Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Shopping the World

Fairfield's Fair Trade Fashion



It’s a small world inside Mama Jane’s Global Boutique. Intricately beaded bracelets from Kenya occupy shelf space with gleaming blue and white ceramics made in Brooklyn. The light and airy boutique is just one of several new socially minded shops in the Fairfield area selling Fair Trade clothes, jewelry and home goods from around the world. As people increasingly consider how their food and lifestyle choices impact the wider world, these stores offer a means to make a difference while shopping.

Barbara Johnson got the idea for Mama Jane’s during a service mission to Kenya with the Toronto-based Free the Children. It was while meeting with other women artisans that everything clicked. “I spent half my life volunteering and raising money. I must have been on 15 boards. But it just wasn’t fulfilling anymore,” Johnson said. “In Kenya there were women who have the same goals for their kids as we do - health and education.”

Johnson named her Southport store after the matriarch she’d met in Kenya who was in charge of organizing micro financing. Proceeds from Mama Jane’s sales are donated to selected nonprofits benefiting the health, education and empowerment of women and children around the world.

A story card accompanies each item so the receiver knows who does the work and how the community benefits.

Among Mama Jane’s offerings are Ali Lama Bags fashioned from old sails. They’re reworked into roomy weekend bags. The proceeds help fishermen living on a remote island off the coast of Kenya. Article 22 Peace bomb bracelets come from Laos and call attention to the unexploded ordnance still buried in the Southeast Asian country.

“Looking for artists makes travel really fun. I meet so many women doing extraordinary things,” she said. “Each object is selected carefully for beauty and handiwork.”

Tucked behind the Brick Walk is Christine Schwartz’ 5 Oceans Fair Trade. She sells goods from artisans and farmers around the world who belong to either the Fair Trade Federation or World Fair Trade Organization.

 “I think there is a building awareness of where our products come from. For the last few years Fairfield County has been fostering wonderful relationships with farmers at farmers markets and learning about organic foods, small farms, etc.,” Schwartz said. “The next step is to be aware of supporting artisans.  There are so many talented people in the world making unique hand crafted items.”

Schwartz sells work from artisans across the US and from third-world countries. Bouquets of pine crayons from Ecuador are tucked into baskets and colorful earrings and bracelets hang from a pegboard. Each artisan receives fair pay for each product sold. Certification with the Fair Trade Federation is underway for 5 Oceans.

5 Oceans also carries Lady Faith jewelry. The flagship store Faith Colectiva is in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Katie Coleman started the business nine years ago after attending a meditation intensive in Puerto Vallarta. She noticed how many people wore mala beads, or meditation beads. The sets are made of rose quartz, lapis, amethyst and other semi-precious stones.

“Our jewelry is hand made by indigenous women in Mexico,” Coleman said. “This has helped them enrich their lives, and their extended families. It is a beautiful blend of women coming together for the common good.”

To qualify as a Fair Trade store, items must be part of a direct cooperative with an in-depth relationship between buyers and sellers. The idea is to bring the socially and economically marginalized out in the open. Moreover, buying Fair Trade is intended to further support safe and empowering working conditions. That’s the idea behind Lib DeNure’s funky home boutique Hazel Daze named in part for her grandmother Hazel.

“I like stuff that means something,” DeNure said. “If you’re going to buy a tote it may as well be recyclable.”
Mexican paper lanterns hang from the ceiling alongside minimalist paper mobiles from Denmark. There are bags fashioned from old silk saris in brilliant hues such as hibiscus pink and sunflower yellow.

A portion of the Hazel Daze’s proceeds goes back to community-building projects in the artists region. For example, the Kiwoko Hospital in Uganda receives 100 percent of the profits from the sale of Beads4Dreams.
Now in its second year, Hazel Daze also gives back to the local community. Last year the store collected non-perishables for the Black Rock Food Pantry and Thomas Merton House.

  While each store sells distinctly different goods, they share in one thing: connectedness. “Originally my favorite part of the store was learning all the artisan stories. But I realize that it doesn’t end with their story,” 5 Oceans’ Schwartz said. “They continue with whomever is purchasing the item—they have reasons for making a Fair Trade purchase. We should all be conscious consumers and we are connected by everything we use and do on a daily basis.”

Add your comment:

Connect With Us

               

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Blurring the Lines

Turning Back the Clock: An Age-old Obsession

kidstuff

Kids Fall Fashion in Favorite Spaces

Take 5: Wardrobe

Tips for creating a wardrobe you’ll love

White-glove Service

We asked you who delivers the best in customer service. Here are the winners, donning elegant local fashions

Ten Minutes with Donna Huber

A Fashion and Design Teacher

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

January 2019

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

The Imagination Movers are a rock band for families and the Emmy-winning stars of a hit TV series seen worldwide on the Disney Junior channel. There are 76 episodes of "Imagination Movers...

