The Tote Project
The Tote Project: Fighting Human Trafficking with Each and Every Purchase

When did we allow fashion companies to have the power to destroy our home? Allow them to secretly (and not so secretly) deny basic human rights to our fellow human beings?
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When did we, as a collective society, go blind?
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Child slavery, human trafficking, sexual abuse and even death….all for a 5 dollar t-shirt? All so that we could fill our homes with more and more cheap crap.

When did we forget our values??
When did we forget that we are all equal?
How could we forget that we ALL deserve fair wages, safe working conditions, basic human rights, and the right to work of our own free will?
The Tote Project

The Tote Project: Fighting Human Trafficking with Each and Every Purchase

What is Human Trafficking?

According to antislavery.org, Human trafficking involves the recruitment, harboring or transporting people into a situation of exploitation through the use of violence, deception or coercion and forced to work against their will. In other words, trafficking is a process of enslaving people, coercing them into a situation with no way out, and exploiting them.

People can be trafficked for many different forms of exploitation such as forced prostitution, labor, begging, criminality, domestic servitude, marriage, and organ removal.

Contrary to a common misconception, people don’t necessarily have to be transported across borders for trafficking to take place. In fact, transporting or moving the victim doesn’t necessarily define trafficking.

Many people who fall victim to trafficking want to escape poverty, improve their lives, and support their families. Often they get an offer of a well-paid job abroad or in another region. Often they borrow money from their traffickers in advance to pay for arranging the job, travel, and accommodation. When they arrive they find that the work they applied for does not exist, or the conditions are completely different. But it’s too late, their documents are often taken away and they are forced to work until their debt is paid off.

Human Trafficking is a $150 billion dollar industry with well over 20 million victims; 26% of those victims are children.

One of the scariest things about human trafficking is that it happens right in front of our eyes but many of us have no idea what to look for. For a full list of way to sight human trafficking, check out this very educational page.

If you think you’ve encountered a victim of human trafficking, call the NATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING HOTLINE NUMBER:
1-888-3737-888

How Fay Grant and Michelle Chavez Fight Back

the tote project creators

The creators of The Tote Project, Fay and Michelle, have continuously fought back against human trafficking by putting the workers FIRST. They partner up with only those who ensure no slavery exists in the supply chain and DEMAND ethical manufacturing. When businesses put a demand for better working conditions and better treatment of their workers, change DOES happen. When we, as consumers, support those who take these steps to secure a better future, WE are also demanding change!!

To top it all off, these women work with the outstanding organization Freeset Global, which is a fair trade business that offers employment to the survivors of the West Bengal’s sex trade. Through Freeset and The Tote Project, these brave women finally get what they deserve; fair wages, pension plans, occupational therapy, health insurance, and literary and budget lessons.

Every single worker on this planet deserves to be respected, paid fairly and work in a safe environment of their own free will. We must demand this.

The Factories

the tote project factories

If you thought these ladies were done demanding change, just wait until you hear about their sustainability practices!

First off, the factories are in partnership with Oasis bags and are dedicated to empowering women in Kolkata, India. Many of these women go on to become full-time seamstresses and some have even opened up their very own tailoring businesses!

Sustainability practices include fairtrade certified cotton, solar panels, energy-saving LED lights, high promotion of cycling to work (70% of workers cycle!) via interest-free loans from the company, and atriums/ventilators installed for energy savings.

The Tote Project

The Products

The Tote Project

I have been using my Free to Explore Tote since September of Last year and the Free to Grow Tote and Free to Inspire Pouch since a few months ago. I can, without a doubt, say that these are the BEST totes and pouches that I have ever come across (and I come across a ton of totes in my line of work!).

The totes are LARGE. As most of you know, I bike ride vs drive a car and these totes are my go-to for bulk product buying at the markets and lugging it all back home in the bike stroller. With just my two totes I can carry an entire crate of fruits and veggies (I’m talking a LARGE crate that Martin has trouble walking up the steps haha). These totes will never fail you. They are super thick, super durable and just absolutely gorgeous. I used my free to explore tote for my primary purse until the free to grow one came in and then I switched!

the tote project tote

The pouch is a dream; it holds ALL of my products. Not just my makeup….but my makeup, face wash, lotion, oils, brush, and toothbrush. ALL in one bag. It’s a must-have item for anyone who needs their products in one fits all bag ( like me!). It’s been a big time-saver for camping, travel and just day to day organization.

