Category Archives: gift giving

#FSFShoptober Roundup

During the month of October, I’ve been on Facebook, sharing ways that you can make a positive difference with your holiday shopping. As the month comes to a close, I’ve decided to use this week’s post to gather all that information in one place.

And don’t forget about the #FSFShoptober Giveaway! There is still time to enter. All you have to do is share any #FSFShoptober post on Facebook, and you receive one entry for each shared post. One lucky sharer will receive a fair trade gift pack, and a second winner receives a Nourish Hope necklace. Contest ends November 1.

 

Fair trade/ethical retailers:

Clothing:

AG Jeans – http://www.agjeans.com
Clothed in Hope – http://www.clothedinhope.org
Ethical WARES – http://www.ethicalwares.com
Fair Indigo – http://www.fairindigo.com
Fishers Finery – http://www.fishersfinery.com
Fresh Produce – http://www.freshproduce.com
Pact Organic – http://www.wearpact.com
Punjammies – http://www.sudara.org/collections/PUNJAMMIES
Marketplace Handworks of India – http://www.marketplaceindia.com
Sevenly – http://www.sevenly.org
Three Cords – http://www.threecordshaiti.com
Zady – http://www.zady.com
Accessories:

Clothed in Hope – http://www.clothedinhope.org
Ethical WARES – http://www.ethicalwares.com
FMSC Marketplace – http://www.fmscmarketplace.org
Joyn India – http://www.joynindia.com
Marketplace Handworks of India – http://www.marketplaceindia.com
Rahab’s Rope – http://www.rahabsrope.com
Ten Thousand Villages – http://www.tenthousandvillages.com
Three Cords – http://www.threecordshaiti.com

Housewares:

FMSC Marketplace – http://www.fmscmarketplace.org
Marketplace Handworks of India – http://www.marketplaceindia.com
Ten Thousand Villages – http://www.tenthousandvillages.com

Other:

Caribou Coffee – http://www.cariboucoffee.com
Zambeezi Lip Balm – http://www.zambeezi.com
Fair Trade Friday – http://www.fairtradefriday.club
 

Small businesses:

Create Hope Cuffs – http://www.etsy.com/shop/CreateHopeCuffs

Etsy sellers – http://www.etsy.com

Live.Simple.Soap – http://www.livesimplesoap.com

Made New Co. – http://www.etsy.com/shop/MadeNewCo

Multi-level Marketing or Direct Sales Companies – Fair Trade MLMs:
Sseko – http://www.ssekodesigns.com
Noonday Collection – http://www.noondaycollection.com
Trades of Hope – http://www.tradesofhope.com

Ruffly Buffalo – http://www.zibbet.com/therufflybuffalo

Scrappy Turtle – http://www.etsy.com/shop/ScrappyTurtle

Voice Jewelry by Hannah Kallio – http://www.hannahkallio.org

 

Tips and tricks:

Adoption Fundraisers

Amazon Smile – http://www.smile.amazon.com

Compassion Gift Catalog – http://www.compassion.com/charitable-gift-catalog.htm

Donations as a Gift

 

If you have a small business, a link for your MLM/Direct Sales page, or an ethical retailer that you love, leave a comment below! No sales pitches, just the name of the business, what it offers, and a web link.

(Spam, inappropriate links, politics, sketchy information, lengthy sales pitches, etc. may be removed at my discretion)

Book Review: Wear No Evil by Greta Eagan

wear-no-evilI know I’ve been on a kick lately talking about Fair Trade, but I really feel that opportunity is the key to poverty and hunger alleviation. And I think that there is something we can do about it. During the month of October, I will be posting daily on the Food Shelf Friday Facebook page about different resources to help you with your holiday shopping. I’ll be showcasing fair trade companies and ways that your spending can do good. Follow Food Shelf Friday on Facebook (be sure you turn on notifications!), or search hashtag #FSFShoptober.

In addition to that new resource, I also have a quick book review for you – Wear No Evil by Greta Eagan.

Greta Eagan is a fashion insider. But the more she learned about the industry, the more she became alarmed at what a broken system the fashion industry has become. In the past, most people owned just a handful of outfits, and cared for them to get as much out of their clothing as possible. Clothes were handed down, altered, and fabrics were repurposed. Today, we own tons of clothing items, and we freely toss them when they get worn, or when we just get bored of them. Clothes used to be made by artisans, from quality materials (especially designer clothes). Today they’re made of cheap materials, artificial dyes, and toxic synthetic fibers by underpaid workers in unsafe conditions. Even high-cost designer clothes are made this way. Manufacturers’ standards have fallen in order to keep profits high.

