Fair Trade Commerce Changing Lives for Zapotec Artisans

Manos Zapotecas

One of the first brands I encountered on my journey in sustainable blogging, Manos Zapotecas has been and always will be a favorite of mine. Every piece they produce is so unique with some of the coolest patterns around {I can spot one of these beauties a mile away!}. I have my own collection of totes & small handbags, and hope to start working on my MZ casa collection very soon! YES - that's right, they now have rugs and pillow covers!! I am constantly impressed with the quality & aesthetic, and it has been exciting watching them grow over the last few years. Us conscious consumers can't get enough of Manos Zapotecas & I'm here to share with you why...

Manos Zapotecas was founded by Shelley Tennyson, who saw an opportunity for the weavers of Oaxaca when she was volunteering with a microfinance non-profit in 2009. Shelley taught business classes to female loan recipients, and quickly realized no matter how beautiful the product or business savvy they were it was nearly impossible for them to fully support themselves and their families through their craft. By bringing the product to a global market, the weavers would finally have a chance to create sustainable income and use their talents to the fullest. Today, Manos Zapotecas employs 50 weavers in Oaxaca!! 

I fall for the bright & bold - I love my designs loud, yet timeless. There are several Zapotec traditional designs you can see - here - but several of the MZ patterns are created by weavers themselves and are modern interpretations of their tribal patterns, as well as a few abstract expressions. They use bi-peddle treadle looms, and a completed woven piece is called a tapete {woolen tapestry}. The wool is colored using natural dyes from plant, animal and mineral sources, like nuts & flowers, cochineal bugs & indigo. The colors come out stunning!

I've been eyeballing the Fringe handbags for the last year, and have become quite fond of my Camino Palomita bag - it's pretty gorgeous, right?! My MZ bags never disappoint, and I'm already itching to get my hands on some decor for next year. Which MZ piece is your favorite?

To shop all of MZ's collections click - here - & stay up-to-date with all the pretty photos & prints on Instagram

Plus, use code sustainablychic for 20% off your entire purchase {excludes clutches}!

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Timeless, Practical & Vegan | Handbags for Everyday

Canopy Verde

A line of handbags which can be appreciated & loved by vegans AND conscious consumers alike...

Linda, the creator of Canopy Verde, has seen first-hand the waste produced from the fashion industry & frankly, she had enough. Why couldn't we experience fashion in the most eco-friendly & fashionable way possible? She didn't want to have a lot of 'stuff' & who could blame her... everyday, I am trying to weed out my hoarding habits I've had over the last year. I think for most of us, we want something to last year after year - a piece we can pair with any outfit no matter the season or occasion. With Canopy Verde, this is possible. 

Canopy Verde is inspired by Linda's love for mid-century Danish design, the feel of her Brooklyn neighborhood, and her ethics towards earth-friendly & sustainable products. She has a close friend who she is partnered with in Hong Kong, and they make sure to cut down on as much waste as possible & use the resources they have left. Since I am such a family oriented person, it makes me especially happy she can spend time with her family in Hong Kong when she is overseeing production :D 

I've been rocking the cross body this holiday season, which you can find in several different colors to match your wardrobe / mood. This particular vegan handbag can be found in graphite, royal blue, coral, matte gray & gold {like the one pictured}. As someone who has been in the fashion industry for a good chunk of time {making & selling goods}, I know when I see quality - & this cross body fits the bill. Simple yet well made, this bag is going to last you through the years. 

Plus, they have several other styles to fit your daily needs! Find weekenders, clutches, wristlets, wallets & more on their Etsy - here

Make sure to stay up-to-date with everything Canopy Verde on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter!

p.s. - I've paired the cross body with a lovely outfit from SiiZU on the blog last week! 

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Kids Can Be Kids in Joyful Organic Clothing

Ateljee

The obsession with cacti and animal illustrations is real these days, and I'm loving every minute of it. If you are, too, then you are probably going to fall in love with this San Francisco-based children's unisex clothing brand, Ateljee {Finnish for French word “Atelier”}. This adorable kiddo's brand wants to merge both the California spirit with Scandinavian values and designs. With Ateljee, kids don't have to feel bound to traditional stereotypes. There is no 'girls' or 'boys' section - all prints created are for any care free imaginative youngster ages 0-9. For the smallest ones, we know they aren't picking their clothes out for themselves just yet, but they will appreciate the fact it's all made from organic cotton! 

Ateljee knows the importance of using high quality, sustainable fabrics to support a cleaner lifestyle for your family & a lower carbon footprint on the Earth. Each garment is made with GOTS certified organic cotton, printed in Europe for the best digital printing quality and sewn locally in California. 

