Christmas gifts that give twice

Ethical shopping suggestions from the CC editors.

A carved wooden crocodile was my introduction to giving and receiving fair trade gifts. My grandmother got it for me from Self Help Crafts, as it was then called, a company selling items made by global artisans.

At that time, Paul Myers was executive director and CEO of the company, which received a much-needed name change to Ten Thousand Villages in 1996. He was also the elected president of the World Fair Trade Organization for nine years.

Myers, who is now retired (and a member of the same congregation as I am), emphasizes that fair trade places “people before profits” all along the chain, “from the raw materials to the production to the various quality controls to the point where the consumer gets the product at a fair and reasonable price.”