Hoi An is one of my favorite cities to visit from Hong Kong for short, relaxing trips. It has amazing food, is easy to navigate, and makes for beautiful, chill holidays.
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Peter and I recommend it to friends often so when one of my close friends from college, Amy, came to visit us in Hong Kong, I knew it would be the perfect spot to hop over for a long weekend side trip.
Traveling with a baby is always fun though always a bit difficult too. For this trip, Amy and I were traveling with Patriot, but without Peter so I knew I wanted to go somewhere familiar and easy.
Although I’ve been to Hoi An multiple times, I still discovered new things to eat, drink, and shop! There is so much to explore in this UNESCO World Heritage City.
My favorite finds of this trip? The stunning fair trade shops featuring local handicraft artisans!
Why shop fair trade?
There are many reasons, but in short, shopping fair trade helps support the environment, workers, and those who are vulnerable to exploitation. Plus, you often get a more personal shopping experience, knowing where your goods came from and who provided them for you!
Shop Fair Trade in Hoi An
Shop For: Textiles – clothing, bedding, pillowcases, kids wear, scarves, cloth bags, table runninstagram.com/p/Biy_qSvnqCeers
About: Villagecraft Planet‘s vision is to mainstream sustainable and ethical design in support of ethnic minority artisans in Asia. They establish community Charters with all of their producer groups, with clear socio-economic and environmental objectives and criteria. Many of their products are made with hemp, which is highly sustainable, naturally absorbs CO2 as it grows, balancing out any gasses released during fabric production.
My favorites: I purchased a beautiful baby carrier was made by a Hmong woman in northern Vietnam. The Hmong are a highland ethnic minority group in SE Asia. Peter and I trekked Vietnam with a Hmong guide in our pre-baby days and I fell in love with their beautiful embroidery and colorful designs. .
I was so excited when the owner of Villagecraft Planet, Huong, offered to sell me this baby carrier from her personal collection. She has been working with artisans in Sapa for more than a decade and although the Hmong women all don their babies on their backs, this was the first time she had ever seen a baby carrier actually for sale. I can’t imagine the hours it took to embroider this piece (many similar styled patterns nowadays are printed instead of embroidered) and I am grateful to have this special piece in our babywearing collection!
Shop For: Jewelry, home textiles, tea and coffee and dining, baby clothing, scarves, lanterns, stuffed toys
About: All the products for sale at Reaching Out are made by persons with disabilities. Reaching Out provides them with skills and meaningful employment so they can integrate within their communities and lead independent and fulfilling lives. Their products are absolutely beautiful and in the back of the shop you can visit their locally owned, sustainable, fair trade workshop.
They also have a tranquil Teahouse run by speech and hearing impaired staff.
My Favorites: I picked up a few sets of hammered bronze chopsticks, a bronze Vietnamese coffee filter with a lotus and flower pattern, and an adorable onesie for Patriot. I will definitely be back on my next visit to purchase more of their beautiful handicrafts.
Cocobox Café Farm Shop
Shop for: Coffee, teas, homemade jams, honey, chocolate bars, local dipping sauces, body lotions, and massage oils
About: Part cafe, part shop, Cocobox has several locations around Hoi An’s Old Town. In addition to foods and juices using locally sourced, organic ingredients, you can shop for organic and fair trade items from around Vietnam.
My Favorites: Though not explicitly fair trade certified, they are affiliated with Hoi An Roastery (my favorite ca phe sua da in town) and sell the coffee beans in their shop. Hoi An Roastery sources their coffee beans directly from farms in the highlights near Dalat. They ensure the farmers are paid fair prices and then roast the beans locally right in Hoi An.