Here at Jesus' Economy, we believe that together we can make the world a better place. For that reason, our team regularly provides Fair Trade stories that showcase the hope that the Jesus' Economy Fair Trade Shop brings. And 2019 was no exception ...

In 2019, you all continued to show how much you love to read about artisans, their craft, and the hope they have for a brighter future. Stories that provided inspiration and transformation were among the most popular, especially our last series of the year — #GiftingStories. Together, we were motivated to make the world a better place.

Top 5 Fair Trade Stories

Here's the countdown of the top 5 most popular "Fair Trade" articles published on the Jesus' Economy in Action blog in 2019.

#5.Meet Blanca, a Weaver Transforming Her Community

The fifth most popular fair trade story in 2019? A story about Blanca, a Guatemalan weaver who is changing her community from the inside out. She works in the Mayamam Weavers cooperative with other women who are building a stronger community together. These women are choosing to stay in their village rather than leave, working to lift each other out of poverty. Read more in "Meet Blanca, a Weaver Transforming her Community."

#4. Nepal Seamstress' Life Transformed by Micro-Credit + Cultural Craft

The world is full of remarkable young women and Laxmi from Nepal is one of them. Still in her 20s, she took advantage of micro-credit and started her own tailoring shop. Not only has she repaid her microloan, but she's been able to grow her business making stunning scarves and shrugs. Read: "Nepal Seamstress' Life Transformed by Micro-Credit + Cultural Craft."

#3. Meet the Artists Who Are Weaving Hope in Rwanda

In Rwanda, three lifelong friends were taught as children how to basket weave in a program taught by a local church. When they became adults, they used those skills and created a basket weaving business. Because of that business they've been able to do things like start families, buy land, and build homes. Together, they've been unstoppable. Read: "Meet the Artists Who are Weaving Hope in Rwanda."

#2. These are a Few of our Favorite Things from Haiti ... #GiftingStories

Another story from our #GiftingStories series features beautiful, handmade products from Haiti. The skills that are used to make these items have been passed down for years. And we thought of a few ways you could turn these items into traditions or legacies for your family. Read: "These are a Few of Our Favorite Things from Haiti ... #GiftingStories."

#1. Haiti Artisan's Craft is Transforming a Village ... #GiftingStories

Our most popular Fair Trade story published in 2019 on the Jesus' Economy in Action blog is also from our #GiftingStories series. For the 2019 Holiday season, we chose to celebrate stories of artisans. This one about Benson, a Haitian artisan who works with leather, tells the story of how Benson has transformed his village with his craft. His workshop now provides jobs for other people overcoming poverty. Read: "Haiti Artisan's Craft is Transforming a Village ... #GiftingStories."

And Don't Miss These Articles ...

Bonus Popular Post: Rwandan Artisan's Love and Tenacity Helps Her Community Thrive

Another popular post of 2019 was this beautiful story of a woman from Rwanda whose love and hard work is evident in the products she makes. She taught other people her skill of basket weaving; and out of that effort came a cooperative that is now comprised of 26 women and two men. She brings hope and self-sufficiency to her village. Read: "Rwandan Artisan's Love and Tenacity Helps Her Community Thrive."

And Because We Love This Story: Brazil Families Defeat Poverty by Sharing Cultural Craft

For many families living in impoverished areas of Brazil, there is little hope of ever overcoming poverty. But a long preserved cultural craft is providing a way out of poverty. When Cross Trade, a partner organization of Jesus' Economy, first met Silvania (pictured above with her children), she was creating beautiful woven items but selling them in exchange for only a bag of rice to feed her family. Cross Trade invested in Silvania's work and that changed everything. Read: "Brazil Families Defeat Poverty by Sharing Cultural Craft."

Never Miss a Fair Trade Story

This is the fourth and final article in our "Best of the Year" series. Join us in 2020 for inspiring stories, articles, and updates. It's completely free.

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This holiday season, we're celebrating stories of artisans overcoming poverty through their craft. #GiftingStories

#GiftingStories — The Story of Traditional Artisans in Brazil

Shop Handmade Crafts from Brazil

For many families living in impoverished areas of Brazil, there is little hope of ever overcoming poverty. But several jewelry and basket weavers refused to live the story of poverty. Here's how they defeated poverty by preserving a cultural craft passed down for generations.

Traditional Craft Preserved to Defeat Poverty

The indigenous people of Brazil have been crafting goods from golden grass for hundreds of years because of its durable, flexible, and lightweight nature. But despite golden grass being protected in Brazil—making it so that only a select few can harvest it as part of their traditional craft—it is hard to make a living selling this craft in Brazil since other people in the communities are equally impoverished.

