Shop For A Cause- Lucid Sample Sale

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Today we set up shop with half a dozen other like-minded ethical brands in Toronto to raise money for an amazing cause that’s close to our hearts. A big shout out to our pals at Lucid Communications for organizing this Sample Sale For A Cause. Today, we are not focused on profit, but on raising as much money as possible for Second Harvest, an incredible local grassroots charity. Along with the other brands participating in this event, we’ll be donating twenty percent of today’s sales directly to Second Harvest.

For those who aren’t yet familiar with Second Harvest, they’re a Toronto-based charity, and are in fact the largest food rescue organization in Canada. As a global thought leader on food recovery, their goal is to drastically reduce the amount of food wasted while ensuring people have access to good, healthy food they need for success. Second Harvest works across the supply chain from farmer to retail to capture surplus food before it ends up in the landfill and negatively impacts our environment.

Since 1985 they have rescued and delivered more than 127 million pounds of food and prevented over 70 million pounds of greenhouse gas equivalents from entering our atmosphere.  Currently, they rescue food from over 470 donors and deliver that food to 253 social service agencies in Toronto and food hubs across Ontario, providing enough food for 30,000 meals a day.  It costs Second Harvest under 40 cents to provide 1 meal to someone in need.

Join us today at 1179 King Street West, Suite 018 from 12-8pm to get some incredible deals while shopping for a great cause.

 

XOXO

Stray & Wander Team

Featured Retailer: Shea Organics

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Shea Organics is a beautiful new shop in Collingwood, Ontario that’s been receiving lots of attention! They offer a wide range of all natural, fair trade, vegan, cruelty-free cosmetics, skin care and accessories. Their mission is to educate the community on why clean, eco-friendly beauty is crucial not only our health, but to the planet’s health as well.

Aside from a gorgeous collection of our Turkish towels and blankets, Shea Organics carries an amazing array of high performing natural brands such as Graydon Skincare, Lines of Elan and Elate Cosmetics to name a few. And it gets even better; they proudly support female owned and operated businesses. In fact, 95% of the brands they carry are women-run! Their product offerings are carefully curated to ensure that everything is sustainably made, organic, fair trade and Canadian. This is definitely our kind of shop!

Why We Only Use Organically Grown Cotton

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                             PART  I

A mere 1% of the world’s cotton is grown organically. The other 99% is produced conventionally, with a heavy reliance on pesticides, fertilizers, insecticides and other toxic chemicals (Textile Exchange, 2010).

OK, but why does this matter? Why should I choose organic? What are the negative implications of conventional cotton, and why is organic cotton SO much better?

Here’s what we know:

  • STRONG CHEMICALS are used in cotton production, both to help the cotton grow and to keep pests away. The use of these chemicals has caused those exposed to them (animals and humans alike) to suffer from disturbing health consequences. These effects include pesticide poisoning as well as nervous system, and reproductive system impairments (Environmental Justice Foundation, 2007).
  • On the other hand, organic cotton is produced using natural processes. This ensures both the health of the cotton and of those exposed to it. These methods include: using crop rotation, introducing beneficial insects to control pests, and using the technique of mixed cultivation (Environmental Justice Foundation, 2007). The use of natural processes over toxic chemicals means that those exposed to the crop in production (people, animals and the environment) are less much likely to experience negative side effects.
  • The production of conventional cotton creates unnecessary amounts of CO2. In fact, conventionally grown cotton has been named the world’s most polluting agriculture commodity by the Environmental Justice Foundation (2007). It’s reported that 1 ton of this cotton produces more than 1,750 kilograms of CO2 (Cool Cotton: Organic cotton and climate change, 2015).
  • THE BETTER OPTION: organic cotton, which produces 46% less CO2.
  • Conventional cotton also has a tremendously negative effect on our water sources. For example, it takes two and a half thousand litres of water to produce a simple cotton shirt. In a world where clean and safe drinking water is a scarcity, this is mind blowing.
  • Alternatively, organic cotton uses much less water during production. Organic farmers are also much more likely to use rain water over irrigation systems. It’s estimated that organic cotton is 80% rain-fed (Organic Cotton is Better For the Environment, 2014), which places less strain on the waterways of the growing regions.
Aside from the strong environmental argument for using organically grown cotton, the health reasons are equally compelling. Keep an eye out for PART II of this post, where we’ll look at why organic cotton is the healthier choice.

