Category Archives: ENVIRONMENT

Stellar Winery for a Stellar Cause!

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Fair Trade Fashionista* has you and your sweetie covered in the area of fine organic and Fair Trade “wining”….

Photosource: http://www.stellarorganics.com/about.php

Amid beautiful rolling hills stands Stellar Winery, the largest South African producer of fine organic wines. They process 4,500 tons of organic grapes for the South African and export markets.

Stellar became the first organic winery to receive official Fair Trade Certification from the Fair Trade Federation, and was also the first in South Africa to produce commercially viable no-sulphur-added wines!

Subsequtenly, Stellar became the largest producer of this type of wine in the world and is the largest producer of no-sulphur-added wines in the UK. Stellar has been trying to break into the US markets since last year, when they donated a couple cases to a Fair Trade Event I was working at, and let me tell you, this is some tasty stuff!

Photosource: http://www.stellarorganics.com/about.php

Stellar Winery has refused to make compromises on the organic or Fair Trade quality of their products ever since the beginning. Stellar replaces pesticides with hand picking, de-stemming, crushing the grapes with care, and immediately cooling them to zero degrees Celcius. Keeping the grapes at this low temperature inactivates bacteria and yeast, allowing Stellar to avoid the use of Sulpur dioxide (SO2). For more extended information on their wine making process, see Stellar Winery’s website, which goes into great detail for both red and white wines seperately!

However, being Fair Trade certified and Sulphur free wasn’t enough for Stellar Winery. They continue to make sure that from start to finish, the process through which their wine is produced is completely organic: They utilize a system of farming which maintains and replenishes the soil, use only indigenous vegetation for mulching, and control weeds with environmentally sound processes. All this hard work has made Stellar certified by not only USDA, but also the Control Union Certifications (an organic company supervised by the Dutch Accreditation Council RvA, ensuring EU criteria for organic agriculture and production are strictly adhered to).

So purchasing Stellar Wine is not only good for the environment, and its producers, but is impressively refined enough for any wine connossieur to appreciate! Stellar Wine offers their own Shiraz, Merlot, Pinotage and Cabernet Savignon, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz Rose, specialty drinks and more! Just view their website for the easily available options.

Photosource: http://www.stellarorganics.com/products.php

Above, you see a bottle of Stellar’s Merlot. Fair Trade. Organic. Ready to be consumed.

Order Stellar just in time for Valentine’s day for you and your sweetie!

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No Fair Trade Fashionistas* wardrobe is complete without SHOES!

Photosource: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2358/1588469549_3d6b718d87.jpg?v=0

I realized while reflecting on products I’ve covered in the last year that I’ve been ignoring a part of the puzzle so essential when getting dressed in the morning: SHOES!

Surprisingly, there are a wonderfully large number of companies offering Vegan/Fair Trade alternatives to the shoes we wear and love everyday! And many aren’t even that much more expensive then those we are buying already, so please join me in checking out some different companies:

Kidbean.com offers all different kinds of accessories for children, but I want to focus on their broad options for Vegan/Sweatshop Free shoes today. Please see their website for more options. They have some clearance items right now as well, so check it out before it’s too late!

The Vegetarian Site is full of different kinds of shoes you may not even expect there would be a Vegetarian option for from many different stores. On this site one can find sneakers, hiking books, everyday boots, nice work shoes, and Hemp sandals.  It’s definitely worth a look!

Photosource: www.thevegetariansite.com

Above you can see the “JoJo” Boots are classy, sleek, and Vegan! They feature a Vegetan upper (a breathable and water-resistant synthetic leather that is 70-80% biodegradable) and a rubber sole. Made in Portugal. See these and more.

JoJo Boot by Vegetarian Shoes

Or you can check out a forum for many different sites offering alternative Vegan/Fair Trade options for footwear and other products at Vegan Peace.com.

