Bangladesh Artisans

[This post was originally published in Mosaic, the blog magazine of Ten Thousand Villages in the US. We liked it so much we thought we would share it with you. It’s reprinted here with permission.]

Weddings inspire generosity on a level that few other occasions can reach. And why not? Two people have chosen to spend the rest of their lives together “for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health,” and that kind of commitment takes support and encouragement from a loving community. After all, aren’t we stronger when we stick together? Whether support finds its way to the happy couple by means of gifts, advice, or time, you know it will be heartfelt and generously given.

Generosity is something that you should be prepared for. Accepting gifts graciously, whether you were expecting them or not, can be challenging at times. Setting up a registry can seem a little overwhelming, and choosing the perfect ‘thank you’ gifts for your bridal party or wedding favors for your guests can feel like a challenge. But, don’t despair! There are ways to give and receive in the days leading up to your wedding without losing sight of what the occasion is really about, all while consciously choosing to keep the well-being of you, your guests, and the world in mind.

With wedding season already in full swing, you might find yourself in need of a wedding gift. Or, perhaps you are creating your own registry. Either way, unique gift ideas abound when you choose fair trade. Check out these fair trade versions of four classic wedding gifts every couple needs!

The classic gift: Dishware

The fair trade version: Unique serving dish

salad-bowl

A unique serving dish is something your friends or loved ones can use to make a statement as they host guests in their home together.

BODY1 - love knot sculpturePractical. Unique. Fun. Meaningful. Quality. Stories. Hand-crafted. Functional. Affordable. These words popped up repeatedly while researching the topic of the perfect wedding gifts from Ten Thousand Villages.

Marriage and weddings are top-of-mind around here these days (as are babies … but I’ll leave that topic to another blogger), since FOUR of my co-workers are engaged to be married. Summer is traditionally known as “wedding season,” so I thought a post about great wedding gifts would be appropriate. And who better to ask for their ideas than our brides- and grooms-to-be! They all graciously agreed to be interviewed because, really, who doesn’t like to talk about PRESENTS!

Gifts are fun. They’re exciting. And there’s probably not another event in your whole life where you get to sit around and open dozens of boxes and envelopes, all filled with wonderful things (again, except perhaps for baby showers). I asked my four colleagues to walk through the New Hamburg store with me and point out items they would give as gifts, as well as an item or two they and their significant other would love to receive to mark the beginning of their married lives.

Top imageNow that the warm weather is here, the season for entertaining friends and family in our outdoor spaces is in full swing.

As soon as the snow finally melted away, we here at Ten Thousand Villages could hardly wait to throw a garden party! What better way to celebrate the change of seasons than by enjoying good food and good company with some fair trade flair.

To make your own “Fair Trade Flair Garden Party” easy as pie, just follow our simple four-step process:

 

 

 

kristenray (157 of 594)Most girls dream of their wedding day … and I was no exception. Last year, I was able to say ‘I do’ to my best friend and marry him under a beautiful August sky.

Getting to that perfect day, however, was full of many details, one of which was particularly important to us: How can we add Fair Trade products to our wedding, and stay within budget?

Working at Ten Thousand Villages for the last nine years has had a deep and profound effect on my life. I understand how the things I buy affect those who made them, and this knowledge drives the decisions I make every day.