Giving Back

Last but not least, The Tote Project donates 10% of all profits to the Two Wings Foundation. 

“At Two Wings, our mission is to empower survivors of sex trafficking to identify and pursue their dream vocation through mentoring programs, life skills classes, and career training workshops, creating the path for a life of financial and physical independence. “

I had never heard of this organization until The Tote Project came to our doorstep and I am so thankful for that day for so many reasons. Watching the videos of the survivors of the human trafficking industry really lit a fire under my butt to get to work on spreading awareness. This needs to stop. It MUST stop. We have to take a stand.

the tote project

We are so honored to have Tote Project Goods grace our home. I am so thankful to have come across this brand through deep research into sustainable living and, of course, so excited to share them with our community today.

**Fay and Michelle were kind enough to gift our family with the following totes and one makeup bag. I cannot even begin to tell you how many uses we have gotten out of these gems. I use them EVERY single day!! Although the items were gifted, the review is all my own and I only ever share items that we cherish in our own home. 

The Free to Grow Tote

Free to Explore Tote

The Free to Inspire Pouch (I use this 5 times a day!)

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Plaine Products
Our Zero Waste Bathroom with Plaine Products

Our Zero Waste Bathroom with Plaine Products:

Our Choice in Zero Waste Bathroom Products for 365 days and counting…

If you have been tuning into our Instagram or Facebook stories, you may have seen me chat a few times over the course of the year about zero waste bathroom products. After 365 full days of review, we are 100% certain that these products will suit EVERY single home. They are that good.

As a Latin woman with very thick and unmanageable hair, I was at a loss with how to go about turning my once plastic-filled bathroom into a zero-waste one, but all of my fears were set aside after finding this product line. I came across Plaine Products while researching after a horrible run-in with a zero waste shampoo bar that left my hair feeling like it needed to go into rehab. Luckily, once this precious box arrived, my hair, body, and face were just lavished in the best quality ingredients a gal could ask for.

Did I mention that they are kid-safe? Yes!

Before we get started, Plaine Products was kind enough to offer all of our followers a 20% off discount code

Please enter WonderMamas20 at checkout!

How It Works

To start, simply head to the Plaine Products website and choose your “box”. For reference, we chose the shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, face wash and face lotion for our box*. Let them know where to send the box, what kind of subscription timeline you prefer, and do not forget to include your discount code (WonderMamas20 for 20% off!).

Sit back and wait for the box to arrive. You will receive all of the bottles securely tightened with a bottle cap and twist on pumps to attach, once opened. Once the bottles are empty, simply rinse out and send back with the return label, but KEEP the twist on pumps. The pumps will be used for your NEXT box of bathroom supplies! Return the used bottles in the same box that they came in (returns are free!) and continue this process over and over again.

While you can easily get a one time box, that would not really make sense in keeping your bathroom zero waste. I highly recommend signing up for a subscription box and keeping your bathroom free from plastic for good! It may take a bit of trial and error to get your exact time frame down (the time in between receiving your next box), but we figured it out within 2 months!

Plaine products zero waste bathroom products

Plaine Products Our Zero Waste Bathroom

The Ingredients

Plaine Products zero waste bathroom products

Our Zero Waste Bathroom with Plaine Products

All Plaine Products Bathroom Products Are:
  • Free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates and palm oil
  • Blended with whole essential oils (instead of synthetic fragrance)
  • Vegan and have Non-GMO ingredients
  • Designed to biodegrade
  • Baby safe and hypoallergenic
  • Cruelty-Free, Leaping Bunny certified
  • Free of single-use plastic

We currently use the Rosemary Mint Vanilla Shampoo and Conditioner, and this was directly from the bottle: 

Vegan | Cruelty-Free | Non-GMO | Biodegrable | Sulfate-Free | Color Safe | Palm Oil Free

We are proud of our organic & natural shampoo ingredients: Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Vegetable Glycerin, Saponified Oils of Coconut and Safflower Seed, Guar Gum and Irish Moss (Red Algae Extract – Carrageen). Organic Camellia, Sunflower and Ricebran Oils. Extracts of Chamomile and Quillaja Saponaria. Papaya and Pineapple Pulp Extracts. Rosemary Oleoresin, Vitamin E Complex, Organic Green Tea, Geogard Ultra and Potassium Sorbate. Scent: Mint Arvenis Essential Oil, Essence of Rosemary, Mint, and Vanilla.

