Better than Black Friday: Shop Fair Trade from Haiti
What can you do to live your values during the Christmas season? Skip the Black Friday lines and purchase gifts that provide dignified employment in Haiti. Haiti is blessed with a wealth of creative traditions (plus plenty of mountains—the perfect place to grow some seriously delicious coffee).
Here are 11 great fair trade finds from Haiti:
1. Fox Ornament
Trim the tree with this clever fox, cleverly fashioned from discarded steel oil barrels and painted by hand.
2. Bread Tray
Haiti has a rich woodcarving tradition, but decades of deforestation have felled many of Haiti’s forests. Woodcarving artisans have adapted by planting obichi, a fast-growing tree that can be sustainably harvested. This hand-carved obichi bread tray is not just beautiful, it also encourages a greener Haiti for years to come. Makes a wonderful host/hostess gift!
Seriously comfortable leggings, a versatile gift for anyone on your list! Great for lounging, yoga, and mountain climbing—I recently climbed Haiti’s highest peak with my trusty leggings in tow!
This original piece represents a design collaboration between Ten Thousand Villages and artisans in Croix-des-Bouquets, home of Haiti’s storied metal art tradition. These pieces were hand-painted by my good friends Georges Rabner and Jean Renel St. Fleur!
6. Flore Doll
Ready for a cuddly new friend? The handmade Flore doll is a bright companion for snowy winter days!
Delicious fair trade coffee grown by small farmers in the mountains of Haiti. Purchase by the bag, or give the gift of everlasting caffeination with one of Singing Rooster’s customizable subscription options!
This Haitian expression of the nativity scene, vibrant with Caribbean color, is a joyful addition to your Christmas décor.
This statement necklace showcases the beautiful natural patterns of polished cow horn—yet another example of Haitian artisans’ ingenious use of discarded materials. Made by a collective in Port-au-Prince.
What to get your always-on-the-move friend? This beautiful passport or notebook cover travels well!
11. Dragon Ornament
A Christmas ornament fit for the dragon tamers and Khaleesis on your list. Crafted from discarded oil drums, this friendly dragon is ready to join your festivities.
Why fair trade?
Supporting sustainable livelihoods is one of MCC’s areas of focus. Often, this means helping small farmers grow crops to feed their families and communities. It also means helping artisans support themselves through their craft.
As a service worker, my role as a Designer and Product Developer with Haitian artisan organization Comité Artisanal Haitïen focuses on combating Haiti’s dire shortage of employment opportunities by supporting connections between Haitian artisans and fair trade markets.
Fair trade connections enable artisans to pay school fees for their children, bounce back from natural disasters, build safe and solid homes, and make plans for the future knowing that they have friends and allies around the world who want to celebrate their skill and creativity.
You can find more meaningful ways to support MCC this holiday season in the MCC Christmas Catalog.