Author Archives: drdonley

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How to Ethically Accessorize!


Over the course of my last few blog posts, I have taken you through ethical purchasing and production of clothing and where to buy such products as well as getting engaged the ethical way! Today I want to discuss ethical accessories – shoes, bags, jewelry, home goods, and even office accessories. My goal is to prove to you that shopping ethically produced and sourced goods is really not hard, is similar to the normal goods you purchased financially, and how you will be helping countless people with your purchases.

For example, this glass bead bracelet shown below (click the picture to view/purchase) is only $14 and is made from recycled glass from the Cape Coast. Global Mamas is the name brand and it is produced by a group of women from Ghana. The picture below on the right is called a Wakami Simplicity Strand made from female artisans from Guatemala, costing $12 and can be worn as a wrap bracelet or a necklace. Both of these items, if purchased, benefit start-up organizations in order for them to attain economic freedom.

These two items are just a glimpse into the world of ethical accessories. They both came from a great ethical accessory resource, Global Girlfriend, “Global Girlfriend was created by Stacey Edgar in 2003 to help women worldwide gain economic security while providing your store with unique products and a simple way to help women and communities in need. Today, we have more than 1,000 points of distribution, ranging from natural food stores, to boutiques, to college bookstores. Our store-within-a-store business model makes it easy for you to offer your customers high quality, ethically-sourced gifts from 34 countries around the world. We believe in the power of commerce to alleviate poverty, and your partnership is the cornerstone to achieving that mission.”

More resources for ethical goods can be found at:

  • Delve.  – Specializing in bed, bath, fashion, kitchen, and living accessories, the ethical way.
  • Fairware – Selling unique items that meet standards of social and environmental responsibility.
  • Soludos – Hand crafted espadrilles made with natural and eco-friendly materials.
  • Shop to Stop Slavery – Resource for ethically sourced items from cosmetics to breast cancer awareness goods.
  • Toms – Shoes and  eyewear; every pair purchased buys another pair for a child without shoes. One for one.
  • Blue Caravan – An ethical design market featuring contemporary handmade, fair trade & ethical products
    by independent designers, artists and artisans.
  • OCC Apparel – Sweatshop free and organic t-shirt and fabric specialists.
  • Danaqa – ‘World chic’, a resource for ethical goods from around the world.
  • Oxfoam – Proceeds from their goods support organizations worldwide in order to fight injustices.

My hope is, by showcasing these items and providing resources for you to shop ethically for anything from clothing to home goods, you can see just how easy it is! So what is stopping you from buying ethical goods?

Peace, love, and an ethical you!


Ethical Accessories


If you are anything like me, you have recently seen countless friends become engaged or even been in attendance for their weddings. While I remain single, yet married to my school work and jobs – I can still appreciate a delicious, fabulous, and stunning diamond ring. On the plus side I get to see all of my friends rings before one is graciously placed on my hand. I like to think of it as window shopping! 🙂

On that same note, while admiring the sparkle, you have to keep in mind where those beautiful diamonds have come from. I want to clarify what conflict diamonds are as well as how the concept of “Fair Trade” works.
Conflict Diamonds

-“In relation to diamond trading, conflict diamond (also called a converted diamond, blood diamond, hot diamond, or war diamond) refers to a diamond mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, invading army’s war efforts, or a warlord’s activity, usually in Africa where around two-thirds of the world’s diamonds are extracted.” (Blood Diamonds)

-According to Brilliant Earth, a source for “Ethical Origin Fine Jewelry”,  “Conflict diamonds,” according to the most widely-used definition, are diamonds that finance rebel movements against recognized national governments. These diamonds are also referred to as blood diamonds. Many retailers offer “conflict free diamonds,” providing only a limited promise that their diamonds do not finance these violent rebel groups.”

What can you do?

  • When purchasing, look to fair trade retailers.

“Fair Trade is a trading partnership based on dialogue, transparency and respect that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers…”

  • Contribute to organizations that help the victims of blood diamond harvesting and the civil unrest it has caused.

Hands for Africa is a non-profit organization working to restore lost hope to those devastated by the civil war in Sierra Leone. We support amputees by developing and implementing self-reliance programs and providing the necessary aid for the advancement of these self-reliance programs. Below is a video detailing the work that they do.

Do your homework on how certain conflict-free diamonds are harvested and sold. Below are links to various resources of where to buy or even just browse non-conflict diamonds.

Peace, love, and sparkling ethically sourced diamonds for all!


Make your resistance wearable.


In my last post I discussed the issues and violence surrounding the manufacturing sectors of the fashion industry. While some of the videos and information were disturbing, it allowed for us to really see what is behind the production of the clothing we all too often take for granted. If you reacted like I did, you were mad, upset, sad, and mostly guilty for buying clothing from these manufacturers and not really thinking about the effect of your actions.

For a little historical motivation for change, I provide you with this quote from Thomas Paine, “The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.”

