Fair Trade

February 5, 2012

Fair Trade, Organic Choice Chai and Green Teas

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Do you love chai and green tea? I do, and now trusted organic teamaker Choice has added four new blends to their fair trade line.

The four new teas reinforce Choice Organic Teas' commitment to offer high quality teas from around the world while honoring their traditions.

Premium Korean Green (Green Tea) - This lush tea hails from Jeju Island, South Korea's "Island of the Gods." From fertile volcanic soil to subtropical forests, this pristine isle offers rich tea-growing terroir. The leaves are steamed, rolled and dried in the Sencha tradition, for a fresh and savory cup.

Decaffeinated Green (Decaf Green Tea)< - Delight in the best of both worlds with a cup that's both decaffeinated and flavorful. This crisp green tea grown in the mountains of India is gently decaffeinated using carbon dioxide, the only certified organic method. Enjoy the true essence of this refreshing and wholesome tea day or night.

Masala Chai (Black Tea) - Spice things up with this bold classic, featuring malty Assam tea from India's Brahmaputra River Valley. Choice Organic Teas blends rich, robust black tea with masala spices (cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and black pepper) for a spirited cup that warms your body and soul. It blends perfectly with milk and sweetener for an authentic chai.

ooibos Chai (Herbal Tea) - Thrill your senses with this naturally caffeine-free twist on traditional chai. Choice Organic Teas blends rich South African rooibos with the finest masala spices (cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and black pepper) for a cup that's warming, robust and subtly sweet. It's a luscious treat that pairs wonderfully with milk and sweetener.

Although I prefer loose leaf tea, all of these tea bags are delicious!

Disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 28, 2011

Green Gift Giveaway and Product Review: Fair Trade, Handloomed, Naturally Dyed SLOWCOLOR Linen Scarves


As a weaver and fiber artist, I am fascinated by SLOWCOLOR. The video above not only explains the company's "trend toward more conscious gifting", but the natural, handmade processes of the weavers, spinners, and dyers inspire me. I would love to go and visit SLOWCOLOR's artisans! That would be my dream vacation!

We were sent a beautiful Boulder Scarf to review.



  • The scarf that goes anywhere. A treasured companion on your life's adventures: casual, elegant, for work, and for play. Men like this scarf as much as women.

  • Gauze Weave

  • 100% premium linen handloomed with pride and passion in India

  • Hand Made: As this is a hand made product, slight size and color variation only show the human touch of a soul and heart at work

  • Size: 24"x72"



I love my Boulder Scarf. It is the perfect size for how I like to wear my scarves, and the hand dyed linen is rich and beautiful. I can't help but think of the hands involved in making this product.  Handloomed, natural plant based hand dyed, fair trade...a perfect gift for the eco-conscious!

Good News! We have one SLOWCOLOR Boulder Scarf to giveaway to a lucky reader!

GIVEAWAY REQUIREMENTS

RULES


  • This contest is open to US residence only.  No P.O.Boxes.

  • You have until 8:00 A.M. EST December 21st, 2011 to enter.


GIVEAWAY

  • One winner will receive 1 Boulder Scarf of their choice (inventory availability dependent)

  • Value $85.00 (incl. shipping)



MANDATORY ENTRY

EXTRA ENTRIES
+ Follow on Twitter www.Twitter.com/beSLOWCOLOR
+ Like www.facebook.com/SLOWCOLOR on Facebook
+ Share this giveaway on your Facebook wall tagging SLOWCOLOR's FB page (doing this correctly, your post will show on our FB page wall)
+ Comment on another SLOWCOLOR wall post.
+ Tweet this giveaway making sure to mention @beSLOWCOLOR
Disclosure:  The products described above were sent to us as free samples.  Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given.  No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews.  The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

This giveaway is running in conjunction with Eco Child's Play. Only one winner will be selected from both blogs.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 7, 2011

Global Girlfriends: How One Mom Made it Her Business to help Women in Poverty Worldwide

global_girlfriends.jpgGlobal Girlfriends: How One Mom Made It Her Business to Help Women in Poverty Worldwide by Stacey Edgar is an inspiring story. It's the story of how one mom took her tax return and started a fair trade company across five continents.

