Hi guys, Sarah here!
Doesn’t it feel good to be strutting down the street with that new shirt and strangers start complimenting you on it and you respond to them “Thanks! 2 dollars at Target!” It’s like telling someone you scored a touchdown in shopping. And you KNOW the person you are talking with are so jealous not only of your amazing new style, but of your sly and chic shopping skills. Not everyone can hold out for a good deal, but you did. And because you did, you found a gem. Booyah.
I’m not only proud of what I’m wearing, I’m proud of the way I’m shopping. I played the game my friend.
When I started doing this Fair Trade thing, I really and truly thought I would never be able to score a good deal again.
But I’m here to debunk this myth. With a combination of patience, risk, and the internet- you can still make that touchdown!
So, if you want to play the game, here are the rules:
Rule 1 - Patience
Compared to our “fast fashion” world where seasons change in the industry every two weeks, the fair trade industry feels like the tortoise losing the race. Sometimes I’m shocked to find that an item that I’ve looked at for over 6 months is STILL on their website. The positives of this are you can most certainly wait for the next seasonal items to come out and see if the item you have been watching will go on sale. Do they always go on sale? No, not always. But that’s the fun of the game.
Rule 2 - Risk
You don’t shop for deals expecting to get the exact thing you saw in the magazines. You shop for deals because you are ok with getting something close to, or perhaps far from, the exact look you are going for. And yet the piece you find is just as awesome and just as satisfying as what you set out to buy in the first place. I’ve gotten so many amazing fair trade items at a steal simply because I’m ok with risk. But it truly is SO RISKY! What if you don’t find anything good? What if you can’t find something similar to what you are looking for?! What if what you were waiting for is not being sold anymore? My point exactly- you gotta live with those regrets to play the game.
Rule 3 - Internet
I have only had a smart phone for the past 2 months. *Gasp! My baby had a smart phone before you!* Admittedly, your baby was probably smarter than me. Now, thanks to my smart phone, I keep up with good old social media. Social media is PR for small businesses. And guess whose businesses are, for the most part, small? Fair Trade ones! Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Email newsletters are totally the way to go. You are the first to know about great deals and when companies are having warehouse sales. I have gotten some amazing deals simply because I follow all of my fair trade companies on social media. ALL OF THEM. I have a list, and I have checked it twice. *gonna find out which deals are nice*
Check out the outfit I got from shopping in the exact way I just mapped out for you guys:
Boots: Fortress of Inca $30
I follow Fortress of Inca on Instagram and one day they posted up that they were taking part in a “Le Garage Sale” at the Event Center here in Austin. Turns out it’s a big event where tons of boutiques and shops post up and sell all their stuff for a fraction of the price. I couldn’t resist. I didn’t know what I was getting into, but I knew I needed shoes and knew I loved Fortress of Inca style.
Everything is made from real leather and everything looks like it was built to last! The only disappointment I have found is that their sizes are just slightly too wide or a little bit big in some ways. Although I got some great shoes that did fit me, I’m weary of buying online for fear that the sizes will end up being too wide or long for my foot, even if they are a size 5. They explained to me that they did not carry shoes that were measured according to the petite foot sizes.
But I am oh so happy with my purchases!
Necklace: Raven + Lily $10
I loved this necklace because it was simple and I wanted something to layer with other necklaces. This necklace was actually part of a sample sale. You could tell because some of the items did not work or look right. My necklace actually had some wires hanging around. But with a quick fix it looks as good as new!
Dress: Mata Traders $30
I get compliments on this dress all the time. AND the dress has pockets! The sizes aren’t the perfect fit - I had to return the dress (on my dollar) and then when I got the new size I wasn’t so sure it was the perfect size either. Obviously I look great in it *joking, but seriously* but it wasn’t the fit I was expecting. One last wish: that the fabric was not as stiff.
What Fair Trade deals have you found lately?