I love pretty dresses, particularly when they’re pink with a floral print. It’s even better when they’re sustainably handmade of organic cotton blockprint dresses! This Monsoon & Beyond Dress is precisely that. A stunning row of mother-of-pearl buttons cinches the waist while the plunging tie neckline that can be worn tied in the front or around the back brings it all together. This soft, easy-to-wear dress with full sleeves and an asymmetrical scoop hem is something I wore on our recent visit to Atlanta, GA, during our tour of the Atlanta Botanical Garden. I received many compliments on it, ranging from a Southern bell to a woodland fairy princess, the latter of which is essentially the best compliment I could have ever received!
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One of my favorite parts of this outfit, aside from the organic cotton blockprint dress, was my regenerative leather sneakers from KOIO. I’d never heard of the brand called KOIO before I did some research on regenerative leather and next-level sustainable fashion. Regenerative leather means that the land the animals this leather comes from is cared for exceptionally well to ensure a high carbon concentration within the soil. This, in turn, means richer, more robust native plants grow to better support native flora and fauna. The carbon impact of the leathermaking process is offset to minimize the environmental impact of clothing and footwear manufacturing.
As a consumer of means, I recognize that I can make more informed decisions about the items I purchase. While $365 regenerative leather sneakers aren’t in everyone’s budget, those who can afford more sustainable options have a responsibility to do so. When consumers make more informed and sustainable purchases when they can do so, it tells brands what we value, and that encourages other brands who want to capture these shopping dollars to make changes for the better too.
I’ve been trying to ensure that the clothing I buy is good for me and the planet. While I don’t eat meat, I buy and wear high-quality, long-lasting leather items. I recognize that vegan options exist, but more often than not, these are made from petrochemicals. They can be even more polluting than leather and sometimes shed microplastics or leach toxic chemicals into the skin of those who use them.
There is no great solution for the problems that plague our planet, but rather many small steps. These include shifting our behaviors to things like buying high-quality, low-impact products as often as possible, eschewing plastic and artificial textiles, and voting for politicians who will do what they say they will and steadfastly protect our planet makes a difference. So does voting with every dollar we spend.
The quality of these shoes is by far the finest I’ve ever experienced. The leather is rich and supple, and there was no break-in period. I walked around Atlanta, the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, and an art museum all day in these, and I was very comfortable. Cushioned soles prevented my feet from aching, and the leather surface made them easy to clean. I’ll buy another pair of these responsibly made leather sneakers.