Friday Favorites: TOH Fall 2020 Collection

I am a partner with Trades of Hope which is a beautiful company that uses fashion as a force for good to empower women around the world out of extreme poverty and human trafficking.  We partner with artisans in 19 different countries including right here in the US through job creation.  We believe that business, not charity, is the long-term solution to solving the global poverty crisis.  Our artisans are given a job creating gorgeous, handcrafted, artisanal jewelry, handbags, home décor, and more.  They are paid a fair and living wage through fair trade, which allows them to provide for their family’s basic needs, get access to health care, job training, and therapeutic services. The work that we do is really making a difference in the lives of women all over the world. It is giving women the opportunity to truly change their lives. I am very passionate about my work with TOH and like to share some of my favorites each season because I love the beautiful work our artisans do so much.  Our fall collection, entitled Renaissance of Thought, was released last month, and I am so in love with the jewel-toned colors and the uniqueness of each piece.  Check out some of my favorites from this collection.

Bijou Bracelet

The Bijou Bracelet is made by women in Haiti who are now able to keep their babies instead of turning them over to orphanages because they can’t provide for them.  This bracelet is made up of hand-rolled and painted Haitian clay beads, natural sodalite stone beads, steel beads, and hand-rolled cereal box beads. That’s right, our artisans take discarded cereal boxes and turn them into something unique and beautiful.

Makensia is one of the artisans that creates the Bijou Bracelet.  Here is her story of hope.

Surrounded by the tropical beauty of Haiti, Makensia is also surrounded by extreme poverty. But neither poverty, nor the death of a child, nor domestic abuse have defined her. She has persevered through many challenging seasons and continues to pursue good things for her family.

 

While many mothers in her village have been forced to make the heartbreaking decision to give up their children to poverty orphanages to save them from starvation, this mother of five has been able to earn enough income to keep her family together by hand rolling beads and making jewelry from discarded cereal boxes. Your purchase helps Makensia continue to keep her family together. 

Trades of Hope

Zanmi Earrings

These beautiful Zanmi Earrings are also created by women in Haiti who are working to be able to keep and feed their babies. They are made from lightweight, upcycled aluminum with hand-tied navy tassels. I love how they recycle items that we often discard.

Ismaella is one of the artisans that creates the Zanmi Earrings.  Here is her story of hope in her own words. 

“In Haiti, life is difficult. In an unorganized society, men often don’t respect women, and fathers often do not take responsibility for their children. Women have to become strong to survive and to support their children. 

 

We are a small community of strong women. We share good and bad times, and because we spend so much time together, we have become a second family. The opportunity to earn money allows us to become better than we could have imagined. We can go farther, and we can understand that we have potential for great things. We can take care of ourselves and our families.” 

Trades of Hope

Amara Necklace

This gorgeous necklace is created by women and men in India who are now able to provide for their families. Yes, we do sometimes have men that work alongside our women artisans!  The Amara Necklace features a paper clip linked adjustable chain, a handcrafted gold-toned filigree charm, and a genuine labradorite gemstone charm.  

Dulal is one of the men who helps to create the Amara Necklace.  Here is his story of hope in his own words. 

“When I was 19 years old, I wasn’t interested in further studies. My life was just sad. I was not aware of my abilities and was just in search of some work. I was depressed due to economic conditions. Then my friend introduced me to this work. My previous boss used to treat me very badly. Now, I enjoy my work! It’s helping my family and me. I’m capable enough to fulfill my needs, and I’m making all types of handmade jewelry. So overall, it’s a big achievement for me! I’m happy to be an Artisan. I have hope for a good life in the future!”

Trades of Hope

Aura Earrings

The Aura Earrings are created by women in the Phillipines who are rising up out of extreme poverty.  These elegant earrings are very lightweight and are created using natural capiz shells that are hand-cut by these women to create these geometric shapes. 

Emelyn is one the artisans that creates these earrings. Here her story of hope.

After financial struggles forced Emelyn and her siblings to drop out of school during her first year of college, Emelyn went to work at a fast-food restaurant. At the restaurant, she met the granddaughter of a local businesswoman who taught women how to make jewelry and art from capiz shells. Amazed by the Artisans’ creativity, Emelyn eagerly learned each step of the production process. Now, this twenty-four-year-old is able to support her parents, send her younger brother back to school, and buy land to build her family a home. She even co-manages the workshop’s entire capiz production process, along with the owner’s granddaughter! 

Trades of Hope

Rita Scarf

This intricate scarf is handcrafted by artisans in India using ancient Bagru block printing techniques and natural indigo dyes. It features a multi-color border with shades of crimson red, emerald green and gold. It is very generous in size and can be used in the traditional way around your neck, as a headwrap, as a vest, or even wrapped around your waist! The possibilities are endless. 

The Rita Scarf is created by women like Babli.  Here is her story of hope. 

Babli creates traditional Bagru block-printed scarves in a quaint family workshop in India. Her family takes great pride in being one of only a few workshops in their village who are able to create these unique designs without the use of machines.

 

Babli’s husband learned these skills after his income as a manual laborer wasn’t enough to provide for their essential needs. As their family grew, Babli wanted their children to be able to enjoy a good education. So Babli and her mother studied and practiced until they became master craftswomen.  

 

Babli’s work empowers her to send her children to school and save toward her family’s dream of owning their own home. 

Trades of Hope

Everyday Crossbody

The Everyday Crossbody is handcrafted in India by women who have gained freedom from sweatshops.  It is beautifully handcrafted from ethically sourced leather and features an expertly hidden exterior slip pocket, an adjustable strap, and an adorable cotton-lined interior with an additional zippered storage pocket.  

Women like Rafiqan work to create this beauty. Here is her story of hope.

Rafiqan lives near Jaipur, a city renowned for its legendary artisanal workshops. Extreme poverty in many of the surrounding villages often results in the exploitation of vulnerable Artisans – especially women – in sweatshops with unsafe workspaces, unreasonable hours, and unfair wages. Committed to empowering Artisans, this workshop trained Rafiqan in the art of leather crafting. She began as a materials cutter and can now make an entire bag – from start to finish – by herself! Now Rafiqan is able to earn a living wage in a safe clean workspace. Your purchase helps Rafiqan earn enough income to provide for her family’s needs and send her children to school. 

Trades of Hope

Aren’t these all so amazing? Not only are they beautifully crafted, but the stories behind them are truly inspirational.  To shop for these gems or any of our other pieces or to learn more about our mission at Trades of Hope, you can visit my website here.  Every purchase is empowering women (and men) around the world to become the heroes of their own stories.  

Anchored in HOPE,

**This post contains commissioned links. Should you choose to purchase items using these links, I may earn a small commission.

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