This is part of a series on "The Future of Fair Trade," written with the support of Fair Trade USA. A 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, Fair Trade USA is the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States. To follow along with the rest of the series, click here.
By Jenna Larson
If you thought Fair Trade gifts were limited to tried-and-true bars of chocolate or bags of coffee, you’re in for a treat! This year’s edition of Fair Trade USA’s Holiday Gift Guide features an amazing selection of unique and heartfelt gifts that will bring holiday cheer to your loved ones while empowering the people and communities behind the products.
So, think outside the (100 percent post-consumer recycled) box, and browse the following list of 2015’s top gifts. And don’t worry, we won’t judge if you find something special for yourself, too.
Santa is sure to put you on the “nice list” when he sees these responsibly-sourced and monogrammable stockings hanging on the mantle. Artisans in Nepal hand knit each of these from 100 percent wool in a Fair Trade Certified™ facility, meaning that each stocking purchased directly improves the life of the artisan who made it. And stockings are just the beginning of West Elm’s festive Fair Trade gifts and decorations, which include wreaths, tree skirts, garlands, ornaments and more!
Blankets are the ultimate gift of love, and this one offers luxurious softness and style while improving the lives of cotton farmers and factory workers in India. Made of 100 percent organic cotton, this beautifully-knit throw is a sure bet for just about anyone on your list.
Put your knitting needles aside: Boll & Branch has shrunk its popular cable-knit throw into a fashionable knit scarf and slouchy beanie. Made with 100 percent organic Fair Trade Certified cotton in a Fair Trade factory, these lovely gifts give back to farmers and workers in rural India. Bonus: these items arrive wrapped and ready to be placed under the tree.
New to the 2015 Fair Trade Apparel line-up: OBEY Clothing, founded by the iconic activist and artist Shepard Fairey. This beautifully-knitted 100 percent cotton shirt give you major cool points while keeping holiday cheer going all winter. Shop OBEY's entire Fair Trade collection for men and women.
Imagine indulging in the luxuries of dark chocolate over a lightly salted pretzel but with an added holiday twist! Cool and crispy peppermint pieces lend a festive hand to these delightful treats. Your purchase helps the cocoa bean farmers earn a fair wage and grow that delicious chocolate-to-be under environmentally sound agricultural practices. Mmm, welcome to the world of (Fair Trade) snacking chocolate! Holiday variety packs are also available for your gifting pleasure.
Keep that special man in your life cozy, warm and stylish in prAna’s Asylum Flannel Shirt. Made in a Fair Trade Certified factory, this 100 percent organic cotton flannel is thermal lined for extra protection from the elements. Shop prAna's collection of Fair Trade men's and women's apparel.
Originally designed to protect sailors from harsh weather, Patagonia’s Better Sweater Peacoat is fashionable, functional and sustainable. In fact, the entire Better Sweater collection for men, women and children is now sewn in a Fair Trade Certified factory, enabling workers to earn a community development premium for every coat sold. That’ll give anyone a warm and fuzzy feeling! Shop Patagonia's entire collection of Fair Trade apparel.
You can’t go wrong with these rugged women’s wedges. Made of premium African leather, these shoes with a conscience are the epitome of great style. The world’s first Fair Trade Certified footwear company, Oliberte supports the rights of workers in sub-Saharan Africa and runs its own footwear manufacturing factory in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Shop Oliberte's entire collection of Fair Trade shoes for men and women.
Who doesn’t have a chocolate lover (or two) on their list? Put a smile on their face with one of Chocolate Chocolate Chocolates' Cube Gift Boxes. Made with Fair Trade Certified cocoa, these fancy boxes feature a variety of exciting treats from Almond Butter Toffee to Artisan Truffles. To top it off, each handmade delicacy is carefully decorated to look as beautiful as it tastes!
With Coyuchi’s rainbow of luxurious Air Weight Towels, your loved ones can step out of the shower and wrap themselves in Fair Trade every morning. Loomed from pure Fair Trade Certified organic cotton, these soft towels are designed to dry quickly on the towel bar and in the dryer.
For the person who seizes the moment and needs a cup of tea to pair with it, this thoughtful gift provides expert mood-based recommendations. Containing a total of 40 tea bags, this gift set features eight different organic and Fair Trade Certified teas: Breakfast Blend, Aged Earl Grey, Emperor’s Pu-erh, Jasmine Green, Mate Lemon, Rooibos Chai, Moroccan Mint, and Chamomile Lemon.
‘Tis the season! This festive blend of Fair Trade Certified coffees is full-bodied and complex with a delicate chocolate finish, and Weavers donates a portion of every bag sold online to Coffee Kids to support education and nutrition for children in coffee-growing communities.
Jenna Larson is the Communications Manager at Fair Trade USA.