If you love vibrant colors and patterns that pop, here are some wonderful fair trade products just for you! These fair trade items are fun and exciting, but they also tell stories about hope for the artisans who made them. Fair trade businesses are a necessary source of income and stability for many artisans, and these businesses allow families to grow stronger and build toward breaking a cycle of poverty. So check out these gorgeous products, and when the amazing patterns catch your friends’ eyes, take a moment to talk about fair trade and how fair trade creates jobs and livelihood around the world.
To read more about how fair trade changes lives for the better, check out our blog posts featuring many of the amazing artisans we cooperate with!
We live in a fast-paced society, but that doesn’t mean we can’t shop responsibly for the things we need. Products made from plastics and other single-use resources are easy to come by, but products made with renewable and eco-friendly materials are available to you if you take the time to look. At JesusEconomy.org we have several beautiful and practical products that are made with renewable resources and these products are fairly traded—making them good for the earth, good for people, and good for the economy. Check out some of these amazing products instead of reaching for factory-made plastics.
A sturdy serving tray is a great thing to have when you’re entertaining guests, and if you need one, take a look at this banana leaf tray from Rwanda. It’s woven with locally-gathered banana leaves and stocks and the result is a long-lasting product that is all-natural, and the plants keep growing back.
This all-natural basket is created from sisal fibers woven over a core of forest grasses, and the color is created by a dye made from tea leaves. These baskets make beautiful decorations, centerpieces, and even organizers for your fruits and veggies.
Shopping for a new casserole carrier? This basket is a great option because it is made from 100% sweetgrass, which is a renewable resource that is also water resistant, making it easy for you to clean up spills.
Cotton scraps create a huge amount of waste worldwide, and this trivet makes an effort to minimize that waste. It is woven from recycled cotton fabric strips, giving extra cotton something to do rather than slowly decompose in a landfill.
Everyone uses cloths and towels, so why not use these? These durable cloth and towel sets are handwoven with 100% cotton and can be washed again and again as opposed to paper towels. Cotton can be replanted and re-harvested each year, making it a renewable resource.
Redecorating your library? You can’t go wrong with these stunning bookends (and they also make excellent gifts)! They are hand-carved out of a single piece of Jacaranda wood. The Jacaranda trees grow very quickly, and they grow even after they’ve been cut, so they are a great resource for wooden products.
This fun travel bag is perfect for an on-the-go lifestyle. The inside is made from waterproof nylon, and the outside is made from 100% cotton. This is a much better option than a plastic baggie because it cuts back on plastic waste!
Golden grass is as lovely as it is useful. In Brazil, golden grass is a protected resource, but it is also renewable. The grasses are strong and lightweight, making them perfect for jewelry. The stone in this bracelet is also a polished river stone gathered locally!
Products made from golden grass are an excellent choice because they are natural and eco-friendly. Another bonus is that golden grass is gentle on skin, which is great for those who have sensitivities to nickel.
If you’re trying to be more considerate of what you buy, who makes it, and where it comes from, shop fair trade!
Church planter, Rahul, brings a blessing in the form of a water well to a village in Bihar, India.
Hot summers proved to be a greater difficulty than most for this village because there was no water well available to the general public. The only water wells in the village were on private property belonging to the few wealthy people in the village. They wouldn’t let the poorer villagers come and use the wells without causing many problems.
So all the villagers who didn’t have private water wells had to walk hours for clean water, taking up most of their day just to get water. This “solution” wasn’t sustainable but they didn’t know what to do.
Rahul heard about the problems this village of 300 people was facing and arranged for them to apply for a water well to Transformation India Movement (TIM), Jesus’ Economy’s partner organization in Bihar, India. Shortly after applying, TIM granted their application and started the process of a water well.
They inaugurated the well in March with 50 people gathering to watch. During the inauguration, Rahul presented the gospel and explained the similarities between the clean water and Jesus, the Living Water.
