gift guide 2017

All I Want for Christmas

ethical christmas wishlist
Contains affiliate links

My Christmas list is short and sweet this year. While I enjoy giving, I usually prefer to choose my own gifts. I would be perfectly content with this little stash of ethical goods and a trip to Richmond to see The Nutcracker.

A fun fact about me: I am fairly obsessed with ballet and started watching a filmed version of The Nutcracker starring Macaulay Culkin as a young child. It was one of my favorite movies, along with Anne of Green Gables and Pollyanna. You can rent it on Amazon!

Tickets to The Nutcracker.

This shirt from Tonle.

Perfume from By Rosie Jane.

Earrings from 31 Bits.

Gift Guide: For the Accessories Fiend | Statement Bags & Jewelry

Ethical Gift Guide - artisan made accessories
This post was co-sponsored by some of the brands listed below and contains a few affiliate links. All selections and recommendations are my own.

For the woman who has her wardrobe game sorted out, but likes to add accessories that are sure conversation starters, all the more so because they're ethically produced. 

This is my outfit strategy: simple, timeless clothing paired with woven bags and handmade jewelry. You get to make a statement without shouting it from the rooftops.

Ethical Gift Guide - artisan made accessories

I've organized this list from low to high price points. Left to right, top to bottom.

1. Dhaka Multipurpose Case, Haushala, $20.00

A versatile piece suitable for carrying your tablet, pens, notebook. Learn more about Haushala here.

2. Black and Gold Earrings, Sela Designs, $24.00

Handmade in the USA with eco-friendly Tagua nuts and 100% of proceeds donated to charity. I have these and I love that they're lightweight and easy to wear. See them worn here.

3. Isiyinga Circle Necklace, Thanda Zulu, $30.00

Made by fairly paid artisans in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, this piece stood out to me because of the tight beadwork and structure. I picture wearing it with a simple u-neck shirt and high waist jeans. It would also pair well with a turtleneck sweater.

4. Zig-Zag Clutch, Zuri Collection, $40.00

Made fairly from wool in Ayacucho Peru in the Northern Andes. I love the pom-poms. And it has a hot pink lining!

5. Ela Bucket Bag, Bloom & Give, $50.00

Handmade by fairly paid artisans in India with 50% of proceeds benefiting education programs, this bag is a work of art. The color and shape is modern, but it uses traditional textile techniques, which make it more timeless.

6. Woven Cotton Crossbody, Purse & Clutch, $99.00

Botanically dyed, hand spun cotton with a leather strap. Made fairly in Ethiopia. The perfect size for a planner, wallet, and phone (my daily essentials).

7. Ortus Opal Ring, Valley Rose Studio, $100.00

A delicate piece with big impact, I would wear this every day to add some symmetry to my wedding rings.

8. Silver Spear Earrings, Sharon Z, $120.00

The quintessential piece for the modern woman, these exude both strength and sensitivity. I have these earrings and never fail to get compliments whenever I wear them (which is often). Made with recycled sterling silver. *Get free shipping with coupon code, STYLEWISEFREESHIPPING

Whether you're looking to spend a little or a lot on loved ones this season, it's available on the ethical market.

If you're looking for anything specific, let me know in the comments and I'll try to help you find it.

Gift Guide: Ethical Alternatives to Joanna Gaines' Hearth & Hand Collection

ethical fair trade alternatives to Hearth and Hand from Ten Thousand Villagesethical fair trade alternatives to Hearth and Hand from Ten Thousand Villages
I was compensated for my time writing this post by Ten Thousand Villages, a company I've been supporting for over ten years.

Oh, Joanna. Who can know what combination of charm, good looks, doofy husband's antics, and business savvy led thousands of her show's - and now product empire's - loyal fans to trade out their perfectly reasonable drywall for splinter-risking Shiplap?

No matter how you feel about the Fixer Upper star's design aesthetic, there's something to be said for its distinctiveness. While I don't really do shabby chic, I appreciate that her precise combo of new and antique lends a certain homeyness to every house she redesigns. And, let's be honest, a huge part of the show's success has to do with the sweet, southern lifestyle she and her family portray. It's the lifestyle we're after.

Joanna and Chip Gaines' design brand, Magnolia Home, recently partnered with Target on Hearth & Hand*, a collection of artisan and antique-inspired home decor that would fit right into any Fixer Upper home makeover.

But you know what I found surprising? A lot of it - I mean, basically all of it - looks like something you could find on the fair trade market, and specifically at Ten Thousand Villages. 

Ten Thousand Villages, above all, is known for their handcrafted decor items. The sorts of things that balance nostalgia with modern design - recalling the warmth of the hearth, but made by fairly paid hands.

