At this time of year, I’m always on the lookout for gifts that are more than just gifts. If I can give something beautiful, handmade, or artisan made that gives back to either the artist or the community where it originated — then I’m more willing to purchase that item.
During recent years, Mai Handicrafts has established itself as the primary marketing agent for artisans from neglected families and women. It practices a model of social development in which social service cannot be separated from economic self-reliance. Mai Handicrafts sales fund various community development activities, including clean water projects, vocational training equipment purchase and teacher wage subsidies.
Another site with lovely gifts:
Our goal is to holistically equip people living in poverty with the skills, education, and resources to change their circumstances forever. Work provides worth. Education breeds innovation. Mentorship nourishes relationships. Through this multifaceted and measured approach we work with each beneficiary to create a path toward independence.
The Envelope Clutch: (just one example — there are many, many more)
Next we have —
Accompany, a site that features products that are fair trade, philanthropic and artisan made. I chose just one example to share here. There are lots of very interesting and lovely choices.
Introducing global curation at its finest. We scour the globe for the coolest, most beautiful and one-of-a-kind finds, and filter them through a range of style lenses— to create unique boutiques that contain both an eclectic mix of cultures and a well-edited point of view. Each and every piece we pick has a story behind it, and embodies exemplary design. Handmade pieces and ethically sourced items, that bring human impact and fashion impact together to create feel-good goods through a look-good lens.
I learned about this next site through a comment made on last December’s post featuring gifts that give back.
Napada handicrafts employs women from this low-income community enabling them to better the lives of their families while forming community with Christians and learning the truths of God. Some of the women had low paying jobs and some had no work opportunities whatsoever prior to becoming a part of Napada. Napada provides a creative outlet for these women while seeing them come to know and love how they are a part of God’s great creation and plan.
As professionals in the international development field, Catherine Lieber Shimony and Joan Shifrin traveled to impoverished areas around the globe to support community-based economic initiatives. Time and time again, they met dynamic women that were producing beautiful, handmade goods, yet lacked access to sustainable markets in which to sell their products. Catherine and Joan saw first-hand how women in marginalized communities throughout Asia, Africa, and the Americas were able to advance their families’ well-being only after their income was stabilized. In 2005, Catherine and Joan were inspired to found Global Goods Partners to create effective income-generation opportunities for women and their communities through access to the consumer market for handmade, fair trade products.
Lydali: Gorgeous jewelry, bags and scarves. SO many cool and beautiful items here!!
FEED: Creating good products that help feed the world. Wonderful bags, totes, bracelets, messengers, backpacks — LOTS of cool stuff. Many items under $40.
At Far & Wide Collective we have a passion for discovering the beautifully unique and carefully made things one can only stumble upon in the tucked-away workshops and rural village markets on exotic travels. We have found these products – and the people who make them – and we are bringing them to you. We know that if we do, we are helping to build a more sustainable infrastructure in many of these communities and countries for the future.
Gone Rural: Swaziland
The GR Collection weaves together tradition with innovation. Proving that contemporary design and environmental sensitivity go hand-in-hand, our mainline collection of baskets and tableware is crafted entirely from locally-sourced, natural fibres and recycled materials.
Nest is partnering with the world’s most promising artisans to build sustainable businesses within the competitive landscape of today’s global economy. Simultaneously, Nest is helping artisans to transform their communities through the alleviation of poverty, empowerment of women and promotion of peace.
Our products are created through collaborations between carefully selected emerging British designers and ethical producers in developing countries. In addition, Shake the Dust also works with all producer and designer partners to select and create products for individual signature collections.
Hand-made products bring a rare element of soul and craftsmanship into our homes and it is in this spirit that Shake the Dust connects you to beautiful products and their creators. Shake the Dust stands for ethical transparency without compromising style.
The brand is founded on the belief that good design, ethical production and profitability are not mutually exclusive. In this respect, Shake the Dust promotes development and sustainability for both designers, producers and the industry and offers a unique blend of good design with a conscience.
I would love to hear of other sites you enjoy that fit this realm of gift giving. Keep it simple. Focus on the LOVE.
Other blog posts featuring gifts that give back ideas:
Mine from last year: https://haskerj.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/radical-gift-giving/
One I found just recently: http://www.pbfingers.com/2014/11/25/pbf-2014-gift-guide-gifts-that-give-back/