Bought Beautifully

YAY!

Today is a beau­ti­ful day! We have been work­ing hard to bring you…

www.boughtbeautifully.org

An online mar­ket where you can pur­chase prod­ucts that impact the world with God’s love!

Click the link and share the love!!!

♥ ♥ ♥

You can also find us on Face­book and Insta­gram as Bought Beautifully.

Fol­low us for more updates, adven­tures, and chances to win! :)

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Want to know our secret???

You all know that we have been work­ing really hard on our spe­cial, beau­ti­ful, surprise…

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We aren’t let­ting the rest of the world in on the secret until Wednesday…

 

But we wanted to let YOU, our reg­u­lar read­ers, be the first to see…

The Bought Beau­ti­fully Market!

 

 It’s real. It’s ready.  It’s open!!!!

 

Our goal with this mar­ket is to pro­vide a plat­form where you can shop from a vari­ety of amaz­ing orga­ni­za­tions from across the globe that:

1.) Know their sup­ply chain

2.) Pay fair wages

3.) Pri­or­i­tize safe work­ing conditions

4.) Prac­tice wise stewardship 

AND

5.) Most impor­tantly, share God’s love through their work. 

We are thrilled to part­ner with 9 inspir­ing orga­ni­za­tions for the ini­tial launch. Check them out, you will love them!!

The rest of the world will get to see the site on Wednes­day, but until then it is all yours! Enjoy :)

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Want to play a more active role in what we are doing?

Help us spread the word!

  • On Wednes­day, share our site with your fam­ily, friends,church, and even strangers on the street.
  • If you are on Face­book this week, like our page, like our posts and enter our give­away.  You can find us here.
  • Fol­low us on insta­gram @boughtbeautifully and enter our con­test there too!

 

Thanks for all your support!

 

 

 

 

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Friday Favorites, Fair Trade (and beyond!!)

Favorite Fall Footwear:  Teysha Boots. Wow! Hand made, high qual­ity, fair wages meets high fash­ion = love!!! The best part is you can design your own.

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Favorite cre­ation: Amazima’s new ear­rings. Great Ear­rings, great story.

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Favorite (almost) release: Glo­rify Apparel’s behind the scenes glimpse into the new FALL line

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 Favorite warm drink: Celes­tial Teas new organic and Fair Trade cer­ti­fied teasYUMMMMM! Unfor­tu­nately, these are only avail­able at Whole Foods, but if you live near one, get yours soon.

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Word of the Week — Jocund

JOCUNDadjec­tive : sug­ges­tive of high spir­its and lively mirth­ful­ness

We hope this week’s word helps  you dis­cover and enjoy the JOY of the Lord!

debb3f929054176718a488e773532ac3 Strife and bit­ter­ness choke out the JOY that the Lord desires for us.

This week, make a con­scious effort to fight the norm, and embrace a JOCUND attitude!

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Psalm 16:11

You will make known to me the path of life; in your pres­ence is full­ness of joy; in your right hand there are plea­sures forever.

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Missin’ you…

Hello dear readers -

I  wanted to send you a quick note, apol­o­giz­ing for the lack a posts lately.  I miss you! We have been work­ing really hard on some­thing really beautiful!

Don’t worry, you will be the first to know when it’s ready!

 

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It will be worth the wait.

We promise.

 

lots of love and big hugs–

em

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Word of the Week — Numinous

Numi­nous: super­nat­ural, mys­te­ri­ous; filled with a sense of the pres­ence of divinity

This week’s word leaves us in awe as we think about the divin­ity of the Lord.

Being filled with the pres­ence of God is often too intense of a feel­ing to define, but this word comes close.

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May you have many numi­nous expe­ri­ences with the Lord this week!

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Friday Favorites — Fall!

The sea­sons are chang­ing, we are lov­ing all things roasted, toasted, and cozy! Here are some of our fall favorites on this lovely Friday!

beet galette

 

 

 

 

 

Look­ing for a way to use all that garden/farmer’s mar­ket pro­duce?  I will be mak­ing this recipe over the weekend.

 

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We love chai no mat­ter the sea­son, but it is ESPECIALLY good when there is a chill in the air.

It gets even BETTER when you make it yourself! :)

You can try the recipe here.

With the approach of fall, we also get NEW and beau­ti­ful things from 31 Bits, Kro­chet Kids and Glo­rify Apparel!

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Have a great weekend!

 

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Seasons

Fall is com­ing. School is start­ing. Life is changing.

I’m always refreshed by a change in sea­son when it refers to the tem­pera­ment of the weather. Unfor­tu­nately, I don’t always see change as refresh­ing when it applies to the sea­son of my life.

Embrac­ing new sea­sons of life is some­times an unnat­ural response, but it becomes eas­ier when we dis­cover their purpose.

maps    The Lord gives us new sea­sons for the pur­pose of grow­ing us into bet­ter disciples.

How would we learn trust if we didn’t have a few unwanted sea­sons full of who, what, where, when and why?

How would we learn to ask if we never had any­thing to ask for?

There are sea­sons for chal­lenge and trial, but there are also sea­sons for restora­tion and renewal.

