For the Greater Goods

A lifestyle blog for the conscious consumer


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Orange Harp 2015 Gift Guide (For Her)

Every year I make myself wait until after Thanksgiving to start thinking about Christmas. No Christmas decorations, no holiday music, no gift shopping until I have properly stuffed my face with turkey. And every year I find myself in a mad rush to find last minute gifts. This year I’ve decided to take a new approach. In respect for Thanksgiving, I will still keep the holiday tunes and décor to a minimum, but I am going to start thinking about gifts a little earlier to spare myself any last minute stress.

I thought I would help my readers out too by creating my first gift guide of the year. Last year my first seasonal gift guide revolved around a company called Orange Harp. For those of you who have never heard of Orange Harp, Orange Harp is a mobile app that serves as a marketplace for high-quality, ethically crafted, socially conscious products. They partner with brands that make things the right way. The thing I love most about Orange Harp is that they believe you don’t have to sacrifice quality or style to lead a conscious life.

Since my original gift guideOrange Harp has grown in many ways. They currently have partnered with 45 brands and sell over 4,000 products. Orange Harp has also updated their app with filter options for easier navigation. In my opinion, the coolest new addition is their Orange Harp Heroes program. They encourage users to send in their socially conscious tips and stories so Orange Harp can share them with the world. You can email you tips to life@orangeharp.com for a chance to win a $10 gift card.

All the products below are available on the Orange Harp app which you can download from the app store. You can click the links to learn more about each product and why they’re considered socially conscious. This is your lucky day because you can also save some money by using the code GREATERGOODS at checkout to get 15% off your entire purchase (valid through November 30, 2015). Happy shopping!

Orange Harp For Her Gift Guide 2015

1. Aasha Glass Cuff

2. All Natural Hand Cream Smoother

3. Arapahoe Red Button Down

4. Ring Holder

5. Presidio Tote

6. White Sage & Wild Mint Tea

7. Kiss Ring

8. View Sera Cosmetic Bag


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Fair Treasure September Box Review

Last month I wrote a post about my first experience with Fair Treasure, which is a monthly subscription box that contains ethically sourced “treasures” from all over the world. To my delight I received another box this month.DSC00012

Just like my last box, this one included three items and a set of cards that give a description of each item and how it is made. All the items in this box are very relevant for fall and will surely get a lot of use this season.

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Alem Necklace By Raven & Lily

This bohemian, woven, rusty red necklace is very fall appropriate. It’s causal, simple, but also very versatile. You can tie it into a necklace or wrap it into a bracelet. And I’m sure if you think a little outside the box you can find some other creative uses.

It is made by Raven + Lily, which is an ethical fashion and lifestyle brand dedicated to empowering impoverished women from all over with world with a safe job, sustainable income, health care, and education.DSC00016

Home Fires Candle Set by Silence

Nothing says its fall like a room full of cinnamon scented candles, right? This set includes scented candles in a variety of fall shades. These candles smell exactly like the fall section of a craft store (minus the old ladies who are trying to pick out the best faux leaves for their latest DIY). I’ve had them sitting in my room for a while and without even lighting them, they completely stunk up my room, but in the best way possible. One thing I love most about this set, besides the smell, is that it comes with three frosted glass holders. So they can serve as a decorative piece on their own, or you can place them in a candle holder like the Silver Prayers Candle Holder that also came in the box.

The candles are made by Silence, which is a very unique self–help project for artisans who are deaf or physically disabled . It gives them an opportunity to become self-sufficient and earn a living.

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Silver Prayers Candle Holder by Noah’s Ark International Exports

I’m not usually one to get excited about candle holders. It holds a candle, what’s the big deal? But I actually really love this one. I love it because when you put a candle in it the light flickers and shines through the faint, transparent holes throughout the silver coating and it reminds me of a starry night sky. I know so mushy, right? But it’s true! I love the effect light has on this semi-translucent piece.

The candle holder is made by Noah’s Ark International Exports, which is a fair trade handicraft distribution organization that supports local artisans in India.DSC00037

Besides the quality, practicality of these products, I love the fact that each of them support small businesses. Fair Treasure allows you to support and access goods from local economies all over the world. And while I do believe heath, education, and many other philanthropic causes are equally important, I think creating a stable economy isn’t usually associated with humanitarianism. And that’s why I think Fair Treasure is so wonderfully unique.

