Your father is a special person in your life, so he deserves a present for Father’s Day that measures up to his caliber. But it is not just your father who deserves to be treated well; fathers all over the world are worthy of appreciation and respect. Make this Father’s Day about all fathers by buying Fair Trade Certified products, allowing the men who work on fair trade farms and factories to support their children, work in good conditions, and provide decent shelter and food for their loved ones.
This Hearts guide to unique and creative fair trade gifts will inspire you to think outside of the box this coming day for dads. We hope you find a fair trade gift truly meaningful to give your Dad that honors not just him but all hard-working men around the globe.
Quick Facts: Finding a Green Father’s Day Gift
- 94 million Father’s Day cards: There are approximately 70.1 million fathers in the United States. According to Hallmark, it is estimated that 94 million Father’s Day cards are exchanged each year.[i]
- $117.14 spent on American Father’s Day gifts: The average person spends $117.14 on Father’s Day gifts, and consumers are estimated to spend a total of $12.7 billion on Father’s Day cards and gifts.[ii] Imagine if all of that were fair trade?
- Typical Father’s Day gifts: Swiss army knives were the most common Father’s Day presents of 2012, totaling over 34% of all gifts for the holiday. Other common presents are “Best Father” coffee mugs, coffee, mix CDs of favorite music, and neckties.[iii]
- Less than green Father’s Day gifts: Swiss army knives and recordable CDs are not made with fair-trade-produced materials, but fair-trade coffee, neckties, and coffee mugs do exist. You just have to look for them!
- Is there a world’s greenest Dad? Although no one officially claims the title of World’s Greenest Dad, Colin Beavan, aka No Impact Man, comes close. In 2007, he and his family embarked on a yearlong challenge to leave as small a carbon footprint as possible. Today, he still maintains many aspects of his eco-extremist lifestyle.[iv]
Take Action! Fair Trade Gift Ideas for Your Loved One
- Musical instruments: Give your dad the gift of music with an awesome fair-trade instrument from Jamtown or Ten Thousand Villages. Find unique instruments from Tibetan Finger Cymbals made by Nepali artisans, to this Primal Notes Thumb Piano, made by a Tanzanian artisan group. Provide employment for these artisans by purchasing these gorgeous handcrafted, high-quality instruments.
- Organic wine, beer, and spirits: Many fathers like to celebrate occasions like Father’s Day with an alcoholic beverage. By buying organically grown and fairly traded beverages, you can make his choice ecological, ethical, more delicious, and healthier! Wine is the easiest to come by (read Luxist’s top 10 fair trade wine list), but Suma Specialist Wholesalers offers a variety of alcoholic drinks, including beer, cider, vodka, gin, whiskey, and rum.
- Handmade arts and crafts: Purchasing fair-trade arts and crafts promotes workmanship and preserves culture. Serrv carries a lot of neat homemade products your Dad will love. Is your Father a chessmaster? Check out this Onyx Chess Set, hand-carved by artisans in Karachi. Or perhaps he’s the type to lounge around; this Arco Iris Hammock was made by weaving families from Peguche, Ecuador. A variety of birdhouses, such as this whimsical Monkey Coconut Birdhouse, are available for birdwatching dads
- Bamboo watches: Not only are fair trade bamboo watches great for the environment, beneficial to workers, better quality, and easier on your wallet, but they also look really cool! Because they are easily seen on your body, they serve as good conversation-starters about the fair trade movement.
- Sports balls: For the sporty dad, consider buying a fair-trade sports ball. Not only are they better for the same reasons all fair trade products are better, but you also receive a top quality, hand-stitched, long-lasting sports ball that is competitively priced. Fair World Sports offers a variety of goods, including soccer balls, footballs, volleyballs, rugby balls, softballs, and baseballs. Their products are also made without leather—an added benefit to our animal friends and vegan consumers !
- Make your own gift! Learn Vest gives you great Father’s Day present tips you can make with your child in their slideshow DIY Father’s Day Gifts to Make With Your Kid. Try to re-use materials you have at home for any craft project to keep it extra green.
- Donate to a fair trade organization: By donating on behalf of your father to the Fairtrade Foundation, you will help other fathers and mothers across the world to improve their lives. The Fairtrade Foundation also offers other ways of helping, like participating in a run, selling for Freetrade on eBay, and recycling your cellphone.
Dig Deeper: Exploring Different Gift Ideas
- Many online stores offer fair-trade gifts especially for men. Just Google “Fair trade gifts for men” to see how many!
[i] CNN. (2012, June 17). Father’s Day, by the numbers. Retrieved Septembe 11, 2012, from CNN: http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/17/fathers-day-by-the-numbers/
[ii] (CNN, 2012)
[iii] Yahoo! News. (2012, July 17). What Was The Most Common Father’s Day Present of 2012? Retrieved September 11, 2012, from Yahoo! News: http://news.yahoo.com/most-common-father-day-present-2012-070726113.html
[iv] Beavan, C. (2012, July 17). Background to No Impact Man. Retrieved September 11, 2012, from No Impact Man: http://noimpactman.typepad.com/blog/what-its-all-about.html
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