Celebrate World Fair Trade Day 09!

 
 As I am a Fair Trade Fashionista* I think it’s only appropriate that I make all you aware of the annual World Fair Trade Day 09 coming up this Saturday!

This holiday officially began as recently as 2001, when the World Fair Trade Organization adopted the event in Arusha, Tanzania. Safia Minney, founder of PeopleTree and pioneer of Fair Trade Fashion, has played an important role in shaping this global event.

World Fair Trade Day takes place the second Saturday of every May now. It is meant t raise awareness about the issue through public group activities, such as “Fair Trade Coffee Breaks” and Fair Trade festivals at High Schools.

To find an event happening in your area on World Fair  Trade Day, look here. With 310 event listed in North America, 250 in Europe, 30 in Africa, and 98 in Asia, it seems that no matter where you are, you can help us celebrate World Fair Trade Day this year!

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Even if you don’t have time to attend an event, stop by and make your own Fair Trade day with a bar of Fair Trade chocolate, some Fair Trade Coffee, or a Fair Trade clothing shopping spree! Whatever you’d like, just make it Fair Trade.

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Photosource: http://www.worldfairtradeday09.org/

Fair Trade is essential for millions of people who work and struggle for survival everyday. It’s all about justice and human rights… join me in supporting World Fair Trade Day” -Sir Paul McCartney.

Let’s raise awareness about this important cause together, because the only way Fair Trade products can continue to grow in popularity is through support from people like you. We must come together to support one another around the world, and Saturday is a perfect day to do so!

For more events and details on World Fair Trade Day, see the official website.

Nahui Ollin Candywrapper purses: A new generation of Handbags!

So I’m going to now do what I should have done a long time ago, and that is tell you all about Nahui Ollin. Nahui Ollin is a Mexican-based company that produces only the highest quality handbags and other items from handwoven recycled candybar wrappers. But how? You ask.

 Remember when you were little and you saved up gum wrappers in order to fold them together into a straight line and make a wristband or something similar? This is the same technique. But simplified a little…ok simplifed A LOT. Even the smallest Nahui Ollin bags have a couple hundred wrappers, and the most extravagant have 4,000! You can now understand why they take 1-5 days to complete.

 Indigenous Mayan men and women from Mexico use a traditional weaving technique to handweave these designer handbags together, but instead of using fabric, they weave factory rejected candy wrappers that otherwise would have ended up in a landfill. These skilled artisan men and women are compensated with a fair wage for their work, and Nahui Ollin also supports community development programs with the money received from selling these goods.  By purchasing a Nahui Ollin bag, you can empower indigenous Mayan communities to continue weaving and preserving their art, language and culture.

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Tutti Frutti Itsy Bitsy by Nahui Ollin

Photo source: www.juteandjackfruit.com

I have had a “Tutti Frutti Itsy Bitsy” Nahui Ollin bag since September and it hardly looks used! They are extremely durable, waterproof and well made. And what’s better, is that everywhere I go, my bag is a great conversation starter! It gives me the opportunity to tell people about this wonderful product. I have even handed out cards about where women can find these bags. They just can’t get enough.

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Photosource: www.nahuiollin.com

Even celebrities have gotten into Nahui Ollin! Above, actress Drew Barrymore out on the town with her very own yellow Nahui Ollin clutch.

 In other words, from one Fair Trade Fashionista to another, I can 100% recommend these Eco-Chic purses.

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Black and White Medium Mary Poppins  bag by Nahui Ollin

Photo source: www.juteandjackfruit.com 

They come in sizes small to large, the smallest being the “Itsy Bitsy” and from crazy colorful to classic black and white. So what’s stopping you? This product is good for the environment, supports indigenous communities and is extremely chic! Get yours today.

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!

Amazon Drops: “Good for the Body, Soul and Environment”

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Photosource: www.amazondrops.com

 So because all you Fair Trade Fashionista’s out there know that in order to look good, you also have to feel good, I thought I would take some time to tell you all about an amazing company I discovered (and now love) at the Down 2 Earth Eco-Conference in Boston called “Amazon Drops“.

“A Beauty product that is Good for the Body, Good for the Soul and Good for the Environment.”

