Tag Archives: fair trade jewelry

Favorite Fall Jewelry

October is in full swing! Around here, it’s been perfectly chilly and appropriately rainy, with some gorgeous bright leaves beginning to blanket the ground. So I’ve been wanting to step up my jewelry and accessories game from easy summer favorites to bold Fall choices. And as always, fair trade necklaces, bracelets and earrings are an awesome way to usher in a new season! Want to take a peek at some of my current Seven Hopes favorites?




1. Acai Wrap Bracelet
2. 31BITS Mulberry Necklace
3. Tagua Chip Earrings
4. Bouquet Knitted Headbands
5. Sofia Tagua Earrings

Are these pieces making you want to revamp your Fall jewelry wardrobe? Which one is your favorite? I’m loving the cozy knitted headbands!



How Fashionable it is to be Ethical!


Fashion! I just love it.  For a brief time in my early 20s I lived in New York City, the Bronx specifically.  The year following my college graduation I volunteered as a 6th, 7th and 8th grade teacher.  Let’s just say that teaching was a remarkably difficult (did I also mention that I moved there in late August of 2001) and a remarkably profound year, but that’s a different story for for a different day.

One of my most favorite things to do while I lived in New York was to check out what the women were wearing.  I grew up not caring much about fashion or how I dressed, in large part because I wore a school uniform until I was 18.  But living in NYC changed all that.  The clothing ranged from way laid back to way high fashion and I loved every bit of it and learned a lot too. On one very long train ride from lower Manhattan to the Bronx I ended up on the train with a woman wearing the coolest laid back outfit (a colorful Mexican inspired skirt with a zipped up sweatshirt…I thought ‘how cool is that’?). I promptly tracked down a similar outfit that weekend!

Now I’m head over heels in love with fashion, though my outfits don’t always show it, and I love putting outfits together in my head.  Today, I wanted to bring you a fair trade outfit idea that comes from the jewelry of Seven Hopes United and the clothes of the UK’s People Tree.

PicMonkey Collage_FT_outfit

I like to wear black a lot, it’s flattering and elegant and always chic.  This outfit would be great for work and you could wear a colorful little cami underneath, I would wear pink, or forgo it too, the blaze doesn’t seem to be too low-cut.  The earrings are simple but lovely and the bracelet adds just enough pop of color to brighten things up.

Sterling Silver Heart Earrings

31 Bits Penelope Bracelet

Black Stripe Hannah Blazer

Brooke Ruched Pencil Skirt

Happy Tuesday & I hope you enjoy! – Dawn

Tagua Jewelry {Product Spotlight}

Ladies, you know how it goes—you open up your closet and see the exact same collection of t-shirts and dresses starting back at you that were there yesterday. Unfortunately, you didn’t grow a new wardrobe overnight. But the remedy to that problem is luckily a much cheaper fix than a frantic trip to the mall. One bright, stand-out piece of jewelry can turn a plain white t-shirt into a trendy outfit in no time! Enter, the Tagua Bib Necklace:
Bib collage 2

In these beautiful necklaces, organically shaped tagua chips are linked together to create an elegant, yet bold statement piece. Surprisingly lightweight, these pieces are finished with a leather tie.

About the Artists: Prior to working with with our fair trade partners in Ecuador, Olga sold grain at a local market and Cesar worked in a poncho workshop, often forgoing meals so their children could eat. Now they have consistent food and shelter, and are able to provide and education for their children. ”Our life has been difficult, but our children will have a better future, thanks to the people like you who buy our jewelry.” -Ogla Moran & Cesar Yamberia

The updated version of the popular necklace is a bit longer and more detailed:

This lovely Cascade Necklace contains not only tagua chips, but acai and pambil as well:
And if you’re not much of a necklace girl, never fear—you can get the unique tagua pieces in bracelet and earring form as well:
Tagua Collage

These fun pieces are handcrafted using sustainable materials from the rainforests of South America. Fair trade artisans transform tagua nuts into modern accessories anyone will love.

About the Artisans:
Our fair trade partners collaborate with skilled artisans and families in Ecuador to create jewelry and other accessories using sustainable and renewable materials from the rainforest. By using materials that can be naturally collected, like the tagua nut, we can help to preserve the local rainforest and the communities that depend on them.

The artisans handcraft the jewelry designs from natural materials that have been sustainably harvested from the rainforests and lowlands of South America. Some materials are gathered from the rainforest floor while others require a skilled farmer to climb high into the tropical canopy to harvest ripe pods. In both cases, trees are not harmed and the commercialization of these seeds helps to ensure the survival of the world’s rainforests by providing an alternative income for its inhabitants in place of logging or selling their land to destructive industries.

