I recently saw a great webpage on the Fair Trade Federation website entitled “Save Money & Choose Fair Trade.” They have some great ideas on ways to help small farmers and artisans around the world by switching your buying habits and searching Fair Trade alternatives for purchases. Some of their ideas included:
Send an eco-friendly greeting card from $3.99 from Hope for Women or spend $4 -$5 on a conventional card from a drugstore.
Pick up a sweatshop-free t-shirt from JustShirts for $15 or spend $20-$30 on a branded tee made in unknown conditions.
We’ve come up with a few ideas of our own from our website artisan handcrafts:
Paper or Cloth – buy cloth napkins for $6.99 each instead of spending $75 or more each year on paper napkins. Cloth napkins don’t need to be washed after every use— usually once a week is fine unless you have a messy meal of barbecue! Use a different design or color for each member of the family so everyone can use their own each night. With cloth napkins there are no trees cut down, no factory to make the napkins and you are helping an impoverished woman support themselves— and they are cheaper!
Birthday Gift – Choose a Fair Trade handwoven and hand-sewn purse or tote bag for $25-$35 instead of a factory made cloth or leather purse at $40-$90. No sweat shop, no labor injustice, no environmental damage- just an association of impoverished women weaving and sewing to help their families. Your purchase gives them dignity in their lives to be able to craft items for women around the world and also in being able to help their own family.
Remembrance Gift at Christmas – When you need a little gift at Christmas time why not give a Fair Trade keychain — stars, hearts, butterflys, snowmen, Christmas trees, Santa, angels, swans and more for only $6.99. These little keychains create a lasting gift that the receiver will use and you can also share with your friend what Fair Trade means to the artisan who handcrafted it. No need to pick out a mass produced gift — make your gift a special remembrance.
Next time you need a gift do a little searching for a Fair Trade alternative!