We need both to see the true char­ac­ter of God.

In the chal­leng­ing sea­sons, ask for strength and wisdom.

In the sea­sons of rest, praise Him for his love and faithfulness.

Change can be harsh, but it can also be beautiful.

YAY for a change of season!

yay

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How we shop BEAUTIFULLY

Sorry, it has taken me so long to write the sec­ond post in this series, besides the fact that I snuck away for a long week­end with my mom and sis­ters, this was a hard post to write!

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Here I am in NYC, rockin’  bor­rowed cloth­ing (Thanks, Jer!!), This is step three in the How to Shop Beau­ti­fully flow chart!

 

 

I entered into this series think­ing it would be really easy and straight for­ward to write; I would sim­ply share what we do, (which is still what I am going to do), but as I was writ­ing, I was con­fronted with the fact that what we do is FAR from per­fect, that there is a lot sub­jec­tiv­ity involved in the choices we make, and that we still have large areas for improvement.

For exam­ple, I as I was re-researching some of the com­pa­nies to give you tan­gi­ble evi­dence, I saw how mul­ti­far­i­ous the prob­lem truly is; for exam­ple, how can a com­pany like the Gap Inc.  simul­ta­ne­ously appear on the worst Human Rights vio­la­tor list and the most eth­i­cal com­pany list?  The Gap isn’t unique, you can find pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive argu­ments for almost every com­pany.   This dichotomy sheds light on the enor­mity and com­plex­i­ties of the prob­lem and the fact that it doesn’t lie within one com­pany or indus­try but with our culture.

We have a seri­ous con­sump­tion problem.

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The bot­tom line is we con­sume far more than our fair share of resources (The US makes up 5% of the world’s pop­u­la­tion but con­sumes 24% of its energy) and we do it with lit­tle human or envi­ron­men­tal concern.

I am not point­ing fin­gers any­where but at myself as I am still part of the prob­lem. As I share below, please under­stand that we real­ize we are still oper­at­ing from within this cul­tural norm of con­sump­tion. At this point, I don’t have any real answers or solu­tions for that, except that we are sin­cerely work­ing on it :).  So please read with grace and under­stand­ing.  Also, I will be the first to admit that my meth­ods of research would not stand up in a sci­en­tific lab, they are based in part on research but also on instinct, expe­ri­ence and per­sonal preference.

The flow chart from yes­ter­day is a great start­ing point and there are apps you can use to scan prod­ucts, but so much of life hap­pens on the go.  For me it isn’t always real­is­tic to be going through a check list or read­ing a report on a prod­uct or com­pany in the 30 min­utes that I have to go shop­ping with two kids in tow.  We found that by tak­ing the steps below we make small but sig­nif­i­cant pur­chas­ing deci­sions before we actu­ally go shopping.

Note: Keep in mind that we have been work­ing at this for a few years now and its still a work in progress.  It might seem over­whelm­ing if you try to imple­ment all of these steps right away.  The way we approached it was to choose one thing at time, if some­thing that res­onates with your fam­ily and fits in your life and to focus on that.  Once this choice becomes sec­ond nature you can start work­ing on another.

1.) Know your stores:

The eas­i­est way to start mak­ing your shop­ping more eth­i­cal is to research your stores.  Start by look­ing at the 4 or 5 main places you shop and research their poli­cies.  Decide if what they stand for is what you stand for, if it isn’t, don’t sup­port them with your money.  This can be done from your home and won’t take much longer than 10 min­utes a store.   Since the Bangladesh gar­ment fac­tory col­lapse, most com­pa­nies have a cor­po­rate respon­si­bil­ity page on their web­site which will give you an idea of what they value and how they do busi­ness but keep in mind that they write these pages with the inten­tion of look­ing good, so it is a good idea to look a few dif­fer­ent sources.

Here are some of the more real­is­tic, larger fran­chise stores that we try to shop at and why:

Costco:

They pay their employ­ees liv­ing wages, offer ben­e­fits, don’t pay their exec­u­tives exces­sively, not to men­tion hav­ing fair trade choco­late! This arti­cle gives a few more details on why we sup­port Costco. I don’t think com­par­ing is nec­es­sar­ily good but in cir­cum­stances like this, it is impor­tant to see that the com­pa­nies’ prac­tices do have real impli­ca­tions for our com­mu­ni­ties.  You can com­pare the above arti­cle on Costco to this one about a com­peti­tor.  When we as a com­mu­nity use our dol­lars to show what  we value, we may see more changes in wealth distribution.

Ama­zon:

While Ama­zon can def­i­nitely improve their wages and envi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity, we have cho­sen to shop here over sim­i­lar com­peti­tors because of the Ama­zon smile pro­gram and the abil­ity to shop from home.  If you shop through ama­zon smile, they give .5% of your pur­chase to a char­ity of your choice.  We cur­rently sup­port Gam­bia Ris­ing, an effec­tive orga­ni­za­tion designed to keep kids in The Gam­bia, Africa in school (you can sup­port them too, its all vol­un­teer run so all dona­tions go directly to stu­dents!).  Even though ama­zon is far from a per­fect com­pany, another rea­son we choose to shop here is because  we can shop from home when my kids are sleep­ing,  that way I can spend a lit­tle more time to inten­tion­ally pur­chase prod­ucts or brands that I know are doing good work and being con­scious of the big­ger picture.

