22
Oct 15

Empowering Women & Girls Makes Economic Sense

The recent International Day of the Girl really made us think about how empowering & educating women & girls can change the world! This year’s theme of “The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030″ addresses the fact that adolescent girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, but also that “If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to CHANGE THE WORLD – both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders.”  Powerful words!

young girls

Studies show that when an educated girl or woman earns income, she reinvests 90% of it into her family. She prioritizes food, medicine, and education for her children. In one of our recent videos about The Leakey Collection’s early days, our founder Katy Leakey shared that even the Maasai men eventually acknowledged: “The women spend the money on the RIGHT THINGS. They put the kids in school. They buy the food.”

Mandy Moore wrote in ONE.org: “Each additional year of secondary school can increase a woman’s earnings by 10 to 20 percent, and that increase yields real profits for the countries they live in. When 10 percent more women in a country complete secondary education, the country’s annual per capita income grows by 3 percent. Investing in women and girls makes economic sense.”

We believe in this so firmly that not only is our mission to empower our female Maasai artisans through entrepreneurial ventures, but we are working to keep young adolescent rural girls, who tend to drop out of school before completing their primary education, on track toward graduation. A portion of the proceeds from each Beads for Girls Graduation bracelet is donated by The Leakey Collection to our Girls Graduation counseling program, as well as toward a girls’ scholarship fund.

Beads for Girls' Graduation

 


06
Oct 15

We Practice 360° Fair Trade

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The words “Fair Trade” mean so much more than just “feel-good words.”

As a member of the Fair Trade Federation, The Leakey Collection is fully committed to the principles listed above in all of our transactions.  These principles were created by using the global principles of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) as their foundation.

360 logo

Our Fair Trade Federation membership means we go beyond the fair trade basics. It’s a 360° approach that’s about building true partnerships with artisans and working to create positive change through all of our work. 360° fair trade means not only fair wages, but also long-term, holistic partnerships that empower artisans to grow their businesses. As an FTF member, we go through a rigorous screening that looks at our whole business. We call it 360° fair trade, meaning that we’re committed to being fair and responsible in everything we do — socially, economically, and environmentally. We practice 360° fair trade, which means we take a more holistic approach than only looking at wages and work conditions. We partner with artisans and make a long-term commitment to helping grow businesses and strengthen communities. We’re proud to practice 360° fair trade. We build true partnerships with producers and act responsibly in all of our work: socially, economically, and environmentally.

The month of October is Fair Trade Month. There are many options to buy fair trade products wherever you shop so make your purchases mindfully. “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want to live in.” Anna Lappe

Every purchase matters.


29
Sep 15

Zulugrass “Journeys” to a Movie Set in South Africa

Zulugrass has traveled from Beverly Hills (in a previous post) back to Africa – this time to South Africa.

The Journey Is the Destination,” based on the critically acclaimed bestseller, is also the name of a film in production in South Africa, chronicling the life of photojournalist and creative activist, Dan Eldon. On July 12, 1993, Dan and three of his colleagues were beaten, clubbed and stoned to death by an angry mob in Mogadishu during a violent time of upheaval.

Growing up in Kenya, Dan became friends with Philip’s daughter, Lara, forging a long history of friendship and support between the Leakeys and the Eldons. “The Journey” features a talented cast, among them Ben Schnetzer as Dan and Ella Purnell as Dan’s sister Amy. Maria Bello, star of the 1990′s TV series “ER” and movies such as the recent “McFarland USA,” plays Dan’s mother, Kathy Eldon, a best-selling author and visionary in her own right. Los Angeles Confidential Magazine named Kathy one of Los Angeles’ Most Influential Female Power Duos with activist Maria Bello.

Maria Bello

Maria Bello

It is such fun to see Maria wearing Zulugrass on the set, along with actor Mika Basson, as Elinor Tatum who participated in the Student Transport Aid Safari that Dan led across Africa to deliver aid to a Refugee camp in Malawi.

Mika Basson

Mika Basson

You can follow the progress of this film right along with us here or here. We look forward to seeing this in theaters!


21
Sep 15

Peace is Always Beautiful

Peace is Always Beautiful


18
Aug 15

Step by Step Guide to “Build Your Own Custom Necklace”

Custom necklace from Pure Art

Our Canadian friends Pure Art have created a fantastic way to wear Zulugrass using your own beads and charms, as well as porcelain and wood charms from The Leakey Collection.

zulu8_pure art

LEARN HOW BY CLICKING HERE.

 


03
Jul 15

Say Hello to Summer Lookbook & 25% off

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We have just completed our summer lookbook and we’d love feedback from our wonderful community of fair-trade fashionistas!  Our newest designs are inspired by warm waters, outdoor fun, and the bright colors of nature!

We invite you to enjoy our 90 second video Say Hello to Summer Lookbook.  In addition, to celebrate this holiday weekend, we are offering 25% off our entire site.  Discounts will be automatically taken upon check-out.

Happy 4th of July!!!

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30
Jun 15

Chia Seed Salad Dressing

There’s nothing better than a fresh Mediterranean salad for summer, and one of my current favorite homemade dressing recipes is:

  • Olive oil
  • Rice vinegar
  • 1 pressed shallot
  • a touch of honey
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • and… the secret ingredient to make it great is one tablespoon of white Chia seeds.

