Shop Customer Favorites for the Holidays!

Is it too early to say Happy Holidays?

I say no—after all, Thanksgiving is next week! And around here we like starting our shopping early. :) What better time, after all, than when free shipping is available? If you order from our site anytime from now through Dec 19, you’ll receive free standard shipping! Especially convenient if you’re just not one of those seasoned “Black Friday” shoppers. If it’s shopping from your couch, you can still call it Black Friday shopping, right?

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This season, I’m making an effort to “purchase with purpose”—care to join me? I already have a list going of all the fair trade gifts I want to order for my family! While we’re making the season merry for our loved ones, let’s try to make them equally merry for other families across the globe by doing our part to ensure fair wages and safe working conditions for all!

XO,

Casey

Christmas Tree Ornaments! {Product Spotlight}

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When it comes to decorating your Christmas tree, does your household adhere to the “theme” method or the “throw it all up in a random display of merriment” way of doing things? I grew up embracing the latter, but I can definitely appreciate the wonder of a glowing, all-silver tree or one exclusively covered in deep reds and golds.

Whatever your preference for the holidays, our beautiful, lively new Christmas tree ornaments will add plenty of wintery flair to your usual merry tree. They would be perfect for an animal or outdoor winter wonderland theme, or would add a fun compliment to whatever special ornaments you already own! Here are a few of my favorites from the collection:

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Aren’t they the cutest? These hand-made, fair trade ornaments come to us from our partners in both Nepal and Kyrgyzstan.

About Kyrgystan:
After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Kyrgyzstan became an independent country – and was reeling from economic hardship. Many women were unemployed, and making ends meet was a daily challenge. Our fair trade partners work with women who started small craft businesses to help them further expand their markets, grow, and support their communities. We work with inspiring women who are determined to save their traditional art of felting – passed down from mother to daughter across the generations.

About Nepal:
Our felt felt Christmas ornaments are handmade by a women’s cooperative in Kathmandu, Nepal. The project focuses on providing skills training and income opportunities to women in great economical need. Each felt ornament is made with 100% natural wool and non-toxic, azo-free dyes. The waste dye water is drained into a neighborhood garden for growing food, and wool scraps are recycled to create new products.

Which ones are your favorites? Click here to check out the whole collection!

XO,

Casey

Autumn Inspiration

Happy Halloween!

Whether you’re going all out in costume, handing out candy with your little ones, or just enjoying a fun Fall day, I hope it’s a great one. How about some Autumn-inspired tricks and treats via everyone’s favorite, Pinterest, to kick off your weekend?

friday1(DIY Owl Pumpkins)

Friday2(Cheesecake-Stuffed Baked Apples)

Friday4(Free Fall Printables)

Friday3(Halloween Makeup Tutorials)

friday5(25 Ways to Wear a Scarf)

friday6(Fall Farmer’s Market Grocery List)

Friday7(Apple Pie Pancakes)

Friday8(How to Give Your Hair Volume)

Friday10(Halloween Nail Art)

Friday12(Fall Décor Ideas)

Fall13(Crock Pot Balsamic Beef Sandwiches)

Have a safe and wonderful weekend!

XO,
Casey

How to Have a Fair Trade Halloween!

In the spirit of incorporating fair trade into everyday life, let’s chat about how to make your Halloween celebration a little more fair-trade friendly today!

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1. Handing out candy to trick-or-treaters? Put it in a cute, sustainably made bowl! I have one in mind: warm, Fall-inspired colors and big enough to hold tons of candy. I think that about covers it! You can order the below beauty here!

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2. Speaking of candy, how about dishing out some homemade treats instead of the store-bought stuff? These Halloween Spider Chocolate Chip Cookies are easy enough to wrap individually and drop into treat bags. And you can use fair trade-certified sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract!

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3. Add a little “fair trade flair” to your costume. Planning to be something “pretty,” aka a princess, fairy, or your current favorite classy celeb? This Camellia Necklace is a perfect versatile piece to spice up almost any costume!

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4. Lend a little fair trade charm to your creepy ambiance. This candle from our friends at Serrv will create the perfect eerie glow!

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5. Create a fun display for your candy table. How adorable are these Peruvian Halloween Gourd Boxes? They’re hand carved in Peru and perfect for that little extra touch your treats table needs!

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Any more ideas to on how to have a fair trade Halloween? Share them in the comments!

XO,

Casey

 

Fair Trade Month

So do you know what October is, besides the lovely precursor to Winter (shudder)? It’s Fair Trade Month! That means it’s an extra good time to consider why you support fair trade, what impact it truly makes, and how you can learn more and get others involved.

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Throughout this month every year, millions of hard-working and thoughtful consumers, retailers, artisans, and brands will come together to celebrate and increase awareness for fair trade. If you want to help spread the word about what fair trade is and what it’s not, you can help promote greater support for farmers and artisans in developing countries!

What fair trade is not: A handout or charity.

What fair trade is: The promotion of self-sustainability in developing countries. With every dollar we choose to spend on ethically produced, fair-trade certified items, we are showing our support for fair wage. We are highlighting our commitment to the belief that every person on Earth deserves the same wages and opportunities as those in wealthier countries are provided for the same trade performed.

Want some concrete examples?

At Seven Hopes, we work with talented artisan groups all over the world. It’s easy to picture “fair trade” as a concept or movement that we create and not a product of the hard work that actually produces the products we’re buying. Read on for a peek into the drastic changes fair trade can bring to the lives of people all over the globe!

– When you purchase a pair of our soft, colorful Ratna Punjammie Lounging Pants, you are directly supporting women in India of the International Princess Project who have escaped forced prostitution. They can now support their families in a dignified way and work regular daytime hours so that they can be home at night with their young children.

Our oversized Flower Shoulder Bag is made of a lightweight recycled netting material originally used in fishing and construction. This simple idea for a beautiful bag has grown into a way to change lives. Over 90 people are employed through our fair trade partners in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This group has grown from 5 to over 90 employees in just over five years. The majority of the staff, mostly young mothers, are encouraged to bring their children to work, as the company provides day care for free. Work has also been outsourced to family members of the staff. To date, over 40 sewing machines have been financed.

The necklaces on our site, such as the beaded, layered beauty the Camellia Necklace, come from our partnership with 31 BITS. 31 BITS Designs is a socially minded business designed to give internally displaced women in Northern Uganda an opportunity to counter poverty. By giving our beneficiaries access to the international market, they are able to earn an instant income, providing homes, food, and education for their families. Our program equips women by providing literacy education, financial and vocational training, holistic care, and strong support systems, empowering individuals to further their careers and attain social equity.

Our fun, brightly colored Recycled Storage Bags are hand-crafted in Cambodia from Vietnamese feed bags. You can use them from anything to toys to wrapping paper to laundry. ”Designed to Carry a cause,” the purchase of these recycled laundry bins supports the fight against human trafficking.

When you pause to think about it, the fair trade movement is about so much more than just fair wages. It’s about dignity and a better way of life for those who work just as hard as those in more affluent countries; it’s about equality. There is a temptation to think that just because a cycle of poverty takes place in another country, it will always be that way, it’s far away, and we have no obligation to help stop it. But it’s also easy to take small steps to start chipping away at that cycle in our own ways!

Some of the best ways I know of to spread the word are to talk up your fair trade purchases and take pride in them! I’ll find myself at the grocery store being complimented by the cashier on my beautiful handmade necklace, and I love being able to tell her the story behind 31 BITS and share how she can purchase one of her own!

Happy Fair Trade Month! It’s a great month to do some online shopping!

XO,

Casey