Happy Fair Trade Holidays

Posted on December 10, 2014 by Susan Fish | 0 comments

Last weekend we had the privilege of having a booth at the Saratoga Springs, NY, Fair Trade Marketplace.   The excitement in the air was palpable among both vendors and customers, as everyone there was supporting fair trade. Normally at shows I say something like this to customers as they browse: “everything is fair trade and hand made by artisans in villages all over the world,” so people know they are buying something special and meaningful.   In Saratoga, however, customer after customer asked ME about the products – “tell me the story behind this,” “where is it made?”, “how are the artisans paid?”, etc.  It was truly thrilling to be among knowledgeable people who understand what fair trade is about and who are shopping consciously!  I kept saying to myself, “yes, more and more people get it!”

So the holidays are approaching fast and we all have choices as to how we shop.  I thought I’d share just a handful of reasons why buying fair trade is so beneficial and meaningful. (I am focusing here on fair trade crafts, not edibles). 

  1. Fair trade means safe working conditions and of course, fair wages. This enables community members to earn a living and find their way out of poverty.
  2. Fair trade products are very high quality since they are individually crafted by talented artisans.
  3. Fair trade connects you with other cultures. The products reflect the people and culture of the country they come from while helping the artisans who make them.
  4. Fair trade supports communities.   The organizations working with fair trade cooperatives also invest in education, healthcare, housing and other community resources.
  5. Fair trade is good for the environment.   The cooperatives and workshops focus on sustainable products and environmentally sound practices as well as high quality goods. 

These reasons and many more are what fuel my passion for this work.   What a great way to shop consciously and purposefully while making a powerful difference in someone’s life – I call that a true win-win!

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