Is it ever too early to start your holiday shopping? Ok, maybe February is too early to start the actual shopping, but good last minute rest-of-the-year gifting requires a lot of recon. Not that I practice what I preach. Every year I go through the same cycle of gift-buying regret. I buy the first thing I think of for each person in an effort to minimize rush deliveries, or worse, getting stuck at a mall last minute. I find myself just turning people into to-do lists and not putting in as much thought into their gifts as I would have liked. Popcorn tins, candles and gift cards are all nice, but expert-level gifting they are not. The worst problem with my system is I am reliant upon the convenience of mass retailers! A double measure of guilt: lame gifts and not using my consumer power for good.
Fortunately I have rounded up a collection of sites that offer fair trade products that make unique gifts and promote fair wages, artisan education, and a better quality of living for people around the world.
Boom: creating a better world through better gifting!
Bookmark this page now or face the regret when those pop up baby showers and coworker birthdays come calling.
A proud member of the World Fair Trade Organization, Pro Pueblo, has adorable hand carved figurines perfect for the IT guy with an affinity for squirrels or chic panama hats for Uncle Jack who never remembers to put sunscreen on his bald spot.
Working with women at risk of human trafficking in Cambodia and India, the Nomi Network features tote bags, pouches and apparel. Who in your life doesn’t need that fabulous mermaid tote? No one, that’s who.
Mr. Ellie Pooh
I don’t know where to start, there are so many great products. House warming party? Coconut fiber Welcome mats. Baby shower? Adorable organic cotton onesies. Birthday for the Grandma that sends cards for every occasion? Recycled paper stationary. Mr. Ellie Pooh’s mission is to resolve human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka. By teaching farmers to use elephant dung (yea, now the name makes sense) to make paper which they can sell to make up for stampeded crops, it turns elephants from threat to economic asset.
I should be telling you all about the amazing collection of scarves woven by communities in Vietnam and Thailand, but really my words wouldn’t give the vibrant colors or the intricately woven textures any justice. Besides, I am too busy picking out which ones to order for myself, anyway.
An organization as beautiful as the jewelry they create, Faire Collection provides training, no-interest loans, disaster protection and a better life for its artisans. But without knowing all that you would still have fallen in love with their pieces. Statement necklaces with trendy tassels and geometric earrings, these would be at home in any high end boutique. This collection makes it easy to give style with substance.