11
Oct 16

Fair Trade Myths and Realities

Your Purchase_creates work_builds communitiesOctober is Fair Trade Month! As members of the Fair Trade Federation, we are dedicated to 360° fair trade.  360° means we work with artisans in partnerships built on trust.  It means good wages, safe working conditions, environmental responsibility, and more.  It means our partners are empowered to build strong businesses for their families today – and for generations to come. Do you have any misconceptions about Fair Trade?

Myth: Fair trade is about paying developed world wages in the developing world.

Reality: Wages are designed to provide fair compensation based on the true cost of production, and are not based on North American wage standards. Fair wages are determined by a number of factors, including:

  • The amount of time, skill, and effort involved in production
  • Minimum and living wages where products are made
  • The purchasing power in a community or area
  • Other costs of living in the local context

Myth: Fair trade siphons off American jobs to other countries.

Reality: Fair trade seeks to improve the lives of the poorest of the poor who frequently lack alternative sources of income. Most fair trade craft products stem from cultures and traditions which are not represented in North American production.

Myth: Fair trade is anti-globalization.

Reality: International exchange lies at the heart of fair trade.  360° Fair Trade Organizations seek to maximize the positive elements of globalization that connect people, communities, and cultures through products and ideas. At the same time, they seek to minimize the negative elements that result in lower labor, social, and environmental standards which hide the true costs of production.

Myth: Fair trade is a form of charity.

Reality:  360° fair trade promotes positive and long-term change through trade-based relationships which build self-sufficiency. Its success depends on independent, successfully-run organizations and businesses–not on handouts. While many fair trade organizations support charitable projects in addition to their work in trade, the exchange of goods remains the key element of their work.

Credit: Fair Trade Federation


28
Oct 15

October Is National Domestic Violence Month

Domestic-Violence-monthDesigned to raise global awareness and fundraising support, cause-awareness days and months mark time periods on the calendar when a particular social issue is highlighted for special attention.  Each person and organization has a heart for different causes that are important to them. Obviously, The Leakey Collection is passionate about women and empowerment issues across the globe.  Over the past fifteen years of running our fair-trade business in rural Africa, we have witnessed some wonderful changes in areas that we never expected.  One such area is a dramatic decrease in domestic violence.  Although that wasn’t one of our initial goals, it was a direct result of our efforts.

“Fair Trade companies around the world concur that domestic violence abates in households when women can become financially independent contributors.” Katy Leakey

Last month, we were honored to have played a small part in the Accelerate 4 Change event, benefiting the National Coalition for Domestic Violence that we wrote about here.  

Most definitions of domestic abuse include “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.”  Of course, the issue of domestic violence is NOT ever simple nor do we want to suggest that. But we do want you to know that providing work opportunity for the Maasai women in Kenya and other communities around the world can help.  And we thank you.



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

10251973_10152253747914843_8112208450246651424_n

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.


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.

 


01
Mar 15

Read Across America Day

Monday, March 2nd is Dr. Seuss’ birthday and “Read Across America” Day. We have long believed in the power of reading and education, and this charming video about the 90-year-old Kenyan woman who is attending school grabbed our attention and our hearts! Click the link below to hear the story about this truly inspirational woman and then continue reading to find out how it relates to what The Leakey Collection is doing!

Gogo

90 year old Kenyan woman attends school

“I want to say to the children of the world, especially girls, that education will be your wealth.”  Priscilla “Gogo” Sitienei

“Gogo” embodies one of our goals: the empowerment of girls and women through education. Our highly successful Beads for Learning Bracelets have improved education for children in rural East Africa. And now, we are so excited to introduce a brand new bracelet to raise awareness and funds specifically for girls:  Beads for Girls Graduation.

Young girls tend to drop out of school before completing their primary education. The Leakey Collection will dedicate proceeds from the sale of these bracelets to our Girls Graduation mentorship program, counseling young teens to keep them on track towards graduation. We will also allocate money to a girls’ scholarship fund.

These bracelets will be in our partner stores this month and are now on our website. Ask your favorite store if they’ve ordered theirs yet. Together, we can Make a Better World!

Happy reading!

