Fair Trade Friday

Welcome back to Fair Trade Friday! I think I’m gonna really like this series! Luke on the other hand… well, let’s just say he is a very patient photographer. πŸ™‚

This week I’m coming at you with a bag, bracelet, and some earrings. This outfit features many of my favorite things– hats, bags, and pearls! Don’t know what Trades of Hope is? Start here!

I’m trying to do the “fashion blogger pose”, but it looks like I’m just being eaten by my ginormous hat. Funny story… I didn’t want to wear these shoes. Luke’s mom let me pick out a new pair for my upcoming birthday and I was set on wearing those! Unfortunately, I somehow had two right shoes in my box! Didn’t realize this until i was trying to put them on for this outfit. Now I have to coordinate with Luke’s aunt to get them switched since they were bought in Rochester. Stay weird, people.

I’ve always been a bag girl. Especially big patterned bags like this one! Lately I’ve been lazy and carrying around the same bag for a week straight as long as it relatively coordinates with my outfits, but I need to change that. I love how this bag has so much personality. I opted to put it with a neutral-colored dress so it would stand out on its own and add the pop of color and pattern.

This bag is made by Empowered Artisans in India. Get it here.

The poverty cycle in India continues primarily because of the lack of proper education. Most schools are not free in India and many cannot afford to send their children to school. Girls’ educations are often neglected as they are considered burdens on their families. Therefore, many children never learn to read or write and grow up to very limited opportunities. A sweatshop is the only work option for most and the caste-system causes heart-breaking discrimination. However, through this artisan group, futures are being transformed. Women are being empowered and their children are provided with a free education. An impact to be felt for generations to come.


During the winter, it’s rare to NOT see me sporting some type of hat, whether it be a beret or a beanie. I only have two summer hats at the moment, but I’m sure I will be switching out my winter hats for summer ones in the next couple of months! My winter hats have served me well as I live in the North, but I will happily hang them up for the last time as we get down to the South! I actually picked this hat up in Japan last summer, and proceeded to obsessively wear it as much as I could before the weather got cold again. It’s shorter in the back and floppier in the front, which is interesting when you’re trying to take pics and it’s eating your face. It does help keep me in shape on windy days though, since it’s always trying to fly off!

This bracelet is made by Empowered Artisans in Thailand. Yes, they’re real freshwater pearls! Did you know you can scrape a pearl on your tooth and if it feels gritty, you know it’s real? I’ve always been a pearl-lover, so I know weird facts like this.

I love that the pearls on this bracelet aren’t round, but they’re oblong in shape. They’re also all shaped differently, which further show the unique nature of the bracelet. Get the bracelet here.

This artisan group’s primary focus is on restoring and empowering the strength of women in Thailand, as artists and designers. This group is proud to work with a beautiful array of diversity, from the Karen Hill tribe, to the Thai people, to the Hmong women in the mountains. One group of people they partner with is a group of women in a small town hours from a nearby city. The only viable job opportunity in the town is typically farming. Farming is hard on the women, and so many women end up moving to the cities to find work and send money home. This, unfortunately, creates a separation of the mother from her children and family. This group is dedicated to helping mothers stay in their hometown and find work, giving them the ability to stay with their families and take care of their children.

Some of the Burmese students I helped with their English this past school year lived in Refugee camps in Thailand before coming to America. It was interesting to hear their stories of Thailand….having them cook us traditional Thai food wasn’t so bad either. πŸ˜‰

These earrings are made by Empowered Artisans in the Philippines. They’re made out of Capiz Shells, so I’m reminded of the beach every time they *clink* together. You can barely feel them in your ears since they are so dainty and light, so they’re perfect for summer days. They’re also a nice neutral color so they go with everything! Get them here.

A girl in the Philippines is discriminated against early in life due to culture and customary gender biases. Girls are usually allotted less food than their father and brothers despite their nutritional needs. When money is hard to come by boys are usually the ones who receive an education, while the girls do not attend school. They usually take on the submissive role and are abused. Fair Trade groups are making it possible for these women to develop skills and sell their products.

*Artisan info. is from the Trades of Hope website*

If you’re interested in shopping this look, here are the links:

Indian Messenger Bag

Thai Pearl Bracelet

Inverted Capiz Earrings

I thrifted this dress from ThredUp! Use my referral link for $10 off your first order!


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