Seven years ago, Stacey Edgar had a $2,000 tax return and a deep desire to help provide economic security for women in need. She knew that of the 1.3 billion people living on less than $1 per day, seventy percent are women. What she didn't have was a business plan. Or a passport. But that didn't stop her from creating a socially conscious business that has helped poor women in five continents feed their families and send their children to school.

Global Girlfriend has since grown into a multi-million dollar enterprise that specializes in handmade, fairly traded, ecoconscious apparel, accessories, and items made by women all over the world. Global Girlfriends is Stacey's inspiring story of following her convictions, as well as her passionate argument for simple actions we can all take to eliminate extreme poverty. Stacey Edgar refused to be paralyzed by the size of world poverty; she started by taking several small steps, personal responsibility firmly in hand, and never looked back.


This is one of those stories you read and think about what is possible with life. Not only does the story tell how her business grew, but it also profiles women she has helped around the world. From selling her goods in the Wild Oats parking lot to producing a catalog, Stacey's story is one we can all learn from and applaud.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 25, 2011

Northbound Coffee Roasters Vintage Roasted, Fair Trade, Organic Coffee Guarantees Freshness

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I am a coffee junkie, and not just any coffee will do. I limit my coffee intake, so it has to come from quality beans to make it worth it. There's no point in drinking coffee that was roasted months (or even years) before it reaches my grinder.

Northbound Coffee Roasters is a new roaster in Northern California.

Northbound Coffee is roasted in small (tiny really) batches in our 1930′s vintage roaster at the base of Mount Shasta in beautiful Northern California. Sound ideal? Wait 'til you taste our coffees. We spend a good deal of time sourcing and selecting the finest coffees and then we roast them to perfection drawing out the best qualities of each origin or blend. We only roast to order and date every bag to guarantee the coffee drinker the freshest coffee. We cup every roast to assure you have a quality coffee experience each and every time. Our attention to detail is driven by our passion for quality.

Our love of quality is part of a larger devotion to those things which are built to last and forever giving a phenomenal experience. Sound like too big a promise for just a cup of coffee? Let us be part of your daily coffee ritual and deliver you something pleasantly unexpected.


We tried out two Northbound fair trade flavors of medium roast:
Ethiopia Harrar
Produced by the Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union, the largest fair trade coffee
producer in Ethiopia. This dry processed coffee presents wild berry notes, semi-sweet
chocolate, and hints of clove. Medium roast. Organically grown.

Guatemala Finca Bourbon
A rich and full-bodied cup with a hint of cocoa. Grown by the Echeverria family since 1870 at the border of the Atitlan and Acatenango regions, this medium roasted coffee is grown under the shade of native trees. Organically grown.

I have never tasted such freshly roasted coffee in my life! Short of owning your own roaster and doing it at home, you cannot get a fresher bean anywhere!

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 18, 2010

Synergy Organic Clothing: Fashionable, Sustainable, and Affordable

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It is hard to find organic fashions that are actually affordable, but Synergy Organic Clothing has done just that! I recently purchased an Organic Cotton Bird A-Line Skirt ($46), and I keep going back for more Synergy items! Not only is this skirt made from organic cotton, but is colored with low impact dyes and made in Nepal.

Synergy makes clothing that combines sustainability, with modern yet timeless design. We strive to make clothing that looks good, while being gentle on the Earth. We predominantly work with G.O.T.S certified organic cotton from India, that is dyed with low impact dyes. Our clothing is hand made in Nepal according to fair trade practices, verified by our long-term relationships with our manufacturers and our frequent trips to Nepal. Each season we look for ways to minimize our footprint as a business, in both the ways our clothing is made and in our daily operations.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 16, 2010

Really Natural Cookbooks: Green & Black's Chocolate Recipes

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From the makers of my favorite chocolate, comes an incredible cookbook! Green & Black's Chocolate Recipes, Revised Edition is the kind of cookbook that makes you drool. Not only is it filled with incredible organic chocolate recipes, it also gives you an education into cocoa (e.g. growers' associations, education, cultural information).

This is the ultimate chocolate cookbook. It contains 100 recipes to tempt, tease & torment lovers of this food of the gods. Chocolate is one of the most luxurious and satisfying foods, full of texture and flavor, and it is also a versatile cooking ingredient, not only for rich, dark desserts but also a perfect partner for savory and spicy dishes.

