I was having a conversation with my mom the other day about how a simple shift in business practices can be incredibly life giving for so many people. Although most fast fashion (and a portion of slow fashion) brands use third parties to source and create their goods, sometimes even using a "one for one" business model in an effort to give back, these brands are, in a way, taking opportunities from local, international, or indigenous artisans who have built their life around making the same goods by hand.
Of course, buying USA-made items, or shopping local is hugely important for our own economy, but when it comes to supporting the rich culture and arts of other countries, sourcing directly from the artisans themselves is the best way to do it.
Any time I come across an ethical marketplace or brand that sells handmade goods and directly supports the artisans who made them, I jump at the chance to work with them. If you think about it, the ripple effect that purchasing from companies like these is not a small one. Not only are you supporting the marketplace who sells the goods, you're supporting the artisans who made them, putting money in their pockets, food on their table, and allowing their economy to thrive.
Seek Wander Share is one such online marketplace that sells artisan made goods to support the livelihoods of the people who made them.
Started by two friends, Melissa and Jennifer, Seek Wander Share is on a mission to empower artisans both near and far and the communities that they call home. SWS focuses on three main principles when they choose which pieces to add to their online collection.
- They ensure that their pieces are purchased at a fair price, ensuring a living wage for the artisan who created the product.
- They ensure that the artisans are working in a safe environment that allows them to flourish both physically and creatively.
- They choose each piece with modern trends in mind, ensuring that their collection is both relevant to today's modern woman and supportive of the artisan who made it. They believe in supporting the tradition and culture that is put into each piece, giving their collection a beautiful mix of culture, color, and style.
I'm wearing their roll on bracelets in Midnight Stroll — a collection of three glass beaded bracelets handmade by artisans in Nepal. The bracelets are designed to fit all wrist sizes, but aren't overly stretchy or loose.
Aside from these bracelets, Seek Wander Share sells accessories like scarves and (my particular favorite,) a beautiful straw fedora. They also have home goods, and handbags — each unique to its culture of origin.
The thought that through simply adding something to your online shopping cart — an act that we're bound to do frequently, whether ethically or not — can support someone on the other side of the planet is both exciting and awe-inspiring.
Seek Wander Share is helping close the gap between traditional artisanship and consumers around the world and it's so exciting to see.