Three Stone Steps

photo courtesy of: Three Stone Steps
Three Stone Steps offers fairly traded accessory items like laptop bags, scarves and necklaces handcrafted in small workshops or from peoples homes. Although selling imports may not seem very eco-friendly chief executive, Ellen Reich is committed to minimizing each trip when possible and using recycled materials in the work place. Reich doesn’t just look to ‘fair trade’ and being "green" as devices for clever marketing. Having worked in the U.S. labor movement for 15 years, and holding a masters degree in Labor Studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she is keenly aware of the issues involved with justice in the workplace.

Read their press release……

For immediate release

July 7, 2008, Baltimore, Maryland: Baltimore-based importer, Three Stone Steps, is pleased to announce its new partnership with a producer group in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

This partnership represents globalization at its best:  Three Stone Steps has brought U.S. style and sensibilities to the Cambodian workshop’s Italian designers, to be made by Cambodian master tailors.

Functional, durable, funky, and sustainable, these bags are made from repurposed mosquito netting, and lined with repurposed waterproof industrial tarp.  One style is made from post-consumer waste black plastic garbage bags, which have been collected by mothers in Cambodia struggling to make a modest living, and then washed and dried in the sun.  They are then bought at market value, and woven into a unique cross-body bag.

These bags are offered online at as well as at select boutiques here in Baltimore, and from Alaska to Washington, both the state and the District, a bit further afield.

Ellen Reich, owner of Three Stone Steps, states: "People see these bags and really like them.  Then they learn that they are both sustainable and fairly made, and they love them.   It’s important to me that the appeal of these bags is on their design, and not, initially, on how and by whom they are produced.  The only way that we’ll move, as a society, into being more conscientious about what we are consuming is to sell things that people actually adore and want to use."

About Three Stone Steps:

Ellen Reich, founder of Three Stone Steps, began the business in late 2006 as a way to share the great products she found while traveling with a larger audience.  As a former labor union activist who holds a masters degree in Labor Studies, she felt strongly that all items should be made under standards that adhere or surpass fair trade standards.  Ellen is also strongly committed to environmental issues.  She was certain that there was a way to combine great products, and a green sensibility with a commitment to fair trade.  She did, and Three Stone Steps was born.

The name "three stone steps" comes from Chinese lore, where three stone steps at the foot of wooden staircase promises solid footing for a good journey.

Personal and press contact:

Ellen Reich
Phone/Fax: 443.927.9239
P.O. Box 1954, Baltimore, MD 2120

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