There are only a few more shopping days until Christmas and time to buckle down and pick up those stocking stuffers! The holidays are a perfect time to celebrate fair trade, as it is a time for reflection and thanks.  Fair Trade is the epitome of what the holidays represent, so when you are picking up your stocking stuffers this year, why not make them fairly traded? You can feel good about your ethical decision and spread fair trade cheer throughout the land. There are number of great places to pick up Fair Trade goodies including your local fair trade store, Ten Thousand Villages, natural food stores, co-ops, and even Whole Foods. We have provided a quick list of some great ideas to use as stocking stuffers or even Hanukkah gifts!  So when you are out getting your last minute stocking stuffers, think fair trade!

Chocolates: This is probably the most readily available fair trade gift, even major supermarkets carry some fair trade chocolate. You can go for the big bars made by companies such as Alter Eco or Equal Exchange, or you can go the gourmet route such as Sjaak’s, who offer everything from peanut butter cups to truffles. Or better yet, how about some fair trade fudge, some of it’s even vegan friendly!

Mints: That’s right fair trade isn’t just for chocolate anymore! You can actually find fair trade mints Vermints.  These organic Canadian mints are made with  fair trade coffee, tea, and chocolate in their flavoring. Keep your breathe socially conscious and minty fresh!

Homemade Goodies: If you can’t quite find what you are looking for in the sweets department, make your favorite recipe using fair trade ingredients! Some great ideas are Fair Trade Banana Bread made with fair trade bananas and sugar, or how about Fair Trade Chocolate Chip Cookies made with fair trade chocolate chips and sugar. Check out the Fairtrade Foundation’s recipe recommendations for great ideas.

Jewelry:  Another great fair trade item is jewelry. And as you know, you can never go wrong there. You can find anything from earrings to necklaces, and even rings. We love these Daphne bracelets made by displaces women in Uganda. Also, the bike enthusiast in us adores these recycled bike chain bracelets from Ten Thousand Villages. You can find a whole host of great stocking stuffers in beautiful jewelry from at Ten Thousand Villages and other fair trade shops.

Ornaments: Give them something to hang on the tree for next year. Flavours For Life has a wide variety of fair trade ornaments, including our favorite, the holiday gift bag that states “Shop Fair Trade.” Nothing like spreading a little fair trade message! Pristine Planet and Ten Thousand Villages also have great holiday ornaments.

Little Toys: For those youngsters on your list, go for the fun stuff! There isn’t a huge selection of fair trade toys and you aren’t going to find any fair trade legos any time soon (maybe!) but you can find a few sweet fair trade toys. Try Down to Earth Toys such as these cute veggie stuffed animals. For those musically inclined children, we love these wooden egg shakers made in Bali.

Autonomie: Our fair trade store is a one stop shop for great stocking stuffers and we just happen to be having a Holiday Moving Sale which includes some great deals on stocking stuffers. We have our new fair trade earrings and bracelets, made from recycled soda can tabs and bar codes. There are also matching soda can belts! But the best deal of all is our fabulous flip flips, made with FSC Certified sustainable rubber. They are currently on sale for $5.50 (regular $22). Also, if you are shopping for your other needs and spend up to $100 you receive a free stocking stuffer of your choice, including an Autonomie Gift Card.

Gift Card: Which brings us to our last fair trade stocking stuffer idea. The Gift Card. You seriously can’t go wrong here, letting someone pick out their own gift! There are a lot of great places to give an ethical gift card to, including Ten Thousand Villages, Autonomie Project, your local fair trade store, and  Greenheart Shop. For a full list check the Fair Trade Federation.


Let the War on Christmas begin!  Happy Holidays, everyone!  So, you’ve already bought all your large-ticket, “from Santa,” 8th-day-of-Hanukkah items (or not) and a dreadful little void has yet to be filled in all the debit card merrymaking: stocking stuffers. Or, any little gift you might want to give to a co-worker, in-law or conveniently not assign to anyone in particular and joyfully re-discover a few days after Christmas.  This ballpark of gift-giving can be the most fun of all, and it’s so easy to make it vegan that you really won’t have any excuse, you flag-hoisting neo-hippy!

Go Max Go Candy Bars

Yo, vegans: In case you haven’t seen them yet, you can now relive your simple yet exhilarating childhood moments of getting to pick out your favorite candy bar at the store, thanks to Go Max Go, a Portland-based company that makes a few select and dead-on replicas of the mainstream candy bar heavy-hitters such as Snickers, Almond Joy and Three Musketeers.  I’ve tried them all, and loved them all.  Buy them at the mall (or not).  Another sweet favorite:  Candy Tree organic lollipops!  Perhaps the only lollipops you might be able to justify giving to small children with delicate, virgin teeth and years of potential dentist bills ahead, these tasty guys will actually dissolve in your body and not stain your insides with all the colors of the rainbow.

So, it’s cold out, and perhaps very, very, very cold out depending on where you’re wintering, and certain body parts easily get chapped.  That’s why Eco Lips Bee Free Vegan Lip Balm and The Merry Hempsters Vegan Hemp Lip Balm have your lips’ back, providing ethical, soothing relief after the big snowball fight with your creepy uncle.
Did you know that the Kiss My Face bath and beauty company is almost entirely vegan?  Yep, except for a few products that contain beeswax and honey, all of them clearly marked.  Soaps, lotions and all bathwares make great double-whammy gifts in that they’re totally practical and useful while maintaining a refined and even sentimental gift status. And Kiss My Face’s product line is so various, from foot scrubs to toothpaste to bug spray, that the website is pretty much a one-stop shop.  Try the Trail Size Spearmint Breath Blast.

Gama-Go Bling Bonsai From

I’ve seen my fair share of Costanza wallets lately; many people you know and love may be suffering from one as you read this. Thus, a wallet is always a perfect small-sized gift, and many of the vegan persuasion have small-sized price tags. Check out the variety of both conventional and inventive styles at Alternative Outfitters vegan boutique.  Mighty Wallet makes them out of can’t-bust-it Tyvek in awesome prints and patterns, such as the NYC subway map, with a DIY look and feel.  And I don’t care how middle-school-girl it is, I kinda want the Gama-Go Bling Bonsai Vegan Zip Wallet.

Praise Seitan Button from

It’s a bit sad, but the 1″ pinback seems to be disappearing from lapels, jackets and backpacks everywhere; how does such a timeless and versatile bit of flare go out of style?  Or, am I just hanging out at Alameda County Superior Court every day? Regardless, buttons are always well-received as little token gifts and add-ons to things like vegan wallets.  For those of you with vegan friends who enjoy a subtly outspoken expression of their lifestyle, check out Herbivore Clothing‘s button section.  With artful design, the slogans vary from the diplomatic “herbivore” to the straight-up “fur is fucked” to the best vegan pin of all time: “somebody give the vegan corndog a handclap.”  Splash.

I just saw a holiday card online that says “Soysons Greetings.”  Say that out loud to a few people tomorrow and see if they understand what you just said the third time.

-Jeremy Pearson

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