One of the best things about importing fair trade textiles, apart from our relationships with the artisans, is the connections we get to make with other likeminded businesses here in the states.
Wanderlust + Wildhearts is one such sustainable and outright gorgeous shop in Portland, OR that carries Manos Zapotecas bags alongside their own line and a few other carefully curated brands that blend fashion and ethics.
MZ had the opportunity to meet up with owner and designer Courtney Keene in her brand new shop on trendy Mississippi Ave. in North Portland to talk textiles, travel and conscious consumerism.
“The mission of W+W is to support artisanal traditions that have become increasingly difficult to maintain in today’s world,” said Courtney.
She has traveled the globe (along with her partner in life and business Michael Murphy), scouring remote villages in Peru, Indonesia, Laos and throughout the Himalayas for one-of-a-kind textiles and precious gems and stones.
“We pay whatever price these skilled artisans ask, encouraging them to continue their traditional craft,” said Courtney. “We build these relationships in order to offer them new markets and outlets for their art and to inspire awareness of these beautiful, age-old techniques.”
She then returns to Portland and hand-crafts each piece in her line of jewelry and bags. By combining ethnic textiles with materials such as leather and waxed canvas, she produces items that are uniquely internationally-inspired and accessible to the discerning urbanite.
In addition to the accessories, Courtney creates artwork inspired by her travels and Michael screen prints the designs onto clothing. Her shop also houses a small number of other sustainable lines, including LA-made leggings, a fair trade clothing line produced in Nepal and Moroccan bags.
“I look for materials that I know have a story I can support,” said Courtney.
If you are in the area check out her gorgeous shop (a dream ten years in the making!) at:
3885 N.Mississippi Ave, Portland OR 97227
online at http://www.wanderlustandwildhearts.com/