February 24, 2016

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Fair Trade Products Retailer Vavavida Interviewed In Fine Magazine

Fair Trade Products Retailer VavavidaIf there's one universal truth, it's that accessories make an outfit. That's where Vavavida comes in. This small, Fair Trade company partners with women local to developing countries to create gorgeous handmade products. Vavavida's accessories are eco–friendly, and they aid the women who made them in developing countries. Vavavida is truly committed to doing good in the world. Read the following interview to hear about Vavavida's philosophy, their fashion and the new project that they are unrolling.

Check out the rest of the story here ... 

http://www.finehomesandliving.com/Interview-with-Vavavida/

October 06, 2015

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Fair Trade event in La Mesa

October is fair trade month people!

If you live in San Diego, come and join us at this event. 

It's a lot of fun. Discover Vavavida jewelry and more brands and enjoy a fair trade coffee, some Ben&Jerry's ice cream and do your holiday shopping early. 

Here is the address:

 

7710 El Cajon Blvd

La Mesa, CA 

fair trade event

October 02, 2015

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Some of the coolest UK based ethical fashion bloggers

The best UK based ethical fashion bloggers

When we got the idea to do this post, we quickly realized this was going to be a series. The more we researched ethical fashion bloggers, the more we realized we would have to separate them into blocks because too many of them were great, featuring amazing brands doing so many cool things, plus all the bloggers we found were styling those items in such cool and distinctive manners that we thought it would be unfair to not feature a lot of them.

Given that the title most likely made you click, you know what’s coming. Here is a round up of our favorite UK based ethical fashion bloggers:

ECOVINTAGE: 
Eco vintage blogKatie is a young ethical fashion blogger but her style is mature, chic, distinctive, a bit punk, some black lipstick and a whole lot of awesome. There is a definite thread in her style but she has not cornered herself into a adopting a single type of outfit. Her blog is interesting as it is not just about her outfits, but also talks about what goes on in the fashion industry, whether haute couture or vintage, or about Adidas’ new shoe made from recycled material.

ADORE, REFLECT, SUSTAIN: 
Adore, reflect, sustainEmma, the lead blogger at Adore, Reflect, Sustain is great. We love her blog. It’s thoughtful, it’s intellectual, it’s broad but focused and it covers interesting subjects. If the intellectual side of ethical fashion interests you, Emma is your gal. Just be aware that she posts about the industry more than her outfits. One thing that you don’t find everywhere is that she has put together a list of her favorite ethical fashion retailers. And no, we are not biased there because Vavavida is not included. We just love the idea that directories exist for ethical fashion brands. There are more than you think!

STYLE EYES: 
style eyes blogOne thing is for sure, Ceri is the mothership when it comes to ethical fashion blogs. She is a straight up “traditional” lifestyle fashion blog as she posts more often about what she wears than about other subjects in the fashion industry. She is a mom of 2 and her outfits reflects that much, even if she does not have a specific style she says. We like her stuff at Vavavida. It’s sensible, fashionable, cute, perfect for every day use. Check her out.

 

CHARITY SHOP CHIC: 
charity shop chicThe concept of this blog is just too good and I should tell you that this is must for the DIY girl in you. This very creative blogger takes cool but discarded clothes and reshapes, cuts, resizes, refashions and recycles them into new items that she wears and styles on her blog. Pretty neat, no? Neat…!? it’s just downright awesome. She also uses certain themes or fictional characters as inspiration for her amazing hacks. That blogger is no slouch and she is very talented.

MORAL FIBERS: 
moral fibersWendy is the last entry in this little round up. We have decided to include her even though she is a full lifestyle blogger and not just a fashion blogger. She posts often, up to 3 times a week and usually one of those posts is about her daily ethical and fashionable outfit as well as other subjects concerning the ethical fashion industry. It’s a good blog with good photos. worth a read.


October 01, 2015

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The best American fair trade fashion blogs on the internet

Best fair trade fashion bloggers

As you know, It’s fair trade month and we feel the need to feature as many cool people that do fair trade their kudos. In this posts, we’ll only be featuring independent Amercian bloggers that focus on ethical fashion. Stay tuned for next post though as we’ll do a run up of the best ethical fashion bloggers from the other side of the atlantic. Here we go, and let’s start with one of our favorites:

LET’S BE FAIR:

let's be fair blogDominique, the owner for the Let’s Be Fair blog is great at what she does and we like her. We love her writing, her content, her photos and although she does not always do fashion related blogging, you will love the stuff she puts out. It’s all about the fair and social justice lifestyle, which —if you are Vavas or readers of the Vavavida blogs— you will certainly appreciate.

