Got plans on Sunday, May 12th? We do! We're celebrating World Fair Trade Day with millions of people around the world, and we hope you'll join us.
If you’ve heard of sweatshops, then you’re aware of the exploitation of textile workers and farmers around the world. The fair trade movement is changing this. Fair trade brands are empowering small and disadvantaged producers with living wages, safe working conditions, community support, and environmental respect.
Best of all, consumers are voicing their concern for the well-being of workers. They are saying loud and clear that it matters how something is made, and we're right there with them.
So let's honor the farmers and artisans who make our chocolate, coffee, clothes - and much more - by purchasing and gifting fair trade products. Not sure where to find them? No problem! We've put together this list of 15 of our favorite fair trade shops that give back equally to people and the planet.
1. Dean’s Beans
Dean’s Beans purchases their beans directly from co-ops in South America, Africa, Central America, and Asia through fair trade practices and advocates on behalf of local growers and communities. Their coffee beans are 100% ethically sourced, bought at fair prices, and make an absolutely delicious cup of coffee. We’re all coffee-lovers here, so we couldn’t be happier to have Dean’s Beans as our neighbor. Plus we love their message of "coffee as a vehicle for change." If you’re ready to add some goodness into your coffee routine, check them out online or at Whole Foods. We also include Dean's beans in several of our gourmet gift sets, including the Thank You Gift.
2. Numi Tea
When it comes to quality, organic teas with a positive impact on both people and the environment, Numi Tea really stands out. They’re not too hard to find, either. As a certified B Corp, Numi Tea empowers farmers every step of the process and is mindful of their larger environmental impact. One of their partnerships that we especially admire is with Together for H2OPE, who helps provide farmers and their communities with safe and clean drinking water. We like Numi so much, we've been including their teas in our corporate gift sets for the past 6 years.
3. Equal Exchange
Equal Exchange sources their fair trade cocoas and chocolates from small farmer co-ops in Peru, Paraguay, and Ecuador. The fact that Equal Exchange is 100% worker-owned really shows in how they value growers, workers, and the environment. Look for them in your local natural foods store or check out their chocolate minis in our Treats with Love Gift Set. Equal Exchange chocolates are a favorite snack of ours here in the studio, plus they're just cool people.
4. Ben & Jerry’s
Everyone knows how tasty Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is, but their business practices are just as incredible. The sugar, cocoa, vanilla, coffee, and bananas used in their ice creams are all certified fair trade ingredients - meaning they respect the growers and their communities. There’s a quote from Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield that resonates with us, and maybe it will resonate with you: “Nobody wants to buy something that was made by exploiting someone else.” So next time you want to indulge in some ice cream, try an ice cream you know does good in the world.
5. 10 Thousand Villages
10 Thousand Villages is a leader in the fair trade movement when it comes to beautiful fair trade products. Their unique gifts are crafted in over 30 countries using only local materials and support over 20,000 artisans around the world with a sustainable income. If you’ve walked into a 10 Thousand Villages shop, you know there’s no end to the unique gifts you can find for friends and loved ones. We love that every purchase has a story behind it and brings dignity to the maker.
6. Prosperity Candle
Hey, that's us! But we do love our fair trade candles, each of which is handpoured by a woman artisan who was resettled to the U.S. from a refugee camp. Every purchase helps provide a living wage so she can build a brighter future for herself and her family. Empowering women and building a future without poverty is key to our mission. We seek out unique, artisan-made vessels for our candles that honor the artisan and their community and partner with fair trade organizations as much as we can. Our Narela Box features a partnership with Tara Projects in India, which provides education and healthcare programs for those in need.
7. One World Fair Trade
One World Fair Trade is an online shop that specializes in fair trade accessories, gifts, home decor, and clothing. Their products make wonderful gifts and are ethically sourced from over 50 countries throughout South America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the United States. The best part is that each gift creates opportunity for disadvantaged artisans to live a quality life with adequate food, education, and healthcare.
8. The Little Market
The Little Market co-founders Lauren Conrad and Hannah Skvarla felt strongly about the power of handmade products to generate meaningful income for women artisans and their families. Because of this, their handmade home decor, bags and accessories, jewelry, and candles all honor the artisan and their community through fair trade principles and practice. We love their mission, design and deep commitment to fair trade. Check out their beautiful online store!
9. Greenheart Shop
Greenheart Shop sells a mix of fair trade, environmentally friendly, and mission-based products both out of their online store and their brick and mortar shop in Chicago. It’s clear that they go out of their way to curate a meaningful collection to give back to people, the environment, and communities around the world. Plus, their home decor and kitchen pieces are stunning. If you want to brighten your home for the summer with a vibrant handmade bowl or plate, definitely give them a look.
Serrv is an online fair trade marketplace that partners with small artisan co-ops to create opportunity, strengthen communities, and empower women. Their curated collection features gorgeous handmade and hand-painted products for the home and kitchen. They even have ethically-made women’s fashion, jewelry, sweets, and a curated gift section. Every purchase gives disadvantaged artisans and growers a sustainable path out of poverty. That’s something we can definitely get behind.
11. Global Goods Partners
Global Goods Partners is one of the few online ethical shops that carries fair trade kids’ clothing, toys, and decor. Their products are handmade by over 60 artisan groups across Africa, South America, Asia, and North America. That means each gift is unique and improves the quality of life and economic well-being of the artisan who made it. We love that Global Goods Partners focuses their impact on women by partnering with women-led and community-based organizations that support girls’ education.
Oliberte was founded in 2009 and is the world’s first fair trade certified footwear brand. As a B Corp business, their men’s and women’s shoes directly support workers rights in sub-Saharan Africa and provide safe, ethical jobs for communities of people. Oliberte uses sustainable practices, sourcing all of the leather, rubber, machinery, and fabric locally in Africa. If you want to invest in communities and the environment, definitely consider purchasing a pair of their hand-crafted, high quality shoes.
13. Fair Indigo
Fair Indigo sources all their clothing from small fair trade workshops in Lima, Peru and creates the designs in Madison, Wisconsin. It’s worth the little extra cost for a quality blouse or dress that supports education opportunities and living wages in Peruvian communities. Their organic Peruvian Pima cotton and baby alpaca not only feels amazing, but outlasts many of the cheaper materials sold by large companies who exploit workers in developing countries.
14. The Ethical Olive
The Ethical Olive carries an elegant online collection of handmade clothing and accessories that are made out of ecologically sustainable materials. Their women’s fashion, home decor, accessories, and kids items support the artisans who made them with fair wages and meaningful employment. Shop one of their stylish handbags or necklaces to make a positive impact on people and the environment.
15. Fair Trade Winds
Fair Trade Winds is a family-owned fair trade shop that partners with small artisan workshops and co-ops to empower women and communities across the world. Explore their gifts that save the planet. Fair Trade Winds carries an eco-friendly gift collection curated mindfully to save the planet and minimize their environmental footprint. We love their Starfish Project Jewelry which helps restore hope to women escaping human trafficking in Asia through housing, education, and healthcare programs.
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