Serrv specializes in ethical, fair-trade shopping

Gift for a cause this season

During the holidays, when individuals are frantically searching for gifts to give, Serrv on State Street provides a way to not only find the perfect item, but also give back.

Serrv International, founded in 1949, is a nonprofit organization based in Madison. The State Street location is the only storefront, and the company wholesales to other stores across the country. It has a strong digital presence and publishes a catalogue.

Sarah Wilcox, the store manager, says the organization works with more than 8,000 artisans and farmers in 24 countries.

Everything in the store meets the 10 standards of fair trade defined by the World Fair Trade Organization, Wilcox says. Those principles include creating opportunity, honest relationships, fair wages, support for gender rights, safe working conditions and environmental stewardship.Serrv specializes in ethical, fair-trade shopping

When it comes to the holidays, Wilcox says purchasing fair-trade products and shopping locally is “the gift that gives twice.”

“Shopping locally puts money back into the community in which you live,” Wilcox says.

And at her store “you’re buying products that you know are helping people around the globe.”

Serrv gives out cards with information about the makers of the products and includes detailed tags so individuals know the story behind each product.

“When we all think about the holiday season, we want it to have some kind of meaning,” Wilcox says.

Must-Haves

For the Cuddlers: Any member of the family will love to wrap up in a Kantha throw made out of recycled saris. $65Serrv specializes in ethical, fair-trade shopping

For the Ultimate Host: Keep bread and rolls warm for the duration of your meal with an easy-to-use terra cotta breadwarmer from Bangladesh. $25Serrv specializes in ethical, fair-trade shopping

For the Decorator: Hand-quilled paper ornaments from Vietnam will brighten up any Christmas tree. $8Serrv specializes in ethical, fair-trade shopping

For the Fashionista: Maquita from Ecuador uses tagua nuts and eco-friendly seeds from the Ecuadorian ivory palm to make colorful necklaces. $38 Serrv specializes in ethical, fair-trade shopping

For the Kids: Children will love taking apart and piecing back together puzzle boxes in the shapes of their favorite animals. $22Serrv specializes in ethical, fair-trade shopping

For the Foodie: Proceeds from the sale of Women’s Bean Project soups help at-risk women receive training in a skill and earn income. Plus, most of the soups are vegan, gluten-free and kosher. $6.50Serrv specializes in ethical, fair-trade shopping

For the Sweet Tooth: Get six flavors of Divine Chocolate in a gift set made by the Kuapa Kokoo Cooperative in Ghana. $24Serrv specializes in ethical, fair-trade shopping

Serrv
224 State St.
251-2370, serrv.org

Maija Inveiss is digital content editor of Madison Magazine.