My absolute, hands-down, favorite time of the year is upon us. Autumn. Or Fall. Whatever you prefer to call it, it’s awesomesauce on fresh baked bread with a hot mug of apple cider. It’s perfect running weather with multi-colored trees and crunchy leaves. It’s a season of visible change in the earth and this year, it reflects the changes I’ve made toward living a more sustainable life.
It’s been 6 years since we decided to shift our lifestyle away from rush hour stress, fast food, and thoughtless consumerism. We’ve done things like join a local CSA, threw out our television for a while, shared one car, stopped shopping just for funsies, and moved to a small town in Oregon. All that has been well and good, but there are two things that have been tricky to figure out; meat and jeans.
To be a meat-eater and jean-wearer and yet NOT support an unkind, unfair industry is not easy, and it’s expensive. Yet, believing that it is really, truly worth it, I didn’t give up. This fall I’ve made a big step forward on the meat issue (more on that later) and I have also been wearing some amazing jeans you need to hear about.
Sustainable Style from prAna
While prAna has been making sustainable apparel for decades, I’ve been guilty of assuming they only made earthy-colored yoga clothes. So, to my own detriment, I didn’t investigate prAna further. My bad. Now, however, thanks to a campaign with SweatPink, prAna sent me a gorgeous sweater and pair of jeans to wear in exchange for a review. That’s right, JEANS! They make denim! As always, I give my honest thoughts about review products, good and bad. My opinions are all my own.
Let’s stop for a moment and celebrate the fact that these are the first pair of jeans I’ve worn since giving birth! And they’re not “mom jeans”! These are normal people clothes!
Moving on. I will start by showing off the things I really dig about prAna’s fall style.DYK @prAna has sustainably designed denim? @CoachHenness has a discount on her blog! Click To Tweet
The Sustainable Part
The Stacia Sweater and Kara Jean use organic cotton. What does that mean? That means no toxic and persistent pesticides, no synthetic fertilizers and no genetically engineered seeds were used to make the fabric. In fact, organic growing practices actually replenish the soil.
Even better, the Stacia Sweater is also Fair Trade Certified. What does that mean? That means that the people who sew that fabric into these beautiful sweaters have safe working conditions, a voice in the workplace, higher earnings, and that women are treated equally.
The Style Part
A good looking yet comfortable sweater is the little black dress of the fall season. The Stacia design has beautiful stitch work and a vibrant blue color so it’s definitely good looking. The low sleeve and relaxed fit make it comfortable and easy to layer over my activewear.Stylish sweaters are the 'little black dress' of Fall! @CoachHenness shares how she wears her new @prAna go-to. Click To Tweet
Now, about those jeans. This is the Kara Jean. The bestselling jean. I can move easily. It feels both soft and durable at the same time. I will wear this everywhere. I actually chose the silver color because I can dress it up and dress it down.
With my new go-to fall sweater, these jeans are a good contrast. An easy, every-day look. With a fancy top or the rare appearance of a non-running shoe, bring on the Falliday parties!
If you want to know if a piece of clothing is quality, what do you look for? I look at the details. The seams and stitching. The hardware (zippers, buttons, clasps). Well, prAna nails the details. Look at the rivets on the watch pocket (aka 5th pocket)!
It’s hard to say. I haven’t had them long enough to see if the sweater fades much or how much of a beating these jeans can take. So, the two things I would change about these items are the same two things I’d change about everything I wear because I have a proportionally longer torso.
First, I’d make the sweater a big longer so that I’d feel better wearing it with tights. Second, I’d shorten the inseam on the jeans. I know they’re made for that cuffed look, which I’m coming around too, but on my legs there is an overabundance of cuff. A girl only needs so much cuff. The good news is that inseams are easy to have shortened.
The Investment Part
Okay. So, I should probably leave this part out, but I’m still such a Frugal Fran, such a Garage Sale Gail, such a Second Hand Sally, that I need to say my peace on the prices. These clothes are great and all but they’re $90. Is sustainable style worth the price?
For me the answer is an easy yes, now. However, it has taken me a long time to adjust my purchasing attitude about food and clothes. In a previous life I refused to spend more than $50 on anything BUT running shoes.
Buying less quantity but higher quality is where it’s at. As with my aforementioned meat issue, we will eat less meat and spend more to make sure the meat we do eat is good. As with my clothes, I’d rather have 2 pairs of expensive jeans that are made in a way that is good to people and good to the earth, than 6 pairs of “reasonably priced” jeans that were not.
Stepping off my soapbox, I’d love to hear from you!
- Does anyone else get as excited about fall as I do?
- What is your favorite thing to wear in fall?
- Did you know prAna had sustainably designed denim?