12 Holiday Gifts To Fight Human Trafficking

12 Holiday Gifts To Fight Human Trafficking

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! This last-minute gift idea list will make your holiday shopping a breeze.

Between the gems of local Houston small businesses and the brands carried by our favorite chain stores, ethical products are very attainable for the average consumer. 

Local Businesses

One of my personal favorite spots to shop responsibly is at the 11th Street Market hosted by A 2nd Cup, Houston’s non-profit coffee shop working to end human trafficking.

This monthly market is a great opportunity to visit and meet the owners of ethically sourced small businesses and browse the large array of products offered at their booths.

While perusing various brands, I found a diverse list of gift ideas for every member of the family!

Au Naturals

1.  Au Naturals


For the environmentally conscious lovers of beauty, Au Naturals Body Care offers locally made products with unique recipes made from organic ingredients.


Gift Set: $55

2. Benschop + Beck

Benschop + Beck offers custom pieces to decorate your loved one’s home, and the one of a kind works of art are as unique as they are.


Benschop + Beck

3. Divercity


You can show off your Houston pride with the eco-friendly brand Diverscity Clothing. The value of celebrating our city’s diversity is a core aspect of this local company.


Backpack: $50

4. Gold Clover Company


For fun accessories of all styles, Gold Clover Company has so much to choose from! Not only are you giving back to local businesses, but also the community with $1 from each purchase donated to The Bee Community.

Necklace: $54


Gold Clover Company
Redemption Song Foundation

5. Redemption Song Foundation


Redemption Song Foundation features handmade baskets, jewelry, and more to support growing healthy communities and sustainable practices in Uganda.


Green Lidded Basket: $10

6. Refuge For Women Gulf Coast


Check out these survivor-made gifts at Refuge for Women Gulf Coast! For those who don’t favor material gifts, consider sponsoring a room, which allows women survivors of trafficking and sexual exploitation to receive safe housing, counseling, and life and works skill development.

Large Warmer Winter Bundle: $40


Refuge for Women Gulf Coast

To view even more local businesses’ products and stories, visit the 11th Street Market webpage or visit in-store at A 2nd Cup.

Fair Trade Finds At Target

Target and Whole Foods are good places to find ethically sourced and responsibly manufactured products too.


7. Goodweave


Target partners with Goodweave to create opportunities for childhood education, fair working conditions, and sustainable practices in the textile industry.

8. Green Toys


Another Target partner, Green Toys, is the perfect brand to find recycled toys for children manufactured in the USA while guaranteeing fair labor and a responsible supply chain.


Rocket: $25


Green Toys
W3ll People

9. W3LL People

Ethical makeup and cosmetics can be a struggle to find, but W3LL PEOPLE provides natural, non-toxic, and cruelty-free beauty products at your local Target.

Environmentally friendly and sustainable ingredients paired with ethical labor practices by hand-making their products in the USA is a win-win for any consumer.

Lipstick: $15

10. Meow Meow Tweet


The bath and body products from Meow Meow Tweet in Target stores share the same mission with only organic and fair-trade ingredients while handmaking every product in the USA. An added bonus, the packaging contains no plastic and reduces environmental waste.

Candle & Soap Duo: $35


Meow Meow Tweet

11. Threshold


Target also carries Threshold linens, towels, and certified bedding that are both organic and Oeko-Tex Certified to protect textile workers from commercial pesticides and toxic chemicals.

Blanket: $30

12. Equal Exchange

Equal Exchange can be found in multiple retailers, including Target! Their coffee and chocolate are fair-trade certified, which means they ensure ethical labor and sustainable practices in their supply chains.

Equal Exchange also supports small scale farmers in developing areas to foster growth in their communities and quality of life, so these treats are the perfect way for your loved one to indulge while giving back!

Solidarity Box: $50


Equal Exchange

Fair Trade At Whole Foods & Wal-Mart

Whole Foods

Whole Foods is the go-to spot for ethically sourced food and other products. Showing your love through treats and dishes made from responsibly sourced ingredients is a breeze with the quality standards, be certified or supported by an approved third-party verifier, come from a supplier with a transparent relationship to Whole Foods, and have a measurable and positive impact on workers in their supply chains, communities and the environment.

Even their flowers follow these fair trade specifications, so spice up your gifts with some naturally beautiful flourishes.


Walmart sports a new fashion brand, Free Assembly, with eco-conscious clothing items at affordable prices for everyone in the family!


Happy Shopping!

Whether you need clothes, accessories, art pieces, or sweet treats to put together for the fast approaching holidays, these brands offer everything you need and more! Our favorite stores are making it easier than ever to be an environmentally conscious and ethically sourced consumer with so many l products to choose from. Happy shopping!

How To Change The World With Fair Trade Skin Care

How To Change The World With Fair Trade Skin Care

Do you know what ingredients are in your skin care routine? How about where those ingredients came from?

We often don’t look deeper into the products we consume to face the world everyday.

In celebrating Fair Trade Month at UAHT, we have been discussing chocolate & coffee, and how exploitation can exist in the supply chain of these popular goods. Now it’s time to take a look at our bathroom cabinets and counters.

As basic economic principles tell us: where demand exists, supply will rise to meet it. The global beauty industry is worth $532 billion dollars and is expected to reach $800 billion in just 5 years (Forbes).

Billions of people demand accessible, affordable beauty products at a moment’s notice.

To keep up with massive demand, suppliers seek out the best deal they can on ingredients like argan, coconut, and vanilla extract.

But these ingredients are often harvested by child and forced labor in dangerous conditions (FAIRTRADE Foundation, ELUXE Magazine).

The average coconut grower makes only $1 per day

Let’s look closer at one of these ingredients – coconut.

