Sustainable Style: Rupalee Holiday Ornaments

My friend and I went to Michael's yesterday to see what kind of post-Halloween decorations were on sale, and as soon as we walked in the door we were surrounded by a Christmas wonderland. The displays that had been shades of autumn only days ago were now ones filled with Santa, reindeer, snowmen and the like. And they were even playing Christmas music!

I guess I missed the memo that Nov. 1 is officially the first day of the holiday season.

Of course, the marketing worked brilliantly, because when I started researching today's Sustainable Style post my mind immediately went to the North Pole. I began the hunt for fair trade and/or recycled holiday ornaments, and came across some really cute ones via Rupalee, which runs a fair trade outreach program that "empowers women in India to financially support themselves in a creative, fulfilling and realistic manner."

These women make not only ornaments, but jewelry and apparel, all from their own homes. They use eco-friendly, vegetable-based dyes when creating their fabric patterns, and they steam- or salt-fix their dyes instead of acid fixing.

Rupalee also makes the point that by these women using traditional Indian techniques to create their items, they're keeping their culture alive and preserving it for the next generation, which I think is a great way to look at it.

Let's get on with the show! If you see one you like, click on the picture and it will bring you right to it on the site!

Ball bunch wool/felt ornament, multicolored

Ball bunch ornament with lace trim

Bird ornament

Bird ornament

Block print elephant ornament

Butterfly ornament

Duck ornament

Duck ornament

Fish ornament

Octopus ornament

Owl ornament (my favorite!)

Reindeer ornament

Sheep ornament

Sparrow ornament

Star ornament

And these are listed on the site as being eco-friendly...

Anchor ornament (so cute!)

Ball bunch ornament

Block print camel ornament

Candy cane ornament

Aren't they all so cute? And they would make great presents for friends and family this holiday season, especially for those who like to get a new ornament each year!

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