Fair Trade Month!


This is the Internet, and it’s officially October, so:

*pumpkin pumpkin pumpkin* *cozy scarves boots sweaters* *hot apple cider* *crunchy leaves* *Halloween* oh yeah and *pumpkin pumpkin pumpkin*

Am I missing anything?

I love Fall as much as the next girl, but that’s enough, Pinterest. How about we talk about something else this lovely 4th of October?

Like fair trade! October isn’t only the official start to the season of all things spooky and chilly, it’s Fair Trade Month. If I’m honest, I used to not know a darn thing about fair trade. When I first heard the term, I thought it sounded great but kind of like something only hippies are committed to. (Not that there’s anything wrong with being a hippie! I have more long skirts in my closet than pants.)

Anyway, I just didn’t really get it. But I wanted to. And the more I researched, the more I LOVED the concept of fair trade! It’s come a long way in recent years. And it’s a fairly simple idea, even though there is much to learn when really digging in. Basically, the notion for us as consumers is that with each purchase you buy, you can choose to empower the artisans or farmers who created the product in your hands.

Lately, before I catch myself running to the mall, I’ll sit down at the computer and just google “fair trade {insert whatever it is I have an urge to buy}.” From chocolate to coffee to clothing, scarves, homegoods, and accessories, you can find practically anything that was made fairly. It’s a fun hunt too! The Internet has made it easy to be informed consumers. It makes it a little harder to shrug our shoulders at the top in Target and say, “the sales person doesn’t know if this was made by 8-year-olds in a sweatshop or not, so I’m not responsible for knowing either.”

Not that we have to never buy an item that isn’t fair trade–that puts a lot of guilt on our shoulders. After all, it isn’t up to us to save the entire world from never buying a product that wasn’t fairly made, especially when there’s such a long way to go in the ethically produced product movement. But it is our responsibility to be educated and do what we reasonably can! So now before I buy something, I try to:

–Look on the Internet to see if I can find the item I’m looking on a certified fair trade site
–Think about whether the food and drinks I’m baking and creating could be partially made with products that guaranteed the producer ethical wages
–Make an effort to buy more fair trade Christmas and birthday gifts
–If I’m in a hurry and I don’t want to mess with ordering online, check a vintage store to see if they have what I’m looking for; that way I avoid purchasing a new product that could have been produced unethically (thereby avoiding further funding that company)

Even baby clothes, pet products, bedding, backpacks, and other items you wouldn’t normally think fall into the “fair trade” category can. As an added bonus, when you buy items from a variety of sites, you’ll be getting beautifully crafted items that are unique. This helps you create a style that’s all your own! There’s a lot more variety in fair trade products nowadays, appealing to a variety of stylish consumers across the globe.

How are you going to celebrate Fair Trade month? And it’s ok if you say the first thing on your list is making yourself a big old pumpkin spice latte with fair trade coffee!



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