This post is sponsored by Cotton Incorporated. Find your cotton favorites here.


We all have those classic pieces that can save an outfit (or a mood) in a pinch. Usually made of cotton, they’re versatile, worn-in and hold a prized position on our hangers. It’s always interesting to learn what those items of clothing are for different people, especially when they’re pieces you might not expect, so we thought it’d be fun to visit the closets of a few of our Darling staff members to learn what those can’t-live-without items are … and why.

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The wave of ethical fashion and socially conscious companies continues to rise, which is something that we can’t encourage more. We love highlighting these brands, not only because we can feel good about spending wisely, but also because we get the opportunity to connect with the hearts of founders who have been so moved by experience that they’ve been willing to reorient their entire lives to improving the ones of others.

One such women is Carly Burson. After holding her adopted Ethiopian daughter in her arms, Carly was struck by how often circumstances prevented a woman from being able to care for a child. Carly has since made it her mission to create full-time jobs and to instill confidence and hope in women through Tribe Alive, a marketplace where jewelry, accessories, weekender bags (which we love) and more are made by artisan partners across the globe.

Below, we’re sharing more of Carly’s story and why she believes that women, in particular, hold the key to changing the world.

Switching gears with the upcoming autumn season, we’re envisioning cable knit sweaters, breezy cobblestone streets, and sparks of creativity as we sharpen pencils and chase dreams.

And the sound of BOY adds in the perfect soundtrack for such imagination.

The BOY duo of ladies Valeska Steiner and Sonja Glass have recently released their second album, “We Were Here,” and we can’t get enough of their inventive melodies, creative visuals, and all-around let’s just stay curled up journaling in a Parisian cafe  vibe. We’re sharing the video to their album’s title track and we invite you to give (them) a listen, below!

Spend five minutes reading her blog and Emily Henderson will quickly feel like the best friend you’d want to spend an entire day binge-watching TV and having heartfelt conversations with.

Spend five more minutes reading her blog and you’ll soon scrap that idea in favor of wanting her to come over and redesign every single nook and cranny of your home.

Emily has a level of design genius that’s nothing short of inspiring; she’s able to turn clutter into chic and something generic into something perfectly original. We were fortunate enough to get to spend the day with her earlier this summer shooting for Issue No. 13, and we’re giving you a sneak-peek into her feature (and sharing some of her interior design wisdom) with you, below!

A Note From The Editor:  We’re so excited to begin sharing content with FabFitFun. Known for their monthly curations of health and beauty products, they also host a wealth of fun reads — ranging from entertainment to wellness — over on their magazine. We thought this article was a great reminder (and educational lesson) on the way we need to rethink our eating habits so that they are truly a part of a healthy lifestyle, not an unrealistic means to an idealized end. 

Sure, counting calories may lead to short-term weight loss, but it doesn’t serve us in the long run. It doesn’t create healthy habits, control cravings, prevent inflammation, or ward off disease. (Plus, eating portion-controlled French toast is just no way to live!) Let’s abandon the calories in/calories out mindset.

Instead, let’s grab a greater understanding of how to optimize the way our body works, and find effortless sustainability.

In the age of eye-opening documentaries like Food, Inc. and Farmaggedon, you’re not alone if you feel overwhelmed and defeated as to the state of the food systems in our country. It can be hard to believe that anything wins anymore except profit, profit, profit, ever slimming the margin between good business, good food and healthy communities.

Then we discovered Los Angeles’ Food Policy Council. They exist to heighten civic engagement between communities and policy makers to ensure that fresh, sustainable, ethical food (otherwise known as Good Food) isn’t a luxury but a right, fully accessible to everyone. We had to chance to chat with the council’s executive director, Clare Fox, for an empowering look at the change that’s taken place in southern California and, hopefully, across the country. Read on, below.

We first heard of Gingger Shankar because she’s the only women in the world playing the double violin. Then, we learned she also started her own music production company, working on projects for companies including HBO, CBS Sports, AFI, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the World Economic Forum.

Her talent and drive make sense, seeing as how she also comes from a line of women responsible for breaking cultural barriers and bringing Indian music to the West during the 1970s. This Embodied Achiever has a lot of wisdom about the music industry, and what it looks like to be a woman in any male-dominated field, so keep reading below to learn more about her story.

