Fair Trade Friday AND a beautiful wedding feature… it’s a super day at Black Sheep Bride!! We met this beautiful bride, Hannah, from Lifestyle Justice
and fell in love with her awesomeness! She runs a blog that chronicles her journey to live simply and sustainably. She shares her fair trade fashion finds, ways to make your home more ethical, and tips on traveling fair (socially conscious honeymoon, anyone??) On top of that, fair recipes like Rhubarb crisp
that will make your mouth water!
Hannah’s handsome hubby Andrew has a love of social justice like his wife and proposed last year with an antique 1920’s ring. Since most of their life’s purchases are ethical, they wanted to carry out this commitment while planning their wedding. From the material used to make Hannah’s gorgeous gown, to the chocolate guest favors, to the jewelry and flowers, Hannah and Andrew thought carefully through every detail. Hannah’s strategy for pulling of their fair trade wedding was “Endeavoring to support and showcase small local businesses, fair trade cooperatives, female artisans, and survivors of sex trafficking in every way that we could with the dollars we chose to spend on our wedding.” Imagine the difference we could make in the world if we all used this strategy when planning one of the biggest days of our lives!
Check out the lovely images below by Keely Joy Photography
and for more information on the specific details of Hannah’s big day, visit her blog
All the Deets:
Dress: Sewn by Hanna’s friend using cotton sateen from Near Sea Naturals
Bridesmaid jewelry: Mata Traders
Bride & Groom cake toppers: Goose Grease
Chocolate guest favors: Divine Chocolate
Did you know today is National Coffee Appreciation Day!? Thanks to the wonderful people at Higher Grounds Trading Company
…. We will be holding a 24 hour Instagram Contest/Fair Trade Coffee Giveaway!!
Show us your best Coffee Selfie and make sure to tag @TheBlackSheepBride & @highergroundstradingco in your comments!
Now without further adieu … Let’s talk about Higher Grounds Trading Company
and why they are amazing!
BSB: How did Higher Grounds
begin and what’s the background of your name?
HGTC: Higher Grounds got started when our owner and co-founder Chris was living and studying in Chiapas, Mexico on a coffee farming cooperative called Maya Vinic. He got to know the coffee farmers and ultimately began importing their coffee when he returned to Michigan. That was about twelve years ago. “Higher Grounds” is a nod to the high elevations where coffee is grown, as well as our mission to go beyond fair trade and truly partner with farming communities, building sustainable relationships that help strengthen their business as well as cultivate exceptional coffee.
BSB: What lead you to use your coffee business to help others?
HGTC: Ever since that first relationship with farmers at Maya Vinic, Higher Grounds’ goal has been to disrupt business as usual, shunning the usual “buy low / sell high” model and investing in authentic partnerships both locally and globally. Coffees for Change are just one way we can give back to our communities near and far.
BSB: How has giving back helped your business, as well as those your giving back too?
HGTC: One great example is Maya Vinic in Chiapas, where fair trade premiums have allowed the cooperative to invest in opening their own cafe, as well as the planting of macadamia nut saplings, to diversify their income sources and sustain them beyond coffee. When it comes to us, we believe sharing the stories of farmers around the world with coffee drinkers here enhances the delicious experience of every cup.
BSB: In what ways can brides incorporate fair trade coffee into their wedding day?
HGTC: First of all you can serve it, of course! But aside from just brewing and serving (and letting everyone know what they’re drinking), there are many delicious recipes that include coffee (check out just a few over on our blog), so that lovely flavor can find its way into entrees and desserts too. And you could always toss coffee beans at the bride and groom instead of rice! Using fair trade coffee options, such as ours, as wedding day favors for the bridal party, or the entire guest list is a great way to help also!
Check out Higher Grounds Trading Company on their website
, and Instagram
Black Sheep Bride was recently sought out by a super amazing podcaster (Kira Hug) in NYC, with Bridal Rebellion
. The goal of Bridal Rebellion is to feature disruptive wedding industry leaders and how they are changing the industry for good. Not only are we extremely excited to be a part of their October line up, we were also excited to have founded Repeat Roses
on BR’s website. Repeat Roses is a NYC/St.Augustine initiative, gaining great speed through donating leftover wedding day flowers to nursing homes, hospitals, Ronald McDonald Houses, and the like, across the nation (thanks to their growing network of volunteers). I had the pleasure of grabbing lunch with Laura Parliament, partner of Repeat Roses, the other day in Jacksonville and I am so excited for the future of our business friendship! Check them out!
Interested in donating your Wedding Day flowers or volunteer to collect – Sign Up Here!
(Photos credit: Emily Clack Photography
Fun Fact: The couple picking up the flowers in the top right photos below (pinkish shirts), were the first volunteers to collect, and now their wedding day is right around the corner in October… Guess what they are doing with their flowers? Donating them to Repeat Roses!
