With Christmas not far off, and shopping season in full swing, it’s time for me to start browsing some of my favorite places. I have a pretty large extended family, and everyone buys for everyone (they all insist that drawing names is “no fun”) so I try to start reasonably early as well as keep costs under control.
So for the last few years I’ve worked with a human trafficking organization, reaching out to women trapped in sexual slavery. What does that have to do with Christmas shopping? Well, if I’m working to abolish slavery in one industry, shouldn’t I be against slavery in all industries?
Last year was the first year I attempted to buy all Fair Trade Christmas gifts. I even ordered FT chocolate for the stockings, and I have to say, it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. It was also less expensive than I expected.
That being said, I thought I’d share a few places that I’ve shopped, and perhaps give you some ideas if you’re interested in checking out your Fair Trade shopping options.
http://www.divinechocolate.com Absolutely amazing chocolate. They have lots of varieties; dark, milk, white, with fruit, with nuts, with coffee! You can get it in bar form, smaller individually wrapped bites, coins; they also have baking supplies and gift baskets. Prices on this site are listed in British pounds, but if you’re in the United States you can go to http://www.divinechocolateusa.com
http://www.tenthousandvillages.com They have TONS of great stuff, and besides the website, they have storefronts. Not everywhere, but if you check the store locator, you may be able to find one near you. You can find holiday decorations, jewelry, candles, scarves, stationary, tableware or a hammock, handmade in countries all over the world. It’s a great place to get a lot of shopping done because they have such a wide variety of products.
http://www.intlprincess.org/ International Princess Project is definitely one that I love. They provide opportunities for women coming out of human trafficking to learn a new trade and earn a higher than fair wage, medical care and housing. These pajamas are handmade and all of the proceeds go back into the company to help more women, and they’re absolutely adorable! Colorful, comfortable and unique, they’re a great gift option.
http://www.krochetkids.org This organization is getting bigger and more recognizable, so you may already know them, which is awesome! They make awesome crocheted hats for men, women and kids, but also scarves, shirts and some really great bags. I have an iPad cover from KK that I love too! One of the unique things about a KK product is that every one of them is HAND SIGNED on the tag by the person who made it. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty special.
OK, so this is just a few of my favorites for some Christmas shopping. There are lots more options out there, you just have to look! Amazon, Overstock and Etsy all have Fair Trade products available, you just have to put it in the search box and go! I get all of my hair/skin/makeup products online and they’re all reasonably priced.
I realize that not everything is available or easy to find. Some industries just haven’t gotten there in terms of ethical production (electronics for example) but we just need to make it clear that it’s important to us.