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New Years Resolution: Make 2015 the Year of Fair Trade!

31 Dec

Take the Fair Trade Challenge by pledging to support more fair trade certified companies and products in the new year. By adding this to your resolutions list, together we can make 2015 a year of positive change in our communities that will have a global effect through fair trade!

Restyle Fair Trade’s Top 3 Reasons To Love Fair Trade in 2015 

1. You Don’t Need To Sacrifice Style For Causestyle

All ReStyle products are on-trend meeting the latest style fashions. So you can look great while knowing that each purchase is changing lives.

2. You Can Make A Difference In A Woman’s Life

Over 95% of the products we offer are made by women artisans, and each purchase helps provide meaningful opportunity for women and their families.

Better health, more access to doctors, the ability to attend better schools – all are results of Fair Trade. You become part of the solution!

Hope For Women artisans who create our beautiful handmade products

Hope For Women artisans who create our beautiful handmade products

3. You Are Doing Your Part To Better The Planet

social-media-planetOur Fair Trade products are also eco-friendly. Whether turning recycled tire tubes or recycled orange peel into unique products, or using sustainably harvested rainforest seeds, each ReStyle product shoots for the highest green mark to help reduce our footprint on our planet.

Thanks to everyone for choosing to support Fair Trade. Each purchase makes a difference!

Fair Trade: Empowering Women Around the World

27 Mar
These women formed Arte Comasagua, an artisan group that Hope for Women is proud to work wtih

These women formed Arte Comasagua, an artisan group in El Salvador that we are proud to work with.

Poverty and gender inequality are main factors which cause women worldwide to lack employment opportunities and to struggle to support themselves without the aid of men. Engaging in trade can be especially difficult because in many societies it is considered inappropriate for women to take part in this type of work. Fair Trade promotes gender equality through imparting equal wages and providing women with economic opportunities. It also encourages women to take on leadership positions and to fully participate in discussion and decision making about business practices.

Fair Trade gives women the chance to provide for themselves and their families, which strengthens their position in society and gives them the resources and skills needed to take control of their lives and futures. Below are examples from around the world of women who have been empowered by Fair Trade and were able to create a better life for themselves.

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Rwanda

Fair Trade USA featured a story on Hinga Kawa, a Women’s Association, which is part of the  Abakunda Kawa cooperative and is comprised of a group of women who joined together as a community to sell their coffee. Many of these women are widows or orphans due to the genocide in their country, so they hold many responsibilities at home as well as at work in the coffee fields. By forming Hinga Kawa, these women are able to take pride in selling coffee that they have grown and also have a supportive network of women who share their hardships. Although Fair Trade has not made these women rich, it has provided them with an income that will allow them to send their children to school and still be able to feed them.

Hinga Kawa Women's Association of coffee farmers in Rwanda

Hinga Kawa Women’s Association of coffee farmers in Rwanda

Brazil

The story of one woman, Donha Conceção, also featured by Fair Trade USA exemplifies the major, life changing impact that Fair Trade can have on struggling women worldwide.  When Donha Conceção was widowed with five children to care for, she was left with only the knowledge of coffee farming as means of survival.  After a period of extremely difficult times, she decided to join the Fair Trade Certified coffee cooperative, Coocafé, where she learned to farm more sustainably.  Through their aid she was able to increase the quality and price of her coffee.  The resulting success of her coffee business enabled her to provide for her family and send all of her children to school.  She became the first woman to be elected to Coocafé’s board.

India and Nepal

The World Fair Trade Organization conducted research on the role of women in the market and what benefits they receive from group membership and Fair Trade.  They looked the Artisans Association, ACP (Association for Craft Producers) and WIEGO (Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing), which are Fair Trade working projects for impoverished women in India and Nepal. The women involved were able to earn their own income in a society where women face many restrictions such as the inability to receive higher education and a lack of resources or employment options. They reported that the rare opportunity they were given allowed them to become skilled, capable craftswomen in a safe environment.  Also, the contribution they made to their household income changed their husband’s attitudes towards them, causing them to be treated with with more respect and to be given more authority.

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Photo: Carol Wills

In numerous other countries around the world women are benefiting from the increase in Fair Trade initiatives.  What could be better motivation to support Fair Trade than to know that your purchases are ethical and are contributing to the ability of women worldwide to take control of their lives.

