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    March 5, 2020 | 8:00 AM
    Pakenham VIC 3810, Australia
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Blog Posts (31)

  • The Pros and Cons of Ethical Shopping

    Making the switch to ethical shopping can be challenging, but if you can harness even a little bit of your passion for positive change, you will be able to take the first step. Once that’s done you can forge ahead finding your new favourite ethical brands and retailers and start leaving your old fast and dirty life behind you! No Change Comes Without Challenge and Reward A switch from your old shopping habits to new ones can be difficult. There are definitely pros and cons to making the switch, but in the long run, the benefits will far outweigh the shortfalls. The Pros: The most obvious pro is the feel-good benefits. You’ll love the experience of authentic giving, as well as knowing that your unique purchase will be appreciated for a long time. There are benefits to your conscience too. Many of us know the right choices to make, but we bargain with ourselves for the short-term gain. Sticking to your principles gives you a great boost to your own self-worth. One of the most underestimated pros is that ethical shopping (especially online) is generally a much more relaxing and inspiring experience. No mad queues, or buying what has been advertised aggressively. No wasted time finding car parking in busy shopping centres. Instead you can relax in your own home with a cup of tea or a glass of wine and browse away at your leisure. Buying products made by workers that are treated with respect in their workplace, being paid fair wages and in a safe environment, has a tenfold benefit. A report called Pulse of the Fashion Industry 2017 by Boston Consulting Group revealed that a simple 5% increase in retail price could double the wages of the workers who made the garment. Buying Fairtrade has its own unique set of pros. Not only does it promote gender equality by providing stable and regulated employment solutions for women, (70% of the garment industry workforce are women and 70% of the world’s poor are women). It also recognises the significant impacts that well employed women have on future generations – from education, to nutrition to health care, to breaking cycles of poverty and of course building stronger future workforces. Learn more here. The Cons (with solutions!): It’s true that finding ethical gifts can be challenging and time consuming. There’s the con. However, part of the reason for that is branding! We are so conditioned to buy brands based on logos and perceived value and we are so spoilt for choice, that we forget how to shop outside of our normal habits. It will take some time in the beginning to find your new favourite ethical brands but once you know who they are you’ll never look back. Remember – big brands pour their money into marketing and brand development. Ethical brands put it into their supply chain and their products. ‘The cost’ is often considered a con – however ‘the true cost’ is the greatest con. As suggested in our last post, watching the documentary The True Cost will be provide valuable insights into the issues. Ethical shopping means moving away from cheap gimmicks and gadgets so you may have to say goodbye to your usual ‘stocking stuffers’ at Christmas. There’ll be less volume but much more ‘bang for your buck’ in terms of quality, longevity and social and environmental impact. Check out the recent Australian series, War on Waste Finally, a pro disguised as a con – you have to be better organised and you can’t shop last minute. Seems like a con but just imagine NOT having to battle crowds at busy shopping centres, to get presents, in a rush, that you put no thought into! All this detective work may feel a little overwhelming at first, but harness that burst of new year motivation we all get and it won’t take long to get things in motion. Even a small shift can make a difference. The fashion industry is really driven by us, the consumers. We have the power to choose and start making a change. It is the road less travelled, but just like Finders and Makers, you too can stand up for the welfare of people who make what we wear. We hope you too can take some action. Until next time Carina. Photo credits in order of appearance: Clark Tibbs, Ian Schneider, Joe Gardner, Edu Lauton @findersandmakers #fairtrade #fairtradefashion #fairtradejewelry #fairtradegifts #fairtradestyle #fairtradematters #fairtradebags #fairtrademovement #FairtradeAddict #fairtradesourcing #empowerwomen #empowerwomenthroughfairtrade #empowerwomentoempowerwomen #ethicallymade #ethicallysourced #ethicaljewelry #ethicalstyle #ethicalbrand #ethicalliving #ethicaljewellery #ethicalgifts #ethicalconsumer #EthicalConsumerism #ethicallifestyle #ethicalhunter #ethicaltrade #ethicalfashionbrand #ethicalaccessories #ethicalpreneur #fairtradefanatic

