The Story Behind Thread Spun

Sustainable and ethically-produced apparel displayed at Thread Spun boutique in Encinitas, California
The interior of Thread Spun boutique in Encinitas showcasing handmade stained glass, candles and sustainable apparel

 

We Are A Retail Store & Social Enterprise

Thread Spun is a retail store and social enterprise built on the idea of protecting both people and planet and on principles of conscious consumerism. We are woman-owned and run with a brick and mortar location in Encinitas, California, and an online store offering handmade and fair trade apparel, home goods, accessories, gifts and more. We offer a curated selection of sustainably- and ethically-produced goods from around the world that are as unique as you are. We donate 10% of profits to charities, and participate actively in charitable auctions and community events.

Owner, Heidi Ledger, inside her handmade and fair trade store, Thread Spun, a boutique featuring sustainable clothing in Encinitas, California

Owner, Heidi Ledger

Our Beginnings

In 2015 I was working for a local refugee resettlement agency and nonprofit organization here in San Diego. I was managing programs that help recently arrived refugees and granted asylum seekers secure employment and career advancement opportunities. I worked closely with human beings who arrived to the United States as refugees for five years, and witnessed first hand the many barriers they experienced to integrating and succeeding in our community.
When I gave birth to my first child that year, I decided not to return to my previous position but to create my own social enterprise designed to create living wages and dignified employment for women who arrived as refugees. I began sourcing handmade and fair trade textiles from around the world, and paying talented women fairly to sew them into surfboard bags. Thread Spun was born. 
Production planning with resettled refugee artisan, Lashta
My son, Arlo, playing with the family of our first artisan, Pleh, in 2016
Heidi Ledger of Thread Spun displays her handmade surfboard bag while wearing ethically and sustainably produced clothing in Mexico
Showcasing a surfboard bag made with textiles from Mali and Guatemala on a surf trip to Mexico

Our Inspiration

We exist because of our respect and admiration for strong women and people who thrive in the face of extreme adversity and hardship. From our beginnings making surfboard bags, we have evolved into more than a brand, and now exist primarily as a retail store selling goods handmade by others. Yet we still derive our inspiration from people - people from diverse places and people with unique cultures and crafts. You will see this reflected in the offerings in our store. We are also inspired by our planet, and strive to protect it as much as we can. We are always learning and incorporating eco-friendly practices into our buying and operations.

Thread Spun handmade pillows with fair trade and handwoven textiles sit with other fair trade home goods including planters and pots
We make and sell goods produced sustainably and ethically, like pillows with handwoven textiles, fair trade stools and furniture from Morocco, and handmade planters
Three women wearing sustainable and ethical apparel by Thread Spun laugh together
We are proud to sell heirloom clothing like Mohinders handwoven shoes and Jungmaven hemp clothing

Our Mission

Offering well-made goods and gifts produced sustainably, as the term relates to both people and planet. We believe in paying fair wages and supporting fair trade and human rights. We know that we have a responsibility to protect the environment through both our business practices and consideration for what goods we sell and what production methods we support. Form and function are important to us, but mean nothing if goods are not produced ethically. We know that things made by hand are made to last, traditional production methods cause less burden on the environment, and true beauty is found in unique crafts made with pride. Read our full mission statement here.

 

Handmade goods from Morocco, India and Mexico like rugs, planters and bowls line the shelves at Thread Spun boutique in Encinitas
Handmade home goods made with pride by hands in Morocco to India, Mexico to the USA
Thread Spun model wearing a sustainably and ethically made dress by Sugar Candy Mountain in rust
Friend of Thread Spun, Jess, models a wrap dress made with natural fibers from sustainable brand Sugar Candy Mountain
Handmade and unique jewelry and clean beauty products on display at boutique Thread Spun in Encinitas
Clean beauty products, unique statement jewelry, and unique baby gifts line our shelves

Our Fair Trade Practices

Justice and sustainable development are always at the forefront of our minds. At Thread Spun, we are guided by the principles of Fair Trade, including payment of fair prices, safe working conditions, environmental sustainability, transparency and more. Economic justice, social justice, and environmental justice are taken into consideration in sourcing and purchasing products, both internationally and domestically. 
We work directly with nonprofit organizations, social enterprises, and cooperatives in other countries that are increasing socioeconomic standards in their communities through production of fair trade goods. We are also proud to partner with small, independent brands locally, regionally and nationally here in the U.S.A., and respectfully pay artists and makers their asking prices. We all deserve fair wages and dignified employment.
An artisan woman weaving by hand in her community
Owner of fair trade boutique Thread Spun Heidi displays a pillow made with bogolan mudcloth

 

Giving Back

Thread Spun is proud to contribute 10% of our profits to charitable causes and 501(c)(3) organizations. To date, we have donated more than $18,000 USD to 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. Your purchases are making a real difference. Learn more here

Black Lives Matter protestors in front of a monument

Thank You

We truly appreciate the support of our thoughtful customers and artisan partners. By purchasing fair trade and handmade products and joining us on our mission, you are helping to create a meaningful impact on their lives of artisans around the world and here at home.

Follow along with us on our blog for updates on our fair trade shop and latest products, our artisan partners, local and independent makers, gift guides and more! We're so happy you're here and thankful for your conscious consumerism during a hard year for small businesses. 

Thread Spun staff members and owner Heidi inside the store in front of displays of handmade gifts

Thread Spun owner, Heidi Ledger, and friend and employee Kayla

Photos by: Nicole Capri Photography, Jean Vella and Chris Henry

 

Shop Sustainable Apparel at Thread Spun

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