Posted on May 16, 2013 by greenheart_admin
Yay! It's that time of year again when graduation caps are trained to soar into the air to the sound of cheers and clapping. Whether graduating from high school, college or a masters program, we're always so excited to see the gusto that new grads have to start making a difference in this big 'ol world! And what better way to celebrate than with practical gifts that will change the planet as much as they will?
Whether heading out into the working world or looking for a new wardrobe to start college, a graduate will no doubt need some new threads. We suggest this fair trade Pretty in Pleats dress, which can easily be dressed up or down, and is easy to transition between each season. Check out more apparel for dudes and dudettes, not to mention a dorm staple: pj's and robes.
Planning meals in college can be tricky: many students look for items that are quick, cheap, and maybe not so healthy. The good news is that many schools are growing their own sustainable gardens to prepare fresh food in their cafeteria (yes!) not to mention that shopping doesn't always have to consist of ramen noodles. These recycled Kantha pleated tote bags are an easy way to carry good food from the store/local market back to the dorm or apartment. And if you're looking for book bags or laptop covers? We've got your back!
If there's one thing every student seems to need, it's coffee. And we love our coffee! But once you get past the all-nighters (or the new world of 8 a.m. work staff meetings) organic teas are a great way to stop and recharge. Sip with friends during an afternoon hangout with iced tea in the park, or go totally solo while unwinding with a good book. Plus, if you need a bit of help with finals, some fair trade and organic chocolates are a proven brain food full of healthy antioxidants!
Speaking of grabbing a little personal space for relaxation (especially with roommates), there's nothing better than giving the gift of all-natural bath accessories like shampoos and soaps. But if you want a truly unique gift: steam causes this fair trade bathroom mat to slowly release a soothing fragrance from all natural Vetiver & cotton!
A little background music is always a great way to make homework go faster, yes? When you're moving to a new place, (or backpacking across the world) this iPhone amplifier is not only seriously cool, it is *literally* an all-natural bamboo piece that is so easy to pack without worrying about cords or outlets. Music to our ears.
Part of having your own new space is the joy of decorating and making it your own. Whether moving to a dorm for the first time, or signing a lease on your first real pad, little items like a pillow or throw make all the world of difference to create a cozy space. We love these recycled vinyl record additions because they add so much personality! Our personal pick are these amazing bookends. Perfect for the music AND book-lover!
Congrats to all the graduates, and cheers to you making a difference!
Posted on May 6, 2013 by greenheart_admin
Hello sweet darlings! We're seriously excited to celebrate World Fair Trade Day this Saturday, May 11th!
As you probably know, Greenheart follows the guiding principles of "Fair Trade". Fair Trade ensures that the artisans making our products are paid fair living wages, and "eco" signifies that our products are made using the most sustainable materials and methods whenever possible. At Greenheart, we are both "Fair to producers, and good to the Earth".
But did you know there's literally hundreds of events going on in the US (& across the globe in over 70 countries) all week to celebrate Fair Trade's fight against poverty & climate change, and to fight for economic & human rights?
In our hometown of Chicago (ahem, the largest fair trade city in North America), Greenheart will be at Daley Plaza this Tuesday, May 7th and Wednesday, May 8th to celebrate the World Fair Trade Day Festival!! Join us, and 20 other fair trade vendors selling products that protect the environment and pay producers a living wage. Plus Emanuel Kuntzelman, Greenheart's President, will be the Emcee at noon on Wednesday to chat about sustainability & fair trade! Perfect lunchtime food for thought!
Not to mention that we're also hosting free, interactive trivia games about fair trade! Eat your heart out Alex Trebek.
-Tuesday May 7th from 11am to Noon: Test your knowledge with our “What is Fair Trade?” game. Get ready to crush the competition with general fair trade knowledge.
-Wednesday, May 8th from 11am to Noon: Our “Where in the World is Fair Trade?” game, aka, “Where in the World is ‘Fair TraDiego?’” Test your might against others on world trivia.
-Wednesday, May 8th from 1pm to 2pm: “Trash to Treasures“, a hands on trivia activity using recycled materials. Crafting & upcycling? Yes please!
Posted on April 30, 2013 by greenheart_admin
Mother's Day is coming up, and we're grateful for all the wonderful women in our lives! Whether you want to say "Hey! You're pretty amazing" to your mom, your mother-in-law, or a good friend who can now recite Yo Gabba Gabba lyrics by heart, check out gifts as unique as they are.
