As Ramadan comes to a close, most of us are preparing for the upcoming celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim month of fasting. Part of the tradition includes exchanging gifts with loved ones and spending time with family and friends. To add an environmental slant to the celebration; this year consider purchasing products that are sustainable, ethically sourced or fair trade. Some suggestions from both Canadian and international retailers are listed below of products that not only make good gifts, but also minimize the impact on the environment.
Eastern Toybox is a company offers a wide range of eco-friendly, fair trade and handmade products made by socially and environmentally conscious artisans. They carry a wide range of unique toys, stationery and decor from Turkey, India, Indonesia and Germany as well as locally sourced products from Canada and the United States. Some of the more novel items include hijaushka, whimsical wooden nesting dolls and Mecca Tours, a handmade, hand painted wooden bus with 4 Hajjis.
For those more into fashion, the Azadi Project is a retailer that offers high quality, ethical products that ensures their producers provide fair wages and dignified working conditions. They offer an assortment of clothing from dresses and shirts to purses and jewelry. What impressed us most is that they clearly outline their fair trade standards and offer profiles of the artisans they source their products from. Their Saidpur Tote is an example of their commitment to working with rural communities in Bangladesh, a country that has recently been in the spotlight for its safety practices.
The gift of knowledge is often the most treasured, so why not share it with friends and family. Green Deen by Ibrahim Abdul-Matin is a good primer on what Islam teaches us about protecting the environment. A Picnic of Poems by Dawud Warnsby is a collection of poems and songs for children that educates them about the importance of caring for each other and nature. Green Muslims by Luqman Nagy takes a historical perspective examining the contributions Muslim civilization has made in the field of environmentalism and sustainability.
World Wildlife Fund Canada is one of the country’s leading conservation organizations whose goal is to prevent the degradation of the natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. Their online store offers several products that follow this mandate, such as organic clothing and books. They also offer ‘animal adoptions’ which includes a personalized certificate, a plush toy and details on the work this gift will support.