Friday, October 19, 2018

15 Fair Trade Verified Gift Websites for Holiday Shopping

The holidays will soon be upon us and of course I hope you will purchase all of your fair trade jewelry and Judaica gifts from Dunitz & Company. If you're reading my blog, you are almost certainly interested in fair trade. Perhaps you're in the market for home goods, children's toys or aromatherapy? My Fair Trade Federation colleagues have you covered. Here's a list of 15 fabulous sites where you can almost certainly find a potpourri of amazing fair trade treasures for you and your loved ones.

In alphabetical order:

1. Awaken - Awaken is a new member of  Fair Trade Federation and I've been drooling over their hipster scarves and clothing. Their designs, handmade in Thailand are so cool. My guess is after checking them out, you might be purchasing gifts for you and your favorite gal pals at Awaken sometime soon.

2. Casa Bonampek - Are you looking for traditional Mexican banners? You won't find a better site for Day of the Dead or Holiday gear. Looking to give your seasonal party some Latin flair? Search this site for the perfect thing.

 3. Dunitz & Company - Yes, that's my business and I've been working with artisans in Guatemala since 1990! Please check out our site to find incredible seed bead, embroidered and fused glass jewelry designs. We also have the most special kippot for women. Questions, I'm always here to help.

 4. Eternal Threads - I think you'll be really impressed with the wide selection of gifts from all over the globe offered by Eternal Threads. I am. (And this site is also offering some Dunitz fair trade jewelry this season.) From sophisticated to hippy, you'll find a lot of awesome gifts for your favorite friends and family.

5.  Fair Trade Winds - If you're not familiar with Fair Trade Winds, you should be. They have an amazing website offering so many wonderful fair trade items. They know retailing well since they own and manage several brick & mortar shops too. And since they've been my (wholesale) customer for several years, I can say with confidence that they are some of the nicest people I know.

6. Freeset USA - I only recently learned about Freeset USA, even though they've been a member of Fair Trade Federation longer than Dunitz.  I'm so impressed with their long line of handbags, totes and duffels (made in India) which really have a great hip young vibe. They even offer fair trade T-shirts. I also found out that Freeset produces goods for other FTF members, private label. 

7. Kahiniwalla - Let's talk kids! Kahiniwalla offers the most amazing children's toys and accessories. I think you'll be hard pressed to find anything, anywhere available that is more precious that this collection crafted in Bangladesh. If you have tots on your gift list, you must take a look at this site.

 8. Maroma USA - This site is luscious. Maroma offers a very appealing collection of incense, luminaries, fragrance and body care, all handcrafted in India. They also have products tailored for men. 

9. Mehera Shaw - You'll have to search the Mehera Shaw site to discover all that they do. They've been working with artisans in Jaipur, India since 1999 and offer a wide selection of modern clothing and accessories. They even have Christmas stockings and ornaments for sale.

10. Mr. Ellie Pooh - Looking for note cards, photo albums, journals or other paper products? Then you absolutely need to consider Mr.Ellie Pooh's adorable line-up. Fairly produced in Sri Lanka, Ellie's offerings are made from recycled paper which is 30% comprised of elephant dung. Seriously. Click to learn more. 

11. Nativa - Nativa is all about fine Mexican clothing. If you know me, you know I'm crazy for beautiful embroidery work. I'm certain you'll also be drooling over this company's fine crafted blouses, dresses and children's wear. They even have yoga bags. 

12. One World Fair Trade - Looking for a wide range of gifts? One World's site might be the perfect one stop shop for you. I've been working with the One World team for many years (they sell Dunitz in their brick & mortar shop) and I can personally attest to their sophisticated and well designed choices. 

13. Shop With A Mission - It surprises me that I didn't know about this website until I started researching for this article. Heavenly Treasures/Shop With A Mission has been a Fair Trade Federation member since 2010 and their US offices are located in Southern California. (Gee, I've obviously been living in a bubble.) After checking out their site, I am marveled by their wide selection of fair trade gifts. You'll certainly find some great ideas here. 

14. Women's Peace Collection - The Women's Peace Collection is a social enterprise that helps women around the world by supporting their work and entrepreneurship. They currently offer jewelry, accessories (including some cold weather gloves that are super yummy), home decor and children's toys. Oh yes, and a few Dunitz designs, too!

15. Zee Bee Market - You'll love Zee Bee Market's website. It's so well designed and so easy to navigate with a wide assortment of fun gifts for just about everyone you know. And since they also operate two brick & mortar shops in Missouri, they have a great pulse on what customers want to find online. Click here to explore their site.

