Butterfly Dress, Mushmina

I never know (weather-wise) what my San Francisco summer wardrobe will look like. As of now, I am pretty confident sunshine is in the forecast and summer dresses will be a staple. SF summer dresses mean when the sun goes down or when the fog rolls in, I can easily throw on a jacket or pants. I want dresses that I can wear from work to play and from day to night.I also need to know that my dresses are made ethically. Luckily, I have good Fair Trade connections!

As a connoisseur of local clothing and a Fair Trade advocate I decided to pair Global Exchange’s clothing with Saako jewelry from the local designer co-op Loft1513 for summer looks that not only feel good on but feel good to buy!photo

Here are my must have dresses!

        For the whimsical wearer and light of heart we have Mushmina’s Butterfly Dress: Perfect for all occasions. Easy to pair with a sweater, over pants, or over your bathing suit. How you would wear it?! Handmade in Morocco, Mushmina has a story worth reading about. “Designing Change” is their slogan and they are proving that high fashion can be ethical, affordable and empowering. The Butterfly Dress has an adjustable tie that creates a form fitted look in the front with a looser back silhouette. You have to come in and see for yourself! Soft fabric as well as elegant colors and patterns, make this an awesome summer go to piece. I paired this dress with a royal blue, jersey fabric Saako necklace.       


Loft 1513

      Loft 1513 (a SF designer co-op) has Saako necklaces in beautiful colors and various styles. Check out Loft1513 just down the street from our SF store.

      For a structured look and for the 100% cotton lover ,Mata Traders’s Shanghai Shift Dress: Mata Traders has outdone themselves with rich colors and a flattering fit. Sweet details such as slight rouching down the torso, a camper shoulder with wood buttons and geometric patterns add flavor to the soft cotton.


Shanghai Dress, Mata Traders

                                                                         Handmade, the artisans mix old fashioned processes (such as hand loom weaving and hand block printing) with fashion forward silhouettes. This dress falls above the knee and is easy to wear. These fabulous frocks are sewn by members of women’s cooperatives in India and Nepal.

      I love visually pairing these dresses with treasures from Loft1513. You must see these Saako necklaces in person.

      The soft jersey and weight of the necklace paired with the soft cotton of the Shanghai Dress together make a bold statement and feel great on your skin.

Nicole modeling the Shanghai Dress from Mata Traders

Global Exchange stores and Loft 1513 are perfect examples that when it comes to fashion, you do not have to sacrifice style for ethics. Clothing should be healthy for your body, your morals and the environment while showing off your personal style.

Looking for the Fair Trade label makes my shopping experience more rewarding and affirms my buying power. At Global Exchange Fair Trade stores, we provide an alternative (to corporate clothing) for the conscious shopper and fashion savvy. Fair Trade clothes are beautiful inside and out! Come in, treat yourself to a summer dress, let me take your picture, then stop by Loft1513 and say hello!

P.S Do you love Nicole’s bracelets? They are made in Mali from recycled plastic and of course you can get them in our stores!

GX-Fair-Trade-InstagramARE YOU ON INSTAGRAM?

Check us out on Instagram for sweet Fair Trade fashion shots like the ones pictured in this post!

Our Fair Trade Stores are throwing holiday parties on Dec. 15th (all are invited!) in Berkeley, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. The evening will bring seasonal spirits and refreshments while guests shop for Fair Trade gifts from around the world.

(Hey, pssst! Mention the secret password listed on the Facebook invite to get 20% off everything in the store during the party!)

Corinne at the GX SF fair trade store snuggling with one her faves; handstitched floral pillows from India.

Global Exchange Fair Trade Store Staff Picks
To help our socially responsible guests shop the party, I asked the San Francisco store staff to share some of their gift suggestions. Here’s what Anna, Corinne, Jocelyn and the rest of the SF Store folks came up with:

DAD: A new wallet for his back pocket, handmade to last from recycled big rig tires in El Salvador. Slip in a picture of yourself for that personal touch.
MOM: Wrap her up in a 100% cotton handloom scarf from Guatemala or colorful cruelty free silk scarf handmade in India….all artisan-made by women for women.



BROTHER: O brother where art though messenger bag? Right here, our recycled tire messenger bags from El Salvador and alpaca knit hat & gloves handmade in Bolivia are perfect for city street cruising or outdoor adventuring!


SISTER: Alpaca knit fingerless gloves are practical and high fashion. Match them with some cotton threaded bangle bracelets in your sister’s favorite colors.



BABY/KIDS: Alpaca knit ponchos and glittens (not a misspelling, glittens is just a fancy way to describe those hip glove/mitten combos.) They come in a wide range of sizes (including baby sizes!) to keep younguns toasty warm and ready for winter.



HOST/HOSTESS: Fair Trade Organic Olive Oil from Palestine. Tasty & practical, this gift will delight any party thrower this season. Paired with a set of Olivewood salad servers hand carved in Kenya, even better!



CO-WORKER: Fair Trade coffee & tea paired with a beautiful mug hand painted in Tunisia is a practical gift for the home or office. Tie it up with an ornament made from recycled magazine paper for that extra special touch.



BOSS: Let’s build her or him a gift basket! Lavender eye pillows handmade by a women’s cooperative in San Francisco, a beeswax candle hand dipped in Washington State, soap and soothing vetiver root sachets from Bali make a wonderful combination.



BOYFRIEND/HUSBAND/PARTNER: Picture frames handmade from tightly wound recycled magazine paper in Vietnam make for a thoughtful and unique gift.  Our frames made from sustainably harvested wood in India are also a good bet. Include a personal photo and you’ve got a smile inducing gift on your hands.


GIRLFRIEND/WIFE/PARTNER: Jewelry! Jewelry! Jewelry! Earrings made from found butterfly wings in Peru, traditional gemstones from Bali, and innovation in upcycled plastics turned into fine modern jewelry designs meet any woman’s style needs!

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Let’s Party!!!

Anna modeling one of her staff picks, an alpaca wrap handmade in the highlands of Bolivia

Hope to see you at the Global Exchange Fair Trade Store Holiday Party on December 15th in Berkeley, DC or San Francisco. Remember to check out the Facebook invite to RSVP and find out the secret password so you can get your 20% OFF!