Fair Trade Your Christmas: Cards & Gift Wrap!

Cards from Africa's Joy Wreath (also available at Good Paper).

We hope you’ve enjoyed our recent winter holiday posts, which will help you to Fair Trade your Christmas & Chanukah.  This current post began as a snapshot of our favorite Fair Trade Christmas Cards.  But with so many fabulously creative and charming greetings to choose from, we quickly found our ourselves building a Christmas Card extravaganza.  However, when you read the missions of the two producers we feature most heavily in this collection (Cards from Africa and Sanctuary Spring), we think you’ll agree that more is definitely merrier.

Cards from Africa:

“Our greeting cards are all handcrafted by young people in Rwanda who have been orphaned by genocide or AIDS. The cardmakers are all heads of households, responsible for providing for the remaining younger siblings in their family. Cards from Africa pays above-market wages so that the cardmakers can feed their families and send the younger siblings to school. All the colored papers are made by recycling Rwandan office materials by hand as an expression of environmental stewardship.”

Sanctuary Spring:

“Sanctuary Spring is a line of beautiful, fair trade greeting cards handcrafted by women who have escaped prostitution in the Philippines. These women were originally forced into prostitution by others or because they had no other means of providing for their families. Now, they are participating in restoration services provided by local charities in order to forge a new beginning for their lives. With limited job options in the Philippines, Sanctuary Spring is a critical lifeline that provides safe, dignifying, and empowering work.”

Our Favorite Christmas Card Packs:

  • New Internationalist’s The Sound of Silence Cards – Set of 10 (available at Greenheart; inside reads, “‘Season’s Greetings’ in nine languages [French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Irish, Scots Gaelic, Welsh and English”]):

  • New Internationalist’s Christmas Robin Cards – Set of 10 (available at Greenheart; inside reads, “‘Season’s Greetings’ in nine languages [French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Irish, Scots Gaelic, Welsh and English”]):

  • New Internationalist’s Dove of Peace Cards – Set of 10 (available at Greenheart; inside reads, “‘Season’s Greetings’ in nine languages [French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Irish, Scots Gaelic, Welsh and English”]):

  • New Internationalist’s Bethlehem Cards – Set of 10 (available at Greenheart; inside reads, “‘Season’s Greetings’ in nine languages [French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Irish, Scots Gaelic, Welsh and English”]):

  • New Internationalist’s Jolly Penguins Cards – Set of 10 (available at Greenheart; inside reads, “‘Season’s Greetings’ in nine languages [French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Irish, Scots Gaelic, Welsh and English”]):

If you like Cards from Africa’s individual cards below, check out their multipacks for holiday savings (also available at Good Paper).

Our Favorite Individual Christmas Cards (Faith):

  • Sanctuary Spring’s Batik Angel (available at Good Paper):

Our Favorite Individual Christmas cards (Holiday):

  • Sanctuary Spring’s Fa La La (available at Good Paper):

Our Favorite Gift Wrap:

Now you can spread the message of Fair Trade along with your holiday cheer.

Peace and Love,

Your Fair Trade Trendsters

Fair Trade Your Chanukah!

As our loyal readers know, we love to provide you with the inspiration and resources to Fair Trade your holiday celebrations (check out our complete guides to Fair Trading your St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter, & Halloween and check back soon for more winter holiday tips, including Christmas essentials).  If you’re new to Fair Trade or aren’t yet able to make Fair Trade part of your day-to-day purchases, holidays are a great way to support the movement and  show your family and friends you don’t just care about them, but you also care about the farmers and artisans who worked so hard to produce their treats and gifts.

With the Festival of Lights right around the corner, we wanted to share our fabulous Fair Trade Chanukah finds:

  • Canaan Fair Trade’s Olive Oils (available in Nabali Tree, Rumi Tree, Estate varieties; also available at Greenheart):

Happy Chanukah!

Shalom & Love,

Your Fair Trade Trendsters

Hippity Hoppity, Your Fair Trade Easter’s On Its Way!

