One of the things I love most about blogging is the opportunity to use this platform to support causes that I believe in. So when my bloggy buddies over at The Blogrollers approached me about being an ambassador for the Macy’s Path to Peace project, I jumped at the chance.
For the most part, I try my best to shop for products that are made domestically that generally come with a lower carbon footprint than imported goods. But I will gladly make an exception for imported Fair Trade products that ensure the artisans who made them are fairly compensated.
The Macy’s Path to Peace collection, created in conjunction with Fair Winds Trading, includes a variety of beautiful handmade goods, from baskets and bracelets made by women in Rwanda to Indonesian crafts and Cambodian silks, which all help these women earn a meaningful living. In Rwanda, these women earn, on average, nearly 14 times the national per capita income, which allows them to feed their families and send their children to school.
The women who make these beautiful creations using traditional methods and techniques work in their own communities and villages and are provided with life skills training, including health, hygiene, nutrition and financial management.
The O Bracelets, which get the name from Oprah’s O Magazine, are hand-made by two women: a weaver in Rwanda and a jewelry artist in New Orleans. I love the idea that women thousands of miles apart come together and use their unique skills to create works for art that are literally helping to change the world.
For more information on the project, check out the Macy’s Path to Peace page, as well the Flickr and Facebook pages. You can also follow the project on Twitter by following the #path2peace hashtag and following Willa Shalit (@WillaShalit), founder of Fair Winds Trading and Path to Peace, and Beth Schaeffer (@Bethnet), a Rwandan artisan/designer who works with Path to Peace.
I am a strong believer in using the power of our pocketbooks to effect change, and the Path to Peace project is a great example of what happens when we do.