Since Whole Foods opened about a year ago right around the corner from my house, my family has been there at least 2 times a week. Its our staple food store, besides Trader Joe's. The first time I walked in there, it was like walking into an amusement park tailored to the environmentalist.. which in actuality it is.
The most brilliant part is that Whole Foods has allowed me to interact with another world; the organic pinto bean, chocolate almond milk, fair trade world.
Buying fair trade is like communicating care and love to people who could be across the world, another setting, another life. Fair trade is sustainability, livelihood, and the embodiment of a goal within so many who care, the goal being human equality.
I was surprised to notice that many of my friends and a lot of adults I have spoken to this year did not know the essence, importance or even the gist of what Fair Trade is. It was my pleasure to explain it to them! I basically said that Fair Trade includes trading practices in which all human rights are valued and respected, in which workers are payed fair wages and are given working rights suitable to a healthy life.
As I prophesied in February when I turned 17, this year has been the biggest source of energy and learning in my life. (I want to share an experience that is feeding my love for fair trade)
I went to the Milford Farmer's Market over the weekend, knowing that it may be a bust but still being irrevocably drawn to the feel of a local market setting.
I was glad I went, I found a tent that sold hand made goods made out of Alpaca wool (cruelty free). And thats the connection between human and animal, animal and land, ecosystem and human, and the passing of time and human that I love. Even in Milford, CT, home to no indigenous cultures, humans can still care and profit from animals. This type of farm and relationship is what will keep this loving system going in the future.
I really want to share that I found fair trade ear buds...! I search practically every brand I purchase to see if it is sweatshop free, normally before I check if it uses environmentally sound manufacturing practices. Here is the link:
Most would be surprised at how many brands are suspected and brought into the spotlight for using sweatshop standards to make their products!
Our involvement with fair trade promotes indigenous cultures and peace around the world, and unfortunately that fact is not glued to american media. I can say with assurance that Indigenous cultures are essential to life on a grand scale (and of course so is Peace!)
Some other websites to get fantastic fair trade items:
www.ayindisa.com (store local to CT)
www.novica.org (I have ordered many things from here, awesome shipping, beautiful packaging and stories of artisans)
www.shopdava.com (store right in Hamden, CT. the owner, Coleen, is very nice and insightful!)