STYLEWISE:
style wise blogLeah is an ethical and Fair Trade fashion blogger and she has some great posts. What we like about her Style Wise is that it looks fresh, “insouciant”, genuine, low key and nerdy. Her outfits are nerdy, fashionable, simple and sensible without looking blah… also Lots of stripes. There’s nothing outrageous or unbearable. It’s cute, it’s everyday, it just is. Her jewelry is in the same line as she uses it to accessorize and not to make an outfit. Completely different from pretty much anything else out there.

LIFESTYLE JUSTICE:
lifestyle justice blogAlthough we only discovered it recently, we like Hannah’s blog. Lifestyle Justice has a great design that’s simple and clean, chic, and sophisticated. We love the looks and the fact that it gives a different take on ethical fashion other than the one presented by Dominique or Leah. Hannah is passionate about social justice and ethical fashion. She has good tastes and style without overdoing it. recommend read.

SHIMMERS OF GREY:
shimmers of grey blogOur last one today is Shimmers of Grey. We discovered this blog doing research for this post but we immediately knew we had found a candidate when we landed on it. it’s big on high quality photos and great style. Em Grey, the owner and lead blogger there is also a photographer and she is quite good. She is gorgeous, looks like loads of fun and is a major supporter of all ethical fashion brands. She has good style and we like her content. It’s honestly a good read and she again has a different style from any of the bloggers we mentioned above. 

 THE GARBAGE PILE:
the garbage pile blogOn to Jennie ... and she's got a gun. The Garbage Pile is one of my absolute favs. We discovered her blog through Instagram a couple months ago and her feed has kept us interested from then on. She posts regularly, has a super cool and interesting style. She is a fan of slow fashion (ethical fashion) as her Instagram feed will tell you and her outfits are just cool, colorful, kitsch and fashion forward at the same time. She is a one of a kind.

All in all, I don't think you can go wrong with any of these wonderful bloggers. We love that we discovered new bloggers to read and learn from. They are cool, stylish, different in their own rights, and educated and passionate about ethical fashion. They all got great style, feature some great products and brands and they all are always a good read. We recommend them all. 

 

September 30, 2015

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Why We Love Fair Trade (And You Should, Too!) - Part 2

Quilting in India
Here is Part 2...

7. The gift of Fair Trade does not stop at the farmer or artisan, it also participates in supporting the local community. By working through cooperatives, Fair Trade artisans and small farmers can invest part of their premiums in their own communities by working on improving housing, healthcare, and schools.

8. Fair Trade is also a mark of stable business relationships between the producers and the buyers. These partnerships enable buyers to purchase quality products from people they trust, and offer a sustainable and reliable way for farmers, artisans and their families to improve their businesses. An important reason to shop fair trade is that your purchase supports the livelihood of talented artisans and unlike the “regular” trade where artisans are paid 30 days after delivering the products, Fair Trade artisans are paid fairly and on time.

9. Fair Trade connects you with other cultures. Fair Trade products are unique to the places they come from and the people who make them. Farmers and artisans are involved in the entire process, and Fair Trade products reflect the people and cultures they come from. When you buy fair trade products you know that another human being put hard work and concentration into the product you are wearing, using or eating rather than just a machine or some vague corporate entity. A real person spent lots of time growing or crafting that product with care and this should be celebrated!

10. Fair Trade means sustainable local economies. Fair Trade gives farmers and artisans control of their own future. They can build their own businesses as they wish, rather than working for a middle man, and the profits stay in their communities and go back into their businesses. Because Fair Trade is not just about the producers, they are empowered to give back and become leaders in their communities.


Ana Art Group making earrings11. Fair Trade means that what you buy matters. By choosing Fair Trade products, you are not only accessing high quality products, you are making a difference in the lives of the people who grow the food you eat and the goods you use and buy. Every time you purchase a fair trade product, you tell the world that you want people to be treated with fairness and equality. The more people buy fair trade products, the more awareness grows and demand increases. When we mean that it matters, it also matters on a more personal basis. When you shop fair trade, the simple act of buying something almost creates a 1 to 1 relationship with the person that made the bracelet you now own and have in your hand. Fair trade creates meaning and purpose and subtle activism.

