one: Someone I love gently pointed out that maybe I was starting to sound a little … snooty? Judgy? Not sure the right word, but just in case you think I have this all figured out – or I go around pulling cash out of my fair trade wallet in my fair trade purse slung over my fair trade jacket clad shoulder …. I don’t. I am not even close – (although, to be fair, my purse is actually fair trade. The rest isn’t.) And in the interest of full disclosure, I bought Second Son clothes from Old Navy on cyber Monday.
My point: None of this is perfect, or even financially doable at times, and that’s why I continue to emphasize the following: Remember to prioritize, and determine need and budget. Consider shopping less, shopping local, and shopping used if some the fair trade options are out of reach.
And grace, always grace.
two: There is a lot of discourse on the ethics of fair trade, socially conscious consumerism, white savior complex, poverty tourism, and the like. It’s important to at least attempt to understand the complicated dynamics at work in the global marketplace. Sometimes it is discouraging and wow, is it filled with potential land mines. But there are a lot of people who are really trying to get it right, to partner with artists, to affirm their dignity, to rebuild communities and infrastructure using local and sustainable resources – it can and is being done. So – do your homework, but don’t get discouraged by all the shouting. Wade through the chatter to find the things that matter.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. ~ James 3:17-18.
I’ve written on here several times about Preemptive Love Coalition, a global movement of peacemakers changing the way the world engages polarizing conflict by confronting fear with acts of love. Their challenge to us is to remake our world. How do we find redemption in even the darkest of days? I am carrying that over into every piece of my day to day moments … what does that look like for my parenting? My marriage? My conversations? The current political discourse (Editor’s note: UGH!!) And yes, my shopping too.
How can I be a peace maker?
That is my heart cry.
So then I found the Everyday Artillery bracelet from Noonday. A small thing, not a necessity in my life, in my first world comforts, but what a reminder for me. A visual picture of the cry of my heart – redemption, and peace making.
To make this bracelet, Noonday partners with an artisan business in Ethiopia that creates opportunity for women who are HIV+. Through dignified and meaningful work, Artisans are empowered to overcome discrimination and provide for themselves and their families.
Artisans melt down artillery shells to make beads and string them together to create jewelry, transforming objects of violence into objects of beauty.
Let me tell you a little bit about Noonday (All of this is from their website). In short, they
Partner with 30 artisan businesses in 12 countries. Noonday develops artisan businesses through fair trade, connecting them to a growing marketplace and empowering them to make a difference in their communities.
- Their impact reaches nearly 20,000 family members. When Artisans earn a sustainable income, they are empowered to provide for their families.
Adoption Trunk Shows celebrate and support adoptive families. Over the last 5 years, Noonday Collection has given over $250,000 to help more than 1,600 adoptive families bring their children home.
Today there are nearly 1,000 Ambassadors who have launched their own Noonday Collection businesses. Through their work as Ambassadors, these women have the opportunity to earn an income and make an impact – in their communities and around the world! (Editor’s note: Not multi-level marketing.)
I would like to add here, that while Noonday was originally founded to raise money for adoption, one of the many positive impacts it has is keeping families together. Adoption is a beautiful but heartbreaking solution to brokenness, so any time there is a chance to prevent the need for it, I am onboard!
And in the spirit of my fair trade series … I have bought A LOT of this stuff. It helps me look put together when I don’t feel put together.
In fact, most days I am falling apart (a whole other blog post), but at least I look cute!
My favorites, and the things I wear almost every day are the dainty paper bead necklace,
Bonus, all of these are under $40. (And FYI, I just ordered the Everyday Artillery Bracelet, but you best believe I will add that to this list when I get it!)
So consider Noonday the next time you go to buy jewelry.
FYI: December 15th was the guaranteed ship date, but consider giving a Noonday Gift card as stocking stuffers, teacher gifts, or a lovely hostess gift!
AND BONUS: If you purchase anything before December 31 using the links on this blog, you help send my friend and Noonday Ambassador Wendy Hogan to travel and meet some of the artisans Noonday partners with.
Thanks for hanging in there with me, friends, it’s been a rough few weeks at our house, but I will tell you about that another time.
Rest and merry to you all this season!