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Saucye West models the Red Hemp Silk Dress by Swankety Swank.

Saucye West models the Red Hemp Silk Dress by Swankety Swank.

Co-Written by Laurel Dickman of Exile In Dietville and Kat Eves of Style Ethic. 

Gift-giving is supposed to be about love and kindness, but the same empathy and goodwill is rarely extended to the workers who create these wonderful items. Since the world around us is not always the most kind of places, it is our job as consumers to be knowledgeable of the companies we support with our hard-earned dollars and the practices that they partake in.

Ethical gift-giving is not always financially within reach. Fear not, for this year we have provided the easiest ethical gift guide you will find. We have broken down these gifts by prices in order to make it easy on your wallet and your brain.

Check out these gorgeous, ethically-sourced gifts for your last-minute needs. Your politically savvy friends and fam will appreciate of the extra love that you put into finding these — and the workers who produced them with be, too.

Yes, it is too late to ship some of these gifts by Christmas, but don’t worry: Belated is the new black.

Ethical gifts $10 and under

Bamboo Block Color Short Socks, $6.43.

Bamboo Block Color Short Socks by Fashion-Conscience, $6.43.

1. Bamboo Block Color Short Socks by Fashion-Conscience, $6.43.

We all need ’em, but let’s be real, you’ve been buying socks from the dollar store for far too long. Upgrade your family’s sock consciousness with fair-trade socks made from eco-friendly, moisture-wicking bamboo.

2. Cybandi bike carrier by Oliberté, $10.

Available in brown and black leather.

Take the weight of your bike off your hands while also taking the weight off of your conscience with this ethically made bicycle carrier, made from locally sourced leather by fairly paid artisans in Sub-Saharan Africa.

3. Star Stud Earrings by People Tree, $9.

Oh hello, perfect New Year’s Eve earrings! Made fair trade in Kenya by artisans of Bombolulu, an organization that provides opportunities for people with physical disabilities.

Ethical Gifts Under $30

Kitenge Yoga Mat Bag, $29.99.

Nile Kitenge Yoga Mat Bag via MadeFAIR, $29.99.

1. Pretty Powder Goddess Highlighter by Pink Stiletto Cosmetics, $18.50

Hypo-allergenic, 100 percent dye- and paraben-free, organic and cruelty-free, Pink Stiletto cosmetics is also a Black plus-size woman-owned business with all products made in the U.S.A. by workers making above minimum wage. If that’s not enough, they’re also Leaping Bunny certified. We love their highlighters as much as we love their  business practices — which is a LOT!

2. Starlight Bracelet by 31 Bits, $16.00. Available in Cream, Grey, Olive, Orchid, and Navy.

The beads used for 31 Bits jewelry are made from recycled paper, as well as each piece being handmade in Uganda by folks working for a decent living wage.

3. Little Shine of Mine Ring by Mata Traders available through ModCloth, $25. 

This gorgeous geometric rose-gold ring is the perfect addition to any outfit. Feminist-minded Mata Traders fights poverty through employment and empowerment for the craftswomen in India and Nepal who create their fair-trade, handmade products.

4. Triangles Espresso Set by MadeFAIR, $25.

Pair this with a bag of fair trade espresso beans, and you’re the supplier of a clean conscience with your loved one’s caffeine fix.

5. Nile Kitenge Yoga Mat Bag by SSesko, $29.99.

Made fair trade in Africa using traditional East African batik techniques by Ugandan women, this yoga mat bag brings all the yogis to the yard – and supports the college educations of the women who make it.

Ethical Gifts from $30 to $50

Global Citizen t-shirt by Apolis.

Global Citizen t-shirt by Apolis.

1. Global Citizen Cross Border Organic Crew Neck Shirt by Apolis, $34

Nothing more radical in fashion than a global citizen tee made fair trade in Peru from organic cotton. Available in men’s sizes XS to 2XL.

2. Organic Pajamas Set by Mayamiko, $36.75

No guilt about sleeping in when you’re wearing these GOTS-certified organic cotton tee and African fabric shorts that were made under the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) standards by Malawi artisans.

3. “You Don’t Own Me Tee” by My Sister, $34

Easily the most passive-aggressive yet empowering sweatshop-free tee you can gift, and it was hand-printed for your pettiness in the USA, with the important benefit of supporting after-care programs for survivors of sexual exploitation.

4. Fair Trade Bow Tie & Pocket Square by Peace Exchange, $29

This dapper choice is the perfect sartorial selection for the person who pays special attention to detail and cares about where their clothing is sourced.

