Save the Date for Our Next Swap!

It’s that time again! Our next style swap has been officially set for Wednesday, August 23, at New Day Craft Cider & Mead.

SummerSwap17 promo image

If you’re on the fence about whether a clothing swap is your scene, check out Bethany’s previous post about why swaps are basically the best thing ever. Then head over to the registration page to sign up!

See you at SummerSwap17!

The Three Blessings of the Swap Gods

Woman browsing dresses at clothing swap

In case you missed the very brief plug at the end of my last post, we’re having another clothing swap soon! If you’re on the fence about joining us, let Bethany convince you with her tales of three blessings from the clothing swap gods. – Julia

The Match Made In Heaven

“I’m wearing your pants!”

Amanda never fails to text me this statement and it never fails to make me smile. She picked up a pair of gray pants that I had brought to the first clothing swap. These pants were nice gray jeans, something that I really liked, but they just fit me strangely and I could never quite make them look right on me. I reluctantly brought them to the swap thinking that I would take them home after if no one took them.

Sisterhood of the traveling pants

Amanda modeling the sisterhood of the traveling pants

Fortunately, the swap gods had different plans in mind. Amanda snagged them quickly and went to try them on. She came out of the bathroom wearing this pair of pants that looked like they were made for her. These pants that I struggled to make work because I loved them so much looked exactly how I wanted them to when Amanda put them on, and it was wonderful! The only thing better than getting a match made in heaven is being able to provide one for someone else, so don’t hesitate to sacrifice those items on the cusp to the swap gods – they have a match in mind!

The Impulsive Grab

Towards the end of the swap, the items left on the table are often plain t-shirts or basic clothing that doesn’t have a lot of obvious pizzazz to it. A few times, I’ve impulsively picked up a plain shirt at the end thinking “well, it can’t hurt anything, if it doesn’t work I’ll just bring it to the next swap.” Somehow, those impulse grabs from the discards always end up being the items that I wear the most. One of them was a plain black t-shirt that is thin and long, and I wear it constantly. Another last minute grab was a tank top with a bold fern and red flower pattern on it – not something that I usually gravitate towards. However, it turned out to fit me perfectly and is an item that I’m really looking forward to wearing this summer. Trust the impulses that the swap gods send!

The Gift Of The Story

“Where did you get that shirt? I really like it!”
“Oh, I bought it at such and such a store”
– conversation ends –

“Where did you get that shirt? I really like it!”
“Oh, I got it at the Fair for All Clothing Swap!”
“What’s a clothing swap?”
– conversation flows, friendship is made, everything is lovely and wonderful –

Okay, maybe a bit exaggerated – but one of the biggest blessings bestowed by the swap gods is the story that your new favorite shirt has. There’s something special about having a one-of-a-kind shopping experience, and it’s really fun to tell people where you got your eco-friendly new duds.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about the three blessings of the swap gods, and that you’ll come experience them in person on Wednesday, March 15th, from 6 pm – 8 pm at New Day Craft. Click here for more info and to RSVP!

~ Bethany

Guide to Vegetarian & Vegan Protein Substitutes

Fancy tofu appetizer on greens with mushrooms

Part of my effort to lessen my environmental footprint includes reducing the amount of meat in my diet. Eating mostly vegetarian food has become second-nature to me, and I have several vegetarian friends, so it always surprises me a little when restaurants and caterers don’t offer satisfactory vegetarian or vegan options. This is particularly a problem at events, which generally offer a more limited menu overall.

Once I was at a conference in college with my vegetarian roommate. The conference was being hosted at a mid-range hotel in a suburb of Indianapolis, and the dinner served was a meat lasagna. When my roommate informed the server she was vegetarian, he went to the kitchen to see what he could do and returned a while later with a single tomato that appeared to have been stuffed with a little cheese and baked. While the cooks on duty likely did their best to improvise in a situation they hadn’t been prepared for, the root of the issue is that food service professionals, especially in the hospitality industry, should be prepared to encounter vegetarians and vegans and equipped to provide them with nutritious alternatives to animal ingredients.

