Sharon Vipond's Blog

Hong Kong
Sharon is Canadian, and came to Hong Kong in 2008 from “tree-hugging” Vancouver For the past 15 years, Sharon has been involved with volun-tourism and community-based projects while focusing on building networks with like-minded individuals through education and international development (ID) communities. Keeping the DIY motive at heart, Sharon is in her element when she is working “in the field,” side by side with those tackling pressing environmental and livelihood issues through the implementation of sustainable solutions. Sharon feels that spending a vast amount of her time in direct contact with those in rural villages allows her to stay connected with sustainability initiatives and complexities in those places. Through her trade and travel social enterprise, Common Connections, and her online artisan goods marketplace, Knots & Strokes, Sharon provides the Hong Kong community with true and real opportunities for those seeking meaningful travel and a marketplace for eco-friendly textile products and art. As you connect through this blog, Sharon invites you to share your ideas of new ways to increase awareness for fair trade and to develop eco-friendly alternatives for travel and fashion in Hong Kong. Favorite Quote: “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” 
--Victor Hugo

Evening Gifts

Small gift: Big impact
November 24, 2014

Need some suggestions for small evening gifts?

Here are some ideas so you can join the growing number of globally and socially aware, green consumers willing to pay a premium for top quality gifts which have been ethically made, fairly traded and carry a social benefit for the under privileged.   They are "even-ing" gifts: even-ing wealth, even-ing opportunity, even-ing equality.
Lets begin with Christmas decorations and help refugees
How about a trio of red, white and green recycled newspaper reindeer to add a festive touch for your table or bookshelf?  Or, buy a dozen to help decorate the tree?  Add a few adorable angels also made of newspaper.  They come with a loop attached, ready for the tree or equally sweet sitting beside your nativity scene or the reindeer.  Both of these sturdy and thoughtfully made products are environmentally friendly and make a significant social impact for a Sri Lankan community of internally displaced persons, either from refugee status or as victims of the deadly tsunami.
How about helping landmine victims?
Buy these fun, pastel, and environmentally friendly, recycled rice bag totes, made by a small group of women landmine victims in Cambodia.  Available in pink, yellow and green.
Funky and bright glasses cases and help women street survivors cooperative.
These lined glasses cases are handmade from handloom fabric with kantha embroidery, both sides.  Social benefit is children's education and justice services for these marginalized women in India.
Bees..... we need our bees for honey for their responsibility for pollinating 1/3 of our food supply.
Bees need clean air so why not buy a handloom, handmade bee which is environmentally friendly and part of the SLOW textile movement.  The social benefit: smoke free stoves to eliminate the respiratory diseases suffered by so many Mayan women in Guatemala and cleaner air for the BEES.
Find these socially responsible items at the December Conrad bazaars and EIM and online. Check out options at Knots and Strokes (
Next blog: ideas for luxury socially-responsible items.



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