When Cross Trade, a partner organization of Jesus' Economy, first met Silvania (pictured above with her children), she was creating beautiful woven items but selling them in exchange for only a bag of rice to feed her family. Cross Trade invested in Silvania's work and payed her double the rates she used to make.

When you gift the Golden Grass Cesta Trança Basket, you help Silvania lift herself and her family out of poverty. The same is true for other artisans from Brazil.

Golden Grass Cesta Trança Basket from Brazil 

Gorgeous, Golden Grass Jewelry Creates Jobs

For other indigenous artisans in Brazil, crafting jewelry out of golden grass has transformed their lives.

For jewelry artist Erlane (pictured above with his children), his entire life has been changed through the commerce opportunity of partnering with Cross Trade. Erlane is now able to provide a sustainable income for his family, offering his children a better life story.

Earrings by Erlane: Golden Grass Ropa

Joelma (pictured above with her sister) also has found hope through crafting beautiful golden grass jewelry. Through her partnership with Cross Trade, and subsequently selling products on JesusEconomy.org, she is beginning the journey of lifting herself and those around her out of poverty through economic opportunity and empowerment. 

Bracelet by Joelma: Segmento Golden Grass

Be Part of a Better Story for Brazilian Artisans

It is difficult to overstate how much gifts from an online Fair Trade Shop, like JesusEconomy.org, changes the lives of impoverished artisans. When you gift handmade products from JesusEconomy.org, you're part of a better story for impoverished families.

Gift Handmade Crafts from Brazil 

 

Let Your Holiday Shopping Tell a Story

Every gift from JesusEconomy.org comes with a story to share ... of lives being transformed through craftculture, and a new type of commerce

Be part of the story of artisans defeating poverty. Let your holiday shopping tell a story. #GiftingStories

Gift a Better Story

Down in the cerrado-covered lands of central Brazil, natural resources are being turned into art. Valquiria (pictured middle) and her fellow artists are producing amazing handwoven goods out of the renewable, local resource, golden grass.

Bring this bright, beautiful material into your home and wardrobe. Support entrepreneurship in this diverse country, filled with beauty and brokenness.

Use coupon code BRZ2018 to save 10% on all Brazilian made products through Oct 6th!

 

 Shop the Brazil Collection  

Sometimes all you need is just a little bling; a little bling to brighten your day when you glance at it, no matter what kind of day you're having. 

These products from the Fair Trade Shop have just the right amount of bling combined with the power of economic justice. When you look at the piece, not only will the shine brighten your day, it will brighten your smile because it will remind you of the income you helped provide for a family. All with one simple purchase. 

Golden Grass Products

The beautiful capim dourado or 'golden grass' used in our Brazilian woven grass collections can be found growing in the Tocantins region of Brazil, where our artist partners, Raimunda and Moracir, live. It is a protected resource, and its raw grasses cannot be exported. Only the finished grass products of the indigenous peoples of Brazil can be brought into your home--making these items unique and valuable. It is durable, flexible and lightweight, making it perfect for jewelry and basket making. 

EARRINGS FROM BRAZIL: GOLDEN GRASS UNITY PENDANT (SMALL)

BRACELETS FROM BRAZIL: SEGMENTO GOLDEN GRASS

EARRINGS FROM BRAZIL: SOLTA GOLDEN GRASS PENDANTS

BRACELETS FROM BRAZIL: SOLTA GOLDEN GRASS BANGLE IN YELLOW


NECKLACES FROM BRAZIL: SWIRLING COILS GOLDEN GRASS

TRIVETS FROM BRAZIL: PADRÃO GOLDEN GRASS

BASKETS FROM BRAZIL: GOLDEN GRASS CESTA TRANÇITA

Find so many more golden grass products from Brazil in our Fair Trade Shop, plus even more products that, depending on your style, might just be your kind of bling to brighten your day.

Our moms work really hard, and we get to celebrate them in a few weeks on Mother’s Day. If you’re still looking for that special gift for the moms in your life, consider shopping fair trade, and check out all the beautiful gift options we have!

Fair Trade Products Moms Will Love

Earrings from Brazil: Solta Golden Grass Pendants

A new pair of earrings is a treat, and here is a lovely pair that is classy and fun. These earrings can be worn with formal, business, or casual outfits, which makes them practical, too!

Bracelets from Brazil: Blue Rocha Golden Grass

This bracelet has the elegance of real gold, but is much sturdier for everyday wear. Woven with golden grass, a strong Brazilian plant, this bracelet will hold its shape, too. It’s also perfect for any moms with metal-sensitive skin, and is available with stones in white, pink, and black!

