Here at Salt & Wind we always leave a little room in our travel budget and space in our luggage so we can shop. When we’re on the road, we're always on a mission to find the unique, handmade gems that make a place special—be it textiles, tabletop, or artisanal foods. So, we asked our friends at The Little Market for how to find the best of the best while also supporting the local economy.
Our two greatest loves are shopping and travel and we’ve done both a lot, traveling from the colorful markets of Bali to El Salvador in search of the most unique items. Along the way we met talented, vibrant women crafting beautiful products with traditional techniques. Despite their talent, most of these artisans were struggling to make ends meet because they didn’t have the opportunity to showcase their goods to a global audience.
In an effort to solve that, The Little Market was born. At The Little Market, we curate one-of-a-kind pieces from around the world. All our ethically-made products are as meaningful for their beauty as well as the change they create for the artisans who crafted them. We’re all about about finding the most unique items and shopping in a responsible fashion so we’re all about promoting ethical shopping.
Here are six ways you can shop more ethically, whether you’re in your hometown or halfway around the world:
Every Purchase Makes An Impact
Every time you shop, you have the power to use your dollars to maintain the status quo or direct the world toward a more fair future. We’re all about Fair Trade purchases because they support the artisan behind that product, allowing them to continue to perfect their craft while earning a fair wage.
Seek Out The Fair Trade Seal
Whether you’re shopping at home, online, or abroad, look for the Fair Trade seal—it's insurance that your products are coming from a company that shares your values. At The Little Market we recently received certification from the Fair Trade Federation and we are proud to be part of this like-minded community.
Keep Traditions Alive
We're also really passionate about preserving traditional techniques and cultural traditions around the world and that’s at the heart of the products we sell. No matter where you’re shopping, look for products that celebrate rich cultural heritage of the communities where they are from and promote the traditional techniques.
When you’re shopping, pay close attention to what materials are used and look for artisans who reduce, reuse, reclaim and recycle materials, and, whenever possible, prioritize organic, non-harmful ingredients.
Spread The Word
You don’t have to shop to act responsibly: you can support fair pay and marginalized workers by spreading the word about the power of ethical shopping.
Shop Local and Buy Direct
Local markets are one of our favorite ways to find inspiration. When we visit market places it’s easy to find lots of beautiful. Our challenge is ensuring that we are buying the pieces directly from artisans who are earning a fair wage for their work. Often times when you purchase something at a market the artisan who made that piece is earning a small percentage of the sale. Sadly, it is common for artisans to sell their pieces to vendors for less than cost out of desperation and need for quick cash. We make sure that the artisans we work with are calculating their costs for materials and their time to set a price where they can actually earn a living from their skill.
Check out some of our favorite travel-friendly finds from The Little Market here.
All photos by Yoni Goldberg