Support Artisans Fleeing From Regional Conflict
Men, women and children around the world are leaving their homes every day due to conflict, terrorism or natural disasters, and are in great need of support and employment in new countries. Fortunately, organizations in the US and abroad have opened their doors to these refugees, offering job training, language lessons and resettling services for people in need.
These companies are bringing the skilled work of these refugees to the forefront by creating a marketplace for these artisan-made goods—goods that are steeped in culture and that offer new economic opportunities for the people who make them.
Here are some of our favorite artisan goods that are handcrafted by refugees. Purchasing these goods helps provide dignified, creative employment for displaced families.
1. Woven Basket | The Little Market
This showstopping natural and white colorblocked basket is the perfect catch-all for your keys and sunglasses—or hang it on the wall for a natural decor centerpiece. This basket is handwoven by women artisans from WomenCraft, a social enterprise in Ngara, Tanzania dedicated to generating income opportunities for refugees fleeing instability and violence in neighboring countries.
Shop Online | $60
2. Soup For Syria
While not crafted by refugees, this cookbook pulls together soup recipes from nearly 80 acclaimed chefs around the world to help provide food relief in the Syrian refugee crisis. The profits from this cookbook are donated to help fund food aid through the United Nation’s UNHCR.
Shop Online | $30
3. Pink Panel Bag | Indego Africa
This pink panel bag reminds us of all things summer and sunshine. Handwoven from locally-sourced banana leaves by Burundian refugees at the Mahama Refugee Camp in Rwanda, this bag helps support financial and educational empowerment for all of Indego Africa’s artisans.
Shop Online | $175
4. May Kuffieh Scarf | SEP Jordan
Let artisans surprise you—each of these kuffieh scarves are entirely unique and equally stunning. SEP matches design with purpose, offering delicately embroidered pieces made by skilled women refugees in the Middle East—preserving and celebrating traditional Palestinian techniques and patterns in the process.
Shop Online | $64
5. Valencia Candle | Prosperity Candle
Prosperity Candles are hand-poured by women here in the US, many of whom are resettled refugees. Choose from 11 different scents, and enjoy the lovely decorative ceramic container once the candle has burned out by following Prosperity Candle’s cleaning & repurposing instructions.
Shop Online | $30
6. Clara Floral Necktie | Knotty Tie Co.
This tie brings the perfect pop of floral to men’s wardrobes—and it’s hand-sewn from recycled materials. Knotty Tie creates jobs for resettling refugees based upon their existing skills, and offers fair wages and flexible employment so their employees have fewer barriers to assimilation in the US. Not into floral? Knotty Tie offers dozens of patterns, from neutral to bold for every occasion.
Shop Online | $40
7. Gray Tatreez Flats | Darzah
These ultra-comfortable Fair Trade Certified flats are beautifully hand-embroidered by refugee and low-income women artisans in Palestine. Darzah works to preserve and celebrate Palestinian tatreez embroidery, while also offering economic advancement to women in the West Bank.
Shop Online | $189
8. Reya Top | GAIA
This sweet top crafted by resettled refugee women in Dallas, TX, is a perfect year-round piece with its flowy sleeves and gorgeous prints (there are 8 different patterns to choose from!) GAIA is committed to the long-term success of their talented employees, and you can read about each woman’s story on GAIA’s website.
Shop Online | $158
9. Sisterhood Soap | Preemptive Love Coalition
Sisterhood Soap is soap with a story. Handcrafted in Iraq, this chamomile soap helps create jobs for refugees fleeing from ISIS. Preemptive Love Coalition partners with citizens in Iraq and Syria to help create lasting change in the region via medical care and job training.
Shop Online | $10
10. Haseen Ring With Red Jasper | Pippa Small
This subtle everyday ring tells a big story—it’s handmade in Kabul by the men and women artisans of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation. Support of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation creates meaningful, creative jobs in Afghanistan while also restoring historic places and preserving traditional Afghan artisanal techniques.
Shop Online | $80
11. Lumi Necklace | Melt Goods
This long necklace adds the perfect amount of flair to any outfit while still remaining minimal and classic. In addition to crafting gorgeous jewelry, Melt Goods offers happy and sustainable jobs for refugee in Dallas, Texas so they can support their families and settle comfortably into a new life in the US.
Shop Online | $48
12. Gold Rod Earrings | Global Goods Partners
The perfect earrings for the minimalist-at-heart, these handcrafted hammered brass dangle earrings are designed by local and refugee artisans in Burkina Faso. Global Goods Partners is a nonprofit social enterprise dedicated to the long-term success of their artisan partners by offering training and grants.
Shop Online | $60
Emily Torres is an Editor at The Good Trade. She’s a Los Angeles transplant who was born and raised in Indiana, where she studied Creative Writing and Business at Indiana University. You can usually find her reading or writing, caring for her two rabbits, or practicing at the hot yoga studio. Say hello on Instagram!