I walked into the Global Exchange Fair Trade store in San Francisco last week to cross off the last of the names on my gift list. This holiday season I made a promise to myself; to only give socially responsible gifts. I made some, I purchased some from local artists and craftspeople, and I purchased Fair Trade gifts.
For many years now, I’ve purchased some of my holiday gifts from our San Francisco store. It is one my holiday traditions. I love seeing the giant tree with Fair Trade ornaments from around the world hanging proudly.
The staff are always welcoming and friendly. Festive even! When I tell them who is left on my holiday gift list, they are always eager to suggest gift ideas. And when I leave, I feel good about my purchases. Because I know my gifts are great AND that my money was well spent because Fair Trade purchases help support hard-working artisans from around the world.
For those who are curious, here are a few of the holiday gift finds I’ve purchased from our San Francisco store:
- Set of vetiver placemats— (which smell great and come rolled up for easy shipping.) Surprisingly they are machine washable which is great, because my brother is a messy eater!
- Cruelty-free leather bracelets–These multi-strand leather band bracelets are really hip looking. Jewelry can be hard to pick out for someone else, but not these bracelets. Rockers, fashionistas, even hippies…they work for lots of styles. I’ve gotten a few of these for both friends and family. (Ok, and one for me too, I couldn’t help it!)
Tunisian pottery–there are lots of pieces in the collection, and they’re gorgeous! If you have a small budget, there are smaller pieces under $20. Even the larger pieces are responsibly priced.
- Soapstone heart-shaped rocks–you have to see these to appreciate their beauty. Amazingly, they are made without the use of any electricity. The artisans use only human-power to create these one-of-a-kind stones. They are super smooth, some are red, black, with various designs. Giving someone a smooth heart stone just feels right. I’ve given the same person one of these stones two years in a row, because you can’t have enough love in your life.
- Winter wear–Uber hip fingerless gloves, matching scarves and hats, there’s lots to choose from, and they’ve got sizes for kids and adults.
- Chocolate–You can never go wrong with Fair Trade chocolate bars, unless of course your gift recipient is a dog, since chocolate is not good for them:) I grab bars and attach them to the outside of some of my presents for that extra pop. I also help Santa out by putting some in stockings.
- Journals–This is an easy gift to give someone, because having a fresh new book to write in is never a bad thing.
- What About Peace? gift card sets–this is the first year Global Exchange put these out, and I love them. They feature artwork from our What About Peace? youth art contest. Call me old-school, but I still believe a nice hand written note beats email any day.
- Stocking stuffers galore–our stores have tons of stocking stuffers under $10, too many to name! One of my faves is the little organza baggies filled with Equal Exchange chocolate minis.
That’s just a few of the many gifts I’ve scored at our San Francisco Fair Trade store!
So if you live near one of our Fair Trade stores, (Berkeley, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Virginia) I encourage you to stop by and say hello, and find gifts for those still on YOUR list. You won’t regret it!