12. Fair Trade is NOT Aid. Fair trade is a way for us to help reduce poverty every time we shop without doing anything but what we usually do. By trading with people in many of the poorest countries of the world, fair trade reduces reliance on charity and fosters long-term development and independence. It creates opportunity for people to help themselves.

13. Spread the Love. One of the best ways to enjoy fair trade products is to give them as gifts… christmas… hint hint… Finding gifts that mean something isn’t always the easiest thing to do but because Fair Trade products are so unique, you are sure to present something that is… well… unique. It shows thoughtfulness on your part. Plus, Fair Trade products almost always have a story behind it, whether directly from the artisan or from the company that sells them and I am sure the recipient will be grateful and interested to know about it. Buying a fair-trade products goes way beyond supporting just one artisan.
September 28, 2015

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Why We Love Fair Trade (And You Should, Too!) - Part 1

It’s official, Fall is here and that means we are edging the end of the year. Before you know it, kids will be trick or treating, turkey will be cooking, potatoes will be mashed and gifts will be exchanged. But before that, there’s some fair trading to be doing… did you know that October is fair trade month in the US of A?

Sana and her familyWhy should you love fair trade then?

1. First and foremost Fair Trade means no child labor. 166 million children in the world are right now involved in child labor and let’s face it any number above 0 is scandalous. Thanks to Fair Trade, you can safely avoid buying products you might not be aware of support child labor. Example: cotton! Much of the cotton in the world is grown and picked in Uzbekistan and child labor is not only allowed but required for children during the picking season.

2. Fair Trade also means fair pay and good working conditions for farmers and producers of all kinds. Fair Trade certified products are made in safe and healthy working conditions, where farmers and producers receive a fair price for their work and given a voice in how their workplace is run. Fair Trade is truly about empowering the workers and their local community to help create a thriving environment for everybody.

3. Fair Trade is also way better for the environment. Fair Trade supports sustainable practices that minimize the environmental footprint of the production or agricultural facilities. Most Fair Trade products source their raw materials locally thus minimizing transportation and environmental costs. Also, lots of fair trade products are made from recycled or up-cycled materials, helping even more minimizing the overall carbon footprint of those businesses. Things like tires, textiles, leather, glass and paper that would otherwise be trash get repurposed and given new life as amazingly imaginative products with a personal story.

Ana Art Group at Work4. Fair Trade almost always means high quality goods. You know why? Because Fair Trade artisans and farmers take pride in the quality of their work and products and because of the high quality standards that come with having a Fair Trade certified product. Have you ever tasted a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and thought they could have done better on the quality of ingredients? I think not. Oh, yeah… just in case you did not know, B&J now sources all of their products from Fair Trade suppliers. As if you needed one more reason to love this company?

5. Fair Trade means better tasting food. Contrary to the belief that more is better, it appears that better is better and Fair Trade farmers and other producers grow and harvest in smaller quantities and do spray their crops with pesticides and other chemicals unless strictly necessary. As a result, Fair Trade food is fresher and tastier. As such, many food companies that buy fair trade ingredients actually also qualify as buying organic and GMO-free ingredients. And what’s even more, while fair trade products are better for your health, they are also better for the people growing them as they don’t have to deal with pesticides and chemicals as well as working in safe conditions and receive access to healthcare. A non-negligible side effect of not using pesticides and other chemicals on the lands is that it preserves soil fertility and valuable local ecosystems.

6. Fair Trade cuts the middle man. One of the most important reasons why farmers do not get the money they deserve for the products they grow and make are local, regional, national and then international middle men and movers that take a cut at each stage of what could (and should) go to the farmers. By cutting the middle men and dealing with just 1 or 2 partners Fair Trade farmers are getting paid a fair price for what they have worked so hard. This way, their business thrives and they can offer better standards of living to their families.

... to be continued in Part 2...
May 11, 2015

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How best to shop ethically.

This is a great video on ethical fashion shopping. Although Vavavida is not mentioned in the piece, we feel this is really useful information for you guys and not sharing it would be a crime of some sort. 

 

Please, check that girl out. She know what she is talking about and it's very well put together. 

 

May 01, 2015

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Women Empowering Women Forum

Tomorrow, Vavavida will be at the Women Empowering Women forum. We'll be there all day, seeing that we are helping to sponsor the event. It's their first year and they need all the help they can get. 

Come by and see us.

April 27, 2015

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John Oliver on Fast Fashion

I'll spare you the activist rhetoric and let the funny man do it for me. He brought it and he delivered... by dousing it in comedy and setting it on fire. 

