Back to School, Fair Trade Style!

If August in your house is accompanied by either “I’m so bored and I can’t wait to get out of here!” or, “How can it be time again already?!” you know it’s back-to-school month. But remind those less-enthusiastic little people of yours that it isn’t all bad—going back to school means a little wardrobe refresh if nothing else! If you have daughters they probably won’t fight you on this one. :)

This Fall, how about incorporating some fair trade styles into your shopping? It’s a great way to remind your kids that in every decision they make, they have the opportunity to help other children and spread love across the oceans. Sometimes we can think of back-to-school shopping as a chore, but why not view it as a fun way to help your kids express their style while teaching them that caring for others can be lived out in unexpected ways?

Here are a few of my fave back-to-school styles from Seven Hopes and from some of our amazing fair trade and ethical friends! See below for more info on our wonderful buddies who create these fun products! :)

For the Ladies:

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1.  FashionABLE Meseret scarf
2.  Hiptipico Princesa Tribal Backpack
3.  Headbands of Hope Lush Crystals Headband
4.  Seven Hopes Sophia Tagua Earrings
5.  Seven Hopes 31 BITS Sunday Frill Necklace

For the Boys:

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1. Marco: Jonathan Adler for TOMS sunglasses
2. TOMS Vintage Stripe Men’s Classics
3. Krochet Kids Fremont Henley
4. Camel EbenGroup Backpack
5. WeWood Date Army Watch

About TOMS:
In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in a village in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS®, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One.

Realizing this movement could serve other basic needs, TOMS® Eyewear was launched. With every pair purchased, TOMS® will help give sight to a person in need. One for One.

About FashionABLE:
The fashionABLE mission is to create sustainable business for Africans so they aren’t dependent upon charity, but instead earn the dignity of a job. We offer opportunity to everyone, with a primary focus on empowering women. When we invest in a woman, statistics demonstrate that she will have a life-changing impact on her family and community… and herself.

Headbands of Hope:
For every headband purchased, one is given to a girl with cancer and $1 is donated to fund life-saving childhood cancer research. Since  Headbands of Hope was launched in April 2012, they’ve donated over 20,000 headbands to girls who deserve them. They’ve even started a boys line of buffs!

Hiptipico’s mission is to support the creativity, ingenuity and passion of local artists in Guatemala. Preserving Mayan culture and traditional customs is essential to Hiptipico’s brand. Reinvesting profits into women’s cooperatives, family shops and Mayan handicrafters, Hiptipico naturally energizes the local economy while creating access to foreign markets.

Selling 100% authentic high quality merchandize, customers directly receive artisan-level products.

About Krochet Kids
Krochet Kids works with highly vulnerable women who live in poverty stricken regions of the world. Through a unique model, Krochet Kids is empowering the women of Northern Uganda and Peru with the assets, skills, and knowledge to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. The result is long lasting and sustainable change.

About EbenGroup
Ebenezer means “rock of help.” As part of Ebenezer Group (EbenGroup), they want to be just that, help. For every durable rucksack sold, they give a backpack full of school supplies away to a child in need in the regions in which they work. In addition, they allocate 10% of the profits to building schools.  A staggering amount of children in developing countries drop out of school because they do not have the necessary school supplies.

About WeWood
The brainchild of an Italian watch lover and two eco-smart entrepreneurs, WEWOOD fashions wooden timepieces from mostly scrap-wood and uses state-of-the-art Miyota movements for the guts, a hybrid of technology and nature resulting in a unique watch that’s both handsome and earth friendly.

The first timepiece was designed in Florence, Italy (2010) and with the widespread craving for newstalgia and eco-friendly ethos, WEWOOD hit the scene as the avant-garde approach to sophisticated sustainability. Later that year, WEWOOD opened a branch in Los Angeles and teamed up with tree-planting-partners ‘American Forests’ and ‘Trees For The Future’.


Enjoy back-to-school month!



Our Reason for Being


Happy Friday to you!

Today I thought it would be fun to share a little bit about the vision behind Seven Hopes United and why we are passionate about the fair trade industry. We’re based in sunny San Diego, but we’re an online business spanning the whole globe!

