Category Archives: fashion accessories

Friday Photo: Recycled metal cuff bracelet artists

When we were in Haiti last month, we photographed or re-photographed the artists with whom we work.  Here are Three Stone Steps new cuff bracelet artists, James and Romel.

recycled metal cuff bracelet artists

While, and yet again, we don’t have these cuff bracelets on our site, we do have other recycled metal cuff bracelets and other jewelry, including recycled earrings and recycled rings available right here.

If you’re wondering, yes, I requested that Wonder Woman pose.  It works quite well, yes?


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Filed under artisans, bracelets, cuffs, earrings, eco-chic, eco-fashion, fashion accessories, friday photo, Haiti, jewlery, metal art, recycled

Keeping it green

Three Stone Steps is a people and planet friendly company.  While we’ve blogged quite a bit about the artisans we work with and our fair trade producers, we don’t spend enough time on our eco-friendly side:  our metal art from Haiti is made from recycled oil drums using only hand tools, so there’s no carbon footprint (besides it getting from Haiti to where it’s sold);  our silk and cotton accessories from Cambodia are made with AZO-free dyes.  And, as we head towards the gifting season, you should know that our ornaments and dreidels are made by hand of recycled paper in the Philippines, and we have a new line of papier-mâché ornaments from Haiti made from recycled cement bags.

If you’re not in the market for wall art, or ornaments and dreidels, or fashion accessories, and you want to do some eco-friendly shopping head straight to Pristine Planet.  They’ve a great easy to navigate site and green products in scads of categories.  (And in the interest of full disclosure:  Three Stone Steps has listed with Pristine Planet for years.  If you’re a merchant of green goods they’re amazingly personable people with make you swoon customer service.)

We definitely don’t want to pretend that shopping will save the planet, but if keeping things green is on your list, Pristine Planet is a good place to begin.


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Filed under Cambodia, Christmas, cotton, cotton wallet, eco-chic, eco-fashion, environment, fashion accessories, green commerce, Haiti, hanukkah, holiday shopping, ornaments, Philippines, pristine planet, recycled, recycling, shopping

End of summer new year

As a kid, I always looked forward to September, since it seemed to be the second new year of the year.  I would quietly make September resolutions in the hopes that maybe seventh grade would be better than sixth.  (It never was.)  Since I’ve tried to erase much of my junior high and high school years from my memory, I don’t remember all these vows, but I do recall something about trying hard to be a bit tidier and definitely more organized.

Here at Three Stone Steps we don’t sell any real back to school items, but we do have  fair trade, ethically sourced silks and cottons to keep you organized.

Our fantastic silk wallets and cotton wallets are beautiful, functional, and come with tons of compartments.  You could use one compartment for your U.S. greenbacks, and one for your bills in another currency.  Or one compartment for your bills and one for your receipts.  Or, as one delighted customer exclaimed, “I love these.  I can keep the denominations separate!”

The silk screen on silk wallets are luminous and lovely, and fairly handcrafted in Cambodia.

black and gray silk wallet If you’re looking for something equally lovely, but with a bit of more durability, the same wallet comes in a slightly different pattern and in cotton.

silk screen on cotton walletAnd, while we’ve embraced the electronic world, we’re always delighted when people hand out real paper business cards.  We’ll admit to be a tad shocked, shocked when someone who goes though the trouble of carrying business cards doesn’t go through the trouble of having a place to keep them.  (We recall one Very Important Political Person pulling out her cards that were held together with a red rubber band.)

If you want to forgo the business cards held together by a red rubber band look, we can help with a lovely silk screen on silk business card case:


silver silk business card case

Whether or not you need to stay (or get) organized, enjoy the fresh start that comes with the end of summer and the arrival of fall.


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Filed under Cambodia, cotton wallet, fair trade, fashion accessories, Phnom Penh, silk, silk screen, silk wallet, wallets

Waiting for Haiti

I wasn’t able to get back to Haiti this year. No need to go into it, but it just didn’t work out.

But, that doesn’t mean that I’m not getting some new Haitian goods. I am! I am very excited to announce that new metal cuffs are on the way, as are very amazing recycled hanging Christmas trees. (You can call them a Hannukah bush if you’d like, and they’d work for Kwanzaa, too.)

Anyway, without further ado, the cuffs. Here’s what they’re made of:

Here’s a photo of the artist working away on them:

And, here’s one. (Really, it’s wearable sculpture.):

I have a recycled metal Christmas tree for personal use. I’d post a photo of it, but someone stole my bag–with my camera in it–when I was vending at a festival recently. Such is life in the worldwide headquarters of Three Stone Steps, Baltimore, Maryland USA.

