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July 25, 2011 12:01 PM

Media, Retail

Socially Conscious E-tailer Histoire Launches

Histoire, a socially conscious online retailer aimed at "redefining luxury by embracing a dual mission of celebrating the beauty in the handmade and promoting social and environmental sustainability," launched today....

Histoire, a socially conscious online retailer aimed at "redefining luxury by embracing a dual mission of celebrating the beauty in the handmade and promoting social and environmental sustainability," launched today.

histoire.jpgThe site, whose name means history or story in French, is the brainchild of Harvard MBA grad Monica Tai. Tai, who previously managed merchandising at Hermes and worked as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch, was inspired by her global travels to create a business model that gives back to under-served communities.

With its launch collection, Histoire will feature handcrafted, eco-friendly, and one-of-a kind products such as Anna Beck Designs jewelry from Bali, handcrafted Peruvian pottery by Jonathan Adler, Jeanette Farrier hand-stitched recycled sari baby blankets and Canvas candlesticks hand-carved by Haitian artisans using traditional tools. "We are grateful to our partners and their inspiring impact around the world and look forward to establishing new partnerships across causes and regions around the world," said Tai.

The products carried on the site are curated by Tai herself, who searches for items that do "more than the obvious" from all over the world -- some current pieces come from Colombia, India, Peru, Austria, China, Laos, Thailand, Egypt, Ghana, Ethiopia and Tanzania.

Each product must abide by one or more of the following seven social, economical and environmental causes; Charitable, Community Building, Cultural Preservation, Eco-friendly, Fair Trade, Handmade and Organic. "We look for designers who embody the Histoire lifestyle of sustainable luxury. All of our designers create exquisite products that are produced under fair labor conditions and that embrace our philosophies of social and environmental transformation. " Tai told WWD.

Visit Histoire at shophistoire.com.
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