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Fair Treasure

I love the idea of subscription boxes. Like love as in capital L-O-V-E. I’ve tried Birchbox and Conscious Box, would love to try Ipsy, am intrigued by Rocksbox, and have heard great things about Stitch Fix.

I just love the idea of getting a special surprise in the mail each month. One subscription box that recently appeared on my radar is called Fair Treasure. Fair Treasure helps you find high quality products from around the world that are produced by people earning a fair wage to feed their families, lift themselves out of poverty, and educate their children.

This box is right up my alley! One of my biggest issues with other boxes is the lack of a socially conscious effort. While I’m trying to make a conscious effort with the products I buy, most subscription boxes don’t help with that, but the Fair Treasure box does. _MG_2208

Although Fair Treasure isn’t Fair Trade certified yet (key word), they are working towards it. All of the products they send out follow the 10 principles of Fair Trade, which are listed below:

  • Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Craftspeople and Farmers
  • Transparency and Accountability
  • Fair Trading Practices
  • Payment of a Fair Price
  • Ensuring no Child Labor and Forced Labor
  • Commitment to Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Freedom of Association
  • Ensuring Good Working Conditions
  • Providing Capacity Building
  • Promoting Fair Trade
  • Respect for the Environment

Fair Treasure fills monthly subscription boxes with 2-3 handmade items that abide by their ethical, fair trade standards. Boxes usually include home décor, jewelry, or personal accessories. Along with each item is a corresponding note card that gives you a little information about how the item was made. I got three items in my box that I wouldn’t have thought to buy for myself, but will definitively use. In my box I received a bottle stopper, tea towel, and miniature vase.Below are pictures of all the items with their descriptions:

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_MG_2202The subscription service costs $35 a month and you can pay for one or three months at a time. The quality of the products justify the price, but I understand spending $35 a month on a subscription box isn’t in everyone’s budget. I believe it is a great way to treat yourself once in a while. It would also be a great, unique gift. If you’d like some more reviews, you can check out My Subscription Addiction’s and Must Have Boxes reviews of Treasure Box.

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Inspiring Individuals: Sonia Agarwal

When it comes to ethical fashion, names like Stella McCartney, Alex and Ani, and Warby Parker might come to mind, but the name Sonia Agarwal may not… at least not yet. I have seen Sonia’s passion first hand in classes at Babson College where we both graduated in 2012. Since graduating, Sonia has created Asia’s first online marketplace for ethical, luxurious fashion called WHITENIFE. I had the privilege of asking Sonia a few questions about her venture. Continue reading to learn more about her company and thoughts on the future of the fashion industry.

How did you come up with the idea for WHITENIFE? What initially sparked your passion?

I have always been passionate about fashion, entrepreneurship and conservation. On graduating from Babson College in 2012, I found my true calling in WHITENIFE. Initially WHITENIFE was found to develop a premium, animal-friendly alternate to leather. During its research, it was introduced to Elfh- a patent registered, mineral based composite that is 89% close to genuine elephant ivory. It has been quite a remarkable journey for WHITENIFE as for today it has transformed to become Asia’s first marketplace for ethical fashion products. It currently houses over 20 brands & designers from over 16 countries and ships globally.

AMALENA specializes in ethical and eco-friendly gold jewelry. It designs timeless handcrafted pieces in 18ct Eco-Gold, which is extracted from mines in Columbia in fair, healthy and sustainable working conditions. Amalena encourages local female goldsmiths to create unique pieces that honor their heritage and conserve their traditional craftsmanship. This unique piece is a tribute to the beautiful artistic expression in the Wayuú culture. In their dialect, the word “Aa’in” means heart, soul and purity. The intricate curves within the shape is an homage to the spirals painted on the faces of Wayuú women. Just as they pay tribute to the circle of life, this charm reminds us that love has no end.

