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Refreshing mommy insight by MommyGuru blog editor Akemi Sue. As parents, we live our day to day lives with our children being the ones who are right.We are right in how they need to sit at the table and eat. We are right in how they need to choose to speak to people.
The fashionista who ministers all about her style on the Minister Of Style Blog shares the good news with VStylist about how she keeps her handbags organized, in addition to making a fast change of purses when the outfit calls for it. Dig in!
Jewelry is stretching its wings, cropping up in places on your body that never adorned bling in such a bold way before. From earcuffs to hand chains, these are some of the hottest body accessories you need in your summer collection.
I was on the radio again last week, this time chatting with Carrie Abbott of the Legacy Institute in Seattle. Listen to the full episodes online: –Dig into part one to hear about Levitical priestly garments, clothing as a communicative medium, and the parallel between all-black ensembles and the book of …The post Unwrinkling on the Radio with Carrie Abbott appeared first on UNWRINKLING.
I was on the radio again last week, this time chatting with Carrie Abbott of the Legacy Institute in Seattle. Listen to the full episodes online:
–Dig into part one to hear about Levitical priestly garments, clothing as a communicative medium, and the parallel between all-black ensembles and the book of Lamentations.
-Then move into part two to hear me talk tattoos as monuments, my aesthetic instability, and bad fashion puns.
P.S. If the modesty conversation Carrie and I touch on seemed incomplete or rubbed you the wrong way, you might enjoy this modesty series in which I delve more deeply into the problems with Christian modesty rhetoric.
*Note: While having a hunky middle-aged man to strangle while you listen to me may increase the satisfaction of your listening experience, it is not required.
Ethical fashion brand Sseko Designs was born when a 22-year-old from Missouri decided to quit her corporate job and move to Uganda. Fresh out of college, Liz Forkin Bohannon left for Africa as a curious journalist and returned to America as an impassioned entrepreneur-set on using fashion to empower and educate young …The post Interview: Ben and Liz Bohannon of Sseko Designs appeared first on UNWRINKLING.
What were the first steps to starting Sseko?
Liz: The very first step was saying, "I care about gender equality. I'm going to go to a place where I can learn with open hands about that." That set the tone for what Sseko became.
I feel like you see a lot of people who come to a new place with a preconceived notion of what's needed. It can become tunnel vision and they end up creating something that doesn't work for the community. But by that point they're so invested in this idea that the stakes are really high. So I think just going and saying, "My agenda is to listen and learn and absorb" was step one.
You could've started any kind of business in East Africa to help fill the gap you saw. Why did you choose a fashion enterprise?
Liz: The first thought was a more traditional aid sponsorship model. Poor girls in Africa have to go to college; what do we do? Get rich people to fund them, duh.
But living in Uganda, I started seeing the unintended side effects of charity and aid. I don't know what the statistics are, but it sometimes feels like there are more non-profits than businesses in Uganda. Side effects were exaggerated because the volume is so great.
The relational dynamic was also important. There was a lot of weight and history behind me showing up as a white, energetic, good-willed American. The script was basically, "My role as an American is to help you. Your role as an under-resourced Ugandan is to accept my help and then be very grateful and make me feel warm and gooey about myself."
I was super uncomfortable with that. That's when the idea of creating something that requires mutually beneficial relationships became appealing. There were Ugandans who had so much potential, but nobody was asking anything of them. I started thinking about my own experience with community. When someone goes, "You're so beautiful and joyful and amazing!", that feels good for five minutes. Then you mature and you realize, "I also want people in my life who are challenging me, who say, 'You've got incredible potential. But you've got to actualize that, and that means you've gotta work really hard and you've gotta take risks.’"
It felt like there was a really distinct lack of cross-cultural relationships that had that dynamic. I wanted to build something where we would call each other to higher standards and set goals for ourselves together.
So it was twofold. There was the development side of thinking about the economics of aid vs. the private sector, and then there was the more relational side of mutually beneficial relationships.
Fashion was not a motivation. If I'm being really honest, I feel like it was probably the Lord serving me a big ol' slice of humble pie. Because I hated fashion in college. I literally voiced the words, "If you care about fashion, you're materialistic, you're vain, you don't care about labor conditions…" I was very anti-anything that could be considered the Man. And for me, fashion was the ultimate frivolous pursuit. It was a super prideful, narrow-minded view of the world, but I really believed it.
I think the fact that we now run a fashion business partly served to help me recognize that the world isn't always black and white. In most everything, there's an opportunity for redemption.
Ben: When Liz landed on sandals it was a pretty big surprise to both of us. For us, it was born out of the vision of figuring out how we could help young women go to college. The means were less of a concern. We just found something we could do.
