I like shiny, pretty things as much as the next girl and the other day, I got sucked down an Instagram rabbit hole swiping and clicking on enough items to fill a small department store. When I came up for air, I also came up with this collection of 12 fair trade items I WANT this holiday – all from small beauty and accessory brands – that I can’t wait to share with you.
Shopping for fair trade items is a socially conscious and impactful way to show the people in your life some love! When you gift fair trade, you’re not only treating your best friend or co-worker to an ethical and thoughtful present, you’re supporting the producers, the farmers, and artisans behind the scenes who helped make the products or source the ingredients, all of whom come from rural and disenfranchised communities around the world.
Because of Covid-19, these societies have been devastatingly impacted, so it’s even more dire to do whatever we can financially to support and sustain our fellow global habitants. If you haven’t finished your holiday shopping, find some inspiration in these unique finds!
Aether Beauty Joshua Tree Palette
Aether Beauty is a certified B-Corporation, solidifying their pledge to higher standards of purpose, accountability, and transparency. They create products that are formulated with ethically-sourced ingredients like 100% child-labor free Mica and are committed to manufacturing in regions and facilities where they can ensure the ethical treatment of workers, and the quality & consistency of our products.
On Aether’s website, they explain that their ingredients are fair trade whenever available, and always ethically sourced. If they can’t find a fair trade version of an ingredient, they keep looking until they find an ethical, sustainable grower/supplier, and if there just isn’t an option, they don’t use it.
This gorgeous citrine infused eyeshadow palette offers 12 vibrant matte shades designed to illuminate the skin. These pigment-packed formulas are made with skin-loving ingredients that offer a buttery-like texture for an easy one-swipe application. Yes, please!
Tierra & Lava, based in Guatemala, locally sources all their ingredients in an ethical and transparent way so they can ensure quality at every part of their journey, from inception to the final product. Belize-raised founder and botanical alchemist Lucy Ashman builds relationships with their farmers and financially supports them so they can carry on the legacy of their disappearing traditional cultural practices.
This All-in-One Moisturizing Balm is a multi-tasking miracle for dry lips, elbows, hair tips, or minor grazes, and is formulated with ingredients chosen for their synergy and traditional Mayan medicinal uses. Combining three varieties of Mayan Melipona Honey, coffee extract, macadamia oil, fresh turmeric, calendula and a touch of mandarin, this balm is both nourishing and invigorating for the skin. Perfect for keeping in your purse or at your desk.
Tassel Amor is a colorful little handmade accessory company on Etsy, where its shop owner Cassie works with female artisans in Chiapas, Mexico (like Lucy, above) to produce items including makeup and coin pouches, earrings, and these incredible hat bands. Available in a variety of patterns and widths, these loom woven bands have ties on the ends which make it easy to adjust to a variety of hats. I have the perfect hat for this one!
Imaya Beauty is a new Toronto based indie skincare brand that provides 100% natural, non-toxic, anti-aging skincare for sensitive, dry, and acne-prone skin. It was founded in collaboration with Amazonian Producers and the Kokama community in Peru to support the conservation and reforestation of the Amazon Rainforest.
Their Aguaje oil is hand crafted by Amazonian women and harvested without cutting down trees. They use a proprietary blend of aguaje varietals to craft an oil rich in provitamin A. Made from 100% sustainably wild harvested Aguaje oil, this Amazonian liquid gold makes skin radiant and soft, and reduces the appearance of fine lines, sun spots and blemishes. I could use ALL that help.
True Moringa supports 5,000 small farming families throughout Ghana to cultivate over two million moringa trees. That’s a lot of trees. In doing so, they increase farmers’ incomes by tenfold.
This Magic Black Soap Facial Cleanser is formulated with three key ingredients:
- Moringa Oil – Lightweight and easily absorbed, moringa oil is the ultimate superfood for skin. Its purifying effects are tough on impurities and gentle on the most sensitive skin. Bye bye, dull, dry skin – hello glow!
- African Black Soap – Used for centuries as traditional herbal remedy, African Black Soap is made with cocoa pod ash and natural oils to gently exfoliate, leaving skin looking bright and feeling fabulous
- Shea Butter – This decadent butter gives our Magic Black Soap Facial Cleanser its foamy feel and creamy texture – plus, it’s packed with antioxidants and fatty acids to leave skin looking and feeling radiant and healthy.
America & Beyond is an artisanal clothing label offering handcrafted bohemian accessories that are handcrafted with love by our team of incredibly talented local artisans from India. Over the years, the A&B team has nurtured and grown a family of over 700 skilled artisans from local communities. Each piece crafted is a labor of love, using trusted age-old methods, with fabrics that are built to last.