Delight your wee ones with these fabulous Fair Trade finds, including Global Exchange's Bundle of Bunnies Zippered Toy (shown above).

As our loyal readers know, we love to provide you with the inspiration and resources to Fair Trade your holiday celebrations (check out our complete guides to Fair Trading your St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, & Halloween).  If you’re new to Fair Trade or aren’t yet able to make Fair Trade part of your day-to-day purchases, holidays are a great way to support the movement and  show your family and friends you don’t just care about them, but you also care about the farmers and artisans who worked so hard to produce their treats and gifts.

We, at Fair Trade Trends, love Easter, a time of remembrance and renewal.  Whether you celebrate Easter as a religious holiday or simply enjoy the time to gather with friends and family, we’ve got some fabulous Fair Trade finds for you!

We hope you enjoy our Complete Guide to Fair Trading your Easter!

FAIR TRADE CHOCOLATE TREATS:

  • Divine Chocolate’s Milk Chocolate Speckled Eggs (Available at SERRV and Greenheart):

  • Sweat Earth Chocolates’s Decorated Chocolate Egg (Available ganache fillings: Hazelnut, Aztec, Vanilla Creme, & Classic Dark Chocolate; available vegan fillings: Peanut Butter, Coconut, & Vegan Caramel):

  • Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates’s Assorted Chocolate Filled Egg Box (“Five tantalizing filled chocolate eggs. Flavors include; Raspberry, Vanilla, Creamy caramel, Almond Butter and Peanut Butter”):

  • Coco-Zen’s Bunny Truffles – 2-Piece Tin (“Choose from: White Chocolate  with Dark Chocoloate Coconut Ganache, Milk Chocolate with Milk Chocolate Latte Ganache, & Dark Chocolate with Dark Chocolate Orange Ganache; 1-Piece Box and 6-Piece Tin with 2 Truffles of each flavor also available):

  • Sweet Earth Chocolates’s Easter Egg Gift Box (Both Classic and Vegan available: “Classic will have a milk chocolate bunny, a mixture of dark and milk chocolate eggs, a chocolate ganache egg, a vanilla creme egg and a caramel filled egg. The vegan version will have all dark chocolate bunny & eggs with a peanut butter filled egg, a caramel egg & a toasted coconut fondant egg”):

  • Theo Chocolate’s Spring Confection Collection (“This 8 piece box includes 1 each: Lime Coriander, Pearl Jasmine, Burnt Sugar, Lemon, Mint, Hazelnut Gianduja, Lavender Caramel & Ginger Rose Caramel”):

FAIR TRADE EASTER BASKETS:

“Small teal-colored Basket includes: Divine milk chocolate Easter bunnies, Divine milk chocolate speckled eggs, Women’s Bean Project jelly beans, Women’s Bean project espresso beans”:


“Medium red easter basket includes: Divine milk chocolate Easter bunnies, Divine milk chocolate speckled eggs, Women’s Bean Project jelly beans, Women’s Bean project espresso beans, chocolate chip oatmeal cookie mix”:

“Large yellow easter basket includes: Divine milk chocolate Easter bunnies, Divine milk chocolate speckled eggs, 2 Women’s Bean Project jelly beans, Women’s Bean project espresso beans, snickerdoodle cookie mix, one small Divine milk chocolate bar, one small Divine dark chocolate bar, and one super soft Alpaca stuffed bunny”:

  • Children of the World Basket (“The colorful Children of the World Garland (Sasha, India), Children of the World Ornament (Manos Amigas, Peru) and Divine Milk Chocolate Eggs packaged in a handmade basket”; available at SERRV):

  • Bird Lover’s Basket (“Homemade basket contains papier mâché Perching Dove Box (Asha Handicrafts, India), Divine Dark Chocolate Eggs and the realistic Bird’s Nest with Eggs, made with dyed tagua nuts (Camari, Ecuador)”; available at SERRV):