Above all, chocolate can be molded to suit every occasion and so the chapters within the book include Abracadabra (quick & easy recipes) and Wicked (irresistible concoctions). Woven into the book are stories about the Maya in Belize who cultivate organic cocoa for use in our chocolate bars as well as tips on cooking techniques and handling chocolate.


Of course, all great chocolate recipes start with fair trade, organic chocolate

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 29, 2010

Fair Labor, Organic Bamboo T-Shirt Supports Great Lakes Restoration

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Are looking for a really cool, really comfortable eco-friendly shirt? thINK Conscious Apparel Thistle Bamboo Tee is my new favorite top. Made from eco-friendly bamboo and organic cotton, this shirt is made with fair labor practices and helps support the Milwaukee Community Service Corps, which works to restore the Great Lakes.

The Corps recognizes the potential of every young person to be a positive, contributing member of the Milwaukee community. By channelling [sic] this potential into educational, job-training, and environmental conservation experiences, we boost their morale, academic performance and provide a benefit to the local community.

The t-shirt is made in Turkey and printed in Wisconsin. Supporting inner city youth and eco-friendly fashion is easy with thINK apparel.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

February 17, 2010

Organic Honest Tea Yearly Sales Match Coke's 9 Minutes

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We occasionally drink Honest Tea because it is readily available in gas stations and health food stores alike. Recently, my daughter read an interesting statistic inside her Honest Tea lid:

Last year, Honest Tea sold 7,998,654 bottles of tea. This the same amount of Coke sold in 9 minutes.

She was blown away by this statistic, and it really shows how even a quasi-mainstream product like Honest Tea nowhere comes close to a giant like Coca-Cola. Of course, Honest Tea was only launched in 1998, and it somewhat ironic they would include such a quote when in 2008, "The Coca-Cola Company purchased 40 percent of Honest Tea". Hmm, maybe that's why we are seeing it convenience stores now.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

December 17, 2009

Cadbury Workers Unite Against Kraft's Hostile Takeover

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The parent company of my favorite organic, fair trade chocolate Green & Black is involved in a hostile takeover by Kraft. Workers at Cadbury have united in a Keep Cadbury Independent Campaign. Food Biz Daily explains:

Cadbury workers are to launch a bid to keep the UK confectioner independent and fend off a hostile bid by Kraft...

Unite is also contacting all Cadbury shareholders to urge them to reject Kraft's bid.

The union said it will highlight what it claims to be "Kraft's plan to pay for the company through massive borrowing, Kraft's poor record in takeovers and falling share value and the union's concerns that Kraft will move all investment decisions out of the UK and into the Kraft boardroom overseas".


I certainly don't want Kraft in charge of making my favorite chocolate! I hope the Cadbury workers are successful in blocking this hostile takeover.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 8, 2009

Will Banana Price Wars in Europe Hurt Poor Growers in Developing Countries?

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I have often questioned the sustainability of a world hooked on bananas, and this tropical fruit is certainly not on the menu for locavores living in the Northern Hemisphere. Now, a banana price war is happening in Europe causing the fruit to sell for the cheapest price in 14 years. The Guardian explains the concern that the banana price war will hurt farmers in developing countries:

It is feared consumers will come to expect the rock-bottom prices and the cost will eventually be passed on to growers in developing countries...A Waitrose spokeswoman said: "The principle of providing fair and sustainable returns to all our growers is at the heart of how we do business. All our bananas are Fairtrade and, if others choose to start a price war, we'll make sure that our customers don't lose out. But none of the cost of cutting the price will be passed on to our growers because we want to help them build secure and viable businesses for the future."

So why have grocers started a "pointless" banana price war?
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 24, 2009

Sweet Organic Baby Clothes by Hessnatur

BABy hessnatur.jpg We've been fortunate enough to review beautiful natural fiber clothing by Hessnatur before, now we have discovered their organic baby apparel line! Super sweet, soft, and adorable, Hessnatur's organic baby line means everyone in the family can dress in eco-fashion. Hessnatur is always fair trade, organic, and sustainable, which is exactly what baby deserves against their fresh, delicate skin.

