I first encountered Fair Anita’s cute, ethical jewelry and accessories at the 2018 Eau Claire Global Market, and I immediately fell in love. The designs are on par with the best-sellers I see at local retailers and online, but Fair Anita’s products are fair trade and created in ethical working conditions, where their female artisan partners earn two to three times the minimum wage, plus health insurance and educational scholarships. Even better, this Minnesota business sources all their materials in the local communities where products are handmade, giving each piece a unique look (my favorite necklace is made with metal from recycled bullet casings!).
Fair Anita has partnered with 8,000 women in 9 countries, where amazingly cute, fair trade products are made in as eco-friendly a manner as possible. These include jewelry, bags, accessories and even masks!
COVID feels deeply personal. It’s making it hard to make money, get childcare, go to school, and have fun. These impacts can make it difficult to focus outside our own immediate community — our minds are full of worries about our children, parents and friends. As we plan the Eau Claire Global Market 2020 Fall Showcase, however, we’re reminded why shopping globally, and intentionally, matters so much.
It’s easy to imagine that we are the only ones dealing with these problems. Unfortunately that’s happy ignorance as countries throughout the world are struggling to deal with this new reality, many without resources to keep them safe and out of extreme poverty.
The good news is that there is something that you CAN do, right from the safety of your own home. While Christmas and the holidays are still a ways away, consider purchasing through organizations that provide a safe revenue stream for struggling artisans.
Over the next few months, we will be highlighting some of these organizations that have participated in our past Eau Claire Global Markets. Get ready to drool over beautiful items and tear up/smile over warm stories of people, just like you and me, making a difference on a very large scale. As a reminder, all of the artisans we’ll be highlighting conduct ethical business practices, focusing on providing fair wages, safe work environments and more.
Find us on Facebook at @eauclaireglobalmarket, or search for the hashtag #EauClaireGlobalMarket, to stay updated.
“Color By Amber isn’t just a collection of amazing jewelry,” said Beth Moga, an Eau Claire native who is also an elementary school art teacher. “It’s a piece of art that tells the stories about women and their families from all over the world.”
Color By Amber is a unique company that partners with female artisan communities around the world to make eco-friendly, globally sourced jewelry. What makes Color By Amber’s necklaces, bracelets and other accessories so unique? This Utah-based company works with artisans in 14 developing countries to create “interlayers,” or recycled textiles that are the staple of each piece of Color by Amber jewelry. Sourced largely from natural elements and made in the artisans’ native traditions, the interlayers are then encased in Ecoresin, a lightweight, durable material unique to Color By Amber. This results in pieces made from natural elements like hand-spun silks, mohair and artisan-crafted fossil leaves that are durable, wearable and don’t react with sunscreen, lotion or perfume.
What’s more, every Color By Amber purchase supports job creation, small businesses and families in the region from which each piece originates.
“I learned about CBA during a time in my life when I wanted to do good for others and do good for myself,” said Moga. “This line of jewelry empowers me to empower others through sustainable fashion and product, as well as share the stories of our artisans, helping them create a better future for themselves and their families.”
“Feeling good about what we wear and knowing the stories of who it impacts is exactly what this company strives to do each day,” continued Moga. “I’m excited to share CBA with Eau Claire during the Global Market!