How to Ethically Accessorize!

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Over the course of my last few blog posts, I have taken you through ethical purchasing and production of clothing and where to buy such products as well as getting engaged the ethical way! Today I want to discuss ethical accessories – shoes, bags, jewelry, home goods, and even office accessories. My goal is to prove to you that shopping ethically produced and sourced goods is really not hard, is similar to the normal goods you purchased financially, and how you will be helping countless people with your purchases.

For example, this glass bead bracelet shown below (click the picture to view/purchase) is only $14 and is made from recycled glass from the Cape Coast. Global Mamas is the name brand and it is produced by a group of women from Ghana. The picture below on the right is called a Wakami Simplicity Strand made from female artisans from Guatemala, costing $12 and can be worn as a wrap bracelet or a necklace. Both of these items, if purchased, benefit start-up organizations in order for them to attain economic freedom.

These two items are just a glimpse into the world of ethical accessories. They both came from a great ethical accessory resource, Global Girlfriend, “Global Girlfriend was created by Stacey Edgar in 2003 to help women worldwide gain economic security while providing your store with unique products and a simple way to help women and communities in need. Today, we have more than 1,000 points of distribution, ranging from natural food stores, to boutiques, to college bookstores. Our store-within-a-store business model makes it easy for you to offer your customers high quality, ethically-sourced gifts from 34 countries around the world. We believe in the power of commerce to alleviate poverty, and your partnership is the cornerstone to achieving that mission.”

More resources for ethical goods can be found at:

  • Delve.  – Specializing in bed, bath, fashion, kitchen, and living accessories, the ethical way.
  • Fairware – Selling unique items that meet standards of social and environmental responsibility.
  • Soludos – Hand crafted espadrilles made with natural and eco-friendly materials.
  • Shop to Stop Slavery – Resource for ethically sourced items from cosmetics to breast cancer awareness goods.
  • Toms – Shoes and  eyewear; every pair purchased buys another pair for a child without shoes. One for one.
  • Blue Caravan – An ethical design market featuring contemporary handmade, fair trade & ethical products
    by independent designers, artists and artisans.
  • OCC Apparel – Sweatshop free and organic t-shirt and fabric specialists.
  • Danaqa – ‘World chic’, a resource for ethical goods from around the world.
  • Oxfoam – Proceeds from their goods support organizations worldwide in order to fight injustices.

My hope is, by showcasing these items and providing resources for you to shop ethically for anything from clothing to home goods, you can see just how easy it is! So what is stopping you from buying ethical goods?

Peace, love, and an ethical you!

Drdonley

Nothing but nets, not your typical basketball organization.

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Nothing But Nets is a global, grassroots campaign to raise awareness and funding to fight malaria, a leading cause of death among children in Africa. I participated in raising money for this organization as a freshman sorority member at Northern Kentucky University. Of all the philanthropic endeavors I have participated in, in my time at NKU (which has been a lot as a sorority member) this fundraiser sticks in my mind. I truly believe that my time and hard work went to helping a global cause, where my small contribution made a HUGE difference.We had a silent auction along with chances for students and faculty alike to make a basket for a free Skyline Chili coupon. We raised thousands of dollars while having fun spreading the word about” Nothing but Nets.” The message we were sending was clear, help us send a net and save a life.

While the UN Foundation has been working with the UN to fight malaria for years, it was Rick Reilly’s column about malaria in Sports Illustrated challenging each of his readers to donate at least $10 to send anti-malaria bed nets, that led to the creation of the Nothing But Nets campaign in 2006. In five years, the Nothing But Nets campaign has engaged hundreds of thousands of individuals to help achieve the UN goal of ending malaria deaths by 2015. The great thing about this campaign is that is has such a diverse array of people helping it reach its goal. From sorority girls to the NBA to The Boy Scouts of America the donations of these individuals come together to raise $10 contributions that goes towards the cost of purchasing a long-lasting, insecticide-treated bed net, the means to distribute it, and the necessary means of educating communities on its use.

Bed nets work by creating a protective barrier against deadly malaria carrying mosquitoes that bite at night. A family of four can sleep under an insecticide-treated bed net, safe from malaria, for three years. The benefits of bed nets extend even further than protecting those sleeping underneath them. The insecticide woven into each net makes entire communities safer – killing and repelling mosquitoes so that they can’t go on to bite others who may not be protected by a net. Bed nets can reduce malaria transmissions by 90 percent in areas with high coverage rates. Although $10 for a bed net may not sound like much, the cost makes them out of reach for most people at risk of malaria, many of whom survive on less than $1 a day. According to the 2011 World Malaria Report, 96% of people with access to a bed net, use it. Nets are a simple, life-saving solution, but we need your help to provide them to those in need.

