My Sustainable Closet – Chris Bouwer

Higher Ground necklaces

As President of Facilitators International, a nonprofit that provides support for organizations that work in the area of anti-human trafficking in Nepal, Chris Bouwer is an avid supporter of Higher Ground Crafts .

Chris (far right) with Higher Ground team and founder Bimala (second from right)

Over the years Chris has sold Higher Ground Craft accessories by hosting jewelry parties and to local retailers in Michigan. In addition to that she supports and advocates for their products by wearing them. “I wear Higher Ground jewelry almost every day, if I can! I love to share their story and get people excited about what Higher Ground is doing and to support them through their purchases.”

Higher Ground felt bags

Chris often shows a video about Higher Grounds’s work in Nepal and people are drawn to the impact that the organization has in the lives of the women employed by the organization. “People know where their money is going. They have a huge variety of products and their quality is great too.” Chris described her shoppers as an even mix of people either buying products as gifts, or for themselves.

Women at the Higher Ground crafts center

Growing up, Chris was raised in a family of eight and though not poor, they lived pretty frugally. “I come from a good old Dutch family and my mother sewed and mended clothes. We often wore the same clothes several days in a row.” Many of those same principles have remained with Chris today and when clothes get old or when she doesn’t wear them any more, she gives them away to a thrift shop. Chris currently volunteers with a refugee family and she likes to make sure that clothes are getting to people who can benefit from them the most. Having grown up on a dairy farm, being health conscious is very much part of daily life for Chris and her family.

Chris (far right) at her daughter’s baby shower, wearing her Higher Ground necklace

Drawn to Higher Ground’s work and impact through personal connection, Chris serves as an advocate for their work whenever she can. Though she doesn’t consider herself to be a ‘conscious consumer’ and doesn’t seek out ethical and/or sustainable brands, Chris often buys gifts from Global Gifts , a Fair Trade stores based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

More Higher Ground necklaces on display

Like many of us, even though we might think we do not lead a sustainable lifestyle, Chris has shown us that it is in the everyday choices we make around clothing, gifts and food, that we endeavor to to be conscious in our consumption and choices.

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