Stylishly Sustainable

The fashion industry is constantly changing and moving forward. Not just in what trends are out for the season or what colors are in style, the industry is making changes that matter. Many of the top designers are creating their latest ranges with sustainable fabrics. Customers are more aware than ever of the impact fashion has on the planet and want to see change. Today designers, factories, high street shops, customers and more are all working to create a greener fashion industry.

What are Sustainable Fabrics?

Sustainable fabrics are the way forward. These fabrics will dramatically reduce the impact that fashion has on the planet and the people living on it.

Today fashion is very fast. It is all about what new collections are out for the season. Customers want the latest trends at low prices. This is good for the fashionista rocking her new dress but it does come at a cost. Fabrics and the dyes used cause pollution and can cause workers to get sick. The fashion industry is one of the main contributors to pollution in our waters and on land.

This is where sustainable fabrics come in. These fabrics are designed to help combat these issues. The pollution is less, these are safer for workers and for the planet. The fashion industry can survive and thrive with green fabrics. So, what eco-friendly fabrics should you be looking out for?

  • Hemp – Hemp is durable and grows rapidly. This plant needs a small amount of pesticides or does not use any and it does not need fertilizer. It is easy to grow for famers and can be used for clothing, building materials and more. Hemp is a soft and comfortable fabric.
  • Bamboo – Bamboo grows quickly and does not need to be replanted. It just grows back. It does not need a lot of pesticides and cleans the air. Bamboo is a great choice for fabrics as it is antibacterial, light and biodegradable.
  • Organic Cotton – Organic cotton is grown without fertilizers and pesticides. This makes it better for the planet and for the people working with it. The organic cotton uses less water and can be dyed naturally. It is a comfortable fabric.
  • Silk – Silk is created by moths. In modern silk, the silk is taken with killing the moth pupa. This ensures that the fabric production is sustainable. The new silks do not need toxic dyes and can have its own unique color.
  • Wool – Wool has changed a lot. Now sustainable wool is taken from the animals humanely. The product has been shown to be better when the sheep has been given good living conditions. Wool is hypoallergenic, renewable and does not need chemicals.
  • Recycled Fabrics – Creating something new out of something old is a great way to be green. You can recycle any fabric to create a whole new item. Some designers are using this approach to and creating beautiful garments out of all sorts of things including parachutes.

Who is Using Green Fabrics?

Lots of designers are going down a greener path. Stella McCartney is a brand that uses its voice to promote sustainability. High street shops like H&M are also trying to improve on the fabrics they use by creating a conscious collection. These examples show that eco-friendly fashion is on trend, stylish and is becoming mainstream.

Celebrities love green fashion to! Gwynneth Paltrow, Emma Watson and Michelle Obama to name a few.

Sustainability at EarthDivas

At EarthDivas we take sustainability seriously. All our products are fair-trade and green. We are here to say that you can be stylish and sustainable. We have something for everyone from bamboo scarfs to organic cotton bags and more. Take a look at our website to find clothing and accessories for every style and occasion.

Lucy Siegle once said “fast fashion isn’t free. Someone somewhere is paying”. So, make a purchase that makes a difference.

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The Tree of Life

The tree of life is a symbol that appears on jewelry, bags and more. The design varies and it has a deep meaning across a variety of cultures. So, what is this popular tree symbol and what does it mean?

Tree of Life Meaning

This symbol has been seen throughout history, right back to ancient times. Each culture does have their own interpretation of the symbol but the strong tree design is always present. A tree is used because of its growth, links to nature and the cycle it undertakes. All these factors make it a symbol of history, ancestry, life and more. The way the trunk grows from a seed and then branches off into smaller branches and then into twigs is a symbol of life and how it progresses.

The tree also symbolizes connection. A tree’s roots are connected to the soil, the trunk is connected to branches and the branches reach up to the sky. The tree is connected to both mother earth and the energy of the sun. This can be said for life to. We are connected to the world around use and need other people to thrive.

Trees can also be used as a symbol of how we grow as people. Trees begin the same and grow. However, events such as storms can whither the trees. The same can be said for people. We start out the same and different experiences make us grow into different people. Like the tree we hold on to what makes us strong through stormy times.

In some cultures, the tree is also a symbol of rebirth. When the trees lose all their leaves, they regrow in the new season. This makes the tree a symbol of positivity and of a brighter future. It can be a new start to life.

The Main Message

The tree of life has many meanings and ideas behind it. So, you can interpret how you like. The major themes behind this symbol are life, connection, positivity and rebirth.

We love the tree of life design at EarthDivas, so we use it in our collections. On our website, we have a wide range of bags that have a tree of life design. There are different colors and styles available so there is something to suit everyone. Check out some of our favorites.

This first bag is our tree of life cross-body sling back. This is a cute bag that will add some color to your outfit. We have these available in purple which you can see here and in purple bleach.

