You think: “They’re forever. He/She will love them!”
Your lover thinks: “These blood diamonds probably caused the death of a little boy or girl in Africa.”
Alternative: Something hemp, homemade, or both. If it’s from your own hands, he or she will totally dig it. Weaving pieces of your hair into it, however, could creep some people out.
You think: “They’re beautiful, just like my soulmate!”
Your lover thinks: “These are probably pesticide-laden, funding massive ecological disaster, not locally grown, and definitely not fair trade.”
Alternative: Buy him or her something that can grow. Better yet, get a whole seed kit and grow something together. Your lover will dub it a romantic victory garden, and you can pluck herbs from it to make dinner at home together once they bloom. (You could even start the garden weeks earlier in order to present your love with something already growing.)
You think: “It’s sweet and delicious. What could go wrong?”
Your lover thinks: “It’s not fair trade and some poor farmer or child had to pick it and be worked like a slave for pennies just for this box of sweets.” The same may go for coffee.
Alternative: Buy from a known fair-trade certified source (it should contain the fair-trade label as well) if you can; if you don’t know of any or it’s too late, why not go to a favorite local eatery for something locally-grown and vegan, or fair trade, or whatever your love likes best? Chances are there will be a delicious treat somewhere—or you could even hit the place up about where to shop for ingredients to make a delicious fair trade chocolate cake or shakes at home.
LEATHER OR FUR
You think: “It’s practical and pretty, and he/she will look wonderful in it.”
Your lover thinks: “An animal died for this piece of clothing.”
Alternative: Stick with cotton and other non-animal sources. There are plenty of sexy and beautiful pieces of clothing that do not contain animals; pleather is another alternative. Buying fair trade clothing is also probably important here.