Fair Trade Designs
Do you think fair trade and style are contradictory terms?
Does eco-friendly mean boring and frumpy to you?
I believe you can shop ethically without sacrificing your style.
At Fair Trade Designs, you’ll discover a carefully curated selection of accessories chic enough for a high-end boutique. Unlike those boutiques, however, our accessories are handcrafted by artisans who are paid and treated fairly and produced with respect for the earth.
But Fair Trade Designs is more than the products. It’s about the people behind the products, their lives, stories, families, and struggles. I want you to know who you’re buying from and why your purchase makes a difference in their lives. That’s why every product description includes the story of the artisans behind it.
Why did I start this business? A social justice course* opened my eyes to the plight of the world’s working poor, the majority of whom are women trying to eke out a living in sweatshops or by making their own crafts.
I also learned about the power of fair trade and how it gives these women economic significance by bringing them sustainable, fair wages. But like many, I thought fair trade products were nothing more than traditional knick-knacks.
The deeper I dug, the more I realized how wrong I was. I began to uncover fashion accessories that spoke to my eye for style, quality, and earth-friendly production methods. The lightbulb that came on in my head—that I could share my finds and the fair trade philosophy—was the impetus for starting Fair Trade Designs.
Feature articles in national publications such as USA Today’s Best Years magazine, Eco-Fashion World (“Giving Hope Through Fashion”), and Project Eve (“Fashion For A Cause”)have helped spread the word. And kind words from our many returning customers keep me motivated to carry on.
Every purchase you make here directly benefits the artisans, strengthening women-led producer groups looking for a way out of poverty. My hope is you’ll take a look at my products and buy them not only because they’re fair trade, but also because they’re beautiful and you love them.
You’ll not only look good wearing our accessories,
you’ll feel good knowing you’ve made a difference in the lives of the world’s poor.
Photo at right courtesy of Laura Cottril Photography