October is Fair Trade Month! Of course, here at GlobeIn we are celebrating (more on that later), and we want to discuss why this month is so important to our community. Without customers like our awesome mavens, the impact of fair trade would not be possible. October is all about raising awareness of fair trade items and companies, and we want to celebrate that!
To begin, let’s discuss what fair trade means. When an item is marked as fair trade certified, the company that sells the products had to meet rigorous criteria that truly make a difference. The premise is to provide fair living wages to the artisans who make the product, increase respect for the artisans, and to help businesses in developing countries. By providing fair wages, the workers (or artisans) are able to have a stable income and truly change their lives.
How do you know if something you are buying is fair trade? Often you can find a label on the packaging or website that reads “Fair Trade Certified” or the company is part of the “Fair Trade Federation” (like GlobeIn!). The Fairtrade certification seal started with coffee and has since grown to represent over 1000 different companies and their products.
Why should you buy fair trade? Buying fair trade means your dollar is going further than the pockets of big industry’s CEOs. Your money is power, and you are using that power to better the lives of others, not just by providing them with fair and stable living wages, but also by ensuring safe standards of work. For example, buying fair trade chocolate also ensures you are buying chocolate that is not a product of child labor. Your purchase of fair trade coffee ensures the farmers are getting a fair living wage and not undercut by the market.
Illustration by Joey Coalter | The State Press
Often you can buy fair trade items on specific websites, such as for a particular chocolate, coffee, or clothing, but you can also find fair trade markets, such as GlobeIn. GlobeIn has been certified by the Fair Trade Federation, which is a third-party organization that seeks to globalize fair trade. They believe that fair trade can create positive change, must endeavor to use fair and sustainable practices, create new opportunities, transparency in relationships, and more. In addition, there is a code of practice that each member must adhere to in order to remain certified.
GlobeIn supports and values the code of practice outlined by the Fair Trade Federation. In fact, GlobeIn has over 11,00 artisans that they work alongside across the world in over 50 countries. More than $3.5 million dollars have been invested into the artisans. Through their fair trade practices, GlobeIn has been able to connect artisans around the world with their customers (or mavens), and bring a little bit of the world into our homes. They raise awareness of different artisan groups and provide opportunities to raise funds for specific needs of the artisans. GlobeIn’s name is truly fitting; each story of the artisans and their craft represent a unique part of the world and help connect our stories.
Illustration by Jaspreet Kaur Sangu
How can you celebrate Fair Trade Month? Here are 5 easy steps you can take today:
- Look for the Fair Trade seal. Check your coffee, chocolate, clothing, or any other purchases you are making for the Fair Trade Certified or Fair Trade Federation Seal.
- Google “Fair Trade” and then the item you are looking for (i.e. “fair trade coffee”). As always, there is some misrepresentation out there, so make sure to look for legit sources, like GlobeIn, when shopping. You can even search on the Fair Trade Federation website for companies and products.
- Spread awareness. Share on social media your fair trade finds. If you are given information about the artisan (most companies provide this as part of the practice of respect and dignity to the workers), share their story!
- Getting an early start on holiday shopping? Consider supporting fair trade companies. This is another way to spread awareness past October.
- Take one small step. It can be overwhelming if you suddenly decide to only buy all fair trade items. Take one action, such as changing your coffee or buying new clothing (if you need it) from a fair trade source. Begin to make small shifts in how you think about where your items and food come from. Any support is better than none!
Whether you are a fair trade expert or just getting started, GlobeIn wants to celebrate with you this month and help you continue to purchase fair trade. If you are not yet a subscriber, check out the options now and get in on the savings. The best part is knowing that these artisans have already been paid in full, so you can feel good about getting a great deal and know you are supporting artisans and their work at the same time.
Written by Laura Beiler, GlobeIn Maven
Laura Beiler resides in Virginia with her husband and four children. She enjoys writing and is an avid reader, as well as one who tries to raise as much awareness as possible about ethical brands and causes, while building community with those who are of the same mind. She thoroughly believes deep conversations happen around a dining room table, especially when coffee and dessert are involved.