Ever since I started exploring fair trade fashion, I have learned about so many great companies that operate with heart by practicing fair-trade and sustainable business practices. One such company is Noonday Collection, that just so happens to be based out of Austin. The necklace I wore yesterday was a piece from Noonday Collection, and it was made by a lovely artisan in India.
After visiting Uganda in February of 2010 and holding hundreds of orphaned children, Jessica Honegger (the Noonday Collection founder) and her husband Joe decided to adopt internationally. During that life changing visit, the Honeggers met up with long time friends who had lived in Uganda for many years trying to create sustainable income opportunities for the Ugandan people. They asked Jessica if she would like to sell the fair-trade locally made goods in Austin, in order to raise money for the costly adoption process. Jessica agreed and the first Noonday Collection trunk show was born!
Noonday Collection only partners with companies and ministries who assure that their artisans are growing, learning, and benefiting from their craft. All of their suppliers use fair trade principles. Basic fair trade principles state that artisans receive a fair, living wage, a good working condition, and a reasonable path out of poverty. However, Noonday Collection strives to go beyond fair trade. In many instances, the artisans are part owners in the companies. And they're making dang cute stuff:
some of my favorites: Dulce Necklace | Wildflower Belt | Chevron Dangle Earrings
Word spread quickly about Noonday's envied products and the lives they impact. Other women wanted to style their friends while advocating for women and kids. Soon, the opportunity for women to start their own social selling business with a social impact launched and the Ambassador opportunity was born.
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/60359863 w=600&h=338]At Noonday Collection, the artisans aren't just at the heart of the company, they ARE the company. The artisans Noonday purchases their collections from know their craft. For them to be paid a fair and competitive wage for their skilled work is a life-altering opportunity for most of them. Because the artisans are working under Fair Trade guidelines, your purchases enable them to earn more than what they would be earning in another job. This extra income allows them to put their children in school, buy chickens, or even expand their own business so they can employ their local community.
As you may know, adoption is something my family plans to do, so it is a cause that is very dear to our hearts. I love that Noonday Collection believes every child belongs in a family. Noonday advocates for the orphan by:
- Providing jobs that create a pathway out of poverty for families. A stable income means a family is less likely to abandon their child.
- Help families raise money for their own adoptions. We give 10% of trunk show sales directly to the adoptive family when they host a trunk show.
- Aside from donating 10% towards qualified adoptive families, Noonday Collection also gives towards orphan care and prevention. Watch this video to see one of our beneficiaries.
- The dream is to one day take YOU on a trip to visit artisans and visit orphans in their distress.