Skip to main content

Coming and Going

This is day 18 in my 31 Days series on sustainable dwelling. For an introduction and more posts, head here!

Fair trade and local fashion doesn't have to be all long, dangly earrings - there are sturdier options, as well! I'm fortunate to live near a great baby store that has a strong focus on local, organic, fair trade, and sustainable products - like their chewable necklaces, pretty for Mama and safe for Baby (this one got Tobin and I through his 9 month wellbaby check).

There are also lots of awesome bags (what mom doesn't need more bags?) - lots of totes like this one from Mercy House, but we also have a slightly smaller zippered pouch that we use for diapers and wipes. Bags are one of my favorite fair trade items, since they come in a wide range of sizes, styles, and prices (and because you can never have too many bags ;)

Adam and I are both shoe people - but baby shoes are so tricky. There are so many adorable, expensive, impractical ones, and really all we want at the pre-walking stage is something to keep Tobin's tiny tootsies warm (I love his 'ittle feet. Brooklyn was born with huge feet, and goes through shoes at an incredible rate). Someone gave us a pair of Ozark Mountain Mama slippers when she was born, and I kept her in them until she outgrew the largest size - they are awesome. Warm, cute, and really hard to kick off. They're also really durable - Tobin was wearing an old pair of Brooklyn's until I was able to buy him his own (which I did, not because there was any kind of wear on her's, but because they were brown with pink toes and some people have a problem with that. I don't mind adhering to gender color norms if it means extra support for a local artisan).

I'd like to know that a child didn't make my child's toys (and that no one will be poisoned if they're chewed on) - so we have several things from Green Toys. They're American-made from recycled milk jugs (yay, ethical and sustainable!) and really sturdy - Tobin loves to chew on the spoons and bang the teacups on the table and there's not so much as scratch on any of them. We also have a Tonka-esque toy truck - it has a flatbed trailer and holds a lovely red race car (a deliberate choice so that they could play with it together). Thankfully, we have a shop here in Little Rock and one in Fayetteville that carry them.

As I was saying about bags... Before I learned about modern slavery and set out to do something about it (by putting my drops in better buckets), I thought that all "fair trade" bags were poorly made from thin cloth, and then marked up unreasonably because of the charitable label. I was so wrong. Pieces made by free women are well-crafted works of art - whether that's here in the US, or globally, like this bag from Joyn. I bought the bag (which is large enough for that Feed Guatemala diaper kit I just mentioned, plus my journal - which is huge - and wallet, without being poufed out of shape) recently, but I know from experience that their products are durable. My wallet is one of theirs - just a little hand block-printed clutch that I use as a wallet, and bought almost four years ago, and it doesn't even have any signs of wear.

I love all of the local and fair trade items that we use on a regular basis - knowing that not only are they doing us well, but we're also helping someone else by using them, too!


Popular posts from this blog

World Changers

A couple of months ago, someone texted to ask if we had any "extra" books that we'd like to donate for the kids of a homeless family that our church was temporarily housing. We read all of our picture books regularly (sometimes multiple times a day) so I asked Brooklyn, who is almost five, if she wanted to go to the bookstore and buy some books, explaining who they were for (because I am in full support of kids having books, just perhaps not at the involuntary expense of my own kids - I have a thing against voluntelling them to do nice things).
She looked at me and said, "We should give them our books!" and began excitedly pulling books off the shelf while asking me questions about the kids who would be reading them. At her request, I got her a brown paper grocery bag - which she then proceeded to fill completely with her favorite books, talking the whole time about how much she loved them, her favorite things about them, and why she thought these kids would a…

52 Lists: words that warm your spirit

For me, the best place for a fresh start or to begin a new project is on my birthday - the beginning of my year. So the year I was 21, I did a photo a day project (that ended up including an internship in Cleveland, meeting/dating my now-husband Adam, and going to New York to work for Vogue Knitting - so I'm retrospectively glad that I committed to documenting that particular year!), and the year I was 24, I knitted the sky (one row on a scarf each day in the color of the sky). So for 27, I'm doing lists. I'm going to roughly follow along with the book The 52 Lists Project.

A list of the words that warm my spirit

1. Peace
2. Quiet
3. Deep
4. Conversation
5. Slow
6. Calm
7. Warmth
8. Love
9. Wild
10. Free

This post is day 18 in my 31 Days series, 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful - for an introduction and more posts, head here. [Join the conversation on Facebook!]

Big and Little

Sharing the last project finished, first, because I'm a little bit proud of it - my completed piece for Larissa Brown's Lunar Phase Mystery Knitalong. I'll be honest, if I had seen the finished product before starting, I probably wouldn't have made it - and I would have been depriving myself of a lovely wrap that makes me feel kind of fancy (which is a hard thing to do at the moment, given that my wardrobe currently consists of three pairs of jeans and four T shirts, worn in rotation).

I also finished the Dash of Spice that I started last month. I have Feelings about using variegated yarns on shaped projects - the way that the colors pool together is not always to my liking - but this Hedgehog Fibres Sock was hanging in the doorway, at eye level, when I walked into my local yarn store and it very clearly needed to come home with me. I'm very pleased with how the colors ended up working out.

Because I then figured that Juniper needed a pair of pants to go with the …