ten thousand villages

Gift Guide: Ethical Alternatives to Joanna Gaines' Hearth & Hand Collection

ethical fair trade alternatives to Hearth and Hand from Ten Thousand Villagesethical fair trade alternatives to Hearth and Hand from Ten Thousand Villages
I was compensated for my time writing this post by Ten Thousand Villages, a company I've been supporting for over ten years.

Oh, Joanna. Who can know what combination of charm, good looks, doofy husband's antics, and business savvy led thousands of her show's - and now product empire's - loyal fans to trade out their perfectly reasonable drywall for splinter-risking Shiplap?

No matter how you feel about the Fixer Upper star's design aesthetic, there's something to be said for its distinctiveness. While I don't really do shabby chic, I appreciate that her precise combo of new and antique lends a certain homeyness to every house she redesigns. And, let's be honest, a huge part of the show's success has to do with the sweet, southern lifestyle she and her family portray. It's the lifestyle we're after.

Joanna and Chip Gaines' design brand, Magnolia Home, recently partnered with Target on Hearth & Hand*, a collection of artisan and antique-inspired home decor that would fit right into any Fixer Upper home makeover.

But you know what I found surprising? A lot of it - I mean, basically all of it - looks like something you could find on the fair trade market, and specifically at Ten Thousand Villages. 

Ten Thousand Villages, above all, is known for their handcrafted decor items. The sorts of things that balance nostalgia with modern design - recalling the warmth of the hearth, but made by fairly paid hands.

Here are my picks for ethically sourced, artisan-first items that closely approximate the Hearth & Home look without the questionable sourcing...
get the hearth and hand look fair trade and ethical with Ten Thousand Villages

Instead of the House Bud Vase
Clean House Ceramic Box, $18.99

Instead of the Galvanized Container Candle
Bottle Beehive Wine Rack, $59.99

Instead of the Pressed Glass Photo Frame
Small Floating Frame, $24.99

Instead of the Carved Wood Decorative Bowl
Mango Wood Serving Board, $34.99
get the hearth and hand look fair trade and ethical with Ten Thousand Villages

Instead of the Sugared Birch Pillar Candle
Warm Honey Candle, $12.99

Instead of the Merry & Bright Framed Wall Art
Gather Cut Metal Wall Art, $29.99

Instead of the Embroidered Throw Blanket
Homespun Table Runner, $39.99

Instead of the Embroidered X Pattern Throw Pillow
Love Lives Here Pillow, $39.99

Our society, as of late, has been obsessed with seeking out the simple things. 

But simple things aren't simple: they require effort, attention to detail, and labor. For only a few more dollars per item, we can choose fair trade. It may not feed your Target addiction, but it'll certainly have more meaning. That simple, sweet lifestyle is available to you, but only when you choose to add a little extra care to your shopping this season.

*I posted the Target link so you can do a style comparison, not to tempt you!

All photos via Ten Thousand Villages, used with permission.

What to Buy in the Ten Thousand Villages Sale

Ten Thousand Villages sale fair trade

This post contains affiliate links

Ten Thousand Villages is offering an additional 50% off sale items in their End of Season sale, ending September 30. This is a great opportunity to purchase fair trade items at low prices. Stock up on gifts, collect some new flower pots, or treat yourself. (The additional discount is reflected in your shopping cart.)

Clockwise from top right

Geo-Earth Planter, $7.50

Succulent Embroidery Art, $2.25 each

Cold Cave Tealight Holder, $6.25

Urban Garden Planter, $6.50

Urban Peasant Alpaca Tunic, $56.25

This is one of the best deals you'll find on Alpaca

Zig-Zag Mug, $7.12

Zig-Zag Plate, $7.12

Sweltering Tropics Necklace, $4.38

the moral wardrobe: an epic ten thousand villages review + giveaway

ten thousand villages outfitten thousand villages giveaway
When Ten Thousand Villages reached out to me to see if I'd be interested in a collaboration, I was delighted. Ten Thousand Villages holds a special place in my heart as one of the first fair trade shops I ever visited, long before I even knew what fair trade was. They're also credited with inventing the fair trade model as we know it back in the late 1940s when Edna Ruth Byler came back from a trip to Puerto Rico determined to expand the market for artisans there.