Sources:

Barrow, Katie. 2010. Women, Coffee & Hope: Fair Trade is Blossoming in the Hills of Rwanda. Fair Trade USA.

FairtradeUSA. 2010. Grandmother, Coffee Farmer, Leader: Meet Donha Conceção.

Jones, Elaine. 2012. Women’s Economic Empowerment Through Fair Trade: Case Studies from India and Nepal. World Fair Trade Organization.

Photo: “Women Coffee farmers in Rwanda” from Fair Trade USA.

How to have a Fair Trade friendly Valentines Day!

6 Feb

Looking for an original way to show appreciation for your valentine this year? Commit to Fair Trade!

Here are some ideas on creative and socially responsible alternatives to the average Valentines Day gift:

1. Fair Trade Chocolate– Chocolate is an essential part of every Valentines Day, but this year consider options such as the Valentines products from Divine Chocolate, the only Fair Trade chocolate company which is 45% owned by the farmers. Company ownership gives the farmers a share of Divine’s profits and a stronger voice in the cocoa industry.  Another option, which comes in wide array of unique flavors is Alter Eco chocolate. They offer 10 different types of chocolate bars such as dark coconut toffee, dark quinoa, dark mint, and dark with crystallized orange peel. A third Fair Trade, organic option is Equal Exchange chocolate, which comes in a variety of forms and flavors, each as delicious as the next!

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2. Fair Trade Flowers Many people are not aware of the exploitation that occurs within the cut flower business in order to keep costs low.  Commit to buying Fair Trade flowers this Valentines Day in order to insure that you are not contributing to the mistreatment and abuse of workers.  One wonderful option is One World Flowers, an organization that sells all Fair Trade roses and has a large selection of Valentines Day bouquets.  One of the arrangements in particular, the Helping Haiti bouquet allows you to contribute to a cause while showing appreciation for your valentine because 10% of the purchase price is given as a donation to Samaritan’s Purse relief efforts in Haiti.  Another great option if there is a Whole Foods near you is to buy their Whole Trade Guaranteed or certified organic flower arrangements.  These floral products are grown according to strict criteria for ethical trade and earth-friendly farming.

Whole Foods Whole Trade Guaranteed Flower Selection

Whole Foods Whole Trade Guaranteed Flower Selection

One World Flowers Fair Trade Bouquet

One World Flowers Fair Trade Bouquet

3. Fair Trade Wine–  A bottle of wine is another essential component of most Valentines Day celebrations, so why not make it Fair Trade? There are now Fair trade wineries in Argentina, Chile and South Africa.  Here is a list of the the Top 10 Fair Trade Wines to help you make the best selection.

4. Fair Trade Jewelry & Accessories– At Hope For Women we are offering a Valentines Day special of 15% off select purple, red and pink products, which would make perfect gifts for your valentine! If you are looking to buy specifically gold jewelry for your special someone, check out Fair Trade and Fair Mined gold from the Fairtrade Foundation.

Tagua Twigs Cuff Bracelet - Fire -

Tagua Twigs Cuff Bracelet – Fire –

Fair Trade & Fair Mined Gold

Fair Trade & Fair Mined Gold

ReStyle Men's Wallet - Red -
ReStyle Men’s Wallet – Red –

Go Fair Trade for 2013!

16 Jan

Its Not too Late to Start a New’s Years Resolution

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A Hope For Women artisan from India who helps to create our beautiful handmade cards.

Hard to believe it is over two weeks into the new year!  Are you still struggling to decide on a New Year’s Resolution? We have a great suggestion for you that will positively impact many other lives as well as your own.  Why not make the commitment to buying Fair Trade products whenever possible? By making this resolution, you will be insuring that the products you purchase are created by people who are earning a fair, livable wage for their hard work.  With Fair Trade products, everyone wins; workers are empowered, lives are improved, and consumers are able to buy amazing products that are produced in a way that is line with their values and beliefs.  Here are a few ideas on how you can begin acting on this New Year’s resolution:

1. Give a Fair Trade Gift EarthLover is a Fair Trade,  Eco Friendly retailer that sells beautiful, handmade goods from around the world. They carry a wide variety of bags, shoes, wallets and other accessories for men, women and babies as well as home goods and body products. http://www.earthlovershopping.com/

Gifts with Humanity is another business that sells hand-crafted, Fair Trade products from various regions across the globe.  They have a diverse assortment of tableware and home decor, which could be given as the perfect hostess gift. http://www.giftswithhumanity.com/