We love fair trade roses! But. We also love the smell of this modern & natural perfume just a bit more. Made with delicious organic ingredients & extracts of organic jojoba oil, it's a truly beautiful blend of floral notes that evoke a light, bright rose scent. And it'll last much longer than flowers too!
Know a lady who loves personal & interesting jewelry? We gotcha: each of these fair trade Mod Pendant Necklaces is set with a totally unique, semi-precious stone in an assortment of colors. And if you're looking for other jewelry styles: check out more here!
This engraved sign is a great gift for a wife who likes a bit of rustic charm to her space, while also sharing your love and appreciation. And if she's a music aficionado, she'll know the phrase is based on the song by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros!
For most taste buds, chocolate never goes out of style—especially when the gourmet chocolate bar is not only delicious, but also fair to children. This one is a decadent blend of dark chocolate and creamy hazelnut truffle!
Happy Mother's Day to all the moms who make Fair Trade possible! From farmers & workers to our followers, mothers are a huge part of Fair Trade and we thank you!
Posted on April 26, 2013 by greenheart_admin
Happy Arbor Day everyone! Right on the heels of Earth Day, today is a great way to round out the week by chatting about how to make our world healthier and greener by planting, nurturing, and celebrating our favorite oxygen producers: trees!
Let's face it, humans couldn't exist as we do if there were no trees. A mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year, which is why it's SO important to harvest wood sustainably. And y'know, trees do so, so much more.
Greenheart's own Sobremesa line focuses on sustainable, handmade woodwork, and has been partnering with skilled artisans like those at PaTS, who have worked for over 11 years with indigenous communities in the Palcazu Valley of Peru – PaTS promotes the harvest of about 1 tree per acre in each 30-year cutting cycle to allow for natural regeneration of the ecosystem. Neat! This means that they develop hand-carved wood products from well-managed forests!
“PaTS has helped the communities increase the value of a single tree from $30, which the Yanesha would receive from local loggers, to more than $2000 in artisan income.” (HandEyeMagazine)
Are you a coffee and design addict like us? The main agricultural export in Guatemala is coffee, and when coffee trees (yes, COFFEE. TREES) mature and no longer provide the coffee required by the farm owners, they're replaced by new seedlings. Cuchareros creatively transform this otherwise discarded raw material into seriously beautiful sculpted hand-carved utensils. Using, um, machetes. No big deal.
Speaking of these cool, handcarved designs, we're always humbled and pleased to say that our sustainable Sobremesa line won the 2013 Eco Choice award for Most Sensitive Use of Materials at New York IGF! Hug a coffee tree!
As many of you know, Sobremesa loosely translated means “chatting with friends over the table” in Spanish. And connecting with family and friends over good food and conversation is the epitome of happiness. The only way how this could be improved would be with a good bottle of wine. But hey, even that’s taken care of with our handblown decanters and carafes made of lead-free recycled glass AND sustainable teakwood!
Posted on April 22, 2013 by greenheart_admin
Happy Earth Day, Earth! Thanks again for letting us hitch a ride around the Sun. Fun fact: Did you know that 20 million people celebrated the first Earth Day, and now 1 BILLION people celebrate it in more than 192 countries?
Earth Day shouldn’t just be one day in your calendar- thinking about this little blue & green planet of ours should be an everyday occurrence! So how do we celebrate Earth Day(s)? By keeping water & energy use down, cycling and using public transportation as much as possible, not to mention shopping for eco-friendly & fair trade items throughout the year!
Fair trade not only cares for people, it cares for the planet. Did you know environmental standards for fair trade are some of the strictest in the industry? They are! Lots of artisans reuse, reclaim & recycle materials as much as possible, because fair trade encourages sustainable practices. Plus it helps with community development like reforestation, water conservation, environmental education and organic certification. This not only makes for beautifully creative products, but a beautiful planet as well.
Honestly, there are so many small changes we can make to preserve our planet. Even little changes in habits have a positive impact on real people, animals and our local spaces. So the next time you shut off the lights in your house, grab that re-usable shopping bag & water bottle before hopping on your bike, remember that buying fair trade items are just one more step to respecting our planet. We can make a serious difference in our beautiful world! ♥
Posted on April 11, 2013 by greenheart_admin
Spring dresses have arrived! Come a little closer and we'll tell you all about our SERIOUS crush on these new flirty & fun dresses from Mata Traders, made by fair trade artisans in India.
