Tag Archives: fair trade fashion

America the Beautiful: July 4th Fashion

Happy Almost-July, my friends!

Let’s talk about Independence Day today. Just in case you were thinking it was all about celebrating ‘Merica, enjoying family and the great outdoors, or maybe, well, hot dogs (did I just expose one of your innermost thoughts there?), allow me to enlighten you: it’s not. It’s all about the fashion! Fair trade fashion, that is.


We love holidays around here, and July 4th is no exception. If you’re still contemplating what to wear to your day at the beach or backyard BBQ, let us help show you the way. And you can wear these fun finds all summer long!

Here are a few of my fave reds, whites and blues from Seven Hopes United:

PicMonkey Collage

Clockwise from the top left, we’ve got:

1. Sseko Sandals in Navy
2. Tagua Chip Earrings in Soft Gray
3. 31BITS Cascade Necklace in White
4. Recycled Plastic Shoulder Bag in Navy and White

All kidding aside, we know that the 4th of July is a wonderful time to celebrate life with loved ones and give thanks for the land of the free and the home of the brave. And we can remember that through purchasing fair trade items as opposed to mass-produced, we are taking an active part in helping foster independence for our brothers and sisters throughout the world. Olga Moran and Cesar Yamberia, our artisans in Ecuador who hand-craft the beautiful necklace you see above, state: ”Our life has been difficult, but our children will have a better future, thanks to the people like you who buy our jewelry.” They receive fair wages for their labor and have access to nonprofit services, such as scholarships and training programs, that previously would not have been available to them. Let’s make it a goal as we enjoy time with our own children this summer to actively invest in the future of children and families across the globe!



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

Summer Sandal Sale!

Shoe 8
As excited as I am for Fall (hazelnut lattes! roasting marshmallows while wearing a cozy sweatshirt! pumpkin carving!), I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to summer’s warm breeze. I’m definitely not ready to give up on my summer fashion. If you’re feeling the same way, I’ve got good news, because our beautiful Sseko Sandals are on sale until the end of August!

You may have heard it said that a girl can never have too many pairs of shoes. But what’s a thrifty Carrie Bradshaw to do? Well, when you purchase the Sseko Sandals base, you can make endless pairs of shoes out of it. Pretty clever right? Just buy the base, then you can go to town on the many pretty straps you can buy separately. If you’re on a budget though, never fear—you can still create a ton of different looks using just one set of straps!

Shoe collage

I love all of these looks. And they’re fairly to simple to master once you know what you’re doing. Check out this link for how-to’s! There are several different videos showing you how to get the above looks and more.

And don’t forget to accessorize. How cute are these fun add-ons?
Shoe collage 2

If you haven’t heard of Sseko Sandals before, here’s a little more info on the talented women that make them from our Website:

About Sseko Designs:
Sseko Designs hires recent secondary school graduates for a nine month period to live and work together, while earning money that will go directly toward their university education. These women will not make sandals forever. They will go on to be doctors, lawyers, politicians, writers and teachers that will bring change and unification to a country divided and ravished by a 22 year-long war.

Enjoy the end of the summer! And don’t forget to check the 7 Hopes site frequently for new Fall merchandise!


How Tuesday: Tying Fair Trade Sseko Sandals

Are you interested in learning more about our unique fair trade Sseko sandals? Maybe you would like a pair but you didn’t know there were so many great ways to tie these lovely fair trade Sseko sandals!

Today for How Tuesday we show you two of the many ways you can tie fair trade Sseko sandals: The Classic tie and a more complex looking but truly easy Bohannon’s Best Tie! You can purchase Sseko sandals, straps, and all of the accessories I use in the video at: http://www.sevenhopesunited.com/fair-trade-shoes-sandals

How Tuesday: How to tie Sseko Sandals from Seven Hopes United on Vimeo.

Enjoy – Dawn

Cotton Scarves from Ecuador {Product Spotlight}

Ecuador 2

Ecuador is a beautiful country, and one many of our artisans call home. But amidst the natural beauty, these women and their families are fighting extreme poverty and often hunger and sickness. Sales of our lovely new lightweight scarves, handmade in Ecuador, will help provide sustainable income for these families.

Check out these soft, brightly colored scarves—they’re great for a cool summer evening walk along the water. They’re also perfect for throwing over your strapless dress on an evening out!

Gorgeous, right? I’m not sure which is my favorite! The colors are striking, and these are one-of-a-kind {meaning once we sell out of them on the Seven Hopes site, they’re gone forever}. So if you’re in need a lightweight scarf for the sunny days ahead, you’ve found it.

A few facts about rural Ecuador:

–A a family’s basic needs, including, food, water and shelter, is equal to about 400 US dollars per month. However, the base salary for most Ecuadorian workers is only US $160.

–More than half of those living below the poverty line in Ecuador live on only US $1 a day.

–Children are required to attend the First through 12th grades in public school. But public education is not accessible for the majority of poor children living in rural areas.

–Although there are several universities in the larger Ecuadorian cities, only 1% of college-age students in rural areas and 5% of those in urban areas attend them.

When you purchase items from Seven Hopes United, you are helping to provide a steady income and hope to not only our talented team of artisans in Ecuador, but to our artists all over the world. Thank you to our loyal customers—and be sure to order your scarf before they’re gone!