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Hope for Women carries a large selection of unique jewelry and accessories to choose from, which are made from innovative recycled materials such as tire tube and Eco leather. http://www.hopeforwomen.com/lifestyle/products/

2. Send a Fair Trade Card Hope for Women carries beautiful, handmade, “tree-free” paper cards.  These artistic cards are perfect for any occasion.  Valentine’s Day, for example is just around the corner and our gracefully designed cards created with pressed wild flowers would make the perfect valentine!  http://www.hopeforwomen.com/lifestyle/products/indianotecardcollection/

3. Drink Fair Trade Coffee An alternative goal to reducing your coffee consumption could be to instead commit to buying it responsibly by finding Fair Trade certified options. This allows you to support coffee farmers and eco-friendly farming methods while continuing to satiate your caffeine addiction.  Grounds for Change for example is a certified organic coffee roaster, which specializes in 100% Fair Trade coffee and also sells Fair Trade organic tea, hot chocolate and chocolate bars.  http://www.groundsforchange.com/index.php?

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4. Start Buying More Fair Trade Foods Equal Exchange is a co-op that sells not only Fair Trade coffee, but also numerous other Fair Trade products from farmers worldwide such as tea, almonds, chocolate, sugar, olive oil, and bananas. This co-op can help you to purchase many of the foods that you buy on a regular basis, in a way that empowers small farmers and encourages sustainable farming methods! http://www.equalexchange.coop/index.php

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5 Great Fair Trade Gifts for Graduation!

30 May

https://i0.wp.com/cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0000/9057/products/peace_coffee_1_medium.jpg  1. If there is one thing that every student seems to need, whether at school, at an internship or a new office job, it’s coffee. Peace Coffee makes delicious, high quality, organic, fair trade coffee that helps to sustain the lives and families of the people who grow, roast, and sell it and protect the environment that produces it. Even better: get your graduate a subscription so they don’t have to worry about running out of coffee in their first months at a new job or at graduate school!

2. For the on-the-go traveling, working, studying, or maybe even relaxing graduate, a good backpack is a must. The Pencil Promise is an amazing 2-Maasai-bags organization that pledges to donate one backpack to a child in need in Cambodia or India for every backpack you purchase online. Their new Maasai collection of backpacks made from 100% Maasai wool is not only trendy, but is also made by widows of the Maasai Tribe who, due to their marginalized status in society, often do not have access to education or employment. The two-strap backpack is also roomy and comfortable -guaranteed not to hurt the back of the busy and fast-moving post-grad!

 
 SimpliciTree earrings 3. For the fashionable, but also environmentally and socially-conscious graduate, products that you look good in and that you can feel good about buying are essential. Hope for Women’s beautiful SimpliciTree tagua bracelets, necklaces, and earrings provide opportunities for women artisans in Colombia while also providing incentive to protect valuable rainforest habitat where tagua is harvested. Committed to SimpliciTree Earrings - Turqouiseproviding sustainable employment for economically disadvantaged women worldwide, Hope for Women sells products made exclusively by women to help them gain independence in their lives and futures. All items come in turquoise, rust, stone, or amethyst color.

 The Traveller Journal Gift Pack 4. For the post-grad traveler out to see the world, a journal for writing down thoughts and notes is always a good idea, especially when that notebook is eco-friendly. Tall Trees Eco Store is a great place to find affordable and environmentally sustainable notepads and pens. Their Traveler Journal Gift Pack includes a travel journal handmade in Northern India by women artisans and a biodegradable pen made from corn starch.

5. Finally, for those who prefer to donate money rather than give material gifts, think about donating for your graduate https://i2.wp.com/www.stmikescdm.org/Images/Heifer_International_Llamas.pngto Heifer International. On their website, you can choose your purchase from an array of gifts like a cow, sheep, llama that can produce sustenance and a livelihood for a family and their children. And because animals can produce offspring every year, each gift will be passed on, eventually helping an entire community along the path from poverty to self reliance. By giving this gift you will help your graduate step foot into the “real world” in the right way. Now that’s a gift worth giving!

p.s. Just plan on writing a card? Check out Hope for Women’s handmade tree-free, non-toxic, recycled India Card Collection, which contains cards that are beautiful, environmentally sustainable, and handmade by women artisans in India! You can’t go wrong! Even if we are a little bit biased…

Valley Collection Note Card