(By Mahika Goel for Seeds to Sew International)

Buying from Fair Trade organizations means that you are making a choice…

Does your budget include charities, donations, and other money-related assistance? Or, does your extra money get consumed by the expensive designer mania, from bags and wristwatches, to even water bottles?

Fair trade organizations are how you can combine your love for shopping and tasteful bling, and your appreciation and empathy for all human beings. Why? Because fair trade organizations are built on 10 principles:

  1. Create Opportunities – give a chance to disadvantaged people so they can shine
  2. Develop Transparent & Accountable Relationships – from the organization to the workers to the buyers, all practices and profit usage should be outlined clearly
  3. Build Capacity – help improve and optimize the artisans’ work
  4. Promote Fair Trade – promote this list of principles
  5. Pay Promptly & Fairly
  6. Support Safe & Empowering Working Conditions
  7. Cultivate Environmental Stewardship – manage resources responsibly and environmental-consciously
  8. Ensure the Rights of Children
  9. Respect Cultural Identity – respect cultures, traditions, and art styles of the artisans

Buying from Fair Trade organizations means that you are making a choice – a conscious choice to help the living things on this planet – from people to animals to trees, and to the very grass on your lawn. You support artisans that are disadvantaged by helping the world to see their beautiful creations and ensuring that they are rightly compensated. You know that no child–no human, really–has suffered over the work of art that you are holding- that your bag, dress, or keychain, is a product of love, not misery. You are helping people of all races and of all genders, and you are making sure that the environment does not suffer at the hands of your own comfort. You, and the money in your wallet, have a choice- do you want to add or subtract from the happiness in this world?

Do you want to buy the next thing you see at a mass-market retailer, or do you want to be a hero, and buy something beautiful and original?

Check out the 2018-2019 Fair Trade Stores & Cafés Guide and the 2019-2020 Fair Trade Wholesale Guide.

“If you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else”– Toni Morrison

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