After successfully making a name for herself in the worlds of fashion, fiction, and beauty, Lauren Conrad’s latest endeavor aims to make you look great while changing the world. The Little Market, created by Conrad and her friend, Hannah Skvarla, facilitates the online sales of delicate wares handmade by gurls from around the globe.
According to The Little Market’s website, the idea came to Lauren and Hannah after the pair travelled to El Salvador, Indonesia, Uganda and other destinations. Throughout their travels, they met hardworking local artisans struggling to find enough business to continue their craft. This inspired them to create a worldwide platform for these businesses. By using Lauren’s celebrity to drive traffic to the site, these gurls have created an innovative way to support small, international artisan businesses.
The jewelry and décor items on The Little Market are more than Pinterest-worthy. When you shop items from the store, you’re supporting talented women from across the globe and reinforcing an important set of values. The Alpaca Knit Scarf isn’t just available in 5 fashionable colors; it’s also handmade in Bolivia by the artisans of Asociacion de Artesanos Andinos, an organization that supports traditional weavers most of whom are women. The goals of The Asociacion complement the values of The Little Market: Community development, employing women, ensuring fair wages and fair trade practices are in place and creating a safe workplace.
The Little Market has already received enormous amounts of press, and with recent pushes toward bettering conditions in the fashion industry ranging from models to factory workers, it’s no surprise. After a factory fire in Bangladesh killed more than 1,100 workers in April of this year, multiple online petitions sprung up demanding better factory conditions and assurance that buildings would be safe to work in. Although competitive pricing will always remain a draw for consumers, the recent attention around working conditions for garment producers has been the catalyst for companies such as The Little Market. Because of the company’s commitment to providing cute, affordable pieces that were produced under satisfactory working conditions, a concerned gurl can stay trendy and keep her conscience, too.
One of the most important values The Little Market subscribes to is employing women. As Lauren and Hannah explain on their website, “artisans are empowered to work and care for their families while moving toward economic independence and self-sufficiency.” The gurls recognize that a successful woman will promote a healthy family and grow a vibrant community. From India to Nepal, The Little Market is helping families and growing communities too. And, in addition to helping women through their company, it features other female-focused charities on their blog, such as Every Mother Counts, a campaign to end preventable deaths caused by pregnancy and childbirth. It makes the website a great resource for gurls looking to get more involved with international causes.
With the holiday season on the horizon, the timing of The Little Market’s launch is perfect. Whether you’re a conscientious shopper or you’re hunting for the perfect gift for someone else who is, its goods are both trendy and fair-trade. A collection of hand-knit Christmas bears from Peru can be wrapped with hand-printed paper from India. For the chic worldwide traveler, there’s the Classic Mint Trunk made by Nappa Dori in India, and for the home décor maven, there’s the Little Flower Pillow Case. As the business grows, products will be added weekly from around the world, making this the perfect year-round ethical online shopping spot.
Click here to visit The Little Market.