Behind every gift from Ten Thousand Villages is a story. With unique, handmade jewelry, home decor, art, and more, the fair trade retailer is a blossoming global network of social entrepreneurs empowering artisans and their communities in developing countries. For meaningful gift ideas, THE GREEN FIND uncovered these coveted items:
Ten Thousand Villages purchases abalone and alpaca jewelry from the fair trade cooperative UPA Taxco, which works with rural artisans in Mexico to collectively market their alpaca metal jewelry and provide fair wages. Teofilo Alvira, who began jewelry-making with his father, handcrafted the Free-Spirited Woman Bracelet to share with the carefree woman in your life. His stunning Radiant Flower Pin is made from alpaca stone and mother-of-pearl from abalone sea snails.
One of the pioneering Indian organizations for fair wages, TARA Projects focuses on community development and business, providing artisans with medical insurance, financial assistance and skills training. This 1930’s flapper style Love Links Necklace with vintage fringe supports educational programs for women and children.
The charming Peaceful Heart Bracelet, a brass chain holding a red ceramic heart and tiny peace symbol, was produced in Kenya through Jacaranda Workshop. The nonprofit located in Nairobi, Kenya provides employment, training and other assistance to artisans with mental or physical disabilities.
These beautifully crafted Kathmandu Pearl Earrings come from the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal. Each piece by Mahaguthi, an organization that markets the handicrafts of more than 1,000 Nepali artisans from remote and mountainous areas, features a single pearl in a spiraling sterling silver setting.
Hand-carved in highly iridescent mother-of-pearl, this Tree of Light Pendant is a gift to be treasured. Named after the Quechua Indian word, “earth,” the Peruvian craft trading company Allpa markets artisan groups and family workshops in Peru, where they provide skills training and tools to local artisans.
Images by Ten Thousand Villages