Tovolo Popsicle Molds for Hot Days & Cool Treats!

Tovolo’s fun and useful pop molds are made from BPA free plastic and are the perfect way to stay cool this summer. Freeze fruit, smoothies, yogurt, fresh juices or something for the adults…any way you look at it, these are a must have item for summer. Going fast, so get yours! twin pop molds rocket pops

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Dsenyo Fairly Traded Textiles

apron napkins potholder

We are pleased to introduce Dsenyo, a new fair trade line from Malawi. From their website:

Dsenyo, a growing company in the ethical fashion industry, aspires to empower a generation of African women and artisans eager to address the challenges facing their communities.

Dsenyo makes every effort to use low-impact dyes and sustainable fibers like jute, hemp and organic cotton where possible. We reduce waste by composting organic scrap material, and we re-purpose textile remnants for use in other products.

Where is Malawi?

Malawi is a small, densely populated country in Central Africa.  It is located at the southern tip of the Great Rift Valley and is bordered by Mozambique, Zambia, and Tanzania.  Some facts about Malawi:

  • 14 million people
  • 14% of the population living with HIV/AIDS
  • Life expectancy only 43 yrs
  • 80% of the population live as subsistence farmers
  • Multi-party democracy since 1994
  • Former British protectorate (not colony)
  • National languages are Chichewa and English
  • 1 in 10 children are expected to die under the age of 5
  • Women have six children on average
  • Malaria is still the #1 cause of death
  • Only 50% of females are literate compared to 76% of males

Hope is written all over Malawi

  • Fair Trade offers a real opportunity for marginalized people to get access to resources and viable markets
  • Malawian women are creative, extremely hard working and eager to learn new skills
  • Gender equality is making progress (Malawi has a female Vice President along with several female Members of Parliament)
  • Awareness about how HIV/AIDS is transmitted and how to prevent infection is increasing
  • Knowledge about family planning is improving
  • Families increasingly value education for their daughters, wanting to send them to school and are only limited by lack of financial resource

Beautiful Bamboo and Cork Products from Bambu

“Bamboo is a highly renewable material. It is one of the earth’s fastest growing plants. Bamboo needs no replanting, grows without fertilizers or pesticides and is harvested from controlled stands with an astounding growth cycle of three to five years.

Bamboo truly is a remarkable renewable resource. It is a centuries old material that has been and continues to be used by over half the world’s population for applications as varied as food, shelter, fuel and clothing. These applications make bamboo a vital non-timber, non-petroleum resource. With a tensile strength superior to steel, it is one of the most versatile and durable natural resources in the world.

Cork is another remarkable renewable natural resource. The cork we use is sourced from the Qin Ling Mountains of Northern China. It is harvested sustainably every 10 to 12 years from the Cork Oak tree.

Cork provides a valuable source of income to thousands of people. The harvesting of cork does not harm the tree and the outer bark quickly regenerates and the tree continues to flourish, generally improving the trees health and vitality during its average 150-200 year lifespan. The tree plays a vital role in balancing an ecosystem. Cork forests are essential to preventing soil erosion, maintaining water resources and storing CO2. Contrary to common perception, cork is in abundant supply.”

Compostable Paper Straws from Kikkerland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We love all the irreverent and fun things from Kikkerland but one of their best selling items are their compostable paper straws. Perfect for parties and holiday get togethers, they can be thrown in your compost or garden rather than being thrown in the landfill. And, they come in a box of 144. Let’s party!

Local Bowls and Mugs from The Bowl Maker

Local artist Cary Lane designed these fanciful bowls and mugs

I love Cary’s bowls. They are wonderfully unique and make great gifts. Her mugs have the perfect handle and all her ceramics are filled with whimsical characters and charming small poems.

“I grew up in a safe circle of creativity and scientific wonder. My scientist dad and pianist mom gave me the time and paper to fill the kitchen table and floor with my paintings and drawings.

At California State University Long Beach I found the ceramics department: a vibrant program led by dedicated professors and unified students. With ceramic sculpture I began my conscious adult life as a dedicated artist.

Throughout my M.F.A. and various artist-in-residency programs, I discovered Bellingham, Washington, where I fell in love with a fisherman. We built our home in the foothills of Mount Baker, and home-birthed two children. Now I work as a mother and artist amongst dogs, cedar trees, and a close community. Art for me is a wonderfully fierce, necessary thing. It can not be separated from my being.”

Be sure to check them out next time you’re shopping!

Organic and Fair Trade Cloth Napkins from Marigold Fair Trade

These beautiful cloth napkins are hand blocked by a womens’ cooperative in India

One of my personal favorite things we carry here at the Cordata store, these organic and fair trade certified cloth napkins are truly one of a kind. Marigold Fair Trade has a direct relationship with the womens’ cooperative in India that makes them, helping to alleviate poverty and provide liveable wages to disadvantaged women there. Cloth napkins are a great way to teach kids about not wasting napkins when they eat. The colors of these napkins stay vibrant  even after washing on gentle cycle in the washing machine and they can be used over and over, bringing beauty to each meal.

“In a world where it is increasingly difficult to know the origins of the products we wear and consume, fair trade connects us to the people and stories behind the products. Fair Trade provides a viable alternative by upholding a trade system that values human dignity and sustainability. Marigold uses fabrics that are vegetable dyed and handblock printed to accent our naturally dyed organic cotton. Hand block printing is an age-old artisian tradition that dates back to the 12th century in India, but it is an art form that is dying due to mass produced manufacturing. We believe in honoring and celebrating the tradition of block printing to bring you products that are a work of art created by hand.”

Coasters for Hot Days and Cool Drinks

Coasters from Graf & Lanz, Sesame Letterpress, Natural Home and KikkerlandAs we enter the hottest days of the summer, it’s time to break out the stylish coasters at your next BBQ, pool party or get together. We’ve got traditional Bierfilzls, coasters made from felted wool that is then dyed beautiful hues, Sesame Letterpress’ hand pressed paper coasters with fun and playful designs, cork coasters from Natural Home, the same company that brings us Natural Home Magazine, and finally, Kikkerland’s always irreverent and on trend mustache coasters, also made from cork.

Next time you’re picking up a 6 pack of beer or even just a 6 pack of ginger beer, make sure you check out the coasters we’ve got to go with them. They’re sure to make drinking more fun.