Ten Thousand Villages works with hundreds of artisan partners around the world with a mission to empower women, build relationships, preserve cultural arts, sustain livelihoods, and show dignity. In my experience buying from Ten Thousand Villages for several years, the products are well made, with attention given to detail and consistency. Plus, they make great gifts and their Christmas ornaments are lovely.
  ten thousand villages outfitEthical Details: Top and Skirt - thrifted; Shoes - Sseko Designs c/o MadeFAIR; Necklace and Earrings - c/o Ten Thousand Villages

Ten Thousand Villages sent me the Honeycomb Blossom Necklace and Earring Set made by Tara Projects in India. The pendant pieces are made from dyed bone sourced as a byproduct from animals that have either died of natural causes or are killed for food production. My position on material sourced from animals is that it must be a byproduct of a preexisting industry so that as much of the animal is used as possible, so I'm glad to hear that. The bone makes these delicate and super lightweight, so sensitive ears will have no issue wearing the earrings. I also appreciate the unexpected way the tri-flower necklace pendant is attached to the chain. It feels very contemporary.

ten thousand villages outfit
The spring-time exuberance of this set inspired me to get out and take photos on one of those perfect, breezy, warm-in-the-sun, cool-in-the-shade early spring days. And now that the Northern Hemisphere is hurdling toward warmer weather, I'm excited to be giving away not one, but THREE Honeycomb Blossom Necklace and Earring sets. Details below.
  ten thousand villages charlottesville
I'm honored to not only be working with Ten Thousand Villages Corporate, but to be collaborating with my local Ten Thousand Villages store (Sallie and her team are the bomb!) to offer two ways to enter the giveaway.

Option 1: Enter to win one set at the Charlottesville Store. 

You'll have an opportunity to win one Honeycomb Blossom Necklace and Earring Set when you enter at the Charlottesville Ten Thousand Villages on the Downtown Mall. The contest will run for one week at that location, so check the store for details.

The address is:
105 W Main St
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Option 2: Enter to win a set for you and a set for a friend on my Instagram account (@stylewiseblog).

Head over to my instagram account for the opportunity to win 2 necklace and earring sets, one for you and one for a friend you tag in the comments. 

This contest will run for one week. The Charlottesville store will designate its own entry period and rules, and information can be found in store. The Instagram contest, in collaboration with Ten Thousand Villages Corporate, will run until Thursday, April 21st at 11:59 pm EST. Winners will be selected randomly.


Ten Thousand Villages Charlottesville WFTD event

world fair trade day at ten thousand villages

I had the opportunity to check out the World Fair Trade Day event at my local Ten Thousand Villages on Saturday. Manager, Sallie, and assistant manager, Valerie, were warm and welcoming, and plenty of volunteers and staff members were on the floor to show people around and let them know about the day's special offers.

Ten Thousand Villages was the very first fair trade company and their business still serves as a model for the industry. Begun by Mennonite Edna Ruth Byler in 1946, it has since built partnerships with artisans all over the world. Artisans are paid in full before products are sold to consumers, which provides security and assists with the costs associated with production. Additionally, artisans are encouraged to use sustainable practices.

ten thousand villages charlottesville

The shop was putting on several raffles for beautiful fair trade goods, including a scarf, sarong, bag, and the book, Fair Trade: A Human Journey, full of breathtaking images and concise information about how fair trade impacts workers across the globe.

They were also offering free chocolate samples from Equal Exchange and Divine Chocolate, fair trade coffee and tea, and coloring activities for children.

ten thousand villages charlottesville
ten thousand villages charlottesville

I couldn't resist doing a little shopping while I was there, so I picked up a few things for my mom and received a delicious Equal Exchange fruit and nut chocolate bar and a sample of Level Ground dark roast coffee free with purchase!

ten thousand villages charlottesville

I had a great time getting to know some of the team, talking shop with the managers, and swapping fair trade brands and resources with others who care just as much as I do about shopping ethically.

