Good Shopping: 9 Fine Fair-Trade Organizations

Buy one-of-a-kind and help families in poverty

The last (for now!) in our series on good shopping—click here for eco-awesome goodies, and here for cause-inspired goods—fair trade goods are the cool, unique, handiwork of artisans paid fair wages for their crafts. These artisans can be exploited and offered pennies for something that’s sold elsewhere for hundreds of dollars, so fair-trade organizations work to let artisans reap the benefits of their skills. There are tons of individual producers and larger organizations, here are just a few of our favorites.

Ten Thousand Villages
Because there are more than 390 retail outlets throughout the United States selling Ten Thousand Villages products, Ten Thousand Villages may have been your first introduction to fair trade. A founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), the company features a wide variety of goods from artisans in 38 countries. Not near a bricks-and-mortar store? No worries, the online selection is robust. tenthousandvillages.com

SERRV
More than just a source for chic home, kitchen, outdoor, and gifting goods, of which there are plenty, SERRV’s direct connections with low-income artisans and farmers include marketing, business development, and growth planning. SERRV is also a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization (formerly IFAT) and the Fair Trade Federation (FTF). serrv.org

Greenheart Shop
Greenheart is Chicago’s premier eco-fair trade non-profit shop, but their online store carries the same eco-friendly and fair trade products made by artisans from around the world. Check out their Made in America shop, with unique recycled bike chain accessories, to help at home too. We like that Greenheart focuses on being both “Fair to producers, and good to the Earth”. Greenheartshop.org

World of Good
The mega-auction site launched its fair trade marketplace in 2005 to connect individual sellers around the world with an ecommerce audience. Now, the site has almost anything you could ever want, and they use four icons to help you distinguish the goods: People Positive, Eco Positive, Animal Friendly, and Supports a Cause. worldofgood.ebay.com

Global Girlfriend
A wide if clunky selection of goods made by women. The site focuses on women-made goods because when women have an income, they reinvest in themselves and in their children’s health, education and nutrition, building stronger families and communities over time. Through fair-trade practices and the GreaterGood Network of websites, every purchase gives 5-30% to Camfed’s seed money micro-grant and micro-credit program, which is run by young women for young womenglobalgirlfriend.com

Andean Collection
The Andean Collection started out based on Ecuadorian rainforest seed-jewelry (tagua, pambil, coconut, and more), and has expanded to include scarves handwoven of acrylic. Only open since 2008, the site is one of our faves because of the design aesthetic—founder Amanda Judge’s jewelry-design background is evident. theandeancollection.com

Pure Citizen
A flash- or private-sale site focused on supporting companies with heart. Helps introduce a lot of other, smaller fair-trade (and organic, eco-friendly, or cause-inspired) brands to the mainstream consumer. Score hard-to-find beauty brands and everything from pet goods to yoga mats. purecitizen.com

Made By Survivors 
Jewelry, handbags, and other gifts provide income, dignity, a new identity, and a bright future for the survivors of slavery, human trafficking, or other severe human rights abuses. Not only are the goods made by survivors, but 100% of profits are donated to fight slavery and help survivors, with programs in six countries offering job training and fairly paid employment. madebysurvivors.com

Project Have Hope 
Ugandan women make beautiful, colorful jewelry from paper—the variety of beads, bangles, and strands is astounding. Their work not only gives women jobs, but revenue goes to fund educational and economic programs for themselves and for their children. projecthavehope.org

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