues AG jeans for Made in USA label but finds out most of the pieces but the denim are made in other countries, feels manipulated for paying more for a quality item, class action lawsuit follows. Now you too may qualify for a free pair of AG jeans if you are part of the suit!

Caveat emptor – Buzzfeed investigates “Made in China”

Have any of you been following these Buzzfeed stories about angry buyers who received their merchandise from Chinese wholesale retailers? It’s quite fascinating. It is the ultimate buyer beware moment we dread while shopping online. I think it’s best to say that if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Always try to do your research on the retailer before buying anything online.

I wasn’t going to write about this topic – except the week the original Buzzfeed article came out, I was emailed by one of the retailers asking me to run ads for them. They must have missed the whole thing about me being very pro-Made in the USA. I just didn’t respond to them – but I know that other bloggers run ads for these companies and often take free clothes from them.

The original article is about how Facebook heavily advertises and misleads users towards these sketchy online retailers.

Buzzfeed investigates
picture from Facebook group

The people then began to use Facebook itself as a tool to warn other potential buyers – creating forums where people could share their woes and warnings. They were also using the ability to contact Facebook heads via Facebook itself, to shame them for accepting ad money from these retailers. Facebook had no choice but to respond – it looks as if action still hasn’t been taken though.

I found it even more interesting that Buzzfeed followed up for us all by ordering a spread of merchandise from the accused sellers and creating a whole other post about it. Most of the items were not as described, just as the people on Facebook had shown. Items tend to not be of the fabric described and sizing was off.

Buzzfeed
Lauren Zaser / Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

A few of the things were wearable, but not of great quality and just not what the original picture presented. There was no original item, the retailers are stealing pictures from blogs and Instagram to sell items they do not carry in the first place. I haven’t heard much from the story recently – but I’m definitely following these types of stories as they progress.

CLOSED -Reading Rewards – Everything I learned I learned from a Little Golden Book

*contest is now closed, and winner was announced on Instagram*

Head on over to my Instagram where I’m hosting this month’s giveaway! It’s a cute, little inspirational book! Click HERE or on the image below

Reading Rewards

10 years blogging

Last year when I hit 9 years of blogging, I decided to do a 9 things I love/hate about blogging type of post. I went back and found my very FIRST post from 2006 (ugh, I still cringe reading it!) – when I came up with a name for my blog, I honestly thought I would be sharing pictures of all the junk I found at thrift stores. Instead, I was able to cultivate a personal style blog that now also incorporates sustainable fashion topics (USA made, second hand shopping, remixing your existing wardrobe, fair wages to name a few.)

This time, I wanted to do a REMIX of my favorite outfits from 2006-2016!

2006 – the first year
When I first began the blog, I used to love following Fashion Week online. If you go through my 2006 posts (spare yourself ;)) I really just loved finding the trends! I considered myself a trend hunter of fashion and style. I think that’s why I’ve been able to keep this blog for so long. I was inspired by what may have been one of Matthew Williamson’s first Pucci collections – which were more MW than Pucci. But I just really enjoyed the purple, that I tried to recreate the outfits with the purple I had in my closet. I had just moved to Las Vegas a little less than a year before and had discovered this vast world of thrifting and vintage there! SO MUCH stuff and at such cheap prices. I could afford a new vintage dress every week, they were always between 1-8 dollars. So on my modest budget, I had no choice but to recreate the runway through the thrift store. The quality of these pictures…ugh, 2006 was not a great time for digital cameras. Affordable ones were only a few steps above webcams.
Thrift Eye, blogging for ten years, style blogger

2007 – finding my quirky style
This was the year of the beginning of transitions – I was finishing up my run working as a teacher. I had begun working nights and weekends at Fornarina, an Italian retailer that was on the heels of Miss Sixty and that really thrust me into fashion much more. By the end of 2007, I was at the cusp of my new career in libraries and quit all other jobs.

Here on the blog, I established my “outfit of the day” posts versus “outfit of the night” since I was able to document lots of outfits from going out in Las Vegas. So the blog became a big catalog of going from daytime to nighttime. I really loved being colorful, but now also had started thinking about work appropriateness – since I was often dressing for two very different jobs! I was experimenting more with the idea of mixing “high and low” fashion. I started putting these black borders on my photos this year, and would continue to do so for a while. I have no idea why!!
Thrift Eye, blogging for ten years, style blogger

2008 – the rise of the blogger
This was the year of the blogger – big bloggers were starting to bloom, and it felt like EVERYONE had a blog. I was really coming into a more consistent space about balancing my life and blog. Before 2008, I was blogging fairly anonymously – it wasn’t common to show your face, and actually showcase your outfit! We were all moving away from that too, which is what I think of as the turning point in blogging. Moving away from the outfit itself, to the whole picture.

