Tag Archives: Child Labor

No Fair Trade Fashionistas* wardrobe is complete without SHOES!

Photosource: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2358/1588469549_3d6b718d87.jpg?v=0

I realized while reflecting on products I’ve covered in the last year that I’ve been ignoring a part of the puzzle so essential when getting dressed in the morning: SHOES!

Surprisingly, there are a wonderfully large number of companies offering Vegan/Fair Trade alternatives to the shoes we wear and love everyday! And many aren’t even that much more expensive then those we are buying already, so please join me in checking out some different companies:

Kidbean.com offers all different kinds of accessories for children, but I want to focus on their broad options for Vegan/Sweatshop Free shoes today. Please see their website for more options. They have some clearance items right now as well, so check it out before it’s too late!

The Vegetarian Site is full of different kinds of shoes you may not even expect there would be a Vegetarian option for from many different stores. On this site one can find sneakers, hiking books, everyday boots, nice work shoes, and Hemp sandals.  It’s definitely worth a look!

Photosource: www.thevegetariansite.com

Above you can see the “JoJo” Boots are classy, sleek, and Vegan! They feature a Vegetan upper (a breathable and water-resistant synthetic leather that is 70-80% biodegradable) and a rubber sole. Made in Portugal. See these and more.

JoJo Boot by Vegetarian Shoes

Or you can check out a forum for many different sites offering alternative Vegan/Fair Trade options for footwear and other products at Vegan Peace.com.

And last but not least, the company I’d like to feature in this article you may or may not of heard of, as they have been gaining a lot of media attention recently:

Photosource: http://smcnally10.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/toms_logo.jpg

TOMS was started in 2006 with the goal of providing a needy child with a pair of shoes for every paid sold on the website. Since then, they have met and surpassed all expectation by giving away over 400,000 pairs of shoes to children in need. After news of the earthquake in Haiti reached founder Blake Mycoskie, he promised to donate 30,000 pairs of shoes by February in addition to monetary donations, whether that many pairs are sold on the website or not.  Watch a video about TOMS shoes and their mission.

For their original ideas, genuine caring effort and compassion, TOMS is an amazing shoe provider and deservers all the suppor they can get!

Photosource: http://mustafaazak.org/mantar/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/tomsshoes-shoes.jpg

Above are only a couple examples of all the different creative patterns and styles TOMS Shoes can be ordered in. Also, founder standing with many children who have been made happy with purchases from people like you 🙂 So go to the website today, and personally make a difference to one child without shoes!

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KeoK’ jay: A wonderfully new fashionably fair option

The Fair Trade Fashionista thinks it’s time to introduce all of you to an amazing company that is part of the new generation that I fully support of Eco-Friendly Fair Trade producers: KeoK’ jay. Why have I not heard of them you ask? Because they are based all the way in Cambodia, out of sight for many in the West, but not out of the harsh grasp of HIV.  

While KeoK’ jay is based in Cambodia, their products and guiding principles take them to the forefront of  the Eco-Friendly Fair Trade movement. They are strongly devoted to all aspects of their chain of production: their customers, producers, and the environment.

Keok’ jay guarantees that if you love shopping you do not have to feel guilty as the “consumer”, as all goods consumed have a positive influence on your world and others around you.

US based designer Rachel Faller works with the artisans to create artsy yet fahionable designs that are given a unique touch whilst being handsewn by the artisans.

Additionally, KeoK’ jay only uses goods naturally produced in Cambodia or recycled from elsewhere. KeoK’ jay has made plastic bags into wallets, recycled clothing and buttons from local markets, 100% recycled paper, and 80% edible dyes. So what can’t they do you might ask? For one, they can’t support their women artisans on their own without your help!

KeoK’ jay has trained each of their 9 women artisans, who have then been able to train others. The artisans themselves are aided greatly by Keok’ jay as they are all HIV positive widows supporting their entire families on the salaries they make at KeoK ‘ jay. KeoK’ jay goes above and beyond by working with social care workers from Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE, and provide these women the health care that they need free of charge. Keok’ jay therefore helps these women to support their families, become skilled artisans, and gain respect of their community.

So if you’re getting a yearning to go out shopping, shop at KeoK’ jay and help those less fortunate than yourself get back on their feet.

Please see this link to KeoK’ jay’s catalogue, or go to their website to read more about them!

Celebrate World Fair Trade Day 09!

 
 As I am a Fair Trade Fashionista* I think it’s only appropriate that I make all you aware of the annual World Fair Trade Day 09 coming up this Saturday!

This holiday officially began as recently as 2001, when the World Fair Trade Organization adopted the event in Arusha, Tanzania. Safia Minney, founder of PeopleTree and pioneer of Fair Trade Fashion, has played an important role in shaping this global event.

World Fair Trade Day takes place the second Saturday of every May now. It is meant t raise awareness about the issue through public group activities, such as “Fair Trade Coffee Breaks” and Fair Trade festivals at High Schools.

To find an event happening in your area on World Fair  Trade Day, look here. With 310 event listed in North America, 250 in Europe, 30 in Africa, and 98 in Asia, it seems that no matter where you are, you can help us celebrate World Fair Trade Day this year!

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Even if you don’t have time to attend an event, stop by and make your own Fair Trade day with a bar of Fair Trade chocolate, some Fair Trade Coffee, or a Fair Trade clothing shopping spree! Whatever you’d like, just make it Fair Trade.

