Fair Trade

August 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

Did you know that Be Sweet is a fair trade company?

What is fair trade, you ask?

Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries obtain better trading conditions and promote sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as social and environmental standards. It focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries, most notably handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, wine, fresh fruit, chocolate,flowers and gold. In our case, much of our yarn and ready-made products come from South Africa.

It also advocates typically espouse a number of guidelines. The movement intends to provide market access to otherwise marginalized producers, connecting them to customers and allowing access with fewer middlemen. It aims to provide higher wages than typically paid to producers as well as helping producers develop knowledge, skills and resources to improve their lives. Fair trade advocates also seek to raise awareness of the movement’s philosophies among consumers in developed nations. The response to fair trade has been mixed.

In 2006 Elizabeth Gilbert wrote “Eat, Pray, Love.” This book was an instant success and has been adapted for the silver screen, hitting theaters tomorrow. Many of the garments and accessories Julia Roberts (who plays the main character) wears are fair trade items. Check out this cool mustard-colored bag from Rising Tide she totes recently featured in People Magazine:

© People Magazine

I also liked reading that the costumer for the film bought items from the shooting locals (India, Italy and Indonesia) to not only support local artisans, but give the film a true-to-life vibe. How many of us purchase items from street vendors in Europe and Asia while on vacation?

Many, many places across the country and the world are members of fair trade. Buy your items with purpose. By buying fair trade goods you’ve giving people less fortunate a better chance at living a better life.

Now get yourself to the movie theater!

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