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Fair trade works to bring idealistic ideas to reality. The typical trade model has many flaws and workers are exploited. The fair trade movement’s goals are to help those in poverty have a better quality of life. Fair Trade International, the Fair Trade Federation and other Fair Trade organizations have their standards online.  In summary:

  •          Creating products with sustainable materials and processes
  •          Requiring safe working conditions, fair and honest wages, and a lasting business model.
  •          Promoting and enabling women empowerment
  •          Access to health care, medicine, and proper nutrition
  •          No child labor
  •          Education readily available for all, especially children, and to continue to keep attendance up
  •          Continuous career training for adults.
  •          Community development and innovation

 

Instead of creating dependency on aid, a market-based approach that pays fair prices, offers workers safe conditions, and entire communities’ resources to build fair, healthy and sustainable lives is the essence of Fair Trade.

 

This is the era of the Conscious Consumer. The surge of the green movement and organic movement have all led way to Fair Trade. Fair Trade considers how the producing of the products and the products themselves are effecting people and the environment.  We need to educate one another on the benefits of fair-trade.

 

Anyone can be a conscious consumer. All products can be fair-trade if the processes are put in place and there is a market for the products.

 

What are you paying for in your purchases?

 

Here is a video that shows you the severely extreme conditions others deal with on a routine basis as it relates to sex trafficing versus working in the traditional garment industry. This video is not ours and may be hard to watch. Fair Trade hopes that by creating good working conditions, fair and livable wages, offering education, sustainable products, and opportunity for growth we can reduce the amount of women who must face these horrifying conditions and provide them options. The hope with Fair Trade is that  women won’t have to choose between sex trafficing or being a garment worker.  We hope to offer them the opportunity to have a life that they can sustain on their own, provide for their family and improve their community.

 

There is an article I read recently,  unfortunately I can’t find it again, but it resonated with me! Post the link below if you know which one I’m talking about.  It relates to the conscious consumer ideas. The article talked about how most consumers don’t think about where our products are made because we don’t see these conditions every day. The consumer pushes the news and all the media coverage we see to the back of our minds. If it’s pushed out of our mind we can believe it doesn't exist. That is how we can continue to purchase the same products made from the companies and factories with these awful conditions.

 

We need to educate one another on the benefits of fair-trade. Encourage each other to be conscious consumers. Ask each other where the products were made instead of what store they purchased it from.

 

There is a story behind everything you own. Do you know their stories?

 

Written by Arielle Besyk

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