Finding the perfect outfit to wear to photograph weddings can be difficult.
You want something nice. But not too nice. I like shooting in a dress. But it has to be long enough for me to bend over and crouch. I want pockets. It needs to be comfortable enough for long days. It must be able to be worn in a variety of temperatures. It can't be a color that would accidentally match the bridesmaids dresses. The neckline has to be high enough to not worry about. You have to be able to stand wearing it every weekend.
To top that all off, a huge priority for me was that both the dress and go to shoes were going to be fair trade, ethically made, and fall within my guidelines for conscious consumerism. I really try to limit my wardrobe to a modified capsule as well as give back through the money I spend. Being on a tight budget, I thrift as much as possible and purchase ethical, sustainable, or local for those trickier items that require being bought new.
After lots of searching, this is what I found:
People Tree Ellen Strip Dress in Navy: $44 on sale + shipping
This dress feels amazing (AND IT HAS FREAKING POCKETS!) and super classic in style. Finding a dress on sale was a great compromise for my budget. It still supports an amazing company and provides workers with living wages, even while being the same rough price as buying a dress from any store in the mall. People tree is both certified Fair Trade + Organic. Hands down one of the best online shopping spots for affordable ethical clothing.
Iphigenia Sandals: $41 + shipping
Of course I needed red leather sandals to match my glasses! ;) These actually have an amazing story behind them. I heard of them through a friend from church who took a trip to Greece last year. While she was there, she got to witness in action the work of Hope Spot in caring for girls who are rescued from sex trafficking. She has said that their aftercare program is holistic and thorough and everything that it should be. Well, part of the proceeds from every pair Iphigenia Sandals sold goes to Hope Spot!
They are also quality leather sandals made in Greece. If you are looking for quality footwear, this is an amazing choice! And it was still in an affordable price range. Cheaper than TOMS, but you know these babies will last a whole lot longer.
Incorporating conscious decisions that impact the world positively doesn't have to be complicated or expensive.
It takes some work, but the product is quality items free from guilt and full of excitement. Here are some more great resources if you're trying to shop fair trade!
- The Good Trade - a website dedicated to amazing resources for social entrepreneurs and do-gooders.
- Project 333 - your guide to all things capsule wardrobe and minimalist fashion
- This list of 16 most affordable conscious brands - because we're all on a budget and EcoCult put together a great list.
- Ethical Shopping Guide - this has everything you need to put together a do good, feel good outfit from head to toe.
No matter if you are a fellow wedding photographer or upcoming bride (if so, also check out Black Sheep Bride!!!), there are small ways to make the world a better place in our everyday lives. As for me? I'll be rocking this outfit on the dance floor for the next bajillion Saturday nights.
|| Photos all from my friend Zach Davis who is a major boss and happens to be second shooting for my first wedding of the season. He's crazy talented and it's such an honor to share a creative community with him. ||