Just like clothing, all products have a person behind them. Whether it’s bananas (those growing or picking them), coffee, or clothes. Everything comes from somewhere. Up until a year or two ago, I was privileged and sort of silly enough not to realize or consider this fact. I feel as if I’ve woken up from a fog, and finally understand how the world works. Every product I buy says something. This seems very overwhelming, and can be a lot of pressure, but there are ways to make shopping fair trade easier! I’m here to share them with you today! Here are three reasons to shop fair trade.
Three Reasons to Shop Fair Trade
Before I share how you can shop fair trade items, I want to share the WHY.
01. From a human perspective, imagine working hard to produce something, only to be paid an unfair, unlivable wage for it. (Those rumors you heard in college about Abercrombie & Fitch were real, you guys.) If fair trade isn’t a priority, this usually means the people who are growing, harvesting, or transporting the products (food, clothes, etc.) aren’t being paid a fair wage. Or worse, they’re suffering from poor working conditions.
02. The environmental standards that fair trade companies have to abide by are usually much more rigorous, so if sustainability and environmental impacts are on your radar, it’s a good idea to shop fair trade items, when possible!
03. I love this excerpt from the Fair Trade USA site: “shopping fair trade means taking a stand for a system that treats everyone with respect” (source). The workers, the companies, the consumers, the earth. Everyone is treated respectfully!
How to Shop Fair Trade
01. If your budget allows for it, it’s great to shop locally either at a co-op or a farmer’s market.
02. I’m usually not in the camp of buying all of my food locally, as much as I’d like to, so I do the second-best thing. I shop at stores like Whole Foods and other grocery stores do carry Fair Trade Certified items! I love Fair Trade Certified because they label the items plain as day so you can see whether or not it’s certified fair trade. They have directory with Fair Trade brands on their site, and even created a handy shopping guide for ease!
MAKE THE SWITCH BY CATEGORY:
Shopping fair trade items is the same idea as switching out your conventional beauty items for non-toxic ones. You have to do it slowly, and steadily. May I suggest starting small? It’s much less overwhelming to do so.
Start by category. Here’s a few simple things to start switching out:
01. Coffee – September 29 is National Coffee day! Let’s celebrate together by buying #JustOneCup of Fair Trade coffee! See 12 fair trade coffee brands to try here.
02. Produce – bananas are a huge issue when it comes to fair trade practices. Read this eye-opening article here. The bananas I buy at my local Whole Foods are fair trade certified, thankfully.
03. Clothing – this one seems difficult to change, but honestly, shopping slow fashion isn’t as hard as it used to be. If you aren’t able to afford lots of slow fashion items (I can’t buy all my heart desires, unfortunately), shopping secondhand is a great way to get new items, but lessen your carbon footprint. Plus, you aren’t buying fast fashion! Check out Fair Trade Certified’s guide to shopping fair trade clothing.
I hope that today’s blog post about three reasons to shop fair trade was helpful to you! Thank you so much for reading!
*Note, I was gifted this box in exchange for posting about my thoughts. However, this post in not sponsored. I wholeheartedly believe in the mission and environmental duty of shopping fair trade! All opinions and thoughts in this post are honest and 100% my own!