 

XOXO

Stray & Wander Team

 

Works Cited:

Textile Exchange (2011). Cotton for the 21st Century: An Introduction to organic cotton. Retrieved from http://farmhub.textileexchange.org/upload/learning%20zone/Cotton%20Briefings%20separate/Organic%20Cotton_An%20Introduction.pdf

Environmental Justice Foundation. The Deadly Chemicals in Cotton. Retrieved from https://ejfoundation.org/resources/downloads/the_deadly_chemicals_in_cotton.pdf

Organic Cotton is Better For the Environment. (2014). Retrieved from http://aboutorganiccotton.org/environmental-benefits

Cool Cotton: Organic cotton and climate change. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.soilassociation.org/media/6491/cool-cotton-organic-cotton-and-climate-change-2015.pdf

Vegetarian Turkish Recipes

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We wanted to share a few of our favourite veggie recipes from our recent travels in Turkey:

Turkish Cucumber, Feta and Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 scallion, finely sliced
  • 1 large ripe tomato, diced
  • 3 ounces of Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 4 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  • In a bowl, combine the cucmber, scallion, tomato and feta cheese.
  • Scatter the parsley on top, sprinkle red pepper flakes and drizzle olive oil.
  • Toss well to combine. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Turkish Spiced Feta & Carrot Fritters

 Ingredients:

  • oil for frying
  • 1 ½ cups of grated carrot
  • ½ cup of minced scallion
  • 2 teaspoons of dried dill
  • 2/3 cups of crumbled feta
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¾ cup of flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

Instructions:

  • Heat several inches of oil over medium-high heat. Once oil is heated, turn down to medium to maintain temperature.
  • Mix remaining ingredients in a large bowl until combined. Working in batches, drop rounded teaspoons of batter into hot oil and deep fry for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.

Turkish Eggplant Dip

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggplants
  • 7 tablespoons of thick yogurt (can also be substituted for vegan yogurt)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • salt & pepper
  • splash of lemon
  • fresh mint

Instructions:

  • preheat oven to 400° F
  • prick the eggplants with a fork in several places and then bake them for 60-75minutes until they’ve soften entirely on the inside.
  • Make the garlic oil by heating 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan. Add the 2 cloves of garlic when the oil is hot, and fry for a few minutes. Remove the cloves

XOXO

Stray & Wander Team 

Notes From The Field

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For the past few weeks our team has been traveling around Turkey meeting with our designers, artisans and women’s cooperatives. We’ve driven thousands of kilometers to work in many different remote villages alongside our talented makers. With each visit to Turkey, we learn more about the many steps that go into making our textiles. We also learn about Turkey’s rich culture and traditions, and more specifically about the history behind traditional art forms. We’ve had the honour and the pleasure to work alongside the best of the best and are proud to say that our team has now finished designing our 2019 collection.

Handmade production that honours ancient tradition is something that takes a lot of time, skill, effort and expertise, and even more so when done ethically. From sourcing the finest organically grown Turkish cotton to the natural dying process to the weaving and then finally to the palm rolling of the each and every tassel. Even the cotton ties and wooden beads that we use to roll our towels are handmade. The beauty is in the detail.

This production allows artisans to have meaningful employment doing something they love, while supporting their families and often working from home. Our team is proud to work with so many incredibly talented people, and in particular with so many women. We see first hand the difference that our business makes in their lives, and the way that it helps to ameliorate their communities. We are humbled by the amount of work and love that goes into the production of these beautiful pieces of art.

Next time you get out of the shower and wrap yourself in your Stray & Wander towel, think about the fact that your purchase has done many meaningful things. It’s provided gainful and ethical employment to communities of women, it’s helped to preserve ancient weaving and dying traditions and has helped to support social services in the communities in which we work.

At Stray & Wander we're all about buying quality and buying less. We travel around the globe and work alongside some of the most talented artisans in the world. And, we support handmade, fair trade and ethical sourcing.

 

XOXO

 

Stray & Wander Team