i found lotus sky via the wonderful, vast caverns of instagram. i love instagram. i find so many awesome brands and organizations- some sparkly new, some well-established, but almost all of them amazing accounts that i would probably never find otherwise. say what you want about social media, (and believe me, as a skeptic i’ve said it all), but i do like how easy it is to discover new people and organizations who are doing totally rad things. one of those awesome new finds was lotus sky. their beautiful seed bead bracelets were what caused me to click over to their page, but the ethics are what convinced me to invest in a couple pieces.
i’m not really a big jewelry person. i love the look of it, but if it’s not easy, i won’t wear it. i have some pieces i enjoy, but i tend to forget about them. or when i remember them, they require too much effort to match to my outfits. lotus sky roll on bracelets are different, because they roll on (no clasp required!), and the few that i bought match almost everything i consistently wear. (i cleaned out my closet and my morning routine has been so much easier, but that’s for another post).
i bought a pair in black + white that match everything, and a blue and pink set for when i want to have a little pop of color. made out of cotton thread and glass seed beads, they’re perfect- beautiful, well-made, and easy to throw on without much thought. just what i’m looking for in a piece of jewelry.
all lotus sky bracelets are made authentically in nepal by women directly employed by lotus sky, which means no middlemen. lotus sky also honors fair trade principals in all of their employment. according to their website, lotus sky:
- ensures more than a living wage, so that lotus sky women can save money, not just make ends meet
- seeks to create long-term, holistic relationships with all lotus sky women
- provides free ongoing training for all lotus sky women, so that they have opportunities to continue to grow and learn within the business
- ensures a reliable, sustainable income with college plans, financial planning assistance, and continued opportunities for leadership roles
- ensures healthy, eco-friendly working conditions for all
- builds strong, personal relationships with and among all lotus sky women and their families for a true community
- repudiates child or forced labor of any kind
- empowers women to make their own career choices, with work-from-home or “studio-track” options
- ensures that women are never punished for medical or maternity leaves
- encourages women to open their own bank accounts in their own names to ensure financial security and independence
initially, lotus sky was a boutique studio geared towards training tibetan refugee women in business and jewelry design. they soon expanded their programs to include young himalayan women who had recently graduated from grade 10 at the local boarding school. these young women needed to fund a “gap year” before they could gain acceptance into the grade 11 and 12 program; otherwise, they would be forced to return to their native village or to marry. local women also saw the saw the seed bead jewelry and wanted to learn how to make them, and so the sisters under one sky program was started.
sisters under one sky welcomes women of all regions and backgrounds, working to empower women by teaching them valuable craft and business skills. lotus sky offers free, month-long training programs for women interested in learning the trade, regardless of whether or not the women intend to work for lotus sky after the training has ended. they now have over fifty women who are on a wait list to crochet bracelets for lotus sky and become “sisters under one sky.”
if you’re looking for new arm candy, i highly recommend lotus sky as a beautiful, chic, and ethical option! they ship from the u.s., which means you save on shipping, and they even come complete with a cute pouch made from recycled textiles. you can shop the lotus sky etsy store, or buy directly from the lotus sky website.
(p.s. in case you’re interested, some of the bracelets i’m wearing are find me on the milkyway, brooklyn bridge, sorbet crush, and an instagram exclusive teal and metallics. i couldn’t find the last pink and gold bracelet again, too bad because it’s my favorite.)