Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Earth Divas Fair Trade and Natural Fiber Bags

Good morning all! I’ve been a busy little bee lately with work and finishing up my book but now that things have settled down some I can get right back to doing reviews and I couldn’t think of a better place to start than Earth Divas!

I was contacted by these folks directly and sent a super fun, practical, functional and great looking tan bag, hand made by a talented artist in Nepal, from rapidly renewable hemp fiber.

With two very generous outside pockets in chocolate brown and three inside pockets (in addition to the main bag) I will certainly not run out of convenient spaces for my smaller items. With magnetized snaps or zippers the pockets will keep everything safely tucked away. And the bag is sturdy too.

The casual messenger style is great for me because I always have a couple checkbooks and my day planner with me so the roominess is great too.

The company is a wonderful model -- they provide free training and pay their artists direct under fair trade practices. With a 10% donation that goes right back to the artists Earth Divas claims to pay 10-25% higher than the standard labor rate, 30% above the local wage rate. At the end of the year all profits are paid direct to the artists and the owner of the company, Ed Edmundson, doesn’t even draw a salary!

The price is not outrageous for such a well made, socially responsible item either. The bag I was sent retails at $29.99 but their catalog is chock full of items that run under $20 too. The range in price does not diminish the quality or functionality however.

With so many positives -- natural/renewable fiber, social responsibility, training and encouragement of the artists, sustainability, functionality and durability -- and such a wonderful company model overall I am granting Earth Divas a Four and a Half Leaf Rating!

Now for the best part…for those of you who stuck around to read the whole review, Green Leaf Reviewer, in conjunction with Earth Divas, is doing a giveaway of one of these awesome hand made bags! That’s right and you could win it!

Here are the rules:

Get on over to the Earth Divas website.
Find your favorite bag.
Come back to GLR and leave a comment about which bag is your favorite.
Tell me why you think hemp is a smart choice for the planet.

I will be picking the winner on Tuesday July 6 at 6:00PM EST so get your votes in now and you might just find a super cute, well made, socially responsible bag on your front doorstep!

Thanks Earth Divas for helping to make this planet a better place ♥love♥


Girly Green Girl said...

FUN! My fav. bag is the "Hemp Handbag - Green, Center Ring": http://www.earthdivas.com/mh-130-grn-hemp-handbag-green-center-ring.aspx (I love the color green!) Hemp is great because it grows like crazy - no room for weeds - so no need for pesticides!

Almost Precious said...

The premise of Earth Divas is a good; give fair wages to 3rd world workers. It was always sad to think about people working for 25 cents or less a day, under squalid conditions, no breaks and very, very long hours.

I like this cute little "Scrap Bag" as the idea that it was made from left over scraps, that would have normally been thrown away, really is eco friendly. Plus the fact, or so they claim, that 100% of the amount that they pay for this bag goes directly to the artisans that make it, makes me twice as happy. They say they can do this because the materials have already been paid for to create the first original bags, of course this means you never know what color or fabric combo you might get but surprises can be fun.

The Scrap Bag :


Scrap Bags : Part #: SCP-1 Stock #: 1015

Hemp is a great because it is a renewable material, is earth friendly and like all organic materials it is biodegradable.

Almost Precious said...

Hmm, well can you tell I didn't proof read my comment? Guess I must have had a twitchy little finger as I kept hitting the "a" key. :/

KC McAuley said...

I like the Black w/ 2 pockets and the Organic Cotton Liner. I need a bag that works for commuting, shopping and just general going out and about. I hate changing purses all the time and would love a good multipurpose bag.
And what's not to like about hemp?? It's strong, renewable, earth friendly - and Earth Divas are truly DIVAS. Great job!

Judi FitzPatrick said...

Love that bag you've shown, sounds like the perfect thing for you!

My favorite bag on the web site is the crocheted hemp sling bag: http://www.earthdivas.com/sb-5-hemp-sling-baghand-crochetednaturallarge.aspx

Hemp is a great product. Not only can the fibers be used to make fabric and yarn, but the seeds are very high in omega-3 fats and a wonderful addition to salads and other dishes.

ginger said...

I like the crochet silk baba bag with fringe, RSB-004 on page 7....or 8.
I think hemp is a smart choice for the planet because it grows fast and is easily sustainable. It doesn't require a lot of energy to produce, it's durable and it can be used for so many things.

i hope all of their claims are true...very nice review, jenn!

Julie said...

So many cool bags! I love this one, with it's lovely earth tones and beautiful embroidery: http://www.earthdivas.com/nhb-103-hemp-shoulder-bag-w-emb-pockets.aspx

As for hemp, though those braided hemp necklaces I used to make back in the day have waned in fashion, hemp itself is such a versatile material that it will always be cool. The fact that it's biodegradable is wonderful, because, let's face it, we all get tired of our stuff eventually. No matter how much we reuse and re-purpose, at some point that stuff needs to be put to rest. It's good to know hemp goodies won't hurt the planet when we retire them.

Anyhow, I had to say that as much as I love the handbags, I'm also fond of hats.