Fair-trade gifts

Is the perfect gift a pleasure to give or a joy to receive? We think it's both. For that reason, we filled this year's gift guide with gorgeous and entirely fair-trade items you can feel good about giving. Hailing from Africa, Asia, Central America, and more, every product in these pages represents the time and craftsmanship of a justly treated and fairly paid artisan or farmer. Think of it as positive globalization: When you purchase goods that meet the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) standards, you empower people in developing countries to create economically viable and socially sustainable communities. Plus, because fair-trade certification prohibits the use of genetically modified organisms and pesticide-laden crops, buying fair trade is also good for the planet.

Exotic flavors

1| Stellar Organics Live-a-Little Really Ravishing Red

Fair Trade Certified wines debuted in the United States in October, and this offering from Stellar Organics was one of the first to hit the market. Featuring shiraz grapes grown, crushed, and bottled at Stellar Organics — South Africa's largest organic winery — this crisp red pairs well with marinara sauces and roasted chicken. Currently 33 wine-grape producers in Chile, Argentina, and South Africa are Fair Trade Certified by TransFair USA — the only third-party certifier of fair-trade commodities in the U.S. What makes Stellar unique? Since 1988, its Dutch founders have sought to eradicate the legacy of apartheid. Through the company's stock-share program, black Africans now own a 29 percent stake in Stellar Winery, and a democratically elected council of workers allocates money garnered from wine sales to projects in the neighboring community of Trawal. Initiatives include enlarging the local day-care center and developing a 2-acre organic garden to provide the community with subsistence vegetables and additional income.
Country of origin ≫ South Africa
$9, stellarorganics.com

To ensure that purchases comply with the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International standards, look for TransFair USA's Fair Trade Certified label on products such as coffee, tea, chocolate, and flowers, and the Fair Trade Federation seal on handicrafts.

2| SerendipiTea Black Jack

Country of origin ≫ Sri Lanka
$13, serendipitea.com

3| Canaan Nabali Olive Oil

Country of origin ≫ Palestine
$12, canaanfairtrade.com

4| Shaman's Vision Organic Dark Chocolate with Coconut

Countries of origin ≫ Costa Rica, Dominican Republic
$5, shamanchocolates.com

Next page: Personal styles

Personal styles

5| Indigenous Designs Celestial Scarf and Mittens

High in the Andes, indigenous women have knit hats, sweaters, and scarves such as these — made with soft fleece from organically raised alpaca — for centuries. Talented but impoverished, the women never had the resources to build viable businesses. That is, until Indigenous Designs founders Scott Leonard and Matt Reynolds visited the region in 1993 and realized that if provided with stylish patterns and high-quality fibers, the women could create clothing the U.S. market would gobble up, earning ample wages in the process. Fifteen years on, they've helped make fair trade one of the hippest trends in fashion. Now affiliated with 275 independent co-ops throughout Ecuador and Peru (including the original artisans), Indigenous Designs also works with local nonprofits to build economic opportunities and provide skill-based education for men and women. Due to the challenge of regulating each step of the production process, textiles, jewelry, and handicrafts are not yet certified by TransFair USA. Fair Trade Federation members like the ones included here guarantee that suppliers meet basic fair-trade requirements.
Country of origin ≫ Peru
$60 scarf and $36 mittens, indigenousdesigns.com

6| Ten Thousand Villages Free-Spirited Woman Bracelet

Country of origin ≫ Mexico
$38, tenthousandvillages.com

7| Aid Through Trade 40-Strand Glass Beaded Necklace

Country of origin ≫ Nepal
$64, aidthroughtrade.com

8| Global Exchange Silk Tie

Country of origin ≫ Laos
$36, globalexchangestore.org

Next page: Home Accents

Home Accents

9| World of Good Spread the News Recycled Paper Trivet

Surrounded by art essentials, women and men form delicate geometric patterns out of coiled recycled newspapers at Mai Vietnamese Handicrafts, a Ho Chi Minh City artisan co-op. The company registers impoverished children in school while employing their parents and family members. Mai's wares have found huge success in the U.S. market, in part thanks to World of Good, one of the most visible names in fair trade. The brainchild of Priya Haji — who cofounded the company with business-school friend Siddharth Sanghvi in 2004 — World of Good has helped build an enduring worldwide market for ethically traded items. In addition to building long-term relationships with producers in developing countries, World of Good donates 10 percent of annual profits to its sister nonprofit of the same name that awards microgrants for community development. Projects have included supplying fresh water to villages in Kenya, refurbishing a kindergarten in Bali, and investing in medical equipment for a free clinic in India. To guarantee that home wares comply with international fair-trade standards, look for the Fair Trade Federation label.
Country of origin ≫ Vietnam
$18, originalgood.com

10| Pacha World Large Bamboo Salad Bowl and Serving Set

Country of origin ≫ Vietnam
$54, pachamamaworld.com

11| Serrv Bai Vase

Country of origin ≫ Vietnam
$17, serrv.org

12| Creative Women GEO Placemats

Country of origin ≫ Ethiopia
$15, creativewomen.net

Managing editor, Katy Neusteter, hopes that her husband gives her an Aid Through Trade 40-strand necklace.

Read more reviews on sumptuous lotions, soaps, and scrubs made with fair-trade certified ingredients.

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