It’s more than just fair trade labor practices. Our wasteful fashion choices use tons of water, fill landfills with waste, and pollute the environment with burning fossil fuels and toxic dyes. Wear No Evil identifies sixteen factors we should look for in our clothing choices:

– Natural/Low Impact Dyes – Dyes that are not toxic to the environment
– Natural Fibers – Synthetic fibers don’t biodegrade
– Organic – Fibers grown without using chemicals like pesticides and synthetic fertilizers
– Fair Trade – The growers and workers were paid a fair wage at every stage of the production process
– Recycled/Upcycled – An item made from recycled fibers or repurposed parts of an old item
– Secondhand – An item that has belonged to someone else
– Local – Produced in the United States or sold by a local small business
– Social – A portion of the proceeds benefits a social cause
– Zero Waste – The production process is efficient so there is no waste
– Convertible – The item can be used in more than one way or for more than one occasion so you get more use out of it
– Vegan – There were no animal parts involved in the production of the item
– Low Water Footprint – Water-saving measures were used to minimize the amount of water required to grow the fibers or produce the item
– Transparent – The company is upfront about their process/supply chain/etc.
– Cradle to Cradle – The company has a plan for the item from production to recycling/repurposing
– Slow Fashion – The company values artistry and a well-thought out process
– Style – Do you like it? Does it fit your life?

That’s a lot. I know. You won’t find a single item that hits every goal, and quite frankly you probably don’t care about all of them anyway. Eagan suggests you start every purchase with the style questions: Do I love this? Does it suit my lifestyle? Then she suggests you pick three other goals that are important to you. When you consider a purchase that passes your style question, you can then consider if it meets your other top goals.

My top considerations, after style, are fair trade, second hand, and social. When I find an item I love, it has to be either fair trade, secondhand, or raise money for a cause I believe in. The more goals an item hits, the more likely I am to purchase. For example, I recently needed to buy some socks. I’m not getting socks secondhand, so I went looking for the style and size I needed from a company that uses fair trade practices. I found them at Pact, and in addition to being fair trade, they’re organic, natural cotton fibers, and my purchase supported the company’s social giving as well. Bonus!

The book gives you a really positive way to consider ethical shopping without getting overwhelmed. Eagan suggests that you keep the items you have and love, and care for them as well as possible. She recommends doing less shopping. And she recommends that you shop your priorities rather than getting hung up on the impossible search for the socially, environmentally, and economically perfect item.

The downside of this book is that the first half, talking about the goals and the importance of each one, is timeless, but the second half, a look at current fashion and designers, won’t be up to date for long (it came out in 2014). There are lots of great designers and websites suggested all throughout, but that info will get outdated.  If you’re looking to make some changes to your buying habits, it’s a great starting point. But it’s going to show its age in just a couple years.

What are your favorite ethical retailers? Share in the comments!

Double Duty Holiday Gift Giving

tree

The holiday shopping craziness is in full swing. ‘Tis the season to spend money, fa la la la la, la la ka-ching! As you’re battling crowds in the stores and scoping out the best deals online, here are a few ways that you can make holiday gift giving choices that double as world-changing donations.

  1. Amazon Smile: Amazon’s hot new program is in it’s second year, and so far so good. Visit Amazon via smile.amazon.com and all of your qualifying purchases provide a little something for the 501c3 non-profit of your choice. The products and deals are exactly the same as regular Amazon, as are the Prime membership benefits. All you have to do is log in and pick a charity!
  2. Give the gift of donation: Do you have someone on your holiday shopping list who has everything and then some? Want to teach your kids generosity? Give a charitable donation in place of a gift. I’ve done this as a stocking stuffer for my son and husband. I just made small donations to charities they appreciate, and made up a little certificate to stick in their stockings.
  3. Sevenly: Have I mentioned Sevenly before? This company makes t-shirts that benefit a different non-profit every week. The shirts themselves are soft, fair trade cotton tees, and the artwork is really on trend. Check them out at http://www.sevenly.org
  4. Multi-level-marketing: Is it ok to say MLM? Sometimes that seems like a bad word, but you and I both know that not all MLM reps are pushy and difficult. If you have a friend who sells a product you like, buy from him or her and watch the profit from your purchase stay in the family and support someone you love. My personal favs are Noonday Collection (fair trade jewelry and accessories), Pampered Chef, Jamberry nail wraps, and Mary Kay cosmetics.
  5. Shop small: just like MLM’s, small businesses benefit from your business in a local and personal way. Etsy is one place to find local artisans and craftspeople, but I’m guessing you know at least a few small business owners. One of my favorites is Live.Simple Soap (http://livesimplesoap.com/) from Ohio. My friend Emily makes soaps with clean, natural ingredients, scented with essential oils. My skin is super sensitive, so I love having a product that smells good and doesn’t irritate my skin, and I love that my purchase supports my friend.
  6. Buy Fair Trade: I’ve talked up Fair Trade before, I know, but keep it in mind when you’re holiday shopping. Your purchase can provide hope and opportunity to farmers and artisans around the world.

I know other bloggers and websites have hit on this topic before. I’m starting another page on my Pinterest site where I’ll put together a bunch of resources for double-duty shopping. If you know of another site or idea, leave a comment!