What is Fair Trade?

Melissa Amato

Fair Trade is a concept that I found out about almost a year ago to the day.  I began looking into different products to sell in my shop and I came across Fair Trade.  It is basically where companies seek out labor, materials and skill from individuals from developing countries.  But although it may seem just like every other version of capitalism, fair trade is basically capitalism with heart.  

The sweater that you buy from (fill in big box store here)  was probably designed by someone at a design studio, sent to manufacturers in China, made by someone in China (possibly a child, possibly and adult but who knows really) and then shipped and sold to stores here at (fill in big box store here).  Fair trade is somewhat of the same process but in fair trade, the manufacturers are supposed to abide by certain rules and regulations.  In fair trade, you have to make sure that there is no forced child labor, that there are healthy and safe working conditions and that the workers are paid a fair wage among other requirements.  These requirements are enforced by agencies and organizations like Fair Trade Federation and FLO-CERT.  

Many fair trade artisans and suppliers are women from developing countries and are usually in remote areas of their country.  Not everyone is like us in the USA, not every where has a big city that they can freely move to to get a better job.  Fair Trade designers and companies for that matter seek out individuals that are in remote areas of the world that are especially skilled artisans to create clothing, jewelry, pottery, baskets, etc... Fair trade requires better treatment of employees, encourages strength in their communities by providing work for women where it is not usually allowed.  Fair Trade also provides resources such as bank loans for the workers, education and healthcare.  

Why am I explaining this? 

Because I want to create awareness for fair trade companies and the good that each of them do.  I have quite a few that I have my eye on and will be reviewing the quality of their work and encouraging more support for their products.  

Because if you are going to buy that dress online for whatever event, for about the same price...you could kill two birds with one stone as they say and buy fair trade.  Then you will not only be getting that new dress but you will also be helping a mother across the globe feed her children.  

Is it expensive?  

Not really.  I have found many items that are super comfortable and super chic and super affordable.  Like some jewelry for like under $20, not bad!

Why not you?  

People say that only you can change the world.  And they are right.  They are right in that you have the ability to change how the world works.  You can do so with what is in your wallet.  Change how you spend your dollars and that will speak volumes.  

Here is a list of my favorite fair trade companies that I have purchased items from in the past...

Pura Vida (I purchased the items myself) And here is my review...

Passion Lilie (I purchased the items myself but I am an affiliate and although a small commission is paid to me at no cost to you, I only recommend the best products.  So, basically if I am recommending the company, it is the best there is.)  And here is my review...

A few of my future pursuits will be 

Mata Traders, Article 22 (I saw their jewelry and I'm in love especially the peacebomb jewelry and so is Emma Watson!), Pact ....So stay tuned!  

Come back every Friday for my Fair Trade Finds!

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