Cost: $22.50 - $70.00

Where:
Wall StreetTheater
71 Wall Street
Norwalks, CT  06850
View map »


Sponsor: Wall Street Theater
Telephone: (203) 831-5004
Contact Name: Jeanne Moore
Website »

More information

World-renowned medium Thomas John is a trusted advisor to influencers and celebrities, including Courteney Cox, Sara Gilbert and Goldie Hawn. He stars on Lifetime’s “Seatbelt...

Cost: See Website

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge Road
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Telephone: 203-438-5795
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

Wednesday, January 16, 12:30 – 1:30pm: Country Acres & Cul de Sacs in Connecticut: 1938 - 1952 Join Dr. Jay Gitlin, history professor at Yale University and Fairfield Museum curator Laurie...

Cost: Members: Free; Non-Members: $5

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Sponsor: Fairfield Museum and History Center
Telephone: 203-259-1598
Contact Name: Visitor Services Manager
Website »

More information

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

Sleep is the pillar of solid physical and mental health. The science of sleep has made strides in recent years due to advanced medical technology, and the results of sleep deprivation are sobering....

Cost: free

Where:
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT  06890
View map »


Sponsor: Pequot Library
Telephone: 203-259-0346
Contact Name: Pequot Library
Website »

More information

Join us to explore adventures in stories about Alice in Wonderland, animals, and games!

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

The Fairfield Chamber of Commerce is hosting its annual 2019 Economic Outlook Breakfast at the Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield on Thursday morning, January 17th (Snow date: January 18th). ...

Cost: Chamber Members: $40 Non-Members (Public): $50

Where:
Brooklyn Country Club
500 Algonquin Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Sponsor: Fairfield Chamber
Telephone: 203-255-1011
Contact Name: Krista
Website »

More information

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Hartford Boat Show (HBS50) features the newest boats on the market including center consoles, fishing boats, luxury cruisers, deck and pontoon boats, sport and...

Cost: $12 in advance online, $14 at the door, $10 Senior/Military one day pass

Where:
Expo Center at Mohegan Sun
1 Mohegan Sun Blvd
Uncasville, CT  06382
View map »


Sponsor: Connecticut Marine Trades Association
Telephone: 860-767-2645
Contact Name: Kathleen Burns
Website »

More information

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

Dr. Dan Villiers, co-founder of the Anxiety Institute in Greenwich, Conn., will give a free talk titled In the Trenches: Family Impact and Parenting Strategies for Anxiety and OCD. Dr....

Cost: 0

Where:
Greenwich Town Hall
101 Field Point Road
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: NAMI Southwest CT
Telephone: 203-400-6264
Contact Name: Karen West
Website »

More information

The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

Robert Kalm discusses his documentary Self Make: The American Dreams of Philip Musica, about the notorious swindler Doctor Frank Donald Coster, also known as Philip Musica, who was a respected...

Cost: Members: Free; Non-Members: $5

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Hartford Boat Show (HBS50) features the newest boats on the market including center consoles, fishing boats, luxury cruisers, deck and pontoon boats, sport and...

Cost: $12 in advance online, $14 at the door, $10 Senior/Military one day pass

Where:
Expo Center at Mohegan Sun
1 Mohegan Sun Blvd
Uncasville, CT  06382
View map »


Sponsor: Connecticut Marine Trades Association
Telephone: 860-767-2645
Contact Name: Kathleen Burns
Website »

More information

The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
View map »


Website »

More information

We invite you to join us at Dojo Fairfield on Saturday January 19, 2019 when we host the founder/CEO of C.O.B.R.A. Self-Defense, Chris Sutton, for a one-day self-defense/ASRP (Active Shooter...

Cost: $129.00

Where:
DOJO FAIRFIELD
2317 Black Rock Tpke.
FAIRFIELD, CT  06825
View map »


Sponsor: DOJO FAIRFIELD
Telephone: 203.319.9989
Contact Name: Karina Gramesty
Website »

More information

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Hartford Boat Show (HBS50) features the newest boats on the market including center consoles, fishing boats, luxury cruisers, deck and pontoon boats, sport and...

Cost: $12 in advance online, $14 at the door, $10 Senior/Military one day pass

Where:
Expo Center at Mohegan Sun
1 Mohegan Sun Blvd
Uncasville, CT  06382
View map »


Sponsor: Connecticut Marine Trades Association
Telephone: 860-767-2645
Contact Name: Kathleen Burns
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags