We all love to shop. The conscious living movement is inspiring us to think deeper about our spending and to purchase with purpose. We want our dollars to be empowering to the artisans who are working HARD in their communities to make these handmade gifts from around the world. But it can be difficult to find everything we want or need. With the holiday season approaching, may we make some recommendations? Here are our picks for the top 10 gifts that give back.
- Burkina Faso For the Love of Learning Sculpture
We are in love with the details on this piece! The artisans use wax, a clay mold, and molten bronze to create this, and every single statuette is unique and special. The pose evokes some wonderful and sweet emotions as we consider the bond of a parent and child, teacher and student, or some other special bond. Mothers in Burkina Faso can provide education and healthcare for their families because of your choice to shop Fair Trade.
- Soft Shimmer Necklace
For the lover of unique jewelry pieces, try this capiz shell necklace from the Philippines. It works for both upscale and casual occasions, in any season, and can be paired with additional jewelry or scarves for creating even more depth in an ensemble. This necklace is made from capiz, the thin and delicate shell of a windowpane oyster. Capiz is considered a renewable resource and can also be found in sculptures and gorgeous wallpaper options. Jewelry artists are empowered to enhance their skills and work together in cooperatives when you purchase.
- Sacred Sari Throw
We talk about this one almost daily, and that is because it’s so beautiful AND does so much good! Each throw blanket is entirely unique. It is made with recycled sari fabric in Bangladesh, so the fabric selection and assembly of patterns will vary each time. Plus we love the artisan stories here – the makers of these throws are women who have left the red light district and created new lives and livelihoods because of Fair Trade. That is a powerful gift!
- Oceanic Echoes Earrings
This is another capiz item we love. The ocean blues and greens make an amazing blend and a pop of color to dress up any outfit. Consider pairing them with our next item (#5) for an even more stunning look.
- Deity Mantra Scarf
This lightweight accessory can brighten an occasion in any season. Though it is not certified Fair Trade, we know that our wholesale partner is working with the artisan groups and creating an ethical supply chain, to empower workers who are seeking opportunity and a fair wage.
- Outrageous Hippopotamus
These are perfect party favors or stocking stuffers! The hippos are unique because they are carved from Kisii stone, a soapstone only found in Kenya. Artisans can easily carve the pieces and work through many stages of sanding to produce the final result.
- Chakra Balancing Stones
Share the quest for balance with a friend or buy these for yourself! These stones come from Tara Projects, a highly respected Fair Trade group in Agra, India. In the past, skilled stone workers were brought in to Agra to build the Taj Mahal – these cultural traditions continue today. With this purchase, you receive a wonderful gift and also give back by preserving the traditions of the community.
- Bloom Softly Scarf
This scarf works for both spring and fall! Pair it with pastels to add spring tones, or consider neutrals and browns for fall. It is handmade polyester and comes from the Asha Handicrafts Association in India. An extra tip: you can use scarves as gift wrap or tissue paper and display another gift in side the scarf!
These sweet bowls give back to the artisans AND the environment! Use a zebra or giraffe bowl to keep small parts together, or make it a conversation starter in your home. These are made of jacaranda wood, a fast-growing and sustainable (keeping the long term in mind) renewable resource.
- Our favorite: it’s still the Meditation Singing Bowl!
You will not get tired of giving these unique gifts with melodious tones. Teach your friends to play the bowl too! Use it for meditation and as a party feature, to keep guests engaged in conversation and a hands-on activity.