Is Your Credit Card Information Safe?

There is a lot of worry about credit card theft after hearing news this week of the 3 men who stole roughly 125 million credit card numbers. You may be thinking that doing business with a small company online is more risky than a big-box e-tailer like Amazon.com. Actually, at FaeriesDance.com it’s exactly the opposite!
First, let’s clarify risk. There are 2 main risks to your credit card information when shopping online. The first is that your card number is at risk during the time that it is in transit from the online store to the approving credit card bank. Transit times are generally less than 1 second total. FaeriesDance.com, like most online businesses, employees Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. We use a 256-bit industry-standard encryption that encodes your credit card number while it is transmitted from our site to the credit card approving bank. This is the same level of transmission encryption that most financial institutions use. The thing is, it’s really not worth it for a potential credit card thief to try to time their hack for that partial second and then spend weeks or months breaking the encryption code to get a single credit card number. While it makes good sense to encrypt the data, credit card data is rarely if ever lost this way.

The second risk is that a potential credit card thief will hack into an online store’s encrypted database to gain access to the credit card information of every person that store has ever done business with! Not only is this a big gain for the thief, but the databases exist permanently, so they have plenty of time to crack the encryption. This is the primary way that credit cards are compromised – and it happens to companies of all sizes.

In my infinite wisdom ๐Ÿ˜‰ I realized when creating FaeriesDance.com that we would not likely have the resources to keep up with the constant barrage of database threats. So, we simply avoided them altogether. FaeriesDance.com does not store your credit card information anywhere, any time, in any database, EVER!
OK, so this means that if you accidentally put in the wrong expiration date and get a message back from the bank to that effect, you have to retype the card number. If you shop with us a lot, you don’t have the neat-o feature that allows you to just reuse the same card as last time – you have to retype the card number. If you type the card number and then decide to purchase something else, as soon as you click off the payment page to go back to the shopping cart, you wipe out the card number and again, have to retype it.

While all of this retyping can occasionally be annoying, the fact is, that it is by far the most secure system of obtaining credit card information online. You type it in, it’s instantly sent to the credit card approving company and never written to any database where it could be hacked. Your credit card information does not exist on our website, and therefore cannot be stolen from our website.

For those of you who are still concerned about using your credit card online, the best piece of advice I can give is to always check the “no” option when asked if you want your credit card number saved for future purchases. (We don’t ask – saving your credit card number is not an option at FaeriesDance.com.) This simple tip will go a long way in securing your card information when shopping online.
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Preparing for Mt. Whitney

Aerial View of Mt. Whitney Image courtesy of the National Park Service

In addition to myself, Faerie’s Dance gets assistance from several friends who work part-time and seasonally to help process your orders quickly and efficiently. While there’s always lots to do (like more blog posts!… next up All About Dyes…), the whole gang has decided to take a quick break. We’re all heading off together for a weekend in the California Sierra Nevada mountain range to summit Mt. Whitney. At 14,494 feet (4418 meters), Whitney is the highest peak in the lower 48 states. Though, that’s only half as high as Everest’s 29,035 feet.

Here are some quick peak facts:

Highest Mountain in the World (and Asia)
Everest, Nepal-China: 29,035 feet / 8850 meters

Highest Mountain in Africa
Kilimanjaro, Tanzania: 19,340 feet / 5895 meters

Highest Mountain in AntarcticaVinson Massif: 16,066 feet / 4897 meters

Highest Mountain in AustraliaKosciusko: 7310 feet / 2228 meters

Highest Mountain in Europe
Elbrus, Russia (Caucasus): 18,510 feet / 5642 meters

Highest Mountain in Western Europe
Mont Blanc, France-Italy: 15,771 feet / 4807 meters

Highest Mountain in OceaniaPuncak Jaya, New Guinea: 16,535 feet / 5040 meters

Highest Mountain in North AmericaMcKinley (Denali), Alaska: 20,320 feet / 6194 meters

Highest Mountain in the 48 Contiguous United States
Whitney, California: 14,494 feet / 4418 meters

Highest Mountain in South America
Aconcagua, Argentina: 22,834 feet / 6960 meters
Since everyone associated with Faerie’s Dance will be off hiking, massaging our sore feet and enjoying sweeping views of central California, we won’t be able to ship Friday or Saturday. All orders placed after 2:30pm on Thursday will ship first thing Monday morning. We apologize if this causes any inconvenience to anyone. Hopefully clearing our minds and stretching our bodies will bring us back fit, excited and more efficient than ever. ๐Ÿ™‚
Have a wonderful weekend – and don’t forget to take a quick peek outside tonight to experience the Perseid meteor shower.