And last but not least, the company I’d like to feature in this article you may or may not of heard of, as they have been gaining a lot of media attention recently:

Photosource: http://smcnally10.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/toms_logo.jpg

TOMS was started in 2006 with the goal of providing a needy child with a pair of shoes for every paid sold on the website. Since then, they have met and surpassed all expectation by giving away over 400,000 pairs of shoes to children in need. After news of the earthquake in Haiti reached founder Blake Mycoskie, he promised to donate 30,000 pairs of shoes by February in addition to monetary donations, whether that many pairs are sold on the website or not.  Watch a video about TOMS shoes and their mission.

For their original ideas, genuine caring effort and compassion, TOMS is an amazing shoe provider and deservers all the suppor they can get!

Photosource: http://mustafaazak.org/mantar/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/tomsshoes-shoes.jpg

Above are only a couple examples of all the different creative patterns and styles TOMS Shoes can be ordered in. Also, founder standing with many children who have been made happy with purchases from people like you 🙂 So go to the website today, and personally make a difference to one child without shoes!

KeoK’ jay: A wonderfully new fashionably fair option

The Fair Trade Fashionista thinks it’s time to introduce all of you to an amazing company that is part of the new generation that I fully support of Eco-Friendly Fair Trade producers: KeoK’ jay. Why have I not heard of them you ask? Because they are based all the way in Cambodia, out of sight for many in the West, but not out of the harsh grasp of HIV.  

While KeoK’ jay is based in Cambodia, their products and guiding principles take them to the forefront of  the Eco-Friendly Fair Trade movement. They are strongly devoted to all aspects of their chain of production: their customers, producers, and the environment.

Keok’ jay guarantees that if you love shopping you do not have to feel guilty as the “consumer”, as all goods consumed have a positive influence on your world and others around you.

US based designer Rachel Faller works with the artisans to create artsy yet fahionable designs that are given a unique touch whilst being handsewn by the artisans.

Additionally, KeoK’ jay only uses goods naturally produced in Cambodia or recycled from elsewhere. KeoK’ jay has made plastic bags into wallets, recycled clothing and buttons from local markets, 100% recycled paper, and 80% edible dyes. So what can’t they do you might ask? For one, they can’t support their women artisans on their own without your help!

KeoK’ jay has trained each of their 9 women artisans, who have then been able to train others. The artisans themselves are aided greatly by Keok’ jay as they are all HIV positive widows supporting their entire families on the salaries they make at KeoK ‘ jay. KeoK’ jay goes above and beyond by working with social care workers from Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE, and provide these women the health care that they need free of charge. Keok’ jay therefore helps these women to support their families, become skilled artisans, and gain respect of their community.

So if you’re getting a yearning to go out shopping, shop at KeoK’ jay and help those less fortunate than yourself get back on their feet.

Please see this link to KeoK’ jay’s catalogue, or go to their website to read more about them!

Indie Peace: Making their “Mark” on the Eco-Friendly Fair Trade world

I am very aware of the fact that the current fair trade and eco-friendly clothing industry is strongly oriented towards women. I am also aware of the fact that this needs to be changed. Many men have complained to me about the lack of conscious options for them. That’s why I feel it is so important to inform my readers about a wonderful company, Indie Peace, that has been brought to my attention.

Indie Peace’s motto is: “We are making a mark, without leaving one.”

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Photosource: http://indiepeace.myshopify.com

The “mark” their talking about of course is a carbon footprint. Indie Peace, which define’s itself as a “socially responsible, fashion apparel company”, was started July 2007 by Lawton Ursrey and fashion designer John Van De Wiel.

While Indie Peace has a women’s line in addition to their men’s line, the company began only with a men’s line, which is still more developed. So I know you’ve been chomping at the bit for this opportunity guys! Shop away at their online store, available here 🙂

Indie Peace has spent the time to think critically about how to make shirts sewn in such a way as to enhance your natural body shape. They have broadened the shoulder line and defined the abdomen area, giving your body more of a natural v shape. As the enhancement of ones’ natural shape usually stays in the area of women’s clothing, this is a very unique aspect in the industry of men’s shirts.

why-indie

Photosource: http://indiepeace.myshopify.com

So not only will you look great wearing Indie Peace t-shirts, but you can feel great about your purchase! Their shirts are referred to as “PEACE GOODS” because all the most environmentally conscious products and means are used throughout every stage in their production: Their t-shirts are made only with natural or low impact dyes or water based printing inks; they are manufactured from 100% organic cotton, hemp, RPET (recycled poly), or bamboo; and Indie Peace, “make(s) every attempt to minimize the amount of travel INDIE PEACE clothing must make throughout the supply chain.” In this vain, they use minimalistic and socially responsible products all the way through the packaging materials.

