Despite the recent “springtime-but-wait-it’s-still-winter?” vibes here in Colorado, wedding season is here! It is such an exciting time, full of anticipation of seeing old and new friends, reuniting with family, and celebrating the fruits of our love for one another. There is so much to look forward to!
Inevitably, there is a financial element to consider. The wedding industry takes in a staggering 70 billion dollars in revenue annually in the United States alone. As wedding guests, we are prepared for expenses like gifts and personal clothing, to name a few. How good would it feel to know that you are investing in ethically made and sourced products? Fair trade gifts are unique, beautiful and culturally diverse. You can be certain that your gift will be one-of-a-kind and meaningful, because the artisan behind the product is treated with dignity and empowered economically.
GIVE THE PERFECT GIFT
Yobel Market offers many thoughtful, one-of-a-kind gift ideas if you are headed to a wedding this summer:
Send your now-betrothed loved ones off on their honeymoon in style with our leather passport covers from Kenya, crafted with upcycled leather and gorgeous natural dyes. This organization offers career opportunity to artisans in Kenya’s largest slum, and gives a portion of proceeds to the orphanage in Nairobi.
New to us this year, Urban Wick Candles are a truly luxurious addition to a newlyweds’ home! Made with coconut and beeswax, these all-natural candles burn so clean that they actually remove toxins from the air! They smell unbelievable, and are hand poured in the US and each purchase supports the Lovin Soap Project, a non profit that empowers impoverished women in parts of Africa, Southern Asia and beyond, who are offered vocational training, economic opportunity and much more.
Finally, our traditional hand-woven baskets, sourced directly from female artisans in Uganda, can be used as unique wall decor, a lovely yet functional fruit bowl, centerpiece, and so much more! You can’t go wrong with a one-of-a-kind creation that empowers women to earn a fair wage in a safe, supportive, stable work environment.
DRESS TO IMPRESS
Yobel also have some excellent accessories to add some pizzazz to your wedding attire:
An opportunity to wear our Sunday best is exciting, but can be tricky. It has become trendier to put decent pockets in even formal dresses, but sometimes you need a little more: enter our newly-arrived woven clutches from India. Classy, compact, neutral with a playful hint of color, this clutch perfect for holding your wedding essentials (tissues, anyone?) so you can dance the night away unencumbered! In addition to providing fair wages, Bloom and Give focuses on getting girls in India through school, and educating the public at large about how critical it is to educate both genders.
Another important addition to any party outfit is the statement jewelry. Add a timeless touch with a simple gold and pearl necklace, or a splash of sparkle with a pair of druzy earrings. The artisans that make this gorgeous jewelry line are survivors of sex trafficking in Southern Asia. This new, creative vocation provides educational and economic opportunity, as well as access to holistic healthcare.
What could be a better representation of a committed, loving union between two people than a gift handmade with love and hope? We invite you to celebrate any summer nuptials you attend this season with high quality, eco friendly, ethically sourced wares from all over the world. Check out our selection at yobelmarket.com or come see us at the Ivywild School or Eclectic Co.
“We need jobs, and we need a way to put our children in school.” This statement, spoken by internally displaced Ugandans, resonated with Yobel co-Founder, Sarah Ray.
If these strong, resilient, hardworking, motivated individuals had access to dignified work, they would be able to provide many things for themselves that charity would seek to do for them. Things like school fees, clean water, nutritious foods, secure housing, clothing, and transportation. Jobs sounded like a good way forward.
In 2006, co-Founder Sarah Ray was living in Woodland Park, leading a High School youth group, and had just gotten married. Part way through the year, some of the students she worked with learned about her past travels to Africa and asked if she and her new husband would take them there. Only 25 at the time, Ray was surprised when the parents of these students agreed to allow she and her husband to lead them on a multi-week trip to a remote farm in Northern Uganda, followed by a 14 hour overland journey aboard an overland bus to Kenya.
Yobel is proud to be the sole purveyor of Ethnotek products in the United States! Co-Owners, Clay & Emily Ross were initially drawn to this incredible company’s techno-hip bags because of their high utility features (like this camera bag designed by photographers) and strong ethic toward both people and planet. As a conscious consumer, you can feel good that Ethnotek’s slow-production materials are sourced in person from the villages where they are created. Each artisan piece is purchased directly from the person who made it, for a fair price.