Category Archives: Fair Trade Shopping

Fair Trade Fashion and Ethical Shopping at Whole Foods

Did you know you can find fair trade fashion at Whole Foods?  Fair Trade Fashion at Whole Foods

My location in Vienna, VA has always had a small collection of sustainable apparel – mainly casual wear- on end caps, but recently they’ve included nicer items like dresses.   When I travel I noticed that some locations have larger collections. In the Reno, NV location I had to exercise serious restraint, because they had a huge section of clothes, shoes, and other accessories.

Whole Foods Sustainable Apparel Dresses

The main brand sold at my local Whole Foods is the Threads For Thought brand.  I’ve bought some of their items, mainly tees, leggings, and a hoodie.

I also have gotten several pairs of comfy foam flip-flops which are made by FeelGoodz.

If you’re looking to shop for more ethically made clothing, but you aren’t sure where to start – I think options at Whole Foods are worth a shot.


Ethical Pet Accessories for Dogs and Cats

Hey guys! I’m excited to kick off this week with a guest post on ethical pet accessories from Jamillah at Made-to-Travel! She’s been a blog friend for several years, and I love that she blogs about ethical shopping. The fact that most of the products we buy are made overseas and in sweatshops of both underpaid adults and children is something that’s bothered me for a long time, and now that I’m making an effort to support more ethical manufacturers, I’m so glad there are blogs like Jamillah’s to help point the way!

Ethical Pet Accessories

houndstooth sweater, made in the USA- $29.99 // fair trade catnip mouse (set of 2) – $11

Hi there Borrowed Abode readers! Jamillah from Made-to-Travel here, and I’m so happy Jane is having me back to share some ethical accessories for pets. When Jane and I were emailing about another guest post she challenged me to find ethical treats for those furry friends and I was totally excited to take on the task!

This is the very first ethical roundup I’ve done for pets and I have to say I’m really really pleased on what’s out there!

ethical accessories for dogs

doggie raincoats, made in Canada- $47.99-$49.99 // rope bones, made of recycled yarn- $10 // fair trade leash- $30 // fair trade collar- $18 // non- toxic doggie frisbies, made in the USA- $9 // pooch pouch with 20 biodegradable bags – $17.49 // fair trade doggie bandanas – $3.50-$7.20 // big sky puppy toys, made in the USA of recycled fabric- $7.50 ethical accessories cats-1cat scratch sofa, made in the USA from recycled paper-$26.99 // handmade cat toys, from sustainable materials- all available here $5.91-$13.86 // happy kitten kit – $37.49 // fair trade cat collar- $8.50 // slurp and meow bowls – $40 // cat track made in the USA – $24.95 // kitty lure made in the USA- $12.95 // catty stacks, made in the USA $14.99 per box

I hope if you have a furry friend at home you’ve found a little ethical treat for him or her in this ethical pet accessories roundup!

And don’t forget Jane does some adorable pet accessories of her own at her shop, Janery.

Shop Janery

Jamillah lives in NYC and writes about ethical shopping and happy things at Made-to-Travel. If you want to start being a conscious consumer check out Ethical Shopping 101. If you’re looking to buy something ethical give her a shout! Jamillah is happy to help you becamoe a more conscious shopper.

Find Jamillah on Bloglovin / Pinterest / Twitter / Email: made-to-travel(at)

Review of Our American-Made Tuft & Needle Mattress

Did you know that $600 could get you a king size American-made, eco-friendly mattress – in the mail – that is actually super comfortable and well made?

You can, and I promise you that this is for real. This is not a sponsored review, just a super enthusiastic happy customer one.

Tuft and Needle American Made Mattress Review

Until a few weeks ago I had no idea such an option existed. I thought Ryan and I would have to head to a few mattress stores, deal with skeevy salesmen, and go through the painful negotiation process only to spend $1500 or so.

Fortunately, when I posted on Instagram about the Ikea bed fame we were considering, my friend from Old Town Suds commented about Tuft & Needle, a relatively new mattress company selling exclusively online.  Fed up with the middle man and mattress store shenanigans, they decided to create a better product at a better price.  Made in the USA, start to finish. 

“We source all the raw materials—everything from the threads to the zippers. The fabric comes from a 90-year-old, family-owned textile mill in the Carolinas. The foams are freshly poured and cut here in the US. We put the finishing touches in Southern California before we load it on a delivery truck.”

Additionally, the company is working to provide beds to foster children.  After reading over the website and loving the company’s story, I showed Ryan and he agreed – why not go ahead and order it?

“But how can you buy a mattress without ever laying down on it?”

