Tag Archives: handmade

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!

alt-chocgiftdiv-001248candybars_03

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 –
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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

Hope for Women featured in Stonyfield’s Rewards Program!

25 May

Did you know that Vermont has the highest people to cow ratio than any other state (almost 2:1)? For me, this and my love for all dairy products are some of the many reasons why supporting businesses like Stonyfield that create dairy products from local farms like those in Vermont and New Hampshire is so important. Aside from the delicious taste, buying Stonyfield yogurt has always made me feel good as a consumer because of Stonyfield’s commitment to community outreach, environmental efforts, and quality products.

And even though yogurt and Hope for Women’s fairtrade handcrafted items may seem like completely different products, there are many ways in which they are similar. Like Stonyfield, at Hope for Women we are committed to creating quality products that our costumers can both enjoy and feel good about purchasing because they are made with environmentally sustainable materials through fair business practices, and support women and families who need the income to survive. In this way, both Hope for Women and Stonyfield products are geared towards the “conscious consumer” who care not only about what they purchase, but about the story behind their purchases. It seems natural, then, for Stonyfield and Hope for Women to forge a connection between their products.

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Enter Stonyfield Rewards Program. Through this program, simply by eating yogurt and other Stonyfield products, you can get free Hope for Women handmade cards or tagua bracelets! Now, not only can eating Stonyfield Farm products support local farms (and their many Vermont cows) but it can also support women artisans in India who create beautiful tree-free (the paper is instead made from recycled cotton), non-toxic, and recycled pressed-flower cards and those in Colombia creating beautiful SimpliciTree tagua bracelets!

   
4-pack of India collection                    SimpliciTree tagua bracelet (amythest color)
handmade cards

To get involved, go to myStonyfield Rewards and create an account (it’s free and fast!). Once you have signed in, you can add points to your account by entering reward codes from the foil lids of Stonyfield Farm yogurt containers (or see the Stonyfield website for code locations on other products). Once you have enough points, you will be able to redeem them for items like Hope for Women’s 4-pack of handmade, Fair Trade Himalayan flower cards or SimpliciTree tagua tree bracelet! Thus, just by eating yogurt, you can help join the community of conscious consumers and support environmentally sustainable practices, fair trade, and women’s rights!

Seems like a pretty good deal to me! Free goods and community outreach all in one!

Pets Love Fair Trade, Too!

2 Nov

Here at Hope for Women, we’re big animal lovers. I think it’s safe to say that most of us pet owners out there would consider our furry friends to be a part of the family. For all that our fluffy felines and playful pooches do to keep us happy and healthy, the least we can do is return the favor and treat them with some socially responsible Fair Trade products. Your pet will feel great and so will you! A win all around.

Felt catnip-infused mouse toys, food and water bowls, doggy sweaters and bandanas, rope toys, beaded and bamboo dog collars, tasty treats and shampoo bars are just a few of the many Fair Trade products your pet can enjoy. The holidays are sneaking up on us as usual- have you checked your pet’s wish list lately?

Lucky for us, there are many great resources we can turn to to help guide us through the Fair Trade pet product purchasing process. Organizations like Global Goods Partners, Real Animals Fair Trade, Fair Trade Trends and Bark for Peace are some of the many places where we can read up on these products and maybe even do a little shopping for our beloved cats and dogs. Even just one Fair Trade dog biscuit can help make a big difference in people’s- and animal’s- lives the world over. It’s a small gesture that can make a big change. Check it out today!

Artisans and Independence: The Last of Three Stories from Colombia

19 Jul

Colombian Independence Day Festival in 2006, via New York Daily News

It has been weeks since we waded through happy masses at the Burlington Waterfront Park to enjoy an evening of pyrotechnic excitement and those familiar firework cracks, bangs and whistles. Our mosquito bites have faded and we’ve put away our semi-ironic American flag trousers for another year. But maybe we should start searching for accessories in yellow, blue and red, because Colombia’s Independence Day celebration starts tomorrow!

If you have been keeping up with our blog in the past two weeks, you know that we’ve been thinking a lot about independence–what it means for a country, for an individual, and for artisans at Hope For Women’s Colombian partner, Sapia. As part of this meditation on independence, we are profiling three of our artisans in Bogota: Rosa, Ofelia, and (today) Claudia. It has always been a goal for Hope For Women to humanize international business so that consumerism does not overpower social or environmental ethics. So, here is one final story of an individual artisan who works to produce the beautiful and conscientious products that Hope For Women is so proud to offer to you.

Claudia Esperanza Zambrano is the mother of four children: Jennyfer Andrea (19 years old), Jonathan Andres (18 years old), Yuri Solanyi (16 years old), and Brayan Leonardo (15 years old). She and her husband work hard to provide for their family, and through Claudia’s work with Sapia and Hope For Women, she is able to achieve job security that has significantly bettered her children’s lives.

In Caludia’s words, independence is “the freedom for each person to manage their own space, time and money.” Her ability to provide for the people she loves means true independence. With this freedom, Claudia says that she is able to “improve the quality of life of my kids and the family economy.” Furthermore, she states, “Making fair trade products also allows me to help other people that work with me to achieve their own independence.”

Here, Claudia is working with Tagua, a sustainable material used to make jewelry.

Tomorrow, on July 20th, Claudia will celebrate independence by embracing family. With national pride, she will enjoy the company of her children at home.

Here at Hope For Women, we would like to thank you so much for following our Independence Series. We recognize that  choices made in America do not exclusively affect Americans, and that it is our responsibility to understand where our products are coming from, and the impact they have on our world. Independence, after all, is anything but passive or singular. By supporting Hope For Women and the Fair Trade movement, you are offering economic independence to thousands around the globe just like Rosa, Ofelia, and Claudia.