What do you think? Would you wear these fresh new pieces this Spring? What would you pair them with to make a complete outfit?



Fair Trade & Ethical Date Night!

Ahh! Date night! Whether you’re single or married for 40 years, you have to admit that a date night is always fun!!! Some fun date nights I have had have been while drinking beer at a bowling alley (what can I say, I love to bowl, though I am pretty terrible at it). But I have to admit I love to dress up.  As a girl I hated dressing up, much to my mother’s chagrin both my sister and I were tomboys. That has changed, now I am huge fan of putting on a pretty dress, lovely shoes and fabulous jewelry and heading out to the symphony, dinner or a jazz club. And since I care about fair trade and ethically made clothing it seems to make sense that I should focus on dressing up for a fair trade and ethical date night!

Check out these beautiful pieces that you can wear on your fair trade and ethical date night!!

fair trade date night collage


Seven Hopes United 31 Bits Petunia Necklace                                                                                   People Tree Eloise Stretch Bodycon Dress                                                                                       Bulbul Pump at found on Fashioning Change

A Fair Trade Trip Down Memory Lane

photo (9)I’m just wrapping up a wonderful trip home to Cleveland, Ohio where I grew up.  It was my son’s first trip to Ohio.  Actually, it was his first trip outside of California and on a plane.  It has been so special sharing my first home with Declan.  He’s only 18 months old so the sharing is more for me at this point than for him really but it means so much to me that he is sleeping in my old bedroom and that he is meeting the children of my high school friends.  The photo to the left is of Declan in his first ever real winter coat (a friend living in Cleveland with a son kindly let us borrow it). He’s always only needed heavy sweaters on cool San Diego days and nights. And since I’ve been here I also had a chance to visit my old stomping ground one day while Declan was visiting his grandma on his dad’s side. Lakewood is the first suburb just west of the city of Cleveland and it’s here that I spent my early and teen years. I left for college and then volunteered for a year and then headed back to Cleveland for a while to decide what I would do next.  It was during this time I had the chance to live in Tremont, a neighborhood on Cleveland’s west side.

I’d like to take you on a little tour of this jewel of a neighborhood!

photo (6)

Civilization (or Civy as my husband calls it) is a small, quaint and cute coffee shop in an old pharmacy; the old pharmacy that my paternal grandmother’s family shopped at when she was a girl.  Its dark wood creates a cozy atmosphere. The majority of their coffee is organic fair trade (check out the photo above) and you can get a small cup of good tasting coffee for just a dollar).

photo (7)

Visible Voice is a locally owned book store quite near Civilization.  I absolutely love the name of the place; it’s so clever! The sign above resides outside the front door of Visible Voice and for me pretty much sums up the feel of the place: independent and proud!  And they sell a lot of interesting and unusual titles about Cleveland.

 photo (8)

 The Banyan Tree is another locally owned small business in Tremont.  They sell unique clothes, jewelry and accessories as well as other gift items.  And I was so excited to find out that they sell fair trade jewelry and clothing this just adds to why I love the store another reason, your purchases are given to you in reusable bags.

photo (3)

Lily Chocolates was new to me but its reputation of creating all its own delicious chocolates right at home in Tremont had proceeded itself.  With that in mind I made my way over to taste test on my own.  I asked the clerk if they had any fair trade chocolate and she said they had thought about it but found that they couldn’t afford it.  It sinks my heart that fair trade chocolate seems so out of reach to small chocolatiers sometimes.  A chocolate maker I know in San Diego had a similar problem.  Still I was impressed they had even had it on their mind as a possibility (and I might drop a line again in the future to see if they have started using it).

photo (1)

Lucky’s Café is just across the street from Lily’s but was closed so I didn’t get a chance to see if they have fair trade items.  However, I did check out their garden which is next to the place, they use the produce they grow on their menu.  I hope that they sell fair trade but I was definitely thrilled to learn that they grow, at least some, of their own produce.  I mean really how awesome is that?!?

There are other little gems in Tremont too like great restaurants and a few bars, art galleries and at least one wine bar.  But the places I stopped at are my favorites.

Cleveland may not be my home any more but there is and always will be a very special place in my heart for the city and its surrounding suburbs and communities. I really and truly love Cleveland and one never forgets her first true love!

Thank you for sharing in this little journey with me.

Have a great day – Dawn