Get & Give: Style that Gives Back

This summer, we’re focusing our attention on fashion that doesn’t just look good, it does some good too. Each week we’ll be spotlighting some of our favorite Fair Trade items that have been carefully crafted all over the globe. From hollow brass earrings made by hand in Kenya to Cana Flecha Cuffs crafted in Colombia, we’re thrilled to present you not only with the gorgeous pieces, but the stories behind them as well. It will be a fashion inspiration unlike any other.

A beautiful patchwork coin purse made by artisans in Kenya, Liberia, and Burundi.

What exactly is a “Fair Trade” item, you ask? It’s exactly what it sounds like. All Fair Trade workers receive a just, living wage for their work. In addition, they are taught how to build sustainable businesses that will have only a positive effect on their communities. Money spent on a Fair Trade purchase will make its way back to improving an entire community. Exciting, right?

Today we’re happy to be showcasing the beautiful Patchwork Coin Purses from Global Handmade Hope. This organization began in 2009 after returning from a mission trip to Rwanda. Their primary mission is to promote social justice, specifically in Eastern Africa. How do they do this? They offer artists the opportunity to sell their handmade goods in order to help them provide food, housing, education, and gain access to medical care.

A Thank-You quilt from the artisans!

This specific project enables women from various backgrounds and places – Kenya, Liberia, and Burundi – to not only improve their sewing skills, but help develop their business and marketing sense. This, in turn, allows them to provide for their families and grow as a community. Not to mention, the coin purses they produce are BEAUTIFUL! With a mix of bold patterns and meticulous sewing, these coin purses are not only well made but incredibly fashion-forward. (Remember our It List post from January? Patterns are in!) You won’t just look great, you’ll feel great knowing that you’re giving back.

We’ll be checking back in next week with absolutely lovely beaded bracelets from rural Southern Africa, so stay tuned!

Fashion for a cause is the most stylish of all. How do you like to give back?

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