Fair Trade Swap: Autumn Edition!

Autumn

I know, I know, it’s only August. But where I live the temps have been nice and cool lately, and I can’t help but start getting excited for Fall! Will it help my cliché status a little bit if I tell you I actually don’t like Pumpkin Spice Lattes that much? I’m more of a hazelnut cappuccino kind of girl. But as for changing leaves, bonfires, and cuddly sweatshirts … bring it on!

One of my favorite ways to shop is to take the items I love and can find easily accessible in the mall and search out sustainable, ethical fair trade alternatives. So before you start stocking up on all of your Autumn “essentials,” care to take a look at some fun, ethical, “Octobery” finds with me? Below are a few of my fave Fall items!

PicMonkey Collage

All of the items on the right are fair trade! Just as gorgeous (and affordable) as the ones on the left, right? Sometimes all it takes is a little digging! And I did the digging for you in this case :). Listed below are where each item is from, with links to the fair trade items:

Traditional Items:
1. Bath and Body Works
2. Gap
3. DSW
4. Columbia Activewear
5.Pottery Barn

Fair Trade Items:
1. Seven Hopes United
2. Noonday Collection
3. Teysha
4. Roozt
5. Seven Hopes United

Are you as ready for Fall as I am?

XO,

Casey

Anniversary Gifts by Year

If you’re a recent newlywed, you know how difficult it is to come up with the perfect gift for your husband or wife-to-be on the wedding day. Well, I’ve got news for you—it doesn’t get much easier as the years go by! On anniversaries, it’s easy to hit panic mode when searching for a special gift.

We’re here to help with that! I put together a list below of gift ideas from Seven Hopes that correspond to the “traditional” gifts for each year of marriage. Being traditional doesn’t need to be boring!

Traditional Anniversary Gift for Year 1: Paper

Camellia Necklace: Here you go, guys! The perfect gift for your lovely bride of one year. This beautiful 31BITS necklace is made of recycled paper beads and will be sure to win you some possibly much-needed husband points. :)

wedding1

Traditional Anniversary Gift for Year 2: Cotton

Blue Daphne Table Runner: This bright, cheery table runner is will brighten up your dining room in the best way! Whichever one of you is the decorator in the house will love this gift.

wedding2

Traditional Anniversary Gift for Year 3: Leather

Mini Bolga Market Basket: This mini African market basket was handwoven by artisans in the Bolgatanga region of Ghana. Each mini market basket is beautiful and unique, designed with a sturdy leather handle and a thick base, perfect for use as a farmers market basket!

wedding3

Traditional Anniversary Gift for Year 4: Flowers

Ceramic Talavera Wall Mirror: A fun take on the idea of “Flowers,” this handcrafted mirror depicts colorful wildflowers and would be perfect for the husband who enjoys decorating!

wedding 4

Traditional Anniversary Gift for Year 5: Wood

Custom Ampersand Wooden Serving TrayA gorgeous piece to liven up your dinner parties, this serving tray highlights your shared last name (if you chose to have the same last name) in a beautiful and fresh way! Be sure to check out our Custom Cutting Boards too!

wedding 5

Which wedding gift idea is your favorite?

XO,

Casey

Sale Items!

There’s nothing quite like a weekend sale! We recently reduced the prices of some of our favorite Seven Hopes items. As Fall approaches and you feel like freshening up your wardbrobe and/or home (personally, I always go with the and :)) take a peek at some of the items listed below!

1. Javanese Jewel Oven Mitt:

Sale 1

Our classic oven mitts in a new sophisticated jewel print, inspired by antique Javanese tiles. Pair with our matching Javanese Jewel Apron. Hand-printed with care by our fair trade partners in Bali.

2. Guerrero Bowl:

Sale 2

Crafted to nestle naturally in your hand, this bowl allows you to enjoy dining with ease. Its unique and comforting shape is accented by its natural olive color. The artist, Pedro, is a fourth generation potter who dreams that one day his ceramics will be recognized across the globe. Pedro is a ceramic instructor, one of four certified master potters in Nicaragua, a great father and a community leader.

3. Shibori Cotton Scarves:

Sale 3

These scarves are made from 100% cotton by artisans in India, and embellished with fine tie-dye. Each scarf has a soft crinkled look, and comes in three colors: pink, blue, and green. Your purchase provides fair wages to talented artisans in India, and helps their communities rise above poverty. (They’re only $10 at the moment! Get one while they last. :))

4. Cocoki Yoga Bag:

Sale 4

Stylish, comfortable, and impactful; this is not your average yoga bag. Hand-crafted by women in Rwanda, these yoga bags show off your unique style and consciousness. Our yoga bag has a full length zipper for easy loading, and an outside pocket to hold your keys, phone, and gym ID. It fits all sizes of yoga mats with space at the top to tuck in a towel.

The women of Cocoki proudly design and produce these yoga bags from traditional Dutch Wax cloth – using nothing but their own creativity and foot-powered sewing machines. A great gift for yoga enthusiasts of all kinds – from beginners to old pros. Available in two different color patterns: Lime Green, which you see above, and Indigo.

Cocoki Market Bags:

Sale 5

Run errands in style with these versatile shopping totes, hand-crafted from Dutch Wax cloth by the same women’s cooperative in Rwanda. These beautiful tote bags are perfect for carrying books and groceries, or an every day carryall.

6. Yellow Warming Basket:

Sale 6

This yellow warming basket was handwoven by Wolof women in Senegal, West Africa. Made from typha and recycled plastic strips used in the production of prayer mats, this lidded basket is not only beautiful, but eco-friendly. A thoughtful way to gift homemade rolls or cookies.

7. Blue Diamond Vase:

Sale 7

Featuring a black rim and base and a beautiful blue diamond pattern, there will be no problem incorporating this piece into any living space. Perfect for flowers, or as a stand alone decor item, we’re sure you will find plenty of uses for this functional and decorative work of art!

By purchasing the Blue Diamond Vase, you’re fostering the growth and sustainability of Juan’s family business, as well as supporting his dream to have his pottery displayed in homes around the world.

To see the rest of our sale items (there are quite a few right now!) click here.

Have a very happy weekend!

XO,

Casey

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:

PicMonkey Collage

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:

PicMonkey Collage2

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.


About
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!


About
Hiptipico:
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!

XO,

Casey

Our Reason for Being

photo

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!

XO,

Casey