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Why Should I Buy Fair Trade Products?

Posted by Katie Moore on

 

 

 

 

 

 I am a social worker gone jewelry peddler, so fighting for the underprivileged, underserved and disadvantaged is just part of who I am.  Before I began this adventure in 2009, I worked with families helping to rebuild and reconnect relationships that were strained due to issues like poverty, single parenting, incarceration, lack of education and more.  These families needed support to rebuild and regroup.  That is where I came in.  

 

When I quit this job to move to Thailand, and saw the possibility of beginning my own business I knew it had to have more meaning for me than just selling stuff.  I needed purpose in my work, and practicing Fair Trade principals helped me with this.  On the most basic level Fair Trade means paying fair prices for products in developing countries.  But it is more than just that.

Born Privilege Does Not Make us Entitled

As a white, middle class American I was born with certain privileges that many people in developing countries never have: Education, opportunity to travel, luxuries- like a car, credit, and so forth.  But it is not this way in developing countries.  

 

Fair Trade helps to level the playing field for people born in countries who were not given the same opportunities most of us are in America.  

 

But why do you care?

 

Fair Trade is about Empowering instead of exploiting:

 

Artisans are able to grow their business putting them in control of their lives - When others are happy we can be happy (think world peace)

They can use the money to improve the infrastructure of their business -Making better products for YOU!

Education - For themselves and their children.  More education means higher levels of self sufficiency and less need to depend on other countries like America.

 

Fair Trade is about Conscious Consumerism:

There is a story behind every product. - We rarely NEED anything anymore.  In fact most people can’t even give away things when they want to because EVERYONE has too much crap! So now we are buying are experiences, emotional impactful ones.

 

Fair Trade is about Art:

We are too busy to make things anymore, but due to a slower paced lifestyle in developing countries, they are not.  We need things hand made that are created with love.  Hallmark cards are not what go in our treasure box, hand painted cards do.  We need to support handmade because it is Art with purpose.

 

Hand made is higher quality.  (That’s why a Bentley costs $350,000 and a KIA cost $10,000) Hand made is better.

 

Fair Trade cuts out the middle man:

 

This means better prices for you! 

 

The products are higher quality and just about the same price.

 

 I just did a quick look at Macy's online jewelry store, trying to find something comparable to what we make at Filosophy to see the difference in price or quality and what I found was a necklace made with “gold colored mixed metals and plastic crystals for $45.” We make something similar called the Euro Brio Cinc made on silk, all hand tied with real crystals for the same price.

MACY's                      FILOSOPHY's

 

 

Fair Trade Supports Small Business:

 

Many factory made products are created in high volume at low quality for large chains and box stores like Walmart to get you the cheapest price possible.  Yes it is cheaper, but if we let them, they will take over the market leaving small business completely incapable of making a living at providing creative products in unique niches that make shopping fun.

 

Being conscious about where your products are coming from, who is making them, and knowing some of the stories behind the scenes makes buying stuff worth while.  We can help while we shop.


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