Tuesday, December 17, 2013


All products from TOMS Marketplace.

Because I have been working a lot at Sportsgirl and freelancing as a dressmaker, I have been busy non-stop. However this week, I have a few days off (yippee!). Ultimately though, this means I have to do my last minute Christmas shopping. I was meaning to post a few Christmas “giving” gift guides here yet with the busy season and all, it was rain checked. But here they are now! If you are stuck on figuring out what to give your special someone, whether it is for Christmas or for a birthday (which may be more appropriate on this occasion as I am posting this late), here is my run down on what you can give for her, with the help of TOMS Marketplace.

JEWELRY | Your best friend, sister or mum can always spruce up her outfit with a piece of jewelry whether it may be necklace, bracelet or pair of earrings. It’s a nice way to add a touch of colour or texture to whatever you are wearing. My picks are from 31 Bits who create jewelry from recycled paper (O-M-G amazing!) and provide fair and consistent income, training and counseling to women in North Uganda; as well as HALF UNITED who produce jewelry and provides half of their profits to the global hunger crisis and The Base Project, a socially motivated fashion brand building a bridge between artisans in the developing world and the U.S. fashion market by creating elegant bracelets. These necklaces and bracelets will look amazing on top of a black maxi dress for a night out or dress up your casual white tee and jeans combo.

ACCESSORIES | These LemLem handmade colourful scarves are an easy way to brighten up a summer outfit, for example the trusty t-shirt and denim shorts. Produced and hand weaved from cotton and acrylic, they are lightweight, have cool pattern and colour combinations and ultimately “create economic opportunity and preserve an artistic tradition, helping Ethiopian weavers thrive and bloom.” If you want to give a scarf for the chilly months, then look no further. I love this Oatmeal Sierra Women’s Scarf from Krochet Kids Intl. This one specifically is made in Peru and is produced mainly from acrylic, which means it is cozy and warm. The company employs more than 180 women from across the globe, to make hats, clothing and accessories from crocheting or knitting.  The maker signs each product so you can see whose life you have impacted. The business helps individuals and families lift them out of poverty through fair, consistent income, skills training and mentorship.

BAGS | What woman doesn’t have a bag to throw her necessities in? Whether it’s a tote, clutch or a cosmetic bag, it needs to big enough to carry everything! (take not, boys). My picks are a JADEtribe hand weaved and sewed cosmetic bag from across Thailand and Laos, produced from organically dyed cotton. JADEtribe features textile woven handbags by artisans in Southeast Asia that creates financial opportunity for its female workforce while also supporting an artistic and cultural tradition. My other pic is the Della Batik Travel Bag. Perfect to use while travelling to store your makeup, toiletries and travel documents. The bag is handmade in Ghana, featuring a graphic coral and indigo design, accented with vegan leather and a zipper closure. Della manufactures bags, cases and accessories with locally sourced textiles by employing individuals from Hohoe, Ghana and provides them with literacy classes and money management training.

HOMEWARES | I think this is a great present for your mum, aunty or grandma. This Maguva Wood Lime Bowl is one-of-a-kind constructed from Maguva wood in Uganda, making it light and giving it the beautiful grain finish. It’s a great centerpiece item to put onto your table to stock fruit or cute d├ęcor items. Rose & Fitzgerald are behind these gems, collaborating with local artisans and producing handmade products with contemporary design, natural materials and local economic development.

EXTRA BITS AND BOBS | I believe every lady should have a notebook to write down all her thoughts, feelings and dreams (no iPhones allowed sorry). These Denik journals are the cutest as they also have beautiful patterned covers! Apparently the soft covers are really soft (I mean seriously soft!) and are made from materials certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. The covers are also designed by a design firm called Struck. Denik’s aim is to change the world through art and with each notebook sold, $1 contributes to building a school in Mali. In addition, artist receives 5% royalty for their covers.

A candle can create “a beautiful and functional decorative accent for your home or office.” This Cypress Fig Table Candle is a scented soy wax and the brand behind the candles are Apolis who partners with communities and cooperates to co-create products, invest in the production and distribute finished products to a global marketplace.


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