If you’re the kind of girl who likes to keep up with current fashions, but loves finding pieces that are as unique as you, chances are, fair trade will suit your style.
Every fair trade product from Ten Thousand Villages is designed with a current trend in mind, and that trend is interpreted by makers on the other side of the world, who add their own global twist through use of the materials and techniques of their ancestors.
Here are just a few recent examples of accessories that are trendy… with a global twist:
Mudcloth Shoulder Bag
Trend: Tribal Patterns
This trend was an easy one for us to embrace because so many of the artisans we work with are already familiar with patterns that have been passed down through generations in their home village. As the world shrinks, people have become more interested in the iconic pieces of global cultures, so it makes sense that tribal patterns are on the rise. The pattern on this bag is made with a traditional African dyeing technique called “mudcloth,” where actual mud is used with special dyes to achieve a truly saturated color.
Traveler’s Tale Necklace
Clean lines, sharp edges. Geometric shapes are all over the runway. When it comes to fashion jewelry, it can be tough to find pieces that are made with natural materials. This necklace is made with layers of leather, which are high-quality and lightweight to wear. While leather had been produced in India for centuries, it’s never been used in jewelry-making before now, which opens up a whole new set of possibilities for this material and the makers who work with it.
Amulet Choker Necklace
Trend: Choker Necklaces
It’s no secret that the 90’s are coming back in a big way… and choker necklaces are no exception! This unique necklace takes the basic choker shape to a new level with an asymmetrical design that’s finished with a pendant of polished wood. From the Bombolulu workshop in Kenya, this necklace provides jobs to makers with physical disabilities in Nairobi.
Silver Feather Necklace and Earrings
Trend: Small & Silver
While large and over-the-top jewelry had been in the spotlight for many seasons, things are starting to shift more towards dainty and delicate. These silver feather earrings and matching necklace are made in the family-owned workshop of Mrs. Sugiani, who works from her home in rural Bali. Using only simple tools—such as hammers, chisels, and torches fueled by a foot-pedal, Mrs. Sugiani and her husband produce fine silver jewelry.
Global Chic Scarf
Trend: Oversized Infinity Scarves
Infinity scarves have been popular for a while now. And it’s easy to understand why—all the style of a scarf, without the hassle of loose ends? Yes, please. This infinity scarf from Guatemala is made with hand-loomed fabric, that’s traditionally used to make skirts. Each village has its own distinct pattern. By using this material in a trend-forward design, makers can earn fair wages while preserving their crafting skills.
Every time you wear a piece of fair trade jewelry, not only are you expressing your own unique spirit, but you are also empowering makers in the developing world. So shop sustainably, and spread the word!