(Chia seeds are among the healthiest foods on the planet. They are loaded with nutrients that can have important benefits for your body and brain.)

Let this soak together for 15 minutes before dressing your salad.  Yum!

Chia-1

 

If you want a real treat, add some pomegranate seeds too.

Happy summer!

-Katy Leakey


04
Jun 15

Spread Love

I LOVE BEING A PART OF A MOVEMENT

THAT SPREADS LOVE AND EMPOWERS OTHERS.

This is a quote taken from Deap in Love’s website.  The Leakey Collection has collaborated with them to do just that in the #30Ways30Days Challenge.  What exactly does that mean?

The Challenge:

30 Ways, 30 People, 30 Days to spread awareness starting May 18th through June 18th. Each day will represent a new awesome person/organization and their way to spread love for the day. The 30 day challenge will be contingent on everyone completing their tasks. Our goal is to spread love in all corners of the world and raise $35,000 for suicide, depression, mental illness, and homelessness prevention.

Who is Deap in Love?:

DEAP in Love is an organization dedicated to offering support and hope to teens and adults struggling with depression, self-injury, and suicide. Our goal is to direct them to the support they need in order to make the necessary transformation in their lives. We offer a 24/7 online chat room with a certified suicide intervention coach. There is also an in-person support group available for those living in the Los Angeles area free of no charge as well as a virtual support group.

Let’s Do This!:

The Leakey Collection jumped on the opportunity to be involved with spreading love and empowering others.  After all, this is the core of our mission statement.  We’re handing out Zulugrass heart bracelets to complete strangers across the globe.  From locations in Kenya, California, Connecticut and Nebraska, we hope to start a chain reaction of spreading love.  You can read more about our company at www.leakeycollection.com.

We hope you too will get involved and spread love in your community!


13
May 15

10 Tips for Healthy Gardening During Drought Times

10 Tips-3

This photo of the drought in Kenya a few years ago makes our team members in California a little wary of the drought situation here, as well as other parts of the US.  We’ve been researching some ways to grow a vegetable garden during a drought situation and thought we’d pass on some ideas for your personal use.

Here are 10 tips to grow a healthy garden during drought times:

  1. Well-amended soil is the foundation of a vegetable garden that will tolerate drought. Prepare your garden’s soil by adding lots of rich, organic compost that will help trap moisture and encourage deep root formation in plants.
  2. Practice efficient irrigation – Apply water slowly to the base of plants, which will reduce water usage by about 50%. Drip systems use much less water than any other form of irrigation, and the plants like it better, too.
  3. Irrigate in the morning when temperatures are still cool.
  4. Mulching minimizes evaporation of water from the soil surface, reducing irrigation need by around 50%. Use an organic mulch to a depth of 3 to 4 inches, depending upon the particle size of the mulching material. The larger the particle, the deeper the mulch should be applied.
  5. Black plastic or black landscape cloth conserves moisture. This can be used with tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and the vine crops in cooler areas. Place plastic or landscape cloth down on top of well-amended soil with pins, tear or cut holes big enough for the plant root ball, and insert plants.
  6. Plant in off-set blocks, rather than rows. This creates shade for roots and reduces evaporation. Control weeds, as they are competing with the vegetables for water. Group plants with similar water needs on the same section of irrigation. Cucumber and zucchinis and squash, for example, require similar water applications.
  7. Grow vegetables that do well with little water. Beans have built-in drought resistance. Tomatoes, melons and squash grow deep roots that seek out water and do not need to be watered as often. Vegetable plants with smaller leaves tend to lose less moisture due to transpiration so choose varieties carefully.
  8. Focus on high-yield vegetables that produce abundant crops like tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplants.
  9. Try dry farming your tomatoes – Plant your tomatoes and water them as usual for the first few days to get them established, then water only once a week. Once the tomatoes flower and set fruit, cut off all water. The plants may not look great, but they will produce, and some say the fruit will taste better.
  10. Rethink ways to capture water rather than letting it run down the drain. Use buckets in your shower and sink to catch the water as it heats up. Water from cooking pasta and vegetables also provides nutrients to your soil.

Gardening concerns are also abundant in the Rift Valley, which suffers from droughts frequently.   With proceeds from our Beads for Healthy Gardens Bracelets,  we are educating and encouraging Maasai women to plant healthy gardens.  Most rural pregnancy and birth issues, as well as child development problems, can be eradicated by eating a healthy diet. We’ve also created a school program to teach children the importance of a balanced diet.

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Happy Gardening to you and to the Maasai women in Kenya!

 


20
Mar 15

WATER IS…

That is the intriguing catch phrase for World Water Day, celebrated on March 22nd. You can read all about what “WATER IS”  here at the World Water Day website.

This year The Leakey Collection is focusing on one of those: WATER IS HEALTH with our new Beads for Clean Water initiative.

Water is Health

The Leakey Collection will dedicate proceeds from each Beads for Clean Water Bracelet sold to our “Clean Water for Every Home” project. Our goal is to put a water dispensing unit, locally called a “leak-tin” in every home, so that clean water for drinking and washing is easily accessible.  This will help stop the spread of life threatening disease and illness. This program also teaches children the importance hygiene plays in staying healthy.