fair trade federation

Lariats are the New Chokers: Dunitz & Company Jewelry Review

This post was produced in partnership with Dunitz & Company. Dunitz & Company fair trade Lariat Necklace reviewDunitz & Company fair trade Lariat Necklace review
Ethical Details: Dress - vintage; Jacket - Thredup; Leggings - old; Shoes - Frye; Leather Spiral Lariat Necklace - c/o Dunitz & Company

A choker that doesn't choke...


I really like that chokers are back in style, except for one thing: they make me feel like I'm choking. But I figured out a way to get the cool Victorian-era meets the '90s look I'm going for without fear of death. Wear a lariat necklace!

Lariat necklaces allow you to customize the tie, so you can wear them like a long string of pearls or as a choker, and the style means that you get two pretty pendants affixed to the ends of the strand for a unique, asymmetrical look. There are plenty of chokers and lariats offered on the conventional and fine jewelry markets, but I wanted something that was more of an everyday, wear-anywhere piece, and obviously it needed to be ethically sourced. Nancy at Dunitz & Company offered the Leather Spiral Lariat for review and it's turned out to be exactly what I was looking for.

  Dunitz & Company fair trade Lariat Necklace review

The Leather Spiral Lariat is made of delicate glass beads and lightweight leather, so it's not burdensome to wear all day. I can't overstate the quality of materials; you can tell by the way it feels that it's high quality. It feels feminine without being saccharine and, when worn like a choker, it transforms into something a little more hardcore. It's a great accompaniment to this vintage '90s dress and my secondhand denim jacket.

Dunitz & Company fair trade Lariat Necklace review

About Dunitz & Company


Nancy Dunitz founded Dunitz & Company in the late '80s as a response to a need. While visiting Guatemala, she met many talented artisans who had limited access to a viable marketplace for their goods due to political unrest...
During the early stages of Dunitz & Company, Nancy met two artists who introduced beading techniques to a few Mayan women. She began collaborating with these creative women, and soon a viable and sustaining business was born. “We were on the ground floor,” comments Nancy. “Beading was a new medium in Guatemala and by creating fashion-forward designs, I knew I could also create demand.”
Now, Dunitz & Company provides employment for over 100 women and men, providing fair wages and donating a portion of proceeds to community initiatives that assist with educational development and access to health resources. Dunitz and Company is a member of the Fair Trade Federation, which ensures that ethical standards are met throughout the supply chain, and a Gold Business Certified member of Green America, as well as a founding member of Fair Trade Los Angeles.

Dunitz & Company fair trade Lariat Necklace review

I've partnered with Dunitz & Company to give away this Lariat Necklace! 


Enter the Giveaway on Instagram and on the blog!!

Fair Trade Federation Holiday Gift Guide 2015

fair trade federation gift guide

It's here! The moment you didn't know you were waiting for. The Fair Trade Federation just published their 2015 Holiday Gift Guide chock full of ethical gifts for everyone on your list. Just click on the Isuu reader below to start reading.


I support Fair Trade Federation shops whenever I can, because I believe in their mission and find them to be a trustworthy source for fair trade goods. The FTF isn't a third party certifier - it's a business association that provides networking and other resources for companies that believe in ethical, transparent supply chain practices.

A few of my favorite FTF brands are Mata Traders, Education & More (support them via their sidebar ad), Manos Zapotecas, and Ten Thousand Villages.

I know it's a bit early to be talking about the Christmas holiday (at least I think so), but it's hard for fair trade companies to compete with big box retailers if they don't start the season early like everyone else. We're only a couple weeks away from the biggest fair trade sales event of the year - Fair Tuesday - so I'll be busy researching sales and creating lists and gift guides for you all.

Are you looking for anything specific this Holiday season? Let me know in the comments and maybe I can find an ethical version for you to include in a guide.

spotlight: Global Goods Partners Wishlist

Many thanks to Global Goods for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own. 

global goods partners wishlist

Global Goods is a well established fair trade accessories brand (and a member of the Fair Trade Federation!) with a mission to alleviate poverty and promote justice in the global south. As its name implies, Global Goods' partnerships are widespread, extending to 20 countries, from Namibia to Bolivia to Afghanistan and dozens of places in between. It's a central marketplace for independently run co-ops, which ensures that each artisan group can operate according to its specific needs and talents. This is the beauty of the fair trade system: it is meant to be small scale, which means any problems that arise are easy to spot and can be addressed quickly and correctly. That's something a giant corporation simply can't do.

From the looks of their product offerings, Global Goods' curators gravitate toward a lot of the things I love, like super saturated jewel tones, statement jewelry, and richly textured bags. I've highlighted a handful of my favorite things here (clockwise from top left):


I also thought it would be fun to accessorize an outfit I already own with Global Goods items. I would wear this to a grad student get together or a casual weekend dinner out with Daniel.
global goods fair trade outfit
Ethical Details: Skirt - eshakti; Lapis Drop Earrings via Global Goods; Ikat Crossbody Bag via Global Goods; Shoes - Sseko Designs

Global Goods items are beautiful things meant to be treasured. I like to invest once a year or so in a nice, fairly sourced bag that will get me through several seasons in style. It's nice to carry something with me everyday that reminds me of the commitment I've made to tread lightly. What I'm really trying to say is that the Ikat Crossbody purse is the bomb. Their smaller trinkets and accessories would make nice gifts, too. 