This is our plum tree of life backpack. This is a cute bag that will suit all ages. We also have this available in teal.

Next, we have this gorgeous black stonewash drawstring bag. The bag is hand embroidered with the tree of life symbol. This will add boho chic to any outfit.

The last of our tree of life favorites is the small tree of life cross-body sling bag. This one is purple and we have other colors available.

These bags and more are available to purchase on our website. Make sure you check out our other items to. You can also like us on Facebook. Our Facebook page is full of news, new designs and more.

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Make a Purchase That Matters

At EarthDivas we give 100% of the profits made to the artisans who create our products. Our goal is to help businesses grow and to give back to the artisans who work hard to make beautiful products. Our products are also handmade, fair trade and green.

Artisans We Work With

We work with businesses in Nepal. This is because in developing countries like this most craft items are handmade, mostly by women.  We want to help women’s skills grow and together create thriving craft businesses. The ladies we work with can be taught new skills at our tailoring school and will receive a job in the artisan community. Here are some of the women that EarthDivas have been working with. Each of these women has been given the skills and confidence to earn money from crafting.

Make a Purchase That Matters

By purchasing products from EarthDivas you are not only going to receive a trendy product but you are also helping to empower women in a developing country, because of shoppers like you women can provide for their families. We are a proud member of Fair trade and are proud to work with talented artisans.

It is not just because of the wonderful opportunities the business offers that makes our products must buys. Our products are also friendly to the planet. We care about our planet, the environment and everybody in it.  Our planet is under pressure and we are using up more resources than the earth can cope with. Together we can turn this around. By thinking about what we buy and how we live, we can help the planet. By buying handmade items that are dyed with vegetables we can have beautiful items that are not damaging to the earth. With EarthDivas you can make a purchase that truly does matter.

Moving Forward

EarthDivas make regular trips to Nepal. This is to ensure that artisans are working in a positive environment, to check on materials, to create new designs and more. On the last trip to Nepal Ed from EarthDivas met up with Ganesh. Ganesh has worked with EarthDivas for over 10 years, on this visit he explains about hemp fiber. How he dyes the hemp and weaves it into fabric. The hemp is dyed with vegetable dye which makes crafted items natural, green and looking stylish.

We want to move forward with Ganesh and hemp fabrics. That is why we will have a new collection of hemp bags available in the coming spring. We will keep you updated about these beautiful new bags. You can have a look at the video on our Facebook page here.

Visit the EarthDivas website to take a look at our handmade products. There is something for everyone from stylish to quirky. We will keep you updated on the blog about new collections, trips to Nepal, fair trade news and more. You can also visit our Facebook page that is full or articles, events and more.

Thank you for supporting EarthDivas and the many artisans we work with.

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New EarthDivas Blog

The EarthDivas blog is back! Recently we have taken a hiatus but we are starting back up again with lots to share. Today we want to kick things off with who we are and what we do. We also want to have a chat about the blog and its future. So, let’s begin.

For our new readers hello and welcome to EarthDivas. We are a fair-trade company that provides work opportunities for women in developing countries. This is all about giving women the chance to earn higher wages and teaching worker’s new skills through our tailoring school. Our focus has been in Nepal, by focusing on this one place we can use all our resources to change hundreds of women’s lives. We believe that together we can make a difference.


Why women? Well in countries like Nepal, women create most of the craft items by hand. However, most men can earn 5 to 10 times more for their sewing machine work. We want to help empower women to learn, grow and succeed. We do this by paying the artisans as much as possible and by closely working with the ladies and businesses of Nepal to create new job opportunities. Our tailoring school equips women with the best skills to build a positive and well payed work life.

So, what do we sell? We have a wide selection of unique items from bags to hats and more. We have a stylish new collection to which you can visit here. Each item will help change lives, giving the pieces you buy a meaning. It doesn’t just look gorgeous you are helping a small craft businesses thrive. There is something for everyone here, it’s also great if you’re looking for gift ideas. We have a testimonials page so you don’t just have to take our word on how excellent our products are.


Now here is something for both the new readers and the amazing people already supporting this project. My name is Rebecca and I would like to introduce myself as the new blogger for EarthDivas. I believe in this project and want to spread the word about the wonderful work being done. I plan to bring the latest news, EarthDivas products and more.

I would also love to hear from you. Our customers and readers are the key to the success of this company and we need your support. Any suggestions about what you want to see, any inspiring stories you want to share or maybe you just want to talk Fairtrade and equality. Whatever it is we want to hear about it. Don’t forget to leave some comments about your new purchases to!

I want to end this post with a quote from a famous face of women’s rights and equality Emma Watson. “As consumers, we have so much power to change the world, just by being careful what we buy.” In the world, we live in now this couldn’t be more relevant. We can change lives by choosing to buy fair-trade. Follow our blog for more news, updates and more.