So there you have it!  A perfect list of 15 fabulous retail fair trade websites where you can take care of all your gift purchasing needs.  You will find great gifts and if you have time, each one of these sites shares their unique stories. Stories of how they began working in fair trade. Stories of their artisans from varying countries. Stories of how fair trade makes a difference. And with the knowledge of how all these companies are making a difference, you will have a better understanding of how your purchases are also making a difference in so many lives.

Dunitz & Company fair trade jewelry and Judaica is so proud to be part of the Fair Trade Federation family.  Our heart fills with joy because we are part of this important group of business people who care so much about human dignity and our planet. -ND

Friday, October 5, 2018

Forever Jade. Always Loved. Always In Style.

I'm always making sure that Dunitz fair trade jewelry is offered in a host of colors you'll find on the runway and featured on retail clothing racks. Spring 2019 will be no different. But honesty, there is one range of colors that seems to always sell. It's always on the runway. And it's always available at your local boutique. That's stunning Jade. Any tint or shade.

Pantone is forecasting vibrant oranges, pinks, reds, yellows and salmon for our soon to be warmer weather. We say hats off to the designers who follow their hearts and the unending desire of their audiences for jade.

Victoria Beckham's Spring 2019 features several outfits in classic jade. She's one smart designer.  And what is more comfie that a jumpsuit too? And flats. (the shoes!) We love her!

This combo of jade and seafoam is one that really appeals to me, personally. My mother (the original Joanie M) used to tease me when I was a kid. She'd say "Nancy, you always have to have a sweater in teal or jade or seafoam. What's up with that?" This adorable look comes from Roberto Cavalli. I want to be wearing that outfit!

Ana Sui is always about color. For Spring 2019 she has included lighter and darker shades of this fan favorite. And lots of it. (In the 1990s, Ana Sui's Soho, New York store sold some of our jewelry. That was a kick for me!)

Stella McCartney has a lot of sparkles going on for Spring 2019 ready-to-wear. This blouse-y dress is sparkling in teal-y jade-y mint-y colors. Yum. Yum. (I've spilled the beans. You now know these have always been my favorite colors too.) Truth be told, McCartney's current show featured a lot of neutrals. Yes, there was one crazy vibrant orange outfit. And a bright turquoise number. And - this one!

J. Mendel Spring 2019 runway looks featured lots of eye candy in candy colors. Pinks. Yellows. Peach. And Jade & Mint too! His styling really appeals to me. And yes, the  many outfits in my favorite color.

Truth be told. Many designers seemed to offer a lot of white, black and gray for Spring 2019. This is no exception for the boasted looks of Balmain. Just as with many other designers, his collection featured a few outfits in mint-jade. How could I not zoom in on this top worn with a pair of gray high waisted pants?

So there you have it! Forever Jade. Always Loved. And Always in Style. Dunitz fair trade jewelry will be yours for Spring 2019 in my favorite and frankly many customer's favorite color. Are you on board? -ND

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Securing Kippot to a Bald Head. We've Been Asked.

Many of you are familiar with Dunitz & Company's fair trade Judaica collection. We believe our crochet, beaded & embroidered fair trade kippot designed for women are some of the most beautiful available. Guys shouldn't fret. We offer a few styles that are quite manly. Take our "Star of David" design, for example. For many years we've exclusively wholesaled our kippot. Now, we are also offering them at retail on Etsy, Amazon Handmade and Shop Dunitz. (Yes, pricing is in line with anything you'd pay from our retail partners.) But, here's the thing. It wasn't until we started retailing that we received inquiries about how a bald man might wear our designs.

Our research began. Dunitz & Company yarmulkes have always featured little braided straps on the underside that are perfect for hiding bobby pins or other clips. This is a terrific feature if you're a man or woman with hair.

I learned on line that some bald men choose to wear larger size kippot that fit over their entire head, something beanie-like. Others opt for suede kippot. I read that suede creates more friction so it sits more securely on a bald head. (I have no proof of this. Do we believe everything we read? Just don't bounce around too much, I'm guessing.)

And then there was the obvious answer. But, seriously, it didn't easily present itself when researching on line. No, not super-glue. Not even velcro. (Although this seems a more plausible solution.)  The easy solution is double-sided fashion tape. There seems to be many brands and variations available. Rolls. Strips. And duh! Men have been using double-sided tape for their toupees since forever. This is the perfect solution to secure a kippot on a bald head. The roll shown to the right is by 3M.  A quick search online will reveal that this sort of tape is readily available and not expensive.

So now we all know how to secure a kippa to a bald man's head. It's such an easy solution. And obviously by the questions I've received, I'm not the only one who didn't have the answer.  Manly kippot? We've got 'em.  Looking for a yarmulke for your guy-pal? Whether he's bald or not, please consider Dunitz & Company's fair trade Judaica collection. -ND