This Saturday, May 12th, is World Fair Trade Day. We realize many people may have never heard of it, but it’s actually a very important event so I thought I’d take this opportunity to write about it.
WFTD is an initiative of the World Fair Trade Organization that takes place every year on the second Saturday in May. This year’s theme is “Live Fair, One Product at a Time.” Every year socially responsible businesses, non-profits and organizations across the globe celebrate with events that promote fair trade and educate the public about ethical purchasing practices. These include fair trade festivals, concerts, fashion shows, symposiums, debates and more.
I just love the concept of living fair one product at a time, and of course that’s what Women’s Peace Collection is really about. I believe we can truly change the world if every time we open our wallet we think about where the product we’re purchasing comes from, who made it and how the producer was paid and treated. Each of us is capable of ensuring sustainability and fair wages, little by little chipping away at the cycle of poverty.
So how do we do this? Women’s Peace Collection focuses on handmade crafts, but there are many additional types of fair trade purchases that can be incorporated into your life. Fair trade coffee and tea, for example, are among the most important ethically produced items we can buy. They’re easily accessible and drinking them is simple, ethical way we can change one daily habit -shifting our morning tea or coffee to a fair trade brand! Or even better, encourage your congregation or workplace to serve only these items. Just look for the fair trade symbol on the package (I can highly recommend Equal Exchange as a wonderful option).
How many of us think about fair trade when we purchase clothing? Fair trade clothes are a little harder to find but there are a growing number of companies producing stunning, sustainable wardrobe items. Some well known companies such as Patagonia, Prana and Eileen Fisher now have fair trade certified items, and less expensive brands like Maggie’s Organics (which we sell), Synergy Organic Clothing, Mata Traders and Fair Anita are creating beautiful, contemporary designs at reasonable prices. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Even committing to adding a few fair trade items to your closet each year is a huge step toward having an ethically produced wardrobe.
I know I’ve only scratched the surface on how we can each live fair, one product at a time. I hope this World Fair Trade Day will inspire you to review each of your purchases more carefully and do your part in making this world a better place. And don’t forget one delicious, easy to find fair trade product to sweeten your life –chocolate!