AMALENA specializes in ethical and eco-friendly gold jewelry. It designs handcrafted pieces with 18ct Eco-Gold, which is extracted from mines in Columbia in fair, healthy and sustainable working conditions. Amalena encourages local female goldsmiths to create unique pieces that honor their heritage and traditional craftsmanship. This unique piece is a tribute to a Wayuú culture expression. In their dialect, the word “Aa’in” means heart, soul and purity. The intricate curves within the heart represent the spirals painted on the faces of Wayuú women. Just as they pay tribute to the circle of life, this charm reminds us that love has no end.

What has been the hardest part of starting your own company? And the most rewarding?

WHITNIFE has always been forward thinking in the fashion industry. It has evolved many times to take its shape. These transitions have been certainly been challenging, but have allowed me to introduce a fashion platform that can address social-environmental world problem. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction to allow fashion enthusiasts to indulge in fashion without guilt. 

ABURY is a pioneering fashion brand, from Morocco, that combines traditional crafts with avantgarde designs; to create a new luxury style that fosters intercultural exchange. The Abury Foundation not only supports the village communities by providing them with work opportunities but also gives back the same number of education hours at the Abury School, as the number of hours taken to produce an Abury product.

ABURY is a pioneering fashion brand, from Morocco, that combines traditional crafts with avantgarde designs; to create a new luxury style that fosters intercultural exchange. The Abury Foundation not only supports the village communities by providing them with work opportunities but also gives back the same number of education hours at the Abury School, as the number of hours taken to produce an Abury product.

What is your criteria to consider a brand “ethical”?

Ethical issues have always been subjective and there are many ways a fashion brand can choose to be ethical. For us at WHITENIFE, Ethical Fashion is about celebrating real fashion and empowering communities. WHITENIFE supports many of world’s big problems today such as education, human exploitation, and loss of biodiversity, waste production, water pollution, community development and women empowerment.

Every brand on our platform supports at least one of the eight causes below:

  • Artisan & Craftsmanship Conservation
  • Animal Friendly & Vegan
  • Environmentally Sustainable Materials
  • Conflict Free Mining
  • Up cycle& Zero Waste
  • Cruelty Free & Ethical
  • Women Empowerment
  • Social Development
Beach to Boudoir is a UK based, socially conscious lifestyle brand is dedicated to empowering local communities. Inspired from the 50s, its collection is eclectic in nature with signature prints and intricate beadwork. It uses natural Oeko Tex* fabrics along with Azo free certified dyes. Beach to Boudoir, produces zero waste for the landfill, and donates all their fabric wastage to two charities in Bali “The Safe Childhood foundation” & “Bali Life Foundation”, for new design & skill development.

Beach to Boudoir is a UK based, socially conscious lifestyle brand is dedicated to empowering local communities. Inspired from the 50s, its collection is eclectic in nature with signature prints and intricate beadwork. It uses natural Oeko Tex* fabrics along with Azo free certified dyes. Beach to Boudoir, produces zero waste for the landfill, and donates all their fabric wastage to two charities in Bali “The Safe Childhood foundation” & “Bali Life Foundation”, for new design & skill development.

What are your hopes for the future of the fashion industry? And how do you see WHITENIFE playing a role in that?

The dynamics of the fashion industry are changing rapidly. We envision, that in the coming years, fashion corporations will be more sustainable and young, upcoming designers will take immense pride to embrace the possibility of transforming the world with Fashion. 

WHITENIFE has been a pioneer in the fashion Industry by creating Asia’s first platform to curate ethical brands and designers from around the globe. This platform will not only allow fashion connoisseurs to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle but also encourage more brands to strive towards sustainability. In order to extend our promise to be green, WHITENIFE works with its brands to reduce carbon footprint.

EARTH HEIR is a luxury craftsmanship company from Cambodia, with an exquisite collection of handcrafted fashion, and home accessories. Each piece weaves a human story, made lovingly by master craftsperson carrying the disappearing traditions of their forebears. They use natural fibers, upcycled materials and ecofriendly dyes to craft their unique products. Earth Heir return 10% of their revenue to charities supporting trafficking survivors and plant two trees for every scarf purchased.

