Ever since Whole Foods Market opened about a year ago right around the corner from my house, my family has been there at least 2 times a week. Its our staple food store, besides Trader Joe's. The first time I walked in there, it was like walking into an amusement park tailored to the environmentalist... in actuality, it is both that and an awesome supermarket for anyone looking for delicious food or all-natural home products.
The most brilliant part is that Whole Foods has allowed me to interact with another world; the world of organic pinto beans, chocolate almond milk, sustainably sourced fish, and fair trade products.
The fair trade part is one of the best.
I like to think of buying fair trade items to be like communicating care and love to people who could be living across the world, in another setting, another life. Fair trade is sustainability, livelihoods, and the embodiment of a goal within so many who care, the goal being human equality.
I have been more than pleased this year to explain to people what exactly fair trade is (and I still am)! I basically say that fair trade includes trading practices in which all human rights are valued and respected, in which workers are payed fair wages and are given working rights suitable to a healthy life.
What I try to relay to a lot of people is that fair trade extends beyond just coffee, sugar, flour, etc. It can describe the manufacturing process of so many things...! Everything in fact: bags, suitcases, ear buds, clothing, jewelry, you name it, some organization has set up a system where these items can be made in a healthy working environment.
Most would be surprised at how many brands are suspected and brought into the spotlight for using sweatshop standards to make their products!
Our involvement with fair trade promotes indigenous cultures and peace around the world, and unfortunately that fact is not glued to American media. I can say with assurance that Indigenous cultures are essential to life on both small and grand scales (and of course so is Peace!)
So next time you need a great gift, or anything for yourself check out these websites:
www.shopdava.com (store right in Hamden, CT. The owner, Coleen, is very nice and insightful!)
For information about the fair trade world, visit www.GreenAmerica.org
If anyone has any information about the fair trade world, please comment! I will take note and be sure to pass it around.