Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Plastic Bag Reuse 101

Oh, the pesky plastic bag. It is a necessary evil in the apparel industry - they keep your clothes and accessories clean and protected in our warehouse and on their shipment to you.  So what can you do with those bags once they have served their original purpose? Here are a few ideas:

- Store out of season clothing & accessories to keep them dust- & moth-free.

- Store & organize craft supplies like yarn or fabric.

- Use a plastic bag to carry books to & from the library, especially on a rainy day.

- Use them during travel.  Unless they have air-vents, the snap-and-seal bags are ideal for storing personal care items or keeping dirty & clean clothes separate.

- Throw your wet swimsuit & towel in one after a day at the beach.

- Use your plastic bag as shipping padding. Throw in a couple bags for filler the next time you mail a package.

- Donate your clean plastic bags to a non-profit or other local business that would gladly reuse them.  At our Hilldale store, we donate our plastic bags to Kindred Kids, a non-profit lending library for children with special needs. Learn more about them here: kindredkids.org  Together we have kept thousands of plastic bags of out landfills.

- Reuse plastic or paper bags for shopping bags. Many stores now offer a small refund when you bring your own bag. 

- Freecycle them! Freecycle is a non-profit movement of people who are giving (and getting!) stuff for free while keeping stuff out of our landfills.  Find your local group today at www.freecycle.org

- And last, but not least, recycle your plastic bags. Check out this website to find a recycling drop-off near you:  http://www.plasticbagrecycling.org/plasticbag/s01_consumers.html

 Got any other great uses for your plastic bags?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Supporting Education in Peru

A quick Internet search of popular New Year's resolutions includes living healthier, learning something new, and helping others.  Goals that tie in nicely with our mission of making a meaningful difference in people's lives. 

This past summer, the Fair Indigo Foundation made donations to two impoverished schools in Peru.  One of the schools we visited is the Serapis Elementary School, located in the high Andes of northern Peru.  It serves rural children who would otherwise have to walk many miles down the mountain to attend school.
When we visited last summer, there was no running water or electricity; although trucks were delivering electrical poles while we were at the school and we are hopeful the lights have been turned on by now. 
As you can imagine, along with the scarcity of basic services like water and electricity, school supplies are also lacking so our donation of books, paper, markers and pencils was met with many smiles.   

Among other challenges children face in this rural community is getting even one nutritional meal each day.  Breakfast and lunch are prepared daily by the teachers and parent volunteers giving students the energy they need to learn and grow.

Our "Joobles" line of fair trade organic stuffed animals are made at cooperatives that serve as the economic building blocks of the organization that oversees these programs.

Watch an interview with Inez who was instrumental in founding the Serapis School, giving children an opportunity to attend class close to home.