But, the decision on the new camera has been made, and it’s only a matter of time until you can see it, and decide if you want you own, long lasting, recycled holiday tree. (And, the trees would be great paired with recycled paper Christmas ornaments. Just a suggestion, but, really, it’s hard to get much funkier and greener for the holidays….)

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Filed under cuffs, fashion accessories, Haiti, holiday shopping, metal art, recycled

These are (not at all) the Good Times

By the time you read this, who knows what the economy will be like: Will the public radio show about finances be playing We’re in the Money or Stormy Weather when talking about how the market closed?

I know we’ve all head enough about Wall Street and Main Street, and Three Stone Steps is firmly and virtually in the latter. But, then again, so are most of us.

Of course, given the stories one hears daily about people losing jobs, facing foreclosures, having difficulty feeding their families, people don’t immediately think of buying a new messenger bag of recycled or repurposed materials, or a silk scarf.

Three Stone Steps knows that no one really and truly needs these things. Your old bag can probably be used for another season or year, and a new business card case is nice, but the rubber band works well, too. Reduce is the first “R” of the reduce, reuse, recycle mantra.

But, we do hope that if you decide to spend some discretionary funds on fashion accessories, you’ll spend it with a company that shares your values of being fair trade, and sustainable in all meanings of that word, and buy products from a company like Three Stone Steps that is highly sensitive to working towards a fair and just world.

Three Stone Steps new tag line is sustainable. fair made. style. And, I’ll always adhere to those three words. Promise.

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Filed under business card holder, economy, fair trade, fashion accessories, messenger bags, scarves, silk


Like most of us, I’ve been thinking a lot about the current economic crisis, the upcoming elections, and, in work in general.

On my way almost anywhere from my home/Three Stone Steps worldwide headquarters here in Southeast Baltimore, Maryland, USA, I see men–almost always men–and almost always Latino–waiting around near the 7-11 and a few other corners hoping, just hoping, that someone will pick them up for a day’s work, mostly on a construction site.

But, given the economic crisis, many more people are thrown out of work. This brilliant video imagines what happens when Wall Street types get really desperate:

Now, that was imagined, but here, White House spokesperson Dana Perino takes it a step further. It seems that the way to solve the unemployment crisis in this country is for people to get jobs.

Maybe there’s something I’m missing here, but isn’t the reason people are unemployed is because they don’t have jobs. It’s times like this, that I’m so delighted to be out and about meeting people and selling ethical accessories.

How about you?

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Filed under economy, fashion accessories

Three Stone Steps in the Baltimore Examiner & The Scarf

Ok, while anorexic fashion models aren’t quite Three Stone Steps’ thing (ok, Venus, our tall, thin mannequin model is an exception), I was delighted with this little write up in the Baltimore Examiner’s online edition last week.

And, delighted, too, that scarves were the featured fashion accessory. Really, I have seen fashionistas here and there, even in the heat and humidity of the Baltimore summer, wearing scarves. And, I must admit, that Three Stone Steps just received some great new hand loomed 100 percent Cambodian silk scarves. As with everything else, I’m still busy getting them up on the site, but honestly, these scarves are so beautiful and luminous and just so tactile that it helps to see them in person.

I’ll have the colors on photos updated on the site by next week, but if you’re in need of a scarf right this minute, please contact us.

It Takes Just 3 Stone Steps to Look Effortlessly Chic!

POSTED July 2, 10:31 AM

Trendy Scarves

One trend I really, really love right now is accessorizing an outfit with a colorful, thick scarf. It’s perfect for all ages (my grandmother got me hooked on to the trend almost ten years ago) and all climates. You can wear this trend in July, but make sure its after 7 p.m., because you’ll roast to death during the daytime.

One Baltimore-based company that sells this trendy look, along with other accessories, is Three Stone Steps. They have a selection for men and women, and best of all, their products represent globalization and going green at its finest. 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.

If you’re not a fan of scarves, their bags are the latest eco-craze here in Charm City. Functional, durable, funky, and sustainable, they’re 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 and then washed and dried in the sun.

Ellen Reich, owner of Three Stone Steps and former labor union activist, states: “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.” Ellen started the business in late 2006 as a way to share the great products she found while traveling with a larger audience.

Contact Info:
443.927.9239 phone/fax


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Filed under Baltimore, colorful, fashion accessories, scarves, silk