Posted on June 13, 2013 by greenheart_admin
Oh how we love summertime in Chicago, especially in our neighborhood of Wicker Park! What's our favorite part? So hard to choose...the arts? The shopping? The park, and the vibrant local community? YES to all of it. Everywhere you look, there's something to entertain and beckon you, including places that gravitate towards eco-friendly, fair trade sustainability! We decided to highlight a juuust a handful of our local favs. Come join us!
First up: the Green Music Fest, which gears up this June 22nd and 23rd! Located right in the heart of Wicker Park (and a quick walk from our store) this fest has become one of the most unique, highly anticipated music events of the summer. Check out awesome bands, eco-vendors, and learn how to make environmentally-conscious choices with plenty of demos, arts & crafts, and family activities. Always a fabulous time!
Right down the street from Greenheart Shop, we like to get our nosh on at Mana Food Bar, where the menu focuses on seasonal ingredients for their globally-inspired vegetarian & vegan-friendly dishes. PLUS! They boast an environmentally friendly atmosphere: almost all building materials in the restaurant are handmade and made from recycled materials.
Want to satisfy a sweet tooth after your meal? Also right down the street is Alliance bakery. Their European-style cakes, pastries, and macaroons are lovingly crafted from high quality, fresh ingredients like fair trade Valrhona chocolate. Owner Chef Rios is well known in these parts for winning serious awards over the years, and he regularly travels to France to keep up on his craft. Alliance also serves Intelligentsia coffee to pair with your sweet treat!
Looking to whip up some culinary creations of your own? The Wicker Park Farmers Market is held every Sunday from 8am until 2pm. Farm fresh items are just the tip of the iceberg - live music & family friendly events make this a great spot to hang out for a few hours. But WAIT, there's more! Other weekly events go on in the Park all summer, like "Garden Tending & Horticultural Training" or "Yoga in the Park", as well as historical/architectural tours and the string quartet concerts. We are so. spoiled.
If you find yourself looking for a quick afternoon pick-me-up, Wormhole coffee shop on Milwaukee Ave. hits you right in the nostalgia. This coffee house is steeped in tons of fabulous memorabilia from yesteryear, (including a FULL SIZE DeLorien). Oh, and y'know, they specialize in fantastic, high quality gourmet beans like fair trade favorites from Kickapoo & Bridgeport Coffee.
If you're looking for a great place to stay while visiting Chicago, or just want to plan a stay-cation, Ray's Bucktown Bed and Breakfast is just a skip and a hop North of Wicker Park. Modeled after small European hotels, this B&B boasts a cozy bohemian interior, but the amenities & service are on par with some of Chicago's downtown hotels. Ray & his staff also specialize in home cooked breakfasts made to order, using ingredients from their own garden as well as locally-sourced meat & eggs from surrounding farmers. Plus they compost everything, because they are awesome.
There are so many things to do in this wonderful city, and in Wicker Park especially! We love our little corner of Chicago, and we'll see your faces in the neighborhood soon!
Posted on June 6, 2013 by greenheart_admin
Father's Day is almost here! Are you searching for something unique that will change the world as much as your dad changed yours? Look no further! We've got 5 awesome fair trade gift suggestions for all types of dads!
Paging all outdoors-y types! This rustic letter opener is SO COOL because it's made from a recycled railroad spike and piece of driftwood! And it's handcrafted by artisans of El Herrero, like Ivan Auiles. Opening letters has never been so exciting.
Have a Father who loves travel? These luggage tags from Handmade Expressions are made from cruelty-free leather, and are the perfect way to personalize suitcases during business trips or family vacations together.
Whether your Dad is a wine connoisseur or more into craft beers, there are plenty of awesome fair trade accessories to add an extra personal touch to the bar area. If your Papa prefers an ice cold pint, these bike chain bottle openers and recycled glass tumblers really hit the spot, while these coasters made locally in Chicago from recycled cork have fun facts on the back for cool conversation starters!
Now bear with us: we know that neckties seem like an all too obvious choice, but these are the exception. Handcrafted by artisans in Cambodia, these silk ties from Global Goods Partners are SO stylish and improve the economic status of women in marginalized communities around the world! Check out more staple fair trade men's apparel like tee-shirts, and crew socks!
If your Dad is more of a tech guy, no gift is more thoughtful (and practical!) than a sleek cover to keep his electronics safe. Whether a hand-printed aluminum phone case from RuMe, an iPad sleeve made from natural bamboo veneer & premium wool from Grove, or a strong and sturdy laptop bag from Motif, these pieces will keep tech items safe and sound.
We've also got a TON more Dad-centric gift ideas. Find them here!
No matter how you show your Dad you care, fair trade gifts do double duty since they help fathers all around the world! Thanks to all the men who work hard to give kids a better future! ♥
Posted on May 23, 2013 by greenheart_admin
As the days get longer, we're walking on sunshiiiine! ♩♪♫♬ Whether getting ready to plant some herbs, rolling around with a puppy in the grass, or grilling with friends, summertime is here to envelope us with open arms. And we have a few design ideas to make your yard happy too!
Here in Chicago, we've still got about a month 'til the soil is warm enough to plant tomatoes, but it's definitely time to start potting herbs! We adore these handmade terracotta pots which are wonderfully earthy & beautiful. And if you're looking for more classic vases? We've got those too.
Looking for an awesome way to tell your plants apart while they're still little seedlings? We love these these garden markers from PeaceBOMB. Their artisans use local war scrap metal from Laos, turn them into works of art and clear their local devastated areas. Talk about serious negative into a positive.If you want to bring the outdoors inside, these brightly painted pots with our Nkuku classic bird design will cheer up any kitchen window sill! We also use them at our desks to hold pens, brushes and markers. Multipurpose happiness!
Adding a whimsical touch to your outdoor space makes everything feel more cozy, and this pear-shaped birdhouse is not only made from 100% natural Nepali wool and braided natural hemp, but birds can rest inside or pull the wool for material to feather their own nests. SMART. We can pear-ly wait to put this up.
Speaking of decorating, nothing adds a bit of easy elegance to an outdoor space like these hand-hammered pieces made from oil drums in Haiti! Our fav pick? This blue tinted daisy piece. Gorgeous, rustic, the whole package.
Bright, bold pillow covers are the best addition to lazy summer days when reading outdoors in a lawn chair or hammock. And what better way to fully relax and bring vacation to your backyard than with these breezy, nautical pillows!
Fair trade is a great way to add a global, personal touch to your space while resting easy! Cheers to a summer of garden parties and lawn games with friends!
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
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