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5 Need-to-Know Ethical Clothing Brands

 

These companies are betting against fast fashion.

Photo by  Ian Keefe

Photo by Ian Keefe

I’m in the middle of a complete wardrobe revamp right now. I’ve learned a LOT about myself and my style over the past couple of years and my old wardrobe just doesn’t fit who I am anymore (hello nursing mom bod). So, I’ve decided to trade out my fast fashion clothing items for ethically-made, higher-quality pieces. Purchasing these items slowly over time is allowing me to curate my wardrobe to best fit my budget and lifestyle.

I’ll share the details of how to revamp your wardrobe in another post, but today I want to share five of my favorite ethical clothing brands!


*Links with an asterisk are affiliate links. If you choose to purchase through those links, thank you for supporting Meadow Sweet Lane! xo


Everlane*

Best for: Denim and sweaters

One of the best known ethical clothing companies, Everlane is changing the fashion industry with their commitment to Radical Transparency. Each listing has a link to view photos of the factory where the item is made, and the true cost-breakdown of each piece. While you can’t go wrong with any of their items, their denim, recycled polyester fleece jackets and sweaters, and $100 cashmere are outstanding!


Krochet Kids

Best for: Casual basics

Krochet Kids has an amazing mission. Not only do they provide job opportunities and anti-poverty wages to women around the world, but each item is hand-signed by the person who made it. You’re able to visit the profile of the woman who made your product, so you can learn her story and write a note of thanks! Shop here for fair-trade dresses and men’s and women’s casual tops, as well as winter hats.


Pact Apparel

Best for: Undergarments and leggings

Pact is a fair-trade company that sources only long-staple 100% organic cotton, which means no pesticides and fertilizers. Their Certified Organic Cotton consumes very little water compared to conventional cotton. Pact has amazing underwear, leggings, and hoodies for men and women, and organic cotton onesies for baby! Use this link* to get 20% off your first order!


Reformation

Best for: Trendy pieces

With their own factory in Los Angeles, this brand creates products only from sustainable and up-cycled materials in a fair wage environment. Plus, each item comes with a description of its environmental footprint. If you love fashion, Reformation has stylish dresses and tops, including formal and bridal dresses!


Outdoor Voices

Best for: Activewear

Outdoor Voices is a great ethical alternative for purchasing activewear. They take great care in the selection of their factory partners, and are always on the lookout for better, more sustainable technical fabrics for getting sweaty in, like their recycled polyester made from water bottles and their sustainably-produced Merino wool. Use this link* for $20 off your order!

There are many more great companies out there, but these are some of my favorites. I encourage you to be a conscious consumer. Together, we can make a difference.


Do you have any favorite ethical and sustainable brands? I’d love to know! Share them in the comments below!

 

Olivia's Birth Story

 

Olivia May Maluo Nixon

September 18, 2018 | 5:48 am | 5 lbs 9 oz | 19 inches


TL;DR The plan was to have a natural birth at a birth center. The reality is that my water broke at 36 weeks 2 days (I was so unprepared haha) and I gave birth at the hospital. Labored for 5 hours (!) with no epidural (!!), was completely silent during transition, pushed for 45 minutes, and our beautiful baby girl was born happy and healthy! We love her so much!


Finding out that we were pregnant changed our world. Raising little humans is such a blessing. Life doesn’t always go as planned, but that’s what makes life beautiful.

I wanted to have a natural birth, if possible, so I looked up birth centers in Minnesota. One that immediately caught my attention was the Minnesota Birth Center (very descriptive, right?!) in St. Paul. The rooms are beautiful and calming, and the group of midwives that provide care there are amazing! Giving birth at a birth center is in between giving birth in a hospital and having a home birth. The midwives here even have admitting privileges at United Hospital, which is less that 5 minutes away, so they would continue care with you there if you transfer in a non-emergency.

Now, Caleb and I live in St. Cloud. St. Cloud is an hour and a half away from St. Paul driving on the freeway. Even with the possibility of having a car baby (and having to spend so much on gas to get to appointments), we decided to go with the birth center.

Fast forward to the end of July. I’m 29 weeks pregnant and end up spending two nights at the St. Cloud hospital due to Braxton Hicks contractions that were 5 minutes apart. I was 1 cm dilated with a shortened cervix, but after receiving IV magnesium sulfate (awful stuff) and a course of steroids to help baby’s lungs develop, I was able to go home.

Even though there was a very good chance I would carry Livvy to term, the possibility of having her born early really got me into baby preparation mode. Unfortunately, when you’re in the third trimester, you’re also very tired. I started to push tasks back day after day, saying that “I still have time.” But, as we soon found out, baby comes when baby wants to come.

Monday, September 17, 2018

It was a cloudy, cool day, only 64 degrees. It felt like a storm was going to blow in, and while eating lunch there was thunder like I’ve never thunder before. It was a hefty, deep rumble, one I can’t even describe. We commented to each other on how different it sounded, and Caleb went to power off the machine shop.