Baskets from Haiti: Market Basket

A good basket is a great thing to have, and if your mom doesn’t have one yet, take a look at this one. It is the perfect size for fruits and veggies from the farmer’s market, or for a small picnic at the park. It is made from 100% sweetgrass—an all-natural, renewable, and water resistant resource in Haiti.

Kitchen Towels from Guatemala: Striped in Berry Jubilee

Handwoven with 100% cotton, these kitchen towels are vibrant and durable. There are dozens of other colors, so you can find the right pattern to match your mom’s kitchen. These towels are easy to take care of and are machine washable and dryable.

Aprons from Guatemala: Wide Caramel

Is your mom’s apron getting a little ragged? Buy her a new one that’s both fashionable and supports families around the world.

Tote Bags from Guatemala: Beach Tote in Carousel

It’s almost beach season, and this tote is just the thing for your mom to carry everything she needs as she goes out and about this summer. It’s cute, large enough to carry everything from books to snacks, and is lined with waterproof material.

Gift Card

And if you’re looking for a gift, but can’t find that ‘just right’ something, get her a gift card! A gift card for JesusEconomy.org can be used at the fair trade store, or it can be used to make a donation to one of our programs to end poverty in Bihar, India.

Honor the mothers in your life and get them something special. While you’re at it, purchase a handmade Mother’s Day card from Haiti to go with it.

Decorative baskets can be a wonderful addition to your home, especially when they're functional and made by hand. We carry a wide variety of hand-woven baskets in our Fair Trade Shop that you can use in your home to add a bit of beauty and functionality. 

Banana Leaf Nesting Cubes from Rwanda

These handcrafted boxes are a wonderful way to stay organized and hold your belongings beautifully, in fair trade style. Choose from our range of sizes, or choose a nesting set of three. Crafted from banana leaves and stalks, these cubes are strong and sturdy, with open handholds. The large size is designed to fit into all your modular storage shelves.

Baskets from Rwanda: Teardrop Tri-Color

The Teardrop Basket is handcrafted by artisans of the Peace Baskets Cooperative using the same age-old techniques found in Rwanda’s national museum. Lightweight and delicately woven, this basket makes a beautiful display piece, or can be used to store various treasures! Stands 11.5" tall.

Baskets from Brazil: Aguarde Oval Basket with Lid

The beautiful capim dourado or 'golden grass' used in our Brazilian woven grass basket collections can be found growing in the Tocantins region of Brazil. It is a protected resource, and its raw grasses cannot be exported. Only the finished grass products of the indigenous peoples of Brazil can be brought into your home--making these items unique and valuable. It comes in three different sizes to suit your needs whether it's for jewelry, keys, knick-knacks, or some delicious baked goods.

Baskets from Haiti: Casserole 14" x 10" 

This fair trade casserole basket from Haiti is perfect for transporting your favorite casserole dish or just for sprucing it up. It can also be used for storing items or filled with potted plants to make a beautiful centerpiece or window sill decoration. The possibilities are endless!

 Banana Leaf Divided Serving Tray From Rwanda

The Banana Divided Serving Tray is crafted from the locally-gathered leaves and stalks of banana trees. Artisans use a specially designed, handmade needle to thread dried banana leaves around the banana stalks. The result is a super-sturdy tray that’s great for carrying cups. It can be used for all sorts of things like a little shelf or a storage unit for craft supplies; we like to use the tray to hold boxes of tea bags- it’s great for serving guests!

Baskets from Rwanda: Tea Blossom

These woven baskets are created from dyed natural sisal fibers woven over a core of forest grasses. The tea color is created when the naturally-white sisal fibers are steeped in Rwandan-grown tea leaves. The large basket is flat on the bottom and makes a beautiful tray for serving or display. Imagine the medium basket on your dining room table filled with warm bread or fruit. The small basket is a beautiful way to hold jewelry or keys, or it may be filled with small treats and used as a gift basket. Each basket has a loop on the back for hanging- the trio looks gorgeous on a blank wall. They come in a variety of colors and patterns.

All of these baskets would look wonderful in your home while carrying a beautiful story of hope. The Jesus' Economy Fair Trade Shop carries several more basket options whether for beauty or storage. Check out our selection of baskets. 

In Brazil, Joelma creates and sells golden grass jewelry for a fair wage in order to support her family. Through her business, she empowers herself and her community. Because of her partnership with Brazil-focused non-profit, Cross Trade (a new partner organization of Jesus' Economy), she is able to start a more hopeful and stable future.