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Photosource: http://www.worldfairtradeday09.org/

Fair Trade is essential for millions of people who work and struggle for survival everyday. It’s all about justice and human rights… join me in supporting World Fair Trade Day” -Sir Paul McCartney.

Let’s raise awareness about this important cause together, because the only way Fair Trade products can continue to grow in popularity is through support from people like you. We must come together to support one another around the world, and Saturday is a perfect day to do so!

For more events and details on World Fair Trade Day, see the official website.

‘Egg a Politician’ for Fair Trade Awareness at the G20 summit!

 Just in time for Easter, Divine Chocolate, leading Fair Trade chocolate producer worldwide, has developed an online game called “Egg a Politician!”

 This game is meant to raise awareness about Fair Trade, with a goal of getting Fair Trade higher in the agenda at the G20 summit this year. You get to throw an egg at the politician of your choice and watch them gobble it up! And let me tell you…Obama has some chops on him!

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Photo source:  www.hollywoodtoday.net

But seriously, after you get the egg into the politicians mouth you get to sign a petition that will be sent directly to them about the value of Fair Trade. I had my doubts, but it really is fun. I found myself laughing, and wanting more! It only takes two seconds, so I ended up ‘egging’ not only Obama, but also Mr. Nicolas Sakozy of France  and Gordon Brown of England.  Brown seems to be a favorite, as he has been hit with almost 16,000 eggs!

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Photosource: http://www.enjoyfrance.com

So in the spirit of the Easter Bunny, throw an egg! And hit the goal of increasing awarness about Fair Trade at the G20 summit this year, and worldwide.

There isn’t much time left before the summit so get your egg in today!

Wake up to Fair Trade

coffee_morning1Photo source: http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee51/BigsargeJP/Coffee/coffee_morning.jpg

I don’t know many people who can make it through their busy work days or classes without a little jump start from a good ol’ cup of Joe. American’s love coffee so much that more than 77 percent of all adults of 18 — or 161 million people in the United States alone — drink coffee either daily of occasionally. With that many people drinking that much coffee, the industry must be making billions in profits. So is it compensation all people in the suply chain fairly for their hard work? The answer is precarious and of course varying. But there is not question as to whether it should, and you can make this choice for yourself now!

There is a lot of Fair Trade coffee available at local stores and even not-so-local Starbucks, one of the biggest coffee purchasers and sellers in the world. While Starbucks still carries unfairly traded, or “Free Trade” coffee, Fair Trade coffee is also now available at every Starbucks, so you just have to make sure to ask for it! By buying Fair Trade coffee you can feel positive about your purchase…every day! Also , if you are ever shopping at a grocery store and can’t seem to find even one Fair Trade coffee option – just ask for it! Most reatilers says it only takes one customer requesting a productfor them to stock their shelves with Fair Trade coffee! Even the restaurant I work at carries Fair Trade coffee now from Equal Exchange.

Fair Trade coffee ensures that coffee bean farmers are paid a fair wage and do not have to sell their product for extremely low prices to a middleman or use child labour in the process. Many coffee farmers have escaped this exploitation by starting cooperatives and working together to stand up against the big corporations. I recently discoverd one such cooperative which I was inspired by, as I’m sure you may be too. This cooperative formed during the dark years in Uganda, when conflict tore their country part. The Jews, Christians, and Muslims came together to overcome their differences and focus on their similarities.

They all belived God was their protector and savour, and then all needed to make the coffee business profitable before they starved. Their idea was a success. See this short inspirational video about the origination of “Mirembe Kawomera,” directly translated as Peace Coffee.

See how you can get Mirembe Kawomera coffee for yourself at this website.

As more and more consumers are putting their dollar where their heart is, and supporting the entire supply line, Fair Trade coffee is becoming more reasonably priced! So start your day off right, the Fair Trade way!

Tell me about your favorite Fair Trade coffee brands!

Can Flowers Be Fair?

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A worker tends to roses at Nevado Ecuador, a farms that uses either exclusively organic or sustainable techniques in its greenhouses. Photo by Amy Stewart http://imgs.sfgate.com/c/pictures/2007/02/07/ho_flowers_valentine03.jpg

Do you even have to ask? But of course! You just have to know where to look, and that’s what we here at Fair Trade Fashionista is here for!

As there have been issues with Child Labor as well as unsafe working conditions and use of deadly pesticides in the flower industry in places such as Columbia; and 32% percent of all households in the United States celebrate Valentine’s Day with flowers, it is very important that we all make sure to keep our purchases of flowers sustainable and Fair Trade!

1.) “A Better World is Blooming”- This provides Fair wages to employees, most of whom are women, and allows them to “feed their families, send their children to school, invest in community development and sustainable farming methods.” When purchasing these flowers, you are investing in these women and their families future, as well as making your sweetheart smile. So why not hit two birds with one stone…or purchase?

2.) Buy Local! Here’s a website to local organic farms so that no matter where you are in the United States you can make sure to purchase local, organic and Fair Trade flowers!

3.) Buy an edible fruit arrangement! This is definitely a green alternative to disposable flowers! A bouquet of flowers that you can admire and is very tasty as well! See their options.

4.) Buy potted plants- These are just as beautiful as a bouquet of flowers do not die after a couple weeks, and give back to the environment in which they are kept. They keep inside or can be planted outside with the coming of April and spring showers!

These were just a couple ideas to get you thinking about sustainability and Fair Trade! Any more ideas or suggestiosn? Leave a comment!