Saturday, December 22, 2012

Fair Trade Christmas Tree

A few weeks ago in this WILW post, I put a photo of my little fair trade Christmas tree.  So many of you emailed me asking about it that I thought it deserve a little more attention.

Ten Thousand Villages is probably my most favorite store ever.  There is very little this store doesn't carry, and it's all fair trade.  The only thing they could possibly add is clothing, but now that I know Ann Taylor Loft is ethically traded (read about it on their website), I feel better about clothes shopping.  It's pretty much the only place I do my clothes shopping because of that.  I need to research a few more stores over break.  Anyway, over Thanksgiving, I was shopping for presents at TTV and noticed these huge straw trees with tons of ornaments hanging on them.  I asked how much the trees were, but they weren't for sale!  I was crushed.  Later in the day, I found a little straw tree that's prelit from Kirklands (TOTALLY not fair trade, I know, but I didn't know where else to look), and I bought it.  Then I went back to TTV and bought 10 ornaments and a strand of garland. 

I love the way my tree turned out.  I have hand made ornaments from Colombia, Kenya, West Bank (Israel), Vietnam, Cambodia, and Bangladesh.  I love the way different cultures see Christmas differently.  I don't know if my Kenyan angel or my baobab tree with the zebras running around it is my favorite.  I can't decide.  The dove from West Bank is pretty special too.  Oh, and the star on top was carved and painted in India.  Just beautiful.  I think in all I spent about $100 on this little tree, but, along with my nativity I bought in Zambia, it is my prized Christmas possession. 

I can't always travel everywhere in the world I want to go (yeah, that'd be EVERYWHERE), but I can try hard to make sure my purchases help people instead of hurt them. Slavery is still so real in our world!

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