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Christmas shopping: where to buy gifts?

As Christmas approaches, should you only buy gifts made in France?

It was happy this weekend. Stores have opened. We can do our shopping, prepare for Christmas – to make people happy while supporting traders and producers. This is good news and a breath of fresh air for the French people and the economy. We can find small local shops as we prepare for Christmas.
As Christmas approaches, should you only buy gifts made in France?
To talk about it, I invited Yvonne, a colleague from Fondacio who works in the field of fair trade with Asia.

François: What do you think, Yvonne?

Yvonne: It is useful and necessary after this second confinement to buy French. It is a civic gesture. But it is also useful to take a step back. The problem is that even for “made in France” items, especially in the textile sector, they may have been produced by exploited men, women or even children. It is difficult to know the impact of our purchases if we only buy them in fair trade stores. Vigilance and critical thinking are necessary to consume in an ecological and responsible way.

François: But what solidarity with the rest of the world? How to refocus on oneself, while remaining open to precarious situations that are sometimes even more glaring elsewhere?

Yvonne: I’ll give you an example that I know well and that I follow closely for Fondacio.
Julia Naw (former student of our institute in Asia, IFF Asia) has chosen to get involved in helping young women to get out of precariousness and an undesirable future. She created YounSone in Burma to produce contemporary items from local fabrics to enhance ancestral know-how.

I follow these young women from a distance and voluntarily help them sell the products in France. For them, knowing that the French buy and appreciate their products is a sign of pride. This builds their confidence and their own know-how. I would add that our products are imported without unnecessary CO2 emissions during essential trips, by a small network of friends who support the initiative.

Buying an item like this to concretely help a few Burmese women allows us to make a gesture of solidarity.

François: Yes, and that doesn’t prevent us from shopping in small boutiques.
By purchasing a YouSone type product, you can be close to abroad and support it economically and ethically. It is not because we have marks of attention for our loved ones or our country that, for all that, we must forget the rest of the world.

Thanks Yvonne.

In fact, thinking of others, directly or indirectly, is the very essence of the Christmas spirit.

PS – YouSone – You can admire their know-how and consult the Christmas 2020 catalog.

To follow the news of these courageous women supported on site by young French volunteers.

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