Tag Archives: Hope For Women

Hope For Women introduces…..ReStyle™!

26 Sep

 We’re very excited to unveil our new website, ReStyle™!

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Why the new name and site?
Hope For Women has evolved as an organization and we thought it was time for a little change. We think our new branding better fits our commitment of offering exceptional artisan-crafted fashion products that change lives through Fair Trade.

Our hope is to reach more people with our new brand and benefit the artisans that create our unique products even more. To help celebrate our new launch, we’re offering 15% off our entire site with coupon code LAUNCH15

But are your products still Fair Trade and eco-friendly?woman with child
Our commitment to our social mission has not changed at all.  ReStyle products are still Fair Trade, eco-friendly and are helping to change lives for the better. We’ll continue to strive to be as eco-friendly as possible, from sourcing recycled materials to how we package our items.

Are you still working with women artisans?
Yes! Women artisans are still creating our Fair Trade, eco-friendly products. Due to the growing demand for our products more artisans are working, and this includes some men as well. But over 90% of the artisans we work with are women, and we continue to try to work with women in all aspects of our work.

purseWhat kind of products will the new site feature?

We’ll be offering a wide array of high-quality, stylish, and seasonally relevant products that are on trend. This includes stunning statement necklaces, pretty bangles, and eye-catching rings–among many other gorgeous pieces. And don’t worry, we’ll definitely still feature our best-selling line of recycled tire tube products!

***Stay tuned for regular specials and promotions throughout the year!***

Thank you for being loyal and supportive customers of Hope for Women. We hope you’ll browse the new site and check out our gorgeous product lines and inspiring artisans. Don’t forget: get 15% off the entire site with coupon code LAUNCH25 (enter coupon code in the shopping cart).

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Fireworks, festivities and fair trade!

2 Jul

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This year when you are celebrating Independence Day by watching the sky light up in bright bursts of color remember that this day commemorates how the United States gained the freedom to support itself and become an independent nation. Supporting fair trade means supporting working independence of farmers, artisans, builders, crafters and laborers around the world by providing them safe working conditions and the wages to care for their families and build a life upon. Here are a few ways you can use fair trade products to celebrate the Fourth of July in style while helping others gain their independence as well!

ImageOff to a barbecue potluck with friends or a family reunion this holiday and not sure what to bring? How about some delicious pasta salad made with Equal Exchange Fair Trade Olive Oil?

If you’re in charge of dessert Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream is always a crowd favorite and every flavor is proudly stamped with that fair trade logo like a badge of honor.

Maybe you are more interested in providing refreshments for the day’s festivities? Mongozo’s Exotic Banana Beer has that sweet taste of summer and social responsibility in every fair trade bottle. If you’re looking for something with a little more punch to go with those booming fireworks perhaps Papagayo’s Organic Rum will spark your interest? Here’s a recipe for a patriotic array of red, white and blue daiquiris that are gaurenteed to get everyone into the holiday spirit(s)–pun intended.

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If you want to wish your relatives and friends who couldn’t be there with you to celebrate this festive holiday a Happy Fourth of July, remember that Hope For Women’s beautiful handcrafted and eco-friendly cards are sure to brighten anyone’s day like a firework brighten’s the sky.

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We here at Hope For Women hope you found these fair trade suggestions helpful and wish you all a happy, fun-filled and safe Independence Day this year.

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.

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 –