fair trade

So this is Christmas…

So this is Christmas…

The John Lennon song was playing in my head as I’m writing in this post and it reminds me to be thankful and to be patient and wait for good things to come. 2013 has been a roller coastery tough year with many challenges but it’s making our wee family stronger.  The hustle and bustle or retail shopping was felt since Black Friday but it’s starting to quiet down. Christmas will be a chill one with family our family unit.

We want wish your family and friends a wonderful and happy Christmas. Don’t stress yourselves out with the gifts, food and so forth — people remember the moments and all that other stuff become fuzzy.  Enjoy a good cup of hot cider, nog, toddy, whatever suits your fancy and enjoy a good laugh with your loved ones.

We look forward to 2014 with you all!

 

Made in Bangladesh: Fast Fashion

 

Picture courtesy of Michael Biach/Transterra Media

I recently saw a very compelling story on products that are made overseas via the Fifth Estate. It was so devastating to see pictures of men and women wrapping their arms together to protect themselves from the debris of a fallen building.  There was no way out.  All the windows were barred, there were very few toilet facilities.  They deal with bad chemical dyes to make the fun cheap fashion we wear.  If you are in Canada (damn I hate geo-blocking sometimes because everyone should see this), the story is online and shows you how hard people are working to make a living and also their poor working conditions.

What is the right answer?  We shouldn’t urge manufacturers to shut out Bangladesh as people need jobs but there has got to be a way we can change their working conditions and wage.  I want to see our wee company make a difference not just buying fair trade and ethical clothing but also just to be able to work with more artisans and companies that are ethically, have fair and safe working conditions.

I came across a story from the Toronto Sun on how she worked in a garment factory as a sewing assistant and her boss was a 9 year old girl.  Their dream was to be a seamstress as it brought a higher income and they would be able to provide for their family. I can’t even imagine relying on my children in about 5 years time to bring  income to our family.  It wasn’t so long ago that here in the US and Canada we also had young children making a living for their family. It still happening though around the world.

There is a happy news. There are more and more companies popping up in providing fun stylish fashionable wear that is ethically made.  Either in the US, Canada or fair trade made around the world. Fair trade is much more than coffee and chocolate now and that’s a good thing.  Ethical Ocean is a great starting point in looking for more ethically made products.  We partnered up with Raven + Lily and Good & Fair  and they produced ethically made clothing, jewelry and accessories. Those are just a few suggestions.  We are always trying to find more sources but I encourage you to check out the links and read the stories of these people who produce your clothing.

Ethical Weddings: Wedding Headpieces

 

I’m not getting married but I love any bride that can rock a statement headpiece.  I’m so inspired.  This is beautiful. I love the feather details.

Love the simplicity of this.

For the natural gal — this is beautiful and I can’t resist braids.  So beautiful, whimsical and you feel like frolicking in the meadow when you see this.

Love it. For all your lovely brides to be out there, Wed Altered is having a pop-up in NYC on Oct 12/13.  It’s an ethical/green wedding pop-up shop which if I knew about it when I was getting married, I would have been all over that. Check out their website, they have lots of lovely inspiring wedding photos and ideas for your own wedding.  They have even partnered up with Fair Trade Winds, a retail shop for ethically made fashionable goods.

Wow, I think I’m going to continue drooling over the headpieces on pinterest.

Pop-up market at Starbucks HQ

We’re at Starbucks HQ tomorrow from 11-1pm.  It’s a really fun outdoor event that happens rain or shine.  We have loved doing this event at Starbucks because the fellow vendors are fun, have lovely products and there is always yummy food and music to boot. Now all the great Starbucks fall drinks are in season and I’m loving the Evolution juice drinks they have partnered up with.

People either love their Starbucks or just avoid it all together.  I think Starbucks has done a great job of brining fair trade coffee to North American public to light.  The other cool thing is that a lot of Pax’s favourite parks/playgrounds has been made possible by the Starbucks foundation so we are really thankful for that.

