Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Shopping With Purpose

This is my FAVORITE time of year and I always look forward to doing these shop with purpose posts! I love finding new things I love and places that support causes that I believe in. This year I'm doing some higher end things with some lower priced items as well. I've fallen in love with some new places that have amazing business practices and I LOVE how they do things as well as loving their quality. 

I'm highlighting ten of my favorites today and I'll add a few others each week until Christmas.

 1. Hand & Cloth 

Handmade Kantha Throws 

Not only are they beautiful they have an incredible story that goes along with them and with the purchase of these blankets you provide a job and dignity for  precious women in Bangladesh.

The Kantha blanket: six layers of vintage saris sewn together by a kantha stitch. 
Traditionally the poor woman's craft. Every mother teaches her daughter the kantha stitch and how to make her stitches small and straight. Every little girl, in turn, becomes a mother and makes kantha blankets for her children to keep them warm. No mother dreams that her daughter will suffer poverty and exploitation; yet many women and girls in Bangladesh are highly vulnerable to exploitation without access to dignified work.

2.  Better Life Bags  - 

I love these bags and the concept behind them.  I haven't ordered mine yet but I've built and rebuilt my design 14 times!  Check them out, you won't be disappointed!

Better Life Bags has two purposes. 

  1. Involve my customers in the design process.  Each bag is designed by you!  I have basic styles that are customized further by your choice of fabric and add-on options.  Each bag is unique and essentially one of a kind!
  2. Give back to those in need.  We started by loaning 10% of every purchase to low income entrepreneurs in developing countries through Kiva  and were able to loan over $2,000 to the people you see here.  Incredible.  NOW, we hire first generation immigrant women in our community who otherwise could not work outside the home.  We rent them a sewing machine and tools while teaching them a skill set that allows them to become a primary or secondary provider in their families.  Each bag is lovingly made with their hands and each purchase gives respect and dignity to their lives.

3. Saddleback

Now, not a non-profit, not made my women in Africa or India BUT I am so impressed with Saddlebacks business practices and the fact that one of their bags is on my Christmas list PLUS the fact that Dave and Suzette went to Rwanda this past month and they WALK out what they say they believe and post on their site the ministries they financially support.....I just couldn't help but include it.  

Isn't she pretty?  SO lovely and everything is so incredibly well made.  If nothing else watch their videos, these people are hilarious and frankly I just want to meet them and hang out cause I think they are awesome.

International Princess™ Project’s mission is to create pathways to freedom for women escaping the ravages of sex slavery to achieve lives of hope and dignity.

I've wanted these jammies for a long while - also on my Christmas list......they are so soft and lovely - you will want several pairs.  They are a great price and the fact that they give back in a real way makes this a GREAT purchase with purpose!

Love LOVE this community of weavers.  They work hard, they exude EXTREME joy and they make me laugh every time we go and sit with them while they work.  They LOVE life and they love having a job.  These scarves are hand made, provide dignified work, money for families, and a support system.

These are the real deal friends.  The Seble scarf?  Yeah its one of my favorite.  Not just because I know and love Seble herself but because I love ALL the women that make these scarves possible.  There's something even more special to me about these scarves these days.  I've personally helped with the dyeing process and let me just tell you - its back breaking work.  These women work SO incredibly hard to bring you these AWESOME scarves.  Crazy part?  THEY LOVE DOING IT!  My back hurt for days but it was PURE JOY working shoulder to shoulder with these lovely ladies.  

Buy a scarf, support women, give them dignity by providing a job and community they love.

Shameless plug, I became a Noonday Ambassador a few months ago and I always knew I wanted to do this but I just didn't feel I had the time.  Once I worked past that (took a couple years) I just jumped in and I haven't looked back.  I believe so whole heartedly in what Noonday is doing and to be just a tiny part of sharing our amazing artisans stories is such a blessing.  I chose five of my very favorite pieces and let me tell you that was hard.  I tried to choose things that were versatile but I'm just going to be honest - these are pieces that are my GO TO pieces and that's why I'm sharing them here.  

Consider partnering with me and Noonday this Christmas - Help lift our artisans out of poverty by shopping online for gifts that are full of beauty and hope!

 Organica Rope - it goes with EVERYTHING!

 Minted Necklace - another FAVORITE!  Its an added pop to any outfit!

 These little gems are my FAVORITE.  I wear them ALL the time, I've watched the amazing artisans hard at work making them, they are just perfect! 

 La Noche Bracelet - PERFECT with that little black dress!
 Who doesn't need a brass cuff?  This goes with EVERYTHING, you know like the organica rope!  Makes my must have list for sure!

If you're local and want to host a Noonday Trunk show message me!

This is a newer find but I'm LOVING their stuff!  

Our leather products are handmade in Honduras by the students and graduates of the Mission Lazarus Vocational School. Our social enterprise program exists in hopes of teaching young adults the artisan trade of leather work as well as providing an education. 

The goal of our program is to empower local Hondurans, who would otherwise not have the opportunity, to learn artisan skills and sustainable business development training in efforts to advance their overall education. 

THE ROOT COLLECTIVE wants to connect shoppers with makerscommunities with each other, and remind society of humanity. Our products are ethically sourced, with strong and intentional ties to the communities in which the artisans live. We donate 10% of each purchase back to the communities in which we work. The best part? You get to decide where the proceeds from your purchase are donated.

Hello cute shoes!  Where have you been all my life?!  These beauties were my top pick.

There's so much I could say about this incredible ministry.  Not just because Levi and Jessie have become good friends over the years but because we wholeheartedly 100% believe in what they are doing in Ethiopia.  Creating families.  Widow+orphans = New Family.  Its genius.  Its working.  To God be the glory.  You can be apart by shopping their store or just straight up donating.  I've seen it, I've talked to the precious mothers, its a beautiful thing folks.  

So there you have my first ten.  I've got a few more and TOMORROW I cannot wait to tell you about our families newest Christmas tradition!  I am SO excited!

Do you have your own favorite places that YOU shop with a purpose?  If so PLEASE share them in the comments!  I'm always looking for new places to shop and I've got a few more I plan to highlight over the next week so share away!

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