You can say I dipped my toes in everything! I was posting so much, almost daily! I had purchased a new camera which allowed me to take more pictures. I was experimenting with styles of taking photos – including this weird border I was obsessed with putting on my pictures or sometimes putting text on my photos. Bloggers were obsessed with runway knockoffs or achieving them with DIY’s. You also saw this as the year of subtle and new brand collaborations. We didn’t know how to do it, and it was completely new territory! I was able to work with Marshall’s to talk about a new shopping concept, the Cube; and also with bag company Jumeau.

This was my favorite outfit of the year – it sums up living in Las Vegas for me at that time – hot weather and funky vintage clothing.
Thrift Eye, blogging for ten years, style blogger

2009 – High Street is king
I think I can pinpoint this as the year I moved away from wearing vintage to wearing more high-street brands. H&M was finally becoming big in the US, along with Forever 21 and Zara, this made the aforementioned knockoff obsession much easier. As I went back through the posts from 2009, I realized I was able to post so many outfits because I was sharing my nighttime outfits just as much as my daytime ones! Nightlife can be (and was at that time) a big part of my social life while living in Las Vegas then.

This was also the year I went on a big trip through Europe (Dublin, Stockholm, London, Munich, Paris, and Madrid) and it really changed my life. My world definitely seemed infinitely smaller.

I was starting to gain more sponsorships – now out of business online store Chickdowntown, more partnerships with Marshall’s, reviewing products like jewelry from ice.com and Bath & Body Works. We were all treading new waters, at this point there were still no rules about disclosing gifts!

It was hard to pick a favorite outfit of 2009, but I think this one sums up the year pretty well. Going out at night was about showing off your body and being sort of flashy. This sparkly & shiny outfit sure fit the bill!
Thrift Eye, blogging for ten years, style blogger

2010 – leaving Las Vegas
I kind of remember 2010 being a weird year – both in life and blogging. I was figuring out BIG things. This was the year I decided to go back to school, I applied, got accepted and began my Master’s degree. It pretty much took over most of my spare time. I think it really affected my blog, as I had significantly less time to post and communicate on here. To make up for that, I moved to taking photos exclusively on my DSLR camera. It was kind of a happy accident – I had been using my point and shoot less by the end of 2009, and then I stepped on and broke it, oops! So I was forced to use the SLR to take pictures. So while there were fewer posts, the posts and pictures were of much higher quality!

I didn’t have my mind and time to become the type of bloggers I saw rise at this time. I wasn’t doing what I thought I’d be doing with the blog following the trend of the previous year. Because I was going to school and had a lot of money on the line, I couldn’t afford to be distracted from my studies! This was also the year I decided I’d reached my breaking point living in Las Vegas. We packed up our bags and moved to San Francisco on a whim!

Picking a favorite outfit of 2010 is hard yet again – I found so many happy memories with all my outfits! This was my birthday outfit, and my friends threw me a special party and I felt so elegant.
Thrift Eye, blogging for ten years, style blogger

2011 – First year in San Francisco
I never expected or planned for San Francisco itself to be such a huge part of my blog when I moved here. It’s had that much of an impact on me, still to this very day. It becomes another character in your life. I learned that San Francisco weather is a special beast unlike most cities – I had to depart from most of my Las Vegas wardrobe. Shoes were no longer hill friendly, clothes were for hot summers.

Here on the blog, things were getting busy! I finally was able to purchase and move over to my own official domain instead of blogspot. As my life was consumed by 2 library jobs and library school, I had the pleasure of bringing book related posts here, it’s still quite fun (even though I don’t have the time to do as many.) This was the year blogs were exploding all over San Francisco, I had the pleasure of getting to meet lots of new faces behind many blogs launching across San Francisco – events were happening almost every week by this point! By this year, I was beginning my sponsorship collaboration with Shopbop, but also smaller collaborations with Schutz shoes and Tpost magazine.

My favorite post of 2011? What could be considered quintessential San Francisco style! Layers and boots, at the most spectacular place…the Golden Gate Bridge!
Thrift Eye, blogging for ten years, style blogger

2012 – Crunch time
I can’t remember much of 2012, I didn’t do a good job of documenting it on the blog because I was neck deep, drowning in work as I finished up my Master’s degree! Because I was so involved in books and literature while finishing up my library degree, I began my Literary Take on Fashion series as an outlet to combine the blog and my passion for books. This was the year that blog events exploded even more! I felt like everyone was a blogger, new blogs were popping up everywhere! Personally, I think because it was a stressful time of my life, I had steadily gained quite a bit of weight over that year – I began to associate myself as a curvy blogger! I had done some fun collaborations with Splendid clothing and Julep nail polishes. And come December, the end of the loooooong year, I finally finished my degree and earned my Master’s! Still one of the biggest sighs of relief I’ve ever had in my life.

This outfit from 2013 was a little costumey. But it’s a real outfit, so I styled the records around ME! I’ve only recently finally got rid of the dress, it had shrank to the tiniest butt-baring size I could no longer decently wear. But this dress followed me from Las Vegas and was my vintage Guess? dream!

