Why does Fashion & Compassion exist?
Fashion & Compassion exists to help transform communities through economic empowerment, by bringing dignity to individuals who have been caught in a web of poverty & injustice.
Is Fashion & Compassion a business or a non-profit?
While we operate much like a business, we are a 501c3 & we use making jewelry and crafts as a tool to transform the lives of the artisans we serve. Additionally, we donate 100% of our net proceeds back to our partners to help further support our artisans & the communities we serve.
The sales from our products accomplish two very important things:
- Provide a stable income for our artisans as they strive to overcome poverty & oppressing
- Support our programs that strive to help our artisans build sustainable futures for themselves & their children
- Educate our customers about the injustices our sisters & brothers face around the world
Is Fashion & Compassion Fair Trade Certified?
While we operate under fair trade principles, we do not qualify to be fair trade certified because more than 15% of our products are made in the United States through the Freedom Collection.
Fair Trade typically refers to products produced in developing nations vs. highly developed countries like the United States. Regardless, we believe in fair & ethical work practices, so below is a list of the fair trade principles we’ve adopted across all of our projects:
- Artisans are paid a fair wage or higher within their economic context
- Artisans are provided with additional training in personal financial management, health & nutrition, and other relevant subjects to help them & their families develop
- Artisans are encouraged to further their education where possible
- We do not allow child labor at any of our projects. Artisans will sometimes bring infants & young children with them to project meetings in our projects in Rwanda & Uganda. Our partner project in Honduras employs teen boys in a vocational training project that provides academic and vocational training side by side. When the students complete the program they have a high school diploma & and skills in leather craft they can use to support themselves
- Our artisans work in safe & loving environments. Our projects and partner projects are small so artisans often work in their homes. Project meetings are held in local churches or ministry partner locations
- Product components are sourced locally & sustainably in all of our projects, except the U.S., which sources jewelry components from all over the world
We are members of the following organizations that strive to support ethical & fair trade labor standards:
Who are the individuals that create your products?
Fashion & Compassion only sells products that are made by men & women who are overcoming poverty & injustice. Because of the nature of the products & the needs within the communities where we work, over 95% of our artisans are women.
Most of our artisans are also connected to one of our Ministry Partners, which you can learn more about by clicking here.
How often do you visit your Artisans?
We have the joy of working with our USA based artisans every day! We try to visit our artisans once or twice a year. We use this time to build deeper relationships with the artisans and the project managers, improve our programs, develop new designs & introduce volunteers to our work.
Though we don’t see them as often as we’d like, we do have in-country Project Managers who take great care of them! We communicate with these indigenous leaders on a weekly basis about all things related to the project such as product development & deadlines, but most importantly, the well-being of the artisans that we are privileged to work with.
If you’re interested in joining us on a future vision trip, please click here to contact us regarding upcoming opportunities.
How much do the artisans get paid for their work creating the products?
All of our artisans receive a generous fair wage for their work, which is a living wage appropriate for the community where they live that enables them to properly care for their family.
In cooperation with our Ministry Partners, we also provide enrichment opportunities for the artisans including life skills training (financial, health, hygiene, etc.) & spiritual growth opportunities.
When can I expect to see new products from Fashion & Compassion?
New collections are released each Spring & Fall and sometimes between seasons. If you want to be the first to know about new products, make sure to sign up for our emails!
Will new products be offered online, in trunk shows or at MarketPlaces first?
New products for Fashion & Compassion's Collections will be launched at the same time in all three ways - online, in trunk shows & MarketPlaces.
How do I care for natural bronze jewelry?
Natural Bronze will oxidize over time, turning a darker, more muted color. Some people prefer this darker, aged color as it adds character to the metal.
Our bronze has an anti-tarnish coating added to delay oxidation. To maintain a shiny bright finish for as long a possible, store your bronze jewelry away from the air in a ziplock plastic bag and keep it as dry as possible. Do not wear it in the shower or store it in a humid environment, like your bathroom.
All metals, including bronze, silver & gold, can react to beauty & cleaning supplies. Avoid contact as much as possible with perfumes, hairsprays, lotions & household cleaners. Bronze jewelry that sits on the skin will oxidize more quickly than bronze jewelry that does not.
If you like a high shine, we have included a small polishing cloth with your order that you may use to maintain shine. Additionally, you may use a commercial metal cleaner specifically formulated for bronze or brass (such as Brasso). Please follow the instructions on the cleaning product.
How do I care for Sterling Silver or Silver-plated jewelry?
Sterling silver & silver-plated jewelry will tarnish over time, turning dark gray. The best way to keep your silver jewelry clean is to wear it often. Humidity & storing the silver can tarnish the piece, also known as oxidation. Tarnish is most easily removed when it first becomes visible.
There are several methods to clean your tarnished silver. We have included a small silver polishing cloth formulated specifically to remove tarnish that you may use to clean your jewelry. Additionally, you may use a commercial liquid silver cleaner specifically formulated for silver. Please follow the instructions on the cleaning product. With silver-plated items, be careful to only gently polish the surface, as friction may cause the silver-plate to rub off.
How do I care for my leather?
In order to maintain the appearance & quality of your leather item, we recommend conditioning it every few months, using a leather conditioner.
You may want to test a small, discreet area to see how the leather takes to the conditioner & be sure that it dries for at least 24 hours.
It's also important to note that some leathers include high contents of natural waxes. When the temperature changes, it may cause these waxes to rise to the surface in white, misty-like fashion. If this happens, simply wipe your leather with a dry cloth & it'll be good as new!
Connect With Us
How can I get involved?
There are many ways to get involved with Fashion & Compassion! From hosting a trunk show to volunteering at a MarketPlace, or helping with administrative tasks, we would love your help! Learn more by clicking here.