When you set out to shop, you may not normally think of ways your spending money could impact the world for good. But—what if you could help end poverty in the world by shopping? Seven Hopes United believes that consumers have the power to make a difference by supporting sustainable and fair business practices in their everyday purchases.

Our dream is to help empower and enrich the lives of communities worldwide by providing a means to a living wage for thousands of disadvantaged artisans and their families.

We specialize in marketing stylish, handmade, fair trade and eco-friendly gifts from around the world. Your purchase of fair trade products ensures that our artisans are paid a living wage for their work, working conditions are safe, and no children are exploited. We are committed to promoting a sustainable lifestyle. We strive to source products that use recycled and natural materials through a traditional handmade process.

Each product is hand-picked by our buyers with our conscientious customers in mind. Our products are sourced from small-scale artisans who are passionate about quality design. Our gifts are curated because they either make us laugh, or touch our hearts.

Our Name

The inspiration for our name, Seven Hopes United, comes from hope. The 7 of Seven Hopes United, represents the seven continents of the world. The idea of Seven Hopes United is that as consumers we would recognize how our purchases affect people of the world.

Without fair trade, producers of disadvantaged nations work for minimal wages and are unable to provide basic human needs for their families. Our hope, as Seven Hopes United, is that we would unite as one nation to take on our mission of creating a globally conscious fair trade market that enriches the lives of communities worldwide.

Our Logo

Our logo represents the villages we are able to support through Seven Hopes United. The houses reflect the style of homes in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, where the idea for Seven Hopes United was born. The colors represent the hope of a bright future for disadvantaged producers and their families through your patronage.

Why is Fair Trade Important?

As consumers demand more and more cheap consumer goods, more factories are being built in developing countries to produce those goods. As we all know, many of the products we use every day are produced under poor working conditions in China. Due to the lack of opportunities in rural villages of China or other parts of the developing world, many people have left their small, traditional communities to move to large cities or factory towns in search of this kind of work. A plethora of problems stem from this migration of people to cities for factory work:

  • Often these workers are not fairly compensated for their labor, and are unable to support their families
  • Workers often face dangerous working conditions, long hours, and few or no days off to rest
  • When work is scarce or wages are low, women are often coerced or forced into the sex trade, and become victims of human trafficking

How Fair Trade Can Help

Seven Hopes United supports a trading partnership based on the guiding principles of Fair Trade. Fair Trade supports sustainable development for excluded and disadvantaged producers by ensuring that the artisans making the products are paid living wages.

At Seven Hopes United, we believe that above all else, our business should be based on respect:

  • Respectful of ourselves and our own personal commitment to integrity.
  • Respectful of basic human rights and the dignity and worth of all people.
  • Respectful to our environment by reducing our carbon footprint, and promoting a sustainable lifestyle.
  • Respectful of our commitment to invest in disadvantaged communities, and provide a living wage to our employees and producers.

Why We Support Local Artists

Seven Hopes United primarily offers fair trade merchandise, but we also feature products made by local artisans. How does this fit into our philosophy?

Our mission is to empower communities around the world, including communities here in the U.S. as well as in developing countries. We are Seven Hopes United, 7 continents united by the hope of fair wages, working conditions, and a prosperous future for our families. When asking a mother from any part of the world what she wishes most for her children, the answer may come in many different forms of language, but they will all say the same thing. She wishes for an education for her children, that they will be healthy, and go on to live happy and successful lives.

Our local artisan pieces are chosen with a purpose. Every product and artisan has a story – perhaps their craft was learned from their mother, who learned from her mother, who learned from her mother. Or maybe the artist was chosen because they are devoted to using recycled materials in their products. Whatever the story may be, each product is made by hand, by real people, and your purchases help support them in their craft.