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Fair Trade Stockings and Wreaths

The winter holidays are going to be here before you know it. And here at Earth Divas, we already have Christmas on our minds. It’s our busiest time of year, and also one of the most wonderful because the end of the year is when we turn over all our profits back to our artisans. It’s an experience that no one involved ever forgets.

I wanted to highlight some of the new holiday decorations our artisans created for us this year. They’re fun, handmade, colorful, and every single one is unique and special.

1. Fair Trade Stockings

I love this handmade stocking of Santa being pulled by two of his reindeer. You can see this stocking here. We also have several different stockings this year. I’ve highlighted a few below, and you can see all of our new fair trade holiday decorations here.

2. Fair Trade Wreaths

This colorful, handmade felted wreath would add a splash of color to your front door. And right in the middle, Santa’s waiting to welcome your guests! You can see this wonderful wreath here. Below is my favorite wreath we have in right now. I love the bright green holly leaves, the red berries, and the beautiful handmade birds! You can see this wreath here.

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Fair Trade Holiday Ornaments

It feels really strange to start writing about the winter holidays already, but we just got in all of our holiday decorations and I couldn’t wait to put them up here on the blog!

Every year, Earth Divas has our artisans make a wide variety of holiday ornaments and decorations. And this year’s batch of Christmas cheer is wonderful, colorful, and as always, 100% fairly traded. I love decorating for the holidays, and I think it’s really important to use decorations that are handmade and fair trade, rather than something you can buy from China.

Using handmade decorations makes the holidays feel really personal and special. It’s even more meaningful because when you purchase a fair trade Christmas ornament or holiday decoration, you’re helping someone around the world live a better life. And, that’s an important aspect of what Christmas is about!

You can see a full list of all our new holiday ornaments here. Today and tomorrow, I’ll be highlighting some of my favorites!

1. Cute Holiday Decorations

Above is our Elf in Purple. This cute little guy would look great above the fireplace, or on an entry-way table. You could even use these little guys to decorate the table for Christmas dinner! These cute little elves come in several colors, which you can see below. And as you can see, each one has its own look and personality.

2. Handmade Advent Calendar Christmas Tree

Our handmade Advent Calendar Christmas Tree is amazing! Each day is a tiny pouch that will store a small gift or sweetie.

Tomorrow, I’ll be showcasing some of our new fair trade wreaths and hand made stockings!

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Africa is Producing Fair Trade Gold

Africa has long had a reputation for dirty gold. This country has the world’s largest gold deposits, and the gold industry’s history in this country is legendary for its cruelty, and its polluting practices.

But I’m happy to report that slowly, this is starting to change. According to an article published in The Guardian, Fair Trade International just announced that 12 mines in Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya are on track to produce the country’s first ethical gold within the next year.

This is a groundbreaking announcement on many levels. And it helps to first understand a small part of why producing gold “the old fashioned way” is cruel to both people and planet.

Toxic Gold

To get pure gold, many villagers burn mercury with charcoal and gold flakes. The mercury is vaporized, which leaves the gold behind. The problem is that as liquid mercury burns, it sends off waves of toxic fumes, which are then inhaled by the villagers. There are no official figures of how many people are poisoned by these toxic fumes, but sickness, memory problems, and vision problems are common in these areas.

And, this is just one small problem with the gold industry. Appalling working conditions, child labor, and an incredibly polluted environment all result from the dirty gold industry.

Here’s another example. In many mines, highly toxic cyanide is used to remove gold from low-grade ore. This job is done by women, who often have a child sitting on their knee while they work. This cyanide ends up the rivers or local watershed where it pollutes people and planet alike.

Stop and think about this situation. Would you want your child breathing in cyanide like this? Of course, all of us are appalled at the very idea. But this is the way of life in Tanzania. Even if you don’t work in the mines, you’re still consuming toxic chemicals because so many of them end up in the water, which is a scarce and precious resource in this country.

Workers within the mines, primarily men (and often children,) often work 24 hours shifts without shifts, helmets, or any other safety equipment.

Forward Progress

This is why forward progress towards ethical gold is so incredible. In Tanzania, over 15 million people work in the gold mines. Any movements towards an elimination of child labor, and more human working practices, are going to impact a lot of people.

I stopped buying “new” gold years ago because I have no desire to support an industry that treats our people and planet with such disregard, and I encourage you to do the same. Here in this country, we would be outraged if a company did this…there would be boycotts and protests until these practices were stopped.

I’m excited and encouraged that these mining companies are taking the first steps towards humane and ethical working conditions. But it’s still up to us not to support mines who aren’t willing to take these steps.

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Fair Trade Bags Fit for the Woods

Now that September is finally here, you can really tell fall is on its way. The nights are cool and crisp, the sun shines bright and clear during the day and, at least here in the mountains, the leaves are slowly starting to show the first signs of change.

