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Bringing Tradition to Modern Living With Stunning Handwoven Accessories & Home Goods

Home, FashionNatalie Kay

Mayamam Weavers

By now you know I'm a sucker for some gorgeous textiles {but who am I kidding, aren't most of us who are reading this blog?!}. The first time I saw Mayamam Weavers, I knew they were a perfect fit for Sustainably Chic. The colors, the patterns, the sustainability - a match made in heaven for me! 

Why I Love Mayamam Weavers

1. The Tradition. There is nothing I appreciate more in a garment than the tradition behind its creation. I've always been drawn to textiles, and if they have a story, all the better! The Mayamam Weavers use weaving techniques of Mayan culture. The cooperative making up Mayamam Weavers was founded in 2008 in Cajolá, a Mayan town in the western highlands of Guatemala. 

2. The Sustainable Jobs. The women came together to form this cooperative in order to overcome poverty while not having to migrate in the U.S. & leave their families behind. They have now grown to 20 weavers, all who are making a fair wage and learning how to run a business. They even have on-site childcare & adult literacy classes for the community. These women are quite the inspiration!

{Mayamam Weavers are based in Morriston, NJ & are proud members of the Fair Trade Federation.}

3. The Collection. From home goods to clothing goods, Mayamam Weavers collection is full of bold colors and beautiful patterns. They carry aprons, kitchen towels, table cloths, coasters, you name it.. you can deck your home out in vibrant colors! For accessories, they create wraps {like I'm wearing}, scarves, bags, belts and even a few little things for the men in our lives! 

4. The prices. I found another affordable, fair trade brand for you :) The wrap I'm wearing is $44!!! Pretty amazing, right?!

What I'm Wearing & Using in my Home

Soft & Neutral Wrap in Champagne & Blue Grey: Is this not the perfect background for these colors?! They even create a special visual effect with the woven pattern. Since it is made from 100% cotton, you can get away with wearing this for most of the year. It's long enough to even lay out on the sand, and catch some rays.. which I will be doing soon! 

Celebration Coasters: Made on a traditional backstrap loom, these guys will be sure to add a nice burst of color to your living room and dining room. I've got a lot of wood furniture, and I hate rings from cups {my Grandmaman has always gotten after me if I didn't use a coaster. Now, I have zero excuse!}. So many fun colors to choose from, too :)

Where to Purchase

Shop Mayamam Weavers entire collection online, and don't forget to follow all the beauty on Instagram


Sustainably Supported by Mayamam Weavers. As always, all views are genuine & products are truly loved! Help support the brands who support Sustainably Chic, so I can continue to bring you the best in sustainable fashion, beauty & lifestyle :) Thanks, everyone! #sponsored

5 Reasons Why Sustainable Local Food Is Better for Everyone 

Conscious Lists, HomeNatalie Kay
 Food Wrap by  SuperBee

Food Wrap by SuperBee

Guest Post by Megan Ray Nichols

Buying local is all the rage. Farmer’s markets and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs are more prevalent now than ever. If you’re wondering if buying food like this is actually a good thing for the environment, you’ll be pleased to know it is! There are many reasons why buying local food is good for you and your community. We’ll only look at a few here. Check it out!


1. Fewer Transport Costs

If you’re interested in protecting the environment, you won’t have any issue with trying to lower your carbon footprint. Shipping fruits and vegetables in from halfway around the world uses a pretty significant amount of fossil fuels. Farmers need to harvest the crops, just like it does when you buy it from a place down the road, but it also has to travel a much longer distance. Boats, trains and trucks may all be used to get a few boxes of tomatoes to your local store. 

Additionally, shipping foods over long distances increases the chance of contamination and spoilage.  When contaminated food reaches the public, it can cause health issues for consumers. Spoiled food is wasted, meaning businesses will take a hit to their profits. Fortunately, farmer’s market stand owners usually travel a short distance to sell their goods there, so they have a significantly smaller chance of spoilage which means the farmer can profit, which in turn boosts the local economy.

2. Put Money Directly Into the Local Economy

One of the reasons for the disappearing middle class in America is due to large companies siphoning out everyone’s money to the top 1%. Keeping your money in your community actually has an impact. Since local farms are often smaller they larger corporations don’t back them. Many are even multi-family farms who share equipment and land in order to reduce individual costs. 

This results in an investment for the local economy. Local businesses who do all of their business in your area are forced to be more honest and ethical than those who have hundreds of miles separating the producer and consumer. 

