This project has been in the works for nearly eight months and I cannot even begin to explain to you guys how excited, honored, and proud I am. Keeping this a secret for so long was SO HARD! You don’t even know.
Here’s the thing… while there are a lot of things in this world that I care and am passionate about, there are two issues that keep me up at night: human trafficking and the very real human rights issues in the fashion industry today.
Let’s talk statistics:
There are roughly 27 million slaves worldwide, which is more than during the entire 400 years of the Trans Atlantic slave trade. Only about 1% of victims are ever rescued. Human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world, generating more than $150 billion USD every year.
The fashion industry is the second largest global industry after oil, valued at 3 trillion dollars, and it accounts for 2 percent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The International Labour Organization estimates that there are 168 million child laborers and 21 million victims of forced labour. It’s also estimated that about 1 in 6 people in the WORLD is somehow working in or connected to the fashion industry. And the very real truth is that the majority of the garment workers around the world are not paid a fair wage, are working in unsafe or unsanitary conditions, and are often forced or coerced into working long and grueling hours.
For me, this is not okay.
So often I hear people say, “Oh gosh, why is that shirt so expensive?” Instead, I want to get people thinking, “Why is that shirt so cheap?” I’m not saying you need to break the bank to shop ethically or purchase with purpose… but the fact is that while you may have only paid $4 or $6 for that shirt, someone, somewhere else incurred the real cost.
Elegantees is working to fight both of these issues. Thoughtfully designed in the USA and ethically made with love in Nepal, Elegantees is elevating the worth of women domestically and abroad. The sewing center in Nepal employs women who have been rescued out of human trafficking and given a second chance at life, given an opportunity, and shown their worth and dignity matter.
Not only is Elegantees manufacturing every single piece in a way that honors the makers, but also providing a real solution and a real way out of the cycle and darkness of human trafficking.
When Katie (the founder of Elegantees) approached me about collaborating on a collection I had to think for less than a second… I was pretty much immediately like, “Uhm YES PLEASE!” And I also knew that I didn’t want to do it alone because, well, we work better when we work in community. So my dear blog friend Carly jumped on board and off we went!
I will have more about the behind the scenes of the collection for you guys next week… but for now, I am so excited and so honored to share with you the Let it Shine Collection with Elegantees. Ten GORGEOUS pieces for women and two incredibly cute pieces for toddlers!
The Beth Tee: (I am wearing a size large – comes in Grape, Tangerine, and Cabana Green) This is your new best friend in the world of basic tees. It’s so soft and the fit is great for everyday wear. Because it is also cut a little fitted, I would recommend sizing up for the best fit!
The Abbi Top: (I am wearing a size extra large – comes in Cabana Green, Fuchsia, and Black) This top is named after my dear friend Abbi Tenaglia, the founder of Transforming Hope ministries. Abbi has been instrumental in my passion for ending human trafficking. The Abbi is cut more fitted around the waist and hips, so I recommend sizing up from your usual size for a little looser fit. If you like a tighter fit or have smaller hips, order your regular size. This top would look great with skinny jeans or leggings!
The Lauren Dress: (Carly is pictured wearing a medium, I am wearing a large in the main photo. This dress comes in Grape and Cabana Green with a coordinating Dhaka sash) This is such a fun dress and the removable sash gives it that extra flare and versatility! This dress would be perfect for hourglass body types because you can adjust the sash to hit you where you feel most confident. I recommend ordering true to size or even sizing down if you want a more curve-hugging fit. I can also picture this being adorable on someone with a baby bump! Imagine tying that sash above a baby bump… SO CUTE!
The Maria Baseball Pocket Tee: (I am wearing an extra large, comes in Cerulean, Gotham Gray, and Deep Rose) This is such a great, basic, baseball style tee. The cut is a little fitted so I definitely recommend sizing up from your usual size. It will be perfect year round because you can wear it with shorts, pants, or even skirts!
The Cassie Tunic: (I am wearing a size large – comes in Grape and Gotham Gray) The Cassie is way more versatile than it seems. I would definitely order true to size and because of the length, you can easily wear this as a tunic, or bunch it up and wear it as a top. If you have the figure for it, you could each pull it all the way down and wear it as a pencil dress with a pair of sassy heels for a date night. The design of the shirt also allows it to be worn if you’re pregnant. I can picture this being so cute on someone with a baby bump! But don’t think it looks maternity even if you’re not, because it definitely doesn’t. It’s just THAT versatile!
The Bridgid Tee: (I am wearing a size large – comes in White and Deep Rose) This top is named after my sister, Bridgid, and I love the simplicity, versatility, and comfort of this top. My sister is one of the strongest women I know! The Bridgid is such a flattering top on any body type. It fits true to size, but you can size down for a shorter, less flowy fit, or size up if you really want extra room. This is probably the most versatile piece in the whole collection and is going to be my go-to basic tee year round!
The Anastacia Top: (I am wearing a size medium and this top comes in Gotham Gray and Cabana Green with coordinating Dhaka fabrics) This top is named for Anastacia, the beautiful girl that I have been sponsoring in a small village in Kenya for the past six years. Anastacia represents my heart and my passion for Kenya in so many ways. This is one of my favorite pieces in the whole collection. Because of the cut, I would recommend sizing down for the best fit. It is cut loosely and so sizing down allows the top to “hug” you in the right places, while also giving you a fun and flattering peplum to give you some curve.
The Donna Tunic: (I am wearing a size large – comes in Soft Turquoise and White) This tunic is AMAZING. I would definitely order true to size or size down for a smaller fit. This top is way more flattering than you might think and hits at all the right spots. It’s the perfect tunic to wear with leggings or skinny jeans.
The Lynda Top: (I am wearing a size large and it comes in Fuchsia and Soft Turquoise with coordinating Dhaka fabrics) This top is named after my late mom, Lynda Van Devanter Buckley. She had the biggest influence on my life and her heart for the least of these is what has really shaped who I am today. I adore this top and the fit is perfection. Definitely order true to size and, go ahead and order it in both colors because it’s going to be your new favorite.
The Erla Dress: (I am wearing a size large – it comes in Deep Rose, Cerulean, and Gotham Gray) This dress is named after my late paternal grandmother, Erla Buckley. While I never got to meet Erla, I know she exemplified what it means to serve others. And let me tell you… this is the BEST dress. It is so comfortable, the pockets add a fun detail, and it can be easily dressed up or down. I would recommend ordering your regular size, unless you want it to be a little shorter at the knee, then you can size down. The flowy design of it is flattering on all body types and gives you the flexibility to size up or down depending on how you want it to hit you at the knee.
THANK YOU all for your support and your encouragement. You have NO IDEA how much it means to me. I honestly cannot thank you all enough. There will be more about this collection in the days and weeks to come! I can’t WAIT to share more with you. This is honestly a dream come true but the reality is… it’s so much more than cute clothes. This collection is about changing lives. Your purchase really does matter.
Now, go and shop your little hearts out!!! (Again, don’t forget to use code “MOLLY” for 10% off plus free shipping!)
*This is a collection that Carly and I designed in collaboration with Elegantees. A lot of time, heart, and soul went into this collection and we are honored to share it with you. Thank you for supporting!!