About

Hello, I’m Leah.

ethical and sustainable style blogger Leah Wise

I’m a writer, blogger, choral singer, and divinity school student living in New Haven, CT with my husband, Daniel, our cat, Li’l Sebastian, and a handful of pet rats. I use she/her/hers pronouns.

I founded StyleWise in 2013 in an effort to build community support and foster education around supply chain ethics and conscious consumerism. Now, I am focused on exploring an integrated approach to ethics that honors all people in the supply chain, from farmer to factory employee to consumer. My work as a graduate student is rooted in the belief that hyper-local community care is where transformation happens.

A few fun facts: I was born in Indiana, grew up in coastal Florida, and lived in Charlottesville, Virginia during my 20s. I have a younger sister who is a fine art photographer. I love dill pickles and ballet documentaries. After graduating from seminary, I hope to work as a parish priest in the Episcopal Church and/or as a hospital or hospice chaplain.

How It All Began

I first started thinking about the ethics of what we consume more than nine years ago while working at a craft store that sold cheap, sweatshop goods marketed as “artisan made” without fair prices to match. The disparity between the workmanship of these goods and the $3.99 price tag made me question the system behind it. Honestly, I had never thought about the makers before that experience.

I think many of us in Western countries grow up thinking that production is automated, made by robots in clean, state-of-the-art factories. After all, this is the 21st century. But the reality is that human production is often still the most precise, highest quality, and cheapest form of labor. Exploitation in the garment industry is just one nefarious symptom of a troubled world, but it is an important one because we are encouraged to consume at such a breakneck pace that we can’t help but be complicit.

As I uncovered the stories of artisans and makers on StyleWise, I began to take an interest in environmental sustainability and responsible business practices, because these things are inextricably linked. Additionally, my experience operating a small thrift shop in Charlottesville, Virginia for five years gave me further insight into our massive overconsumption problem while also providing an incredible education in textiles and garment quality.

What You’ll Find

Now I seek to provide thorough, nuanced, and accessible resources, articles, and reviews that work through the complexity of garment and goods production systems. I believe that small steps matter, but I also believe very strongly that we must build strong, sustainable coalitions that lobby for better regulations while working to imagine and create a narrative of hope. You can’t merely buy your way to a better world, but like all good habits, committing to doing the best thing you can within your means and circumstances is a catalyst for change and an example to others.

In addition to blogging, I write, speak, and consult on ethical fashion, digital marketing, theology, and the thrift economy with bylines in Christianity Today, Relevant Magazine, Mind Body Green, and Elephant Journal. You can hear me chat about ethical fashion and thrifting on Reframe Your Life and the Green Dreamer podcast (links below).

Thanks for reading Leah Wise! You’re welcome here.

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A portion of proceeds from StyleWise are donated to the ACLU, the NAACP, and the Xerces Society on a monthly basis.


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