Fair Tuesday

Today is Giving Tuesday and Fair Trade Tuesday, which is pretty well the best day of the year for someone who spends so much time on the hunt for ethical businesses.  Here are a few websites and companies doing great stuff today:

Sseko

Nisolo – use the promo code THANKSGIFT to receive $30 off any order over $200.  If you’re not spending over $200, you can click here to receive 10% off.

Huffington Post published this article about becoming a contemplative consumer by Ryan D. Jacobs, CEO of Ten Thousand Villages Canada.

Giving Tuesday website

Fair Trade Tuesday website

Weekend Deals

Happy Friday!  Here are a few of my favourite companies hosting Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Sustainable Sunday/Cyber Monday/Fair Tuesday sales:

Sseko – Sandals & accessories.

Boll & Branch – Ethically made bedding.

Mata Traders on Modcloth – Fair trade clothing.

Everlane – They are using profits from today to build a recreation centre at their factory in China.

Craftsy – All classes are $19.99 or less.  I can’t decide between a cooking class and a knitting class…they all look great.

Amazon – I’m having really good luck.  I can’t link to what I actually bought in case it spoils the surprise for someone special, so I linked to a book on my wish-list!

Ten Thousand Villages 

I also just found this list on EcoCult that includes many companies I’ve never heard of.

I’ll continue to post deals here as I find them.  Have a great weekend!

 

Please note some links are affiliate.

 

 

Lately

2014-11-26 14.25.13

Lately, lots of things have been happening, but I haven’t been taking any pictures.  My brother got married and I only took two (very poor quality) pictures.  My baby is walking and my 7 year old is dancing, and I haven’t taken pictures of that, either.

Lately, I started a job as Christmas Coordinator at one of the organizations in Winnipeg that is working to alleviate hardships and provides opportunities for change for people experiencing homelessness (that’s a long way to say it, and I definitely copied it from their website).  A few months ago Sam and I were talking about jobs I might like to have in the course of my lifetime.  Working at a non-profit was at the top of my list, and so when this position opened up I applied right away.  It’s a wonderful job and I’m so excited to be spending my Christmas season there.

P.S., Winnipeg friends: If you would like a tour, would like to know what to donate this season, or would like to help with projects like stuffing socks or making crafts, please contact me!

For tomorrow, I’ll be compiling a list of fantastic fair trade companies hosting Black Friday sales.  Check back to start your Black Friday shopping!

Links on an Ethical Christmas

Christmas is one of those times that buying gifts can’t really be avoided,  and so I’ll be posting links to some favourite ethical brands over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend.  In my research on Black Friday and having an ethical Christmas, I found these great articles:

An Open Letter to my Family on Presents from Ecocult

The Case for an Ethical Christmas from Notes from a Thoughtful Life

And the fair trade community’s response to Black Friday: Fair Tuesday

If you missed it, I also wrote about my plan for ethical Christmas shopping.

Ethical Clothing Review: Part 2

clothing review

Last week, I shared reviews of pieces of clothing I’ve purchased over the past year.  Today, I’m reviewing the bags and shoes (starting with the black flip flops in the middle row, then bottom row left to right):

Indosole inner tube flip flops.  I wore these all summer, and currently wear them constantly at home.  They have worn in really nicely, and fit well from the beginning.  The soles came apart, but my husband glued them on and they’ve stayed pretty well.  Indosole is a new-ish company, and honest about the fact that they’re learning and continuing to improve their products.  I can appreciate that and would definitely order again.

Indosole kelapa shoes – I liked the shape of these shoes a lot, and wore them often right until the snow fell.  They have the same issue as the sandals with the soles coming off as you can see in the picture, but I’m sure a bit of glue would keep them strong for another summer.

Nisolo JoAnne bag – I am a little bit obsessed with Nisolo.  This bag was worth every penny.  It doubles as a diaper bag, fits enough clothes for a night away, and carries yarn and work supplies.  It’s a perfect every day bag, and the leather has worn beautifully over time.

Nisolo Delicias sandals – I only wore these a few times, and was nervous about buying them online.  I was really impressed with the fit, and how comfortable they were after about half an hour of wear.  I’m looking forward to summer partly so that I can break out these shoes again.

If you’re interested, here is a discount code for Nisolo.  It gets you 10% off your order, and me $10 off my next pair of shoes (it’s a win-win)!

 

An Ethical Christmas: Host Gifts

 

host giftsWith so many holiday parties happening this time of year, I thought I’d put together a roundup of some favourite host gifts (left – right, starting with top right):

1. Fair trade wine.  This is an easy thing item to have on hand and pull out when needed.  For a while I had a nice collection going, but I drank it.  I’m not very picky, and partial towards bottles with pictures of bicycles or sunbeams, so unfortunately can’t give any great recommendations.

