Fashion Fair: Elizabeth Bricknell
Fashion Fair is a series of guest posts featuring style and insight from thoughtful fashion bloggers. Today we are happy to introduce you to noonday collection ambassador and thoughtful fashionista, Elizabeth.
The mound of clothes on my bed horrifies me. I really need to hang them up and do laundry instead of scooping them to the foot of the bed so I can climb under the covers at night. But that's beside the point. I'm horrified for reasons beyond my messy room. The tags on my clothes reveal disturbing truths:
Made in China. Made in Pakistan. Made in Hong Kong. Made in India. Made in Vietnam.
Made in Taiwan. Made in Guatemala. Made in Thailand.
Until recently, these tags wouldn’t have fazed me. But the news of the factory collapse in Bangladesh changed everything. Third-world factories produce cheap clothing for first-world consumers on a budget, catering to our "is it on sale?" shopping mentality to satisfy our thirst for the newest fashion trends.
As evidenced by the mound of clothes on my bed, I was drowning in my own heap of corruption and consumerism. My spending and bargain-hunting habits have contributed to a corrupt society of "saving money" at the expense of 1000+ deaths and I was devastated.
There are 27 MILLION people working as slaves today -- more than at any other time in history. That number alone should make us examine and abandon our old spending habits.
As a consumer, and ESPECIALLY as a Christ-follower, I have a responsibility to use my purchasing power for good. Where we spend our money communicates our values in the marketplace. If we continue to spend money on things that are produced by forced labor, we are devaluing our brothers and sisters and saying that our saved pennies are more important than the spent lives of the oppressed.
Since becoming an ambassador for Noonday Collection, I’ve become keenly and enthusiastically aware of viable options for the poor that are breaking vicious cycles of poverty and corruption.
We work tirelessly to create pathways out of poverty for the world’s most vulnerable by creating opportunities for sustainable income. With every purchase made, families are rising out of poverty and into opportunity. Each person earns a livable wage and makes enough to cover their living and transportation expenses, receive an education, and even save some.
Our artisans are working in SAFE environments, creating AFFORDABLE things, and telling BEAUTIFUL stories of hope and redemption through each hand-crafted product.
I am more convinced than ever that I can combine my new obsession for fair trade products without sacrificing my enjoyment of creating new, fashionable outfits.
Ethical fashion inspires creativity and guarantees dignity in the workplace. It is not frumpy or boring, and doesn’t have to be expensive.
I cannot keep buying what I've been buying without knowing it was ethically produced. The tension I'm facing is moving me to a place of action which is what I implore of you, dear reader. Will you join me?
Bone-Carved Leaf Earrings, Noonday Collection:: These natural cow bone carved earrings are handmade by an artisan co-op in India that helps low-income artisans move towards economic self-sufficiency. // Layered Leaves Necklace, Noonday Collection: Handmade by a fair trade artisan group in India that creates avenues of employment for the economically disadvantaged. // Organica Rope Necklace, Noonday Collection: This piece is handcrafted of sustainable seeds by artisans in Ecuador. It takes 3 months for the seed to become a bead. The artisans have been able to rise out of poverty and now employ other community members with the same vision! // Tangle Beads Bracelet, Noonday Collection: This piece is handmade in Ethiopia using recycled nickel, copper, and bronze melted down from previous war weapons. Most of the artisans who created the pieces are HIV positive and receive healthcare and literacy training in addition to job training. // Brightly Wound Bracelet, Noonday Collection: Handmade by a fair trade artisan group in India that creates avenues of employment for the economically disadvantaged. // Tagua Seed Bracelet, Noonday Collection: Handmade from tagua trees in Ecuador, it takes 3 months for each seed to be made into a bead. // My Catch All Purse, Noonday Collection: Ikat weaving is an arduous type of weave that is has been perfected by the Mayans. Each textile is hand-loomed in Guatemala and then finished with a lush leather. // Blouse, skirt and belt: thrifted
Photo credit: Evan Dalen Photography
Shop Noonday Collection at any time by visiting Elizabeth's website: www.elizabethbricknell.noondaycollection.com (please select "Elizabeth Bricknell" as your ambassador on the check out page)
Elizabeth writes more about fair trade, poverty awareness, social justice and faith on her blog: www.elizabethbricknell.blogspot.com