If you’ve started Christmas shopping (and hopefully you have because there are only 22 days until the big day!), chances are you’ve been to the mall, shopped online, and have been to Target and/or other big box stores. Am I right? If you’re like me, you might have gotten a few great gifts already, but nothing you’ve bought has been handmade or too out of the ordinary.
I’m not quite sure why, but I am mildly obsessed with Fair Trade products. You can get all sorts of things that are Fair Trade–home decor, clothes, accessories, jewelry, spices, foods, and more. Fair trade products make great gifts!
Let me tell you how this all started. It was Black Friday and I was idly shopping online. I was trying to think of “different” things to get my family members (apart from the usual bottles of wine, gift cards, and the like) when I thought it would be a great idea to give something that was Fair Trade. Not only am I getting my family and friends something unique, but I was also getting them something with a special story behind it and helping the people who made it. A win-win for sure. So I went into Google and
creatively searched “Fair Trade Gifts.” The very first result was for a website, Ten Thousand Villages. I’m telling you, I must have spent close to an hour on the site finding things for my family (and a couple of things to add to my Christmas wish list too).
Naturally, I wished this site was an actual store that I could go in and browse, but since I didn’t think it existed, I had to make do with what I had. Later that day, I was on the subway heading home… and low and behold… the woman sitting across from me was holding a Ten Thousand Villages bag! What are the chances of that?! Come to find out, there are two shops just in the Boston area (one of them being about 1/2 a mile from my office!) and dozens of others throughout the country. For a full list of locations, click here.
Fair trade products are great to consider for gift giving; chances are the recipient doesn’t already have the item. Maybe a family member or friend is invested in a certain area of the world? (My best friend will be traveling to Peru next year to volunteer in the schools–items made from Peruvians would be a great gift for her.) Do you have a friend who loves unique jewelry? Or maybe you know some one who invests a lot of time promoting human rights? These are all people who would most likely appreciate Fair Trade products. (Or maybe you’re just tired of getting your gifts from Target…)