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 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