Our Review PLUS…

Review of Plaine products

The coolest thing about reviewing these products for 365 days and counting is that we have had the chance to have families and friends from all over the World come and try out our products!

  • First up, my mother told me that the shampoo and conditioner “smelled absolutely delicious and made her hair feel very silky”. She has coarse hair like me so that is a huge compliment!
  • My father does not have much hair (haha), but he LOVED the smell of the body wash!! He was all about it!
  • My grandmother and cousin came in from Mexico and both adored the products so much that they were featured in several social media story posts chatting about how much they admired the company and their amazing ingredients!
  • My girlfriend Kellee, who is an amazing flight attendant and travels all over the World, came in to visit us for a week and could not get over how much she loved the products. She ordered some for herself!
As for our own family, I will never use anything else for my family. We are all thrilled with the products, the design, the simplicity, and the results.

My hair has life and volume again, my face is always break-out free and I trust the ingredients as if I made the products myself.

Plaine Products was founded by two sisters, Lindsey & Alison Delaplaine, who had dreams of fighting the global plastic crisis.

Lindsey spent 10 years living in the Bahamas and witnessed, first hand, the plastic crisis washed up on the beaches. She took a look around her own bathroom and realized changes needed to happen. Instead of looking to others to change the world, she decided to change it with the help of her sister. Gosh…I admire that.

If you did not already know the scary truth about plastic, here it is:

Every single plastic that has EVER been made (EVER) still exists.

Globally, we produce 300 million tons of plastic waste every single year. Of that 300 million tons, 78% is not reclaimed or recycled.

Lindsey and Alison spent a year researching natural products and ingredients. They were set on staying true to their toxic-free, and cruelty-free standards. These women try and personally approve every single product in the line; as do their children and husbands!

**Lindsey and Allison were kind enough to gift us with our Plaine Products goods but every single part of our review is honest, tried and tested (365 days worth of trial!). As you all know, we take our reviews very seriously and would never work with or share a company that we do not use (and love!) first hand. I do hope you give Plaine Products a chance and reduce plastic in your own home!

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Sustainable Goods Spotlight: Gallant International Inc.
Gallant International: Sustainable Goods Spotlight

The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.

// Robert Swan //

Hey Mamas and welcome back to the blog!

Today I want to chat about a company that has really impressed me in so many ways. Their honesty, ethics, hard work, and thoughtful selections are so inspiring. As a result of their high standards, I have decided to partner up with them and review a few of their products to share with our amazing community. Wholesale companies like Gallant International are perfect for business start-ups, family reunions, wedding parties, giveaways and more. All in all, the options are endless!

Read more

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Sustainable Home Goods with Lüks
Sustainable Home Goods with Lüks

Our family has been on a sustainable and ethical fashion journey for nearly 1 year now and it has been life-changing. Once we became conscious of the hell that happens behind the scenes of the fast-fashion world, we decided that enough was enough and it was time to fight back.

Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.

// Anne Lappe // Read more

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Our Imperfect Zero Waste Home Part II: Let’s get down and dirty!

Welcome to Part II of our Zero Waste Home Tour!

After all the amazing feedback from our original zero waste post, we decided to walk around the house and find everything that we use on a daily basis that isn’t so pretty; you know…the REAL life stuff.

The menstrual pads, the dish cleaners, the sheets hanging on the window….that kind of stuff! The stuff you don’t have to buy but that you may already have lying around the house. Here we go!

Read more

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Montessori Inspired Toddler Bedroom
Montessori Inspired Toddler Bedroom

Our Montessori Inspired Toddler Bedroom (Twin Style!)

Welcome back to the blog, Mamas! Today we are talking about our favorite room in the apartment; the boys Montessori inspired toddler bedroom! This was the room that took me well over 3 months to concentrate on in order to find exactly what the boys needed.

In those 3 months, the house was a bit chaotic and the boys just could NOT wind down. The family room turned into their playroom, my bedroom turned into their jumping room, the kitchen turned into their drumming room and we all needed a break haha. I realized that the one thing missing from our home was a room without distractions; a relaxing room for reading books, rubbing bellies and daydreaming. That is this very room! Read more

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