Her jewelry is made from golden grass, a local resource in Brazil. Golden grass is a renewable and protected resource, and is perfect for jewelry because it is lightweight, durable, and easy to weave.

 

Bracelets from Brazil: Segmento Golden Grass 

If you’re looking for a new bracelet, look no further. This darling bracelet is beautiful and fun—just what you need for the spring. Because it is woven with golden grass, a lightweight and durable resource, instead of metal, this bracelet is also perfect for anyone with sensitive skin. This bracelet makes a statement about fashion, but more importantly, a statement about hope.

 

Fair trade is a responsible way to shop and creates stability for communities all over the world. 

 Shop Cross Trade Fair Trade  

 

Erlane's (pictured with his children) woven golden grass jewelry is bought for fair wages, thus providing a sustainable income for his family. He is able to meet his family’s basic needs and contribute to the stability of his future. Through his partnership with Brazil-based non-profit, Cross Trade (a new partner organization of Jesus' Economy), he is able to begin the journey of lifting himself and those around him out of poverty through economic opportunity and empowerment.

He makes earrings from golden grass, a local resource in Brazil. Golden grass is a protected resource, and its raw grasses cannot be exported. Only the finished grass products can leave the country and therefore, be brought into your home—making these items unique and valuable. The indigenous people of Brazil have been crafting goods from golden grass for hundreds of years because of its durable, flexible, and lightweight nature.

 

Earrings from Brazil: Golden Grass Ropa  

These fabulous and classy earrings can complement many of your dressy and work outfits. They are simple and professional, but dainty and fun. You can’t go wrong with these fairly traded earrings!

 

Earrings from Brazil: Golden Grass Stranded Loop  

If you wear a lot of earrings, then you know loop earrings are an essential item in your jewelry box. They pair nicely with casual and fancy attire, and these fair trade loop earrings from Brazil are no different. These versatile earrings are beautiful, and purchasing them helps Erlane provide for his family.

 

Shopping fair trade helps lift entire families out of poverty.

 Shop Cross Trade Fair Trade  

 

Our Fair Trade Shop is full of several handmade products that we love, and one item we have a lot of are beautiful sets of earrings. We've picked five pairs that you'll be sure to fall in love with and want to purchase whether it's for you, your mom, best friend, or sister. 

Earrings from Rwanda: Colorful Woven Loop 

These trendy disc earrings are made by a group of female weavers from Rwanda. They are made with all-natural sisal fibers, using an age old basket weaving technique to create lightweight discs that feel elegant to wear. Completing the look, the hoops are fastened onto hypoallergenic earring hooks.

Earrings from Haiti: Leather Feather

These handmade, fair trade earrings are modern and chic. Made by a co-op of Haitian women from Jubilee, Haiti, each earring represents a great cause. These ladies have dreams of running their own businesses, sending their kids to school, and supporting their families.

Earrings from Haiti: Hammered Loop 

Loop earrings are a great asset to any woman’s jewelry collection. Add this pair for a unique and modern touch. Hand-hammered in Haiti, these earrings are a fashionable accessory that will complete your look and empower artisans through fair trade.

Earrings from Brazil: Golden Grass Ropa

Golden grass is a protected resource, and its raw grasses cannot be exported. Only the finished grass products of the indigenous peoples of Brazil can be brought into your home--making these items unique and valuable. It is durable, flexible and lightweight, making it perfect for jewelry.

Earrings from Haiti: Trendy Tassel

Not just for ceremony, you can wear these tassel earrings any day you like! And you'll have reason to celebrate when you realize that you've helped women in extreme poverty situations earn a living.

Whatever your style or preference, we know you will be able to find a set of earrings you'll want to wear time and time again. Shop fair trade jewelry to empower women all over the globe. 

In beautiful Mateiros, Tocantins in eastern Brazil, woven goods artist, Silvania, is trying to make a living for her family. When Cross Trade, a new partner organization of Jesus' Economy, first met Silvania, she was creating beautiful woven items and selling them for next to nothing in exchange for only a bag of rice to feed her family. Cross Trade was able to invest in her work and pay her double her original sales price per piece. This has helped Silvania make huge strides in bringing her family out of poverty and into a more stable, hopeful future. 

Baskets from Brazil: Golden Grass Cesta Trança  

This large basket, woven from golden grass, features beautiful braids in a traditional Brazilian design. Golden grass is a renewable resource in Brazil, and has been used for hundreds of years due to its sturdy and light structure. At 14” x 10” x 5”, this basket is ideal for placing an assortment of fruit or flowers. Imagine it as a centerpiece on your table!

Shopping fair trade brings hope to families all over the world.   

 Shop Cross Trade Fair Trade