GIFT GUIDE: Leah of Style Wise gives her ethical picks

a gift guide guest post from Leah at the StyleWise blog, part of our #giftforgood holiday series

LEAH SAYS: Long before I adopted conscious consumer practices, I was buying fair trade gifts. The traditional fair trade model works with artisans around the world to source handcrafted products at fair prices, so it's a natural fit for gift giving. The Christmas season is a great time to introduce your loved ones to all that the ethical market has to offer. Who knows, maybe you'll get them hooked and start a ripple effect toward positive change. 

Here are her picks:

1. NOVICA ::: Gold Plated Coffee Bean Earrings ::: $29.99

The perfect gift for the coffee lover in your life, these earrings are made of real coffee beans covered in gold! How decadent! NOVICA works with artisans all over the world to source their products. These earrings were made by Danai in Thailand.

2. Ten Thousand Villages ::: Midnight Frost Teapot ::: $49.00

Ten Thousand Villages is credited with creating the fair trade model. The Christmas season is a time for getting together and celebrating the warmth of family, so it's also a great time to pass around the hot tea. The gender neutral design of this teapot produced by Nepalese ceramics artisans in Kathmandu makes it a versatile gift for anyone who enjoys an afternoon cuppa.

3. FashionABLE ::: Horizon Necklace ::: $58.00

FashionABLE just introduced a CustomizABLE line of jewelry handmade by artisans in Nashville. This is really the perfect gift idea. You can make a matching set of stamped pieces for you and your best friend or buy a gift card and let your mom or sister make her own piece.

4. Divine Chocolate @ Greenheart Shop ::: Divine Chocolate Bar ::: $4.75

Did you know much of the world's chocolate is harvested by child laborers, many of them unpaid? Divine Chocolate uses a fair trade co-op model, so farmers have a stake in the business and can make sure their children have the chance to go to school instead of working in the fields. Plus, the chocolate is, well, divine. I met the women of Greenheart Shop on a trip to Chicago earlier this year and they're the best!

5. Krochet Kids ::: The Sophia beanie ::: $29.95

Krochet Kids works with women in Uganda and Peru to produce their range of hand-knit items, clothing, and bags. The Sophia beanie is a sophisticated take on the classic. I'd give it to my sister.

6. Thistle Farms ::: Soy Candle in Tuscan Earth ::: $18.00

Thistle Farms' products are handmade by graduates of the Magdalene Community, a treatment center for trafficked, addicted, and abused women in Nashville, TN. The Tuscan Earth scent is indescribably dreamy, the perfect gift for your mom or mother-in-law, or anyone really!

7. Equal Exchange ::: Whole Bean Coffee in Mind, Body, & Soul ::: $9.75

I worked at a fair trade coffee shop for 2 1/2 years and this was my brew of choice. Like Divine Chocolate, Equal Exchange uses a farmer-owned, co-op model to ensure that workers have a fair stake in profits. Working with small farmers also ensures that facilities are well regulated. The Mind, Body, & Soul blend is a bright, smooth medium roast. Tip: always grind your own coffee at home for a fresher, bitterness-free cup.

Thanks for having me, bonJOY!


Leah Wise writes and blogs on fair trade and sustainability issues in the fashion industry at Style Wise. She lives and works in beautiful Charlottesville, VA with her husband and pet rats. Follow along on social media: @stylewiseblog.