On my sustainable events blog, I’ve published a guide to vegetarian and vegan protein substitutes that caterers can use to better prepare themselves to serve plant-based meals. (There’s even a nifty chart!) Vegetarians and vegans get hungry too, so accommodating them means more than simply removing any “offending” ingredients from their plates. By focusing on substitution rather than elimination, caterers can create more successful veggie dishes and have more satisfied guests!

Check out the guide to vegetarian and vegan substitutions >>

Sustainable Wedding Reception Tips

Elegant table setting with white linens and daffodils

Since I started my sustainable events consulting business, one of the most frequent questions I’ve gotten from friends is, “Do you do weddings?” I’ve never actively avoided weddings, but my focus so far has been on corporate and non-profit events. But recently as I’ve met more people in the wedding planning community, I’ve found myself mentally organizing various sustainable strategies that would apply to weddings, and getting excited about helping a couple create a wedding day that matches their values.

So let me take this opportunity to say it officially: Yes, I do weddings! I recently expressed my newfound ardor for matrimony in a guest post on fellow EWC member blog Leotie Lovely by sharing some of my tips for planning a sustainable wedding reception. Check out my sustainable wedding reception tips on Leotie Lovely >>

Get Ready for SpringSwap16

It’s time for the next Fair for All style swap! SpringSwap16 is your opportunity to clean out your closet and swap unwanted items for new-to-you fashion.

This will be our third clothing swap event, and I’m so excited to have built up a community of people who enjoy getting new clothes in this fun, personal and environmentally-friendly way.

SpringSwap16 promo graphic

SpringSwap16 Women’s Style Swap

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 • New Day Craft Mead & Cider

See full details & sign up >>

Some scenes from our last swap:

Women browsing tables of clothing

Woman peruses jewelry table

Rack of women's clothing

As always, the style swap is a free event. And like at our last swap, New Day’s famous Mead & Knead will be going on in the front room at the same time, where you can get a chair massage and a glass of mead or cider for just $10. (Be sure to arrive early if you want a massage; slots fill up fast.)

We hope to see you on May 4!

Sustainable Events: Throwing a Green Kids’ Party

Cupcakes in ice cream cones

Business update! My sustainable events consulting venture is rolling along, and I’m making great connections in both the event planning community and the environmental community. It’s encouraging to hear people’s positive responses to what I’m doing, and I’m excited to bring these two groups closer together.

In addition to making new connections, I’m enjoying support from my fellow Ethical Writers Coalition members. I recently shared my top tips for throwing a green kids’ party with Summer of sustainable fashion and lifestyle blog Tortoise & Lady Grey. She’s celebrating her little one’s fourth birthday this week and is doing her best to keep the party sustainable. Kids’ parties can be a major source of waste generated by disposable plates, cups, streamers, balloons, treat bags… the list goes on. However, with a bit of careful planning, your child’s party can be a magical and memorable day that doesn’t heavily burden the environment.

Read my tips for throwing a green kids’ party on Tortoise & Lady Grey >>

P.S. On April 23 I’ll be representing my business with a booth at the Earth Day Indiana festival, so come say hey!

Sustainable Events: Reduce Waste at Your Next Party

Woman raising glass at dinner party

As part of my sustainable events consulting business, I was recently featured on the blog of socially-conscious retailer Paisley + Sparrow with my top four tips for reducing waste at dinner parties. Hosting a party has never been easier with the array of convenience products available, from packaged veggie trays and snacks to cases of soft drinks and beer, not to mention those red plastic cups. But we often don’t stop to think about the environmental impact of these items. Continue reading on Paisley + Sparrow >>

New Project: Sustainability in Events

Remember when I announced I was working a new, secret, scary, exciting project? I’m pumped to finally eliminate “secret” from that list!

Screenshot of Julia Spangler's sustainable event consulting website

I’m thrilled to share with you guys that I am starting my own sustainable events consulting business. The impetus for this idea came from several sources—my own love of events, my event experience from my day job, and the overall cultural shift in my generation toward valuing experiences more than possessions. As sustainability continues to become a more urgent global issue, event attendees (especially millennials) will demand that experiences are planned responsibly. Some brands are already doing this fantastically, but other companies and organizations need help to turn those sustainable ideals into reality. That’s where I come in!