Enjoy... 

 

April 20, 2015

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Rana Plaza 2015 - In the name of $5 shirts

On April 24, 2013 a factory building called Rana Plaza collapsed in the city of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The building was unsound and the safety of all its in occupants was put at risk daily, but the owners of the factories had to fulfill quotas and honor contracts so the tell-tale signs were ignored and that day, at 8:57am, 1,134 people died and over 2,500 were injured in the name of $5 shirts. 
We all need or want new clothes and in America, the average consumer buys over 68 items of clothing per person per year; that’s more than 1 item per week. We often buy clothes that just sit in our closets with the tag still on. We shop and we don’t realize or understand that the clothes we buy are shackled by an enormous ball and chain: the clothing label on our clothes.
The fashion industry has been very busy and successful at making us all forget about the fact that human beings in Bangladesh, not machines, have sown what you are wearing at the moment. The fashion industry is a trillion dollar industry (the second largest in the US), employing approximately 23.6 million people and is the second largest polluter in the world after the oil industry and is also one of the largest abusers of human rights. From cotton fields to sweatshops, the fast fashion industry leaves a trail less than fashionable and yet we rarely ever hear about it. We forget that these people (mostly young women) work 12 to 15 hours/day 6 to 7 days/week in conditions we would be appalled by. From toilets with no toilet paper, no work space ventilations and children under 12 years of age working the same hours as grown adults with no paid time off and no sick time, The tens of thousands of people that work in the garment industry in Bangladesh often live on .25cents/hour salaries.
This is now 2015. 2 years later, Has anything changed? Are things better, worse?
Let’s start with the “worse." Our friends at American Apparel and their “made in Bengladesh” ad. Bravo! I did not know that the 1134 individuals -most of them being young females- that died were up for objectification and sexualization, not that it’s ever ok. Although I applaud them for taking a stand on making their clothes downtown LA, they have weird and very creepy ads such as is the aforementioned “made in Bangladesh” ad. This is not fashion, this is pure exploitation.
Onto the “better” outcomes. The most important thing I should mention at this point is that things have been done to compensate the families of the victims of Rana Plaza. The Bangladeshi government created what is commonly referred to as "The Arrangement.” It is a trust fund dedicated to the victims and their families. It is managed by The International Labour Organization, a UN entity. So far, over $12 million have been donated and distributed directly to the families thanks to mobile banking. 
Also, the owners of the factories housed in the Rana Plaza building gave the families of the victims sums equivalent to 9 months worth of salaries as a compensation: that’s $612 if you base it on the average Bangladesh garment worker salary of $68/month. Also, the apparel brands and many not associated with Rana Plaza have signed a fire and safety agreement to prevent hiring subcontractors with less than adequate facilities. 
One important thing I saw that made me optimistic is that education works and is our best hope to transform the fashion industry. I came across a 5 part short web series a Norwegian newspaper produced called “sweatshop - deadly fashion.”  It is an edifying tale of fashion bloggers coming to grasps with the reality of fast fashion by traveling to Bangladesh. It is well done though I wished they had dug a bit deeper in the transformation the bloggers experienced over the course of their voyage from ignorance to educated adults about the reality of the fast fashion industry. 
For full disclosure, I will tell you that I am no better than than anybody else. I have bought and sometimes still buy clothes that have been made with questionable ethics. Even though it kills me, I am a new entrepreneur with a very tight personal budget and I quite frankly cannot afford to buy better made clothes. That’s why I do what I do on a daily basis with my company, vavavida.com. It is my crazy dream that I can be part of changing the face and pace of the fashion industry. I want to be a disruptor of the system as it is. That’s why vavavida.com is based on what we call the full circle economics: a sustainable system of retailing jewelry made ethically (i.e. fair trade) and giving back to the countries where we source our products by investing part of the retail price in NGOs that do great work like Project Concern International and their Women Empowered program.  We designed our company to be a change maker and there are many others just like us. Just check out the Ethical Fashion Source network for a list of (Mostly UK based) fashion designers with a conscience. Also, there are people like model Lily Cole doing good things to change fashion. Also, I will give props to H&M who, I think, is actively trying to clean up their act but the jury is still out on that one. 
So, please just consider what your options are when you buy clothes and wonder if you really need a new $5 shirt. Just look at the tag before buying and remember that a young girl working 12 hours/day working for .25cents/hour might have made this. So basically, the opposite of the American Apparel ad. 
Find a version of this article at TriplePundit.com