A Year of Fair Trade - June Edition

A year of Fair Trade Blog Series

Let me introduce you to one of our lovely Purse & Clutch Apprentices. Sarah is launching a guest blog series today that will outline her resolution to only shop Fair Trade & Thrift Stores for 2014. She'll be sharing her challenges & triumphs as well as reviews of the Fair Trade brands she's discovering along the way. Sarah, take it away!

I’m currently one of Jen’s apprentices for the summer and LOVING all that I’m learning. 

I love creating, working out, eating all the food Austin has to offer, and spending time with my church community. If you ever decide to get me a present, get me something “Austin-y.” I can’t get enough of this city.

My journey with ethical fashion started very recently, but has been incredibly impactful and life changing.

Confession: I didn’t start out loving fair trade fashion. 

It all started with a conversation I had with my friend. It went something like this:

Friend: "Do you think that we should be buying clothes that children are making?"
Me: "I shop at thrift stores. It’s too expensive to buy Fair Trade."
Friend: "True, but shouldn’t we be thinking about how we are enslaving people over the way we buy clothes?"
Me: "Ya I guess, but Fair Trade is not really my style at all. It’s really not that cute."

And that’s how I left that conversation. 

But I was compelled -

Are my spending habits enslaving people around the world? And could Fair Trade stuff EVER be cute?

I did a lot of research - finding Fair Trade companies, reading about fast fashion, and remembering the Bangladesh factory collapse.  

After all my research, I concluded a couple of things

    1. The way I buy clothes does, in fact, impact other people’s lives
    2. I cared more about my style than people around the world…and that needed to change
    3. There are a lot of Fair Trade companies that actually have cute clothes!

So I decided that my New Year’s Resolution for 2014 would be committing to shop ethically.

Because of this commitment I have become more passionate and excited about Fair Trade and its impact on the world.

With Fair Trade, I feel as though shopping now has meaning and purpose.

I am treating another human being with respect, I am creating economic growth for a family or community, and all the while I’m getting something that looks great on me!

I want to continue to share my journey with you throughout my blog posts - both the good and the bad of ethical fashion - and maybe you can make the same resolution next year!

Fair Trade Outfit

Necklace: Noonday Collection Dress: Liz Alig Shoes: Hiptipico

Fair Trade Accessory from IndiaSweet Clementine Necklace review:

    • The first time I saw this necklace I wanted it!
    • A couple of times when I bent over the clasp came undone. This was a tad annoying. 

 Lucy Dress Review: 

    • Dress is soft to the touch and they have lots of incredible colors- the colors are prettier in person. Online the colors look dull and kind of ugly.
    • The buttons are very cute, but incredibly hard to button all by myself! When my husband isn’t around I spend a good amount of time (and sweat, let’s be honest) trying to get all the buttons myself! 

Santander Flat Review: 

    • These were completely different from the pictures I was shown online - worked out for the better in this case…it would have been a bigger problem if they looked worse.
    • They have writing on the inside of the shoes that doesn’t look very professional - but it doesn’t affect how cute they are on the outside.
    • They are extremely lightweight which makes me feel like they will wear down easily.

What things hold you back from buying fair trade or shopping ethically?

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