What items are on your wishlist this fall?


(I'm still trying to sort out exactly what I want my fall wardrobe to look like. This capsule wardrobe thing is hard for an indecisive person!)

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Shop Global Goods Partners here. Follow on facebook, instagram, and twitter



giveaway: $25 Amani ya Juu Gift Card


Did you see Friday's post about fair trade organization, Amani ya Juu? If not, make sure to read my review of their beautiful Olive Branch spoon set and then head back here to read more about the company and enter a giveaway.

(Coincidentally, Friday's post fell on Daniel's and my fifth wedding anniversary. We didn't realize it then, but it's traditional to give your beloved something made of wood on your fifth anniversary, so it was rather fitting that I chose to review the most beautiful wooden spoons on that day.)

And now for the last two interview questions and responses:

Do employees "graduate" from Amani or do you find that many of them stay on long term?


Amani is committed to holistic development. Women gain experience in stitching, quality control, purchasing, bookkeeping, management and design. As new women enter the program they are mentored in quality workmanship with strong emphasis on ethical business practices and harmonious relationships with people of different backgrounds. 
Due to the circumstances affecting marginalized women, the ladies who come through our doors are in a very transient stage of life. They often move to to another city or return to their home country. Those who stay often move up in the ranks, training others, begin to oversee a certain department, or earn an administrative position. Some receive loans from us and start their own small businesses. Others apply for our scholarship program and further their education.

Besides making a purchase, what are the best ways for us to support Amani ya Juu?


Spread the word. Following us and sharing about us on social media is huge.  Introducing us to new people means more opportunities for consistent, sustainable livelihood for the ladies in Africa. Signing up for our e-newsletter blasts is also a great way to stay connected if you think you might want to purchase from us in the future (Christmas is only 165 days away!).  
Volunteer.  Host an Amani Box Party in your home, church, school or other community event.  Box Parties play a vital role in sustaining the women of Amani and in spreading God’s peace in your community.  Contact: volunteer@amaniafrica.org. 
Pray.  [If you're the praying sort,] join with us in praying that God’s peace will reign in Amani communities everywhere. 
Donate.  Support Amani’s work in extending God’s peace beyond her walls.  Donate online.
Amani is offering a $25 gift card to one lucky reader. Just enter via the form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The contest will run until 11:59 pm this Sunday, July 20, 2015. 
Open to US readers only.

Amani ya Juu: Olive Branch Spoon Set

amani ya juu

I'd snooped around Amani ya Juu's site long before they reached out to me a few weeks ago to tell me they enjoyed Style Wise. They use vibrant Kitenge textiles in a lot of their clothing and I love a good print. When Emily over at Amani asked me if I'd like to review something for the blog, however, I decided to go full on practical and get myself a serving spoon set. 

Daniel and I, despite being grownups for awhile now, had never bothered to go out and purchase anything suitable for serving salads and we'd been forcing our poor dinner guests to clumsily grip together two regular pieces of silverware all this time. The multi-colored grain and rich smell of olivewood makes this Olive Branch Spoon Set really special (and decidedly more impressive than tiny forks for serving salad).

olive branch spoon set

Amani ya Juu, which means "peace from above" in Swahili, is a faith based sewing and resource center that seeks to provide a place of peace and restoration to their employees, primarily women escaping war and political turmoil. Their network extends to 6 countries. They're also a member of the Fair Trade Federation, which ensures that their business practices are just and transparent. 

olive branch spoon set

I asked Emily to clarify a few things about the process:

How do women get involved in the Amani program?

Women get involved in many ways. It's often by word of mouth from a neighbor, friend, or family member who has been through the program. Sometimes they are referred to us from other organizations who provide some sort of immediate assistance but not jobs or training. We have a waiting list, and when there is space in our program, a woman comes in and interviews. The interview isn't necessarily based upon skill, in fact - usually it is based upon need.

Your program has several locations. Are women employed at each location? How is the organization organized?

Yes, women are employed at each Amani location (and a handful of men, too!). The largest has close to 100 (Kenya) and the smallest has 16 (Uganda) 
Many women working at our oldest and largest center in Kenya are refugees from other countries hoping to return home. As women returned to their homelands, they often carry Amani with them. For some, encountering peace at Amani has left such an impression that they developed a vision for an Amani in their home community. Through these women, Amani has established a presence of peace in five African nations. As Amani has grown from one location to a network of centers, each Amani center is locally registered and independently managed with support from an international leadership team.  
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If you're anxious to learn more about Amani ya Juu and maybe get your hands on your own set of serving spoons (or a new skirt or bag), make sure to check back Monday for another post + a giveaway! 


Visit Amani ya Juu on facebook, instagram, and twitter.

Fair Trade Federation Holiday Guide


Happy Tuesday. I'm currently steeped in Holiday-related work duties and haven't had much time to prepare posts, so it's the perfect time to share a fair trade gift guide! I really love the Fair Trade Federation's standards and organizational structure.

My picks are the Starfish Project necklace and the Eternal Threads gloves.