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Alden Wicker

✷Journalist + blogger ✷Sustainable fashion + travel ✷President @ethicalwriters ◦ Wonderfruit ↣ Chiang Mai Collab inquiries: [email protected]

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I’ve always felt most drawn to Buddhism. It feels most like peace to me,like the practice aligns most with my values as a modern woman and environmentalist. I studied it pretty intensively for a couple years when I felt lost, and then drifted away when the pieces of my life started to fit together and I got into electronic music and then met my husband. This trip to Cambodia and rekindled my interest. But I want to hear from my practicing followers: How do you align your religious beliefs with your environmentalism? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #angkorwat #buddhism #cambodia at Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

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I have no "travel" pics of Bangladesh for you, even though there are some beautiful places to visit, so I'm told! All I have for you are pictures related to the fashion industry, which makes up 84% of Bangladesh's exports. Fashion is king in Bangladesh. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ These beakers contain water that has flowed out of the @denimexpertltd factory in Chittagong before going through multiple levels of filtering and is outputted into the river. Part of the water flows into a fish pond to ensure that it's healthy and safe – one of the managers brings the fish home to his mom for dinner! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Unfortunately, in the grand scheme of things, this factory, at about 1,700 workers, is tiny. Many hundreds of factories who pollute with impunity have 10,000 or 15,000 workers. The rivers surrounding these factories and the tanneries especially, are black and noxious with toxic chemicals. They're ecologically dead. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So while it's amazing some factories have taken the initiative to do better, and shows that it is possible, Bangladesh has a long, difficult road ahead to overcome corruption and enforce the laws that are on the books on pollution. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Swipe to see more on this particular factory, including the fish pond with a lovely gazebo for fishing. And comment below if you have any questions for me. I'll do my best to answer them based on my short time in Bangladesh! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #bangladesh #chittagong #sustainablefashion #ecofashion #sustainablestyle at Denim Expert Ltd.

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This #sponsored post comes with a discount for my readers! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It's so frustrating when you spend a lot of money on electronics, they break, and the manufacturer tells you that you can't get them fixed and you just have to throw them out and buy new ones. It's a stupid waste of resources and money, and incredibly polluting. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The online shop @buymeonce is the solution. They only sell brands (home, fashion, electronics, beauty), that they've thoroughly researched to be the best quality, with the longest warranty, so you only have to... buy it once. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ They recommend these minirig travel speakers, which my husband the DJ bought on recommendation from another touring DJ. They are super solid, have a yearlong free warranty, and will upgrade the innards when they release new technology, instead of requiring you replace the whole thing. We call them our mini mobile disco, they're so powerful and high quality. Everything is like that on @buymeonce. It saves you hours of research for your holiday shopping. Get the discount code by clicking the link in my profile! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #DJlife #buylessbuybetter #shopconsciously #consciousconsumer #buylesschoosewell

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Maheen Khan founded a nonprofit in 2012 after a terrorist attack of a Buddhist community in Bangladesh. Then Rana Plaza happened. In her home town. She was on the phone coordinating help, then gathering and distributing funds to affected families afterwards. Now she designs and runs a sustainable fashion startup called @monokromeofficial, with cotton, handloom cotton, lightweight wool, and kadhi clothing that help modern professional women in Dhaka bridge the gap between the traditional shalwar kameez and western workwear for when they travel to Europe and the US on business. Women in Dhaka have an impossible time finding well-made pants or shirt dress here. Or they did! Now they can come and get something custom made for them at Maheen’s studio and look freakin’ fabulous. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I love having my preconceptions blown to smithereens. Don’t you? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #ethicalfashion #madeinbangladesh #sustainablefashion #slowfashion at Monokrome

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Q: How do you know if a garment worker is happy with her job? A: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I’m going to put up a whole blog post months from now when I can finally sit down for a week of writing, but wanted to share a little bit about my visit to the studio of @monokromeofficial today. This sustainable fashion brand is by a stylish Bangladeshi woman named Maheen Khan, for high achieving Bangladeshi women: doctors, tech professionals, even a judge. Everything is made in house by their team of two sewers and a pattern maker. There’s the custom line, which they can deliver to you within 24 hours, or the more affordable line that you can pick up at the handicraft store Jatra. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The sustainable fashion market here is small. But it exists. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #whomademyclothes #ethicalfashion #madeinbangladesh #garmentworkers at Dhaka, Bangladesh

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Tips for Chiang Mai, my wonderful eco-friendly followers? We’ll decamping there for rest and work after the whirlwind of Bangladesh and Wonderfruit! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #chiangmai #chiangmailife #chiamgmaitrip at Chiang Mai, Thailand

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#sponsored When is the last time you took action to support the cause you're passionate about? I've written many times before about why it's so important for environmentalists to not only shop consciously but also support non-profit organizations and call your reps. I know, easier said than done! I recently found out about @that_helps, an app that makes it really easy to find non-profits that align with your specific passions and take concrete action to improve the world. It's sort of like a social networking app (that furthers a society of kindness unlike, ahem, FB) where you connect with others and post content to inspire and get inspired. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I signed up and added the interests Clean Water & Sanitation, Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Conservation. It took me 10 minutes to find an "opportunity" to oppose the release of pesticides into waterways from Waterkeeper Alliance, learn about the issue, and call my representative and leave a message asking her to oppose a sneaky rider in the farm bill that would make it easier to spray pesticides over waterways. SO EASY! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ To try it out for yourself, follow @that_helps and download the app in the app store. Huge recommend on this one! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #thathelps #doyourpart #randomactsofkindness #giveback

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Ooooh I have a good one up today on Ecocult! Peru is a mecca for lovers of cozy and beautiful artisanal fashion. And I've written up a guide to the best ethical shopping in Cusco and Lima. What do I mean by the best? I mean ethical, sustainable AND stylish. If you ever need convincing to go to Peru, just check it out. You'll be drooling by the end. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I have one more thing to say to you on the subject... ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ALPACA. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #madeinperu #perufashion #ethicalfashion #sustainablfashion #alpacamybags at Lima, Peru

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Another shot from the beautiful @anokhijaipur museum. If you visit #amerfort or the stepwell heart, you HAVE to stop here, too. It’s delightfully girly, fashion-focused, pink, and educational. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #jaipur #anokhimuseum #blockprint #blockprinting #pinkwalls at Anokhi Museum

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I have a new appreciation for hippies! Before I thought of them as a uniform block of poor fashion sense. (Sorry.) But I learned in Jaipur at the @anohkijaipur museum that hippies were very much responsible for rescuing the dying craft of blockprinting by hunting down these fabrics on the hippie trail to India in the 70s, and then interpreting it into couture dresses that became all the rage in the U.S. (And that I would definitely wear today!!) It's a shame that today backpacker/tourist spots sell machine-print copycats elephant pants made with toxic dyes, because the real thing is exquisite. The famous blockprinting village of Sanganar suffers from a diminishing supply of polluted water because of chemical dyes. But once you forget the art of natural dyeing, it's hard to go back, especially of consumers don't value it and your water supply isn't clean. (Support natural blockprint!) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ @matterprints also connected me with the family blockprinting business that does their fashion, and Khushiram treated me to a private blockprinting workshop where I made myself a pretty (slightly crooked) scarf. I didn't have time to visit @studiobagru, but if you're in Jaipur, you should check them out as well. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Oh, and the shopping! So much to choose from. I think Jaipur was my favorite stop in India! But of course, we haven't visited Kutch or Varanasi. I'll just have to go back for another visit. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Check out more details and photos in my stories today! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #ethicalfashion #sustainablefashion #blockprint #jaipurblockprint #sustainablefashionblogger

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#tbt to the last time I was in Asia, had my best friend help me haggle this carved cow skull down, then brought this thing through 5 airports in Asia then the U.S. each security reacted differently to seeing it on the x-ray. One shrugged, one was shocked, one accepted my “its art!” explanation, and LAX bomb swabbed it. I painted it white when I got home and strung tassels on it (tassels make everything better) and now it’s one of my favorite decorations, above our bed. One night it crashed down and barely missed our heads. I put it right back up, and it’s stayed there peaceably ever since.... ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #cursedcowskull #indonesiancraft #wallart #diyproject #cowskull

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I will always be grateful to the more than a dozen warm and welcoming brand founders, artisans, and friends who welcomed us into the amazing land of India. This country truly is like no other. The skill, passion, tradition, diversity, and embrace of color of the Indian people surpasses anything I’ve ever experienced or seen. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Yes, our itinerary was intense — I don’t recommend doing what we did and visiting four big cities in a row. But I accomplished what I set out to do, which is deepen my understanding of what makes Indian craft so special. I’m still processing (figuratively and literally — I have A LOT of photos and interviews) but expect more from me. And know I will come back someday, to see Kerala and Maheshwar and the Himalayas. Onward, to Cambodia! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ (Stunning silk and embroidered velvet dress by @roopaofficial, photo by talented @sunithanadigphotography) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #incredibleindia #indiafashion #ethicalfashion #artisanfashion at Bangalore, India

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Last day in India, and we didn’t even have to get up at dawn to find a peaceful, beautifully restored sanctuary in New Delhi. Grateful to have this be our last memory of this beautiful yet challenging country. (@ohsevendays top, @misspompom1 scarf, @ahilaya hand embroidered Indian pants, hat from @shopaccompany) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #humayunstomb #newdelhi #islamicarchitecture at Humayun's Tomb

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Happy birthday to my love, my best friend, my grabber of things off the top shelf, my sexy Latin panther, my favorite DJ, my personal stylist, my protector, my strongest supporter, my happy place. I don’t deserve such a beautiful soul, but I sure don’t take you for granted. I’m looking forward to more adventures, and more quiet days at home, together. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #happiestofbirthdays #loveindia #jaipur #indialove at City Palace, Jaipur

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I was honored to be taken to a small family weaving unit outside of Jaipur by a local designer, Bhaavya. She’s working as the go between for @matterprints and this family to create a special zero-waste coat out of MATTER’s old fabric scraps. Check out my stories for more! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #zerowastefashion #madeinindia #ethicalblogger #ecoblogger ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ at Jaipur, Rajasthan

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SO PUMPED for the launch of @thegreenhub_'s very first magazine issue! Editor Kira Simpson asked me to write about what fashion has to do with our climate future, and I am very proud of the resulting article. Go to the link in my profile and purchase a digital copy for yourself to read it! #sponsored ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ "This is for you. The ones who challenge the status quo. The revolutionaries who think differently and want to make a positive impact on the world. I hope you enjoy reading our summer issue; I certainly loved creating it for you." - Kira ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #magazinecover #sustainablefashion #ethicalfashion #fashionjournalist

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Current mood. Because I just realized it’s Thanksgiving and I’m nowhere near a pecan pie. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #hanumantemple #monkeytemple #jaipur #babymonkey at Shri Chandpole Hanuman Ji Temple, Chandpole, Jaipur, Rajasthan India

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I wrote last week about how traveling gets so much better when you focus less on traveling itself and more on your personal passions and interests, letting them guide you. Because you'll stumble on beautiful places you won't find in a guidebook. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In India, twice I've been on my way back from a weaving unit outside a city, and found myself at a special step well that is more beautiful than the ones you've seen on Instagram. Everyone posts a picture of that one step well on the way to Agra and the one by Amer Fort. But this one was deserted and quiet. It has a tunnel that leads to a nearby 400-year-old temple. And another we went to outside Ahmedabad had no other American tourists – we did get a lot of selfie requests from Indian tourists! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ A step well is a water basin that has steps leading down to the bottom so multiple people can collect water. In India, they're can be so elaborate, with multiple rooms and levels and carved deities, that they look like temples. Most have been abandoned at this point in favor of modern water towers. And with the decreasing rainfall (thanks, climate change) they aren't filling up with water anymore anyway. Swipe to see more beautiful step we’ll photos! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #stepwell #jaipur #rajasthan_diaries #followyourpassion #travelbetter #atlasobscura at Jaipur, Rajasthan

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