Just in time for the holiday season, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite online shops that support some of our favorite causes – wildlife conservation and local African artisans. Happy shopping!
- Azizi Life partners with over 30 independent groups in Rwanda, for a total of around 500 artisans to offer a range of skillfully crafted products such as baskets, woven bowls, home decor, jewelry and bags.
- Add a touch of Africa to your home and shop at Tribal Textiles. Located in South Luangwa National Park in Zambia, it’s an amazing project employing between 80 and 100 workers and artisans to produce home décor items. In addition to providing valuable employment, five per cent of all sales are reinvested in local community and conservation initiatives.
- Another shop which happens to be near Tribal Textiles is Mulberry Mongoose, where craftswomen make beautiful unique jewelry by hand using natural materials, such as wire snares collected by anti-poaching units in the South Luangwa Valley.
- Africology offers natural, ethically made, cruelty free skincare, bath and fragrance products. Besides a commitment to fair trade practices, your purchase also supports local community organizations.
- Foster an elephant with Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Established more than 40 years ago, it is best known for its Orphans’ Project, the first and most successful elephant orphan rescue and rehabilitation program in the world. For as little as $50 a year you can “adopt” an elephant, rhino or giraffe. Visit their website for pictures and information on specific animals available for adoption.
- Fahlo bracelets are the perfect stocking stuffer for animal lovers who want to support animal conservation. Fahlo partners with non profit organizations such as the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and Save the Elephants to create bracelets that come with a real animal to track.
- Bush Princess offers beautiful leather bags and accessories all made locally by Kenyan artisans from Kenyan raw materials. The beautiful decorative beadwork of their straps, belts and tassels are created by Masai women as part of their “Beading for Education” program.
- Patrick Mavros, a friend (and neighbor in Zimbabwe) of our founder, Diane, is an artist who designs beautiful jewelry and homewares inspired by his love of Africa. Be sure to check out their pangolin collection – 10% of the proceeds are donated to the Tikki Hywood Foundation.
- Based in Arusha, Tanzania, Shanga is a workshop which employs over 70 people with a wide range of disabilities to create jewelry, textiles and glass ornaments using recycled and sustainable materials. You can view their catalog and place an order on their website.
- Ajiri Tea is “strong tea with a strong mission.” Not only is the tea delicious but each box is a unique work of art as the labels are handmade by women in Western Kenya using natural materials. With 100% of profits support orphan education, Ajiri Tea Company is now sponsoring 29 orphans in school and is employing four different women’s groups.
If you are familiar with other gems like these that you think we should feature on our list, please reach out and let us know!