Grab your hot beverage of choice and get cozy, because I am going to take you around the world to visit beautiful & talented artisans with compelling stories. Here are my favourite fair trade items for Spring that you DEFINITELY will want to buy!
Mercy House Global’s new Spring Collection, Waves of Mercy, is curated of 34 high quality, fair trade items. It provided jobs for artisans in 6 countries (Azerbaijan, Haiti, Ethiopia, Honduras, Kenya, Rwanda), and 3 Houston-based refugees from Bhutan, the Congo & Sudan.
Sisal Teardrop Hoop Earrings
I love everything about these earrings! Their light weaved texture, the neutral colour, and the simple teardrop shape makes this is one of my favourite jewelry pieces for spring and summer.
Azizi Life hand-make these earrings from natural, tea-dyed sisal fibers, using artisan weaving techniques. This faith-based organization is based in Rwanda. “Founded in 2008 under the international NGO Food for the Hungry, Azizi Life has become a bridge to connect hardworking artisans to the global market.”
Cost: $16.00 USD
Waffle Weave Hand Towel + Seaside Handmade Soap Bar
Waffle Weave Hand Towel
This hand towel is stylish and practical. It’s useful for hand-drying dishes or as a dish-drying mat, because this absorbent material dries quickly.
This is a handcrafted product from the artisan group Karama in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Karama means dignity in Arabic.
One of the founding principles of fair trade is based on giving oppressed and marginalized women the very thing that they lack: a self-sustaining opportunity that maintains dignity.
This changes lives. Just read Yeshi’s story.
Yeshi is the mother of two, and for the last 10 years she has worked with Karama’s Ethiopian textiles partner as a finisher responsible for quality control. Her favorite part of the job is packing the perfect product. With her current income, she is able to provide for her family, save for her children’s education, and plan for her own future. Yeshi is dedicated to preparing a bright future for her children by being an example of hard work and self-improvement.Mercy House Global Online Marketplace
Seaside Handmade Soap Bar
Ombeni, a refugee from the Congo was resettled to Houston in 2019 with her husband and four young children. She exudes joy, gratitude, and Jesus as she softly sings while making soap in her tiny apartment kitchen. She has a heartbreaking story of escaping war and spending much of her life in a refugee camp, where her parents still live. But when Ombeni shares her story, she shines Jesus, and she gives Him glory for her rescue. Her dream is to be reunited with her family one dayMercy House Global Online Marketplace
Each bar is 100% handmade with rosemary, eucalyptus and peppermint essentials oils with alkanet root and topped with Himalayan sea salt.
Cost: $28 USD
Three-in-One Canvas Nesting Baskets with Leather Handles
As an Ambassador for Mercy House Global, I received a few sneak peeks prior to the launch of the Waves of Mercy collection. And I can’t tell you how many times, I gasped and mouthed the words, “that’s so cute, I love it!”
This set of three canvas nesting baskets were one of the big jaw-droppers.
Seriously, though! How much do you love these?!
The canvas fabric and leather handles are a symbiotic blend of minimalism and boho-chic.
This is the workmanship of Friends of Mercy; a very special artisan group.
A former sponsored-child with Compassion International, Maureen connected with Kristen Welch a decade ago, and together they founded the very first maternity home in Kenya. Maureen is the on-the-ground leader who rescues girls and fiercely advocates for them.
Moved to provide work for the ones she loves, Maureen started Friends of Mercy, which “has grown into a skilled group of seamstresses who create bags, banners, and more for Mercy House Global.”
Provide dignified jobs while organizing your home or office with these cute and functional fair trade nesting baskets!
Cost: $39 USD
Blue + Cream Circle Beach Bag
I grew up by the sea. Summer days and nights spent at the Larvotto, bathing in the brilliant azure Mediterranean, with my hair being tussled by sea-salt gusts, make some of my most precious childhood memories.
When I saw this blue and white beach bag, it immediately took me back to those summer days!
