Handwriting by Marisa Mangum
Happy Earth Day! At The Little Market, we work with several artisan groups around the world that create beautiful products while practicing eco-friendly principles. We prioritize working with artisans that cultivate environmental stewardship. Take a look below to learn about Earth Day’s history and to see a few of the artisan-made goods we carry that are made with sustainable practices and environmentally friendly materials.
Illustration by Danielle Arn
How it Started
Before Earth Day was officially recognized, monumental events began to spark a conversation. For instance, Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” brought attention to insecticides, pollution, and environmental impacts. These initial steps set the stage for a national, and then global, movement.
Environmentalist and Senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day to raise awareness for various environmental issues. On April 22, 1970, a national movement officially began when 20 million people throughout U.S. cities demonstrated to bring attention to the importance of a sustainable environment. This was one of the first opportunities for a variety of groups, from groups focused on fighting oil spills to individuals protecting wildlife, to come together when they recognized a common initiative. Congress then created the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the following December. Furthermore, Congress passed the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species acts by the end of 1970. And in 1990, Earth Day was recognized globally when individuals around the world brought environmental issues to the forefront.
Our Eco-friendly Collection
From bags and accessories to home décor and gift wrap, many of our products are made with eco-friendly practices.
Our beautiful huipil bags and clutches are handmade from huipil, a traditional Mayan blouse that many women wear in Guatemala. The traditional huipil is woven on a backstrap loom as the artisans practice a tradition that has been passed down for generations. Each pattern is truly a work of art and one-of-a-kind. Many of our tote bags and clutches are made from environmentally friendly materials like natural grasses and raffia.
Our baskets are often handmade from sustainable materials. Our silver baskets, like the pen holder above, from Nepal add a beautiful touch to any room or office space. Each silver basket is handmade from clean repurposed snack wrappers; the silver is the wrapper’s interior. Our collection of baskets and bowls from Rwanda are handmade with sweet grass and sisal materials.
Photos by Alandra Chavarria
Our collection of reusable burlap bags are handmade by artisans at Corr Jute in Bangladesh. The jute fiber is a golden, silky, and natural fiber that grows well in Bangladesh and is a natural regenerator for the soil. Plus, these bags are not only made while practicing eco-friendly techniques and using sustainable materials, they are reusable and versatile as well.
Our glassware from Mexico is handmade by artisans, many of whom have disabilities. They use recycled glass to create each hand-blown piece.
These gift wrap essentials from India are handmade from recycled cotton T-shirts and exclusively designed by The Little Market. As we’ve continued to work with Craft Boat, the artisan group behind the production of these stunning pieces, we’ve even collaborated on developing journals from the remaining materials of the gift wrap collection.
We believe that Earth Day is every day – every day we have the opportunity to protect our Mother Earth and environment. We invite you to join us in celebrating the environment and practicing eco-friendly principles!