Cocokind outlines the case for fair trade coconut:

“Over the past several years, the exponential increase in demand for coconut/coconut-derivatives has not equated better wages for coconut farmers. In the Philippines, the second largest coconut producing country, coconut exports grew from 1,600 metric tons in 2008 to over 22,000 tons in 2014.

However, according to the Fair Trade USA, the average coconut grower is still making only $1 per day. Let’s put this into perspective (as if this is necessary): it would take two full days of work for a coconut grower to purchase a single unit of coconut water in the U.S. 60% of coconut farmers in the country live in poverty, and thus ironically, the largest stakeholders in the Philippine economy are the poorest.”

Pura Vida Coffee

Fair Trade Can Change The World

Fair trade combats human trafficking by prohibiting child or forced labor in addition to creating equitable, safer, and healthier environments for workers. If we have the means, buying fair trade products can support entire communities on a scale we may not have thought possible without charity.

 Here are a few resources to find fair trade beauty products:

Fair Trade Certified Health, Beauty, and Body Care

FAIRTRADE Beauty Products guide

Cosmetify Fair Trade Makeup & Beauty Glossary

Learn more now, during fair trade month!

In celebration of Fair Trade Month, UAHT is hosting events to encourage viewers to ask questions and learn more about fair trade.

We will be airing a viewing of the documentary “The Dark Side of Chocolate” on Thursday, October 29th from 6-7:30 PM CST.

This documentary and discussion will feature a guest speaker to answer questions about what fair trade is and how consumers can get more involved in the movement.

We will also be releasing new episodes of Making Justice, including an episode with Equal Exchange.

Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to learn more information and hear about the impact that fair trade has on others!

We have to know the signs of labor trafficking and exploitation, and we need to be engaged as consumers if we truly want to create a world where all are free. Here’s how you can keep learning:

Celebrating Easter and Springtime In a Pandemic

Celebrating Easter and Springtime In a Pandemic

It’s early in the morning and I step outside the door. It just rained the day before, so there’s water in the air: Springtime in Houston. As I savor a moment of quiet before my daughter wakes up, I think about what I am going to do to celebrate Easter this year. Coronavirus has disrupted our lives and displaced us from our home.

My partner works in healthcare and so we made the difficult decision to divide and isolate our family to protect our 16 month-old daughter. We are fortunate to have the resources to be able to make this decision and to move in with my parents, so their house has become a multi-generational home. 

Like a lot of parents navigating their families through this unprecedented time, we seek to create a sense of normalcy for our children and ourselves.


Like you, we are establishing new routines where the old ones don’t fit. This is easier said than done, especially when you are struggling to find work, struggling to work from home, or struggling to survive the day. 

To be honest, I had not thought much about Easter or Spring in the pandemic. Life had become too chaotic, switching hourly between the job of Mom and Abolitionist, disjointed at times with a news alerts that were ever-changing, and at the end of the day, I just longed for a sense of peace. 

This morning, as I breathe in the dewy Spring air, I try to focus on building that normalcy.


Easter and Springtime can conjure images of rainy days, blossoming lilies, and bunnies. It can be hard to focus on keeping traditions and old routines during a pandemic, mourning what we have lost.

This year would have been my daughter’s first official Easter Egg Hunt and I worry that it won’t be special without the traditional activities and gatherings.  At UAHT, one of our core values is Adaptability, and this is definitely a situation where I channel this particular value.

I’m amazed at how I’ve seen you and this community adapting to our circumstances.

Since Springtime can also be a time for renewal, I decide to let go of what I had thought Easter should be and welcome what it is this year.

I have gathered some environmentally sustainable and Fair Trade ideas to help your family and friends practice social distancing while celebrating the season. 

1. Dye Eggs with Kitchen Basics

Eggs can be hard to come by during the pandemic, but if you have some, The Spruce Crafts shares a number of ways to color eggs that would be a great activity to engage the children. The most basic involves food coloring or Kool-aid. 

2. Use Toilet Paper Rolls for Spring and Easter Crafts

If you are not into prepping and coloring eggs, try collecting all the toilet paper rolls you have accumulated in quarantine and turn them into art. Consumer Queen curates 15 awesome Easter toilet paper roll crafts, some of which you will want to keep crafting as Spring rolls along. 

3. Fill Easter Baskets with Fair Trade Chocolate

If you are short on time and have the means, a couple of businesses are offering bundles that are ready-made and ethically sourced. A 2nd Cup may have temporarily closed their doors, but they have put together some cute baskets (with Fair Trade chocolates) for Pick-up or Delivery. If you want one, you will have to order pronto, because they are going fast. You can also restock your pantry and get some of your favorite morning roast while you’re at it. 

4. Try a Fair Trade Recipe

These tumultuous times are a good time for connecting and grounding yourself. Gather your family and friends virtually and try the same Fair Trade recipe. Fair Trade USA, the body that created the Fair Trade Certified label, has worked with chefs, influencers, and producers to create recipes using Fair Trade ingredients.

My weekly pick is the Avocado Chocolate Mousse, because 1) it seems simple enough that a baking novice like me could make it, 2) avocados were on sale at Sprouts and 3) I scored Fair Trade Certified chocolate chips at Whole Foods. 

5. Relieve Your Stress with A Well-Deserved Bath

Need a little TLC for yourself or want to send a gift to a loved one? Lush has great Easter and Spring bath bombs that are adorable and smell amazing. As you indulge in a little self-care with Lush, you are supporting fair wages, environmental sustainability and good working conditions. 

I hope these ideas inspire you to renew old traditions and create new ones this Spring. My daughter and I will likely be indulging in some toilet paper roll-play and eating Fair Trade chocolate chips straight out of the bag. At UAHT, we hope you have a lovely week with family, friends, and loved ones near and far.