This vintage-inspired Jin Ju ruffle dress is the definition of effortless charm. Wear it with an old Hollywood up-do and open-toe pumps while saying things like "darling" and "cat's pajamas".
THE official dress of your weekend wardrobe. This Shanghai shift dress is so sweet & simple, and comes in grey and black. It also boasts little details like a buttoned epaulette at the shoulders, and elastic ruching for a wonderfully flattering silhouette.
Can we even tell you how much we are head over heels for this garden party dress?! Delicately gathered sleeves, pleated waist and a full, flirty skirt for whirling and twirling. SO versatile, whether you're attending a garden party, a first date, or a attending a Mad Men-themed party.
The hand-stitched, obi-inspired belt on this crescent dress ties in the back to cinch in an empire-style waist. Simple, serene, & check out that awesome pattern!
And last but not least, this super on-trend Aztec skirt with pockets (!) Practical AND gorgeous! Outdoor music festival with a simple tucked-in tee shirt and booties? Check. Girls' night out with statement platform shoes? Check. Sandals, and a denim jacket over a tank top to the farmers market? Check.
If you're looking for a few statement pieces to pair with your frock, might we suggest checking out some new fabulous jewelry! Cheers to warmer weather all!
Posted on April 4, 2013 by greenheart_admin
Ah yes, 'tis the season when "save the date" cards flood mailboxes, and bridal showers and weddings fill up weekends. Whether the happy couple has settled on a theme of casual elegance, or it's more of a picnic affair, fair trade items are a great way to add a personal touch to any upcoming shower or wedding ceremony!
If you are in charge of putting together a shower event, this organic Make Your Own Sugar Scrub (with fair trade ingredients!) is a fantastic party activity. PLUS it also makes a great gifts or bridal shower favor. Check out a few more awesome DIY personal care products, like our organic soap kit, and fizzling bath salts kit!
Sometimes a centerpiece for a table can double as a keepsake that's a sweet reminder of the new life the couple is beginning together. These simple & gorgeous eternity knot sculptures from Kenya have two intertwined loops that signify that the couple is joining together in love, yet are both still individuals. And they also come in white!
If you're looking for a quick and easy way to brighten up your bridal shower or wedding reception, these recycled glass wine glasses add a touch of color with their blue-rimmed top. AND they're dishwasher friendly!
If the wedding or shower calls for a picnic theme, we've rounded up these items help set the mood!
4. Sunbeams long coral earrings, handmade by survivors of human trafficking.
6. Square stud Pepito Earrings from Ecuador.
If your tastes run more towards easy elegance, these items are warm, yet classic.
1. Cruelty-free leather photo album.
2. Archer necklace handmade from white bone by artisan in India.
3. Fair trade decanter with teakwood stopper
4.) Handmade glass vases from India (set of 3)
This post was posted in eco fashion, Fair Trade, Fair Trade Jewelry, Life & Style, Sobremesa, Spring, Style advice, sustainable style, Uncategorized, Wedding registry and was tagged with gifts, spring, wedding
Posted on March 28, 2013 by greenheart_admin
Ahhh yes: the weather is really changing, birds are chirping, and the snow is gone (at least in Chicago). Now is the perfect time to clean out closets, de-clutter spaces, and surround yourself with sweet pastels & fresh colors to celebrate Spring!
Nothing rings in the season like freshly blooming flowers, and these recycled hyacinth bulb vases from India add the perfect burst of happiness to any room!
These green, hand painted Franjipani floral storage tins are now back in stock! So great for displaying flowers, transporting food to picnics, or brightening up a kitchen table. Oh, and we have a few matching dishware pieces too.
We are SO excited that Farmers Markets will be returning soon! This Blue Do Si Do dress is a perfect frock to pop on when you're out & about running weekend errands. Only a handful left, and they're on sale right now. Snap 'em up before they're gone forever.
Few things are better than curling up with a fluffy pillow, except for maybe diving into a Scrooge McDuck-sized pool FILLED with pillows. These bright, hand-stitched styles from Honduras make a splash in any room!
It's time to bring out all types of warm weather shoes, and we adore these fair trade socks to slip on tootsies! They can be tucked in to be completely invisible, or peek out juuust a bit from your flats, pumps or sneakers.
