So many people purchase items every day without giving a second thought about where that item was made or originated from. The label will often indicate where the item was made. If the product was manufactured in a developing country, then you should really give some thought about what your purchase means. Whether it be apparel, jewelry, food or furniture, workers often struggle to find organizations to sell their products to because they are simply unable to compete against larger businesses that practically hold the monopoly and power in the trading system.
So what is fair trade and why should consumers care? Fair trade is an organized movement that advocates for better wages and economic opportunity of farmers and craftsman who are marginalized. It also seeks to promote sustainability as well as to promote fairness and better dialogue between buyer and seller. This helps level the playing field for those who often find themselves without a market to cater their goods to.
Okay, so what does all this mean? Fairly traded goods and commodities, such as food items, clothing, footwear, fashion accessories and toys are made available through certain sites dedicated to fair trade. When consumers buy these items, they are contributing to better wages, health care coverage and schooling for farmers and artisans who may otherwise be exploited for cheap labor or overlooked. You are essentially ensuring that these people are paid a fair wage for the work they do. This in turn ensures that they are able to meet their daily needs.
Contrary to popular myths, fair trade is not a charity organization that donates money to impoverished families. Its mission is simply to see to it that local farmers and craftsman in third world nations are not marginalized in a global marketplace that is dominated by corporations. Fair trade originally started as a movement that focused its efforts on coffee beans and banana growers. However, it has since expanded and now includes people that produce items you see in store shelves. This includes home and kitchen supplies, textiles, toiletries and décor.
There are plenty of online stores that carry Fair Trade Gifts and Fair Trade Jewelry. Through these sites, you can find all sorts of handcrafted goods, such as bracelets, necklaces, tote bags, figurines and simple toys. In fact, when it comes to children’s items like toys, you can purchase them for your children and explain to them where the item came from and why it is better to buy such products. This instills in them the importance of taking an active stance to help those who are underrepresented.
If people become more mindful shoppers and buyers, people from developing nations would not have to struggle as much. The items we buy have a direct impact on people who are seldom heard or seen. By being more selective with what you buy and where you buy it, you could be making a world of difference for those who depend on consumers like you in order to make a comfortable living.
You can also read more on fair trade items for equal exchange here.