November is always a busy month for me. It is my daughter’s birth month and is also filled with annual travel for conferences in my field (I had four presentations this month in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Minneapolis, Minnesota). My presentations, though all on different topics were connected through a common thread: uplifting participatory approaches and equity in research. “Equity” is a hot topic in my field of public health, but it is more than just term to sprinkle on top of research agendas, like Salt Bae, it is a concept that can be operationalized at every stage in the research process.


Similarly, we can also embody equity and promote social ideals through our choices in fashion. While we typically think of statement pieces in fashion as dramatic and eye-catching, I believe that wardrobes should also include social statement pieces as well. For my last presentation, I wanted to embody the principles I was discussing through my outfit. For this post, I am sharing what I wore to make my social statement, including how I scored these designer pieces at lower retail prices.

My skirt is made by the ethically produced fashion brand and social enterprise, Studio 189. Studio 189 was cofounded by Rosario Dawson and  Abrima Erwiah and the collection features high-end, artisan-made, and African-inspired clothing produced in Ghana using recycled and natural fibers, like organic cotton and lyocell. My skirt was made using natural indigo dyeing and clothing by Studio 189 features other traditional craftsmanship techniques, like batik dyeing. In addition to creating beautiful and well made pieces, I love that this company focusses on elevating traditional craftsmanship, creating job opportunities and skills training, as well as education.



I paired this skirt with a blouse made by one of my favorite designers, Mara Hoffman. While Mara Hoffman’s designs feature a signature celebration of patterns and colors, I was happy to find this white blouse, made from organic cotton, with this accent bow tied across the front. In 2015, Mara Hoffman committed to more sustainable practices and the brand exemplifies responsible and transparent production practices, fair trade employment, and they also use organic and recycled/regenerated materials.



I completed the look with an old pair of brown over the knee boots. I restyled the blouse and skirt below for a more casual look, by layering the top with a grey cropped sweater and platform oxfords.


As I mentioned, I purchased these designer pieces at sale prices from a website called, The Garmetory. The Garmetory has become one of my go-to sites for discovering indie designers and also exploring ethnically made clothing and accessories from boutiques across the United States and other countries as well. I sometimes find great deals on designer pieces listed at sale prices. I recommend this site for anyone looking to discover ethical brands and indie fashion designers.


I hope you enjoyed this post and learned about some new social statement pieces to incorporate into your wardrobe and where to buy them. Have a wonderful week!






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