Giving gifts that give hope Part 2

Chicago-based Greenheart Shop creates opportunities to alleviate poverty through your purchases

Continuing with gifts that give back to others, the Greenheart Shop is a fair trade, non-profit shop that carries fair trade and eco-friendly products they purchase from artisans from over 60 different countries, as well as from some groups in Chicago.

“Greenheart follows the principles of fair trade, helping to create more equitable trading partnerships and putting a face to the products we use like gifts and the food we eat,” said Sarah Cunningham, Greenheart Shop’s Wholesale Product Development Manager.

“(We’re) creating opportunities to alleviate poverty,” Cunningham said.

There’s a variety of gifts, toys, gourmet treats and countries of origin to choose from.

Asha Imports, a fair trade group working with artisan groups in India, offers beautiful, hand-stitched recycled saris fashioned into scarves and throws.

Escama Studio features recycled aluminum pop-tab handbags made by a women’s cooperative in Brazil. These distinctly handsome handbags are silk-lined and crocheted together.

A cooperative of silversmiths from Peru makes Butterfly Jewelry. These earrings have an iridescent look, are different colored on both sides and can be worn either direction.

Greenheart sells all across the U.S. You’ll find these exquisite gifts online at

One of the oldest and largest nonprofit fair trade organizations in the world, Ten Thousand Villages empowers thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

Serving over 130 artisan groups around the globe, they provide sustainable economic opportunities for these artists, creating a North American marketplace for their products.

The range of products they offer includes shea butter soap, hand- woven textiles, recycled metal and stone sculptures. Last year, Ten Thousand Villages introduced over 600 new handcrafted products in more than 150 retail outlets in 36 states across the U.S.

Ten Thousand Villages helps provide a sustainable income for artisans from 38 countries around the world

A founding and active member of the World Fair Trade Organization, Ten Thousand Villages, which is run by the Mennonite Central Committee, has been recognized as one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by The Ethisphere Institute and Forbes Magazine.

Purchasing gifts through Ten Thousand Villages provides the artisans not only with the basic necessities of food, shelter and clothing for their families, it changes their lives for the better.

To learn more, check out

For the rest of the great green holiday suggestions, be sure to see Part 3.

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