Here are my picks for ethically sourced, artisan-first items that closely approximate the Hearth & Home look without the questionable sourcing...
get the hearth and hand look fair trade and ethical with Ten Thousand Villages

Instead of the House Bud Vase
Clean House Ceramic Box, $18.99

Instead of the Galvanized Container Candle
Bottle Beehive Wine Rack, $59.99

Instead of the Pressed Glass Photo Frame
Small Floating Frame, $24.99

Instead of the Carved Wood Decorative Bowl
Mango Wood Serving Board, $34.99
get the hearth and hand look fair trade and ethical with Ten Thousand Villages

Instead of the Sugared Birch Pillar Candle
Warm Honey Candle, $12.99

Instead of the Merry & Bright Framed Wall Art
Gather Cut Metal Wall Art, $29.99

Instead of the Embroidered Throw Blanket
Homespun Table Runner, $39.99

Instead of the Embroidered X Pattern Throw Pillow
Love Lives Here Pillow, $39.99

Our society, as of late, has been obsessed with seeking out the simple things. 

But simple things aren't simple: they require effort, attention to detail, and labor. For only a few more dollars per item, we can choose fair trade. It may not feed your Target addiction, but it'll certainly have more meaning. That simple, sweet lifestyle is available to you, but only when you choose to add a little extra care to your shopping this season.

*I posted the Target link so you can do a style comparison, not to tempt you!

All photos via Ten Thousand Villages, used with permission.

Gift Guide: For the Traveler | Artisan Made Goods for Your Next Adventure

Genesis Fair Trade Ethical Travel Gift Guide
I was compensated for my time creating this post by Genesis Fair Trade. Featured above: Dulce Mandarina Backpack

I'm fortunate to work at a shop that closes down for the last weeks of December. We're mostly volunteer run, so it's important to give our hardworking, unpaid staff some time to travel to their families or relax at home for the Holidays. The byproduct of that is that I get time off, too.

This year, Daniel and I are going to roadtrip down to our homeland, Florida, to meet up with family, visit old friends, and soak up the southern sun. Traveling up and down the east coast is truly an adventure. Hundreds of miles of Blue Ridge Mountains eventually turn to foothills, then flat land as you slither your way through long stretches of Georgia. Humidity increases. Eventually you can smell the Atlantic Ocean - you can feel the salt in the air even before you catch a glimpse of that eternal, glimmering sea.

Traveling is an immersive, life giving experience if you take the time to do it with intention.

It only makes sense to cradle your travel essentials - from clothes to money to phones - in items created with intention: with fair labor, careful curation, and extraordinary talent.

Today I'm featuring hand selected items for your next adventure, all available from Genesis Fair Trade...
Genesis Fair Trade - Gift Guide for the Traveler


Fiesta de Abril Crossbody, $20

Perfect for security lines and quick trips to the gas station. Made in Guatemala.

Olas Rotas Overnight Bag, $255

Made in Guatemala with locally sourced fabrics and dyes. Great for weekend getaways.

Mina de Turquesas Backpack, $164

Handmade in Guatemala using a traditional Mayan color palette. I prefer a backpack when traveling by air.
  Genesis Fair Trade - Gift Guide for the Traveler


Lightweight Mayan Ikat Scarf, $49

Hand-dyed and woven in Guatemala. Perfect to add a bit of warmth while traveling by train, plain, or automobile. And if you're going somewhere warm, you can use it to keep the chill off at night.

Allinchaey Acua Cusco Coin Purse, $35

I like to throw toll change, small bills, and even lip balm in my little coin purse so it doesn't get lost in my purse. Made in a pattern used by Incan and Andean communities in Peru. Lined in cotton.

Mayan iPhone Case, $35

For 6/6S and 6 Plus/6S Plus. Made with traditional Yucatecan Maya designs in Mexico.

Most of the items shown above come in different designs and color stories, so I recommend poking around on the Genesis Fair Trade Website to find the best fit for you. 

Happy travels!

Shop Genesis Fair Trade

Genesis Fair Trade on Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Genesis Fair Trade - Gift Guide for the Traveler

Ethical Fashion Sales: Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals 2017

ethical black friday and cyber monday sales
This list contains affiliate links

A running list of ethical Black Friday sales with new discounts added every day. Comment if you know of others and I'll add them.


