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Dressember : 31 Days 1 Dress Challenge

Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday and we have a lot planned to share how our BSB Vendors are using their businesses to serve others on one of the BEST DAYS of the YEAR! In honor of that we’re a few days early with this post, but we wanted to give everyone a head start to giving back and DECEMBER and introduce you all to what’s in store with Dressember this year! finny-hill-photography_travel-photographers_bsb_189 finny-hill-photography_travel-photographers_bsb_039 finny-hill-photography_travel-photographers_bsb_087 finny-hill-photography_travel-photographers_bsb_121 This will be my (Danielle here, Black Sheep Bride Founder) second year participating in Dressember and challenging myself to wear the same dress the entire month of December to help advocate and fundraise for human trafficking initiatives! Dressember is also a personal challenge for me, because as you might notice at the photos above (courtesy of Finny Hill Photography) I am a bit goofy and do much better taking photos vs. being the subject. HAHA! It also challenges me to be intentional about getting dressier than usual, because my normal everyday ‘uniform’ consists of jeans, t-shirt, messy-unbrushed-top-bun, and no makeup. I love participating in this event because it gives me an easy, ethical fashion-centric, opportunity to bring up a very touchy and hard topic: Human Trafficking. We have over 27 million people in bondage across the globe, with the average age of 12. Over 300,000 of those in bondage are children in the US, stolen or sold into the sex/slave trade right here on our own turf. My goal is to spark conversation and bring awareness to the amazing organizations fighting this battle on the front lines, like A21 Campaign and IJM. So for every day in December I am seeking out 31Day Sponsors, willing to support my #31Days1Dress Challenge. All you have to do is donate $20 to this fundraising page and I’ll be sure to tag you in my daily FB or IG post and thank you for your day sponsorship! Will you help me reach my goal of $650?   For only $20 Donation to my Dressember Fundraising Page you can SPONSOR A DAY in my #31Days1DressChallenge and receive a sweet air-hug, and gratitude-filled message on my social media posts for that day! DONATE $20 HERE! This year I was able to snag a fantastically ethical, and buttery soft, Carly Dress from LulaRoe and couldn’t have been more stoked about planning how to style this simple set up with a few creative add-on’s. Grateful to Heather for the dress and dotted leggingsKristen for the purple leggingsOliberte for the artisan made leather boots from Africa, and How We Soul for my favorite diamond shirt and plaid leggings. I also incorporated a few ethical and/or socially conscious items: black paper bead necklace from Take Heart, earrings from Meyelo, wooden accent necklace from Mata Traders, purple paper bead necklace from Watoto, and Tom’s Wedges. And all of the other remaining wardrobe add-on’s were already in my closet—> It’s amazing how creative you can get with a few basic pieces you already have. And I was taught by my dear wedding blogger sister-from-another-mister, Anna, you can never go wrong with a fat black buckle belt to bring it all together (including your post-childbirth waist line). Also incredibly grateful to Liz, of Finny Hill Photography, for capturing these images and encouraging my awkward silliness to shine through. I’m normally behind the camera, not in front of it, so you can imagine the struggle was real, for HER, and me.

Happy Dressember to you all!

We couldn’t be more thrilled for today to come, for a few reasons: 1. It’s Giving Tuesday! We have been waiting all year for this day, so we can send all of our love and financial support to the handful of non-profits we have connected with over the past 12 months! AND We are launching our Brand Spanking New Black Sheep Bride Market site!!!! 2. It’s the start of Dressember? It is a 31 day Dress Challenge- devoted to advocating and fundraising to stop human trafficking! What is Dressember? (From their Mission Page)

Dressember uses fashion to advocate for women who’ve been exploited for their femininity. As women take on the creative challenge of wearing a dress for the 31 days of December, they are advocating for the inherent dignity of all women. Dressember is a month of wearing dresses, but it is so much more. At its core, Dressember is an embracing of the inherent freedom and feminity of all women.

In 2013, Dressember took on new meaning: opposing the worldwide trafficking and exploitation of women. In its first year as a fundraising campaign, Dressember aligned with International Justice Mission, a human rights organization that works to rescue victims of slavery, sexual exploitation, and other forms of violent oppression. Those who participate in Dressember are supporting the abolition of modern day slavery. Beginning in 2015, the Dressember campaign will expand to partner with other anti-trafficking organizations.