Haiti Design Co. made the bag from cotton with leather accents.
This artisan group provides “consistent employment in-house in order to give job training and stability to those in vulnerable situations”. Their employees receive a daily nutritious lunch, access to health care, savings accounts, emergency loans, counselling and education resources.
All these things are vital in a country that is still in recovery because of the earthquake; not to mention poverty and high-level corruption.
I have my beach bag, and I cannot wait to test it out on the shores of Lake Huron this summer!
Cost: $42 USD
Wrapped Paper Bead Bracelet
This wrap around bracelet beautifully captures the colours of the sea. Every single paper bead was wrapped and sealed by hand. The gold and white seed beads create a stunning, delicate accent.
When you purchase fair trade goods from Have Hope, you are providing hope and opportunity for women, because they come from one of the worst slums in the world.
Cost: $18 USD
Scrunchie + Tie
Who loves that scrunchies have come back?
These scrunchies are unique because they can be worn 3 different ways; a scrunchie, a scrunchie with a tie, or just a tie.
If you are raising your daughters to be conscious of humanitarian needs around the world, a Mercy House scrunchie provides a great object lesson.
These accessories “are hand sewn by rescued teen moms in Kenya. Each scrunchie provides a skill, a dignified job, and hope for the future for generations of women.”
Educate a young woman with a hair accessory that tells a story of how fair trade empowers women and changes lives.
Cost: $8 USD
Flat Sisal Basket
This flat basket can accent a wall or serve as an organization tray, and it was woven by hand by Fentanesh from Korah.
Korah is a community that sits next to the largest garbage dump in Ethiopia. You can learn more about them in a previous post here.
Fentanesh has two daughters and a 4-year-old son who is deaf. Every order of these flat sisal baskets will allow Fentanesh to enroll her son in a school for the deaf at a local church for the very first time. This mother is thankful for a dignified job that allows her to provide food, education, and a home for her children.Mercy House Global Online Marketplace
Cost: $28 USD
Sisal Pendant + Lava Bead Necklace
I am such a fan of the pendant necklace! And as someone who uses essential oils every day, the lava beads make this necklace extra special!
The combination sea green paper beads, gold seed beads and the sisal pendant creates such interesting detail and texture.
If you are an oil lover like me, the porous lava beads diffuse your favourite blend of essential oils as you go about your day. But, please make sure that you use Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade.
And as you breathe in your chosen aroma, let it serve as a reminder of the amazing women whose hands fashioned your necklace, and whose lives are changed through your purchase.
The talented jewelry makers of Have Hope assembled these beautiful items, and the artisan from Azizi Life crafted the sisal pendant.
Cost: $42 USD
Waterfall Fringe Earrings
I have always been an earring lover.
Hoops, dangles, gold, silver, feathers, I love it all! And, I have to highlight one more pair of earrings before I end this list. (FYI, I love almost every single one in this collection!)
The waterfall fringe earrings add a statement piece to your jewelry collection, because it’s bright, amusing and whimsical.
The artisans of SoloHope handmade these accessories from pine needles and thread.
SoloHope is Spanglish for “only hope.” This organization empowers individuals in Honduras. Their model is based on economic development, education and discipleship.
When you purchase these beautiful fringe earrings, you’re supporting a mother to provide her children’s education and healthcare.
Cost: $24 USD
Fair Trade Changes Lives
Thank you for viewing this highlight reel my favourite fair trade items for spring!
As I said in my last post, International Women’s Day Facts, because of all the abundance that we enjoy in first world nations, we have a responsibility to stand by our sisters who face extreme poverty, oppression and marginalization.
Three impactful ways include, but are not limited to, giving them our business, committing to sponsorships, and financially supporting non-profit organizations that are providing humanitarian aid.
In John 1:16, the beloved apostle wrote, “for from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”
Like rolling waves of mercy, we have received from blessing upon untold blessing.
Let’s share this abundance with women around the world!