Welcome to Fair Trade Friday! So excited to start this new series.

A little over a year ago I learned about this amazing company called Trades of Hope. I love the idea of this company, especially since it lines up with what Luke and I have learned through our missions courses and what we want to do with our lives. They are Fair Trade Certified, faith-based, and the best part: their stuff is ADORABLE!! I’m not necessarily a “fashion forward” person compared to a lot of the big fashion bloggers out there… you can usually find me at a thrift store finding the weirdest stuff. I’m into earth tones, sometimes bold colors, and I’ve always been into unique/weird/bold jewelry. One of the first things that caught my eye was how bold and yet earthy this jewelry was. I’m also into bags and scarves, so this company has all the right stuff! I love the look and unique flair that handmade allows, and I’ve always been into recycled things.

We often to say that what we want to do with our lives doesn’t have a paycheck behind it. We’re not interested in the American dream of living comfortably with a big house, nice cars, lavish vacations, etc. We want to be out there impacting the world, making a difference in the lives of others and giving them hope. This is just one way that we can do that from right where we are (broke recent college grads with student loan debt!). The more I learn about the company, the more the fire ignites in my soul…. we are just  SO PASSIONATE about causes like this one.

So many women live in poverty, not because they lack abilities, but because they lack opportunity. Trades of Hope was started to give women that opportunity for a better life. Each woman has a story, and with Trades of Hope’s help, their story has changed from pain and struggle to a story of hope!
They work with the artisans themselves and organizations that are helping women in difficult circumstances. Some women have been rescued from sex slavery. Others are raising handicapped children alone. Some are in war torn countries and others have HIV/AIDS and leprosy. These women have never had the chances we’ve had, yet they are just like us in so many ways. They love their families and hope and dream of a better life for them.

I hosted a Facebook party for them a couple weeks ago and I caught the vision of this awesome company. I was also able to earn this gorgeous jewelry I’m wearing in these photos. I love that with blogging I can post a bunch of pics with (hopefully) no judgement… because they’re all cute!! Be gentle with me, I’m not a model and I’ve never done this before…. but it’s going to be fun! This necklace is so big and bold and makes me so happy. I wanted something that would really get people’s attention, and give me a chance to make a plain outfit…well, less plain. I’m not usually one for big earrings because of how curly and thick my hair is and they get caught in it, but these are AMAZING. The perfect thing for when I’m wearing my hair up.

 

Creating these handmade products go beyond helping women escape poverty by providing job training so they can become self-reliant and independent. In addition to the sustainable business that comes from crafting products, these artisans are receiving welfare programs, training activities as well as crafts promotion and producer development. And for most, they are getting healthcare and education for their children for the first time in their lives!

These earrings are made by Empowered Artisans in India

I spent way too much money on this skirt one day at Pac Sun.. but it totally jumped out at me on the rack. It swishes while I walk! I am a Maxi girl at heart, and if I could wear one every day I would. The main reason why I don’t is that it’s too cold out and I don’t have enough of them! That’s gonna change when we move to Florida.

The Indian artisans who make this necklace focus on providing education for the neediest children in their community. They have worked hard to raise enough funds to establish a school so that parents in their poor community won’t have to choose between working to provide basic needs for their families or sending their children to school. This group has given work to a multitude of women without sacrificing their desire for their children to have a bright and promising future.

I got these earrings because they came in a pack of two… I love both designs!!

 

What do you think? Am I a good model? If you’re interested in shopping this look, here are the links:

Esther Necklace(such an appropriate name… totally reminds me of something Esther would have worn!!)

Mumbai Earrings

 

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