3:00 pm

Caleb and I were sitting next to each other on the couch, when all of a sudden I felt a gush of something in my pants. I ran to the bathroom trying to figure out if my water just broke or if I had just wet myself. After a few minutes, I was 98% sure my water had broken and we were in shock trying to figure out what to do. I was 36 weeks 2 days, which meant that I was still considered preterm (37 weeks is early term) and wouldn’t be able to give birth in the birth center.

I called the midwife and she gave us two options: drive down to United Hospital or go to the St. Cloud Hospital. Both places would test to see if I was leaking amniotic fluid, and if it was positive, they would admit us right away because they like the baby born within 24 hours of the water breaking to prevent infection.

I first told her that we’d just go to the hospital here in town. But after hanging up, and a brief chat with Caleb, I called her back and said we would drive down to the cities.

Now, we were completely unprepared for this. Nothing was packed, none of Olivia’s clothes or blankets were washed, we were going to install the car seat the next day and take maternity photos later in the week. We didn’t even have the crib mattress yet!

4:30 pm

After dumping a bunch of things into a suitcase and filling up the gas tank, we were off. We felt excited and a bit scared, but mostly we were just so thankful for our little baby girl. As we got closer to the hospital, a beautiful rainbow appeared in the sky. As unprepared as we were, I knew that everything was going to be ok.

7:30 pm

The amniotic fluid test came back positive, so we were admitted. (Side note: we got the last Labor and Delivery room, there were so many pregnant ladies! I blame it on the pressure change from the storm haha)

9:00 pm

My midwife, Courtney, checks my cervix. I’m 3 cm dilated and 70% effaced. I wasn’t really feeling any contractions, so I was going to be induced. She told me that we would skip the Cervidil, which is a cervical ripening hormone, and start on Pitocin in about an hour. At this point, I grimace, because I’d heard the stories about how Pitocin makes contractions feel worse because your body didn’t gradually (i.e. naturally) get used to them. She reassured me that they’ll use the lowest dose needed to get things going and then proceeded to sweep my membranes.

10:20 pm

We begin the Pitocin. I’m told to try to get as much sleep as possible. We watch an episode of Friends and then doze off.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

1:00 am

I wake up needing to use the restroom and realize that I’m feeling some contractions finally. I deal with them on my own for a bit while Caleb sleeps on the couch. My nurse, Rosie (she was the sweetest!), comes in and sits with me while I breathe my way through some more contractions. Caleb gets up soon after that and I ask if I can go labor in the tub. As Rosie gets the tub ready, I start to get out of the hospital bed. What happened next was the scariest moment of my labor: choking on my own vomit.

I remember panicking because I couldn’t breathe and I made some sort of terrified gesture to Rosie. While I was freaking out, she was super calm and nonchalantly told another nurse in the room, “oh, she’s choking”. I remember thinking, “YES I AM AND I’M GOING TO DIE!” Anyways, she told me to breathe through my nose and sit up straight and all was well again.

I get in the tub and labor some more while clinging for dear life to this little aromatherapy stick that smelled like peppermint. I was given the lavender one at first, but peppermint smelled better. I also had another bout of choking while in the tub. Not fun.

After a while, I started feeling a lot of pressure and almost felt like pushing. Which was surprising to everyone considering that only a couple of hours have passed. I get out of the tub and Rosie gets Courtney.

Up until this point I was coping through moaning. But once I got out of the tub and back in the bed, I labored completely silent until it was time to actually push. No moans, no hums, no loud breathing, nothing.

I remember hearing Courtney, Rosie, and Caleb talking: “Is she still having contractions?” *checks the contraction monitor printout* “I think she’s in transition” “Have you ever seen anything like this?”

I was in my own little world chanting some sort of mantra in my head during every contraction. I can’t remember what it was exactly, but it was something like, “Breathe, relax, open up, it’s going to be over soon.” Haha. I also held that aromatherapy stick basically in my nostril during contractions. The instructions say to hold it 3 inches away. Ha.

Eventually I felt the urge to push and it’s confirmed that I’m fully dilated. Because I had no pain meds, pushing was the most painful part of the whole thing. The ring of fire is NO JOKE PEOPLE. I was no longer silent; I screamed.

5:48 am

After 45 minutes of pushing, all the pain melted away once Olivia was placed on my chest. I have never been more in love! I couldn’t believe she was actually here! Everything about her is perfect, from her little nose to her fingers and toes.

It’s been almost 2 weeks since we brought her home and we’re cherishing every moment. She’s changed our lives for the better and we can’t wait to see who she will become.

Love you more than you will ever know, Olivia May Maluo.


