Fair Fashion

Spring Fun at the Farmer’s Market with People Tree: How I Wear Eco Fashion

Starre in People Tree

On Saturday mornings, the Berkeley Farmer’s Market takes over a city street not too far from where I stay. It’s a great time to stock up on veggies, fresh bread and whatever fruit’s in season for the week. It was especially spring-like this past week and it was the perfect time to debut my new People Tree ensemble (check out my previous outfit here):

I paired an Orla Kiely-print organic cotton Wallflower trousers with the lightweight Fair-Trade organic cotton handknit Aisha sweater (that’s a Made-in-NYC OnlyHearts camisole from a few years ago underneath). I added two silver hand-hammered Bethany bangles (see bottom of post) from People Tree and an Agnes B. hat I got on sale two springs ago.

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I picked up plenty of goodies at the Farmer’s Market, from fresh kale and carrots for veggie enchiladas that I’ll make mid-week, to pretzel bread, local jack cheese and a coffee from Blue Bottle. And I indulged in these beautiful Dutch Iris because they were just too gorgeous to pass up.

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I love how thorough (and longstanding) People Tree’s commitment to ethical fashion is. With price points similar to many other brands that do a whole lot less (their full-price items are comparable to what the Gap and J.Crew charge), the company does a lot.

For example, thousands of people in the “Untouchable” pode caste in Tibet are employed at KTS knitwear (who made my adorable sweater):

Those born into the pode caste are expected to clean the sewers and streets of the areas inhabited by higher castes for no more than scraps of leftover food. The discrimination which keeps these people out of other forms of work even affects children, who may drop out of primary school because they are unable to fit in. Until recently, pode children did not go to school at all.

People Tree works with KTS to provide training and design support. Hand knitting not only makes a unique and beautiful products, it also provides women with the opportunity to work. Many of the artisans at KTS are mothers and university students who use their income to finance their – and their children’s – education and living costs.

In addition to providing good jobs for thousands of people, KTS puts profits from Fair Trade back into community development. KTS supports an orphanage and a school providing an education to over 250 children from low-income families. KTS provides underprivileged women, disabled people and widows with vocational training and job opportunities. KTS provides medical and social support, offers children’s and adult’s literacy classes and provides micro-credit loans, such as the one on this website.

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As evidenced by the close-up of the Orla Kiely print above (and their recent collab with Zandra Rhodes), People Tree aren’t just doing good, they are working with top designers to make insanely cute pieces in classic shapes and styles that will last for years.

If you want to try something from People Tree, use code ECOCHICK10 to get 10% off your entire purchase, especially for you, our lovely readers! And let us know what you choose!

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Related on Eco-Chick:

Zandra Rhodes + People Tree: How I Wear Eco Fashion

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.