  • Global Exchange’s Easter Bunny Gift Box (Includes a handmade carrot zippered toy with three mini bunnies nestled inside and two bags of delicious milk chocolate coins):

FAIR TRADE STUFFED BUNNY RABBITS & Spring Finger PUppets:

FAIR TRADE EASTER GIFTS & CARDs:

  • The Community Crafts Association of the Philippines’s Coco Rabbit Planter (Available at SERRV):

  • The Community Crafts Association of the Philippines’s Wooly Rabbit Planter (Available at Ten Thousand Villages):

  • CORR – The Jute Works’s Bunny Lantern (Available at SERRV):

  • Salay Handmade Paper’s Bunny Love Card (Available at Ten Thousand Villages):

FAIR TRADE RELIGIOUS GIFTS & CARDS:

Hoping you have a joyful Easter!

[Update: Check out these darling Fair Trade Easter dresses for your little girl!]

Peace and Love,

Your Fair Trade Trendsters

Send Your Love a Fair Trade Valentine’s!

Cards from Africa's "Penguin Love Card."

Last post, we shared our complete guide to Fair Trading your Valentine’s Day.  With a week left before the big day, we wanted to tell you about an awesome, ethical card company – Cards from Africa (also available at Good Paper).  Check out this amazing description from Good Paper:

Our greeting cards are all handcrafted by young people in Rwanda who have been orphaned by genocide or AIDS. The cardmakers are all heads of households, responsible for providing for the remaining younger siblings in their family. Cards from Africa pays above-market wages so that the cardmakers can feed their families and send the younger siblings to school. All the colored papers are made by recycling Rwandan office materials by hand as an expression of environmental stewardship.

Definitely a fabulous company to support when buying your sweetie’s  Valentine’s Day card.  Here are some of our favs:

Happy Fair Trade Valentine’s Day!

Peace and Love,

Your Fair Trade Trendsters

Fair Trade Your Valentine’s Day!

Fair Trade Flowers for Valentine’s Day from Organic Style.

THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO FAIR TRADING YOUR VALENTINE’S DAY!

In preparation for the mushiest, lovey dovey-est day of the year, we’ve gathered an awesome collection of our favorite Fair Trade Valentine’s Day gifts.  (BTW February 14 is also known as Singles Awareness Day.  If you find yourself flying solo on 2/14, we highly suggest you treat your beautiful, spectacular self to a fab Fair Trade present [or two, or three, or four…]).

Unfortunately, as much as we lurve the warm, fuzzy feelings of V-Day, the presents we give to announce our love often also carry unseen messages of injustice and cruelty as the farmers who grow our chocolate and flowers and the miners who unearth our diamonds are often exploited, if not enslaved, in the production of these gifts.  However, thanks to Fair Trade Certification, you can give your honey a truly sweet gift, one that protects the rights of workers, women, and children; builds up communities; and helps to sustain the environment.

OUR FAVORITE GIFT IDEAS:

FLOWERS:

While women love flowers (“over 90% of gift flowers in the US are given to women”), the flower industry, which notoriously pays its workers poverty wages, clearly doesn’t love women back.  Over half of the women working in Ecuador’s flower industry have faced sexual harassment at work. Further, The U.S./Labor Education in the Americas Project and The International Labor Rights Fund also reports that:

“66% of Colombian and Ecuadorian flower workers suffer from work-related health problems.  [Since] pesticide abuse is rampant – flower workers experience higher-than-average rates of premature births, congenital malformations, and miscarriages.”

And yet, these facts are hidden from us consumers, and we continue to give flowers as signs of our affection.  However, thanks to Fair Trade, we can give breathtaking bouquets (like those pictured at the top of this post), which empower women and protect workers and the environment.  For more information, visit Fair Trade USA’s Fair Trade Certified Flowers page.  (Fair Trade flowers can be purchased online at Organic Bouquet and Organic Style.)

Fair Trade flower worker “Elvia Almachi, 6 years working at Agrogana, Comite de Vigilancia of the Joint Body.”

