I don’t know about you, but I love accessories so much. I have a million plain, ratty tee shirts that I wear over and over and switch out the scarves and necklaces. Accessories are my favorite way to express myself, I mean, besides making up words, and they fit one hundred percent of the time, whether I’ve partaken of the waffle fries or not. So for Slave-Free Christmas, here’s the big list of purses, jewelry, and scarves.
Who else loves a good purse? Our bags become a part of us and represent different outings and phases of our lives. Don’t you love swapping out the huge honkin’ diaper bag for the teeny date night bag? I’m a sucker for a killer cross-body bag that leaves me hands-free for wrangling All the Kids.
Purse and Clutch – COUPON CODE: “SlaveFree” (free U.S. shipping)
This has become my go-to company for quality fair trade bags that always look and perform perfectly. Their goal is to make buying fair trade as easy as possible so that they can create as many jobs for their artisans as possible. They curate the most fashionable bags around and keep everything under $100.
Joyn utilizes as many pairs of hands as possible per item. More hands mean more jobs, so Joyn seeks to make everything as handmade as possible. It takes 14 sets of hands to make one of their items. Everything is hand-picked (organic cotton), handwoven, hand block printed, hand stitched. These hands live in northern India, where they receive a good work environment, education for their kids, vocational training, and medical coverage for their families.
Located in Phnom Penh and the Saang district of Cambodia, Sak Saum is a ministry dedicated to the rescue, restoration, transformation and rehabilitation of vulnerable and exploited women and men. Sak Saum is pioneering a model of self-sustaining ministry. They’ve created a nurturing, empowering, restorative program which facilitates vocational training in sewing, excellent products, and community development.
Freeset isn’t just a business. These guys are located in the largest red light district of Kolkata, India, and they offer jobs to women trapped in the sex trade. The women in their employ receive fair wages, health care, and pension plans. They enter the job with little or no skills, and Freeset provides job training and a community where they have access to child care, literacy classes, and budgeting and debt management classes. Our purchases from Freeset support the women employed there, their families, and the farmers growing the fair trade, organic cotton.
Sutisana seeks to provide emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual restoration for women leaving brothels in Bolivia. I love how their website explains its name: “Suti is an indigenous Aymaran word meaning “name,” and sana means “healed” in Spanish. As the women leave their broken lives in the brothels to begin the long process of restoration, they leave behind the names they worked under. Within caring community, women can finally experience healing of names and identities.”
Mi Esperanza means “my hope,” and through Mi Esperanza women are finding a new sense of hope, self empowerment, and the stability to gain control of their future. The program provides life-sustaining change in the lives of women in the villages surrounding Tegucigalpa, Honduras, elevating women out of poverty by giving them the tools and resources they need to break the cycle of poverty.
Karama champions the development of small businesses and provides access for artisans to a global marketplace – that’s us! They are all about restoring dignity for people living in poverty through creative and purposeful work. And I love that they invest in African teens through the Young Life program.
My grandmommy told me when I was a child that “good things come in small packages.” Good things like unique jewelry that sparkles and tells a story. Bling bling, blingity bling, bling bling blingity bling, bling bling bling…
My friend Dawn is a fun and fierce mama who truly makes life beautiful. Each month she selects a new organization to which she donates part of her profits. Her work is as beautiful as her friendship.
I met Amy Tilson through Allume and have loved learning about Trades of Hope from her. Trades of Hope partners with women artisans from all over the world to help market and sell their beautiful products. These artisans are paid four to six times more than what they would normally make, so that they can take care of their families and send their kids to school.
Rahab’s Rope works with women who are at risk or have been in the commercial sex trade in India. They provide a safe and loving environment where the women can grow mentally and spiritually, as well as education and vocational training. They have an online shop selling the products made by these courageous women.
Vi Bella began in 2011 to help families living in extreme poverty in Haiti, providing steady work that would assure food, shelter, and education to families in communities where jobs were so scarce. Today, with two centers in Haiti, Vi Bella expanded to the small village of Pesqueria, Mexico. The Vi Bella story has grown to provide employment, education, and opportunity to more than 30 artisans in Haiti, Mexico, and in the United States.
For the past ten years, Reflective has taken action against dirty gold and the blood diamond atrocity, writing, speaking and campaigning about ethical sourcing jewelry issues. This lead to the co-founding of Fair Jewelry Action in 2009. Reflective Images also began to introduce the option of Fairtrade gold into their work in 2011. In April 2015, after ten years as ethical sourcing pioneers, Reflective Images Jewelry became the first licensed Fairtrade Jeweler in the USA.
Noonday was started by an adoptive family. Adoptive families can host trunk shows and receive 10% of the profit for their adoptions. The products are fair trade, with artisans receiving a fair living wage, a good working condition, and a reasonable path out of poverty. They even go beyond fair trade standards, as some of the artisans aren’t just receiving a fair wage, they are part owners of their companies. They want to provide jobs for people in poverty to help keep children in families.
If I could walk around town wrapped in a fuzzy blanket I would. But since that’s both cumbersome and a little weird, I love scarves. Scarves are like wearable hugs.
COLORS – COUPON CODE: “SlaveFree25” (25% off)
COLORS, started by my friend Steen Jones, partners with three different organizations: Beloved Atlanta, 7 Bridges (a shelter for women & children leaving lives of homelessness, drug addiction, and broken situations), and the Refugee Women’s Network. Their mission is to empower women to lead healthy, creative, and sustainable lives, and they want to accomplish that by providing women with means to earn an income, everyday workforce skills, and a community that stands around them in support.
Fashionable invests in women. They say, “When a woman is empowered with work to do, whether in the home or in an office, she not only experiences the joy and satisfaction of developing a skill, she also creates change in those around her. Fashionable’s role in this story is working with women, both locally and globally, who have overcome challenges ranging from prostitution to addiction to a lack of opportunity. Every one of us understands what it means to overcome, and we are all ABLE to find purpose in the work we do.”
Okay, this is cool: Beza Threads has figured out how to measure the direct impact purchasing a scarf makes in the fight against slavery. Through its partnership with Hope for Children in Ethiopia, one child is freed from slavery for every 240 scarves sold. Within the first three years, Beza Thread’s efforts led to the release and restoration of 27 children.
Slave-Free Christmas Giveaway
I want to make your Christmas shopping REALLY EASY and send you a big box of presents. One lucky winner will get a slew of Slave-Free Christmas gifts to wrap and stick under the tree. (And if you decide to keep them all for yourself I will not judge you…maybe just a little.)
Here’s what’s coming your way:
-dolman sleeved tee from 139Made
-“I am Free” necklace from One Beautiful Life
-beaded bracelet from Trades of Hope
-paper bead ornament from Ornaments4Orphans
-stuffed animal from Mission Minded Cuties
-clutch from Joyn
-socks from Mitscoots
–The Expected One Advent devotional by Scott James
Slave-Free Christmas Challenge
This Christmas, I’ve challenged myself to shop my entire Christmas list from organizations that are helping people, not hurting people. Today, 27 million men, women, and children live as someone else’s property. Slaves are making the items that I’m buying to celebrate the birth of my Lord and Savior. Somehow I don’t think He’s blessed by the blood on His birthday presents. For more information on my Slave-Free Christmas project, click here.