Today we have my friend Erin from Home With the Boys joining us with a guest post for Day 17 of 31 Days of Making Purchases That Make a Difference.

Erin has been my accidental mentor in many ways – accidental as in she probably doesn’t fully realize this, but she’s quite the inspiration to so many of us! She has inspired and encouraged me through her posts to take up and keep up running, to become passionate in praying for our children, and to become more aware of and concerned for the sources of what we are purchasing and how to make lasting change – not to mention she has GREAT fashion sense and really knows how to put outfits together!

I hope you’ll welcome her and hear what she has to say on how you too can become a fair trade fashionista!

From Clothing Junkie to Fair Trade Fashionista

by Erin Mohring

Clothing Junkie to Fair Trade Fashionista

I’ve been writing about fashion quite a bit on my blog lately. That’s a statement I wouldn’t have dreamed I would say six years ago when I started my blog! It turns out there are several reasons it makes sense that I’m becoming a part-time fashion blogger:

1. It’s fun. Really fun.
2. I’m a boy mom, so I chat with my readers about the girly things boys don’t care about!
3. Lots of women want advice and inspiration in the area of fashion.
4. Fashion can make a difference in this world.
The first three reasons probably makes lots of sense to you, and hopefully, in reading Lauren’s series this month, you’ve come to realize how your fashion purchases can make a difference.
Erin Symbology
My own ethical fashion and fair trade discoveries led me to realize the correlation between cheap clothes and unfair wages. I have always been a bargain hunter and my closet was stuffed with inexpensive, trendy clothes often bought on clearance. That’s how fashion and I got along.
Then I stumbled upon a little thing called a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is a small wardrobe, usually made up of around 40 pieces of clothing you really love and that can be mixed and matched easily. I read about the concept, but it took me two years to actually embrace it because I really liked my full, varied closet.
When my realizations about how clothes are made and sold collided with the idea of a capsule wardrobe, things started to change. If I have LESS clothes, but they are HIGH QUALITY and ETHICALLY MADE, I could afford to support the somewhat higher prices of fair trade companies and make a difference through my purchases.
I think the price of fair trade clothing is one of the biggest hangups for people wanting to make a change. I know it was one of mine. But here’s the deal: with a capsule wardrobe, I make a plan for the next season, including pieces and colors I want to be sure to include. This plan helps me see what I already have – which is usually most of the list – and for the things I don’t have, I can look at ethical fashion companies to find those pieces.
More planning, fewer purchases, and a little research help to make ethical fashion purchases more of a reality for anyone. I have not completely overhauled my wardrobe with fair trade pieces and I haven’t completely stopped shopping at some of my “regular” stores, but making intentional purchases to support artisans and fair wages is becoming more of my norm, and with a capsule wardrobe, I think you could do it, too!
Erin fall fashion
To read more about my capsule wardrobe process and fall pieces, head over to my blog! And keep following Lauren’s series for lots of great fair trade options!


Erin-Mohring Home With the BoysErin finds joy in her life as a Jesus-follower, doctor’s wife, mama to three handsome guys, writer at Home with the Boys, and co-founder of The MOB Society. She has a passion for healthy living, fair trade fashion, and encouraging families to form strong bonds based on faith!