  • Starting a Fashion Brand Without a Clue

    This blog is dedicated to my friend Agustina. Inspiration comes from unexpected places. Starting a fashion brand when I don’t follow fashion? What was I thinking! It didn’t seem that difficult in the beginning. What I wanted for Finders and Makers, was to create the opportunity for Artisans to sell more of the beautiful things they created, which in turn would provide them with a steadier income. So, when I began to source my first collection, I simply selected items that I liked to wear, assuming that everyone else would like them too. I quickly discovered that I couldn’t have been more wrong. I learnt the hard way that my preferences in fashion accessories are not everyone’s. I had neglected to consider the fact that I am that person who loves the soon-to-be-discontinued items on retail shelves. I was way behind the trends, that I needed to be way in front of. So, in the beginning, it was a little bit hit and miss. Mistakes happened, but our first collection included beautiful items that have now become customer favourites. Others - well, not so much, but that is where the questions, the learning and the growth began. I had a steep learning curve to deal with around what fashion actually is and who decides what makes something fashionable or on trend. Feeling completely clueless, I surrounded myself with people who love and follow fashion, who live and breathe it every day. Their skills in identifying trends, defining a look, or an aesthetic to pursue and predicting what people would want to wear in summer, as we sat in the depths of winter were fascinating to me. I soaked in everything they had to say and recruited their instincts, where mine had previously failed. For us, the mystery lay in how to bridge a gap between what the Artisans made in faraway lands, with what contemporary western consumers wanted; all the while respecting their traditional skills, techniques and culture that are one of the foundations of the Finders and Makers brand. This created a massive challenge for us. Many lovingly made styles that have been handed down from one Maker to the next, had emerged because of the artisanal techniques themselves and may not have changed from one generation to the next! This means nothing when it comes to the trends of the modern fashion industry. It hasn’t been an easy ride and we are still continuing to navigate how to incorporate our Maker’s skills and styles, with the demands of ever evolving seasonal trends. One way to deal with this is through collaboration. After studying the market and refining what we expected the next trends to be, we decided to put those thoughts to our Makers, a step that meant we would all have to evolve in some way. We kept this first attempt at collaborating with them simple – we discussed colour. We had decided on a colour palette, which we introduced to several of our Makers for consideration. Several were up for the challenge, though we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Our Upcycle collection for example, includes jewellery handmade from little beads, covered in recycled saris. This would mean the Makers had to source saris in specific colours, to match our preferred palette. We had no idea if this was possible or if even asking would cause offence. They took to it like the professionals they are however and we are thrilled with the results! Every piece is unique and clearly follows the colour palette we asked for. This allows us to offer a product that is on trend, and appeals to our customer base, without compromising the skills and traditions of our Artisans. Those Makers have done a brilliant job and we look forward to introducing the new collection in the coming weeks. Rewards in small business are often buried in small victories such as this. I have to pinch myself now at the thought that I am now running an actual fashion brand. Me - the reluctant fashionista. My biggest lesson so far, has been to surround myself with people who know better - experts that can guide and encourage. By working together, from different perspectives but with a shared intention, we can creatively develop ways in which to retain the authentic nature of fair trade, making it fashionable yet meaningful to the contemporary consumer at the same time. Purpose doesn’t have to be cannibalised by fashion. Both sides can co-exist and in Finders and Maker’s case, the result is beautifully stylish accessories that transcend the retail discount bin and transform the lives of so many. Because how you look is only half the story. Until next time, Carina All photos copyright of Finders and Makers #knowthemaker #personalstory #whomademyclothes #veganlife #consciousfashion #ecofriendlyfashion #sustainablefashionblogger #melbournefashion #ethicallymade #sustainablefashion #fairtradefashion #vegan #melbournestyle #socialimpact #ethicalstyle #australianstyle #australianblogger #melbournefashionblogger #fairtradejewelry #fairtradeproducts #whomadeyourclothes #whomadeyourjewelry #consciousconsumer #consciousstyle #consciousentrepreneur #consciousshopping #ecofriendlygifts #sydneyretailfestival @sydneyretailfestival

  • What is Vegan Silk?

