October is fair trade month. Fair Trade. You've heard it before... The expensive coffee, the special chocolate that only some stores carry and that flowy skirt your hipster cousin was wearing the last time you saw her. But what does fair trade actually mean and what can you do about it?
It's more than charity. It's more than buying an expensive item. It's justice. The alpaca farmer, the knitter, the potter or the flute maker. Every fair trade purchase helps another person earn a fair wage so they can have the opportunity to support their family and their life. Even a small purchase counts...Incazteca supports 63 families of artisans and three Fair Trade Certified workshops in Peru, Mexico and Guatemala.
Think of the last time you bought socks (or if you're my family when you got them as a Christmas gift). Where were they made? What was the production cost? How were they shipped? Who sewed the little brand label on them? Most of us don't think of these questions. But if you actually take the time to, you will see that these socks were made in China, Vietnam, Malaysia, or another country. They were made by "Adam" who was paid $2.00 an hour. Who isn't making enough money to support his family-his three kids. The production cost was low and shipping in bulk created a low cost as well. The store in the US marked them up and made an outrageous profit. This is our capitalistic society.
But when you buy fair trade, you're letting another person earn a fair wage. Supporting their families, their education and letting them support themselves. Fair trade is more than a label. In fair trade, every purchase matters. By helping their economy, we help ours too. Remember, buy and support fair trade today because it means so much to many artisans and farmers lives.