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Results of our Anniversary Giveaway

Wow! There was an awesome response to our 4th Anniversary Giveaway Newsletter. (If you’re not on FaeriesDance.com’s e-mail newsletter list, sign up here to learn about great new products and receive special discounts and promotions.)

We gave away 4 sets of 4 gifts based on the order total. The $50 order gifts (recycled coffee grinds stenographer notebooks) were the first in the mail as all four qualifying orders came in Saturday, the same day the newsletter was sent. The $200 order gifts (bamboo tees) were just a few hours behind, also on Saturday. By Monday, we’d shipped all of the $100 order gifts (clay-dyed tee bags). It took until Thursday, almost at the end of our one-week special period to finally give away the the Under $50 order gifts (clay-dyed hair scrunchies).

We hope you found the giveaway as much fun as we did. Here is a quick list of our 4 biggest “winners”. The Bamboo Tee Giveaway recipients were:

1. Rachel I. from New Jersey
(order placed 2:33 pm PT)
2. Ingrid S. from Connecticut
(order placed 6:18)
3. Mylรจne P. from Canada
(order placed 7:21)
4. Rebecca R. from New York
(order placed 7:40)

Thank you all. We’re already coming up with some fun ideas for August.

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Importing Part 1: Human Rights Issues

One of the questions we get a lot is where our products come from. Many people are adverse to purchasing items made from third world countries because they are concerned about working conditions, sweatshops, child labor and basic human rights.

Despite public outrage over the last few years, that concern may indeed still be valid at some big-box retailers. However, at FaeriesDance.com, I personally check on the credentials, certifications, auditing and labor standards of every new manufacturer we add to our line up. Not only do the farmers and factory workers who create the products we carry earn living wages in decent working conditions, but in many cases our manufacturers are directly responsible for improving the lives and conditions of the people.

Probably the very best example of this is the manufacturer Pants to Poverty. Their specific goal as a company is to employ the poorest people of the world in a completely sustainable business model in order to stamp out poverty and hunger. They currently employee over 6700 tribal farmers in India with long-term contracts, enabling those farmers to feed and care for families and raise their overall standard of living. Here is a great video with a little fun from Pants to Poverty on the passion of their commitment.

For a more poignant look at the farming conditions and how organic farming combined with fair trade practices have improved the lives of the impoverished, check out this video, also courtesy of Pants to Poverty.

All of our manufacturers have an honest commitment to being socially conscious as well as eco-friendly. Environmental sustainability is only viable if the efforts are also socially sustainable.

Of course, deciding whether to buy something that is made in an emerging nation versus in the USA is a more complex issue than just Human Rights. There are economic, political and even environmental issues (such as the environmental cost of transportation) that must also be considered. I plan to address some of these in future posts, though they are not always very straight-forward. But in this one area of Human Rights, I’m proud to say that our products are actually helping people world wide.

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Just Getting Started … So, What is Eco-Fashion Anyway?

Hello and welcome to the Eco-Fashion Philosopher, a place to discuss the bizarre, unique and fun side of eco-fashion. I named my company Faerie’s Dance as a reminder to frolic a little, to be a joyous environmentalist. No doom and gloom, just clever ways to find a sustainable path to the future – especially if the path is lined with bamboo dresses and organic lace bras. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Of course, there is a serious side to eco-fashion. Over the next few months, I plan to get into some specific details on questions I’ve received about dyes, manufacturing processes, fair trade standards and much more. Most importantly, though, I hope to learn something new, share ideas, and have a little fun.

Not knowing exactly who my audience is quite yet, however, I thought I’d start by answering the obvious question.

What exactly is Eco-Fashion?
Eco-Fashion is the term used for clothing whose production is cleaner and less damaging to our soil and water systems than conventional clothing, and whose manufacturing ensures healthy, stable jobs for the workers that create them. It’s Earth-Friendly clothing that makes a positive impact on people as well.

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