If you are in the Seattle SODO (south of downtown) area, come by Starbucks headquarters and do a little early Christmas shopping, eat some really yummy quinoa salad and grab yourself that famous pumpkin spice latte. I’m going to have special discounts just for the event!

 

Reduce, re-use and organic! Sweet.

grocerybagLD-1

Look at the cute baby! Now draw your eyes towards the re-usable organic GOTS certified organic cotton grocery bag and get one for yourself! It’s a super super deal at $6.99.   It’s very sturdy with a thick canvas cotton.  I often use it to carry all of Pax’s library books so it can carry a lot of weight without breaking.  I like the side pocket where you can carry a water bottle or small umbrella (since it rains so much here in Seattle).

It has our slogan on one side “You help the artisan, who makes the product which delights you” and our lil’soak print on the other side. These products are ethically and made with fair trade practices. Free shipping if you order from us but you can also get it at Ebay and Amazon.

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you had a great weekend.  Our Paxter got to bowl for the first time and let me say — he’s not a big fan of those bowling shoes but he got an angry bird tattoo and life was good again.

 

 

Pop-up shop tonight in West Seattle!

We have been having a blast doing the Starbucks outdoor summer events and meeting other friendly handcrafted neighbours like Wooden Clothespin. They are a handmade business using recycled fabrics and fun modern prints for coffee/tea cozies, quilts, bags and more. I have gotten a few mason jar drink containers with glass straws, cozies etc and I love it. I use it all the time.  I’m big time in using glass for our entire family.  Stuff just tastes better in it.

il_570xN.496052304_hibg

Like this beauty.

If you are in the West Seattle area, you need to visit the pop up, grab a cup of good java from Bird on Wire Expresso!  They will have beer, wine, food and crafts!  How awesome is that? Here are the deets:

Every third Wednesday (and tonight)

Time: 6 – 9pm

Where: Bird on a Wire Expresso

Address: 3059 SW Henderson St., Seattle, WA

We are so thankful for your support and this is a way to shop and eat local and empower women in empoverished conditions.  You are AWESOME!

 

I’m surrounded by boxes!

Consumed. That’s the word. I have. so. much. stuff. T loves to remind of me of that too. It’s all good. I know I have a lot of stuff. Being all fair trade, local and eco-friendly has made me really live a simple life a la Simple Mom. I love reading their blog entries to just sometimes, breathe and pause.

I’m unpacking — we found a place to stay and it’s stressful with a baby and preschooler in tow.  We are still in the midst of unpacking, purging, organizing and also cleaning up the old place so I haven’t found the time to say hello to you all in the last couple of weeks.  Hello! I’m still here <<echo, echo>>.

I have been loving instagram and I found a lot of fair trade minded folks and the lovely Sally Medwin from @shopfairtrade (instagram name and the title of her blog) did an interview with another super sweet fair trade gal Kayli who is sharing about how to fair trade your summer through her blog. I think changing consumers habits of thinking of buying more ethically made products starts one product, one person at a time and I love her passion with her journey of shopping fair trade.

Enjoy this while I go back to unpacking and making sure my two wee ones are not getting themselves in too much trouble. I hope to be back on a more regular blog schedule in September.

Also, we still have a super summer sale going on strong until the end of August. Shop for Christmas early — these deals are unreal!