With the thousands we raised we were able to send over 200 nets to those in need. This gave us a sense of accomplishment, knowing 200 people would sleep safer. You can have that same feeling by donating here.

 

The tiny killer

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Worldwide a silent killer is causing illness that claims more than 650,000 lives each year, the vast majority are children in sub-Saharan Africa.

The killer?

Yes, this inch long mosquito infects the red blood cells of 216 million people a year with malaria.

Symptoms for malaria include fever and headache and if untreated can result in coma or death. Warmer climates keep mosquitos around, which is why they are so prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa. A simple net or insect repellent can keep help keep them at bay, but poorer countries do not have the luxury of even that. The World Health Organization says one-third of the global population lives in malaria-endemic countries. Which only furthers the interest in fighting this endemic. This disease while not curable yet can be prevented and if caught a patient can receive medications, but like a lot of other illnesses in these parts of the world, it cannot be stopped because the countries worry about barley having  enough water and food to feed their populations let alone provide medical help to its citizens.

Malaria and this tiny killer aren’t a threat to a lot of the Western world, so it is often forgotten and left for poorer countries to deal with. Did you know that a World Malaria Day exists? It is today (April 25th) but most I would assume are unaware of its existence. The theme for World Malaria Day 2012 – Sustain Gains, Save Lives: Invest in Malaria – marks a decisive juncture in the history of malaria control. Whether the malaria map will keep shrinking, as it has in the past decade, or be reclaimed by the malaria parasites, depends, to a great extent, on the resources that will be invested in control efforts over the next years. In Africa, malaria deaths have been cut by one-third within the last decade; outside of Africa, 35 out of the 53 countries, affected by malaria, have reduced cases by 50% in the same time period. In countries where access to malaria control interventions has improved most significantly, overall child mortality rates have fallen by approximately 20%.

This fight is different from any other in my opinion. It can be fought, the statistics show that. We as a global society need to continue flowing to national malaria control programs to ensure widespread population access to life-saving and cost-effective interventions. That takes the knowledge that this problem exists and the knowledge that a box of nets and insect repellent can be a possible solution for a village in these countries.

Subscribe to the Malaria No More YouTube channels for some compelling stories.

Law & Order: SVU Brings Attention to Sex Trafficking in U.S.

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How Can YOU Help?

According to this Huffington Post article, the U.S. is the number one destination country in the world for Sex Trafficking, and New York City is the #1 city within the U.S. for sex trafficking.

Something has to change.

With a rise in a awareness many campaigns against human trafficking have commenced.  Not For Sale is one of the campaigns which has formed.  They claim to work toward re-abolishing slavery.  Their website gives a variety of societal roles (for example students, athletes, businesses, and more) an opportunity to take action.

Even closer to home is an organization called Fighting Against Sex Trafficking (F.A.S.T.) at NKU.  The organization was started by student Rebecca Potzner.  Whether you’re an NKU student or a community member I would encourage you to get involved with F.A.S.T.  You can join the organization to participate fully, or just attend one of their events.

If hanging around a bunch of college kids isn’t for you, maybe you could volunteer for the Women’s Crisis Center. They offer 24 hour services to victims and could use your help.

If nothing else, watch this video. If you can make it through the whole thing. Then share it on your Facebook, twitter, with your friends and families. Encourage them to spread the word.

Animal rights: A world without grey

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PETA would say that you can’t be an animal lover if you eat meat. That sentient beings all deserve the same rights as humans, and as such have the right to not be used as food.

I have a hard time with this. Not necessarily the theory, as I can see the logic and appreciate their efforts to right the wrongs in the commercial farming industry.

I may believe in the prophecy, but I’ve got one heck of a problem with the tactics of the prophet.

PETA goes to extremes to expose animal cruelty, often doing so at the expense of humans or their situations, even going so low in their commercials as to make light of domestic violence in relationships.

It’s never OK to use domestic violence as a joke.

It’s also never OK to make threats, but PETA – although their website asks for supporters to make polite calls – seems to inspire action through hurtful words.

What do you think? Is PETA too extreme? Do their tactics work?