Photos: Via Nativa.
In our recent How to go Green Holidays, we've made the point: this time of the year is not about presents and errands, but about sharing with your beloved. Keeping that in mind, if you still need to get some presents and didn't find anything in our Green Gifts Guide, here's a last minute option to shop while doing some good.
Via Nativa is an online store that markets responsible products by Argentine and Nicaraguan artisans under fair trade practices, but with reasonable prices as well. Some of the products include bags and purses starting at 20 USD and adorable kids booties at 28 USD. The initiative also has a base in Brooklyn, at the design shop and art gallery Urban Alchemist.
Find out more about the project and more of the products you can find in the extended.(Photo above: Baby loom knitted booties from Nicaragua.)
Fair Trade Store Via Nativa
Via Nativa was founded in 2006 by designers Vanesa Natale and Alessandra Plasa, who after extensively travelling around Latin America found themselves in the need to show the world the region's artisan talent.
They work with artisans, cooperatives and NGOs to support traditional techniques that are about to disappear and improve the life quality of the artisans by paying a fair price, ensuring people work in a safe environment where women are treated equal and children can continue their education, and offering technical help to the communities.
Chaguar bag from Argentina.
The designers work with artisans that are in disadvantaged areas, and look for artisans that can show ancestor values in their work, who use local and sustainably managed materials without chemicals or artificial processes.
And on top of everything, Natale and Plasa have a profound respect for these people's work. "We value the products our artisans make very much and are proud to sell them. This is not charity, but a commercial transaction based on respect and fair compensation," says Natale.
Llama wool scarf from Argentina.
Among Via Nativa's products you can find 'chaguar' knittings (made with roots from the Chaguar plant) and llama wool knittings died with natural pigments from Northern Argentina, and hammocks, recycled wood jewelry and loom knitted baby booties from Nicaragua; among others.
The items can be acquired online or at Urban Alchemist (343 5th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215 - Tel. 718 499 0758). If you get something, remember to use an eco-friendly wrapping.
Chaguar belt from Argentina.
Laurel wood necklace from Nicaragua.
Baby Llama wool booties from Jujuy.