Heart of Haute Blog
Hello Heart of Haute Fans, I will warn you now, this wont exactly be the most feel-good or happy post. In fact, it may be eye opening to some of you or saddening. I want to address something that we feel strongly about and that is sweatshop labor. We believe in paying people fair wages and providing a comfortable work environment for our employees. Not just because it's the law, but because we want to! We know that happy employees makes good quality products and service.
I'm sure many people are aware of the concept of what a sweatshop is. The majority of items you can buy from the mall or big box stores, often called "fast fashion," are made overseas in sweatshop factories all around the world. Check the label in the dress you're trying on, it will surely say "Made in China" or Bangladesh or Indonesia or Vietnam or Mexico... There were two recent catastrophes in Bangladesh. These disasters occurred due to the factory owner neglecting to keep the building safe for working environments.
From the industrial revolution, to the scandals involving Nike in the 1990s, working conditions that produce consumer goods have often been questionable. In 2013, there was a fire in a garment factory, which provided items to WalMart, that left 112 dead. On April 24th of 2013, a garment factory building collapsed, which left more than 500 people dead. The building collapsed because of power generators shaking the walls. Both of these incidents could have been avoided if upgrades were made to the buildings, and with all the money the companies are making from this cheap labor, you would hope they would at least take that responsibility. It's just unfortunate - and issues like these continue today.
So what can you do? There are many alternatives to fast fashion, but it requires a little extra time and creativity. You can also make a personal effort to avoid spending money in places that you know use sweatshop labor.
- Shop American- As you know, Heart of Haute is all made in the US within a 20 mile radius of our main office in Los Angeles county, if not under our own roof in San Dimas. Shopping for products made in the US means you're supporting American jobs and you'll also find yourself with a better quality item.
- Shop Etsy- There are tons of young entrepreneurs who are hungry to share their unique designs with the world! You can help them and have a good experience. There is something very special about knowing an item is one-of-a-kind or maybe even made just for you. www.etsy.com
- Shop Vintage- I know we love shopping for vintage! These items always come with their own story and are also usually much better quality than most things you can find today. Compare a vintage dress from 1962 to a contemporary mall-bought dress. There's a reason that Vintage dress has lasted as long as it has.
- Shop Recycled- Sure, you have to sift through racks of random articles of clothing. Check out places that also donate to support good causes: Buffalo Exchange, Out of the Closet, and Goodwill.
Interested in learning more? Check out this book, Overdressed by Elizabeth Cline. She explores the world of cheap and fast fashion. This site even includes a list of online stores and designers that follow ethical practices. So, I do apologize if this has left you feeling icky or sad about your own shopping habits- that is certainly not my goal. Shopping and new clothing should make us feel good. I think if we become more aware of the connection we have with the maker of our items, it gives us reason to continue to make good choices for ourselves.
With Love & No Regrets, Mandie Bee
- She enjoys Celtic Punk music.
- She started her blog 3 years ago after numbers of people would e-mail her with questions about where she got her outfits for photo shoots. She thought it would be simpler and more effective to blog about the products she shoots in, that way the companies would receive recognition and her fans would get some great info, too!
- She loves Heart of Haute for our fit and overall quality. She says she adores the Ella top because the buttons don't pucker over her bust. Yes! A button-up blouse for busty ladies? It's true.
- Teer is also recognized as a plus size model and reminds us that beauty should never be associated with a dress size. She says she is definitely a promoter of healthy body image. Love your curves, girls!
- Her advice to ladies of all sizes? Girl. Wear what you want. If you've got it, show it off and be proud of yourself.
My name is CarlyAnn, and I just have to say I love your Sweetie Dress. I have never, NEVER been able to find a dress that fits my body off the rack without a single alteration- and certainly not online! I took a chance and purchased my second Sweetie thinking that maybe I just got lucky with the fit of the first one. But low and behold, it's two for two! I simply need to thank you for your amazing product! Please don't ever retire this cut!
Thank you, CarlyAnn for your testimonial!!!
With Love & No Regrets,
Hey Heart of Haute Fans,
This is Mandie Bee and I have a totally non-fashion related post, but I felt like sharing some serious yum!
I moved to a house (which I've named, the Honey Pot) that happens to have both a lemon tree and a lavender plant in the yard. Lavender has a natural calming affect and can be used in food and bath products. You can also rub lavender oil to soothe sore joints, keep certain insects out of the house, and help you sleep. Mixing it into tea or sweet lemonade is probably the best and tastiest way to enjoy it. I had a rather busy day here, getting things ready for Viva. I got home and decided put lavender to the test and see if it would actually soothe this busy bee.
In this entry, I'm going to show you a little step by step about how I make lavender lemonade. Trust me, it's rather simple.
You will need:
- approx. 3/4 cup of lavender buds and leaf sprigs
- 1 cup pure lemon juice
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1/2 cup raw sugar or honey
- 2 cups lukewarm water (or more depending on your taste)
- a music playing device and your favorite music....this is important.
Step One: Put on some tunes... please don't skip this step. It's the most important ingredient ;)
Step Two: Pick your lavender! You can buy food-grade lavender at certain special grocery stores, but I just cut mine from the yard. It's still good! The more flowers on the bud, the better. This will add a slight pinkish tint to the lemonade, too. The sprigs (leaves at the bottom of the stems) are the most aromatic part of the plant.
Step Three: Pick your lemons! I have tons of them. You can get them from me if you'd like. Seriously- I can't use all these lemons. I used 10 lemons to make 1 cup of juice. Some lemons will make more, some will make less. Meyer lemons are the sweetest!
Step Four: Cut the lemons in halves and juice 'em!
Cut lavender into pieces- buds and sprigs. Pour hot water over and let steep for 10 minutes.
I have a little tea pot that I use for loose leaf tea, you can also use a regular pot and put the pieces directly into hot water. You will need to strain the pieces of lavender plant out before adding it to the lemonade.
I had to flip the record by this point....
Step Six: Mix it up!
I don't have photos for the next steps...
You'll want to mix your sugar or honey in a pitcher with the hot lavender water first until the sugars dissolve. Next, add the lemon juice. Add cold or lukewarm water until you achieve just the right taste. You can add more sugar if you like, as well.
Tada!!! Lavender Lemonade! Just what I needed to help me chill out after a long day at work....
To make this drink alcoholic, I suggest adding a shot of vodka and some ginger ale. And a flexi-straw.
You'll notice this lemonade has a purple or pinkish tint to it from the flower buds. You should also find it has a unique, floral taste that accompanies the obvious- but I think it seemingly tames the tartness of the lemon. Pour your fancy lemonade over ice and enjoy the music.
With Love & No Regrets,