In the spirit of collaboration over competition, I am sharing my favorite fair trade things from my Fair Trade Federation colleagues.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These mask are perfect for men too. Did I call them subtle?
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.
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.)