In addition to being as environmentally conscious as possible, Indie Peace products are all manufactured under Fair Trade conditions. Indie Peace intentionally keeps all the manufacturing inside the USA to localize the supply chain, to provide work to many US factories and the local work force, as well as to decrease the overall carbon footprint of their operations.

 

So what are you waiting for? Go shop and Indie Peace, and start erasing your “mark” on the planet.

Fair Indigo: Eco-Friendly Fair Trade clothing

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Fair Trade Fashionista* is excited to introduce you all to Fair Indigo, a clothing producer who focuses on maintaining the highest standards for Fair Trade Fashion and environmental protection.

With the mission of creating change in the apparel industry by manufacturing “stylish, high-quality clothes while paying a fair and meaningful wage to the people who produce them,” Fair Indigo is a pioneer in this area.

Fair Indigo handpicks the factories in which their clothing is produced for their devotion to rewarding workers with a fair wage for their skill.

Fair Indigo’s denim line is all organic, while their fleece is a blend of 50% recycled polyester. They are also researching the possibility of incorporating organic cotton that is also certified fair trade into their modern day clothing.

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Photosource: http://www.fairindigo.com

Above is a summer dress made from linen and cotton that could catch anyone’s eye. It’s light whimisical yet practical and style-conscious look is matched with extremely soft fabric to make you feel like a queen. Currenlty 75% off on sale, get your today!

Fair Indigo also puts a great emphasis on respecting the environment with every step of business. They maintain respect for the environment in everyday business practices by maximizing reduce/reuse/recycle practices in their offices and warehouses and choosing partnering with facilities that share the emphasis and respect for the environment. They use 30% post-consumer waste and paper certified for sustainability in their catalog and building materials like bamboo flooring and hangers, recycled metal, and glass in the retail store in order to keep the environmental impact to a minimum.

Finally, Fair Indigo donates shipping cartons to Just Coffee based in Madison, Wisconsin, which are then reused to ship bulk coffee around the country.

While based in their Hilldale Mall location in Madison, Wisconsin, Fair Indigo products are also available online, in the catalog. 

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Photosource: www.fairindigo.com

So I don’t know about you but this little jacket just gets me everytime! And the best part? It’s completely eco-friendly and fair trade! It is made from 100% organic cotton and Oeko-Tex certified safe dyes so you don’t have to worry about your child’s health or that of the artisans crafting this wonderful little cardigan.

Fair Indigo has clothing for men and women, as well as babies and some accessories.  What’s not to love?

Check out Fair Indigo’s Spring line and sale items available for very competitive prices right now:)

Amana delivers Eco-Fair Trade High Fashion in Style!

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Photosource: www.inhabitat.com

Amana is a Moroccan Arabic word that means “delivered in trust.” As a company devoted to Eco-Chic and Fair Trade fashion, Amana’s meets their goal of “mak(ing) beautiful clothes with ethical origins and to illustrate that environmentally and society responsible fashion can equate to exquisite design and quality.”

They launched at Fashion Week in London in 2007 and have stayed true to their values ever since.  

Started by Helen Wood and Erin Tabrar, Amana supports women artisans in Ain Leuh, a charming village in the Middle Atlas Mountains in Morocco on a fair-trade basis. In addition, they work with artisans to develop longer-term partnerships, technical assistance, as well as development and training programs.

Helen first became interested in sustainable design while studying fashion design at Central St. Martin’s. Erin completed a dissertation on ethical fashion while studying management at The London College of Fashion. Together, their creativity has proven unstoppable.

