With the Christmas season upon us, you’ve started making your list and checking it twice to make sure you only give gifts that are nice. (I am very Buddy the Elf about Christmas. Please bear with my cheesy rhymes.)
You might be new to ethical fashion. Maybe you’ve known about the injustice of underemployment, political corruption, and more that continues to exist in Haiti, but you’ve felt helpless to do anything. Maybe you feel like nothing you do will help, so why bother.
I’ve been there.
When I first learned about the sphere of social business, or as The Good Trade says, “cause-driven business whose primary reason for being is to improve social objectives and serve the common good,” I wanted to take part, but I didn’t know if it really mattered in the long run. Could buying a bracelet or a blanket really change things?
Our artisan team is here to tell you YES. Yes it can.
When you focus on buying and giving gifts that are made by human hands who are respected in the workplace, you are casting a vote for change. We’ve all heard money talks, and in this case, that’s a good thing!
The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is #GivingTuesday, the day non-profits and ministries ask you to financially give to support their work. How cool is it that we now have an entire day committed to joining together for good?
We want to put a fresh spin on Giving Tuesday and ask you to rethink the gifts you wrap up this year and the stories they tell. (But giving to well-run organizations isn’t a bad idea either!)
It turns out you can give thoughtful, gorgeous gifts AND honor the hands who made them.
The earrings you’re thinking about buying your sister for Christmas? They send people to school.
An ethical holiday shopping list means your money is saying people matter. It means you are directly investing in tenacious women like Bledine and Ymeline, Petite Palm’s seamstress and jewelry artisans. This year, because people like you purchased the beautiful goods Bledine and Ymeline crafted, they each paid for their younger brothers to go to school.
There are no free public schools in Haiti, so each August families are faced with the stress of finding funds to send children to school. When the average Haitian lives on less than $2 a day, it is impossible to save for these large expenses.
Petite Palm employees make at least four times the minimum wage and participate in an incentivized savings program. This means for each of our employees, August is now a time they’re able to be the heroines of their own stories.
So, the blanket you’ve been eyeing for your nephew? It keeps giving long after the ornaments are packed away.
Let’s use Giving Tuesday as a catalyst to rethink the gifts we give.
FIVE STEPS TO FLOURISHING
- Shop Small. Choose to purchase from small businesses rather than big box stores. Look for international artisan focused groups like Petite Palm. Check your area for craft markets where local makers will sell their goods.
- Give the Story. When you gift ethically made goods, be sure to share the story! This makes the gift so much more meaningful and helps social businesses like us get our name out!
- Ask Questions! Shopping ethically can feel overwhelming at first. Don’t be afraid to comment on an Instagram post or send an email to a shop you love asking things like where their products are made and what practices they have in place to ensure fair wages.
- Share your List! Keep a list of your favorite ethically made goods handy. When friends ask for gift ideas for you, share that list! There is zero guilt in asking for gifts when they make an impact!
- Smile while you Shop. We know even the most ethical shopper may occasionally need to shop through large retailers like Amazon. Use Amazon Smile and select Mama Zwazo Foundation for a percentage of your purchase to go directly to our Mama Zwazo Initiatives.
Love + Caribbean Light-
The Petite Palm Team