I've been slowly collecting ethically made pieces for my living room, but one piece that had been eluding me was a giant basket for the blankets I wanted to store stylishly in the room! I have a organization-loving husband (Andrew has been know to re-arrange our entire kitchen to make it more efficient and neat on more than one occasion) and I love having easy places to stash stuff that's bulky or ugly that won't use up our limited cabinet space.
My basket search was made even more difficult by the fact that I wanted something neutral and understated (as much as I love brightly striped, colorful baskets a girl can only have so many bright-colored items in one room and my bright blue couch needs some toning down...) as well as ethically made and gigantic.
Imagine my delight in discovering The Dharma Door! It's the ultimate fair trade destination for Container Store lovers! I chose the Large Jute basket for the living room, but have thought of tons of uses for the Hessian Sacks, too: throwing a couple on top of the fridge for extra pantry storage, using them for toy storage in a nursery someday, or organizing closet shelves! I love that there are lots of subdued and neutral color options so that you don't have to work your decor around the baskets- they'll just blend right in beautifully.
I love this quote from The Dharma Door's US co-owner, Kate:
"Usually when people first hear "Fair Trade" products they think bright colors, hippies, dated design, etc. It is our goal to change that image with contemporary & original designs. Hopefully some day it will not be necessary to label things as 'ethically produced', because that will be the norm world-wide."
It's evident that The Dharma Door US co-owners and husband-and-wife team William and Kate (read more about them and their journey here) care deeply about the cause behind their small business . Kate shared with me that William traveled to Bangladesh last spring and was able to meet and talk with many of The Dharma Door's artisans and producer groups.
The Jute baskets in the shop are made by artisans in Bangladesh. Before working for The Dharma Door's supplier group, many people in the community were workers in the tobacco industry- a business with adverse health effects (caused by prolonged exposure to tobacco dust and various chemicals and pesticides) and dubious child labor issues as children are often put to work picking the fields.
Through sales at Dharma Door, the weaver group has been able to hire 200 women, build two schools and weaving centers, and is set to train 200 more- all while their children are able to enjoy school for the first time. That's the sort of small-business-driven change that I love to see!
I was so excited about how much stuff I could fit in this basket that I had to take a picture to illustrate.... Hey look, it can even fit a Hannah!
The Dharma Door is offering Life+Style+Justice readers a discount of 15% off with code LSJ15.
Below are a few more items that are on my wish list from The Dharma Door! You can click on any of the items below or Click here to shop!