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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!

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Look for ReStyle recycled tire tube and leather bracelets at Whole Foods Market stores

6 Dec

If you are in Whole Foods Market stores in California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona be on the lookout for our ReStyle recycled tire tube and recycled leather bracelets!

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These great gifts are being featured in almost every store in these states, usually in the Holiday gift area.

Post a photo of yourself  our Facebook page with a ReStyle bracelet while in a Whole Foods Market store and we will send you a coupon code worth 25% off your next purchase!

Hope For Women now in Whole Foods Market stores

Each Fair Trade purchase makes a difference – thanks for being part of a better world!

Bracelets for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

25 Oct

Supporting causes close to our heart is a big part of what we do at ReStyle–and Breast Cancer Awareness month is no exception. 

We’re excited we have two beautiful bracelets that help support Breast Cancer Awareness. 10% of each purchase goes directly to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, one of the top rated Breast Cancer organizations in the country (A+ rating from Charity Watch). Each bracelet features the BCA month ribbon on the acai charm. 

Breast Cancer Awareness Acai woven bracelet

Breast Cancer Awareness Acai woven bracelet

Breast Cancer Awareness Acai woven bracelet

Breast Cancer Awareness Acai round bracelet

Breast Cancer Awareness Acai round bracelet

Breast Cancer Awareness Acai round bracelet

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.

Go Green for Spring Break 2013!

25 Feb

How to have an Eco-Friendly Spring Break & Support Fair Trade

Go-Green-For-Spring-BreakHere are a few ideas on how to ensure that your spring break fun is as environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible as possible.

1. Go on an Alternative Spring Break this year

Operation Groundswell is offering a Fair Trade Alternative Spring Break trip to Guatemala this year to cultivate coffee and learn about Fair Trade.  During this week long trip you will be immersing yourself in Guatemalan culture and living like the locals.

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2. Choose an Eco-Friendly Destination

Healthy Voyager has a list of the top 10 best eco-vacation spots in the world.  This article highlights destinations cities in the Americas, Africa, Europe and South Asia where you can find ecologically friendly lodges, tours and activities as well as delicious, healthy food.

3. Stay at a Green Hotel & Choose Green Activities

The “Green Hotels Association” explains the importance of choosing to stay at a green hotel for your next vacation.  Their website displays an extensive list of all of their member hotels, which are located around the world.

Independent Traveler provides numerous lists of varying types of Eco-Friendly lodging, which range from hostels and bed & breakfasts, to hotels and resorts.  They have a range green lodging options for every type of traveler.  They also provide an exhaustive list of eco-friendly tour operators that will allow you to partake on any adventure, while still being environmentally conscious!

4. Have a Staycation

Having fun on Spring Break doesn’t mean that you have to jet off to a far away destination.  Staying close to home can also be a blast. Not only will you be saving on travel and lodging expenses, but you can also feel good about reducing your carbon footprint this vacation by not flying or going on a road trip.  The article How to Plan an Eco Friendly Staycation from World Savvy presents ideas on how to get started and get the most out of your staycation.

5. Look into Eco Friendly Fashion for your Spring Wardrobe

When shopping for spring break essentials and must haves for this spring, consider green, socially responsible clothing companies.  Alternative, for example, is an ecologically conscious  global company that prides itself on having very strict vendor guidelines and principles insuring that poor labor practices are not involved in the production of their clothing. They strive to keep their values in line with Fair Trade principles through working primarily with local manufacturers in their product’s country of origin and insuring that the original producers receive the rewards of their work directly.

For more Eco Friendly fashions for Spring check out this collection of green clothing and accessories from Metromix St. Louis.  These designs are made of organic fabrics or recycled materials and are sweat shop free.

To learn more about clothing brands that are ecologically responsible, read Teen Vogue’s article Nine Eco-Friendly Fashion Brands to Know.

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6. Follow these 7 Smart Travel Tips

Read the article Seven tips to ensure a green Spring Break from The Independent Florida Alligator for simple travel tips to keep you conscious of the environment throughout your vacation.