This pick of fantastic gift ideas features contemporary & appealing designs, handmade with eco-friendliness and Fair Trade as the top agendas. Dig deeper into these websites to see a bounty of treasures. And by treasure, we mean not only the product, but also the stories, the inspiration and the passion behind each company or organization that bring you these products.
Our ideas give you but a glimpse… Have fun exploring & getting inspired as a master gift-giver.
|Urukundo Earrings handcrafted by women in Rwanda. Urukundo means love in Kinyarwanda, one of the indigenous languages spoken in Rwanda. These earrings, along with the hand-embroidered bracelets from Palestine, are brought to us by the HANDS UP NOT HANDOUTS organization which invests in the lives of women around the world, providing a Hand Up.|
|Global Girlfriend – Woman-made, eco-friendly and fair-trade. The Global Girlfriend program helps women in need help themselves by bringing to market their a collection of trend-setting, women-made, fair-trade products. We love these belts but the store is filled with many fantastic gift ideas, everything from apparel, fashion accessories, bath & body products. Shop Global Girlfriend here.|
|Laga Handbags – “Handbags that rebuild lives”. The founders launched the company to help the people of Indonesia after the 2004 Tsunami. And they are doing so one beautiful embroidered handbag at a time. See the gorgeous Laga Handbags collection.|
|Engage Green – This company uses earth-friendly materials and environmentally safe production processes that have low or no impact on the planet. Eco-friendly designs that are fashionable. This messenger bag is made of recycled Plastic (PETE) and reused about 26 plastic bottles. Shop at EngageGreen.com.|
|Aid to Artisans – Any purchase of handmade products on this site supports the Aid to Artisans program that creates economic opportunities for artisan groups around the world where livelihoods, communities, and craft traditions are marginal or at risk. This organization has been around since 1976, has worked in over 110 countries and has over 30,000 artisans participate in their program each year. A beautiful cause and beautiful gift ideas. Shop the Aid to Artisans store here.|
|Prosperity Candles – This is a truly wonderful, unique gift that warms my heart – candles made by women who are rebuilding their lives in the shadows of conflict. Made by women in Baghdad, many of them widowed, and by Burmese and Bhutanese refugees recently resettled in the U.S. The soy candle in a beautiful glass container and gift box makes a great gift. Prosperity Candle partners with women entrepreneurs in places of conflict and natural disaster to help them not just survive, but truly thrive. Buy theProsperity Candles here.|
|Make Love Not Trash EcoFashion – Cute, edgy and functional and all the while promoting reusability and reducing the ecological footprint. MLNT also supports a number or organizations. The company uses natural or eco-aware materials and non-toxic printing techniques. See the edgy indeed collection here.|
|Manos de Madres is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and their families through income generation. It works with existing cooperatives to foster entrepreneurship and sustainable businesses for craftswomen around the world. We particularly love the Ineza wax fabric designs from Rwanda. Shop the website here or see the list of retailers here.|
|Resource Revival - Didn’t think anything pretty could ever come out of an old bike chain, huh? Or any other greasy bike part for that matter… Bike shops all over the US send this company their old bike parts and they make all these great gift items out of them. Perfect gift for the avid cyclist, among other people. See the whole Rebike line here.|
|Plover Organic - Plover textiles are produced from the best quality 100% organic cotton non-genetically engineered seeds grown in soil that is free of pesticides, herbicides or other cytotoxins and use only only low-impact, fiber reactive dyes. All that plus some very pretty design patterns. Shop the Plover home textile collection here.|
|HopeClips – These hair clips are handmade and hand-beaded by women in South Africa. A portion of all of the proceeds goes directly to Hopes & Dreams International, an organization that helps prevent, as well as rescue and heal victims of child sex trafficking. Online orders are coming soon, but for the moment, HopeClips accepts orders via phone or email. Details here.|
