Friday, May 31, 2013

FFF: Travel favorites

I am very excited to be attending my fair trade company's annual conference next week.  It is a time for those of us who work in our retail stores throughout the country as well as in our home office and warehouse to get together to learn about exciting developments within our company, preview product lines, hear from experts in the field, and even meet some of our artisans.  After scoring a very like-new carry-on for $11 in myfavorite local thrift shop, which incidentally supports an organization working to combat childhood sexual abuse and trafficking in the USA, I am ready to pack for my trip.
Here are my 5 favorite things to travel with, all fair trade, of course: Made in India, $79
New from Ten Thousand Villages, the Double Dot Shoulder bag quite nicely qualifies as a stylish "personal item" for flying.  It has extra long shoulder straps (15" height) which stay put while you are booking it through concourse E and the opening edge is gently magnetized so that it stays closed while carrying but can be pulled open one-handed to fish out your boarding pass while trying to juggle a coffee/guitar/toddler with your other arm.  It has a zippered compartment and cell pocket on the inside, and a flat bottom that measures 14” x 5 1/2”.  The body of the bag measures 12” h x 17” w.  $79 Made in India by CFM Market Linkages Pvt Ltd. CFM Market Linkages works with artisan communities throughout India. CFM Market Linkages started in 2006 with funding from the Ford Foundation and the Hivos Foundation. While new, the group is growing quickly and they are ready to take their place within India’s fair trade community. Made in India, $18

The very cool thing about the teal-toned shoulder bag is that there are two matching accessories available.  In addition to a 2-pocket wallet, there is a cotton make-up bag which is lined with plastic to keep powdered and liquid makeup enclosed in case of spillage.  It also works great as a tech case, holding your memory cards, flash drives, camera, and small chargers.
Made in Bali, Blue Hand $25

As I’ve mentioned before, I love traveling with sarongs.  I picked out a new one in watery blue with a turquoise leaf pattern to stuff in my carry-on and use poolside, while lounging in my room, and most importantly as a wrap in those frigid hotel conference rooms., Made in USA, $6
I’ve been testing out lip balms, and my favorite company, Eco-Lips, has entered the world of fair trade.  Hurray!  Their ONEWORLD line of balms are gluten free, USDA certified organic, and contain fair trade cocoa butter.  The “Relax” Calming balm has a lemon and lavender flavor and I find it to be both nourishing and actually calming.  Ingredients include  Fair Trade Certified(TM) Cocoa Butter, Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Grapeseed Oil, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Vanilla Flavor, Vitamin E, Organic Essential Oils of Lemon, Lavender, and Sweet Orange.  The $6 tube is large so it gives ample coverage and works nicely to moisturize knuckles and elbows in-flight without leaving skin greasy. Made in India $14

There is something a little funny about having a luggage accessory that costs more than the luggage it adorns, but for a combined total of under $25, I’ll get over it.  These leather luggage tags are made by the artisans of CRCExports Private Limited in India and have a window that can accommodate a 2" x 3 1/2" contact card but would also be cute clipped to a handbag for easy driver’s license retrieval in the security line.  (I think the fish would also be cute as a pool pass holder that can clip to your pool tote or locker key.) [Currently out of stock online, find one at your local store or check back at soon.]

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