If all of those feeling are true for you as well, I want to provide you with some options to make a change in your purchasing habits. If you are a fan of H&M‘s clothing, then you are in luck! According to The Guardian, H&M just might be the new home of ethical fashion. H&M has recently positioned themselves as the second largest retailer in their sector, bringing in $412 Million quarterly. H&M’s sustainability report is set to be released later today, so stay tuned if you want more details about their corporate social responsibility.

“What I can say is that we do the very best we can with a lot of resources and a clear direction of what we’re supposed to do. We’re working really hard.” Says  Helena Helmersson, head of sustainability for H&M.

While H&M is making great steps toward being a more socially responsible company, they haven’t fully made the transition to an ethical corporation. However, buying from H&M’s Conscious collection is an awesome step towards a responsible fashion outlook.

In my research on H&M I came across another great find, The Guardian spotlights a book by Lucy Siegle dubbed as “An expose on the fashion industry written by the Observer’s ‘Ethical Living’ columnist, examining the inhumane and environmentally devastating story behind the clothes we so casually buy and wear.” Click the photo below for more information and to purchase the book.

Straying from the fashion industry for just a moment, I want to highlight the website called U : R E S I S T. It is an online medium that sells clothing in an effort to support the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, with 100% of their proceeds going to that cause. They  also blog on hot button issues in an effort to support resistance movements as well as fuel the fire of those who are already interested in large-scale movements, such as OWS. While I personally do not agree with some of the things they say on their site, it really is a great resource to get started or find some motivation to make a change in your own life as well as make your resistance outwardly visible to those around you!

In an attempt to find digital resources in which consumers can look to for help with staying sustainable and resist the norm of sweat shops, underpaid, and mistreated workers, I came across the Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF). It is a resource for fashion professionals in an effort to create a sustainable and responsible future for the fashion industry.

A not for profit organisation, EFF aims to make it easy for fashion professionals to integrate sustainability at the heart of what they do. Membership of the ETHICAL FASHION FORUM delivers support for fashion businesses towards sustainability through three programmes. Each programme includes several essential tools which members can take advantage of to succeed in ethical fashion business.

While not all of us are or plan to be fashion professionals, I have found many other resources! Even Ebay has joined the ethical fashion bandwagon on their site called, World of Good: Where your shopping shapes the world. They claim to allow consumers to “Update your wardrobe and help the planet, too! From hemp to hand-woven wool and organic cotton, feel good about wearing our ethically sourced Fair Trade and eco-friendly clothing and shoes for children, men, and women.” One of the best parts is that you can choose to chop by the category you wish to help such as, People positive, Eco positive, Animal friendly, or Support a cause.


Another great resource and search engine for ethical fashion is Eco Fashion World. “Eco Fashion World’s GUIDE is your essential resource to sustainable designer brands and online eco fashion stores. Click on any search button above to help you find what you’re looking for. Being a green shopper and a sustainable fashionista has never been so easy.” They allow for consumers to search for ethically produced goods through various categories, by brand, store, category, eco criteria, or country.
Stay tuned to everywherealways for more information on how to purchase, wear, and be educated on ethical fashion and corporate social responsibility.
As always, Peace, Love, and an ethically fashionable you!

Apparel Part 2 – What can you do?


Any change in textile manufacturing starts with corporate social responsibility. There are countless websites and organizations that want to help – giving the consumer the information and tools to allow them to join the fight. According to Fibre Fashion, the World of Textile, Garment, and Fashion, “Social responsibility is “an organization’s obligation to maximize its positive impact and minimize its negative impact on the society”. In other words, it is “the concept that businesses should be actively concerned with the welfare of the society at large. Social responsibility can be broadly divided into two parts: human responsibility and environmental responsibility.” With the textile production industry I want to look at the human responsibility aspect.

Human responsibility refers to the responsibility of the organization towards the various parties associated with it, which are known as ‘stakeholders’ in business parlance. These parties include employees, shareholders, the government, customers, investors, suppliers, competitors and the society at large.

Making a change can begin with corporations:

  • Having ethical recruitment, remuneration, promotion and other policies.
  • Providing opportunities to employees to voice their opinion and complaints and have an effective policy for the solution of these complaints.
  • Ensuring a safe working environment for the employees.
  • Having fair policies for the solution of employee disputes.
  • Providing the necessary information to the government as and when required.
  • Abiding by the laws and regulations of the area in which the firm operates.
  • Contributing to the economy through exports.
  • Undertaking community development and area development programs.
  • Undertaking charity work for the underprivileged sections of the society.
  • Creating job opportunities.
  • Eliminate those purchasing practices that depress wages and foster abuse.
  • Urge the government of Bangladesh (or any other location where there are unfair work practices) to protect workers’ freedom of association and expression.
  • Reform its own auditing practices to be able to accurately monitor human rights and labor rights violations in contract factories.

