A Fair Trade Mother's Day October 06 2017, 0 Comments

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my Angel Mother” -Abraham Lincoln

One of the most inspiring things in the world of Fair Trade is the empowerment that I see in all aspects of the mission.  Starting with the artisans themselves, the empowerment that comes with the opportunity to provide for their families in their own right, and make decisions that will change their children’s lives and better their futures.  There is also empowerment in being part of a Fair Trade retail store, the responsibility of educating consumers and sharing the stories and methods behind the products is one I take seriously.  As a consumer there is so much power behind choosing where and what your dollar is supporting, the ripple effect of one purchase is so far reaching, choosing to buy ethically on a regular basis is life changing for many. Nothing is more inspiring to me than the stories of the mother’s involved. In honor of Mother’s Day I wanted to share a story that changed my life personally and is one of the reasons I have felt so fortunate to be part of One World Fair Trade and continue to be after 10 plus years. I was lucky enough to travel to Central America and visit some of our artisan partners in Guatemala and El Salvador several years ago.  One particular Mother’s story touched my heart and changed my life. 

 

Concepcion is pictured here with her 3 children outside of their home.  When I got to meet them and hear her story she had been with the fair trade group for a few years.  Because of some very unfortunate circumstances she was the sole provider for her family through her bead-work.  She was able to work from home as much or as little as she liked.  Proudly she showed us pieces she had just completed and let us know that through her work she was recently able to put a new roof on her home and buy the plot of land next to her house where she planned a new outdoor kitchen and safe place for her children to play.  She was also able to save money for her children's school fees, none of these things would have been possible without the fair wages she was able to earn. Hearing the pride in her voice and seeing the joy on her face as she showed what she had been able to accomplish was something I will never forget. Her children will have her amazing strength, love and example to carry them far in life.  

 

 

Concepcion is part of the artisan group called Creaciones Chonita’s in Panajachel Guatemala which was started as a way to provide support and jobs for widows after the civil war that ravaged the country in the 70’s and 80’s, she makes our Lake Atitlan Bracelet as well as other intricately beaded accessories that we’ve carried over the years.  Besides the story behind this bracelet it is a wonderful piece to add to any jewelry collection!  The beautiful jewel tones and iridescent beads used make it amazingly universal, it can pair with any outfit.  We have several gorgeous bracelets from women’s groups in Guatemala to choose from, like these magnetic styles that are truly ingenious featuring a strong magnetic clasp for ease.

 

 

As a working mom of (soon to be) two daughters I love it with our Asanga tunic from India.  I actually personally own two of the colors we carry!  Easy to throw on with your favorite jeans or leggings.  I wear it year long, with jeans and boots or sandals and shorts!  If I feel like I want a more professional look it does look fantastic tucked into a pencil skirt or high-waisted trousers.  These are are lovely lightweight cotton and all hand embroidered by women artisans in Northern India.

 

What better way to be stylishly ethical than by representing amazing mothers around the world?!

If you have Mother’s day brunch plans or need gift ideas for the special mom in your life here are a few of my new favorite pieces! 

     

Pictured first is the Highland Park Dress, an easy and flattering maxi style from a women's cooperative and made of organic cotton jersey. The Endless Summer Dress is a flirty 100% cotton fit and flare with a deep V neckline perfect for brunch on Mother's Day and a lovely garden wedding in June! The String Circles Necklace is an amazing concoction of mixed metal string wound around brass circles, such a beautiful statement piece that would make any lady feel amazing.