What our clothes are made of and with

  • Pure, natural fibers- organic whenever possible. Made from renewable resources: Vegetable (cotton, linen, hemp, ramie); Animal (wool, specialty wools such as angora, cashmere, alpaca, mohair, yak; silk).
  • No PVC or Teflon, anywhere.
  • Natural materials for buttons, like ivory nut, wood, horn, or mother-of-pearl
  • Trims and linings are made from natural fibers, usually 100% organic cotton or 100% natural silk
  • Any metals used for zippers, buckles and buttons are nickel- and chrome-free.  Other materials are only used for these accessories in the rare cases when natural materials or metals are not functional enough.
  • Our only exceptions: we sometimes use up to 8% of elastane/spandex for the stretch in some lingerie and socks. All the spandex we use is covered in cotton so no synthetic touches your skin.

What our clothes aren't made of or with

  • Synthetic fibers: made from chemical substances derived from petroleum, like nylon, polyester or acrylic
  • Regenerated fibers: chemically treated and re-processed fibers made from natural materials that cannot be used for textiles in their original form, like viscose, modal and acetate. Their manufacturing causes significant water and power usage.
  • Azo dyes which can give off dangerous, carcinogenic and mutagenic amines
  • Dyes and dye procedures that include toxic heavy metals, which are known carcinogens
  • Optical brighteners, which are probable allergens
  • Chemical finishes, such as moth-proofing, anti-microbial, easy-care, wrinkle-free finishes, made with synthetic resins
  • Chlorine bleach, which harms the environment

Hessnatur also offers maternity clothes from moms to be! I wish I would have had these organic maternity clothes during my pregnancies!  Unborn babies deserve the best against mommy's skin too! 

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 16, 2009

Green Fashion Giveaway Winner! Indigenous Designs Fair Trade Clothing for the Whole Family

spring-2009-cover.jpgCongratulations Sherri B. for winning our Green Fashion Giveaway: Indigenous Designs Fair Trade Clothing for the Whole Family! We hope you enjoy your kid's fair trade organic Daisy Dress. Thank you to Indigenous Designs for partnering with Really Natural on this green fashion giveaway!
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 8, 2009

Green Fashion Giveaway: Indigenous Designs Fair Trade Clothing for the Whole Family

ingenous designs.jpg I love clothes, especially fair trade, organic pieces. Recently, I discovered Indigenous Designs. Since 1994, Indigenous Designs has been making fair trade clothing, and you have a chance to win apparel from this eco-friendly line!
Together, Scotty and Matt have helped form a scalable artisan network through the Indigenous clothing line that reflects a commitment to sustainability and socially responsible actions. This global collaboration weaves together the employees of Indigenous, the artisans from around the world, and most importantly you, our customers.

We are committed to:


  • Supporting and preserving fair trade wages and artisan cooperatives

  • Investing in natural and organic fibers and environmentally-friendly dyes

  • Spreading the beauty of handmade, eco fashion


One of my favorite pieces in the women's line is the double layer skirt. This skirt is made from 100% organic cotton jersey material, low impact dyes, and is so comfortable! Of course, it is fair trade (not free trade) from Peru.  I will be living in this skirt this summer, and you could win one too!

Green Fashion Indigenous Designs Giveaway!
To enter:


Entries must be dated before Monday, June 15 at 11:59 PM. Good luck!
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 1, 2009

Organic Women's Fashion: "World in Your Hand" Tee Shirt by HessNatur

hessnatur.jpg Last fall, we reviewed a lovely, natural fiber sweater by Hessnatur. This summer, we've discovered the "World in Your Hand" organic t-shirt by Hessnatur. The incredible design was drawn by Miguel Adrover. This organic, fair trade shirt is made by Grameen Knitwear in Bangladesh. Hessnatur pays a 40% bonus over fair purchase price and donates 25% from the sale of each "World in Your Hand" shirt to the rural education project of the Grameen Foundation.
Short sleeved top. With narrow sleeves and generously wide neckline. Figure hugging to emphasize the feminine silhouette. Made in Bangladesh from biologically controlled fabric under socially fair conditions. Makes its mark, not just because of the symbolic logo: "The world in your hand". Exclusively drawn by Miguel Adrover.
Hessnatur was founded 32 years ago by environmentalist Heinz Hess. The company's mission states: "Human beings should live in harmony with each other and with nature. Respect for the planet and its people is fundamental to the way we do business, interact with our customers, our partners and each other. We will not compromise our environmental integrity or our design aesthetics."
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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