Fair-ly Newsworthy

Happy Friday!  I’ve been looking forward to today for a while, but the baby fell asleep for his nap about 4 hours too early, so we’ll see how many errands we can fit in once he wakes up.  A few links for today:

Some of the pictures from the Farmers’ Feast are up on the facebook page.

The Ride for Refuge is coming up in Winnipeg on October 4th.  Here’s a link to the fantastic charities you can ride for.

Ten Thousand Villages has coffee on sale for $9.99 with tax until Sunday.

Have a great weekend!

Farmers’ Market Favourites

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Photo: Molloy Photography & Design

Today I woke up thrilled to do the thing my heart loves and misses – playing with flowers.  It’s been a long time since I’ve designed for an event, and I’m so excited to be spending the day working on centrepieces for the Farmers’ Feast.  Of all the events I’ve decorated, this is one of my favourites because I use all local flowers and keep the design simple and natural.  As the farmers’ market season winds down in Winnipeg for the year, I thought today would be a good day to share some of my favourite vendors:

Strawberry Lane – Locally grown flowers.  Everyone needs more locally grown flowers.

Green Bean Coffee Imports – I know I say it all the time, but I love coffee and this is the best.

Mama Pacha – Fantastic skin care products.

Bessie’s Best – I’ve only tried her tzatziki, and I would eat it every day if I could.

Jonathan’s Farm – We had our CSA through him last year and had a great experience.

Flora & Farmer – Amazing jam.

Zen Bars – Delicious granola bars.

Sustainable Fashion: Wedding Edition (Part 2)

Wedding Fashion part 2

After the post about dresses to wear to a wedding a few people pointed out how similar the dresses were, and they were right – I have a pretty specific style.  The past three days I have worn three different long-sleeved, navy blue shirts.  So, in an attempt to broaden my style, here are a few more dresses that would be great to wear to a wedding:

1. Modcloth

2. Raven & Lily

3. Modcloth

4. People Tree

5. People Tree

6. Modcloth

Research on H&M

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H&M

Winnipeg is seeing huge growth in the number of international powerhouse brands popping up.  Ikea, Target, Victoria’s Secret, Bed Bath & Beyond and Marshalls are fairly recent additions, with H&M opening tomorrow and Anthropologie in October.  H&M is known for cheap and fast fashion, and I’ll admit to having been really tempted to buy their maternity clothes when I was pregnant – the idea of looking good at an affordable price was really appealing.  Since we didn’t have an H&M in Winnipeg at the time I didn’t know much about the company, but after a bit of research here’s what I learned:

H&M has a pretty large section of their website dedicated to sustainability.  They promote their organic and recycled materials, water stewardship, plan to pay a fair living wage, etc.  There are seven commitments listed on the website, each one being tracked by H&M as “more to do,” “is on track” or “done.”  Goals include paying a living wage by 2018, and sourcing all cotton in their range from more sustainable sources by 2020.  Recently, H&M announced that it would begin manufacturing in Ethiopia, supporting the growing textile manufacturing industry.

Sounds great, right?  The problem, though, is that their plan isn’t very specific.  According to the website, a living wage would cover basic needs, but besides that there has been no wage decided on, and the strategy is vague.    Even if an adequate wage is set, taking until 2018 to pay a living wage is ridiculous.  In 2012, when it was reported that workers in Eastern Europe were making 0.50 euros/hour, H&M claimed it wasn’t their responsibility as a foreign company to determine what a living wage is.  The timeline is simply not quick enough, and their goal to source all cotton from more sustainable sources means hardly anything at all.  In many cases, measurable goals are not listed, and the wide spectrum of commitments could be seen as an attempt to cover all the buzz words, without making very many changes.  As a consumer, I’d far rather see one measurable goal reached for and accomplished, than many goals “on track.”  There is concern that intentions to open a factory in Ethiopia may not be as honourable as they sound, given Ethiopia currently has no nationally set minimum wage.

H&M has made some progress: they are supportive of workers negotiating their wages, and are training them on worker’s rights.  They were one of the first companies to sign an agreement in Bangladesh to promote safe factories.  There is a long way to go, and some key elements missing, but I’ll hope that the living wage they are implementing will indeed be enough for workers to live on, and if it is I’ll look forward to shopping there…in 2018.