Amana’s collections include materials such as organic cotton, organic silks and hemp mixes, hemp denim, chunky hemp cord. Much of their collection is business casual, but a little more elegant and edgy. I have chosen a couple of my favorite pieces from Amana’s Spring 09 collection to highlight for you: 

The Eleonora Tunic Dress (see below) in ‘Coral’ from Amana’s newest Spring 09 collection is a perfect example in a beautiful hue for Spring and Summer, and a shine that could make any woman feel beautiful.

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I could see a young, hip, and sexy Jackie O. wearing this dress. I absolutely adore the bow at the waist and the feminine fit.

 

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Photosource: www.amanalondon.com

But if it’s not enough that the Eleonora dress is a slice of fashion heaven, it also is good for the environment and the world. It is made from 100% Organically produced silk and dyed with low impact dyes in the UK.

 Also the ‘Lamis Top’ is something I could not ignore! It looks so wonderfully shiny, has fluted sleeves that fall perfectly over the shoulders for a little elegance and fits tightly over the abdomen to compliment your womanly waist. 

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Photosource: www.amanalondon.com

 This Lamis top with a “slash neck (line)” is made from 100% organic cotton or Navy Soy Jersey 57%, Soybean37%, Organic Cotton 6% and a little spandex for your comfort. This is versatile as it could be worn at a formal affair, to work, or out on the town. I want one for myself!

I can’t thank Amana enough for providing Fair Trade Fashionista*s like myself with chic handmade outfits with no cost to their producers or the Earth. Keep up the good work Amana! Check out these pieces and more at Amana today!

Easy Earth Day Tips!

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Photosource: www.hintonlibrary.org

Happy Earth Day from this Fair Trade Fashionista to all of you!

Now, there are a number of things that are easy to do on a daily basis to decrease your carbon footprint and help mother earth. I have compiled a list of them for you today:

1.) Use reusable bags at the grocery store – It’s very easy and cuts down on trash bags that only end up in landfills for decades to come.

2.) Ride your bike/Use public transporation/Car pool – To cut down on carbon emissions from gasoline. I’ve never even owned a car and I feel so free. Join me!

3.) Support local agriculture – Become a member of a local community farm. My sister and I did it last summer and it was such a nice treat every week being surprised and figuring out how to prepare new and interesting vegetables!

4.) Turn the lights off  – This one seems so obvious, but many forget. Also, laptops and desktop computer sap a lot of energy even while not being used. Taking the couple seconds to shut it down could mean saving on your electricity bill!

5.) Buy organic/sustainable clothing – Mainstream cotton production consumes 25% of the world’s pesticides, let’s cut down on this number! Just look for the certified organic cotton label, and other sustainable fabrics like bamboo, soy, etc. Fabrics such as these are becoming more and more accessible as they grow in popularity so make sure to do your part to demand sustainable fabrics!

6.) Buy organic/free range chicken and eggs – This helps support humanity on farms, deforestation for mass production of chicken and eggs, and saves you from digesting random hormones fed to chickens that may effect your body!

7.) Reuse/Recycle EVERYTHING – Make sure to recycle! But it’s not just your trash that I’m talking about. If you have clothing, books, or toys you’re interested in getting rid of, donate them to local organizations such as the Salvation Army, American Red Cross and Goodwill.

8.) Grow your own garden – It doesn’t need to be anything extravagant. Believe me, I know how difficult maintaining plants can be in an urban setting. But just a couple plants will make your summer fresher and brighter! We maintain sage, basil, tomato and lettuce plants. Our jalepenos and corn did not make it last year but we hope to try again!

 

Alright, so that’s more than just a couple Earth Day tips but I got a little carried away. I could go on…but I’ll stop now.

Don’t feel pressured to make dramatic life changes, no one can do it all. But if everyone does a little something everyday to make our world a healthier place, we will be back on the right track in no time. Just remember, we add up.

So get your hands dirty this Earth Day!

I’d love to hear what you’re doing this Earth Day and in general to save our planet!