5. Eye Candy Blouse by Mode Merr, $48

The perfect top for those on the naughty *and* nice list, this top is available sizes 2XS to 3XL and handmade by the designer in Rhode Island.

Ethical Gifts $5o to $75

Necklace available via GoodCloth for under $75.

Necklace available via GoodCloth for under $75.

1. E1 Fingerless Gloves by Everlane, $55

One size fits all and fabulously fair trade, these fingerless gloves will keep your loved ones warm without depriving them of the ability to throw shade on social media.

2. Cielo Clutch by The Root Collective, $68

B-Corp Certified as an ethical organization, Cielo’s stylish clutch is the perfect special something for your best babe to take their great ensemble to fabulous.

3. A-Line Side-Split Skirt by Nneka, $74

Made in San Francisco by designer Penelope, this organic cotton and soy skirt is as eco-conscious as it is curve-appealing.

4.  ZaZa Necklace by Good Cloth, $58.50

Ethical is sexy, and we have proof with this fair trade necklace made from natural materials from Songa Designs International, which provides jobs for Rwandan women who negotiate their own salaries and earn fair wages.

5. Nellie Jumper by Nakimuli, $62

For the size-positive gift that says “I support you in eating whatever the fuck you want this holiday season, so here’s an ethically made jumpsuit, made in the USA by a black woman-owned, self-taught designer.”

Ethical Gifts $75 to $100

Hooded Tina Dress by WhiskeyDogWares via Etsy, $85.

Hooded Tina Dress by WhiskeyDogWares via Etsy, $85.

1. Hooded Tina Dress with 3/4 Length Sleeves by WhiskeyDogWares, $85

This dress is made of incredibly soft bamboo cotton that will leave you dancing like Tina herself! Handmade in a cottage on a mountain in North Carolina, this dress is made with incredible love and positivity by an apple-farmer-turned-seamstress named Emily. Custom sizing happily available upon request.

2. Okello Organic Crewneck Sweater by Raven+Lily, $88

It probably won’t keep you warm, but this fair trade sweater made in Kenya will keep you cool in organic cotton.

3. Bamboo Watch in Branch by MamaHuhu, $92

This gorgeous watch is extremely lightweight, handmade and created with premium leather. What’s not to love?

4. Juanita Mule Fringe by Fortress of Inca, $100

Handmade in Peru by artisans receiving fair wages, these mules were made for walking (with a clear conscience).

Ethical Gifts Over $100

Monogrammed Fair Trade, GOTS-certified organic cotton sheet set by West Elm, $63-119.

Monogrammed Fair Trade, GOTS-certified organic cotton sheet set by West Elm, $63-119.

1. Monogrammed Fair Trade, GOTS-certified Organic Cotton Sheet Set by West Elm, $63 to $100

Home goods chain West Elm has committed to carrying fair trade certified products since 2014. These fair trade, GOTS-certified (Global Organic Textile Standard) organic cotton sheets come with the option to personalize your gift with a monogram. Just be sure you’re comfortable with the lucky recipient thinking about you every time they get into bed.

2. Mae Jemison Scarf by Slow Factory, $162

This eco-friendly, fair trade scarf is made in Italy in tribute to the badass black astronaut and scientist Mae Jemison. Can be worn as a scarf or hung as a tapestry to remind you that while you’re epsiodes deep into your latest Netflix binge, Jemison is the kind of person who has multiple honorary doctorates to go with her other Ph.Ds.

3. Lanta Chair Hammock by Fair Trade Winds, $125

Help your loved ones relax the fair trade way with this hammock made in Thailand by women of the marginalized rural hill tribes of Thailand.

4. Hemp Silk Dress by Swankety Swank, regularly $240 but on sale for $120. 

Made by hand in San Francisco, this red hemp silk dress has a comfort-friendly black hemp organic cotton ribbed knit stretch waist.


Laurel Dickman is an intersectional feminist, plus size model, stylist, and fat activist that can also be found via her blogs, Exile In Dietville and 2 Broke Bitches. She grew up in the south between Florida and North Carolina, migrating to the Portland, OR in 2005. All three places inform her perspective of the world around her a great deal. While in Portland, she worked with the Alley 33 Annual Fashion Show, PudgePDX, PDX Fatshion, Plumplandia, and numerous other projects over the near decade that she was there. In August of 2014, she moved to the Bay area with her partner, David and trusty kitty, Dorian Gray. She continues her body positive and intersectional feminism through various forms of activism, fashion, photography projects, and writing from her home in the East Bay. She can be reached at laurel@wyvmag.com and encourages readers to reach out to her to collaborate!

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