  • PACT Apparel: 30-60% off sitewide
  • Accompany: Take 20% off sitewide with code GRATEFUL20; Save 25% off orders over $150 with code GRATEFUL25; and Take 30% off orders over $300 with code GRATEFUL30
  • Nisolo: Daily sales. Check site for details.
  • Krochet Kids: 40% off sitewide + free US shipping on orders $60+ with code, BETTERFRIDAY through 11/24
  • Smockwalker Vintage: 30% off. No code required.
  • Kissing Tree Vintage: 30% off. No code required.
  • Nicora Shoes: Most items on sale. No code required.
  • Tonle: 30% off everything with code, GivingWeek30, through Tuesday
  • LUR Apparel: 20% off with code, Thanks20, through 11/26
  • Alohas Sandals: Additional 30% off with code, black30, through 11/26
  • Grana: 20% off. No code required.
  • Tea Collection: Select styles $15 and under
  • Maggie's Organics: 25% off + free shipping through 11/28
  • Jamie + the Jones: 35% off Blank Canvas tops through Cyber Monday with code, SLOWFASHION
  • Joon + Co: Email subscribers get 40% off
  • Liz Alig: 35% off with code, THANKSGUYS
  • Happy Fox Studio: 10% off with code, THANKS, and 10% of proceeds donated to racial and social justice orgs, through Cyber Monday
  • Glad Rags Pads: 30% off Day Pads and Night Pads with mismatched holders and inserts + graduated discounts
  • Curator SF: 30% off clothing with code, GOODKARMA, through 11/28
  • Esby Apparel: 20% off through Cyber Monday with code, GIFT&GIVE20
  • ABLE (FashionABLE): Spend under $50, save 15%; spend $50+, save 20%; spend $200+, save 30% + FREE SHIPPING on all US domestic orders
  • Soul Flower: 35% off sale Friday-Cyber Monday with code, darkstar
  • Beaumont Organic: Extra 20% off sale with code, EXTRA20
  • Bourgeois Boheme: 30% off with code, SUSTAIN, through Cyber Monday
  • Kowtow: Up to 50% off
  • Synergy Organic Clothing: 40% off with code, synergy40, through 11/28
  • Belvele: $50 off purchases of $100 or more with code, thankful
  • JORD: Save up to $100 on watches for 24 hours
  • Love Justly: Get $25 off any order above $50 with code, Black Friday
  • Nourish Organic: Use promo code 40OFFBFCM to get 40% off of your entire order Black Friday thru Cyber Monday with FREE U.S shipping on orders over $69
  • Malia Designs: 30% off site wide (Friday through Tues) with code, FAIRISTHENEWBLACK
  • Fortress of Inca: 10 to 50% off all styles. Through Cyber Monday.
  • Manos Zapotecas: Buy one, get one free.
  • Hazel & Rose: 25% off site-wide, plus a free gift with purchases totaling over $100 with code, MANYTHANKS Through Cyber Monday.
  • Everlane: Purchases go toward the Black Friday Fund
  • Ember & Aura: 40% off + free shipping with code, blackember
  • Janessa Leone: 30% off hats and handbags through 11/27
  • GlobeIn: Free Handblown Glassware Set (Pitcher & Two Glasses) With Purchase Of 3-Month Or Longer Premium Artisan Box Subscription. 
  • 31 Bits: Graduated sales based on total purchase price. See blog for details.
  • Deux Mains: Warehouse sale, 15% off everything, free gift with every purchase + free shipping over $100.00
  • Made Jewelry: 30% off through Cyber Monday
  • Encircled: 20% off select basics + FREE shipping to US and Canada with code, FRIDAY
  • Ten Thousand Villages: Buy One, Get One 50% off on jewelry and ornaments, online and at participating stores
  • Mata Traders: 30% off clothes and accessories with code, SHOPFAIR17
  • IMBY: 20% off with code, GIVINGTHANKS
  • Neo Thread: free gifts with purchase
  • Bead & Reel: 60% off sale with code, ETHICALBLACKFRIDAY, and 35% off pre-loved with code, REUSERECYCLE
  • Oliberte: 30% off everything
  • Amour Vert: 20% off with code, GREENFRIDAY
  • Alternative Apparel: 30% off with code, THANKU30
  • Solo Six: 40% off with code, TREATS
  • Krochet Kids: 40% off sitewide + free US shipping on orders $60+ with code, HOLIDAY through 11/28
  • Manos Zapotecas: 40% off through Cyber Monday.
  • Indigenous: 35% off with code, BigSale, through Tuesday


  • Love Justly: Get 30% off any order with code, Cyber Monday
  • Anchal Project: 30% off your entire order + Free Shipping on orders over $200
  • GlobeIn: Buy One Artisan Box, Get One 50% Off. No coupon required. Through 11/30.
  • Encircled: 20% off select multiway clothing + FREE shipping to US and Canada with code, CYBER
  • Ten Thousand Villages: Deals on select items
  • Oliberte: Extra 10% off + free shipping with code, CYBER10
  • Bhava Studio: BOGO half off. Coupon applies automatically.
  • Ethos Collection: 40% off clothing


  • GlobeIn: 50% Off Your First Artisan Box With Any Premium Subscription.


