Fair Friday Finds: The Root Collective

Hi friends.  I am trying to get back to spotlighting fair and ethical businesses on most, some Fridays. :) I am super excited to introduce you to The Root Collective this Friday.  After learning about them, I'm sure you will want to save up any Christmas money you get this year to purchase something from them for the new year.  Seriously, I am slightly obsessed with this company and am excited to be a blog affiliate for them.   My personal Root Collective wishlist includes ballet flats, earrings and possibly a bag...sigh.  So yes, please check them out.

If you haven't heard of The Root Colletive, you should know a few things.  The Root Collective "partners with small-scale artisan businesses in marginalized communities to promote change through dignified jobs."  Pretty cool, right?  I love how founder Bethany Tran talks about how they are not giving handouts, rather, they exist to PARTNER with the artisans they buy from and see them as equal partners in every way. You can read more in depth about what they do and who they are over at their website.  I highly recommend reading and browsing their site - it's very inspiring.

I am completely fascinated with the process of how The Root Collective ballet flats are made. "The fabric for each pair of shoes is handwoven in the traditional backstrap looms of Guatemala. These looms were in existence before the Spanish arrived in the 1500’s. The weaving co-op that creates the fabric was formed by war widows during the 36-year civil war that ravaged Guatemala. The main part of the shoes takes 2 hours to weave, and any embroidered detail on the shoe takes 100 hours per meter (about 3 feet) to weave.
The shoes are crafted by hand in the slum of La Limonada in Guatemala City by a business owner named Otto. Like so many others in Central American slums, Otto was a member of a gang. Unlike many others, he was able to escape that life. It can be dangerous to leave the gangs, and since gang members are branded by gang tattoos, if they are able to leave, finding a job is nearly impossible. Otto’s business plan is to train and hire former gang members so they are able to leave their former lives."

I don't think I need to say much more after that, do I?  These shoes are worth every penny.   I love the thought of having shoes made with such history (and style?!),  let alone such power to make change for good.  Go read more about their artisans and the non-profits they give back to.  Here are some of the pieces on my own wishlist!

L-R: striped ballet flats, green twilight earrings, and lago tote bag in cobalt

For those of you who want to link up with your own posts on fair or ethical businesses, please do so below!  Let's link up so we help get these fair businesses out there!!

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