 


15
Oct 13

From The Mouths of Babes

Recently, we were contacted by a first grade class at The Manhattan New School, PS 290 for a donation. They were learning about child labor and planned to culminate the project with a Fair Trade Sale.classroomNot only were we proud to hear that such young people were so motivated to help others by donating the proceeds to help workers around the world, but we were DELIGHTED to receive a letter of thanks, along with their newsletter entitled PLEASE, MAKE IT FAIR in which the children explained what was “BAD” about what they learned. Please watch our Facebook page and Twitter over the next couple of weeks as we share with you words of wisdom from our young friends. Here’s a little preview of what one of those sweet children thought about child labor:

Kids sewing 14 hours a day, that’s so terrible. They want to run away, but the bosses would give them a beating. Waaaaaa!

And now, read portions of the introduction from their teacher and a note from a parent helper:

Introduction  As we learned how cupcakes are made for restaurants, we found out that there is a lot of child labor in the production of vanilla. When we did research about chocolate, we found out that most cacao for chocolate sold in the USA was produced in Cote d’Ivoire, where 200,000 children do the work. At least 12,000 of those children are trafficked…….

Note from Newsletter Parent  All proceeds from our Fair Trade sale & raffle will be donated to the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights.…..(it) strives to end child labor which, as you can tell by our words and pictures, we feel VERY strongly about! (these words & pictures will be what The Leakey Collection will be posting on social media)….we hope the next time you visit a grocery store, you will look for Fair Trade items like bananas, and of course, chocolate. Here are some of the Fair Trade labels you might see…children's fair trade symbolsAnd of course, we at The Leakey Collection also encourage you to look for these Fair Trade labels wherever you shop!


19
Sep 13

Shop & Save to Celebrate the Arrival of Autumn!

fall set with secondary imagesWith the arrival of fall this weekend, now is the time to take advantage of our Autumn Sale to build your jewelry wardrobe! Through Sunday, September 22, save up to 50% off specially selected items. 

Zulugrass is as versatile as the individual who wears it!  And it can fit any wardrobe! That’s why our signature Zulugrass Single Strands have proven over and over that they are the “go-to” accessory for every eco-fashionista.

The photo above of our newest Set of 6 Zulugrass Single Strands (Autumn’s Symphony) shows just a few of the different combinations you can achieve. In addition, each one of these strands can be worn alone, giving you an additional 6 looks!

To add to the versatility, Zulugrass Single Strands can be worn in many different ways: worn long as a necklace, shortened with our necklace clasp or wood hoops, wound 3-4 times around your wrist as a bracelet, twisted, layered with our Zuluwood necklaces or bracelets, with one of our pendants or charms or more. See our Ways to Wear Video on our home page for even more ideas.

How do YOU wear your Zulugrass? Show us by posting photos on our Facebook page.

long snake(30)anklet

 

Bohemian Style Necklace

sev-purple-strands

turq-okn-doubled

 


26
Aug 13

Words To Live By

Today, August 26th, marks the 93rd anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. Advocates such as Susan B. Anthony devoted decades of hard work to ensure that women’s voices could be heard. The Amendment begins: “WHEREAS, the women of the United States have been treated as second-class citizens…”

Today we honor all those who fought so tirelessly then and to those who continue to fight to ensure that women across the globe are not treated as second-class citizens.

We offer our brand new Words to Live By jewelry collection to remind us that “Women Helping Women” will always “Make a Better World.”

Please enjoy this video of the beautiful and joyful Maasai women singing as they work. 
 


16
Jul 13

Win Bracelets for You and A Friend

friendship quoteTrue friends hard to find, but we know you value those relationships as much as we do. We’re having a social media contest to help you show a friend or two just how much they mean to you as we celebrate Friendship Day.

Friendship Day is dedicated to the bond of friendship and companionship, and this year it’s celebrated on August 4th. The idea of honoring friendships has been appreciated by people in many countries of the world.

Here’s how to play:

  1. Follow The Leakey Collection on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
  2. Post a picture of yourself with friends on one or all of these social media sites.
  3. Use the hashtag #tlcfriends to be entered into the contest, no matter which social media you are using.
  4. These additional hashtags will each earn you an extra entry: #theleakeycollection and #zulugrass or you can tag @theleakeycollection.
  5. We will be announcing winners weekly so follow us for updates.  Each winner will receive a pair of Friendship Bracelets - one to keep and one to give to a friend.
  6. We will be looking for photos that truly express the wonderful bond of friendship. We encourage your creativity and uniqueness!
  7. Photos must be your own featuring you and your friends and can be submitted now through August 4th.

Happy Friendship Day!