Graduation season is upon us! Whether you’re celebrating a graduate completing high school or university, you’re probably looking for a gift that is both meaningful and practical. Giving a Fair Trade gift means you’re not only encouraging these newly independent young people to be conscious consumers, you’re also providing a fair income to the artisan who crafted the product. Stop by Global Exchange’s Fair Trade Store in San Francisco (map) and check our wide selection of graduation gifts – with everything from jewelry to hammocks to picture frames to dorm essentials!
Here are a few ideas to get you started…
1. Semi-precious gemstone jewelry. Crafted in small villages in Bali, our earrings and necklaces feature radiant gemstones placed in delicately shaped sterling silver. The gemstones range from birthstones like Garnet and Peridot to the more unusual Jadite and Iolite. As each piece is entirely hand-fabricated, no two are exactly identical; each is an individual work of art.
2. Hammocks made from t-shirt production waste in El Salvador. Give the gift of relaxation with these 100% cotton hammocks. Using cotton trim pieces from a T-shirt factory that would normally be thrown away, the cotton is ground and re-spun into these beautiful striped hammocks. Recycled candle wax, gathered from local churches, is also used to lubricate the cotton for weaving. Even the machinery used to spin and weave these hammocks was purchased used!
3. Recycled Innertube Nature Bag. The ideal student bag: it’s sturdy enough to hold a laptop, textbooks, notepads, cell phones… and it’s fashionable! The Nature Bag is giving old truck tires a whole new life, with cut out green fabric leaf shapes to add color and decorative black on black stitching on the front pockets giving texture and style. The El Salvadorian artisans making these bags are collecting inner-tubes that have been accumulated and would be thrown into landfills that pollute the Earth.
4. Steel and Brass Handmade Scissors. The perfect gift for anyone crafty! These highly functional scissors work very well cutting everything from fabric to posterboard, and are comfortable to use with strong blades and large finger rings. They were made in India by a family that has been making scissors for generations. The blades are hand-forged carbonized steel, and the handles are cast brass. Display box in photo is not included with scissors.
5. Mother of Pearl Inlay Picture Frames. Don’t let your grad forget you! These exquisite picture frames are made in the alleys of the Khan al Khalili market of Egypt, where craftspeople with extraordinary talent and patience inlay the mother-of-pearl onto metal or wood. The mother-of-pearl is cut into different shapes and then individually applied to form the finished design, usually a geometric or floral motif. Each piece may take several days to complete, resulting in a uniquely-patterned frame that is a work of art to be cherished.
Be sure to check out all of these gifts and more grad gift ideas online at the Global Exchange Online Store!
Have a great time celebrating, and conGRADulations to all those graduates!!