DoneGood just launched a shopping site that compiles hundreds of goods from ethical brands paired with their exclusive discounts. Shop the site here.

Check out Alden's roundup for more sales.

Trim the Tree: Where to Buy Fair Trade Ornaments

where to buy fair trade ornaments
This post contains affiliate links

There is no better time to invest in fair trade than Christmas! Artisan crafts were practically made for tree trimming (and yes, I know it's not even Thanksgiving yet, but I'm kind of into the Holidays this year).

Here are my picks for fair trade ornaments. Don't forget to poke around each site for additional options. Ten Thousand Villages and Novica, in particular, carry dozens of different styles.

From left to right, top to bottom

Zuri Collection Star Ornaments, $30 set of 3

Ten Thousand Villages Penguin Ornament, $10.99

Ten Thousand Villages Wooly Sheep Ornament, $10.99

Ten Thousand Villages Pan Flute Ornament, $6.99

Ten Thousand Villages Filigree Snowflake Ornament, $18.99

Thanda Zulu Reindeer Ornament, $15.00

Thanda Zulu Tree Ornament, $10.00

Novica Elephants Ornaments, $19.99 set of 4

Novica Holy Land Ornaments, $39 set of 3

Novica Buddhist Bells, $19.99 set of 3

Uncommon Goods Felt Cactus Ornament, $15.00

Uncommon Goods Hand Kit Dog Ornament, $28.00

Gift Guide: Entertaining | Ethical Loomed Goods for Home & Her + Giveaway

ethical woven goods from mayamam - ethical gift guide 2017
I was compensated for my time writing this post by MayaMam Weavers. 

The Holiday Season is about so much more than frantic shopping and gift giving. I was reflecting on this last month and came to the conclusion that I actually prefer Thanksgiving to Christmas because it isn't so fixated on commercialism. If done correctly, it is about the simple, life giving work of making and serving. We gather 'round to give thanks and catch up. We stuff ourselves full of food that took hours upon hours to prepare, then settle in for a nap or an afternoon walk. We enjoy simple comforts and small reminders of why living is good.

When I considered gift guides for this Holiday season, I tried to strike a balance between offering useful shopping resources and creating something rooted in meaning and human connection.

Our gifts should be an outpouring of the abundant thankfulness in our hearts, not a wasteful exercise. 

With that in mind, I'm prioritizing the work of artisans who work in ancient handicrafts, like weaving, and contemporary companies that value the individuality of handwork. I've become enamored with artisan work this year because it gives me great comfort to see beauty in human hearts and hands when there's so much ugliness in the world.

Today, I'm offering two mini-guides featuring the work of MayaMam Weavers...
ethical woven goods from mayamam - ethical gift guide 2017


(Starting from top, then left to right)
Adjustable ties, front pockets, sturdy cotton

Brocaded Pillows, $195

Hand loomed, one of a kind
Inspired by a traditional weave and woven on a foot loom. Pair with woven napkins.
Uses Insulbrite® thermal batting for hand protection.
Handwoven on the back strap loom.

ethical woven goods from mayamam - ethical gift guide 2017


Blues Border Wrap, $44

Lightweight, multi season with hand tied fringe

Rolltop Backpack in Caramel, $125

Handwoven cotton canvas with water bottle pocket and front zip pocket.

Champagne and Pearls Scarf, $25

Hand woven with hand braided fringe

Stormy Blues Unisex Toiletry Bag, $42

Lined in waterproof ripstop nylon with suspender style tie-downs.

About MayaMam Weavers  

Poverty and lack of infrastructure in the Mayan town of Cajolá in the western highlands of Guatemala have required more than 30% of the population to relocate to the United States. Founder, Caryn Maxim, met a small group of native Cajolans while volunteering in her hometown of Morristown, New Jersey. The relationship they formed with one another led her to go with them when they returned to Cajolá. They decided to partner together to create living wage jobs, particularly for women who were already fluent in the art of backstrap and footloom weaving.

The artisans are Maya from the Mam ethnic group, thus the name, MayaMam. Artisans have a say in compensation standards, have access to educational and vocational training, and are largely responsible for the design and running of the business. Caryn and the US team ensure that designs are marketable to US consumers and manage sales stateside. MayaMam is a member of the Fair Trade Federation.


Enter to win this woven cosmetic bag. To enter, simply complete the form below (leaving a comment is required, but other entries are bonuses!).

Open to US readers 18 and older. Giveaway ends Sunday, November 26th at 11:59pm. 

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