By Blythe Copeland, Planet Green
This Mother’s Day, forget the flowers: Instead, treat your mom to gifts and accessories handmade by other moms around the world, choosing Fair Trade, artisan-made, and one-of-a-kind classics (like jewelry, bags, shoes, and even gourmet snacks) that help impoverished women and local entrepreneurs make their mark on the global economy. From intricate bags beaded by women in Africa to gluten-free crackers from a pair of moms in Colorado, we’ve got a lineup of gifts that do as much for others as they do for you—now wouldn’t your mom be proud?
1. Doreen Mashika Accessories
Designer Doreen Mashika returned to her birthplace in Tanzania as an adult—after an education and business career that took her through Italy, Switzerland, and England—to combine her two passions: luxury goods and vintage jewelry. Now, her collection of bags, bracelets, earrings, ballet flats, and other accessories show off local gems and recycled glass beads. But the best part? All of her pieces are handmade under Fair Trade conditions by women in nearby villages.
2. Earth Divas Bags
Busy moms need plenty of places to stash their stuff, and the Fair Trade bags at Earth Divas have a style for everyone: the beaded hobo with a shoulder strap that ties at the top so you can adjust the length is just right for the new mom balancing bottles and binkies; a clutch made with recycled silk is the perfect date night accessory; and a chic hemp handbag lets working moms carry everything they need at home and at work.
3. Handmade Gifts from Etsy Moms
Browsing the shops of handmade goods on Etsy means you’re guaranteed to find a one-of-a-kind gift (which is especially good news for over-competitive siblings trying to outdo each other on May 9). But stick with shops run by women who are mothers themselves and you’ll be helping other families all over the country (and the world). Check out the Etsy Mom blog for product showcases, interviews with designers-slash-moms, and gift giveaways that will no doubt be better than whatever your sister came up with.