31 August 2015

the faces behind what we wear: their stories matter

I've been working with the Noonday Collection for over a year now. If you don't know much (or anything) about the company that started just five years ago, I really believe they are changing the way we connect globally right in our living rooms. Simply put, it's fair trade jewelry and accessories. But it's so much more.

It's real faces, real stories, real connection with women and men and families in places like Ethiopia and India and Afghanistan. It's communities in Uganda and Rwanda and Vietnam and Ecuador and Guatemala who have seen transformation happen because people are sharing their stories and their work. It's knowing that not only is every piece that Noonday offers beautiful, but each is made with love and bringing sustainable, lasting change in the lives of each amazing person who makes them.

Noonday isn't the only group trying to create a lasting change in our world. I have fallen in love with the heart behind the Root Collective, who provide (gorgeous) handmade shoes from Guatemala. My friend, Amber, started a boutique called Beautiful and Beloved, working with women who have come out of sex trafficking and are making the loveliest of clothes and jewelry.

We live in a time of fast fashion - where it is so easy to get really cute clothes on the cheap. Trends turn over almost immediately, and we need the next thing at affordable prices. But who is making those things that we can't wait to get our hands on? There is a really eye opening documentary that came out this year called The True Cost. It's uplifting and hopeful and worth watching, and it's streaming right now on Netflix. I am so encouraged when people offer real options if we want to start making a difference, no matter how small it may seem. We can know the faces and the stories behind the things that we wear, whether we shop small and handmade, or we choose to shop fair trade, or we just start considering what that means and how it can work in our own lives. We can all start somewhere.