Home Away From Home: 8 Ethically Made Dorm Necessities

It is incredibly exciting to head off to college. The future feels wide open, you have a new sense of freedom, and you’re sure to grow in a million ways. 

It is incredibly terrifying to head off to college for pretty much all the same reasons.  

When you’re setting off into entirely new territory, physically or emotionally, it’s good to create a safe space for yourself where you feel comfortable. Your dorm is your new home, so it’s essential to make it feel like one. Here are a few ethically made dorm décor ideas to help make things homey. 

Dorm Necessities | Cat Nap Sleep Mask

Cat Nap Velvet Sleep Mask

The first hurdle to making your new space your own is the biggest one. Most likely the space is only partly your own because you’ll be sharing it with someone else who may or may not be a total stranger. If the total stranger you find yourself living with happens to have a completely different understanding of the phrase “reasonable bed time” than you do, things could get rough. Enter the sleep mask. As a kid sleep masks may have seemed like an antiquated glamorous tool used in old movies (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, anyone?), but as an adult you’ll soon realize the amazing utilitarian nature of these miracle workers.  

Dorm Decor | Recycled Sari Pillows

Recycled Sari Pillows

Just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean you can stop making your bed. College life comes with a lot of deadlines and responsibilities, so start your day with an easy accomplishment! And if you’re making your bed, you might as well make it look nice with some handcrafted pillows! 

Dorm Decor | Happy Cat Wall Hanging

Happy Cat Wall Hook

Most dorms have a no pets policy (which, though unfortunate, is definitely for the best), and this can be tough if you’ve got a furry friend you have to leave back home. However, pet-inspired décor can serve as a little reminder that makes you smile when you’re missing your pal most. Let the Happy Cat Wall Hook be the pet that never fails to meet you at the door in addition to being an eco-friendly tool to hold your coat.  

Dorm Decor | Bicycle Chain Bookends

Bicycle Chain Bookends

You’re going to college to learn (right?) so there’s bound to be lots of reading! Add a bit of personal flair to your bookshelf while keeping your books in check (library fines are no joke) with the Bicycle Chain Bookends.  And while you’re cooped up inside studying away you can daydream about being out on the open road where calculus doesn’t exist (at least not in your imagination). 

Dorm Decor | Good Day Throw Rug

Good Day Throw Rug

Let’s just say the people who choose the flooring material in dorm rooms were probably not art majors. The artisans who handcraft the Good Day Throw Rug, however, are true craftsmen. Plus, rugs make everything feel just a little cozier. 

Dorm Decor | Hemp Washcloth

Natural Hemp Wash Cloth

Good roommates don’t clutter up the entire bathroom with a bazillion products. It’s a cardinal rule in roommatehood. Keep things simple with the Natural Hemp Wash Cloth, an eco-friendly option you can reuse. You should also bring a toothbrush. Good breath is another cardinal rule in roommatehood.  

Dorm Decor | Bright Bit Baskets

Bright Bits Basket 

When you’re living in a tiny space organization is key. Keep things compartmentalized with the Bright Bit Basket. This basket is handcrafted from jute and recycled cotton sari fabric by artisans working with our fair trade partner Dhaka Handicrafts, and it comes in four sizes, so there’s sure to be one perfect for you.  

Dorm Decor | Memory Tree Wall HangingMemory Tree Wall Hanging

Dorm room wall decorating has become a bit of an art form over the years. So be sure to take a work of art with you! The Memory Tree Wall Hanging is crafted by hand by artisans working with our fair trade partner Aravali in India. Let it serve as a reminder of all your memories of home and a celebration of all the memories you’ll soon be making at your home away from home. 



Madeleine Murphy

Madeleine lives in Lancaster, PA. Most of the time she is reading or riding her bike.

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