The store carries a collection of creative "fair trade," eco-friendly products from around the world.
They had a cool variety of clothing and accessories--that was different and special.
We all found something there to come back with and had to choose what we liked best.
I ended up getting a couple of handmade ties from a company called Global Mamas in Ghana and the girls got some skirts (and necklaces) made by Unique Batik in Thailand.
I liked the quality and design of the merchandise.
But more than that, I was truly impressed by the principles these companies adhere to under fair trade:
- Alleviate poverty and social injustice
- Support open, fair, and respectful relationships between producers and customers
- Develop producers' skills, and foster access to markets, application of best practices, and independence,
- Promote economic justice by improving living standards, health, education, and the distribution of power
- Pay promptly and fairly
- Support safe working conditions
- Protect children's rights
- Cultivate sustainable practices
- Respect cultural diversity
Note: Fair trade is not to be confused with free trade--the later being where government does not interfere with imports or exports by applying tariffs, subsidies, or quotas.
Truly, if we give people a chance to be productive under fair trade working conditions, they can make the world a little better one product at a time. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)