10 fair trade gift ideas for mom (and a lesson on what ‘fair trade’ means)

Can’t find the perfect gift for the doting mom in your life? I’ve got you covered. As ONE’s resident products-for-good expert (don’t believe me? Check out all the gift guides I’ve written for ONE!), I’ve scoured Pinterest, blogs and more to bring you some of my favorite fair trade products that I think would work great as Mother’s Day gifts.

First things first, let me say a little bit about what it means for a product to be considered “fair trade”. A product can only be labeled fair trade if the companies that produce them promote fair compensation, safe and healthy working conditions, direct and long-term relationships, transparent business practices, and workplaces free from discrimination and forced child labor.

By buying fair trade items, you help ensure that revenue from the sale of artisanal items is reinvested in the surrounding community to help invigorate the local economy and improve access to food, health care, and education, amongst other services.

One thing to know – anyone can claim that their organization or merchandise is fair trade, so be on the lookout for a third-party certification on the packaging to verify that it does in fact follow fair trade regulations.

1. Apron in blue damask by Global Mamas

Global Mamas Apron

Great for any mom who loves to cook but doesn’t want to sacrifice style! Price: $21.00

2. Handmade Greeting Cards from Good Paper

Good Paper African Stationary

The “Fruity Hat” card is lovingly handcrafted in Rwanda by young people who have been orphaned by genocide or disease. All paper is handmade from local Rwandan office waste, making it environmentally sustainable. Envelope included. Price: $4.99

3. Sisal Bowl from Baskets of Africa

Swazi Sisal Basket

Handmade in Swaziland from Sisal fibers, these bowls are traditionally given as gifts to symbolize a long and happy life – what more could you wish for for your own mom? Price: $16.50

4. Blue Kenyan Sisal Zebra Print Tote from Swahili Africa Modern

Blue Kenyan Sisal Zebra Print Tote

Perfect for food shopping or carrying things to the beach, this chic tote is woven from dyed blue and natural white sisal fibers. Sisal fiber is incredibly tough, so you can stuff this tote full of goodies time and time again. Price $56.00

5. Twig Spoon & Spreader Set from Swahili Africa Modern

Twig Spoon and Spreader Set

Have a mom who loves to entertain? Then these serving spoons will look great at any family gathering! Beautifully crafted by Kenyan artisans from wild olive wood discarded from previous projects. Price: $14.00

6. Choice Chai (Loose Leaf) from Cafe Campesino

Cafe Campesino

For the mom-on-the-go: a loose leaf blend of 60 grams of “ready-to-brew” spices and fine black teas. Price: $6.95

7. Diamante Clutch from CONNECTED Fair Trade

Diamante Clutch

Not sure what to buy? You can’t go wrong with this clutch that doubles as a make-up bag. Hand brocaded clutch with multi-colored tassel. Hand-woven and sewn in Guatemala. I’m personally getting this one for my mom this Mother’s Day – she’ll love the detail and the story behind it! Price: $36.00

8. Organic Baking Cocoa from Equal Exchange

Equal Exchange Organic Baking Cocoa

No mom with a sweet tooth can resist this organic baking cocoa powder- the secret ingredient for delicious brownies, cakes, cookies and countless other desserts. Price: $7.75

9. Sweetgrass Bangles- Cool Brights from Indego.Africa
Indego Africa Sweetgrass Bracelets

For the super stylish, fashionable mom who’s sure to get plenty of complements on this set of 5 colored sweetgrass bracelets! Woven by the women of the Imirasire Cooperative, these  bracelets are hand-dyed in perfect summer shades with love from Rwanda. Delivered to your door with a tag signed by the artisan weaver. Price: $36.00

10. Herringbone Trig Clutch from One Mango Tree

One Mango Tree Trig Clutch

Made with hand-loomed fabrics and corner triangles of kitenge and a wooden zipper pull that finishes the look. The hand-loomed herringbone fabric is made by skilled weavers in Kampala, Uganda, using locally-sourced cotton yarns, purchased in local markets. Price: $26.00

Help commemorate World Fair Trade Day on May 11th by buying mother’s day gifts that support small and marginalized producers in the developing world. Mother’s all over the world will appreciate it! 

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