Because of this, many people in the village heard the gospel for the first time and were eager to learn more about Jesus. This is exciting because the village is a new area that doesn’t have a church planter working with them yet. Now, Rahul can visit, tell them about the love of Jesus, and help provide a better life.
It seems like it was just the beginning of spring, but now summer is here and we’ve got all the fair trade products to fill your summer with fun. We’ve got everything from beach totes and summery jewelry to scarves for those chillier evenings and journals to record your favorite summer adventures. Find just what you need for you, and work on some birthday shopping for friends while you're at it!
Today is International Widows’ Day, established by the UN as a day dedicated to taking action against the injustices committed against widows worldwide. But it’s not just a day to have a meal with the widows you know or to make a donation to a cause you support. It’s a day to commit to taking care of widows and to changing the opportunities they have.
In many countries, widows are not treated fairly or kindly because of their status. While this is not the case for most widows in the United States, we should still be supporting the widows in our lives, and we can strive to make things better for widows who are mistreated, as we know God has called us to do.
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world” (James 1:27).
You probably know a few widowed women, either personally or from your church. Start there. On International Widows’ Day, make a plan to support these women—not just for one day. Make sure they are being taken care of and do what you can to assist them spiritually, emotionally, and physically. You could do a Bible study together, volunteer together, or even provide meals for them. A lot of widows also need help with projects around their home because they might not have the time, money, skills, or resources to do it on their own. Just having an extra set of hands can be very helpful, so ask what is needed and do what you can.
There are also several ways you can get involved with programs to support widows worldwide. Here are a few great organizations:
“We are dedicated to providing support to grief-stricken young families in their time of deepest need. When a parent dies the financial burden can be huge. The LLF awards monetary grants to meet families’ emotional and financial short-term needs.”
“The Global Fund for Widows is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering widows and female heads of households to overcome poverty through skills-based training, job creation, and micro-finance.”
“Modern Widows Club is committed to being advocates to give widows a voice, enable and empower them to move forward and become vital members of society once again able to thrive.”
“GriefShare is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone.”
Jesus’ Economy doesn’t have a program set up directly for widows, but we do have a program to empower women in Bihar, India. Through this program, several women will be trained to maintain their own businesses and therefore be able to provide for their families. The women in this program come from a variety of family backgrounds—some married, some single, and some widowed—but because of their businesses they will have a way to support themselves. If any of these women were to become widowed, they would have the resources they need to feed themselves and their families.
On International Widows’ Day, we should think about how we can support women around the world, whether they’re in our neighborhood or in a developing country. Take this day to be there for your friends who are widows, and think about how you can contribute to the welfare of widows worldwide not just today, but every day.
The Fourth of July is almost here, and we have some great red, white, and blue products to help you decorate and celebrate. Do you go all-out and dress up in festive colors? Choose from a selection of red, white, and blue jewelry. Throwing a barbecue? Check out some of our aprons. Going on a little trip? Take a look at our totes and bags. JesusEconomy.org has just what you need to make the holiday colorful!
On March 5, 2018, a small village in Northern India celebrated the inauguration of a public water well. Jesus’ Economy church planter Veer heard of the village’s need and helped them bring clean water to their area.
Of the 300 villagers, most of them are very poor and unable to drill a well on their own property. This leaves them with either using and drinking unclean water or walking miles a day just to get to clean water.
While this is a problem many villages face, for this particular village it was even more severe because most of the villagers work in agriculture; working the land for other people. Working in fields all day so they can earn a basic living doesn’t allow them the time they need to walk to get clean water. This means that children are the ones who are typically sent to retrieve the water.
The village tried to get the local government to bore a water well for them but they were unsuccessful.
Veer found out about their lack of clean water and guided the villagers in an application to Transformation India Movement (TIM), Jesus’ Economy’s partner organization in Bihar, India, for a public water well. TIM saw their need and granted their water well application for a 180 foot deep water well.