“From the trees to the body” is a motto that would sound insincere for any company except this one. No synthetics or chemicals are added at the extrations process or in the final product. All Amazon Drops products are 100% nautral, they don’t even add water! 

Because they refuse to add water, they have not yet developed a Shampoo or Conditioner, but are working on it. I hope they let me know when they do!

Amazon Drops works with cooperatives to derive oils from wild harvested plants of the Rainforest that result in only the best skin and body care items. Their products also inherit centuries old indigenous amazonian peoples healing techniques in the recipes for her products, making them effective. 

Could Amazon Drops get any better? Sure can. They are also 100% Fair Trade. All materials used are community traded with farmers who depend on the Amazon forest for their survival. Their partnership with Amazon Drops generates alternative income and enables indigenous people to profit from their vast knowledge of the forest’s resources.

Amazon Drops products also benefit and protect the environment! Showing indigenous people that they may trade parts of trees other than timber, such as seeds, nuts, and leaves, has been proven one of the best way to encourage the preservation of the Amazon rainforest for future generations. In this way, Amazon Drops is helping to preserve the amazon rainforest “The Lung of the World”.  

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Photosource: www.amazondrops.com

They have heavenly sounding products such as a facial moisturizer, “Ykue” or “Nectar of the Gods”, as well as soaps, body balms, body oils, hair care and more!

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Photosource: www.amazondrops.com

I bought one of their “Therapeutic Oils” that helps with pain from arthritis, and skin for my mother and “Moendy”, or “Glowing”, a Revitalizing Facial Masquem, for myself.

With this triple bottom line behind this company, I do not see any reason not to love it!

Fair Trade Fashionista walks her first runway!

 Exciting news in the life of a little Fair Trade Fashionista like me — this weekend I was so lucky as to partake in my first all eco-friendly and Fair Trade Runway show put on by the Fashion Institute of Boston! It all happened at the Down:2:Earth Eco-Conference in Boston’s wonderful Hynes Convention Center.  

 There’s nothing like a bit of adrenaline to get you going. While it was a bit hectic behind the scenes, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was overall very exciting, and I can even say I had fun! The clothing was all to die for. I got to model designers such as Indigenous Design, pioneer in Fair Trade fashion and eco-friendly attire, Helen Riegle, designer of nature inspired, Fair Trade, eco-friendly and vegan handbags, and more!

 My favorite pieces to walk the runway in were Kelly Lane’s Ivy Dress, paired with the classy white Jasmine Jacket

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 Photosource: www.juteandjackfruit.com

 And Tara Lynn’s own wedding dress! I felt honored to be wearing something with such sentimental value. Her wedding dress was carefully handcrafted with flowers, and sewn from all organic and sustainable fabrics such as hemp and organic cotton.  It made me feel like a woodland fairy and inspired elegance that stopped me from tripping in my slippery golden heels!

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Photo source: http://www.taralynnstudio.com

Stay tuned for more detailed reports on all designers and amazing Fair Trade and Eco-friendly companies I became familiar with at Down:2:Earth Boston. I had a great time enjoying some great food, wine, people, and new environmental ideas, and can’t wait to share them all with you!

‘Egg a Politician’ for Fair Trade Awareness at the G20 summit!

 Just in time for Easter, Divine Chocolate, leading Fair Trade chocolate producer worldwide, has developed an online game called “Egg a Politician!”

 This game is meant to raise awareness about Fair Trade, with a goal of getting Fair Trade higher in the agenda at the G20 summit this year. You get to throw an egg at the politician of your choice and watch them gobble it up! And let me tell you…Obama has some chops on him!

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Photo source:  www.hollywoodtoday.net

But seriously, after you get the egg into the politicians mouth you get to sign a petition that will be sent directly to them about the value of Fair Trade. I had my doubts, but it really is fun. I found myself laughing, and wanting more! It only takes two seconds, so I ended up ‘egging’ not only Obama, but also Mr. Nicolas Sakozy of France  and Gordon Brown of England.  Brown seems to be a favorite, as he has been hit with almost 16,000 eggs!

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Photosource: http://www.enjoyfrance.com

So in the spirit of the Easter Bunny, throw an egg! And hit the goal of increasing awarness about Fair Trade at the G20 summit this year, and worldwide.

There isn’t much time left before the summit so get your egg in today!