We understand when it comes to shopping your choices are endless. But, not all stores embrace the same spirit, quality and authenticity as AMERICAN NOMAD. Our mission is to embrace authentic style not only through the products we offer, but also in the way we travel through our daily lives. We refer to it as #peopleplanetpreservation. So what does that mean? It's simple, we pledge that each item we curate will always:
BE A PATRON FOR PEOPLE
Compassion towards others is the driving force behind every decision we make for AMERICAN NOMAD. Discrimination, disrespect and dismissive attitudes towards others keeps us up at night. It is a feeling we have experienced personally and wish on no other human being. The more we learn about the exploitation of women and children in places such as India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Uganda, Rwanda, we are inspired to roll-up our sleeves and do more. And unfortunately it isn't just women, but persons of all races, nationalities and physical abilities that are discriminated against around the world.
AMERICAN NOMAD advocates for fair trade and social change. The cooperatives we partner with to source our handmade items ensure their artists receive a fair wage and safe working conditions. They also strive to empower each person with programs that will truly help to break cycles of poverty focused around education, healthcare, business and community improvement. We believe in the golden rule to treat others how you would like to be treated. At the end of the day, our actions are our personal signature and we want to ensure our signature says a person is valid regardless of their social status, poverty level, physical ability, race or sex.
PROTECT OUR PLANET
Did you know the fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world only behind the oil industry? Yes, your favorite discount store is the equivalent to a big oil company. This is one of the main reasons we focus on handmade items. A handmade item doesn't require a manufacturing plant. The only gas it produces during production is that emitted by the maker while breathing! By supporting the purchasing of handmade goods you are already making a huge impact on our planet. Our items are sourced responsibly by using repurposed and vintage textiles, recycled materials, off-cut and waste textiles, vegan leather, and all-natural dyes. If they use new materials like cotton, it is grown by the maker free of pesticides and other toxic chemicals.
Infographic by Fairfashioncenter.org
We also want to be mindful about our impact as an online retailer and how the materials we use to ship your orders impact our planet. In addition to using as many recycled materials as possible for packing our orders, we have partnered with the National Forest Foundation (NFF) to plant a tree for each item we sell. As the nonprofit partner of the U.S. Forest Service, NFF works with the agency and thousands of Americans each year to promote the health and public enjoyment of our 193-million-acre National Forest System. They believe that communities should play a leading role in determining the future of our National Forests and Grasslands, and focus their efforts on connecting these communities, and the people who comprise them, to the tools, knowledge, and funding to become active and devoted stewards of this incredible public estate.
Natural disasters such as wildfire and insect and disease outbreaks have deforested millions of acres of our National Forests. With support from mindful individuals, small businesses, corporations and foundations, the NFF is planting trees for generations to come. Newly planted trees enhance wildlife habitat, sequester carbon dioxide, provide future recreation opportunities and help restore watersheds. Tree donations are directed to the areas of greatest need in the National Forest System.
PRESERVE CULTURES + ART FORMS
What many consumers don't realize is the methods of making an item and designs that are used often have a meaning to them. We began to feel discouraged with the realization many of these methods and meanings have disappeared. Why? They were no longer valued. It was quicker and cheaper to produce items by a machine than by a person. Many art forms are the root of a culture. For example, Japanese furoshikis are a traditional single piece of wrapping cloth that dates back more than 1,200 years in the Japanese culture. Individuals would use these brightly colored cloths to wrap gifts, transport food and clothing, and even decorate a wall. Unfortunately the popularity of furoshikis have declined since the 1970's slowly being replaced by plastic bags. There are now only a handful of artists left in Japan that are skilled in the art of furoshiki production.
Each of our items helps to preserve a cultural art form because oftentimes these art forms are the only skills are taught. Rural women in Bangladesh learn how to sew using a kantha stitch at a young age as a method to reuse worn saris and repurpose them into new items such as blankets and pillows. If one of these women is exploited into human trafficking and are fortunate enough to escape, the only means they may posses to rebuild their lives and earn an income is to sew kantha stitched garments. The art form they grew up learning is transformed into a tool for empowerment.
When we stop valuing art forms, we stop valuing cultures.
During your shopping adventure look for these three icons to see how each item achieves our goal of #peopleplanetpreservation.