Thursday, 21 May 2015

Directly Impact Clothing Makers with

"If you look at, people with a very modest amount of money can make a huge positive impact all around the world"  

- President Bill Clinton

One of the major themes of Fashion Revolution Day has been the disconnect between consumers and makers of fashion. The more we reconnect the links, the closer we come to a fairer future. That's why I was excited to hear from Brianna who works at Kiva - the world's largest micro-lending platform. Micro-finance is a term used to describe financial services to low-income individuals or to those who do not have access to typical banking services. It's also the idea that low-income individuals are capable of lifting themselves out of poverty if given access to financial services. Importantly, Kiva is a nonprofit organization and makes no money from the loans they facilitate.

Brianna explained to me that Kiva believes in ethical and eco-friendly business practices, greater transparency and fairer working conditions in the fashion industry. You can read about their own involvement in Fashion Revolution Day here

Having discovered Kindness by Design, Brianna realised that my passionate reader's would surely be interested in a simple yet powerful way to impact the makers of fashion. I agreed!

The way it works is pretty simple:

100% of every dollar you lend on Kiva goes directly towards funding loans; Kiva does not take a cut and does not charge interest to their Field Partners, who administer the loans. Click here to read about the lending process in more depth. 

So what kinds of positive change are you enabling through your loan? Let me introduce you to Pamela. 

Pamela is one of Kiva’s artisan borrowers from Kibera, Nairobi. When the single mother of four found out she was HIV positive, she started treatment for HIV and founded a support group for recently diagnosed women called the Kibera HIV/AIDS Support Initiative Program. She also taught herself to bead and now owns her own jewelry shop, which donates 50% of its profits back to newly diagnosed women in the group.   

With a loan from Kiva, Pamela was able to expand the types of goods she offers in her shop. In 2012, the average annual income per capita in Kenya was less than $950. Pamela now makes an average of $2,100 per year.  Pamela is a shining example of how a Kiva loan, partnered with hard work, dedication and belief in a better future, can empower artisans around the world. When I searched under the category 'clothing' today on Kiva, I found 300 loans available!

There are a number of other ways to support Kiva's vision of connecting people and alleviating poverty. You can join with other lenders to achieve larger goals, ask your wedding or birthday guests to donate funds, become a Kiva Fellow abroad and much more

You can connect with Kiva via Facebook and Twitter.  

Have you had experience with a Kiva loan or other micro-lending program? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below :-)
Disclaimer: This is not a paid post. Reviews cannot be purchased and submitting a product/service does not guarantee a favourable review. The opinions are 100% the author's own. 

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Kind Events: Every Purchase Matters

"I must do something always solves more problems than 
something must be done" ~Author Unknown

World Fair Trade Fortnight (8th – 22nd May 2015) kicks off this week with special events happening all around the globe. One of these fair trade focused events is being held next Wednesday 13th May right here in Sydney and I'm thrilled that the lovely folks from The Fair Trade Association have provided me with four tickets to giveaway to my readers! the night there will be fair trade markets, a screening of the powerful award-winning documentary 'Black Gold', and a Q & A session with leading figures in the Fair Trade Movement in Australia and the Pacific. Panelists will include: Wells Trentfield (CEO Jasper Coffee); Harvey Purse (Fair Trade Advisor OxfamAustralia); Molly Harriss Olson (CEO Fairtrade Australia); Mel Tually (Coordinator Fashion Revolution Day Aus/NZ); and Shannon Sheedy (Owner The Dharma Door).

Coming right on the heels of Fashion Revolution Day, it's vital to continue asking the hard questions about our consumer purchases. The Fair Trade Association is calling on shoppers to carefully consider the impact of every purchase they make on the world’s poorest producers.  According to Executive Director of the Fair Trade Association, Chris Hartley, “The small act of putting a Fair Trade product in your shopping basket assists the world poorest producers to lift themselves out of poverty”.  

To win 1 of 4 free tickets to attend Every Purchase Matters, simply leave a comment on KBD's Facebook page finishing this sentence: "Every purchase matters because...". The first four Sydneysiders to answer will receive a free ticket!