    There are so many alternative vegan materials these days. These non-animal products get made into shoes, handbags, and clothing, but where do silk scarves fit into all of this? Protests to ‘save the silk worms’ are rare, but in a small village in the Assam region of India, it’s a priority as vegan silk production is their livelihood. There are about 80,000 tonnes of silk produced globally every year and around 60 countries in the world that produce it. Over 1 million workers are employed in the silk sector in China alone. Sericulture, as silk production is known, provides income for 700,000 households in India, and 20,000 weaving families in Thailand (FAO, 2009). Although many of the vegan readily available products are simply substitutes, vegan silk, or Peace silk as it is also known, is the real product, only harvested differently, in a way that sustains the life of the silkworm. As children we learn about the cute little caterpillar that surrounds itself in one single long strand of silk to form a cocoon. After sometime inside its temporary home, it eventually breaks free as a beautiful butterfly. But that’s not how the story ends where commercial silk harvesting is concerned. The normal process starts with the silkworms being fed a diet of mulberry leaves. Once the worms start transforming in their cocoons - a process called pupating - they are collected and usually placed into boiling water; sometimes they may be exposed to hot steam too. This process needs to be precisely timed, to prevent the newly formed butterfly from emerging, breaking the cocoon and flying away free. If the insect burrows its way out of the cocoon, it breaks the long single filament that is needed to feed the spinning reel in silk production. It’s no surprise that the insect inside rarely survives at any stage of this process. The good news is that the vegan or peace silk process is not cruel at all, and the lovely butterfly, well, it’s actually more of a moth, is preserved to then exit the cocoon and fly away to live a life that’s happy and free. Whilst normal silk production effectively boils silkworms alive in their cocoons, Vegan Silk, allows the silkworm to emerge out of the cocoon in the process nature intended, to then breed naturally. The empty whooly white cocoons are then loosely tied in cotton cloth and boiled for 45 minutes to 1 hour. After boiling, individual cocoons are stretched or opened up in plain water into thin sheets. 3-4 such sheets are joined to make a cake, which is dried and used for spinning in a similar way to wool and woven into the stunning scarves featured in our Textiles Collection. This different process produces a silk that is less shiny and smooth, but with all the thermal and longevity qualities expected in silk. The entire process takes an extra 10 days and as a result increases the end cost of the product, but ultimately invests in a much more sustainable means of production for the long term. This is an essential consideration given that silk production is the primary income of almost everybody in the village. Finders and Makers sources it’s silk scarves from the Assam region, in the north eastern part of India. Here weaving silk is so engrained in the culture, every home has a loom in its verandah. (Learn more about the village here: https://www.findersandmakers.com/blog/so-how-different-is-sourcing-off-the-beaten-track) We love to share what we learn when sourcing beautiful products at Finders and Makers. The entire village we visited came to greet us. They were all keen to show us the intricate process they follow to produce the beautiful vegan textiles we make available to you (even Queen Elizabeth II has one!). Until next time, Carina. All photos copyright of Finders and Makers #fairtrade #fairtradefashion #fairtradejewelry #fairtradegifts #fairtradestyle #fairtradematters #slowfashion #fairtrademovement #FairtradeAddict #fairtradesourcing #empowerwomen #empowerwomenthroughfairtrade #empowerwomentoempowerwomen #ethicallymade #ethicallysourced #ethicaljewelry #ethicalstyle #ethicalbrand #ethicalliving #ethicaljewellery #ethicalgifts #ethicalconsumer #EthicalConsumerism #ethicallifestyle #ethicalhunter #ethicaltrade #ethicalfashionbrand #ethicalaccessories #ethicalpreneur #fairtradefanatic #vegansilk #peacesilk #erisilk

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  • ordering items at Finders and Makers | findersandmakers.com

    Ordering and Returns ORDERING AND SHIPPING After you place your order, you will receive two emails from findersandmakers.com . The first email is your order confirmation which will arrive within minutes of submitting your order. ​ If you haven't received this order confirmation within a few hours, check your spam folder. If it's not there, get in touch at hello@findersandmakers.com . ​ Once the order is packed and ready to be shipped to you, you will receive your shipping confirmation email including a tracking number. The email will include a link to Australia Post's online tracking service. All orders are shipped from Melbourne, Australia. RETURNING AN ITEM If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, it may be returned within 14 days of the order delivery date. The returned item must be unworn and accompanied by a Return Authority Number . All refunds will be credited for the original amount paid using the original payment method, less shipping fees, except in the case of a defective item or incorrect shipment, where we will refund you in full. ​ how to return AN ITEM ​ Please complete the form on this link and wait for our reply with a Return Authority Number and instructions on how to send your item back.

