Be the Change You Wish to See When You Shop

During my early yoga days while back bending in Sharon Gannon's class at Jivamukti Yoga in New York City, she asked the class something like "Would it be so hard to buy cruelty free the next time you shop for cosmetics?" With my heart wide open and touching the sky while in wheel pose my internal response was "Sure, no problem."

Shopping for cruelty free products back then limited me to going to my itty bitty local health food store. Now it's much easier since cruelty free products have made their way into supermarkets, drugstores and online. But there's more to that seed that cracked open in my heart at Sharon's class. My quest for shopping cruelty free led me into vegan leather shops, stores that offered fair trade products, designers that use toxin free production that is safe for your skin and environment plus even kick back a portion of their profits to a cause that matters.

Over the years I found plenty of affordable and beautiful products in the conscious shopping realm. Here are my top 3 for the summer of 2015.

Pictured above I'm wearing Satva Living Rati Capri yoga pants. I stumbled upon this company while in Whole Foods. The convenience of buying superbly designed organic cotton yoga wear while I'm shopping at the market with my 4 year old is hugely appreciated. Satva Living's clothing highlights a woman's figure without compressing and binding away her curves like most brands do. 

Satva Living is value driven sustainable style for women that supports rural farming communities, promotes toxin free production, 5% of their profits are donated to Wellness in the Schools Program which empowers kids to make healthy mind and body connections. Learn more at

Only Hearts is a chic New York City boutique that is a shrine to trinkets that are heart shaped to carrying the most beautifully detailed underwear to fashion forward outerwear. I've been shopping at their Upper West Side Columbus Ave. location for over a decade and during a recent purchase I learned the creator's line "Helena Stuart for Only Hearts" has been designed and manufactured with love in New York City since 1978. Knowing that what I call the gold in my closet, my Only Hearts pieces which are rich in detail and flattering lines, are made locally and employing nearby fashion artisans makes my heart happy.

Here I'm reaching for the gold in the sky wearing the So Fine Eyelet Empire Tank Dress. I love the sweetheart pale pink color mixed with body conscious lines. Only Hearts also has a downtown New York City location on Mott Street, Santa Monica, California and in Rome, Italy. Visit them online at

When I visit Nyack, New York I make it a point to pop into Maria Luisa's Boutique because of her cleverly creative style. She's a consumer savvy pro who's been a Nyack Institution for over 25 years. In 2007 she opened a satellite shop next door to her main boutique that makes my heart soar called Maria Luisa Global Local or MLGL. This shop specializes in a wide variety of fine, handmade, fair trade and eco friendly merchandise produced in the USA and around the world.

Here I'm wearing Nusantara Thai Cotton Devi Pants. These pants are sewn and hand dyed by women in Thailand. I love how they move with me, keep me cool on summer days when I want coverage plus the unique interior drawstrings at the lower leg can be left loose or tied to create a ripple effect/adjustable hem. I conveniently tie them up when I'm wearing flat shoes and untie them when I'm wearing heals.

Visit to learn more about MLGL and note that when you make an online purchase, 10% will be donated to your choice of the listed not for profit organizations such as ML by Maria Luisa Scholars, Nyack Center, People to People of Rockland or VCS Pride.

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