I’ve been taking every opportunity to get outside to go hiking. Where I live in the Appalachians there is an abundance of places to go…I could live here a lifetime and never see them all!

The key to a successful day out in the woods is to go prepared. I don’t leave home without the essentials like food, water, a compass, insect spray, binoculars, cell phone, map, knife, and a journal.

If you’re itching to get outside in the woods to enjoy fall’s beautiful colors, then think about taking one of these great outdoor bags, perfect companions for a day of hiking and exploring.

1. Southwest Style Backpack

What I love most about our Southwest Style Backpack (besides how cool it looks) is its weight. It’s really light, which makes it a perfect bag to take with you out on a hike. This bag also comes in lighter pastels, which you can see below.

2. Recycled Bike Tire Tube Cross-Body Bag

When it’s hot, sometimes I don’t want to carry a backpack into the woods. And this has certainly been the case the past couple of weeks! On days like this, I prefer to carry a shoulder bag, like our Recycled Bike Tire Tube Cross-Body Bag.

This bag is great because it’s lightweight, and it’s the perfect size for a water bottle, a healthy snack, and your camera. This is one of my favorite bags we have right now!

3. Green Triangle Backpack

Our Green Triangle Backpack has a really unique and fun shape, and it’s a perfect hiking backpack. It’s rugged, and has plenty of room and pockets to store all your gear.

The picture below is of a small waterfall I came across on last weekend’s hike. Beautiful! So, go grab a bag and head out into the woods while it’s still warm and sunny outside!

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Women Posing As Men to Get Ahead

“Whatever women do they must do twice as good as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.”

– Charlotte Whitton

Throughout history, there are countless stories of women posing as men to either protect themselves, or get ahead in a male-dominated society.

One of my favorite examples is Jane Austen, who published “Pride and Prejudice” anonymously in 1813 because, as you can guess, women weren’t supposed to write books. The same is true of George Eliot, who wrote the literary masterpiece “Middlemarch.” Most people don’t know that George Eliot was actually the pen name for Mary Ann Evans. She wanted her work to be taken seriously, so she posed as a man.

This also goes for the Bronte sisters: Charlotte, Emily, and Ann. They used male pen names until their books were such a success they felt confident in revealing their true identities.

It’s tempting to think that we’ve risen above the need for women to hide their gender in order to get ahead. However, there are plenty of fairly recent examples that show we still have a long way to go.

Did you know that when J.K. Rowling wrote her first book, her publisher advised her to use only her initials because, it was thought, young boys (the target audience,) wouldn’t want to buy a book written by a woman?

Did you know that the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, Katherine Switzer, signed up as K.V. Switzer to hide her gender because the marathon was a male-only race? This was in 1967. And, once they spotted a woman running the Boston Marathon, one official tried to forcibly remove her as she was running. Fortunately her boyfriend, who was running beside her, knocked him out of the race instead, and she finished strong.

I could list many, many more examples of inspiring women who have beaten the odds in this way. And it’s sad that so many women have had to resort to hiding or disguising their gender to get ahead. There’s a wonderful article on Huffington Post that tells the story of 14 women who posed as men to achieve their dreams, and I highly recommend you give it a look.

Also, if you missed the PBS documentary Makers: Women Who Made America, please give this a watch as well. I watched it when it premiered back in February, and it was incredibly sad, inspiring, and uplifting all at the same time. It does an excellent job showcasing women who changed the course of history, and highlighting all the challenges women are still facing today.


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Fair Trade Wedding Dresses: Celia Grace

Photos Courtesy Celia Grace

If you’re planning a wedding, have you given much thought to the dress you’ll be wearing? And I don’t mean thinking about how stunning it’s going to be. I mean, have you thought about where that dress will be made? Where it will come from? How will that dress impact the environment, and the person who made it?

When I got married back in 2004, I’ll admit these important questions didn’t cross my mind at all. However, if I had it to do over again I would definitely spend time thinking about how my event, and my dress, might benefit someone else. If I had a do-over, I would  go with a fair trade or vintage wedding dress. And, I’m not the only one.

Marcelia Muehlke started Celia Grace after she was unable to find a wedding dress that matched her commitment to human rights and sustainability.  Celia Grace is a triple bottom line company, focusing on people, planet, and profit.

Celia Grace uses naturally-dyed, local silks made on non-electric looms. The seamstresses are members of women’s cooperatives located in places like Cambodia. They’re paid a living wage with regular raises and job security. They also have access to benefits, an eight-hour work day, and a safe, healthy, and bright working environment.

This is the kind of company we here at Earth Divas love to support!

Celia Grace’s fair trade wedding dresses are etherial and lovely. Take a look below.

The Susan

The Eleanor

The Marie

Celia Grace has eight wedding dress designs. You can see them all here!

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