  • Privacy Policy of Finders and Makers | finderandmakers.com

    Privacy Policy Finders and Makers is committed to giving our customers a safe and enjoyable shopping experience. In the course of your interactions with us, the date we collect is handled sensitively, securely and with proper regard to your privacy. Your personal information will not be released to anyone other than what is described in this statement. If you have any questions or concerns related to how we protect your privacy, please contact us directly via email at hello@findersandmakers.com . ​ PERSONAL INFORMATION WE COLLECT During your interaction with us, Finders and Makers may collect certain information about you when you: access our site via the internet; place an online order with us or in person; send us an enquiry via email or telephone; sign up to receive our newsletter. The information we collect about you when you place an order with us and/or choose to receive email newsletters is what you supply us and may include: your name physical address (billing and postal addresses for payment and order delivery) email address contact telephone number ​ PAYMENT SECURITY Finders and Makers accepts various payment options to make your shopping experience easier. These include: Credit Cards (Visa, Mastercard, AMEX) PayPal To secure your credit card details (Visa/MasterCard/AMEX) we process your payments through Square. All credit card information our customers submit is encrypted to Square servers, regardless of whether you’re using a public or private Wi-Fi connection or a data service on your phone (such as 3G or 4G).Square complies with all required PCI standards. If you choose to pay using your PayPal account, you will be tapping into the full security features you are accustomed to. ​ SHARING OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION We will only use your information in the following circumstances: to provide you with products and services that you have requested from us; to communicate with you, including about products and services, competition results, special offers, and events which might interest you; to answer your questions and provide you with information or advice; to create orders, transaction records, agreements for the sale of products or services, accounts, tax invoices or receipts; provide your personal information to third parties that assist us in providing products and services you have requested, such as delivery service provider; to consider and respond to any complaints made by you; to comply with laws or regulations or to comply with any directions given by regulators or authorities. ​ ​ Except for the reason listed above, we do not sell any personally identifiable information associated with our customers to third parties that is collected through our website. ​ NEWSLETTER EMAILS If a user wishes to subscribe to our newsletter, we ask for contact information such as first name and e-mail address to provide these communications. Because we respect our users' privacy, we provide a way to opt-out of these communications by including an unsubscribe link in every email newsletter we send. ​ SPECIAL OFFERS Existing customers and subscribers will occasionally receive information on products, services and special offers via a newsletter. Out of respect for the privacy of our users, we present the option to not receive these types of communications by opting out using the unsubscribe link provided. ​ SURVEYS From time to time, we may request information from users via surveys. Participation in these surveys or sweepstakes is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose this information. Information requested may include contact information (such as name, shipping address and e-mail address), and demographic information (such as post code, age level). Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the use and satisfaction of our site. ​ CORRECTING/UPDATING/DELETING/DEACTIVATING If your personally identifiable information changes (such as your post code, phone, e-mail or postal address), or if you no longer desire our service, we provide a way to correct, update or delete/deactivate your personally identifiable information which you provided to us. This can be done by using the unsubscribe feature in our communication

  • Finder and Makers Shipping Information

    Shipping Information AUSTRALIA Free Standard Trackable shipping for all orders over $100. ​ Express delivery orders must be placed before midday. Express delivery applies within metropolitan areas. Orders placed over a weekend or public holiday will be processed the next business day. ​ ​ INTERNATIONAL We ship all our products through Australia Post. All items are fully trackable. Orders placed over a weekend or public holiday will be processed the next business day. OOPS, WRONG ITEM? We are sincerely sorry. Contact us at hello@findersandmakers.com at your earliest convenience and we will resolve the error. We will organise the return shipping and send you a replacement item next business day.

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