Now, it's time to see some really sweet prints any eco mom or dad would enjoy. 

I'll start with my favorite - the cacti - from their AW 2016 Collection. Ateljee created two different cactus patterns for hoodies, dresses, leggings, onesies, shirts and blankets. I love the playfulness of their illustrations. Very light-hearted and fun - & I'm not just saying this because I have thing for plants. ;) 

& their SS 2017 line {coming soon} is darling!! Their photos and prints are like story books making it impossible to not want to be a part of. 

Gosh, they make me wish I had my own little one to dress... :P 

However, I'm sure many of you do so click - here - to shop Ateljee's AW 2016 collection! Then take cute photos to share with me :D Thanks!!

& make sure to stay up-to-date with everything creative on Instagram and Facebook.

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Sleep Easy | Fair Trade Organic Cotton Sheets

Syona Home

I'm new to the organic bedding game. I started this journey with clothing about 5 years ago, and quickly realized how many everyday items I use are affected by unfair practices. I remember, during my studies, we spoke about soft goods and how every season department stores experienced a surplus of sheets. Where did they go? Most importantly - Who made them, and what were they made from? The answers weren't too pretty, but the more sustainable options were limited. The organic cotton sheets I did find on the market were a bit pricey {I'm talking $400+ just for the standard sheets}. I ended up purchasing some Lyocell sheets on sale from Bed Bath & Beyond - a great fiber, but absolutely no transparency. Brands like Syona Home are helping fill that void in the market, so conscious consumers won't have the same challenges I faced 5 years ago. They are honest, transparent and fair - oh & their sheets aren't too shabby ;) 

Syona Home makes an incredibly soft set of sheets, and I have loved every night's rest I've had with them. Pictured is the Corda Classic in Bright White & Simple Taupe. The nautical-like rope embroidered detail adds a lovely touch perfect for living in Charleston, SC. I'm sure many of you love the maritime theme for your own room, so this may become your new favorite minimalistic detailing. Adds a little something special to plain white sheets! If you are looking for a vintage, sophisticated style their Avani set is made for you, and the Ettan has a lovely contrast of blue and white. All three of their collections use 100% organic cotton supporting sustainable farming practices. Plus, the sheets are produced in manufacturing facilities which use low-impact and non-toxic dye. Syona Home is Certified Fair Trade & Global Organic Textile Standard Certified, and good news for our wallets - they are priced at 50-70% less than luxury brands of the same quality! 

& they don't stop there!! Syona Home has partnered with Smile Foundation & Charity Water to donate 15% of their gross margins. That's comfy sheets, fair labor, eco materials AND charity support. How can buying a pair of sheets get any better?

To rest easy, click here.

 

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Patagonia Slippers on a Mission | To Sustain Jobs & Cuddle Feet

Chilote House Shoes

Warm Feet & Happy Soul

If you read most of my posts, you know I love a brand who makes being at home extra cozy. My feet are always cold, and never without socks or shoes. When I put Chilote's wool slippers on for the first time I became instantly hooked. These little guys are like walking on warm pillows & will treat you right all winter long. Besides their ultra-comfiness & practicality, they have an amazing mission behind them, as well - one I know you conscious consumers will appreciate greatly! 

Chilote's Wool Slippers are handmade by independent artisan women in Patagonia through a co-op system of ethical production. Each pair is made with a lot love, and helps sustain culture & its unique craft. When I first started my ethical clothing journey 5 years ago, I fell in love with the idea of preserving artisans' crafts. Naturally, Chilote is a brand I can get behind 100% & one I wish I knew years ago! 

The artisans keep their carbon footprint low by using locally sourced materials. The natural raw sheep wool is extremely warm and cuddly. The loose knit & fiber properties help keep the slipper both insulated and ventilated {so no sweaty feet, of course!}. The sole is made of salmon leather, a locally re-purposed and up-cycled renewable material which is durable, soft and flexible. My apartment is half carpet and wood flooring, and they work great on both! Plus, the neutral tones make them easy to pair with all your leisure wear. {if you're like me, even your after work clothes need to match & look good :P}

What is really cool for us techies is their product code links attached to their packaging. Just scan it and find more information about the artisan you are supporting. I love when products get intimate like this! Makes you truly appreciate the craftsmanship & creates a connection between maker and consumer we don't see often enough. My slippers came from Puerto Varas, also known as the city of roses. If you want to see a gorgeous town - google this place, now!! 

& guess what, parents!? They make baby shoes, too and they are the sweetest! 

Visit www.chiloteshoes.com to shop their collection, and make sure to stay up-to-date through social media on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

Now, go spoil your feet & help preserve a craft at the same time!! 

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