Our Dressember Fundraising Page can be found here. On top of that, we are offering the next 20 vendors to donate $50 to our Fundraising Page, 50$ off our annual vendor membership to join Black Sheep Bride, annual 300×100 side bar ad space and/or feature posts prices, the month of December. dressember We are also so excited to share we have teamed up with California based wedding gown designer, Lindee Daniel, and will be taking the Dressember Challenge to the tenth power and wearing her exclusive Little Organic Black Dress everyday of December. We will be a walking billboard for this cause and be ready to chat with folks in person and over social media everyday about why we have chosen to join the fundraising efforts/dress wearing efforts for those without a voice. ld   Go check out their website for more information and take a look at their partners page, as well. We are so thrilled to have 4 of our very own vendors representing the Dressemeber Mission as well: The Giving Keys, Mata Traders, Sseko Designs, and Flourish Art and Gifts ! Screen Shot 2015-11-26 at 11.04.55 PMdressember  

Weddings That Give Back- Maureen & Burke (Mata Traders)

The more we explore and learn about socially conscious/ethical fashion brands the more we are excited to learn about their own personal wedding journeys and how they incorporated giving back into the planning process! Today’s Real #WeddingsThatGiveBack feature couple has an active voice in the Ethical Fashion world, since she founded and runs Mata Traders! Mata Traders is an independent fair trade company from Chicago, IL.  They work with women’s cooperatives in India and Nepal to produce beautiful hand-made clothing and accessories using traditional hand block-print fabrics and natural dyes.  Their designs are contemporary, young, and fun with bold patterns and lots of hand-stitched details. They decided to have their intimate wedding at her in-laws home in Montana. They knew it had to be a small guest list, because they had to accommodate enough space for everyone to eat dinner on their gorgeous patio area. They ended up with roughly 60 guests in attendance. Green Door Photography was present to capture all of the gorgeously intimate (and ethical) details and the beautiful backdrop that the Montana Mountains had to offer. Set up Her gorgeous gown and the groom and groomsmen’s ties were designed by one of our amazing Black Sheep Bride vendors, Celia Grace. Celia Grace is an ethical/fair trade wedding gown company devoted to empowering female artisans in Cambodia and providing clean drinking water through every eco-silk gown purchased! burkeFull set of jewlery ‘I brought a lot of jewelry options, as you can see. I waited until the dress was on to take care of the final touches and see what jewelry worked the best. Although a Faire Collection horn necklace from Vietnam and Mata Traders’ very own Queen of Heaven necklace were very close runners up, a simple long stranded green and brass necklace given to me by Burke’s 96-year old Grammie was the winner.’ Best picture ever  Candid couple Music First look Putting ring on ‘I tried to be simple about designing them and picked the Flights of Floral cut in the red petal print from the Spring ’14 collection. I think I pulled it off, and I love the fact that my girls can keep wearing these dresses post-wedding since they are just the right amount of casual.’ Group Screen-shot-2014-06-08-at-2.44.04-PM2Habitat Events in Missoula did the floral design – and incorporated lots of local wildflower blooms’ Menu The Bride’s good friend, Jen Parsons, from Tiny Pine Press created the custom place cards, menus, and the little note attached to each guest’s party favor. ‘I was so in loooove with all of it – Jen watercolored the inspiration for the floral designs herself and they were so sweet and colorful. Speaking of the party favor, I had one of our women’s cooperatives in Rajasthan hand-bock print an original Mata floral design on a napkin and add hand-embroidery. Then I found sleek bamboo napkin holders from fair trade company Zen Zen to for the finishing touch.’ FT Napkin holders  FULL table setup  Seating2MaureenWedding_Stuff1Louisa  maureen_burke      0131 0302 0339low   Magical And here we have the lovely bride and groom at the end of the evening! ‘I am one happy camper as you can tell. I got some good advice from somebody before the wedding to remember to take a few private moments throughout the day to process, take it all in, and be in the moment. We did that and it helped! It IS one romantic, fantastic blur though, one I will recount many times over for the rest of my life. And, thank goodness for amazing photos from Green Door Photography to help remember the day!’