DIAMONDS:

While they’re not in everyone’s price-range, if you are planning to give the gift of bling, we urge you to support companies like Brilliant Earth, which provide a Conflict-Free Guarantee.

CHOCOLATE:

While Marilyn told us that “diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” we know better.  Check out these yummy gifts that will definitely show your cutie you’re sweet on her/him.  (To learn more about the importance of buying Fair Trade chocolate, see our post on Fair Trade Films: Child Slavery in the Cocoa Industry):

  • Theo Chocolate’s Aphrodisiac Collection (“This 8 piece collection includes 1 each of the following: Dulce de Leche, Fig Fennel, Licorice, Ginger Rose Caramel, Hot Ceylon Cinnamon, Honey Saffron Caramel and Tequila Lime”):

  • Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates’s Valentine Heart Truffle Box (A handmade box “filled . . . with 20 delicious dark chocolate creamy truffles. Flavors include: Raspberry, Almond, Hazelnut, Cherry and Orange”):

  • Global Exchange’s Thinking of You Gift Box (“Chocolate covered Brazil nuts from Candela co-operative in Peru, 40 pieces of Equal Exchange mini dark chocolates, beautifully packaged in a box with a heart, Cinnamon scented heart candle, & 3 bars of Organic Chocolate from Divine, [assorted Flavors]”):

WINE:

PAMPER YOUR SWEETIE:

  • Global Exchange’s Bath and Beauty Spa Basket (“A natural hand-woven basket from Cambodia filled with: Choice Organic Chamomile Tea, 2 Organic Divine chocolate bars, Tea Infuser Mug, Citrus Blossom Bath Salts, Afghan Rock Soap (set of 5), Putumayo’s Women of Africa CD, & Pumice Baby Foot”):

JEWELRY:

GIFTS THAT SHOW YOU CARE:

  • Ruth and Nohemi’s Naomi Bear (Available at SERRV):

  • Putumayo’s World Music’s Tango Around the World (“Passion, style and elegance are interwoven to create this musical tapestry of international tango and tango-influenced songs”):

  • Putumayo’s World Music’s ¡Salsa! (“A hip-shaking music collection featuring many of the hottest salsa bands in North and South America”):

  • Asha Handicrafts’s Love Birds Box (Available at Ten Thousand Villages):

  • Seven Hopes United’s Hearts for Africa (“The sale of each heart helps fund the rebuilding of a primary school in war zones or conflict-ridden areas of Africa”):

CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES:

  • Fair Indigo’s Baby Alpaca Scarf in Pink (Also available in Dark Charcoal Heather, Camel, Deep Pink, Bay Blue, Burnt, Orange, and Charcoal Heather):

CARDS & GIFT WRAP:

  • Salay Handmade Paper’s Bunny Love Card (Available at Ten Thousand Villages):

We hope you’ll spread the love and fabulousness of Fair Trade this Valentine’s Day!

Peace and Love,

Your Fair Trade Trendsters

Super Chic Fair Trade Note Cards

We are absolutely loving these super chic Fair Trade note cards from Arte Comasgua (Available at Chicago’s Greenheart Shop / Check out their Online Store):

Très élégant! Wouldn’t these cards make a fabulous framed collection?

Not only do these cards look great, but the women who create these awesome flower art pieces have a truly inspirational story:

“This fair trade eco friendly card[s] [are] handmade by women whose homes in El Salvador’s highland cloud forest were destroyed by a devast[at]ing earthquake and mudslides in 2001. It left many families homeless and jobless. With their fields destroyed, many people began traveling long hours to low-paying factory jobs in the capital. A group of enterprising women, however, formed Arte Comasgua, an artisans’ organization that handcrafts stylish designs from native flowers and plants. These women now work locally, caring for the families and saving for their future. These striking greeting cards represent a woman’s hope for the future.”

Wow!  Even more reason to love these charming cards!

Peace and Love,

Your Fair Trade Trendsters