When The Chalkboard claims it has discovered life-changing sauces and dressings that practically guarantee you’ll eat more vegetables, how could we not share the findings with you here? Below we’re doing just that, because we think such secrets should never be kept to oneself. Bon appetit! 

EAT MORE GREENS. And roots. And veggies that are really fruits. We’re all about helping you eat more things that grow from the ground! Here’s what every veggie-loving, skin-be-a-glowing gal knows: The key to eating more veggies on a consistent basis has everything to do with making incredible sauces that’ll keep you hooked.

We’re obsessed with lemon tahini sauce (try it on almost anything!) – and miso dressing over veggies of every shape and size will have you craving more greens than you ever imagined. Take your greens from a chore to a craving. Try tahini lemon dressing on even the most bitter veggie and you’ll learn why people legitimately enjoy eating this stuff.

Below are three dressings we love to make at home, each pulled from a popular TCM recipe. Each makes a killer combo with a grain bowl filled with veggies or as a dressing for roasted, raw, or steamed veggies.

Issue No. 13 is finally here and just as with every issue, this one might be our favorite yet.

For fall we’re focusing on all that lies beneath us, the beauty in the unexpected, vulnerability as the key to life, choosing the hardest (yet best) paths, being fearless in relationships and empowering others around you. It’s about embracing the fact that this life is a big question mark, but that it’s worth the fight; living authentically is always in style and the hard questions are definitely the ones to ask.

Want a sneak-peek of more?

Today is Women’s Equality Day, a day that commemorates the historical anniversary (August 26, 1920) of women’s suffrage in the United States.

On August 26, 1970, Betty Friedan and the National Organization For Women (NOW) organized a nationwide Women’s Strike for Equality. Fifty years after gaining the right to vote, women had yet to be granted equal opportunities in employment, education, and services such as twenty-four hour child-care centers. Many of these inequalities, unfortunately, still exist to this day.

Women have come a long way since 1920. And while there is still a ways to go, it’s our mission at Darling that women wouldn’t just see themselves as equals, but also individuals. That we wouldn’t just see barriers as obstacles to smash, but minds to engage, converse with and change for the better. Women of the 21st century should be free to express their femininity in a wide variety of forms, all with virtue, authenticity, beauty and love, pursuing justice at every opportunity along the way.

Below we’re sharing how you can do that, too, in 0:50 seconds. Ready to join us?

It seems as though summer in LA is never really in full swing until August …and during the months that follow.

We’re currently smack in the middle of days that sizzle with heat, sitting under skies streaked with radiant, fire-red sunsets. Perhaps that’s why we felt inspired to curate a few items that have similar August-themed tones. Below we’re sharing items in the shades we’re currently loving, even if true shade is hard to come by.

Enjoy!

We’re back again with more helpful, natural health info from Chalkboard Mag. Today they’re sharing what it looks like to rummage in the fridge for more than just food, but healthy, healing ingredients for the outside of your body, too. 

JUST LIKE the food we eat, when it comes to our skin, we like to keep things simple. When we’re buying off the shelves, our motto is “the less ingredients the better.” And when we DIY it up, our step-by-step is usually short-and-sweet (the last thing we want after a long day is to spend hours on what should be self-care!).

Thanks to Deborah at Hello Natural, we’ve found the piece-de-resistance of DIY skin care – or should we say, ten of them. These all-natural, one-ingredient wonders prove that less is more, and use things you probably already have in your pantry or fridge …

Femininity exists in a variety of forms, but we think that courageously pursuing a passion and doing so with beauty, grace and confidence is definitely a hallmark.

That’s why we’re so excited to introduce you today to Kelsea Slade, owner and designer of K.slademade. She’s a self-starter who jumped into the entrepreneur arena in 2010 with a desire to create her own line of classic, American-made handbags.

Below we’re sharing her colorful approach to business, life, and staying unique in a digital age, so keep reading to learn more about this Stylist Embodied… and to find out how to win one of her creations for yourself!

