Posts tagged #Sustainable

Woven Together with THREAD

I love when things are woven together, when they come full circle. I recently found a new company to partner with and have found myself in complete awe of what they are doing in Haiti. They are a continued thread in our tapestry.

Thread International is taking recycled plastic bottles from the streets of Haiti (and Honduras) and making fabric. If you have ever visited Haiti or any third world country then you know the amount of littler that adorns every street corner, every drain every where. Haiti doesn't have the basic infrastructure and systems in place to provide clean water to it's residents, needless to say they aren't providing waste removal (of any kind) either.

That's where you come in. That's where normal every day people step up. Haiti has some really great organizations filled with people that have stepped up to the plate, people that have seen the need and done something. People that are making a difference, impacting lives.

Thread is providing jobs. They work with recycling companies in Haiti. Here's how it works: people see plastic, they pick it up, turn it it, get paid. People all over Haiti are able to collect large bags of plastic and turn them in to collection centers that then pay them by the pound. No resume, no language skills needed; just a drive to want to change your situation.

Not only that, but Thread has partnered with numerous other companies in Haiti to increase their impact. Their threads are very intricately and meaningfully woven.

We have some great products in the work using our new cotton/polyester blend indigo fabric that we recently received from Thread. It will be released this Friday with the rest of our line. If you are looking for a fashionable and sustainable way to make an impact, look no further!!!

Thanks for all you do Thread!!! We are looking forward to many more yards of fabric and many more jobs created.

*Many thanks to the Thread International team for use of their pictures.

Sa Voix-Her Voice or Your Voice

About two weeks ago we returned from an eight day trip to Haiti. Our favorite part about Cedar and Cypress Designs is the partners we get to collaborate with, both in Haiti and here in Minnesota. Our goal is to be relational, sometimes that isn't so easy when you live across the sea.

However, when we get to visit Haiti we get to be intentional with those relationships and our partners. I seem to have an affinity for friendships and hugs. On our recent trip to Haiti, a coffee date with a friend lead to collaboration with a new one (thanks Lexie). We met Jess from Sa-Voix towards the end of our trip, and short of extending our visit, we did our best to work with her as much as possible before we had to leave island life behind once again.

Sa-Voix is also relational and we are encouraged with our new found friendship we were able to cultivate in the short amount of time we were able to spend with them. It is clear that the team at Sa-Voix is a family.

Through the use of art, Sa-Voix is a vehicle to create a safe space for women to explore theirvoice. Sa-Voix is empowering and giving women a voice and a future. The products are Sa-Voix are made by first hand painting the fabric and then sewn into beautiful hand bags and headbands.

"Sa Voix exists to help young women in Haiti find their voice through the arts.

OUR VALUES

  •       We Foster Creativity
  •       We Cultivate Community
  •       We Equip Holistically
  •       We Speak Tangibly"

We were able to see the Sa Voix workshop and spend some time with Jess and Reinese, one of two Haitian seamstresses. Their space is light and inspiring, it fosters creativity and joy-exactly the kind of space I like to work in. Sa-Voix is in it's infancy, but you can tell they have a bright future ahead of them.

Join me in watching them learn and grow. We are so excited about our new partnership with Sa-Voix and are working to get back down to Haiti to spend some quality time with them very soon in hopes to encourage them in their creativity and designs. We look forward to cultivating and developing that partnership and the relationships with their team.

We are blessed by our many partners in Haiti, if you would like to partner with organizations like Sa-Voix please reach out to us. Whether you buy a product, donate to their cause or have the chance to visit their quaint space some day-how you choose your voice will make a difference. We all have a voice. It is up to you how you use yours.

A reason

I know things happen for a reason, I believe God is firmly in control and has a reason for everything. Some things are hard we can't seem to find the reason. People die young, I don't see the reason in that. Children grow up with out their families, are abused, victimized-I don't see the reason in that.

Moving back from Haiti has been hard for me. There have been times I have truly considered, just buying a ticket and heading back. I had a rough start to 2016. Not for any particular reason, just looking for a reason I am here, in America now. I know there is a reason.

The truth is, I want "real job" because I need money. I'm not starving or behind on bills, but I am in the process of trying to grow a business and that is no easy thing. But Haiti is my reason. If I took a "real job" I was afraid my dream of Cedar and Cypress Designs (and some other things I am dreaming up) would be put on the side lines. I don't want to side line my dream. Haiti is my home and it is the county I want to help. That is the reason I started Cedar and Cypress Designs instead of taking a "real job".

Some one asked me yesterday if I bring clothing and things down to give away to people when I go to Haiti. I smiled and told her all the reasons that breeds a culture of dependence and entitlement. How through my business I hope to continue partnering with companies in Haiti who are employing people who are in turn able to buy their own clothing.

Pay for their kids to go to school.

Buy food on a regular basis.

Pay for the funerals of their family members...

Today my friend Chandler of Haiti Design Co-op, one of our partners in Haiti posted this on facebook:

This is a photo of Yvetta, her mom, and her three kids from some family portraits we took 3 years ago. Yvetta is one of our original jewelry ladies. She works so hard to take care of those boys despite some extremely hard obstacles in life. Earlier this week she she was taking her very sick brother to the hospital and he died in her arms. He had a 13 year daughter who's mother passed 3 years ago and is now orphaned. Yvetta has taken in this girl and is trying to take care of the 4 kids and figure out how to pay for the funeral. The cost of a funeral is the same as about 3 months worth of work. We are trying to now help figure out how to send her niece to school as she hasn't gone to school since her dad became sick and had to spend the money on medical bills. We also are trying to figure out how to help Yvetta pay for the funeral as she in the only one in her family with a job so the responsibility is falling on her. If you would like to help contribute to support Cherline (the 13 year old niece) or help pay for the funeral please message me.
These things are so hard and so complicated. We need some hands to help come together and lighten the load of those carrying so much more than we could imagine.

I am not sure the reason this woman has to struggle so much. But I do know the reason I started this company is not only so I can have in income, but also so Yvetta and women like her can. I am not the person on the ground dealing with the salty tears of Yvetta. Or the one writing her check and doing her quality control.

But I am the one here. In America. Running off to the gym and Target. Going out to dinner and a movie. Sound familiar. It is painful to me, my normal life. Yes, I do still have to deal with hurt and pain and death and unemployment, just because I live in America does not mean I am exemplified from these things. But I am the one here and so are you. So I am asking, would you help this family out? Does this give you a reason to not go to Starbucks this week or skip date night? Did you spend $5 on Powerball this past week? Would you join me? If you are able, please help.

This is from Chandler, founder of Haiti Design Co-Op, the employer of Yvetta in Haiti.

The funeral is about $450 and then for Cherline to go to school this semester and all of next year, uniform, and supplies it is about $535 (that's about $35/month). So obviously that is a ton of money- but whatever bit you are able to contribute would be so helpful! You can send it through paypal to Orders@haitidesigncoop.com and we will get it to Yvetta.

Yvetta isn't asking for this for Cherline- but I know she doesn't have any money to take care of another child and the girl will end up being sent to the country side with extended family. And in that situation she will end up with no school and probably pregnant and probably sexually abused since she has no guardian. So we are doing what we can to help Yvetta raise her.

Today I have a reason. Do you?