We all have a different relationship to the idea of shopping. After all, shopping isn’t just about acquiring what we need on a day-to-day basis, but also what we need emotionally. It can be hard, sometimes, to admit we deserve something nice. But let’s be honest with ourselves: we all need things, and it’s imperative that we take care of our own wellbeing as it is that we care for others. Neglecting self-care can lead to burnout or worse. And how effective or helpful can we be to others when we have nothing left to give?
The answer? Conscious consumerism. Being thoughtful about your purchases and mindful of the effects it might have on the wider world -- such as labor practices or the environment -- is the key to bridge this gap. Does your purchase support a cause, a small business, or an independent maker? If so, you’re putting more good into the world.
Anchor of Hope
It’s no wonder that Anchor of Hope is so popular with Cratejoy subscribers.
Each month, the business selects 3 sustainable, ethically-sourced, and fair trade products crafted by artisans around the world, delivered straight to your door. But these aren’t just any handmade objects -- each item curated by Anchor of Hope has been created by a refugee or survivor of human trafficking, and the proceeds from each sale go directly to these artisans.
“Some of these artisans are survivors of sex trafficking in India and Asia,” says Adrienne, the founder of Anchor of Hope. “Some are women in Haiti that desperately need work in order to keep their daughters in school -- the best way to keep them from being kidnapped and trafficked. Some are organizations that teach refugee women -- relocated to the US -- the skill of sewing or jewelry making so they can provide for their families.”
It’s not selfish to care of yourself, friend. And it’s definitely not selfish to support others through mindful purchases.
The bottom line? You’re not just purchasing high-quality crafts like jewelry, home decor, ceramics, or unique artwork. Nor are you simply investing in fair labor practices and environmental sustainability. On top of this, you’re also supporting marginalized people who have been through severe adversity.
Anchor of Hope’s mission, Adrienne tells us, is to spread hope around the world. In addition to helping these artisans support (and, in some cases, protect) themselves and their families, the company regularly meets with a local group of women artisans to teach them new skills and help their careers grow. It’s clear that with every month, they spread a bit more hope than the last.
Green Kid Crafts
In a sea of clever children’s crafts subscriptions, Green Kid Crafts rises above the rest, thanks to its commitment to sustainability.
As an environmental scientist, founder Penny knew it was crucial not only to provide activity kits that taught children about STEAM -- science, technology, engineering, art, and math -- in a fun and thoughtful way, but to do so in an eco-friendly way. So Green Kid Crafts, she tells us, “sources project materials and packaging supplies from reputable, earth-friendly companies that have a green standard.” Even more impressively, the company has partnered with environmental organization CarbonFund to offset 100% of the carbon dioxide produced as a result of Green Kid Crafts’ business operations. What other company do you know who can say that?
And Green Kid doesn’t stop there in their efforts to teach children the importance of honoring the world around them. Every kit inspires creativity with an arts & crafts project about some aspect of the scientific universe -- from astronomy to wildlife, electricity, or (literal) rocket science -- and all kits are approved by a committee of child development experts. What makes them experts, you ask? Each panel member is a parent and has significant professional experience in education, engineering, science, or art.
In other words, Green Kid Crafts offers your child the chance to learn about the Earth and stars while actively saving the Earth. And in a time when seemingly every purchase we make has unintended environmental consequences, that’s a chance you don’t see every day.
Similar to Anchor of Hope, Wanderkarma features all fair trade, ethically-sourced goods handcrafted by women artisans. Uniquely, however, each month of Wanderkarma focuses on a specific country and culture, allowing you to learn more about the globe with every purchase. “As a final touch,” founder Jessica tells us, “we send you a travel guide to fuel your wanderlust to travel the world.” In addition to supporting these local artisans and their families, you get the chance to connect on a more global level by learning about the atmosphere and environment these artisans come from.
Currently, Wanderkarma is featuring the art, culture, and artisans of Haiti. Previous months have featured artisan makers from countries as varied as Rwanda, Morocco, the Philippines, Colombia, Japan, Cambodia, and Brazil. The 3-5 handcrafted products you’ll receive each month depends on the culture -- and makers -- being featured, from handbags, jewelry, and bath & body products to more practical items such as home goods. Moreover, your purchase often goes toward a specific cause within that country, from supporting indigenous tribes in Colombia to helping women impacted by landmines in Cambodia.
New subscribers have the option of receiving that month’s box or selecting Rwanda as their first box, which supports organizations for survivors of sexual and domestic violence. For this month’s Haiti box, Wanderkarma has partnered with Vi Bella, a jewelry-maker founded in response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti about a decade ago. The organization helps those at risk, many of whom are deaf or disabled, rise out of poverty to support their families and local communities through full-time employment.
Primarily, Wanderkarma features countries Jessica has already visited, as she has a connection and beginning knowledge. Ultimately, she says, the company’s mission is to help people “see how beautiful the world can be” and broaden subscribers’ horizons through new experiences, whether delivered straight to your door or from a global adventure inspired by one of Wanderkarma’s curations.
Wanderkarma works to keep mindfulness in mind when curating the selection for each month. Often, boxes include accessories to help you stay grounded, be present, and practice self-care activities, such as aromatherapy, meditation, or yoga. This allows you to invest in your own health and happiness at the same time you help women in developing countries maintain their own livelihood and wellbeing. You’re not just treating yourself: you’re helping to treat others to greater stability and safety. And isn’t that ideal?