A Note From The Editor: While in the past it hasn’t been our policy to promote Kickstarter campaigns on Darling, we’ve been receiving so many amazing and inspiring product pitches that we’ve decided to open the door for submissions and will be selecting one campaign to feature every quarter! If you have an upcoming Kickstarter campaign that you’d like to submit for our fall selection (September – November) please send an email to blog@darlingmagazine.org with “Kickstarter Submission” in the subject line.

A t-shirt company might not sound unique, but when you couple one with a purpose that benefits both the wearer and the maker, we take notice. Uniting that purpose with a deeper sense of social justice and anti-trafficking work, and we can’t help but share The Parative Project. It’s so much more than a t-shirt, and we invite you to watch and discover why below.

A Note From The Editor:  We’re so excited to begin sharing content with FabFitFun. Known for their monthly curations of health and beauty products, they also host a wealth of fun reads — ranging from entertainment to wellness — over on their magazine. We thought this article was especially relevant for the wannabe hostess who might be a little too intimidated to cook like a pro. One read-through of the below, however, and you should be well on your way.

Want to become a more romantic cook?  The best way to start is by figuring out all those exotic cooking and consuming terms. We’re here to help you learn the basic culinary terminology you should know when cooking in the kitchen (and when ordering at a restaurant).

Check out our guide below:

   This post is brought to you by Target Style. Shop the new Apparel & Accessories collection in stores and online.


The little black dress. The perfect white tee. And a good pair of jeans.

Your wardrobe can’t get any more classic than it does with denim. It’s the fabric that dresses up just as easily as it breaks in, leaving you with an ever-ready outfit choice you don’t have to think twice about.

Maybe that’s why Target recently decided to update their denim line, releasing a brand new collection containing everything from vests and overalls to joggers and jeggings. If those choices overwhelm you (after all, who knew there could be so many different ways to name a pair of jeans?) don’t worry. We had three of our Darling staffers head over to Target and pick up a few of their favorites to style themselves.

Below, we’re sharing their tips for how to take a risk — and have it pay off — with denim.

A Note From the Editor: As we’re inundated with news headlines with every passing day, hour and tweet it seems, we thought it would be helpful to begin curating select news stories here for you that bear particular importance about the world we live in and the people who shape it. It’s easy to consume; it’s a lot harder to stop, process, and think critically about what’s going on around us.

We hope this series opens the door for conversations to develop and for voices to be heard. We encourage you to share your own thoughts on the stories shared and suggest new ones for us to feature in the comment section below.

When the Darling team first watched this film, it stopped us in our tracks. Though we’ve been long aware of fast-fashion’s negative environmental, cultural, and economical implications, The True Cost educates and pinpoints the problem in such a way that we can’t not give a second-thought as to what we purchase.

It’s a film that will make you question the difference between a need and a want, possessions and materialism, and what’s truly behind a desire to consume.

We had the great pleasure of asking the film’s director, Andrew Morgan, a few questions about his documentary and we encourage you to read his thoughts (then watch, ask, and act) below:

A Note From The Editor: Changing the world, wherever we are, starts small. As individuals, before we can think about excelling at our careers, in our relationships, or with our art, we need to take care of ourselves. It’s surprising how so few of us really know how to do the simple things anymore, so we’ve set out to change that with Kara Elise.

I love having friends over for lunch. There is something so special about welcoming someone into your home and into your space. As a confidant, we can practice this art of intentionality when we choose to invite others into our lives. This salad is an easy, quick, and colorful lunch to help create that space.

A Note From The Editor: Changing the world, wherever we are, starts small. As individuals, before we can think about excelling at our careers, in our relationships, or with our art, we need to take care of ourselves. It’s surprising how so few of us really know how to do the simple things anymore, so we’ve set out to change that with Kara Elise.

Avocado and egg toast is one of my favorite breakfasts. Its satisfying, beautiful, and so packed with amazing things. I love adding variations and changing up the condiments and spices. In a culture that is so fast paced, it’s often difficult to intentionally slow down and enjoy the morning. This breakfast is one that I love to make just for me, to remind myself that hosting myself is one of the most refreshing and life-giving activities that sets my intention for the entire day.