Looking for a perfect yard accent? Whether you have a lush flowerbed or one minimalist blade of grass, these handmade terracota pots are our fav for planting delicious herbs or just adding a bit of rustic charm. And we've got more sustainable garden accents too!
Happy Spring all! xoxo, Greenheart
Posted on March 14, 2013 by greenheart_admin
Here in Chicago, we're pret-ty sure (knock on wood) that Spring is finally here to stay! Whether you celebrate Passover, Easter or the loveliness of the changing seasons, this is the time of the year for renewal and taking responsibility for yourself, the community, and the world. And what better way than to treat loved ones to fair trade gifts?
This time of year chocolate sneaks its way into way more houses, and Divine's White Chocolate bar is a delicious way to support fair practices in the cocoa industry. Plus they're kosher! Check out even more fair trade chocolate flavors here.
Looking to add a little extra whimsy to a child's Easter basket? Kahiniwalla has a whole line of amazing toys handmade by artisans in Bangladesh, including this adorable Storytime dragon! Plus we have a whole SLEW of more child-friendly Easter Basket goodies here!
Want to wrap yourself up in something soft, silky, but also lightweight? This handcrafted silk cotton infinity scarf is the perfect way to keep stylish & warm as the weather changes.
In case your fingers and ears get a little jealous, check out these fantastic jewelry pieces from Mata Traders. Look absolutely mint with these fan earrings paired with a crisp white outfit.
Or mix sweet with edgy using these heavy metal Labyrinth rings. They add some serious razzle-dazzle to fingers, especially when paired with a sweet Spring dress.
Painting and hiding eggs is an awesome Spring tradition, and we ADORE these glass-hinged storage boxes with a chalkboard front. You can write anything on them! Eggs! Candy! Tea!
This is great time to raise awareness about fair trade products, chocolates especially! Here's a few extra ideas: Fair Trade Judaica has some fabulous ideas on how to Fair Trade your Seder, and Stop the traffik has an Easter Action Kit with a letter template to help ask your local stores to stock fair chocolates. Happy Spring everyone!
This post was posted in Uncategorized
Posted on March 8, 2013 by greenheart_admin
Hey everyone! Today is a great day to appreciate almost half (!) the world's population. Several countries (China, Russia, Cuba, Afghanistan and Uganda just to name a few) honor it as a national holiday, and people say thank you to the women in their lives by giving flowers and small gifts to mothers, daughters, wives and grandmothers. But it goes a little deeper than that. If you haven't heard of this holiday yet, pull up a chair!
International Women’s Day started in 1908, when women garment workers went on strike in protest for better working conditions.
One year later, the United States observed the first National Women’s Day (later named International Women’s Day) in honor of those protesters. Thus began the annual gathering together of males and females alike in recognition of the brave women who fought for the advancement of female human rights.
And although progress for women’s rights have clearly moved forward in the last hundred years - ahem, thankfully, Congress just reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act - so much more can be done to raise awareness for global female equality.
Each year, the UN chooses a theme for International Women’s Day, and the theme for 2013 is “A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women.”
Check out their awesome video here.
Let's keep pushing forward! Change starts with each of us. For instance, here's some food for thought:
● 603 MILLION women still live in countries where domestic violence is not yet considered a crime
● 1 of every 3 women will be abused in her lifetime: sadly, violence against women is one of the most widespread, but least recognized, human rights abuses in the world
● Up to 70% of women in the world report having experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime
● The pay gap in the U.S. between men and women is still 23%
● 61 million children around the world are out of school, the majority of these young people are girls
● In the developing world, 42% of girls are not enrolled in school
What can you do to help now that you know?
-Be a part of the United Nations “A Promise is a Promise” campaign.
-Check out CARE, a serious humanitarian organization that fights global poverty and focuses on working alongside disenfranchised women.
-Global Fund for Women seeks to advance the rights of women and girls all over the world by investing in women-led organizations and women’s collective leadership for change.
-Room to Read’s Girl’s Education educate girls and help them develop the skills they need to negotiate key life decisions.
-Pro Mujer provide women in Latin America with the means to build livelihoods for themselves and futures for their families through microfinance, business training and health care support.
-Buying fair trade products made by formerly trafficked women: each purchase directly benefits a victim & helps them move forward.
This year, thousands of events (parties, parades, shows, and rallies) have been planned around the world, but we hope at the very least we can all start with one step.
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