Well, Tuft & Needle cut out the middle man (mattress stores) to cut prices.  They offer the lowest price by being the manufacturers and selling directly to you. To make up for the scary unknown risk of ordering a mattress you’ve never slept on, they offer free shipping and free returns for 30 days – no questions asked.   Tuft & Needle Mattress in Box

That’s right.  We could order the mattress, sleep on it for a bit, and if we hated it – just return it.  We wouldn’t lose a penny.

The mattress arrived within 5 business days of our order, in a long rectangular box.  We opened it up and pulled out the rolled-up, decompressed, vacuum-sealed mattress.  It was like a log of mattress.  We rolled it out, and when we punctured the plastic wrap around it, the mattress slowly began to inflate with air.

But it’s not an air mattress.

The sturdy foam that makes up the mattress is somehow vacuum sealed so all the air is pulled out, and that makes it much easier for shipping.  After 3 hours the mattress is ready to sleep on. Unfortunately we went out of town for the weekend so we had to wait two nights to sleep on it. Tuft & Needle Mattress ShippingSo, how was it?

On the first night it seemed too firm, but on the second night it was perfect, as though it softened up just a tiny bit from being broken in.  And it’s been perfect ever since.  I’m finally sleeping well and waking up without back pain.

It’s fairly firm, but it still gives nicely to support the curves of your body.  We’ve slept on it lying on backs, stomachs, and sides – all positions are comfy.  If you like a really squishy pillow top, you will want to add a pillow top mattress topper. That’s easy enough – and you’d still have a great mattress for much less than the cost at a mattress store.

Pros of a Tuft & Needle Mattress:

  • No flame retardants on the outer shell
  • Foam core made from recyclable, low-VOC polyurethane foam
  • Made in California from start to finish
  • Made by a pretty cool small business
  • Free shipping & free returns for 30 days if you hate it

Cons of a Tuft & Needle Mattress:

  • You don’t get to negotiate with annoying salesmen in mattress stores. . .
  • Just kidding.  We don’t see any negatives since you can return for 30 days if the mattress doesn’t suit your sleep style.

Oh, it comes in two thicknesses – 5 inch and 10 inch. We decided to get crazy and go for the 10″.  I’m glad we did – it feels like a “real” mattress.

So, if you’re curious, check it out!  You can order through this link to receive $50 off your purchase.  Full disclosure: we also will receive a small commission for the referral.

8 Awesome Handmade Shops for Holiday Gifts

I always try to do the bulk of my Christmas gift shopping with small and handmade businesses.  It’s fun to support artisans and local entrepreneurs while giving a truly unique gift that won’t be found in the mall. It’s an added bonus that, with strategic shopping, you can avoid the mall altogether!

So here are a few handmade gifts that I enthusiastically recommend.  You can find even more recommended shops here and here.

I’ve met all of the following handmade business owners either at local art shows or through friends, and I vouch for the quality of their products!

Unique Handmade Jewelry:

Handmade Jewelry Gift Options Clockwise, from top left:

Zebra Wood and Feather Earrings by Onetribe Organics. They also sell handmade, organic body jewelry.   (I went to school with Jared, the owner and designer, and he runs an impeccable company and gives so much back to his community.)

Ombre Earrings in Copper by HattieRex on Etsy

Gold Aura Quartz Long Necklace

Compass Rose Whitman Quote Silver Necklace  – I’ve purchased this exact necklace as a gift in the past.  Great service and top quality product!

Awesome Screen Printed Gifts

Screen Printed Handmade Gifts

All are designed and printed in the USA by small handmade businesses.  Clockwise, from top left:

Chevron Printed Jersey Scarf by Flytrap on Etsy – I have one in a different design and love it!

Dinosaur vs Robot Tee by Gnome Enterprises.  They have a huge selection of wacky designs.

Guitar Print Tea Towels by TinyPeepers on Etsy – I’ve given these as gifts Another

2014 Tea Towel Calendar with a Rooster – also by Flytrap.

Finally, my favorite item from Gifts in the Galleries, at the University of Pennsylvania, a show I recently attended:

Mustard Knit Neckwarmer by Wise Owl Shop

These fabulous knit neckwarmers / cowl scarves by Wise Owl Shop.  Ashleigh also makes similar neck warmers from vintage materials – and I have been wearing mine nonstop since I bought it. It makes it easy to stay warm when you keep the temperature low in your house to save energy. :)

I hope you’ll consider supporting handmade and small businesses when you shop this holiday season.

Are there any other handmade businesses you’d recommend?