Thursday, November 12, 2020

My Favorite Things - Fair Trade Things

Dunitz & Company Fair Trade Jewelry
I thought it would be fun to share my favorite fair trade things I enjoy and use on a regular basis. First off, I must pay praise to my favorite Dunitz & Company fair trade bracelet. My embroidered floral bracelet has been worn for so long and so often, it now possesses a vintage flair. I typically add additional Boho style with a couple of skinny slide bracelets. I know there is oodles of gorgeous fair trade jewelry available. But if not for family heirlooms, You'd only see me wearing jewelry I design.

In the spirit of collaboration over competition, I am sharing my favorite fair trade things from my Fair Trade Federation colleagues.  

Dr Bronner Castile Soap
Some of my favorite fair trade things include consumable items. I consume a lot of Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Liquid Soap. I use it for hand washing dishes and washing my hands. Seriously! I dilute it for use by my kitchen sink. It cuts through grease with such ease. And I'm crazy for anything minty. My local Costco sells this soap, which makes purchasing it really easy and affordable.

Zambeezi Lip Balm
Lucky for me, I really don't suffer from chapped lips. But every once in a while, ya gotta have a good lip balm around. And this is were Zambeezi enters the picture. I particularly like their organic lemongrass beeswax balm. The scent and flavor is very subtle. But don't go with what I say. You might prefer their tangerine or wild rose flavors.

HoonArts Wood Comb
Do you use a comb? Most of  the time I use a brush. But there are times, especially after washing my mane, I prefer the use of a comb.  So, why not use the most beautiful comb available in the whole wide world? Mine comes from HoonArts and was painstakingly carved by Master Sodiq in Tajikistan. (Get out a map.) My comb was carved out of walnut. Others are made with apricot wood. This might be the perfect gift for someone who already seems to have everything and needs nothing.

Dunitz & Company fair trade mask
It's 2020, and you know what that means. #Maskup! #Maskon! Dunitz & Company offers at retail some of the most exquisite masks available. Yes Yes. I'm tooting my own horn. The thing is, I want to tell you about some other masks I love to wear too.  And I just can't do that without putting in a good word for the ones I designed with my colleagues in Guatemala. Ours use back-strap handwoven fabric that is then adorned with embroidered and beaded flowers. We offer them in several colors. Beige (shown here) is my personal favorite. Each of our masks is one-of-a-kind.

Blossom Inspirations Mask
I've only worn this gorgeous mask from Blossom Inspirations a couple of times so far. I'm totally in love with it. It's such a piece of art, I think I should be framing it!  These masks are made with the Arpillera technique you've seen out of Peru. I was told it can take seven, yes, "7" hours to craft one of these. Seriously. My Peruvian fashion statement fits quite comfortably. They make these kid-size too.

Sevya fair trade mask
Want a mask with a bit more subtlety?  You might consider Sevya's masks. They're roomy, easy on the ears and available in nice neutral colors. I'm even letting you see here how I look in mine. These have turned out to be really helpful in my office too.  I always put on a mask before I answer the door for the postman or other delivery people. These go on very easily.  Gotta guy you have to buy something for? These mask are perfect for men too. Did I call them subtle?

Seeds to Sew Enkiteng Bags
I realize that as I type this blog post, I keep calling things potential gifts, for the reader. (That's you.)  Clearly it's a November thing. Of course, I think any day can be a gift-giving day.  And that's exactly why I absolutely love Seeds to Sew International's Enkiteng bags. They're beautifully sewn with assorted fabrics with grosgrain ribbon. Drop a book, a box, or gift inside. Tie the ribbon. Voila. The prettiest and easiest gift wrap ever. (And the receiver can recycle, reuse or use them however they see fit.) These are sewn by women in Kenya, and each bag is signed by the woman who made it. Nice touch. 

New York Gift Show Snow Storm
One of my favorite fair trade things (other than all of Dunitz & Company's jewelry) comes from Guatemala where I've been working for over 30 years. And as I warmly (literally) think about it, I'm reminded of a giant storm that closed down New York City and the New York Gift Show.  Yes, I was wearing that favorite fair trade chenille scarf of mine. So for this blog post, I dug out the photo proof. That scarf is nice and long, long enough to wrap around my head and neck. (That's me on the far right.)


Mayan Hands Chenille Scarf
Don't worry. Here's a pic of my rayon chenille scarf. I actually own two. My favorite is green. The other is sort-of an eggplant purple. These are made in a cooperative in Solola where the yarn is spun, dyed and then back-strap loom woven into these magnificent scarves. One year just about everyone in my family received one as a gift. And guess what? They're available from Mayan Hands. Did I say how much I love my chenille scarves?




As I am typing my blog salutation, I can hear Julie Andrews singing "these are a few of my favorite things." (Can you hear it too?) This list is short, I know. But these ARE my favorite fair trade things. Maybe they'll become yours too. - ND