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Here at Salt & Wind Travel, we always leave a little room in our travel budget and space in our luggage to shop. When we’re on the road, we’re always on a mission to find the unique, handmade gems that make a place special—textiles, tabletop, or artisanal foods. So, we asked our friends at The Little Market how to find the best of the best while also supporting the local economy. We’ll let them take it from here!
Why Shop Responsibly?
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 struggled to make ends meet because they didn’t have the opportunity to showcase their goods to a global audience.
To solve that, The Little Market was born. At The Little Market, we curate one-of-a-kind pieces made by local makers worldwide. All our ethically-made products are as meaningful for their beauty as the change they create for the artisans who crafted them. We’re all about finding the most unique items and shopping in a responsible fashion, so we’re all about promoting ethical shopping.
Six Ways To Shop Ethically
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 can 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 come 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 passionate about preserving traditional techniques and cultural traditions worldwide, and that’s at the heart of the products we sell. No matter where you’re shopping, look for products that celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the communities they are from and promote 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 marketplaces, it’s easy to find lots of beautiful. Our challenge is ensuring that we buy the pieces directly from artisans who earn 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.
Have Us Plan Your California Trip
Did you know we’re also a boutique travel agency specializing in California vacation planning? If you want to plan a trip to California, our California trip planner services are here to help you plan your perfect itinerary.
All photos by Yoni Goldberg