Goods That Give Back

Help support local artisans, cultures, and economies with these sustainable souvenirs from hotel boutiques.

Supporting community artisans and small businesses is one sure way of strengthening local economies and celebrating cultural heritage when we travel. Fortunately, sustainably minded hotels, resorts, and lodges like the following stock their boutiques’ shelves with organic, handmade, fair-trade, and sustainable souvenirs whose sales directly benefit producers in surrounding communities. Let’s go shopping....

Pucón, Chile

Handmade crafts created by members of Chile’s Indigenous Mapuche people star at andBeyond Vira Vira lodge’s boutique. Look for silver-medallioned care bracelets whose sales help fund outreach programs in Mapuche communities, and textiles from local artista Sandra Rojos (shown below), who weaves on traditional wooden looms – lodge guests can even visit her workshop and order customized weavings. You’ll also love the pottery from Sybille Von Baer Jahn and her team of ten women, who mix ashes from nearby Villarrica Volcano into clay to create intriguing patterns. “We always investigate and look for new elements that are locally produced as a way to support local artists and their unique creations,” says lodge manager Gregory Franc.

Sustainable souvenirs from andBeyond Vira Vira

Textile Weaving by Sandra Rojos

Tuscany, Italy

Organic millefiori honey, jams, pastas, olive oils, and sauces are just a few of the tasty Tuscan treats born from Borgo Pignano’s fruit orchards, beehives, olive groves, and vegetable gardens. Also highly recommended: the estate’s biodynamic wines from its on-site vineyards, along with its handmade soaps, bath salts, and healing tonics and teas made by resident herbalist Lisabetta Matteucci. Guests can even help Matteucci pick aromatic and medicinal herbs in Borgo Pignano’s gardens and join her for hands-on herbalist classes in the estate’s Laboratory.

Borgo Pignano Honey harvested from on-property beehives.

Tasty Tuscan Treats

California, U.S.

Perched above the Big Sur coastline, Post Ranch Inn’s Post Ranch Mercantile supports California artists such as Big Sur-based nature photographer Kodiak Greenwood and MaryMar Keenan, owner of San Francisco’s MMclay ceramics. Golden State edibles include organic jams from Sebastopol’s Piano Farm and ethically grown, organically harvested, fair-trade teas made by Five Mountains in San Francisco.

Organic Fair-Trade teas from Five Mountains in San Francisco

Fair-Trade Teas

Gobi Desert, Mongolia

Three Camel Lodge supports suppliers who share our values and who are committed to doing business while solving a social cause,” says lodge president Undraa Buyannemekh. This includes selling slippers from Made in Mongolia, which provides employment to single women who are heads of their households. Save room in your luggage for Mongolian Kazakh tapestries, handcrafted felt snow leopards (the lodge works to help save this vulnerable species), and leather goods like these camels made by a local husband-and-wife team.

Leather camels crafted near Three Camel Lodge.

Locally Made Leather Camels

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