Christmas Gifts that Value the Rights of Workers & the Environment

9 ethical christmas shopping stores

BY SHANNON DOYLEDecember 5, 2012

With the Christmas season upon us, you may be thinking about how to incorporate your commitment to social justice into your holiday giving.  Our interns have taken on the role of Santa’s elves, coming up with a list of online merchants offering a plethora of products that value the rights of workers and the environment.

This list is not exhaustive, as there are many companies across the country offering such products.  All of the merchants listed below have online stores.  Some may also have brick and mortar shops in some or many U.S. cities, and others may have their products available in stores as well.  Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Equal Exchange – Equal Exchange has created Big Change since 1986. Their founders envisioned a food system that empowers farmers and consumers, supports small farmer co-ops, and uses sustainable farming methods. They started with fairly traded coffee from Nicaragua and didn’t look back.  They partner with co-operatives of farmers who provide high-quality organic coffees, teas, chocolates, bananas, olive oil, and almonds.

Global Goods Partners – Global Goods Partners is a nonprofit organization that sells handmade, fair trade products in order to improve the economic status of women in marginalized communities around the world. We work with nearly 40 artisan groups which collectively employ over 3,000 women in close to 20 countries. Our online store offers socially-conscious consumers a direct connection to artisan partners that are changing women’s lives by helping them to build sustainable livelihoods.

Greenheart Shop – Greenheart follows the guiding principles of “Fair Trade”. Fair Trade supports sustainable community development by ensuring that the artisans making the products are paid fair living wages. “Eco” signifies that our products are made using the most sustainable materials and methods whenever possible. At Greenheart, we are both “Fair to producers, and good to the Earth.”

Hand Crafting Justice – HandCrafting Justice provides access to Fair Trade markets for unique, handmade goods created by enterprising women in the developing world working to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. By fostering self-reliance, ensuring fair wages, and building support networks, the organization offers far more than Fair Trade: HandCrafting Justice promotes human dignity by empowering women to overcome social and economic injustice.

One Mango Tree – At One Mango Tree, we believe that economic empowerment provides the foundation necessary for achieving sustainable peace and development. Our model revolves around this belief, going beyond fair trade to create jobs and improve quality of life in some of the most challenging environments in the world.

Revive – Revive, a fair trade clothing store based in Cleveland, Ohio, grew out of a desire to promote the best companies and organizations offering fair trade products, who respect the producers, the planet and the consumer as well.

Serrv – For more than 60 years, SERRV has worked to eradicate poverty through our direct connections with low-income artisans and farmers. We market their crafts and foods, find joint solutions to their challenges, and help them grow and embrace the future. One of the first alternative trade organizations in the world, SERRV is a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization (formerly IFAT) and a founding member of the Fair Trade Federation (FTF).

Seven Hopes United – Seven Hopes United aspires to enrich the lives of communities worldwide through providing a means to a living wage for thousands of artisans and their families, while moving forward to build an alternative market based on the dignity and worth of all people. Seven Hopes United specializes in marketing fairly-traded handmade gifts, jewelry, home decor and personal accessories from producers around the globe. Seven Hopes United supports a trading partnership aimed at obtaining sustainable development for excluded and disadvantaged producers by operating according to fair trade criteria, and investing a portion of our proceeds back into their communities.

Ten Thousand Villages Products

Fairly made products in a Ten Ten Thousand Villages storefront located in Austin, Texas.

Ten Thousand Villages – One of the world’s largest fair trade organizations and a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), the company strives to improve the livelihood of tens of thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries. Ten Thousand Villages accomplishes this by establishing a sustainable market for handmade products in North America, and building long term buying relationships in places where skilled artisan partners lack opportunities for stable income. Product sales help pay for food, education, healthcare and housing for artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed.

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