Thrift Eye, blogging for ten years, style blogger

2013 – Getting my (blog) groove back
After the weight of school was lifted off my shoulders, I decided it was time to get my real life back into gear. An intense job hunt was in effect and I was hustling with 3 different part-time library jobs the whole year just to get enough experience, with the hopes of landing a full time job somewhere! I had let my habits spin out of control and decided to get into shape to feel healthier. I had been feeling pretty bad about how I felt and looked, and had been growing my hair long for years to hide this. So it coincided with me chopping my long hair off (and I still haven’t been able to grow it back!) So I was exploring new styles and I had to revamp my wardrobe as I continued to lose weight. I was still styling some of my old clothes to fit my body, but this meant getting rid of some pieces and adding new ones. My curves always had made me love dresses, but I began to enjoy wearing pants again. Especially loving pants with colorful patterns and designs.

This was the year I decided to have some fun morphing myself into so many different personalities for Halloween. There were so many changes going on at the same time – this was also the year of the Rana Plaza accident and I felt guilty promoting a shameless consumption and really changed how I approach fashion on this blog. I began to post about Made in the USA, vowed to stop buying clothing made in China, and began my made in USA brand spotlight posts. My blog partnerships were still going strong – as I was working on projects with Intel/Microsoft, Gilt City, BareMinerals, and Penguin Books!

My favorite outfit of 2013 was from when I really began to see the changes in my body from eating better and working out. I was starting to feel sexy again.
Thrift Eye, blogging for ten years, style blogger

2014 – get focused
It’s funny now to look back and see how my road to librarianship pretty much took over six years of my life (from starting school to landing the right job) and the blog pretty much took a backseat to that priority. I don’t have the luxury to live off a blog like some others do. I rely on my work, but I feel like it’s my calling and I love being a librarian. It was easier to go through my 2014 posts because there were fewer! I feel like 2014 was also the year lots of people began rebelling against the fake-ness of many other bloggers – the duck-lips, arm parties, over stylized photos were starting to annoy people. And then…you started to see lots of blogs disappear! I blame fatigue and Instagram. I just always seem to do my own thing, and my long term plan was not to outrun others, just outlast them.

And while there were fewer posts, my Made in USA posts were still going strong. I created a list of Made in USA brands (that keeps growing!) and is still one of my most popular site searches. I took this opportunity of a slow time to update my blog template MYSELF! I don’t like to handover many things here, I’ve learned that the best way to do something is to do it myself. So that if it breaks, I can fix it. This was also the year I really allowed myself the break for having been blogging for 8 years – I was realizing I wore many of the things I wore way back in the beginning. Thus the birth of my REMIX posts. I still love doing those! Blog partnerships were fewer, as I had little time to focus on other projects. I wrapped up my Intel partnership and continued some work with Penguin books.

My favorite outfit of 2015 was my HOLY-GRAIL dress I had been dreaming of for years!
TThrift Eye, blogging for ten years, style blogger

2015 – BRB
And well, 2015 wasn’t that long ago, but a little recent introspection never hurt anyone. 2015 was my chill year. I got to travel quite a bit, and to some very new and exciting places – Tokyo, Hawaii, Portland & Seattle. I took the year to really enjoy myself and think of why I even have this blog. I can’t really answer that anymore, other than I like doing it. I think because I like writing…I’ve been writing this simple book about my life for the last 10 years. I’m sure my Creative Writing thesis advisor would love to hear about this. I’ve scaled back a lot of things in all aspects of my life. I started my Reading Rewards posts on Instagram to give all of you a chance to get a free book.

I took on no external partnerships, other than my continuing sponsorship by Shopbop. The whole year, I kept getting approached by companies manufacturing in China, so I turned them all down. It would be facetious of me to tout Made in USA clothing up and down this blog and then collaborate with a company that doesn’t do that. It’s a pretty hard road to go down, because it closes a lot of doors. I’m trying to figure out how to change that. I want to work with and collaborate with more diverse companies that are sustainable and conscious companies, even if it’s not made in USA (although it would be ideal.)

Maybe because it’s too recent, but I have A LOT of 2015 favorite outfits. But I guess if I had to pick just one, it would be my birthday outfit. I had a sunny picnic in the park with some friends flying kites, eating ice cream, and it was just a really nice day to remember.
Thrift Eye, blogging for ten years, style blogger

2016 – live in the now
This post took me SO much longer than expected to write. But Im glad I took the time to go through my repertoire of past posts. I often ask myself WHY AM I DOING THIS?! and seeing the old posts made me realize why I do this. I dont post as much as I would like to or can, because you know, LIFE! But Im happy with all the things Ive gotten to do and the people I have met through this blog. It has made me connected to a wide community of people sharing small pieces of their life online. Thank you for going on this roller coaster with me.

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