Fair Trade - A Closer Look

What is it?

Maybe you’ve seen the words “fair trade” on a bag of coffee, a clothing tag, or a chocolate bar. You could come across it on many types of products from jewelry to shampoo to greeting cards. But at it’s heart, fair trade isn’t about products. It’s not about being unique, exotic, or hand-made. It’s not about quality, value, or even sustainability. Fair trade is about people; people like you and I. They work hard to provide for

themselves and for their families, the necessities of life and hopefully the added comforts we all desire. These men, women, and children may live thousands of miles away and have ways of life vastly different from ours, but they nonetheless deserve rights, respect, and value equal to ours.

Unfortunately, because these people are so far removed from our daily lives it has become much too easy for companies, and therefore consumers, to dehumanize them. With no faces or names to keep us connected, we have found it acceptable to take advantage of their desperate plight and treat them as merely means to an end: more stuff for our closets.