Earth Divas Review and Giveaway

Did you know that October is Fair Trade month?  Do you know what Fair Trade is/means?  Well, I’m sure you have least seen it somewhere and at least wondered what it meant, right?  Okay, let me share the definition with you from the Fair Trade Federation’s website:

Fair trade is a system of exchange that seeks to create greater equity and partnership in international trading system by

•Creating Opportunities for Economically and Socially Marginalized Producers

•Developing Transparent and Accountable Relationships

•Building Capacity

•Promoting Fair Trade

•Paying Promptly and Fairly

•Supporting Safe and Empowering Working Conditions

•Ensuring the Rights of Children

•Cultivating Environmental Stewardship

•Respecting Cultural Identity

Basically, it means someone was paid a fair wage for the service they provided.  Doesn’t that make sense?  Doesn’t everyone deserve to be paid a fair wage?  Yeah, I think so, too.  A company who truly gets and exemplifies this practice as a priority is Earth Divas.  They work directly with artisans in India and Nepal (mostly women) and pay them 30% more than the average local wage.  That is simply outstanding and for anyone who has made something by hand I’m sure you can appreciate the hard work and time that goes into such projects and putting a value on that, well, can be a challenge.
Earth Divas also:

  • Returns 100% of the profits back to them at the end of the year in the form of a bonus check!
  • Pays for training if the artisans need it, which helps them advance their career in the future.

And the bags are:

  • Made from high-quality sustainable hemp
  • Made from organic cotton or recycled silk

You can probably guess that when Earth Divas reached out to me and wanted to provide me with a bag, any bag from their site, to try out and review, I was so happy to browse through the amazing work of all the talented artisans on their website.  It was so difficult to choose a bag, but I decided on the Padded Hemp Computer Bag in brown since I was in need of a bag for my laptop anyway, this was a practical and pretty obvious choice.
When it arrived, in record time I might add, I was so excited.  I think I spent several minutes oohing and ahhing over the beauty of the bag.  Here’s what I really love about this bag:

  • The exterior and straps are made from sustainable hemp, which happens to be 8 times stronger than cotton – hello!  This matters when you are planning to carry around something with value like a laptop.
  • Padded divider on the inside of bag gives me piece of mind that there’s extra support for my electronic device – I traveled with my laptop on one occasion and my iPad on another.
  • Choice of using the detachable shoulder strap, which is plenty long enough to go over your shoulder or across the body, or you can use the super strong shorter handles if you prefer.
  • Plenty of pockets for things like business cards, pens, pencils, power cord, charger, a good book to read – you get it, right?  There’s a decent amount of space in the bag and in the outer pockets, too.
  • I certainly can’t go without mentioning something else that I totally loved was all the compliments I have received about this bag since getting it back in July. 

Something that was a bit disappointing was that my laptop didn’t quite fit into the padded section.  The dimensions state 15.5 inches.  My laptop is 15.6, but it just wouldn’t squeeze in without the risk of tearing the padded divider.  I was, however, able to put it in sideways and just barely got it to zip.  This wasn’t ideal, but it certainly worked.  On another recent trip, I didn’t bring my laptop, but instead brought my iPad, which fit quite nicely in the padded section of the bag with plenty of space in other areas to carry so many other things.
All in all I really love this bag and I know I will use it for a long time since it’s durable and comes with many compliments!! 
Here’s what makes all this even more exciting – Earth Divas wants one of my readers to have their very own bag, make that any bag you choose from their website!  Yes, you read that correctly!  I’ll warn you, though, it’s going to be a tough choice as they are all so well made and really gorgeous – way more gorgeous in person!
So, let’s give you some ways to enter to win:

  1. If you are a “liker” of the Earth Divas Facebook page, leave me a comment with your name and show them love on their wall – tell them I sent you!
  2. Follow Earth Divas on Twitter and leave a comment with your Twitter name.
  3. Leave a comment telling me why you would love to win a bag from Earth Divas or which bag you would choose if you do win!
  4. And if you follow me on Twitter leave a comment with your Twitter id!

Giveaway will end October 20, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. EST and winner will be drawn using  Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen!

Disclosure:  I received a  bag of my choice for the purpose of this review and Earth Divas will provide the prize to one winner – bag of their choice as well. As always, the opinions are always honest and my own.

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