The 5th Annual Fair Trade Photo Contest has begun, and we need your vote!  The contest is hosted by the Fair Trade Resource Network, voting is free and easy (no sign-ups), and you get to vote for your 5 favorite entries.  The winners are featured in the 2014 Fair Trade Calendar, and man, do we want to be in that calendar!

This year we submitted 4 photos.  Now, admittedly, all the photos in the contest are pretty amazing, but we’d love it if you’d throw 1 (or 2 or 3 or 4) of your votes our way! Check out our entries below.  You can cast your ballot here!

Entry #69:  This is Tara Laxmi, a 12-year member of the cooperative we partner with in Nepal.  The fabrics she weaves on this handloom become Mata dresses and tops .  This is a happy time for Tara’s family, as both of her daughters were married this year (one of whom also works at the co-op as a production supervisor).  To see video of Tara working the handloom, click here.

Entry #86:  The rules of the contest are that you can submit photos of anything related to fair trade – producers, advocates, consumers, products.  Overwhelmingly, though, the submissions are photos of artisans and farmers, and rightly so.  But, I thought I’d shake things up a bit with a photo of one of our best selling dresses, the Jin Ju Ruffle dress, modeled by former Mata intern and recent U of C grad, Mallika.

Entry #87:  Children playing at the on-site daycare at the cooperative we partner with in Mumbai.  The kids come here before and/or after school, unless they are not yet school-aged, in which case they can stay all day while their moms are working.  To learn more about the community, click here.

Entry #88:  For our last entry, we submitted a photo of Radha sewing buttons onto a skirt during the sampling process for our Spring ’13 collection.  To see how the skirt turned out, click here.  Btw, the buttons are made of coconut shells.