Fairtrade practices and sustainability lies at the core of our ethos as a brand, and this philosophy drives every decision taken at each stage of creation – from conceptualization, designing, sourcing, production to waste management. This particular jacquard fabric boho-chic inspired bag made from 100% cotton is perfect for an overnight trip or just a day out. It would look even better hanging in my closet.
Odylique Beauty is in a makeup league of its own. The people behind the brand make sure their raw materials suppliers and all of their distributors follow the no-testing-on-animals rule, and they go out of our way to adhere to fair trade standards and use responsible, sustainable packaging.
Their Organic Mineral Lipsticks are the first and only lipsticks certified by to Soil Association and Fairtrade standards. Bursting with organic plant oils and butters including jojoba and Fairtrade shea to provide a moisturizing vitamin-boost, this Praline lip treat offers a subtle sheen to enhance your natural lip color.
Colibri curates a collection of fair trade handmade products from Mexico, Colombia, Panama, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. Their team never haggles their artisans for prices, as they’re aware that everything that is made by hand is time consuming, and their goal is to promote and sell their quality products so the artisans can sustain making their craft.
When purchasing these colorful and whimsical artisanal goods, like this brightly painted hair comb made out of orange tree wood that took 10 hours of labor, Colibri also invests 10% of sales back into the artisan’s communities.
Terres D’Afrique’s hand-harvested products formulated with ingredients from across the African continent are created out of love, respect, and a passion for sustainable, ethical biotrade. The farmers they collaborate with – mostly women – are also primarily responsible for childcare. Since their work takes them away from their villages, it’s not always practical or safe to bring their very young children with them. Informal pre-schools crop up to fill this gap need, but these are not adequate solutions. Terres d’Afrique donates 1% of its sales to the Baobab Foundation, which supports projects in Baobab harvesting communities. They are building a pre-school in the Dambale Village, which provides Terres d’Afrique with Baobab for their products.
The African indigenous Aloe Ferox in this clarifying and hydrating mask has 36% more amino acids than aloe vera, and aids in the absorption of other active ingredients while it soothes and improves skin elasticity by stimulating collagen production. I can’t wait to try it.
Plainville Homestead is a small one-woman shop comprised of clean, thoughtful, and honest products – everything from aromatherapy to natural deodorants and tub teas. Fair-trade, organic raw materials are incorporated whenever possible, such as cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil, and sugar. As stated on their website, fair trade standards work to keep the planet healthy for generations to come by prohibiting the most harmful chemicals and taking measures to protect natural resources.
This Caffeine Eye Roller employs, you got it, organic and fair trade coffee. Since coffee has anti-inflammatory benefits that improve circulation – both needed to de-puff and bid adieu to dreaded raccoon eyes – this serum comprised of almond oil, avocado oil, and sea buckthorn, is kicked up several notches by a boost of eye-awakening coffea arabica.
Hiptipico is an incredible ethical fashion brand based in Panajachel, Guatemala showcasing Maya artisans and their handmade creations. Every Hiptipico item is thoughtfully handcrafted by indigenous communities, using high-quality sustainable materials. Through this dignified job opportunity, Maya artisans are paid fairly by Hiptipico to lift themselves out of poverty while doing something they love.
These 100% cotton fabric masks are double sided and handmade by Juanita in El Triunfo, Sololá. Through the sale of these hand-woven and hand-crafted goods, Juanita and nine women in her community, have united to support their families and preserve their culture by using the art of back strap weaving. Check out the site and read about the founder’s story, she’s truly inspiring. ⠀⠀⠀
Ayr Skin Care is a Southern California based luxury brand that prides itself on creating products formulated with healthy, gentle, and safe, vegan ingredients that are free of parabens, gluten, synthetic fragrances and colors, soy, and petroleum. Even more, many of their ingredients are only found in some of the world’s poorest nations – including shea butter, cocoa butter, and marula oil, so they consciously source these ingredients from local co-ops, to help provide fair wages and valuable income to support women, families, and entire communities. These economic and fair-trade initiatives, some led by the United Nations, support entrepreneurial farmers, and protect women and children from economic hardships.
With eight natural humectants and a clinically proven and powerful saccharide, Pure Moisture Nourishing face cream rehydrates dry, sensitive skin and reduces signs of aging. One application and you’ll reap the benefits of 72 hours of deep hydration and soft, silky moisture. I say, bring it on.