Sixty people attended the inauguration of the well including a local member of government. The people of the village recognized the work of Veer and TIM and now see what the Lord can do to meet not only their essential physical needs but their essential spiritual needs. This has opened many new doors for Veer to spread the gospel to this village and explain to them how Jesus is the Living Water.
Sponsoring a church planter so this kind of work can continue is vital.
Many of the products we use day-to-day are made from woven fabrics, and while machine-woven products are often cheaper, hand-woven products are better for job creation, better for the environment, and they tell beautiful stories.
Here are three reasons why you should consider buying hand-woven products.
Machines may be quicker, but when real people use their skills to hand weave fabrics, jobs are created. Millions of people around the world live in poverty, and businesses that sell hand-woven products create hundreds of valuable jobs that make a positive impact on the global economy. Additionally, hand-woven fabrics are higher quality because mistakes can be caught and fixed easier by a person than by a machine.
Hand-woven products don’t use heavy machinery, and because of this, these products are better for the environment. They are not made in factories that emit greenhouse gases, rather they are made carefully by people who care. Many hand-woven products are made from sustainable, renewable resources such as cotton and natural dyes, while factory-woven products are typically made from whatever is cheapest and quickest, often with no regard for the environment.
When products are handmade, they are unique and carry stories with them. When you buy hand-woven products, you get to share those stories. Many fair trade artisans around the world create their products as a source of income so they can feed and support their families, build stability, and work toward breaking the cycle of poverty. Hand-woven fair trade is vital because it strengthens families and brings hope, and when you buy the products, you become part of that story.
Shopping responsibly means looking at the bigger picture, and the big picture reveals that buying hand-woven products instead of machine-woven products can create jobs, limit factory pollution, and share stories.
Children being forced to work in horrible conditions is a very real issue that affects much of the world. There are more than152 million children from the ages of 5 to 17 in child labour, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). This is why the ILO started World Day against Child Labour, to help bring awareness and end it all together.
Here at Jesus' Economy, we strive to bring families hope and lift them out of poverty by offering artisans the opportunity to sell their fair trade goods on the western market. This helps bring them more income than they ever dreamed possible and in turn, helps break the cycle of poverty. It enables the parents to be able to afford education for their children. It means that children can stop working because their parents are bringing in enough money to stabilize the family. In countries all over the world, we've provided a way for families to let their kids be kids and not have to go to work to help sustain the family.
Father’s Day is right around the corner, and if you’re still wondering what to get your dad, consider finding a cause he would believe in and make a contribution in his name. Jesus’ Economy has a few different programs to eradicate poverty in Bihar, India, so take a look and think about supporting one for Father’s Day.
In Bihar, more than a million people are living in poverty because they do not have access to clean water or the ability to buy or grow food. The economy is poor, and there are simply not enough jobs. And when families have limited food and water, education gets pushed back, and the families remain stuck in a cycle of poverty.
A large contributor to the poverty in Bihar is a lack of clean water. Some women and children spend many hours each day walking miles to collect drinking water. This takes up so much time that women cannot work and children cannot go school. Our clean water program raises funds to drill wells in Bihar. Each well can provide safe water for 2,000 people, and so far we have completed seven wells.
When families have access to safe water, women have more time to work and provide for their families. Our empowering women program is going to train 40 women to run successful tailoring businesses and sell their products on the western market. These women already have skills in tailoring, but need an opportunity to learn business skills.
We are working to bring hope through the alleviation of physical and spiritual poverty. Our church planting program funds church planters in various villages in Bihar to set up home churches, and also to go into the villages and share the gospel. At this point, we are funding four church planters, all of whom are additionally starting Bible studies and literacy training as they go. Thousands of people in Bihar are hearing the gospel for the first time, and each church planter brings the gospel to thousands more.
The dads in our lives have taught us how to make the world a better place. This Father’s Day, celebrate these dads by supporting people in Bihar the same way they have supported us.