These days, malls and department stores are full of fleeting fads and “throwaway” fashion that often stems from companies with questionable ethical practices. So not fill those stockings with smart, meaningful, one-of-a-kind gifts that support our world’s fair-trade economy? Even better? These presents are all vegan. Happy holidays, indeed!
1. Mbiri body lotion
Located in the heart of Charleston, SC on King Street is Ibu, a company that works with nearly 100 artisan groups in 34 countries to design and create original jewelry, clothes, and household items. Ibu celebrates the creativity, talent, and skill of women in underprivileged parts of the world, and helps boost their economies while doing so. For the person who loves natural-smelling body products infused with fresh essential oils, order Mbiri Body Lotion. Wild myrrh—collected by women in Namibia—is combined with Kalahari Melon Seed oil to create a light smell. Wash beforehand with the Mbiri shower gel. Order both for a perfectly paired gift.
2. Poet’s Gold Earrings
Ethically sourced from and handcrafted in Colombia, the Poet’s Gold Earrings from Ten Thousand Villages is the perfect gift for the fashionista on your list. These ornate half-moon medallion-shaped hoops will pair beautifully with a casual sweater and jeans or your little black dress. Ten Thousand Villages is a non-profit, fair-trade organization that sells handcrafted products from more than 120 groups in more than 35 countries.
3. Theo peanut butter cups
These cups, made by Theo, are stuffed with organic roasted peanuts and dipped in fair-trade dark chocolate to create the ultimate vegan peanut butter cup. And for less than $2.50 per package, you can buy a whole case! Our advice: try not to eat the wrapper (which comes with a picture of chocolate dripping off of a peanut butter cup).
4. Vintage design apron
For the cook in your life who loves to make a fashion statement in the kitchen, roll up a handmade apron for her stocking. These beautifully sewn aprons cut from vintage design cloth are available in several bold and vibrant colors. Order now on The Peace Exchange, and your entire order will be 25-percent off.
5. English Tea Shop tea
For the friend who likes to binge-watch Downton Abbey, The Crown, and Black Mirror, the English Tea Shop Diamond Jubilee Assorted Fairtrade & Organic Tea Bags will make the perfect gift. Your friend will get a reusable Union Jack tin filled with nine different flavors, totaling 72 tea bags. Varieties include Organic & Fair-trade Peppermint, Black Tea Chai, Green Tea Tropical Fruits, English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Rooibos Chocolate Vanilla, Green Tea, Super Berries, Lemongrass Ginger, and Citrus Fruits.
6. Bomb Casing Beehive Cuff
Handmade by artisans from Cambodia, this fashionable cuff with a beehive design is made from bomb casings found in the once war-torn region. Local artisans that otherwise would be unemployed are given the opportunity to create jewelry, thus generating wages that provide for their families and communities. In addition to the beehive cuff, there are other pieces made from bomb casings that can be purchased for less than $50, such as necklaces, pendants, and earrings.
7. Marin Turkish Hand Towel
According to the Toronto company Sudsatorium, “Turkish towels were traditionally used for Hammam (Turkish bath), but are now entering the mainstream.” On its Etsy site, the company sells handmade Turkish hand towels made from fairly traded hand loomed organic cotton. Colors range from denim, gray-and-white stripes, baby blue, white, navy, and neutral—and all cost less than $15.
8. Dr. Woods Naturally almond castile soap
Dr. Woods Naturally’s almond castile soap is made with sustainably harvested Shea Butter that will leave your skin soft and silky smooth. The moisture-rich combination of raw and organic shear butter, coconut, hemp, and olive oils will saturate the driest of skins.
9. Nepalese yak shawl
Hand woven in Nepal, this cotton/acrylic yak shawl doubles as a throw and is ideal for cool mornings and evenings. The shawls are made by Etsy artist CoolTradeWinds and ship from the United Kingdom. Choose from a variety of fun, flattering colors such as Pink Cotton Candy, Indigo, Denim, and Sea Green.
Erin Goldmeier is a freelance writer who discovered Ibu last weekend while visiting Charleston, South Carolina.