Shop at Ten Thousand Villages and Make a Real Difference!

Ten Thousand Villages is a non-profit Fair Trade organizations that sells stylish, ethnically-inspired and ethically sources products in stores and online.

They provide vital, fair income to Third World people by marketing their handicrafts and telling their stories in North America.

By shopping at Ten Thousand Villages, you can buy gifts with meaning, green gifts and shop ethically for you and your home all in one convenient location. Just imagine how meaningful a graduation, wedding or anniversary gift when it's been handcrafted with such love, care and dedication. And they have a gift registry, which is wonderful.

You can choose from personal accessories, home furnishing, textiles, books and stationery, plant and garden, jewelry, skin care, food items, toys and musical instruments, some of which are made from reused, reclaimed, sustainable or organic materials.

Here are some of my recent favourites:

The Cotton Ikat Tablecloth w/ Gingham shows off the season's biggest trend and is just in time for patio season. Your backyard barbecue never looked better. On second thought, you'd better get the matching napkinsfor a truly complete look.

We use a Bamboo Folding Table as our coffee table so that our living room can work in a number of different ways.

I think the Natural & Lime Kaisa Basket is the perfect accent piece for my breakfast bar. And the Reverse Painted Serving Tray (pictured above) is a wonderful time saver when entertaining.

For no-fail gift giving, Portraits is a stellar choice, as is The BitterSweet World of Chocolate. Bookends are always useful and what about a wine rack that folds up? Perfect for taking up to the cottage for the week! And who doesn't love jewelry as a gift?

Being an avid cook, I love how fresh the food and ingredients are, as well as the fact it is all fairly-traded and much of it is organic - all at completely and affordable prices! I get my spices here (like their wonderful curry and za'atar) and I pay LESS for them than at my local grocery store!

Last year, I bought over half of my Christmas presents at Ten Thousand Villages and for once, I felt good about shopping. My purchases really meant something.

You can visit them online via the US or Canada or go in person to one of their many store locations.

Stephanie Dickison

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