2. Fair trade flowers.  Here in Winnipeg, beautiful fair trade roses can be found at Generation Green at the Forks.  Gift giving tip: bring the flowers in a vase or jar so the host is not rushing around to find a vase in the midst of other duties (there are exceptions, of course – as an event planner I have an abundance of vases).

3. Homemade fudge.  I found this delicious looking fudge on Etsy, but it would be easy to package your own signature dessert in a pretty way.

4. Chocolate is always a great gift.

5. Nuts are easy (nuts and chocolate tied up together would be a really nice small gift).

6. Craft beer.  Half Pints is a Winnipeg favourite, but every city has local food and drinks – if you’ve discovered something special, this is a nice way to share it.

7. Beeswax candles (these are my favourite).  And this brings me to my host tip: light beeswax or other unscented or lightly scented candles.  Anything scented can overpower the smell of the food you’ve prepared, and lots of people have scent allergies (vanilla is one of the top ones) which can make guests uncomfortable.

 

Skincare Shopping Online

skincare

 

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been sharing interviews from 3 fabulous skincare & makeup companies.  All have products I use regularly, and all are located in Manitoba.  The number of local, eco-friendly companies we have in the province amazes me.  If you missed them the first time, here are the links to the interviews:

Just the Goods, Part 1 & Part 2

Mama Pacha, Part 1 & Part 2

Pure Anada, Part 1 & Part 2

If you’re like me and planning to hibernate for the next 6 months or so, here are a few online shops to check out and have products delivered (in addition to their websites, which you can click on above):

Etsy (search for Just the Goods, Mama Pacha, and Pure Anada)

Greenwood Naturals

Generation Green at the Forks

My Farmers’ Market (Just the Goods – delivery within Winnipeg, no shipping)

Well.ca (Pure Anada)

 

An Ethical Christmas – Decorations

ethical christmas decorations

Winter has arrived over the past few days in Winnipeg.  As I type this, snow is lightly falling and it is putting me in a decorating mood! Over the next several weeks I’ll be sharing some of my favourite ideas for an ethical Christmas, from decor and hosting to gifts.  There may even be a DIY project or two, if I’m brave.

Here are some of my favourite decorations (left to right, starting with top right):

Star garland from Paper Notebook.

Cute pillows from Ten Thousand Villages.

For some reason, I only burn candles this time of year.  And my candle collection is entirely from Barletta Beeswax, because they are awesome.

Handmade wreaths from Anita Rex Designs.

Fun felt garland, from Azalea Cottage Crafts.

Paloma’s Nest has been on my radar since they started their gorgeous Etsy shop.  These personalized Christmas ornaments are stunning.

I’m into garland this year, apparently.  This one is from Ten Thousand Villages.

 

Ethical Clothing Review

 

clothing reviewOver the past year, about 80% of my clothing and accessory purchases have been ethically made.  I don’t buy a lot of clothes, and most of these have been reviewed just after I received them.  I thought it would be fun to let you know how they’re holding up after several months of wear.  For today I’ll review the clothes, and next week I’ll share about shoes and the bag.

The shirts on the top row are all from People Tree.  The yellow striped shirt is really fun, and looks great with jeans or tucked into a pencil skirt.

The middle shirt has stretched out nicely, and I’m sure it’s the most-worn piece in my closet.  It was my casual, at home or at the park shirt.  I loved the shape, and it comes in other colours and patterns as well, so I’ll definitely be ordering another shirt in this style with my next People Tree order.

The third shirt was my favourite online, but unfortunately doesn’t fit quite right.  The fabric has no give, and the stitching hits me at a weird place.  For next summer I’ll try it with different pants, or look at getting it tailored.  The colour and pattern are great.

The shirt on the left in the middle row was purchased at Costco, and I’m including it just to say that made in Canada clothing can be found at an affordable price.  That said, there was no information on where the fabric itself was sourced from.  As you can see by the paint smudge, this was an at-home, crafting shirt.  I’m looking at this shirt from Everlane as my next basic shirt (although I won’t be painting in it).

And finally, my Prana skirt.  I purchased it at MEC and also wore it a lot over the summer.  It’s made of a sweatshirt material, and so it loses shape quickly between washes.  It also attracts cat hair like crazy and wrinkles easily.  But I wore it tons over the summer, and into the fall with leggings.  I will probably wear it all winter, too.

Tomorrow’s post is the first in a series on having an ethical Christmas.  See you then!