Your girlfriend has always got your back.
Jittery about that first date? She helps you pick out the perfect outfit.
Two a.m. phone calls to gush about how sweet and gentlemanly he was? She’s ready to analyze every little move.
It’s been two weeks and still no phone call, email or even a text? She’s got a shoulder, a martini and a VIP guest list plus one for the hottest club in town.
Global Girlfriend is a fair trade fashion company that works with more than 50 cooperatives in more than 20 countries, including right here in the U.S. They offer stylish, fashion-forward clothing, accessories and beauty products, all while empowering women throughout the world with self-sustaining work. And for each purchase, Global Girlfriend donates a portion of the proceeds to Camfed (Campaign for Female Education), dedicated to education and empowerment of girls and young women in rural Africa.
Just in time for the upcoming spring season and its myriad of African influences, accessorize everything you wear this spring — from filmy chiffons to utilitarian army green to neon pops — with authentic Masai bangles.
These porcelain bead bangles are handmade in a village in Tanzania using authentic Masai beadwork and recycled rubber tubing from a local motorcycle mechanic, making them firm and flexible.
Beaded Masai bangle bracelet, $6.95 each.
Mix it up with the hand-beaded Guatemalan Glamour bracelet and you’re halfway to looking season perfect. $16 each.
I’m a sucker for a beautifully covered journal. The crisp, clean pages, just waiting for me to pour out my random thoughts and musings. I make an effort to buy a journal from almost every place I travel, so every time I open it, I’m reminded of my travels. These make me very, very happy.
They’re made as a part of a paper-making income generation project by General Welfare Pratisthan and Free A Child, organizations that help young women who have survived sex trafficking.
Window Flower journal, $18 each.
Just because you’re going global doesn’t mean America is not included! These natural soaps are made by The Enterprising Kitchen, a unique social enterprise that provides transitional employment and life skills training to disadvantaged women in Chicago. And I love the scents: basil lime, fresh bamboo and olive. Yum! Choices Pure & Simple Glycerin Square, $3.50 each.
How cute is this pouch, perfect for your change, makeup, even as wrapping for a gift. The beading is done by the women artisans of Au Lac, a trade organization in Vietnam, founded to bring jobs to poor women in Hanoi and surrounding rural areas. Silk & Centered pouch, $12.
It’s a new year, so stock up! You can never have too much underwear, but why support a giant conglomerate company when you can get these organic cotton hip hugger panties for the same price and cheaper! They’re produced in the Tamil Nadu region of India by a cooperative of Franciscan nuns which employ, feed and shelter 120 women. Heavenly! $4.95 each.
And this year, after my trip to India, I really want to do something to help the Rajasthani women and children we met along the way. Through Global Girlfriend, you can “purchase” a gift that goes directly to specific communities, like sponsoring the Fabindia School for girls in Rajasthan for just $21 a month, or helping to cover uninsured medial expenses for underinsured Americans. You can even pay a teacher’s salary in Darfur for just $24! (And it’s all tax deductible — hurry before the end of the year!) Talk about the most meaningful, lasting gifts!
Because nothing cheers you up like cheering up someone else. Or a whole village.
** And now spend $50 and get $10 off at www.GlobalGirlfriend.com. Use promo code GGFten through January 31, 2010.
Available at www.GlobalGirlfriend.com and Whole Foods Markets.