It is easy for me to grow passionate about something and talk about it continually but then never actually do something.
Am I passionate about fair trade products? Absolutely. In word. Of course I don’t want my love of chocolate to cause some small child to be in slavery. However, how often does that affect me? Do I think about that while standing in the candy aisle? Very rarely.
After reading When Helping Hurts, I wanted to make choices in lifestyle and the way I viewed others as responsibly as possible to empower change, not perpetuate a cycle. (If you have not read the book, I highly recommend it). Going back to the issue of teaching a man to fish, not just giving him one.
Needing new shoes, I was delighted when Cherise posted these links and have actually ordered two pairs of shoes.
“Sseko Designs is a sandal company based in Uganda. We make beautiful leather sandals with interchangeable fabric straps that can be styled in hundreds of ways…We believe that our stuff has a story and that every dollar you spend is a vote for the way you think the world should work.”
Check out http://ssekodesigns.com to how this works! There are dozens of ways the sandals can be tied. You order one pair initially but can order as many additional straps as you would like. They are very high quality and seem to be really well.
On their website, there are easy tutorials to learn your favorite ties. You can even accessorize them.
The second set of shoes are handmade in Ethiopia!
Sole Rebels is a fair-trade company in Ethiopia.
Here is what they say about themselves on their website.
“At our core, we at soleRebels are creative artisans who aim to craft the coolest and most comfortable eco-friendly footwear. We do this by combining our heritage artisan crafts with modern design sensibilities, while pouring our creative selves into our shoes. The final result is that when our footwear is bought, the purchaser can SEE, FEEL, and enjoy all the elements of heart, soul, and creative craftsmanship that have gone into their construction.”
They have many styles and I love them! My shoes were very high quality, well made and VERY comfortable. Not to mention, how fun is it to know your soles are recycled from old tire?
The downside is, because every pair is handmade and shipped from Ethiopia, it takes about 4 weeks for them to arrive to you.
I ordered “tootoos” but there are many styles to choose…
What fair trade items do you love?