Your Impact

By shopping at Seven Hopes United, you become an essential piece in enriching the lives of thousands of artisans and their families worldwide. Every purchase through Seven Hopes United induces change – here’s how:

  • Provides economic stability and a living wage for disadvantaged producers throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East
  • Provides work for victims of human trafficking in India, Cambodia, and Bangladesh
  • Provides healthcare, school fees, and community buildings to weavers in Southern Sudan
  • Protects sea turtles on beaches near Kenya’s Kiunga Marine National Reserve
  • Supports orphanged Rwandan youth affected by AIDS & genocide
  • and more…

Our Recycling Program

Seven Hopes United is committed to reducing our carbon footprint, and promoting a sustainable lifestyle. Because of this, we purchase as little packaging materials as possible; we reuse almost all packaging material that is shipped to us. So when you receive a package from us, please do not expect a brand new cardboard box. Instead, expect a re-used box. And if you see styrofoam peanuts or bubble wrap inside, know that we are simply reusing them and doing our best to keep this material from entering the wastestream by recycling it.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit of our story today. If you want to learn more or find out about volunteer or job opportunities with us, feel free to reach out here! We would love to  hear from you!



Decorative Table Runners

Summer is here! We love entertaining and these decorative table runners crafted by fair trade artisans in India are the perfect addition to our summer soirees. Can’t get enough of these block-printed beauties!

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Each of our decorative table runners are produced by artisans in the Rajasthan region of India. They use a traditional method of hand-block printing that has been passed down for generations. If you look closely, you can sometimes identify the borders of the blocks and verify the handmade process. From start to finish, each table runner can take 7-10 days to create. True works of art!

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  1. Blue Cornflower Block-Print Table Runner
  2. Blue Daphne Table Runner
  3. French Blue Table Runner
  4. Turquoise Paisley Table Runner
  5. Red Lotus Flower Table Runner
  6. Misty Taupe Table Runner
  7. Green Paisley Table Runner

These prints are also available in cloth napkins and tablecloths – if there is a print you’d like that you don’t currently see on the website, please email us to order!

Host a Fair Trade “Spa Day” Bridal Shower!

Hey summer bridesmaids! Are your eyes getting tired from scanning Pinterest, searching for “unique” bridal shower ideas? I’ve been there. We all want to make the bride feel special, but you can only plan so many games and bake so many cupcakes, right? Here’s an idea for a different kind of special day for the bride-to-be: a fair trade ”spa day” bridal shower! It’s a great way for everyone to enjoy the day. It’s also a chance to support women in developing nations who may be planning weddings and showers of their own. We can all join together to celebrate love!

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It’s easy: invite all her besties, and tell everyone to bring a gift to pamper the bride. (We suggest including a list of our bed, bath and beauty favorites, such as these plush lavendar bath towels, in the invitation so they can order their gift straight from the Seven Hopes site!)

If you’re the Maid of Honor and in charge of the day, here’s an idea for your own gift to the bride: order her a beautiful, cozy Kimono Robe to spend the day in! You and the other bridesmaids can select and order a few of the lush pampering sets from our site, such as this fun pedicure set handmade in Indonesia. Then set them out amidst some eco-friendly Brazil nut candles, and let everyone go to town! Manis and pedis and makeovers await! :)



Nula Kids {Friends With a Mission}


It’s been a while since we’ve done a Friends With a Mission post! If you’ll recall, this is where we like to introduce you to some great companies we’ve come across who share a mission similar to ours. We all know that money is a powerful resource, one we can use to empower others. It’s fun to discover companies who find creative ways of doing just that—such as California-based Nula Kids! Nula is a sustainable children’s clothing company that came up with a fun concept: the clothes adjust to fit your ever-growing kids, so they can wear them for longer. Fun, right?

From the Nula Kids Website:

We started Nula to create a sustainable alternative to throw-away kids clothes by designing styles that grow with kids and obsessing over durable construction.

Inspired by a growing movement toward sustainable fashion and driven by a lack of options for kids, we teamed up to start Nula in 2012. After learning about the harmful effects of the global apparel industry we set out to solve the problems with sustainable kidswear – its high cost and short lifecycle.

We work with manufacturers in Los Angeles to make quality clothes that fit for three years. We visit them often. And we sell directly to our customers online to keep our prices as low as possible.

We started the kind of company we want to buy from – one that makes lasting goods in the US and provides affordable options for conscious consumers – founded on the belief that we shouldn’t have to accept products with mysterious origins, or settle for throw-away goods that fill up our homes and landfills and keep us coming back for more.

I love this concept. We all know how quickly kids grow, and buying new items only adds to the 25 billion pounds of textiles Americans throw out a year. So if you have little ones at home, I encourage you to give Nula Kids a try!