It’s not usual you can see an immediate positive impact of your purchase on a community in crisis. But today, you can.
Ways of Change is an ethically-sourced fashion brand that offers fair wages to refugees while helping them sustain and build upon their traditional skills. Where possible, their products – like the necklace above – are made from upcycled, organic, natural, cruelty-free, fairly traded and locally sourced materials.
A portion of all Ways of Change’s profits are used to support community projects that focus on empowerment and sustainable living. In the long-term, Ways of Change hopes to provide support to refugees as they become repatriated (return to their country of origin), resettled (settled into a third country) or integrated into local communities (where they are currently living).
A perfect example of their ethos is their current fundraiser for Huay Pu Keng, a refugee village on the Thailand-Burma border. WoC just found out the land that the refugee community’s school, playground, and soccer field are on is up for private sale. If the the refugee community is not able to purchase this land, the school will be torn down and the soccer field turned over to farming with the heavy use of pesticides. So from now through November 30th, an additional dollar value of every piece sold through their online store will go towards this fundraising. Learn more and donate.
On top of your purchase supporting community development, WoC will also be donating the following amounts to the fundraiser from each sale:
$3 for every Coil Ring or Bead Ring sold
$5 for every Kan Bo Bangle sold
$8 for every Kan Bo Choker sold (that’s the one I’m wearing!)
$10 for every set of Layered Cuffs sold
$15 for every Rom Bo sold
$20 for every Hammered Brass Belt sold
The chocker that Ways of Change sent me* is in a style that I have been craving since this summer. I love the subtle curve of the solid brass, and how I can turn it around to the back, if I prefer. But I like it this way, with the points pointing downward. It’s sexy without being obvious.
I paired to choker with my grandmother’s vintage top. Yes, this was my grandmother’s! It arrived in a box filled with normal grandmother stuff: crystal, silver, etc. But then there was this handmade, red velvet bustier that fits me perfectly. I am my grandmother’s grandaughter, after all.
I don’t know when and how she wore this. It’s likely she made it for herself. Was it when she was married and attended a fancy work function with my grandfather? Did she wear it in Mississippi on a date with him? Did she scandalize the other, jealous housewives with it and her sassy, clever quips?
It has a peplum bottom, which makes it a bit too cheesecake for everyday wear. But when paired with this grey wool skirt (conventional, three years old), it becomes the perfect date-night outfit to both seduce your date, and simultaneously have him dreaming of putting a ring on it.
The backpack is by Sabrina Tach. It is made by hand in Uruguay by experienced craftspeople. The tanneries used by Tach have strict environmental policies, and the leather is from animals bred in free-range Uruguayan estates, and is a by-product of the meat industry.
*They sent this to me for free to style.