A lot of the advice I offer is inspired by topics I’ve written about here on Fair for All. One person’s lifestyle changes at home can make a difference, but the impact is awesomely magnified at an event attended by hundreds of people!

If you’re interested in learning more, check out my official bizness website at www.juliaspangler.com. And of course, I’ll be continuing to plan sustainable events for the blog, including our next style swap on Jan. 20. Posting may take a downtick in frequency as I shift focus to the business, but I also plan to share a lot of the new things I’m learning with you!

Thanks to everyone who knew about this endeavor for your support so far; you’ve been awesome. And if you’re in the process planning a festival, fundraiser, bingo night or bar mitzvah, drop me a line—I’d love to help make it more sustainable!

Upcoming Events in January: Trunk Show and Style Swap

January looms before us as a barren wasteland of post-holiday gloom. But fear not! I have two free events coming up that are sure to break up your winter doldrums.

Slow Fashion Trunk Show promo poster

Slow Fashion Trunk Show

Thursday, Jan. 7 from 6:30–8:30 p.m.
Outpost (Circle Centre Mall, 2nd floor, across from H&M)

Elizabeth Roney from Liz Alig, Sara Baldwin-Schatz from Lux & Ivy, and I are teaming up for an evening of fair trade fashion, secondhand style, and sustainable strategies. Elizabeth and Sara will offer great slow fashion items from their brands, and I’ll speak on the differences between slow fashion and fast fashion, with time for Q&A from all three of us. It’s also a great chance to see the Outpost pop-up shop before it closes!

Women browsing clothes at FairSwap15

WinterSwap16 Women’s Style Swap

Wednesday, Jan. 20 from 6–8 p.m.
New Day Craft

FairSwap15 was such a big hit last September that we’re bringing it back in January! Collect any wearable holiday gifts that weren’t quite your style, plus any other unwanted clothing, shoes and accessories you have, and bring them to WinterSwap16. This swap will be bigger and better than the last with more items allowed per person. Plus, New Day’s famous Mead & Knead will be going on at the same time! Sign up and get the full details. Spots are limited!

Check out photos and details from past events on the Events page. Happy holidays and I’ll see you in January!

Now Showing: Events!

I’m excited to announce that Fair for All is expanding out of the purely digital realm and into the real world with… drumroll please… events!

I’ve been wanting to host events for a while so I’m excited to finally have two on the schedule. Through these events I hope to spark a conversation about ethical and sustainable lifestyle choices in central Indiana.

Here’s what’s on the docket!

Film Screening: The True Cost

Film Screening: The True Cost

Tuesday, Aug. 18 from 6:30-8:30pm
Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Company

Join Fair for All at Thr3e Wise Men in Broad Ripple for this free documentary screening. Enjoy dinner and/or a local brew while we watch the film, followed by a brief discussion. You’re responsible for your own food and beverage purchases, but everything you order within the party room helps cover the cost of the event, hooray! The screening will take place in the Fermenting Room and is limited to 20 attendees per our arrangement with the filmmaker.

Learn more about the film in my review or at truecostmovie.com.

Want to attend? RSVP on Facebook to secure your spot!

FairSwap15 Women's Clothing Swap

FairSwap15 Women’s Clothing Swap

Tuesday, Sept. 15 from 6-8pm
New Day Craft Cider & Mead

Everyone loves the thrill of getting a new outfit, but today’s fast fashion industry has high human and environmental costs. Factory workers are exploited, water supplies are polluted, and discarded clothing fills landfills at an alarming rate.

Join us at FairSwap15 to celebrate the fun of fashion in a socially- and environmentally-conscious way. Swap your unwanted clothing and accessories for new-to-you items. Who knows, your castoffs could become someone’s new favorite outfit!

Want to attend? Registration will open soon for this free event.

I’m excited about forming a stronger connection between this blog and the local Indy community. If you’re local, come hang out! For those of you not in central Indiana, I encourage you to find or host your own clothing swap. (You can also find screenings of The True Cost on their website, but they appear to be mostly done for now.)

I’m not sure how to end this post other than saying I’M SO EXCITED a bunch of times… Hope to see you at an event soon! (!!!)