Friday, 1 May 2015

10 Gifts Empowering Mothers All Around the World

Next Sunday is Mother's Day, and this year I'm proud to be teaming up with Thread Harvest - a social enterprise for conscientious shoppers and change-makers who care about both style and substance, and who embrace higher virtues of empathy, respect and compassion.

All of their products have been curated based on the four key elements of: style, impact, cost and quality. Here are 10 beautiful gifts that will not only delight your Mum but are also helping to empower women around the globe!

1.  Socks to Fight Aids by Conscious Step

Each of these striking organic cotton socks contributes towards global efforts to eliminate new HIV infections in babies and keep mothers healthy. This is thanks to a partnership between Conscious Step and UNAIDS. Keep your Mum's feet cute and comfy while warming her heart at the same time :-)

2. Arrow Bangle by Article 22

I'm a long time fan of Article 22's profound and socially ethical jewellery. This bangle was crafted in Laos by artisans using Vietnam War era bombs and other paraphernalia. Funds from each purchase goes toward clearing bomb littered land.  
3. Neary Pacaya Tee by Raven + Lily

Sophia Lin and Kirsten Dickinson created Raven + Lilly as a platform to empower women through ethical design. This lovely t-shirt is made from repurposed remnant jersey by female artisans, many of whom are HIV+ or have escaped the sex-trafficking industry. 

4. Kelapa Shoes by Indosole
I'm loving the look of these 100% hand-crafted vegan shoes with their coconut tree print lining! Kepala actually means 'coconut' in Indonesian and these shoes seem made for holidays in the tropics. Not only are the soles made from repurposed tires, but no fuel-powered machinery has been used in their creation! Perfect for a sun-loving Mum who loves to tread lightly on the planet.

5. The Whitney Necklace by Starfish Project

I think this is a really funky combination of colours that kind of reminds me of walking along a beach on a stormy day. If your Mum loves beautiful jewellery then this could be for her! The profits from your purchase will help to provide women in South East Asia who have been physically, emotionally, and sexually abused, with income, education and on-going support.

6. Peacock Print Bucket Tote by Joyn

I adore a good tote! It's such a great gift as well because it's handy for bookworms, shoppers, beach-goers and more. This hand spun, hand woven and hand block-printed cotton tote is so pretty and practical. Crafted in Rajpur, India, each bag represents a steady job under fair conditions for someone in need. 

7. Wilbur Fleece Sleepwear by ALAS

One of my favourite Australian labels, ALAS stands for 'All Light, All Shadow', which represents the nature of change; day to night, sleeping to waking. ALAS also stands for cute and ecochic PJs! Not only are they made from GOTS certified organic cotton under fairtrade conditions...but the 'Wilbur' print features CATS =^..^= Purr-fect for the Mum who loves snuggling in comfort with kitties. 

8. Dainty Pendant Necklace by The Giving Keys

This unique necklace features a repurposed key, which has been hand engraved with a positive word by an individual transitioning out of homelessness. If your Mum loves things are one-of-a-kind, perhaps this is the key to her heart? ;-)

9. Mulholland Sweatshirt by Threads 4 Thought

Here in Australia the days and nights are definitely getting cooler - so now is a great time to give your Mum the gift of style and comfort! With a pretty lace insert coupled with 100% organic cotton terry, it's the epitome of ecochic. 

10. Uzma Recycled Cotton Travel Journal by Raven + Lilly

Is your Mum a creative soul who loves to write? This gorgeous collection of sustainable stationery is made by female artisans who live at the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains in Northern India. These innovative women see the potential for beautiful paper in everything from scraps of military tents, denim jeans, newspapers, and cotton rags. Amazing!

I'm thrilled to tell you that the good folks at Thread Harvest have created a special 10% off discount code just for Kindness by Design readers! Simply use kindnessmothersday10 when you purchase any items online for Mother's Day. You'll also receive a free fair-trade, hand-made card from Raven + Lily with every purchase :-)

Disclaimer: This is not a paid post. Reviews cannot be purchased and submitting a product/service does not guarantee a favourable review. The opinions are 100% the author's own.