Product Review: Fair trade jewelry from Faire Collection

September 25, 2013 in Design, Fashion, Social Responsibility, Style, Sustainability, What I Wore by alliemcc

Funny story:

This past spring, I went to the Kickstarter launch party for Modavanti with a couple of my friends from Parsons. While we were there, we met a young woman who worked for Andean Collection, a line of ethically produced artisan jewelry and accessories made in Ecuador. I had heard of the brand before, no doubt featured on one of the numerous eco-fashion media sites that I look at on a regular basis. Very nice stuff.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago– I received an email from a PR person at Andean Collection, now known as Faire Collection, asking me to review a piece from their new line. Isn't it great when things work out like that?

The name change was prompted by a big expansion in the brand's handcrafted jewelry and accessories products and mission: "We now design products which are responsibly sourced from our artisan partners in VietnamSwaziland, and Peru, as well as new regions within Ecuador, such as the Amazon." Best of all, when you make a purchase, you help fund their social impact projects in the artisans' local communities, such as educational scholarships and no-interest loans.

I also love the play on words of "faire" – it means "to make" in French, and it's a synonym for "beautiful" in old English (think "my fair lady"). Totally appropriate.

While this is a sponsored review, I'm giving you the straight dope, as usual. Read on.

 

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I selected the Picasso Necklace in the Quarry colorway. It's a bold bib-style necklace with horn beads on a suede cord, with a pop of sky blue. I love that even the toggle closure and extension rings are beautifully designed.
 
faire necklace review
 
Here's more on the materials
The rectangular / triangular beads were made of recycled bullhorn that had been discarded by local stockyards. Bullhorn is an ideal materials for craftsmen, because it can be molded and sculpted into different shapes by applying heat and water. Bullhorn is also unique in its natural color variation. Each horn has a different combination of colors ranging from white to black, brown and gray tones in between.

 

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The necklace came nicely packaged in tissue paper, and had a tag with the name of the artisan and a QR code with more information about the project. My necklace was made by Hoang Van Manh, a Vietnamese craftsperson, and the QR code brought me to the webpage for Faire Collection's Vietnam workshop.

 

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I wore my new necklace to an appointment last week when I needed to "look like a grown-up Fashion Designer," and it did the job very nicely. And I wore it again this past weekend to meet friends in NYC for lunch, and got a bunch of compliments on it.

 

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This baby is going to get a lot of wear in my wardrobe. The earthy, variegated tones of the natural bone beads can be dressed up or down, and the bold geometric design and the pop of bright blue make it completely modern and on-trend. Bonus: You can flip it over to show the solid side of the beads for an even more graphic style. 

 

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My only critique is that the design needs a slight tweak. Since the smaller beads are shaped like rectangles, the tension on the cord causes the bead in the center to push out into mid-air– it's a little bit phallic, unfortunately. Giving the beads a slight trapezoid shape, with the narrower end strung on the cord, will help them distribute the weight, and lay flat, I think.

That being said, I love this necklace– it nicely straddles the line between organic and earthy vs. bold and modern, which is a very satisfying pairing that I'm always striving for in my personal style.

 

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And the rest of collection is so beautiful and delicious looking, great colors and shapes, and a nice range of price points. I had a really hard time choosing just one. I highly recommend you treat yo' self! ;)

Click HERE to see the new line of handcrafted jewelry with a social impact from Faire Collection!

 

What I Wore:

  • diamond print silk chiffon tee, by Madewell, via Goodwill
  • Picasso necklace by Faire Collection
  • little boys' camo jacket, thrifted
  • almost-vintage black Tommy Hilfiger jeans, thrifted