Sallie let me know that the Charlottesville store was chosen to receive special recognition from Corporate due to its success, which means they'll have the opportunity to operate as a test market for new and exciting products in the coming months.

Congratulations on your success and thanks for having me, everyone!

celebrate world fair trade day at Ten Thousand Villages

World Fair Trade Day is this Saturday, May 9 and the whole world is celebrating! If you're near Charlottesville, consider dropping by the Ten Thousand Villages tomorrow. I'll be there to answer questions and talk a bit about my blog. 

Here's the write-up for the Charlottesville event:

10:00 am-7:00 pm
The World Fair Trade Day is an initiative of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) that takes place on the second Saturday of May of each year. It is an inclusive worldwide festival of events celebrating Fair Trade as a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty and exploitation, climate change and the economic crisis that has the greatest impact on the world’s most vulnerable populations.
Join us in celebrating the benefits of Fair Trade on Saturday, May 9th. We will have fair trade food and drink, free gifts with purchase, and more!
For more information about Ten Thousand Villages events in your area, visit their website. For more information about World Fair Trade Day, click here. I'll try to update this post with World Fair Trade Day sales later on today.

snow day


Items pictured: Ten Thousand Villages neck warmer, gloves, and gray hat; People Tree checked sweater; Krochet Kids teal hat, circle scarf, and sweatshirt; Sseko Designs gray and white scarf

Winter is coming! I no longer watch Game of Thrones because I found it both disturbing and misogynistic, but alas, winter is coming. With a winter storm watch in effect beginning this evening, I have to face the grim truth that the cold is here and it's not going away anytime soon. Fortunately, fair trade companies are awfully good at making lovely winter knitwear and cold weather accessories.

On an unrelated note, I really love my job. Sometimes I find it overwhelming, but it never stops feeling like meaningful work. I've got great volunteers, great customers, and I get to work at my favorite place in the world: a thrift shop. I valued my coffee shop job, but it's nice to take on more responsibility. When I moved here two years ago, I said I wanted to work in retail or at a non-profit and now I'm doing both! I'm surprised and relieved that I found something I truly enjoy.

the moral wardrobe: it's fair trade month!

Happy Fair Trade Month!
mata traders outfitI'm more excited than I look.

ft6Levitating leaves

fair trade month style postOutfit Details: Dress - Mata Traders, fair trade / Earrings: Ten Thousand Villages, fair trade / Cardigan - secondhand / Shoes - old

Hooray for a whole month of celebrating a living wage! I'm wearing my new Mata Traders dress and fair trade tassel earrings from Ten Thousand Villages in celebration.

It's amazing what doing a little laundry and cleaning the dishes will do for my spirit. Things feel much more orderly now.

an ethical outfit: casual date


date by fracturedradiance featuring a woven bag

Hannah of Lifestyle: Justice posted her date night outfit this week, which inspired me to come up with an ethical date night outfit of my own. Daniel and I rarely go on intentional dates, but we do have Chinese Food Thursday, which consists of ordering takeout and pigging out after I get off work on Thursday evenings. I've been really into Tofu with Mixed Vegetables with an eggroll or egg drop soup (yum, eggs).

I'm really hungry, if you can't tell. I'm going to convince Daniel to order Chinese food.

Oh, and Meg Ryan came into the coffee shop this morning! I made her a double shot soy cappuccino. I was starstruck the rest of my shift. It was exhausting.

If you would like a discount code for thredup, you can access my affiliate link here.

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style recipe: knit tee + vintage skirt + jellies



look by fracturedradiance featuring stripe tops

knit tee + mini skirt + rustic bag + jelly flats

I suppose I was inspired by the warm weather this week when creating these looks. The weather outside is perfect, but it can get a bit toasty behind the counter at the coffee shop. I should have gone bare legged today!

Each look includes a domestically produced top, fair trade bag, vintage skirt, and UK made sandals. Click on the styleboard for links to products.

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