When Celia Grace
first connected with Black Sheep Bride, they shared this amazing gallery of images from a recent Fair Trade Dress shoot and we were totally swooning over the collaborative masterpiece that was created to accent the bride’s beautiful Fair Trade/vintage style. Loveridge Photography
did an outstanding job taking this vision to a whole new level with the warm, organic and earthy scenes captured from her artistic perspective. Hello Friday Event Design
provided styling and graphics. The wedding dress was contributed by Celia Grace
, a fair trade company that provides fair wages to global artisan cooperatives for their labor. Each Celia Grace wedding dress sold provides a water filter to someone in need around the world!
The venue was set within the beautiful garden space of Dana Powers House
with bold and whimsy local bloom arrangements designed by Lori Boe Floral Design
. The vintage rusty chic chairs were provided by Embellish Vintage Rentals
(a fair trade shop that provides artisans around the world a fair wage for their work) provided some of the gorgeous textiles and design elements. Lisa Leonard
‘s fair trade necklace and bracelets are made by several Ecuadorian women, each piece of jewelry purchased helps children in Ecuador go to school, through Jungle Kids
The yummy cupcakes came from It Takes a Bakery
, who’s goal is to hire and empower at risk teens through teaching them the art of baked goods! And those detectable truffles are made with all natural and fair trade ingredients by Mama Ganache
We hope this gives your wedding planning ideas a little more global vision! It is so easy and holds so much value to consciously incorporate vendors and products into your day that help others! How will your Big Day help others!?
Collaborative Vendor Team: Photography: Loveridge Photography, Venue: Dana Powers House, Dress: Celia Grace, Hair and Make Up: Sammy Williams Hair and Make Up, Accessories: Lisa Leonard, Baked Goods: It Takes a Bakery, Truffles: Mama Ganache, Decor: Humankind Fair Trade, Styling and Paper Goods: Hello Friday Events, Florals: Lori Boe Florals, Vintage Rentals: Embellish Vintage Rentals
In all of the research and time we’ve invested in ‘Socially Conscious Wedding Planning’ not a Google search goes by without the name “Celia Grace
” coming up! If there was one business leading the front of wedding products that give back… It would be Celia Grace! Each Celia Grace
wedding dress is exquisitely handcrafted using vintage-inspired lace, exclusive hand woven silks, and stunning beading and detail work. Not only are these gowns gorgeous and the desire of many a bride’s wedding day vision, they also made in safe, fair and empowering fair trade conditions. A Water Filter is donated with each dress sold and their eco silks respect and protect the environment!
(Bride Photography courtesy of Loveridge Photography
BSB: Who is Celia Grace and where did this idea come from?
CG: Celia Grace isn’t a person but an idea for how a wedding dress should be- both beautiful and good. Two of the meanings of word is “grace”. “Celia” comes from a name that has been handed down in my family through six generations of strong, beautiful women trying to make the world a better place.
BSB: When brides find out about your gowns, what is the main reason that pick your dresses over others?
CG: Lots of our brides find our gowns when they search for a fair trade, eco, ethical, or socially-conscious wedding dress. Brides love our heirloom silks and vintage-inspired laces and the story and connection between their dress and empowering work for women (and men!) in the developing world. That said, some brides find our dresses in a store and buy it because of the gorgeous fabrics, flattering and comfortable fit, and romantic style and then later find out that their dress is so much more.
BSB: Do you feel the Wedding industry is heading towards a culture of more brides that give back?
CG: I think that more and more couples and wedding vendors are moving towards meaningful celebrations which give back. I love that there are so many options for charity gift registries and ethical jewelry, clothing, favors, food, and drink that don’t sacrifice style or taste. That said, most weddings remain highly materialistic. The average wedding costs almost $30,000–that’s $51 billion a year in the US alone. Imagine the difference we could make locally and around the world if every couple changed one element of their wedding so it gave back?
BSB: Any projects your working on now and excited to share about the future?
CG: We are working on so many exciting things that it is hard to choose just one! Right now we are finalizing our new collection of gowns – get ready for gorgeous silks, lots of lace, romantic and vintage-inspired designs, and a few other new twists that will redefine the perfect wedding dress…
BSB: How has your business of ethical, socially conscious practices helped your bottom line?
CG: As an ethical business Celia Grace has more than just fashion to get excited about and fall in love with. Like with any brand, people can swoon over our dress styles, but then they can also learn how silk has been made on traditional looms for generations or how our safe and fair work conditions allow women and men to better themselves, their families, and their communities.
So as you plan your Big Day and the time comes to ‘Say Yes to the Dress!’ Consider one that says Yes to helping others too with a Celia Grace Dress