Friday, June 5, 2009

Charity Friday: Accessories with Heart

Another way to use your wedding for good is to buy products that support real people, or that give part of their proceeds to charity.
Example: these silk sashes. In the words of the website:
"These silk dress sashes are each handmade in Phnom Penh, Cambodia by one of the many young women trying to move their lives forward after being victims of sex trafficking. 100% of the profit for this item will go back to the local day center we work with. It will pay the salaries of these girls, and expand the facility to include full time housing so that they no longer have to go to the brothels in the evenings. This program not only provides them with income, but also a new skill and a feeling of empowerment. It's a first step out of what is an unimaginable life for most of us."
Another example? Charity Charms, which are charms of the logo of organizations you support. If you didn't listen to my advice about bridesmaids gifts, this might be a nice gift. The earrings above are pretty, practical, rewearable, and $40. It is unclear though, what charity these go to support and I find that frustrating and wonder if the items that are not specific to charity actually go to charity.
Another online store, possibly not technically a charity, is the Global Girlfriend Store, which says:
"Our fair-trade boutique offers a line of trend-setting, women-made, fair-trade products including stylish apparel, accessories and gifts with one purpose -- helping women in need help themselves. We believe passionately that economic opportunity for women holds the promise for real change in the world; because when women have an income, they reinvest in themselves and in their children's health, education and nutrition, building stronger families and communities over time."

I love the idea that while we consume and buy things that are old, new, and blue for the wedding, maybe we could put our dollars towards small businesses or female artisans or somehow use our dollars to truly help people get out of poverty. I know that using sources like Etsy also allows us to do this, but somehow it seems more real when its supporting somebody for whom artisan crafts are the only way for them to make money, not them supplementing their income (which many Etsy sellers are, not that there is anything wrong with it.)
What are some other "accessories with heart" that you know about or have heard about?

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