Tar­get :

I know some of you are think­ing, Tar­get, really? and Why Tar­get over Wal­mart? Espe­cially when research can show them both to be equally good or equally bad? To be hon­est, my pref­er­ence for Tar­get is based on per­sonal expe­ri­ence. Wal­mart is one of the largest employ­ers in our com­mu­nity, when I worked in afford­able hous­ing, many of our clients were Wal­mart employ­ees.  Wal­mart is the largest com­pany in the world, it’s own­ers are some of the rich­est peo­ple in the world (“…the com­bined net worth of the bot­tom 41.5 per­cent of Amer­i­can fam­i­lies equals that of the six Wal­ton fam­ily mem­bers”).  Even though they are work­ing to improve their busi­ness prac­tices and give back in some ways, from my expe­ri­ence they aren’t con­tribut­ing to healthy happy com­mu­ni­ties and their employ­ees aren’t exactly being paid a wage that allows them to thrive in the U.S.  I can’t sup­port this busi­ness model.   This may be true for Tar­get too but I haven’t expe­ri­enced that first hand…

None of these stores are per­fect and in all of them you will prob­a­bly still find prod­ucts that were made with slave or child labor and/or in unsafe work­ing con­di­tions (this is where the next step will come in) but as a whole these com­pa­nies offer some­thing we value or tak­ing steps in the right direction.

2.)  Know your brands/products:

I rec­om­mend start­ing with a sin­gle product/category that you know you will be reg­u­larly buy­ing then spend a lit­tle time research­ing this item to find a few brand who make this prod­uct in a way that aligns with your values.

For exam­ple, we started with socks and under­wear.   The Free2Work app makes this process super easy, as they have already done the research for you.   All you have to do is choose your indus­try, for socks it would be apparel and then find a brand that makes the prod­uct you are look­ing for and has a rat­ing you are com­fort­able with.

Socks

We found that Mag­gies Organ­ics, Hanes, and Fruit of a Loom make socks and under­wear that are ranked in the A range.  I have writ­ten about Maggie’s Organ­ics here, they are cream of the crop and we want to sup­port them when we can.  How­ever, Hud­son grew 4 inches last year!!! At this sea­son in our life it isn’t finan­cially real­is­tic to buy his socks there, so for him I look for Hanes or Fruit of the Loom.  Granted these won’t always be the brands that are on sale or carry the style I would ide­ally choose, BUT we have decided that to pay a few dol­lars more or decide not have the trendi­est socks is a small choice that we can eas­ily make out of love.

You can also work back­wards by choos­ing brands you wouldn’t sup­port based on their rat­ings.  There is one pop­u­lar kids cloth­ing man­u­fac­turer with a D– rat­ing.  As a fam­ily pol­icy we sim­ply don’t buy cloth­ing from them, and with the mul­ti­tude of cloth­ing options out there, we see no rea­son to pur­chase from them.

You can apply these strat­egy to any brand or prod­uct.  I think you will be sur­prised how quickly you remem­ber the high rank­ing com­pa­nies. Once this became rou­tine, I found that it actu­ally sim­pli­fied shop­ping by nat­ural elim­i­nat­ing some choices.

The Free to Work App doesn’t have every brand but it is an easy start­ing place. Here are some other resources and arti­cles that may help you get to know your brands and products:

Good Guide

Eth­i­cal Consumer

Know­More

3.) Know your values:

Cer­tain prod­ucts carry higher risks for human rights vio­la­tions or envi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion, so depend­ing on your pas­sions and val­ues you can start by focus­ing on the areas you care most about and then find prod­ucts that align with your beliefs.  That’s how we dis­cov­ered the dark side of choco­late indus­try, we knew we dis­ap­proved of child labor and when we started research­ing the prob­lem, we real­ized that our choco­late addic­tion was likely fuel­ing the calamity, from there we started being more inten­tional about where we pur­chased our chocolate.

Next week, I will share more about how I am per­son­ally (im my wardrobe) work­ing to rec­on­cile my love for fash­ion with the harsh real­i­ties of the fash­ion industry…WARNING it is another work in progress!!

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Word of the Week — Fernweh

                            The human heart longs for adven­ture. This week’s word of the week describes just that.

Fer­n­weh: (n) an ache for dis­tant places; the crav­ing for travel

Syn­onym — wanderlust

 

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To roam the earth and see the beauty in cre­ation is to know the Lord’s sov­er­eignty more inti­mately than ever before.

God has intri­cately designed the world, not only for his enjoy­ment, but for our amaze­ment.

So, next time you get a fer­n­weh, embrace it and enjoy what the Cre­ator has created!

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Chal­lenge:

Use fer­n­weh with the hash­tag #word­ofthe­week on Face­book and Insta­gram this week.

We will repost our favorite!