Friday Finds: Toy Edition

Screen Shot 2013-08-02 at 11.00.11 AM

Duplo

Our family digs Duplo.  We haven’t graduated to Lego yet because M likes to put everything in her mouth and Pax is not quite tidy enough to clean up all the little pieces. I love this rather sweet Winnie the Pooh set. If you check out Amazon Warehouse deals then sometimes you can score some good deals with Duplo.  Just search “Amazon Warehouse” and look to see what kind of savings you could score.  Lego has a good fair toy standards which is why we love lego because it’s also so versatile. Pax just loves to use the blocks to build houses, boats, dogs — you name it. It’s a great learning toy for children.

green-toys-rocket-red

 

24.99

Recycled green toy rocket made in the USA.  Love these toys.  Pax saw this at the toy store the other day and was playing with it the whole time. We have the boat which we use for the bath.  Great durable toy.

dsenyo-little-friends-white-stuffed-animals-fair-trade-toys_large

 

20.00

Dsenyo works with women in Malawi to empower them with jobs and I’m inspired by the founder of this company and what she is doing.  It’s great.  I saw these plushies in person at a fair trade market place back in Austin and I have always loved the bunny one.  Love the mix of African fabrics here.  Great price!

tibetanwomandoll_HH-2

 20.00

Yay!  Finally posted up our lovely plush toys handmade by near deaf/deaf women in China. I love these so much. Meira is now hugging both of them to sleep.  The detail on these are amazing.

Happy Friday!

 

Friday Finds: Super Savings Edition

It’s back! Wanted to highlight a couple of things we have on our super summer sale and as well as some deals I have found on the interwebs.

travelsoap_RL-1

travel soap  $22 $6

Only 1 left! Handmade by women in Northern India.  Lovely scents like Chai and Lavender.

stripedtote_HH-1

 

striped tote $19.99  $10

Carries a lot of stuff.  A LOT!  At $10 you can’t go wrong. It has a real bohemian feel to this everyday tote.

greystoryteemodelGF

t-shirts $28 $10

We have a variety of styles and limited sizes left. This is probably my favourite from our friends over at Good & Fair.  It’s seriously a great great deal at $10 for a fair trade organic t-shirt.  Super super soft and a lighter weight cotton for those hot summer days.

Screen Shot 2013-07-25 at 10.25.56 PM

 

Goody Bags pic c/o People Tree

Y’all know I love People Tree in the UK.  They have a great summer sale as well and I always love their goody bags.  I’m super tempted to get their kids goody bags because it looks like once it’s gone, it’s gone!  Goody bags will have like over £100 worth of clothing but for a fraction of the price.  I have gotten one in the past and scored!  You choose your size and then the put together a few lovelies for you.  A great great deal.  Also for US and Canada — they are offering £5 shipping for shipments over £50!

Happy Friday! Happy Shopping! We’re offering free shipping for a limited time on all our products so great time to take advantage.  Follow us on facebook, G+ or twitter to get the latest and greatest from us.  We also instagram as well so you can find us where we are!

 

 

Empowering Women at the Burke Museum

2-ewtravel_rwanda01__large

Photo courtesy of the Burke Museum website

The Seattle Public Library has this awesome summer reading program for kids so we have been reading a ton of books to Pax and Meira.  One of the prizes you get after reading 10 books is that you get a free pass to the Burke Museum at University of Washington. I took the kiddos there and Pax of course loved the dinosaur bones and all but I saw an “Empowering Women” exhibit and I was intrigued.

It showcased a number of women artisans cooperatives in developing countries and a sample of the beautiful products they made.  I loved seeing all the pictures of this happy women and how it improve the economy in their little community as well as their own family life.  It was kind of the encouragement I needed to know that what we’re trying to achieve here at Lil’Soak is a good thing. I get really frustrated at times at trying to share the story of the women behind the products we design or curate and seeing this was just the quiet encouragement I needed.  I was bummed because they had an artisan market sale last weekend and I believe they flew some of the artisans to the show! So cool.

If you are in the Seattle area, you have to see this exhibit.  ON until October.  It’s free if you are participating in the summer reading program! The UW campus is beautiful this time of year.

They also have a cool empowering women pinterest board if you want to see what they have pinned related to the exhibit.  Great idea. We are also on pinterest as well and we often post a lot of fair trade or usa made goodies, shops and so forth.  I’m trying to update and pin whenever I can!  Follow us if you find us PINTERESTING! I couldn’t resist.

Load More