Fair Anita invests in the future of women around the world through artisan empowerment. Fair Anita currently works with 8,000 artisans in 16 different countries creating fair trade goods and paying artisans three times the minimum wage.Read More
The White Rainbow Project creates a safe space for widows in India to thrive. The ladies are empowered to provide for themselves through the creation of jewelry, scarves, and accessories.Read More
LOVE TO SHOP? Shop fair trade! Owners of Fair and Square Imports, Andrew and Kate, are passionate about ethically made goods and I love their store! Fair and Square Imports has a variety of products from all over the world. It is all fair trade and reasonably priced!
Andrew and Kate moved to McKinney, Texas from Indiana. Andrew had worked at an international nonprofit and Kate worked in marketing with nonprofit clients. After moving to McKinney, these entrepreneurs decided to follow their passion and start a fair trade store. Fair and Square Imports was born.
Fair and Square Imports has many categories of goods including chocolate, coffee, jewelry, greeting cards, home goods, children’s toys, and more. You can spend a whole day browsing around this fun shop. Products range in price; I purchased an item as low as $1! Andrew and Kate try to have a variety of affordable products so everybody can participate in the fair trade movement.Read More
In honor of World Fair Trade Day, I want to share one of my favorite fair trade clothing brands. Mata Traders makes trendy, comfortable fair trade clothing and accessories for women.
Mata Traders works to combat child labor, fight gender inequality, and empower women. This incredible company has partnerships with fair trade organizations in India and Nepal which allows them to train and employ hundreds of members from the community. Artisans receive a fair wage, health benefits, paid maternity leave, and more. There are opportunities for employees to move up to trainer, material buyer, or assistant production manager. Women in these fair trade cooperatives are not only given jobs, but are able to find their voice and empower each other. There is a strong sense of community.
This dress is one of my FAVORITE summertime dresses. It is 100% cotton and the perfect weight. It is light enough to keep me cool, but heavy enough so that it won’t fly up with the wind. The nautical print is perfect for summer. Artisans use techniques such as block printing and embroidery to create detail in each piece. Mata Traders clothing is premium quality and lasts for a long time.
Yes, fair trade can be expensive, but there are two things to consider:
- Shopping fair trade is just like shopping for any other brand. You have to shop it right and be aware! For example, sign up for e-mails to be notified of sales, search for promo codes, and check out the clearance sections. The dress shown in the picture was originally $80, but I waited for it to go on sale and got it for less than $20.
- The extra dollars make a difference. For example, a $5 shirt sounds like a great deal. However, the person who made that shirt might not be able to feed their family. Spending the extra dollar for fair trade products ensure reasonable wages and suitable working conditions.
It is wonderful that companies like Mata Traders are dedicated to improving lives of women. I encourage you to use your power as a consumer to explore fair trade clothing.
If you are interested in learning the importance of fair trade and the consequences of fast fashion, I recommend watching The True Cost. This powerful documentary can be found on Netflix, Amazon, and Itunes.
Photo credit: Jake Manning