Shopping with a Conscience

As the holiday season approaches, we often take the opportunity to both indulge in some well-earned treats and gifts, but also to give back to those less fortunate. Whether that means donating to a children’s holiday gift drive, serving at a local shelter, or shopping for socially and economically conscious presents for your loved ones, there are a variety of ways to give back during the holidays.


That’s why the Blanton Museum Shop has partnered with fair trade organization, Ona Mission, to organize a Fair Trade Holiday Trunk Show. Before jumping in to all of the awesome reasons for shopping for fair trade products (and giving a sneak preview of what to expect!), here are the basics:

What: Fair Trade Holiday Trunk Show
Where: Blanton Museum Shop, MLK at Congress
When: TODAY! Thursday, November 19 from 11am – 8pm

1Now let’s back up a step and take a look at what “fair trade” really means. According to the Fair Trade Federation, “fair trade is an approach to business and to development based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seeks to create greater equity in the international trading system. Fair trade supports farmers and craftspeople in developing countries who are socially and economically marginalized. These producers often face steep hurdles in finding markets and customers for their goods.” So essentially, by shopping fair trade, you can be assured that the items you purchase are made with materials that were manufactured and acquired fairly, by companies that do not exploit foreign or domestic laborers. Pretty cool, right?

2Let’s take it a step further. If you shop the Blanton Museum Shop’s Fair Trade Holiday Trunk Show, not only can you be positive that all of your purchases are fair trade, but many of the featured vendors also take additional steps to give back to the communities with whom they work. For example, Papillon Haiti provides job training to help employees learn to create new items out of recycled goods, while She Has Hope rescues and rehabilitates human trafficking survivors in Nepal.

Now that you know your purchasing power will be used for good, here’s a sneak peek of featured vendors and what they will have to offer today: 

Liz Alig: Fair Trade clothing and accessories

Liz Alig was created with the hope of providing consumers with fair trade clothing that is both ethical and fashionable.

Papillon Haiti: Jewelry, metalworks, wall hangings, Christmas ornaments and nativities

Papillon Haiti provides hope to the people of Haiti through the dignity of jobs, training them to create something new out of recycled materials and natural resources that might otherwise seem unusable.

Haiti Design Co-op: Leather goods, jewelry, totes, keychains, stuffed animals, etc.

Haiti Design Co-op is a socially conscious artisan cooperative based in Port Au Prince, Haiti. It is dedicated to business development, skill training, job creation, and fostering a positive and uplofting work environment for its local artisans.

She Has Hope: Jewelry, Totes, Stuffed animals, keychains

She Has Hope rescues and rehabilitates human trafficking survivors in Nepal with the goal of restoring them to a life full of hope.

Peace Gospel: Jewelry, accessories, Nativities

Peace Gospel is empowering sustainable, native-led, mercy-based programs in Asia and Africa by caring for orphans, child trafficking victims, at-risk women and destitute children of the slums.

Emi B Bad: Hand-crafted jewelry

All things vintage, all things different, all things fun! Emi B Bad is run by a local artisan out of Tomball, TX.

I don’t know about you, but to me this looks like a one-stop holiday shopping experience! See you at the trunk show!

Tessa Krieger-Carlisle is the PR and Marketing Manager at the Blanton Museum of Art. She holds a BA in the History of Art from UC Berkeley and an MA in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.

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