EARTH HEIR is a luxury craftsmanship company from Cambodia, with an exquisite collection of handcrafted fashion, and home accessories. Each piece weaves a human story, made lovingly by master craftsperson carrying the disappearing traditions of their forebears. They use natural fibers, upcycled materials and ecofriendly dyes to craft their unique products. Earth Heir return 10% of their revenue to charities supporting trafficking survivors and plant two trees for every scarf purchased.

What advice would you give to someone who is trying to create a more ethical wardrobe?

It is a myth that in order to have a more ethical wardrobe one needs to compromise on design and craftsmanship. One simply needs to address How is it made? Where is it made? With what is it made? Who makes it? And of course visit www.whitenife.com a platform that curates brands that address these positively.


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Friday Finds

Check out what I’ve been checkin’ out this week…

Friday Finds 6.12.15

1. Jack Black + Red Nose Day = This.

2. Nobel Prize winner Tim Hunt thinks science labs should be segregated by gender because women are too distracting and male scientists can’t help falling in love. Ummm, what? Women have cleverly responded. But I think men should be equally insulted.

3. Allow me to introduce you to the Ecocapsule, a portable, eco-friendly home. Think you could live in one?

4. And last but not least, rescued baby orangutans.


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Fashion Foundation Gifts That Keep Giving

gift of education

A few months ago I did an interview with Amanda Munz about her wonderful non-profit, The Fashion Foundation. I think it’s about time for an update on some of the amazing things she’s been up to since then.

November 13th marked the one year launch of their website. After that The Fashion Foundation hosted their very first annual kick off fundraiser and I would say it was a pretty big success. They sold out! Over 130 people came and over $6,000 was raised for their next school partnership. They had raffle donations from some pretty cool peeps like Calvin Klein, Michael Stars, and Dream Hotel. They even had desserts donated from bakeries throughout New York. Sounds like a pretty great time to me!

Currently, The Fashion Foundation is working on their third school partnership, which is a middle school in Queens. Because of budget cuts, the art classes at the school struggle to supply students with the necessary materials. The Fashion Foundation is donating $750 worth of art supplies to allow the students a chance to freely express their creativity.

Once The Fashion Foundation reaches that goal, it just keeps going! They are in the process of finding two new schools to partner with. So far they have worked with one elementary school and two middle schools, but Amanda is hoping to extend all the way up to high schools.

The Fashion Foundation has also partnered with AmazonSmile, which will donate .5% of your Amazon purchases to The Fashion Foundation. It’s so simple! Just click here to get started. I know you’re going to buy one holiday item on Amazon this year!

Aside from making donations, there are two other fun ways you can help the cause. One way is buying gifts that give back. There are so many gift options available online and they’re all affordable options!

give that gives backBut if you’re like me and already finished your Christmas shopping because you are a gift giving nut case, then why not buy something for yourself? With holiday parties galore and New Years right around the corner (yikes!), you should treat yourself to a new outfit! If you’re looking for something fashionable, then you’ve come to the right place. Amanda put some awesome ideas together that might just get your creative juices flowing…

holiday looks

Michael Kors Red Dress $79.50 $24.00 / Starfish Necklace $32.99 $15.00 / Aldo Black Clutch $35.00 $9.00 / Elle Nude Heels $59.99$16.00 / Kenar Black Sparkle Top $42.00 $10.00 / Forever 21 Houndstooth Skirt $15.00

$5.00


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Presents With A Purpose: Children’s Needs

It’s day 2 of my Presents With A Purpose series. Today’s Moorea Seals products donate 7% of sales to The Flawless Foundation. And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with Beyonce. The Flawless Foundation helps to create awareness about brain-based, behavioral challenges some children face. They provide evidence-based, holistic treatment programs and do research on prevention.

Their vision: “We envision a world where every child living with behavioral challenges feels flawless and is understood and embraced by society.”

You wake up, flawless. All the products below, flawless.

Child Needs

1. Macrame Plant Hanger / 2. Turquoise Log Bowl / 3. Tasia Earrings / 4. Open Teardrop Ring / 5. Hollow Pyramid Necklace / 6. Crossover Cuff / 7. Arrowhead Bracelet / 8. Metallic Leatherblocked Clutch / 9. Feather Pattern Study Vol. 3