Now we've learned the beauty of it. We've found an incredible creative community behind it, and it's been fun to be a part of that. It's been interesting to lead a dialogue around ethical fashion. It's landed us in a place we want to be, but definitely not what we would have chosen to start off.
What does it look like for a company like Sseko to be competing with fast fashion in terms of the prices and the turnaround time?
Ben: We're trying to create a new narrative. It's incredibly challenging to change consumer behavior, and in most of the West, there are great incentives for fast and cheap. We all live into that.
But we've also seen over the last decade that people want to know where and how their stuff was made. We've seen this growing trend, but we haven't necessarily seen the companies who are trying to meet that trend thriving. Because generally their price points are going to be higher than fast fashion companies. So we've said, "How do we build a brand and movement and company that drives a narrative around slow fashion-fashion that has people behind it whose story you know is affected by your decision?"
It's a huge experiment: If we provide the medium and the opportunity, will people change their behavior? I think people genuinely want to know if their clothes are contributing to slave labor. But they also need to be given a pretty simple opportunity to take action. So we insert ourselves into the market. We try to make it easy to find us. We try to make our price points accessible. We didn't want to make ethical fashion the next luxury commodity. It still might be a piece you invest in, but we're also making it with such quality that you'll carry that bag for the next ten years.
Liz: The other component is the social reward structure. I believe a part of us wants to know genuinely, "Is this contributing to a system that I don't believe in?" I think the other part is, "I want other people know that I think about this." It's important to be realistic about altruism versus social reward structures. We've seen that brands have the ability to do that. Entire brands and movements have been built on, "I want someone to think I am this. I want to show the world that I believe this, or have this amount of money, or hang out with these people."
How do you make sure that all of your materials are ethically sourced?
Liz: That is a huge part of our job, and it's also one of the hardest parts. The ethical supply chain conversation is, in a lot of ways, really gray. You can say, “Let's shut down every factory that doesn't meet our American labor standards.” But then you have to ask, “Are we expecting developing economies to leapfrog over decades of development to get to our current standards?” What are the economic ramifications of that? Is having a job at a factory that doesn't meet our standards better than the alternative, which might be nothing? That's just one example of where it gets sticky.
Ultimately, our job is to make the best call we can. We could get so caught up in the details of where every single material is coming from that we would say, "We can't produce anything in East Africa." The implication would be that we don't get to meet our social mission. You can also go to the other end of the spectrum, where you say, "We're gonna make this here, and our core social mission is so important that we won't have standards."
Our job as leaders is to constantly be making the decision to balance. There are times we say, "The overall good of this outweighs the potential that we don't have visibility about where this specific piece of hardware is being made. And we don't have the resources to figure that out right now." That specific part represents less than 1% of our overall product, but it's still a decision.
I'm ok with saying that the decision we make today based on our current resources will hopefully be different than the decisions we make ten years from now. When you're a tiny brand and people in your supply chain are also working with bigger companies that don't care about ethics, it's tough. We've tried to build relationships so we have a little bit more voice than we otherwise would. Our suppliers feel bought into the mission, and so they're willing to make changes or make sacrifices to their bottom line to help meet us in the middle. It's a balance.
What is Sseko doing that's different from other ethical fashion brands?
Ben: We were committed from day one to baking our impact into our DNA. So from the day we turned the lights on, we were creating impact in Uganda.
What we said we wouldn't do was make stuff and sell it, and if it was super successful then we'd give money away. If impact was going to happen, it was going to happen from the beginning. So we've already paid our women and given scholarships, and they're already in college, before the sandals they made are sold. We're footing that bill as a company because that's what we care about.
Liz: I would like to believe that Sseko is doing something really unique in how we treat our producers and our consumers. A lot of ethical brands are built entirely around their producers. They tend to not be as focused on product and to neglect the needs of their customer. Then you have more traditional brands that do the opposite: it's all about you, what you want to look like, what's on trend.
Sseko is doing something unique in trying to de-dichotomize that. If we're about bravery and dignity and risk-taking and beauty-seeking, that means we're about that for our producers and for our consumers. What it looks like to be brave for a 17-year-old woman who grew up in a war-torn part of Uganda might be different than what it looks like for a 22-year-old woman in upper middle class Minnesota. But we want to celebrate bravery and risk-taking and beauty in both of their stories.
So we don't make this stark dividing line between consumer and producer. We're building a brand that celebrates the diverse manifestations of our values in different cultures and times and spaces. ?
Looking for some good fashion reading to get you through the rest of this week? I’ve rounded up soundbites from the pieces I’ve been noodling on lately to help you on your way. Will the New York City Subway Ban These Ads for Using the Word “Period”? via Mic “‘We can objectify …The post Roundup: Period Panties, Racism and Subcultural Style appeared first on UNWRINKLING.