If there’s one downside to the outdoors during summertime, it’s those tiny little friends that we can pick up along the way. Bug bites easily zap the calm, serene feeling fresh air affords us, and remedies can sometimes feel (and smell) like more trouble than they’re worth. But of course the all-natural gurus over at The Chalkboard have us covered. No pun intended. Below they’re sharing a DIY recipe for all-things-bug-bites with activated charcoal.

CHARCOAL IS HAVING A MOMENT, for sure. We love the crazy Japanese charcoal toothbrushes and we’ve been drinking charcoal in Pressed Juicery’s new green juice. We’re no strangers to drinking or bathing in clay either, which can draw toxins out of the gut. Stephanie at Hello Natural is walking us through a DIY for a traditional skin-healing remedy called black salve. It’s strangely gorgeous and surprisingly effective…

A Note From The Editor: In Darling Issue No. 10 we announced a new partnership with International Justice Mission (IJM), specifically partnering with their work to eradicate sex trafficking in the Dominican Republic. We’re excited to introduce the third in a series of update posts, taking you along and behind-the-scenes for a deeper look at how exactly that is being accomplished. 

IJM’s team has come alongside local Dominican authorities since late 2013 to rescue victims, bring criminals to justice, restore sex trafficking survivors, and strengthen the justice system so it can protect its most vulnerable children. By the end of May, we have helped rescue 20 victims and restrain eight traffickers and pimps in 2015.

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A Note From The Editor: While in the past it hasn’t been our policy to promote Kickstarter campaigns on Darling, we’ve been receiving so many amazing and inspiring product pitches that we’ve decided to open the door for submissions, and will be selecting one campaign to feature every quarter! If you have an upcoming Kickstarter campaign that you’d like to submit for our fall selection (September – November) please send an email to blog@darlingmagazine.org with “Kickstarter Submission” in the subject line.

Quite possibly one of the most darling toys we’ve encountered since we’ve last encountered a toy. We’re so excited to share and introduce you to Mister Alphabet™, a figurine that does more than add character to your shelf. He helps teach children how to understand and form letters. Read on below to learn more about how you can take part in the journey of Mister Alphabet and share his story with family and friends… of all ages.

A Note From The Editor: Changing the world, wherever we are, starts small. As individuals, before we can think about excelling at our careers, in our relationships, or with our art, we need to take care of ourselves. It’s surprising how so few of us really know how to do the simple things anymore, so we’ve set out to change that with Kara Elise.

With her we’re excited to launch a series of videos that highlight one easy recipe to work into your regular routine, whether you’re a Dreamer, an Explorer or a Stylist. We hope by that spending 1-2 minutes with us you’ll learn the language of food by welcoming beauty into your own life and allowing your kitchen to become a canvas for creativity. Let’s cook!

A Note From the Editor: As we’re inundated with news headlines with every passing day, hour and tweet it seems, we thought it would be helpful to begin curating select news stories here for you that bear particular importance about the world we live in and the people who shape it. It’s easy to consume; it’s a lot harder to stop, process, and think critically about what’s going on around us. 

We hope this series opens the door for conversations to develop and for voices to be heard. We encourage you to share your own thoughts on the stories shared and suggest new ones for us to feature in the comment section below.

You know we’ve long been fans of The Chalkboard, but recently we took our love to the next level and discovered their Pressed Juicery Freeze.

The freeze is pretty much exactly what you’d expect from their cold-pressed juice line — nutrient-dense, small batch, vegan — only blended to a fro-yo like consistency, creating the perfect summer treat. Made only from roots, fruits and vegetables, everyone on the team was immediately hooked, seriously doubting how something this good for you could taste, well, good.

We visited their newest location just up the road from the Darling office (convenient and dangerous, if you ask us) and are sharing our team’s thoughts below:

Ice cream is a staple of summer. It can also teach you about a city, if you get a scoop from the right place.

We learned this truth upon meeting Salt & Straw co-founder Kim Malek and visiting the inventive company’s first Los Angeles location that opened late last year. In between bites of street-food inspired flavors like Korean Fluffernutter and Green Corn Tamales, Kim shared with us how she got her start, where she finds inspiration for flavors, and, most importantly, why she’s serving up so much more than ice cream.

We’re sharing our full interview with Kim and how you, too, can get a taste of a city with a scoop, below.