Choose Love: Refugee-Made Gifts

A friend once told me that her immigrant father loves Valentine’s Day. He thinks the idea of a holiday that encourages us to love one another is beautiful. I usually dismiss Valentine’s as a commercial holiday designed to sell chocolates, but my friend’s story reminds me I can choose to find a deeper meaning.

With all the strife in the world right now, how beautiful to remember that we can show love through our choices and actions. Today we’re taking a quick break from our vegan series to share a few ideas for Valentine’s gifts that are made by refugees from around the world.

Valentine's Gift Ideas That Support Refugees
1. Chapati Box Candle from Prosperity Candle: Featuring a beautiful, hand-embossed box from India, this soy-blend candle is available with custom scents and fragrance strengths. Prosperity Candle is a certified B Corp working with refugee women in the United States and female artisans around the world to make hand-poured creations. $36.

2. Chari Necklace from MeltGoods: This delicate, minimalist necklace is crafted from raw brass with a gold-filled chain. MeltGoods employs women refugees resettled in the Dallas, Texas, area. $40.

3. Hammered Brass Bangle from FORAI: A beautiful cloisonne bead makes this bangle a stand-out accessory. Founded on fair trade principles, non-profit FORAI employs refugee and immigrant women in the St. Louis area to make high-quality jewelry through home-based business. $10.

4. Sisterhood Soap from Preemptive Love: Made by refugees in Iraq, Sisterhood Soap and Kinsman Soap are crafted from olive oil and other natural ingredients. Each bar of soap empowers men and women who have fled ISIS to support their families with the work of their own hands. $10.

5. Fatima Scarf by Liz Alig: These scarves are created in partnership with Sew for Hope, a Nashville organization providing low-cost sewing classes to refugees seeking marketable job skills. Each scarf is made from recycled t-shirts gathered from a local thrift store. $36.

Can’t decide on a gift? Consider Anchor of Hope, a monthly subscription service featuring curated collections of goods made by refugees, trafficking survivors, and others in vulnerable situations. $34 a month.

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Wear It Loud: Ethical Statement Tees

Ethically-Made Statement Tees


Looking for ways to share your values everywhere you go? Sustainable fashion is a great way to wear your worldview, but if you need something a little louder, check out these statement tees:

100% Human from Everlane: Made at a factory in Los Angeles. For every shirt sold, Everlane will donate $5 to the ACLU. Also available in white. $22.

Love Your Neighbor from Project 615:  Printed in Nashville, Tennessee. 100% of profits will go to support Nashville’s homeless population through Room in the Inn. Available in men’s and women’s styles and as a sweatshirt. $25.

Be the Change from People Tree: Organic, fair trade cotton tee made at a social enterprise in India. $43.

#RefugeesWelcome from Threads 4 Thought: Made from organic cotton and recycled polyester. Profits from this shirt will go to the International Rescue Committee. Also available in a women’s style. $25.

Justice is What Love Looks Like from A Beautiful Refuge: Fair trade t-shirt printed at a workshop supporting women in crisis. Also available in a men’s style. $19.

People Are Not Property from Sudara: Printed in the USA with proceeds benefiting Sudara’s employment projects for women who have escaped human trafficking. $36.

We Are the Change from Modavanti: Part of Modavanti’s activist line. Made in the USA. $28.


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Last-Minute Shopping: The Procrastinator’s Prime Guide

The Procrastinator's Prime Guide to Ethical Christmas Shopping


Looking for last-minute gifts? Amazon Prime to the rescue! You can still find sustainable, thoughtful gift ideas slated to arrive before Christmas with Amazon’s handy two-day shipping. The items below are made with care and are estimated to have a pre-Christmas arrival date. Remember, though, just in case,  double-check shipping times before ordering.

Novica Cotton Hammock — This fair trade hammock from Novica holds up to 450 lbs and comes with a story card certifying its authenticity. Fun gift for the adventurer and book-reader in your life! $104.

EST WST Collective Rucksack — Featuring a 17″ laptop sleeve and a waterproof lining made from recycled bottles, this rucksack is a thoughtful gift for the urban traveler seeking to balance modernity and global awareness. EST WST bags feature textiles handwoven by partner producers in Nepal and India. $145.

Matr Boomie Cuff Bracelet — I love this intricately-designed, silver-toned brass cuff  to complement any outfit, from a cocktail dress to jeans and a sweater. Handmade at a fair trade facility in India. $23.

Friendsheep Wool Terrier — Crafted from eco-friendly New Zealand wool, this sweet puppy is shaped and sewn at a fair trade cooperative in Nepal. $16.

Tegu Magnetic Wooden Blocks — Encourage imaginative play with a magnetic block car that can be rebuilt and reconfigured. Tegu blocks are created in Honduras from sustainably-sourced hardwoods. The company seeks to impact their Honduran community with economic  development and transparent, responsible manufacturing. $30.

Sky Organics Lip Balm — Stocking stuffer alert! These organic lip balms are made in the USA with beeswax, cocoa butter, and coconut oil. $11.

Eliza Fair Trade Leather Journal — This fair trade journal is handcrafted from cruelty-free leather and 100% recycled, acid-free paper. Perfect for the aspiring poet or author.  $27.

KeepCup Travel Mug — This reusable, 12 oz cup is a great gift for the coffee shop enthusiast in your life. In addition to providing a stylish, zero-waste alternative to the to-go coffee cup, the company seeks to reduce their own environmental footprint through local manufacturing and transparent sourcing. $20.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links that will earn money for this site if you choose to make a purchase. However, this post was not sponsored by Amazon. All opinions are my own. 

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