“‘We can objectify women in their lingerie, but the minute we acknowledge that they might be bleeding in their underwear, it’s no longer acceptable.’… According to Veronica del Rosario, Thinx’s director of marketing, the representative was concerned that children would see the word “period” in the ad and ask their parents what it meant.”
“Jean-Raymond says he won't jeopardize his brand by aligning it with activism again, but he feels an innate duty to use his platform and the attention that comes with fashion week to speak out… Frustrated by the lack of action from the people with the power to influence the culture at large-like Kanye West or Rihanna or even Jay-Z-he decided to leverage the cult brand following he's built to change the black narrative. ‘If we spark one mind… to give somebody an opportunity regardless of the color of their skin… that's essentially what we are trying to achieve with this.'”
“Thus, as soon as the original innovations which signify ‘subculture’ are translated into commodities and made generally available, they become ‘frozen’… Youth cultural styles may begin by issuing symbolic challenges, but they must inevitably end by establishing new sets of conventions; by creating new commodities, new industries or rejuvenating old ones.”
“Every year, Bunka takes the measurements of its students and creates mannequins that reflect the average of the class. As a result, the forms are much more reflective of real people's figures than the standard Dritz dummies, used in most art schools around the world… ‘As part of their education, we want [them] to think about making clothes. Not only for people we consider 'good looking,' but also the elderly, children and those with disabilities. How can we make their lives better?'”
“How do "fashion statements" work? Although we are undoubtedly communicating in our choice of clothing, how does our attire communicate and to whom? Do our choices of clothing merely voice our individual tastes, or is our dress part of a larger discussion about social performance? If the context in which one wears a garment is just as important as the garment itself, and if these contexts are mutually constructed events, in what sense are we responsible for such "statements"?”
The post Roundup: Period Panties, Racism and Subcultural Style appeared first on UNWRINKLING.
When I first started looking for resources to help me think well about fashion theology back in 2012, I was surprised at how little I could find in libraries or online. One of the few gems I did come across, however, was this Cardus piece by a Ph.D candidate named Bob Covolo. In it, …The post Bob Covolo on the Radio with Karl and June appeared first on UNWRINKLING.
When I first started looking for resources to help me think well about fashion theology back in 2012, I was surprised at how little I could find in libraries or online. One of the few gems I did come across, however, was this Cardus piece by a Ph.D candidate named Bob Covolo. In it, Covolo gives an introduction to thinking about fashion from a theologically and academically rigorous perspective.
What I didn’t know at the time is that this same rigor is a trademark of all of Covolo’s scholarly work, which centers around fashion theory and theology. Nor did I have any way of knowing that in the next few years, I would read every bit of Covolo’s writing that I could get my hands on, be given the privilege of interviewing him for Christianity Today and end up sharing lunch with him at his home in Long Beach.
That’s all to say, I’m a fan of this man’s work, and I think you will be, too. Which is why, when given the opportunity to share a radio segment he appeared on a few weeks ago, I jumped at the chance.
Thanks to Karl and June at Moody Radio for giving Bob airtime, and for giving me the opportunity to share the segment online.
Look at the clothes you're wearing right now. Picture yourself shopping for them. Try to remember what you were thinking as you weighed whether or not to take those jeans up to the cash register, whether or not to click "add to cart" on those shoes. You may have considered …The post Watch Right Now: The True Cost appeared first on UNWRINKLING.
Look at the clothes you're wearing right now.
Picture yourself shopping for them. Try to remember what you were thinking as you weighed whether or not to take those jeans up to the cash register, whether or not to click "add to cart" on those shoes. You may have considered cut, color, cost, comfort. You may have imagined how you'd style your new threads.
At any point in the process, did you think about where they were made? Did you picture a woman pushing raw-edged fabric through an industrial sewing machine? Did you imagine a man with stained hands carrying leather through a tannery, or sheep being shorn of their wool, or a field fluffy with cotton bolls?
These are just the tip of an iceberg of questions that “The True Cost” documentary wants you to ask next time you're considering a new clothing purchase. Directed by Andrew Morgan, this 2015 release investigates the fashion industry's impact on people and the environment. As such, it addresses fashion players you might expect-like a Bangladeshi garment worker and a British designer-as well as ones less often consulted in the fashion ethics conversation, like an American economist and an Indian environmental rights activist.
The end result is a movie that is a seriously worthwhile use of your time, whether you consider yourself a veteran in the fashion ethics conversation or have just started to realize that your shopping decisions have moral weight.
