Sharing the Aesthetic Sense of Our Community

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By Karen Akst Schecter

Do you “Shop Kosher?”

Applying the same basic ethical and moral tenets that shape Kashrut to the purchase of tangible goods

You may know how to buy a kosher steak. But do you know how to buy kosher things? Kashrut, at least in its purest form, should be more than just following rules; it should also reflect a higher ethos – as they say in the Hebrew National commercials, kosher answers to a “higher authority.” So,... READ MORE >

Village Women in Kisoro
By Karen Akst Schecter

Celebrate International Women’s Day by Supporting Women Artisans All Over the Globe

With the right tools a woman's potential is limitless: ensuring a woman's independence through income generating projects.

Celebrate International Women’s Day by supporting women artisans all over the world: your purchases help women help themselves and their families, giving them independence and control over their own lives. Aside from the many women artists we showcase from all over the US, we feature goods for your soul hand crafted by women artisans all... READ MORE >

By Karen Akst Schecter

Shopping for Good: Together We Make a Difference

Making a Difference in the Lives of Artisans Throughout the World

Thank you for joining with us to grow the Aesthetic Sense community and make a difference in the lives of artisans all over the world. We’re grateful for your support in our mission to provide cool, handmade artisanal crafts, gifts, whimsy and Judaica that is all fairly traded with a social conscience. Rather than plastic... READ MORE >

By Karen Akst Schecter

Fair Trade, Ethical Sourcing & February 14th….Celebrating Love while Helping the World Around You

The “Kosher” Way of Buying Goods

Why do we focus on ethical sourcing and knowing the origin and stories behind our Judaica and other goods? For two different yet complementary reasons. First, our passion for social justice: “Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof – Thou shall surely seek justice” is a core Jewish value. When we decided to open the Aesthetic Sense: Goods for... READ MORE >

By Karen Akst Schecter

Social Justice & Judaica: Fair Trade and Jewish Values

Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof: You Shall Pursue Justice

As some of you might know, Jay and I try very hard to know our artisans personally, and to take great interest not just in their work, but in their lives as well. So when we went shopping at the NY Gift Show last week, we went to say hello to old friends, and make... READ MORE >

Village Women in Kisoro
By Andrea Schecter

Lydia’s Story: Empowerment Through Ethical Sourcing & Fair Trading

A First Hand Look at Global Poverty, Social Justice & Supporting Artisans

I don’t know a lot about “Fair Trade” with a capital “F”, capital “T”.  But after almost a year of living and working at a hospital in rural Uganda, I have learned a bit about global poverty and social justice and how the two intersect. Last week I met Lydia.  She’s a 31-year-old Ugandan woman... READ MORE >

By Karen Akst Schecter

Building a Global Community: How We Adhere to Fair Trade and Ethical Sourcing Standards

Fair Trade & Ethical Sourcing: Good for Your Soul

Here at the Aesthetic Sense: Goods for the Soul, we believe in knowing the origins of the creations that we showcase. For the artists who we know personally, we know their stories, and we know that they share our values. In our mind, they do not need any certification: we know they are ethical in all that... READ MORE >

By Karen Akst Schecter

Ethical Sourcing: The Roots of Charity

The Who, What, and Why of the Fair Trade and Ethical Sourcing Movements

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. This ancient proverb has variously been attributed to Maimonides, ancient Chinese philosophers, and to a mid 19th Century British author. Tzedek tzedek tirdof: Thou shall pursue justice. This phrase is a... READ MORE >