3. Help Support Small Businesses

If one of your complaints is that large corporations have too much power, then of course you should buy local food. New ideas and competition can’t exist if smaller companies are never able to get off the ground.

This helps promote small business growth, which is vital to supporting your local economy, just like the tip above. If your area is entirely reliant on large corporations, the town will suffer significantly if they move. Small businesses help make a town self-sustainable. Buying local food doesn’t just support farmers — it supports other small businesses as well. Farmers work with seed suppliers, truckers, other farms, restaurants and meat suppliers. 

4. Learn How to Grow Your Own Food

One of the coolest things about a small business making a go of it is that they need help. They’re usually willing and excited to share their knowledge. If you go to a farmer’s market and ask around about how to grow vegetables, you’ll probably be invited back to someone’s farm! 

Of course, learning to grow your own food is the best thing you can do. It’s surprisingly empowering to have control over your own food supply, especially when it works! You might spend an entire summer not paying for produce, then slowly expand to providing your own produce throughout the year.

5. Promote Diversity

Buying local promotes both biodiversity and cultural diversity, doing double duty. Small farms provide a wider array of produce in a smaller area. This is a huge benefit to the local wildlife. Of course, you don’t want them eating all of your plants, but the proper planting can reduce pesticide use, protect the plants and help the wildlife! 

Cultural diversity encompasses keeping local traditions alive. For example, shoo fly pie is popular in small parts of the East coast, and traditional Native American cuisine can be found sparsely in the West. Food is a great way to preserve your heritage, whatever it is. 

No matter why you want to buy local food, you’re doing a good thing. It helps the environment, community and yourself. Find a local farmer’s market and experience the benefits yourself!


Megan Ray Nichols enjoys keeping up with new developments on renewable energy and other environmental issues on her blog, Schooled By Science.

 

 

Zero-Waste Challenge : Part 1

Lifestyle, HomeNatalie Kay

in the midst of the storm...

A group of ladies within the Ethical Writer's Coalition & myself have decided to undergo a two week ZERO-WASTE challenge! & yes.. it has been a big challenge ;) Especially with everything happening in the Southeast. Hurricane Matthew has made me evacuate my apartment in Johns Island, SC {Charleston} & brought me to beautiful Asheville.. therefore, I'm not really complaining. I'm worried with Charleston's vulnerability to floods, but we are safe & that's what matters. Crossing my fingers for my hometown of Jax, FL and my family & friends who await the craziness, tonight. Anyway, I digress... 

It Comes Down to Balance | A magazine about Less & More

Lifestyle, HomeNatalie Kay
 Kettle & Teacup by  Terra Klay

Kettle & Teacup by Terra Klay

NEVOAZUL

I believe I have stumbled {with much excitement} across my favorite fall read... NEVOAZUL is an independent magazine {written in both English & Portuguese} "where minimalism, consumerism and sustainability merge with art, literature & culture". As someone who promotes a more sustainable wardrobe and can't have a full day without being bit by the tech bug, this magazine offers me a moment of check & balance. I strive for the usual sense of daily balance, but become quickly distracted by the 'follows' & constant emails. Reading others' stories on sustainability, art & minimal lifestyles is inspiring for many of us, especially for those who feel trapped in a consumer driven world {& their phones :D!}. 

Within NEVOAZUL's first edition you dig into Einstein's minimalist life, digital influencers dealing with balance in reality and blog, importance of organic cotton, wisdom of Greek philosophers, beauty in the broken and so much more... Every new story I came to I immediately fell in love & upon finishing, dug for more information online {yeah, see! I can't get off my phone}. When I read, I want to learn - I'm not one who reads for fun - yeah, I know people find this odd :P. However, with this print, I learned a lot & thoroughly enjoyed myself in the process. I can't wait to get my hands on their next edition, and this one will definitely be passed on to my friends. Are you wanting to dive in the world of simple living & balance {or already there & living the life!}? I highly recommend adding NEVOAZUL to your reading list. You can purchase it online - here - Plus, if you prefer a digital print, they have this option, as well. Personally, it's a breath of fresh air for me to have the print edition. Give those eyes a tech break ;) I'm already practicing my balance...

4 Ethical Tech Accessories Under $50

Conscious Lists, Lifestyle, HomeNatalie Kay

For your Phones, Cameras & Comps...

With almost 10 million tons of technology products being thrown out in the US alone & more cell phones in existence than humans, e-waste is a serious issue. Advancements in technology are only going to bring about more products for you to use, and we should be careful about what we pair that product with. Most of you reading this have a cell phone - so we can start there ;) Click below to see some of my favorite 'eco' companions to our tech collection.