|Original Women – Shop by item category (accessories, books & music, home, jewelry…) or by country (choose from 23 countries). Original Women celebrates the artistry of women from around the world. The company follows Fair Trade principles and supports women in using their skills to provide a better lives for their families. Lots of wonderful gift ideas to be found in these pages. Start here!|
|[wired] is a collection of accessories made entirely from reclaimed and surplus industrial materials, which include alternator wire, rubber and transistor… Very modern, very edgy, very green. See the Wired collection here.|
|Magnetic Chalkboard – By Shabby Vintage Mom on Etsy who collects found frames to upcycle them into modern and functional decorative accessoires. Very cute. See the shop here.|
|Poopoopaper – Love the tagline: “Precious Movements” (insert preschool-ish guffaw sound here!). Still, have no fear, this poop-made paper is 100% recycled and, more importantly, is odorless. And we certainly know that it’s made from a renewable resource. Duh. The company collects poop from fiber eating animals to make its innovative products. You will want to read more about it here and shop here.|
|Alexandra Ferguson crafts snappy decorative pillows with felt appliqués. The material she uses is made of 100% post-consumer recycled felt that is made from recycled water bottles. I’m getting this for my son’s dorm room. As a reminder to all his friends too. See all of Alexandra Ferguson’s pillows here.|
|Belartes creates unique products that are kind to the earth and its people and that uses Fair Trade practices when working with underprivileged women in Colombia. We love this eco-chic jewelry, particularly the tagua nut jewelry in vibrant colors. Tagua is said to be the NEW ivory. Now you know! Shop here.|
|180 Designs – We’ve mentioned this company earlier this year. We love the eco-decorative accessories. And this season we are fawning over the Tool bowl made of various tool shop items. The ultimate man’s gift. Buy from the 180 Designs website or see the list of retailers.|
|Spiral Foundation promotes humanitarian projects that benefit the people of economically developing countries while maintaining a consciousness toward sustainability. The pages of this website are filled with beautiful traditionally crafted goods from all over the world at extraordinary prices. Among other things, we love the soda can frames… and the serving trays… and the telephone wire bowls…|
|Green Glass Go – This company began their glass recycling efforts in 1992. Today, they are the largest producer of reclaimed glassware in the world. We think that the tumbler collection made from Boylan Soda or Corona bottles make a great gift for the recycling minded. Shop Green Glass Co. here.|
|Recycled Art Company creates eco-friendly art from from reclaimed and recycled materials. We love the genuine license plates art pieces. They do custom pieces too. Shop here.|
|Smart Glass Recycled Jewelry. We have mentioned this designer before, but the we like here work so much that we definitely needed to include her eco-chic work in this gift guide. Smart Glass Jewelry is made completely from recycled beer, Coca-Cola, and wine bottles transformed into wearable art. Modern and sleek. Shop Smart Glass here.|
|The “pearls” you can find on Etsy… Like this Foosball coat hanger… This designer, TodoCecilia, will customize these converted table soccer/foosball rods to any team color that you specify. Love. See the designer’s items here.|
|Tag Bag – Made from recycled African license plates and inner tubes. The organization’s motto is “buy a bag, change a village”. It is that simple. Each bag is one of a kind and named after the woman who made it. View the Tag Bags here.|
|Nikaya’s Simple Peace Brass Pendant – We have featured Nikaya’s pendants here . Nikaya support in the rural poor Cambodian communities help the locals achieve economic independence by utilizing their traditional handicrafts skills to create beautiful home and fashion accessories. The pendants are made from found shell casings that were used during the war in Cambodia. See the Nikaya website to view all their products.|
P.S. when the term FAIR TRADE is used, it means that artisans in developing countries are paid a fair, earning livable wage and work under safe and healthy working conditions. Thanks to Fair Trade, vulnerable and displaced communities of artisans ( 85% of whom are women) can rebuild their lives (more here).
Need more inspiration still? Here are ALL our Gift Guides. Or, go directly to the Jewelry-is-always-the-perfect-gift Guide, the Hostess Gift Guide, the Lil’ Kids Gift Guide, the Teens Gift Guide and the Eco & Fair Trade Gift Guide. That’s for just for starters….