P.S. I wholeheartedly believe that letting my body relax and not fighting labor, but embracing and working with it, was the only way I made it through without any pain meds. In order to completely relax, Caleb physically supported me in addition to emotionally supporting me. He kept me from slipping too far down in the tub, allowed me to put all my weight on him at times, and held my legs up when I couldn’t anymore. Basically, I was a limp noodle in Caleb’s arms haha. But hey, it worked!

 

The Sweet List | no. 1

 

One of the main reasons why I started a blog was so I could share ideas and resources with you, my readers. Sometimes I stumble across things that I love but that don't deserve a whole blog post about (like the book Women Living Well by Courtney Joseph)

The Sweet List, posted every other Sunday, will be a quick recap of the last two weeks, plus some of my favorite finds. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! xoxo


photo via  Nisolo

photo via Nisolo

This week was a special week personally because Caleb and I announced that we're expecting a baby in October! We got to hear our little one's heartbeat at our most recent visit with the midwife. What a beautiful sound! If you've never heard a baby's heartbeat through a fetal doppler, it basically goes whoop-whoop-whoop really fast. I can't wait to hear it again in four weeks!

In other news...

  1. I've had my eyes on these Nisolo loafers for awhile now. They have such great reviews! 
  2. My parents are renovating the main floor of their home, and I've be assisting them in deciding on finishes. If you or anyone you know is thinking of renovating their house, Chloe from Boxwood Avenue shared her advice on the best renovation investments for a dramatic change. Take a look!
  3. If you're vegetarian you NEED to try the Beyond Burger if you haven't already. Jaw-droppingly tastes like meat and it's coming down in price! 
  4. Here's a fun quiz to take if you're bored or are just dying to know what houseplant you are. P.S. I got Snake Plant.
  5. I am in love with the Gathre x Mer Mag collection! The mat is currently out-of-stock (I know, I know, tears 😭) but you can sign up to get notified when it's back.  
  6. There is STILL snow on the ground here in MN. In mid-April. I love winter but this is just too much. Give me spring and sunshine! Maybe it's warm already where you are, so if you're going plant shopping soon, check out this post by Camille Styles on what to wear on a plant shopping weekend.
  7. I'm calling it. Llamas are the next big thing (although goats will always have my heart).

Pin(s) of the Week

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photo by  Ruth Eileen Photography  for The School of Styling

photo by Ruth Eileen Photography for The School of Styling

source unknown

source unknown



 

Oh Baby!

 

Coming October 2018!

Caleb and I are so excited to announce that we are expecting our first little baby in October!

Nothing has changed our lives more than the realization that we're about to become parents. Pregnancy is such a wonderful gift! It’s like this combination of love, joy, fear, anxiety, gratitude, excitement, and responsibility are wrapped up in one giant, overwhelming feeling. 

I was blessed to have a pretty easy first trimester; a bit more tired than usual, some nausea here and there, bloating (which I hope will be turning into a bump soon!). I haven't taken any bump pictures yet, mainly because I just keep forgetting (pregnancy brain?). I personally can tell that my body has changed, because my pants don't zip or button anymore! I guess that means I should go shopping lol.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you finding out the gender of the baby? 

YES! Caleb and I are far too impatient to wait until birth to find out. We will find out if it's a boy or girl at the end of May and we can't wait! Caleb is team blue (of course) and I'm hoping for a girl! Just think about all the cute clothes! 😭But to be perfectly honest, we just want a healthy baby no matter the gender, so we'll be thrilled either way!

Do you have names picked out?

We do actually! When Caleb and I started dating in high school I shared with him a baby name that I liked. I didn't know at the time, but it's a family name and he loves it! So yeah, we picked out a baby name when were were, like, 16 or 17 😂We were just babies ourselves!

Anyways, we have a list of names we like and plan on going in a certain order depending on which gender each baby is. We will most likely share the name once we find out if it's a boy or girl because I'm not that afraid of people "stealing" our names. We'll be naming our kids the names we picked no matter if other people use the name too lol. #noshame

Were you surprised? What was your first reaction when you found out?

Well, we weren't trying, but we also weren't not-trying. So yes? 

We went to California at the end of January and I surprised myself (and others) by how much food I ate there. I was hungry ALL THE TIME. It didn't go away when we got home either. A few days later, after I missed my period, I decided to go to Target and buy a test. I grabbed some prenatal vitamins while I was there too, you know, just in case. It came back positive almost instantly and I was both excited and terrified at the same time! Motherhood is a whole new level of responsibility!

How did you tell Caleb?

In my head I always imagined I would surprise him with a cute box or something that he opens to find out, but I just stuck the pregnancy test in the Target bag I came home with and told him that I got something for him. He had been telling me that he thought I was pregnant all week, so seeing that it was true made him so happy! He's going to be such a great dad!

We are just so happy and excited for this new journey we're on. Raising a family together has always been our dream. I can’t wait to share this journey with all of you!!


Any early guesses as to if baby is a boy or girl? Share if you're team blue or pink below!


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