Through the consumer:

  • Do your homework; educate yourself on the companies you purchase from and how their products are made.
  • Be an Ethical Consumer!
  • Buy second hand clothing.
  • Make your own clothing; research where your fabric and accessories are made.
  • Make the move towards becoming a “Sweat Free Community”. 
  • Donate to companies like the International Labor Rights Forum in order to “help end forced labor, child labor, and other workers’ rights abuses around the world”.
  • Shop using the consumer guide to “Sweat Free” stores
  • Finally, you know how I love a good app! Free2Work claims to allow users to be able to “Learn how your favorite brands relate to trafficking and other labor abuses. Free2Work provides consumers with information on forced and child labor for the brands and products they love.” Simply scan the bar code on your product and get detailed information on the product’s journey to you – a well as recommendations and brand comparisons!

Peace, love, and an ethical (and fashionable!) you!

Drdonley 🙂


“No one should die making apparel.” – Scott Nova


Last week I found myself preparing for an upcoming conference with a little retail therapy. I came home and eventually ended up watching Nightline  and a story by investigative reporters, Brian Ross (@brianross), Matthew Mosk (@mattmosk) and Cindy Galli caught my eye. A little over a year ago, 29 workers were killed in a factory fire at a textile factory in Bangladesh that produces clothing for not only Tommy Hilfiger but also, Kohl’s, Gap, and many other big-name retailers. Now, this factory fire is not the first and unfortunately will not be the last if production standards don’t change. It is reported that numerous exits were locked to prevent theft, but in reality those locks aided in the nightmare that was the factory fire.

Below is a link to the actual Nightline investigation where they confront Hilfiger at a fashion show and are immediately escorted out of the fashion show after Hilfiger lied about pulling his productions out of Bangladesh.
Scott Nova, the Executive Director of the Worker Rights Consortium, says that Bangladesh is the cheapest place in the world to manufacture clothing hence why so many big-name companies choose to produce goods there. These companies usually pay a measly .21 cents an hour with little worker health and safety regulations making it by far the cheapest and easiest place to manufacture apparel.

“No one should die making apparel. It is not an inherently dangerous industry.” (Scott Nova)

Below is a video detailing wage protests that have taken place in Bangladesh. WARNING: This video contains some images that may be disturbing.

Lastly, I encourage you to watch this report by Press TV detailing not just Bangladesh but the use of outsourcing labor in the United States.


 After you take in the injustice and inhumanity of the outsourcing of labor overseas, I want this post to be a tool for education. Look to your brands of clothing and be educated on what brands your wear and how they are produced. Stay tuned to for ways to make a difference.

Peace, Love, and an Ethical you!


Food System Flaws Revisited and Ayurveda


A friend recently showed me a video from the Ted Talks series that she thought would spark my interest. If you are unaware of what the Ted Talks series is you are in for a treat! “TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize. The two annual TED conferences, in Long Beach/Palm Springs and Edinburgh, Scotland, bring together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes or less).”

The video that really caught my attention is of a young man named Birke Baehr. He discusses his issues with our current food system and discusses his distaste for the way things are currently done. To see someone so young understand and attempt to make a change in the ways he and his family consume and even think about food.

This young man is a revolutionary! Think if we could just start educating children about how much of a difference they can make in their own lives and eventually the changes we could make to our food system! He also discusses the Slow Food Movement which I have discussed in previous blog posts.

While keeping in mind how your food is grown, you also should keep in mind how that food effects your body type. I was recently introduced to the idea of “Ayurveda, the ancient science of self-healing from India, is the art of maintaining balanced health in the healthy person and alleviating disease and suffering in the afflicted person.  In Ayurveda, it is known that perfect health exists when the three fundamental energies (doshas:  vata, pitta and kapha), digestive fire and enzymes (agni), waste products (malas), tissues (dhatus), soul (atma) and mind (manas) are in balance.”

So what body type are you?? That is exactly what I asked myself. In this journey to Holistic Health, Ayurveda seems to be a great solution in better understanding how food interacts with my body type. Knowing your type can help you understand what foods, exercises, and lifestyle elements can support and nurture your health and which ones can cause imbalances in your life. In order to find out your own body type you should take this quiz.

I am a Pitta. After quiz you receive a summary of what your type is. Here is mine:

The Pitta Type

  • Pitta types are determined and strong willed with good digestion.
  • The Pitta’s primary organs are the small intestine and stomach.
  • Pittas tend to be hot, oily, and light.
  • Pitta is associated with the fire element, and tend to have a fiery quality.
  • When a Pitta becomes imbalanced, he or she may notice skin rashes, burning, inflammation, fever, ulcers, anger, jealousy, copious urine.

In order to be balanced, Pittas should remain cool, avoiding excess heat, steam or humidity.

They should also avoid excessively oily food or fried foods as well as caffeine, alcohol, red meat, hot spices, or salt, choosing instead to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains.

Pitta types should also try to get plenty of fresh air. Expression of emotions is also important.

Considering that almost all of these qualities are true, I decided to research a little bit more into what being a Pitta means. The characteristics are listed here. Also, most importantly, the types of food to eat and which foods to avoid based on your body type to create balance are listed here . For another summary, I have found that the ‘Life in Balance’ website can give more information and techniques on how to balance certain body types.

I hope this has helped you take more control over your holistic health journey!

Peace, Love, and Pitta!