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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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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camping adventure with children
Camping Adventure with Children (Sustainable and Ethical Travel Series)

Our family just got home from a wonderful camping trip and I was able to film lots and lots for you all!

All of our prior arrangements were thrown out the window when the rain rolled in and stayed North (exactly where we were headed!) so we had to adapt and head South instead. We ended up staying at Lago di Garda and had such a magical time with the rock covered lake.

Come join us on our camping adventure with children; from washing cloth diapers to sleeping in our van!

Read more

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Father and Sun by the river
Sustainable Father’s Day Shopping List

My Personal Sustainable and Ethical Father’s Day Shopping List

Hey, Mamas! Today I wanted to share with you all exactly what I purchased Martin for Father’s Day this year to spread some good brand awareness, share some super cool zero waste gift ideas, and highlight the need for more sustainable male options.

I was really shocked by how little options our male counterparts had in the sustainable world, but at the same time, I only found amazing quality and superb options. The pickings may be slim, but sometimes that’s exactly what we need. Fewer distractions, less “options” and just simple and great quality goods. Let’s dive into this Father’s Day Shopping List! Read more

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how to second hand shop
How to Second Hand Shop like a Pro

One Woman’s Trash is another Woman’s Fashion Treasure

How to shop second hand like a pro

The Second Hand Online Industry is BOOMING!

The days of driving/biking/walking around town looking for a deal/steal/bargain on quality items are now a thing of the past. With second-hand stores and vintage boutiques having a huge online presence, there is no need to spend over your budget!

This guide will help you on your journey to becoming a PROFESSIONAL second-hand shopper. From homeware to sunglasses to doggy beds…the second-hand industry has got it all. Read more

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Guide to Renting Clothes Online

Yes, it’s true! Renting clothes is now easier and better than ever

One thing that I learned over the years while attending family parties, weddings, and special events? Looking like a Queen is EXPENSIVE.

A beautiful and luxurious outfit can run you anywhere from $100 to $1000 and I don’t know about you, but neither one of those price tags are worth it for one night on the town. I ended up with over 7 different stunningly beautiful dresses that never saw the light of day; that is a shame.

A fashion shame, I tell ya!

Whoever thought up the idea of renting was a genius. This multi-billion dollar industry is growing bigger and bigger with every single special event. Renting has become as easy as a few clicks, delivery information and drop off.

But the question is, is this sustainable and ethical?

Read more

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