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Bridal Party Gifts that Give Back – Featured Social Enterprise: Latch Co.

Continuing with our Sustainable Summer Series, we wanted to share an awesome social enterprise company called LatchCo. They have all the goods to help make your sustainable bridal party gift giving complete! LatchCo is a one stop shop for all things socially responsible. Each item has a story and helps a specific cause. The idea for the site came when Founder, Jenny Long was traveling abroad assisting with humanitarian causes. Realizing just how many socially responsible companies and products were out there, she wanted to not only help promote these great companies that are giving back, but make it easier for the socially responsible shopper to find great products. Each product at LatchCo has a story; bags that give to education, eco-friendly eyewear that plants trees, jewelry made by women that have escaped human trafficking, coffee that funds adoption projects.. and much more. In addition to searching the site by product categories, shoppers can search by region benefiting from the purchase or initiative benefiting from the purchase. Here are a few LatchCo gift ideas for your wedding day pose: The Bridesmaid Gift: Brave Collection (multiple colors)
This delicate, handcrafted cotton and brass bracelet  says “Brave” (Klaa-han) in Khmer and was handmade in Cambodia by a local artisan to empower women across the globe. 10% of their profits are donated to fight human trafficking in Cambodia.
Brave Bracelet
The Groomsman Gift: Socks to Give Clean Water
The purchase of these unique and ethically made socks provides 18 months of clean water to someone in need through water.org.
socks clean water
This elegant, white beaded drop necklace is made by women in Uganda. Giving them employment enables them to provide food and education for their children.
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Proceeds from the purchase of this handmade, cotton linen necktie go towards building water wells in Nicaragua.
La Flor necktie
Proceeds from these handmade leather sandals support clean water efforts in Guatemala. Bonus – they come in just about any color you want. Sandals
If you would like to see more socially responsible gift and bridal products, check out LatchCo.

Wedding Party Gifts that Give Back: rePurpose Accessories

When you are planning a wedding there are always so many opportunities to coordinate fun and exciting looks for your wedding party festivities! From your wedding shower, to bachelorette/bachelor parties, to rehearsals to honeymoons… You have lots of chances to shower love on your gals (or guys) with gifts and we thought rePurpose Accessories would be a lovely add-on to your growing ethical & sustainable wedding purchasing to-do list! rePURPOSE Accessories is an ethical company that creates fashionable accessories made from mostly used clothing. They employ local women to help create their products, which are sold for the sole purpose of raising money for Make Way Partners and The Exodus Road. 100% of their profits support unadoptable orphans in war torn areas of Sudan, and also fund undercover investigators and their covert equipment to stop underage sex trafficking internationally and in America. As they grow, they continue to find ways in every aspect of their business to make a difference. In fall of 2015 they expanded their collection with a new fair-trade t-shirt line. These t-shirts support workers in Cambodia by providing fair wages, good working conditions and health care. In early 2016 they also launched a refugee work program in Syracuse, NY, employing three refugee women to make some of their products. This will help them earn extra money while creating lasting and empowering relationships with other women in their situation. They are also available to make custom pieces for bridal parties on their wedding days or for gifts for the bridal party that are ethical and give back to the organizations that they support. unnamed-57 Loving their head wraps/bands and what a perfect add-on to the bridesmaid’s day-of look, that will also be empowering someone else’s life along the way! unnamed-58 Photos above courtesy of Lauren Harrienger Photography We are also really in love with their amazingly empowering t-shirt options! Perfect for engagement shoots, or daily wedding planning adventures, especially fun when you dress it up with one of their turbans/ head bands! Grateful to rePurpose for sending us a few of their amazing products to rock out as well! We love it when we can advocate for brands like theirs, in person, as well as online! unnamed-55   unnamed-59 unnamed-60unnamed-56 Photos above courtesy of Jovial Photography For more information on ways to score your rePurpose Accessories for your wedding party or just daily living, visit their website here!  

Bride Blogger Feature: Antoinette & Martin’s Wedding Plans with Purpose

The following content was written by a dear friend and newly engaged bride, Antoinette, I had the pleasure of meeting while photographing a missions trip in the Dominican Republic back in January of 2015. *The faces are blurred out to keep everyone’s identities safe. unnamed-51 “I believe I found my passion in 2009 when I learned of the harsh realities of sex trafficking in the United States. I feel everyone has that one thing that just “gets them”, that one thing, whether it be hunger, disease, or orphans that they can’t turn their head from. Mine is human trafficking. I began searching for ways to make a difference in the lives of those affected by this horrific crime. In my search I found many organizations that I was able to work with throughout the next few years. The first one being Wellspring Living and then others, such as, the Not for Sale Academy in San Francisco, Traffic Free, and We Are Cherished-Ohio. I had a passion to bring light to this issue and was able to pioneer and lead a few social awareness campaigns. unnamed-48 On a short term mission trip to the Dominican Republic in 2014 I learned of an incredible organization called Lily House through SCORE International. Lily House not only houses, but employs survivors of human trafficking. I majored in Business Management so their employment piece thrilled me! The ladies at Lily House learn to sew, make jewelry, and bake. To expand on their business efforts they also have a salon, bakery and gift shop! Through much prayers, deliberation and even some hesitation (this wasn’t in “my” plan)… I was SO blessed to return to the Dominican Republic for 6 months in 2015! Throughout my time there I was given the opportunity to work on the business side of Lily House, as well as stay in the home with the girls. Honestly, there are not enough words to describe the changes that took place in me while I was there. unnamed-49 What a blessing it was to be a small part of their journeys! I got to stand beside them as they chose beads and tools to create their very own unique pieces. I was honored to watch their smiles as customers came through and purchased their very first creation! This is just one small piece of the transformation that takes place at Lily House. unnamed-50 My fiancé and I have decided to use our wedding as a platform to positively impact more than just ourselves and our wedding guests. We created a wedding registry through myregisty.com. This gave us the chance to add items from any website. We were able to register from organizations such as Servv, The Little Market, Equal Exchange and more! We are also purchasing gifts for our wedding party from organizations that give back such as Fancy Freedom Designs. Our invitations are printed on eco-friendly and recycled paper, handmade and cut to order! Another organization we’re using is Dot Products for our wedding guests! 12771921_10157033738520497_1411709455819282290_o I learned first-hand why buying products from organizations that sell ethically sourced, fair trade, and hand made products is so important! It is far too easy to allow ourselves to shop without thought. But there is this incredible feeling you get when you hold, in your hand, a product that is uniquely created by a human being. Usually, that feeling is even more exciting than the product itself.”