10 Unique Fair Trade Gifts Guaranteed to Make Someone Smile
Discover our collection of unique fair trade gifts – for birthdays, Christmas presents, or simply no reason at all.
When it comes to buying gifts – be it for your partner, sister, colleague or friend – it can be easy to fall into the same old patterns. Whether you are looking for an ethically minded individual, or simply trying to shop more consciously yourself, fair trade gifts are an easy way to break away from the trodden path and find something a little different. Something unexpected.
By buying a fair trade gift, not only can you find something truly unique, but you are supporting small-scale artisans across the world and ensuring that fair labour practices are sustained throughout the supply chain. This includes fair wages, good working conditions and the protection of workers’ rights– all of which dramatically improve the livelihood of artisans and their families.
To help you on your hunt, we’ve created a list of gift-worthy pieces from independent designers that are going above and beyond in their commitment to fair trade principles. Feel good in your choice this year with a fair trade gift that keeps on giving.
FAIR TRADE GIFTS UNDER £30
Small Milaya - Crocodile, The Milaya Project, £25
Gifting artwork does not need to be expensive. Lovingly handsewn onto 100% linen, this delicate embroidery looks beautiful framed on its own or hung together with others from the collection.
Whilst small, this embroidery is big in impact. The Milaya Project supports South Sudanese female refugees living in Uganda by creating opportunities for them to sell their crafts. All profits go to helping the women’s collectives scale up their businesses.
Wooden Serving Spoon, QÄSA QÄSA, £23.50
Hand-carved from African Blackwood, this serving spoon is a work of art in itself. We love to thread the handle and hang it in the kitchen, so its beauty can be admired even when not in use.
Wood carving is an ancient tradition of the Makonde tribe. QÄSA QÄSA works closely with woodcarvers from the tribe to preserve this skill and provide a stable income for the artisans and their community.
FAIR TRADE GIFTS UNDER £50
Hanging Planter, Mia Mélange, from £34
Because we all need more plants in our lives. Simple, stylish, and available in 3 different sizes and colour ways, pair with a plant of your choice for a thoughtful and mood-enhancing gift.
Based in South Africa, Mia Melange empowers previously unemployed women by providing work and training opportunities that in turn enable them to support themselves and their families.
Palm Earrings, Dear Katiopae, £39
Dazzle your special one with these gold-plated brass earrings from Dear Katiopae. Inspired by sprouting palm leaves, they’ll bring a ray of sunshine to even the greyest of days.
Rooted in fair trade practices, Dear Katiopae seeks to rewrite the narrative of Africa and voice the lost stories of multiple African cultures. Every purchase helps to preserve century-old traditions and empowers artisans throughout Africa.
FAIR TRADE GIFTS FOR THE MAGPIE
Large Harson Brass Hoops, Soul Design, £55
Who doesn’t love something shiny? Beautifully hand-crafted from 100% recycled brass, these classic hoops with studded detail are both contemporary and timeless. The hoop earrings are named after the skilled artisan who made them, Harson Ochieng.
Soul Designs collaborates with local creatives in Kenya to help build and support their businesses. Harson's workshop seeks to give back to and uplift his community through training and up-skilling.
FAIR TRADE GIFTS FOR THE SHOE CONNOISSEUR
The Illamoye Mule, Shekudo, £300
Fun, comfortable and oh-so-chic, Shekudo’s signature mules have us falling head over heels. Handwoven in Nigeria, no two pairs are the same, guaranteeing you a truly one-of-a-kind gift.
Shekudo is an advocate for women’s empowerment and seeks to transition to an all-female workforce. $5 from every sale goes towards teaching the art of shoemaking to Nigerian women who are at risk.
FAIR TRADE GIFTS FOR THE GLOBETROTTER
Indigo Blossom Kimono, Malaika Cotton, £175
If there’s one thing we love when it comes to packing for a holiday, it’s sunshine staples that will take us from morning to night. Double-sided and reversible, this kimono can be worn as loungewear, at the beach, and works for both men and women.
Malaika Cotton aims to support local businesses in their journey to becoming sustainable. All products are handmade with fair conditions in Kenya.
SHOP FAIR TRADE GIFTS FOR THE HOST(ESS) WITH THE MOST(ESS)
Ardmore Design's Kitchen Accessories
With hosting back on the table, we’re swooning over Ardmore Design’s bold and vibrant prints. Featuring frame-worthy tea towels, colourful table runners and whimsical oven mitts, mix and match for a sophisticated set that will brighten up any dinner party.
Ardmore is entrenched in community and each fabric pattern is often the work of many hands. They strive to develop the skills of their workers and continually offer opportunities for advancement.
FAIR TRADE GIFTS FOR THE BAG LOVER
Urugori Bag, Indego Africa, £110
Indego Africa’s signature bucket bag is a year-round win. Handwoven in Rwanda using a time-honoured weaving technique, each bag can take up to 70 hours to make and creates life-enhancing opportunities for the women who make them.
Indego Africa is a non-profit organisation that works with over 1,200 artisan and refugee women in Rwanda and Ghana. All profits are invested into educational programmes for the women and the youth in their local communities.
FAIR TRADE GIFTS FOR THE FRIEND IN NEED OF SOME SELF-CARE
Organic Savanna Collection, Organic Savanna, £58
What better way is there to unwind than a long soak in a bath? With a fragrant and relaxing eucalyptus candle, aloe-rich bar soap and baobab lip and body balm, this all-natural gift set has bath time written all over it.
Organic Savanna is a Kenyan social enterprise with a mission to empower local women and families. 100% of their profits are reinvested for social good, including education programs for children, vocational training for adults and raising environmental awareness.
FAIR TRADE GIFTS FOR HIM
Luxemen Groom and Go, Luxemore London
A powerful blend of grapeseed, jojoba and argan oil, this vegan duo takes grooming to the next level. Suitable for all hair and skin types, the set consists of a premium grooming oil and beard conditioner and comes packaged together in a sleek black box for a luxurious feel.
Luxemore London provides safe, toxin-free and ethically sourced alternatives for the afro hair-care industry. A percentage of every purchase is donated to The Distant Relatives Project, helping to better the lives of people in underserved communities in Africa and the Caribbean.
SHOP FAIR TRADE GIFTS FOR THE LITTLE ONE IN YOUR LIFE
Handmade Toys, Toy Project, from £30
Whether you are welcoming a new arrival or celebrating an early birthday, get them a gift they can cherish forever with one of Toy Project’s handsewn animals. Made from 100% linen, no two toys are the same.
Toy Project is a community-based initiative for previously unemployed women in rural South Africa. Every purchase helps support the lives of these women and their families.
Not found what you are looking for? Check out our Gift Edit for more fair trade xmas presents, including jewellery, homeware and gift sets.