I appreciated the way “The True Cost” handled elements of the industry that can sometimes feel like abstract problems to Western consumers. Sure, I know in my head that garment workers in Bangladesh are affected by Americans' decisions at the mall. But hearing a 23-year-old Bangladeshi woman talk about the violent resistance she faced in her efforts to organize a clothing workers' union reminded me in my gut. I can intellectually assent to the idea that treating clothing as disposable is problematic, yes. But seeing garbage mountains filled with non-biodegradable clothing transforms that head-knowledge into a pit in my stomach.
The movie also brought up points I haven't spent as much time focusing on. It made a case for organic cotton based on the health risks of pesticides for farming communities. It pointed out that only 10 percent of clothing donated to charity in the U.S. stays in the U.S., while the rest is shipped to developing countries where it undermines struggling economies-flying in the face of the idea that as long as we're donating our used clothes, it's okay to buy cheaply and frequently. It cited psychological research claiming that mental health problems like anxiety and depression increase in societies where materialistic values are on the rise.
I could keep talking about this film, but the truth is that I don't want to neatly summarize it for you. I want you to watch it yourself. If you've made hard choices in the pursuit of integrity regarding your clothing, it will confirm the importance of those decisions and renew your desire to shop and live responsibly. If you've never thought twice about the ethics of a purchase, it will help you begin asking good questions.
What are you waiting for?
If you like to talk tomatoes,if a squash can make you smile,if you like to waltz with potatoes,up and down the produce aisle…Could you not help but sing along with these lyrics? Did you picture a round of talking vegetables including a cucumber with a trumpet (and don’t you dare call him a pickle)? Then chances are you grew up a true VeggieTales Kid. Journey with ...
If you like to talk tomatoes,
if a squash can make you smile,
if you like to waltz with potatoes,
up and down the produce aisle…
Could you not help but sing along with these lyrics? Did you picture a round of talking vegetables including a cucumber with a trumpet (and don’t you dare call him a pickle)? Then chances are you grew up a true VeggieTales Kid. Journey with me for a brief moment through childhood…
1. You identify with this true statement.
2. You would know how to properly engage in this text.
3. Not everyone understands the veggie life, but it’s all good.
4. Watching VeggieTales just for this moment. Admit it, you just got a little excited.
5. This tragic song that stuck with you for life…
6. Two words: Barbara Manatee
7. If Larry’s lips ever left his mouth, packed a bag and headed south,
8. You know exactly what this means…
Que Larry Boy theme song.
9. Before YouVersion there was QWERTY.
10. That time the French peas kept it too real.
11. And the rumor weed evened the fictional scales…
12. This just isn’t right…
13. Floating objects were the epitome of VeggieTale existence.
The struggle was real.
14. When the new VeggieTales came out and you didn’t know what to do with your life.
15. And you might just be sitting back thinking…
16. When Khalil sorted out his identity crisis…
17. This may have been your first introduction to Esther; and she was your hero.
18. The puppy song is forever engrained in your memory…
19. You’d wear this in a heart beat, like a boss, and could care less what anyone thinks.
You can actually buy this here…
21. Truth be told, you just don’t outgrow VeggieTales.
It’s important to have faith because in the Bible it says that it’s impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6). When we have faith and speak life into situations, we can move mountains. The Word of God says that with a mustard seed of faith (the smallest seed in the world), we can literally move situations around. We can either walk in faith and hope, or fear and doubt. ...
It’s important to have faith because in the Bible it says that it’s impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6). When we have faith and speak life into situations, we can move mountains. The Word of God says that with a mustard seed of faith (the smallest seed in the world), we can literally move situations around. We can either walk in faith and hope, or fear and doubt. We can choose what we want to feed, and what we feed grows.
We need to have faith because our hope in the things unseen is what secures our salvation. We know as believers God is there, but we walk by FAITH, not by sight. Things may look bad, but God will turn it for good.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
God warns us about doubting and also having fear (James 1:6). We know God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear, and we need to trust in God and know that He will provide in all areas of our lives. It is so important to feed your faith and read God’s Word and truth, for faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17).
Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. (Matthew 17:20)
Why It’s Important to Have Faith
1. Faith pleases God: The Bible says that it is impossible to please God without it. (Hebrews 11:6)
2. We can move mountains with faith of a mustard seed. (Matthew 17:20)
3. Faith gives us hope. (Hebrews 11:1, Romans 10:17)
4. Faith in Christ secures our salvation. (1 John 5:5, 1 Corinthians 15:54-58)
5. When we doubt, we are blown to and fro like the waves of the sea. (James 1:6)
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. (James 1:6)
PI Girls, how do you keep your faith? Do you listen to worship? Read the Word? What helps build your faith?