Fair trade is ethical shopping that has a global impact. It is a way for farmers and artisans in third world countries to rise above poverty by having consistent and sustainable work. To be considered fair trade, organizations must have fair working conditions, have a guaranteed minimum price for their worker’s wages, be environmentally sustainable and have a community development aspect. These principles give opportunities to the workers as well as their communities to grow and succeed beyond what is expected.
Citizens are becoming more socially and economically aware in their purchases. Because of that, there has been a rise in fair trade companies and products. The Internet has made shopping ethically affordable and easy. Fair Trade USA states that their certified products are available in tens of thousands retail locations and online stores.
I was introduced to fair trade when I started interning for a local nonprofit called Hands Producing Hope. They are a fair trade nonprofit organization that works with women in Costa Rica and Rwanda. I, by no means, am a poster child for eco friendly living, but I do think differently about purchases. If I have the option to choose between a long lasting piece of clothing or home décor item with a cause over something that is cheaper and mass produced, I will normally choose the higher priced item.
Here are four reasons why everyone should shop fair trade: