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Published November 3rd 2012
Fair trade makes shopping even more fun and interesting
Do you associate fair trade with just coffee, cocoa, and cloth bags? If you do, it may come as a pleasant surprise for you to learn that fair trade practices extend to high fashion, accessories, textiles, homeware, and more. It's a brilliant source of inspiration when it comes to shopping for gifts whether it's for Christmas, Valentine's day, Mothers/Fathers day, or whatever pops up on the calendar.
As I see it, there are three splendid reasons to go fair trade shopping. One, you know you're doing the right thing by supporting ethical business practices. Two, you get to choose from a wide variety of items from all over the world. Three, these things are available at a local store near you or you can shop online.So, let the jaded gift ideas die a natural death as you shop for stunning new gifts sourced from different parts of the world that you've probably never been to. Here's a list of fair trade businesses in Melbourne from where you may want to do your holiday shopping.
Sankofa, the house of African tribal textiles and homewares, is located in Fitzroy. They have fair trade products such as brass, textiles, jewellery, kid's toys, and eco-friendly gift items sourced from Ghana, Burkina Faso, South Africa, and Sri Lanka. Their artwork includes baskets woven from elephant grass, metal work crafted by lost wax brass process, recycled glass beads, batik, and textile made from Kente weaving which is linked to the royalty among the Ashanti people. Visit Sankofa for more details or online shopping to get your holiday shopping started.
231 Gertrude St. Fitzroy Vic 3065 Phone: 03 9416 4584
Open Monday to Friday 11 am to 6 pm; Saturday 11 am to 5 pm; Sunday 12 noon to 4 pm.
Safari Living Safari Living, located in Prahran, brings you sophisticated objects from all over the world. You get Finnish textile and clothing, scrap wood wallpaper from Holland, Danish designed homeware, Italian tableware and porcelain, quirky British furnishing accessories, eco-friendly household cleaning products, Swiss Army recycling products created by a group of twelve women in a tiny Alpine village, Scandinavian personal artefacts, and much more.
Or visit them at
579 High St.
Phone: 03 9510 4500
Open Monday to Friday 10 am to 6 pm; Saturday 10 am to 5 pm; Closed on Sundays
Cylk is known for its sustainable practices as well as its minimalist manufacturing practices just as much as their stylish award winning designs. What you might find even more heart warming is that they donate $5 from every purchase to three charities—Second Bite, The Hunger Project, and the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. To shop online or for more information, visit Cylk.
Or if you'd like a look-see you'll find them at
497 Chapel Street
Phone: 03 8415 6406
Give them a call to find exact opening hours.
Hukkleberry's main attraction is its old world charm. Located in, they take pride in their personalised service and ethical trade practices quite as much as their handpicked merchandise. To check out their wares, go to Hukkleberry or,
2 Theatre Place
Phone: 03 9836 5089
Open Monday to Saturday 10 am to 5 pm.
Your search for ethical, handmade, eco-friendly gifts will probably stop here. You get to choose from a wide variety of jewellery, stationery, beadwork, skincare products, gift hampers, and more. Artisan-crafted products are brought to you from as far as India, Africa, and South-east Asian countries. To get a good idea of what they have you might want to check out Ethical Gifts. Or better yet drive down to their store at
3 Moss Av
Phone: 03 5341 2625
Only Just stocks bags, bowls, dolls, puppets and other delightful gift items that are brought to you from India, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, Bangladesh, South Africa, and Sri Lanka. They help support communities in these countries through fair trade practices. You can add to their efforts by visiting Only Just or going to
48 Were Street,
Phone: 0413 314 626