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Promoting Fair Trade-Principle #4


Graphic courtesy of myrawsli.wordpress.com


Do you ever wonder what it means if something is fair trade?  That’s the question the fourth fair trade principle was created to answer.

Any business that sells fair trade products, whether food, fashion, or home accessories, is tasked with the job of not only answering that question but also spreading the word about fair trade.

Promoting fair trade can involve a variety of activities.  For me, it starts with including information with every product I sell at Fair Trade Designs that describes how your purchase makes a profound difference in the life of the person who created it.

Artisan exchangeDon’t you feel better knowing when you buy something that the person who made it is able to live a dignified, independent life?  That they’re not working in crowded, dangerous factories?  That it’s not a child who’s made what you’re wearing?

At a broader level, fair trade businesses actively raise awareness about Fair Trade and the possibility of greater justice in the global economic system. I speak to various groups about fair trade and write articles and guest blogs about it. I promote my products and the concept of fair trade to media outlets in the hope it will peak their interest in talking about it themselves.

I encourage customers to ask me questions about fair trade and explain more times than I can remember that free trade is not fair trade.

Finally, the most rewarding part for me of promoting fair trade is helping children to understand why it’s good to think about who makes their clothes and their food. I’ve worked with a few schools around the country helping them develop fair trade projects for their students. I donate products for them to sell or wear in fashion shows. Teachers tell me the kids are so enthusiastic about fair trade they become little fair trade ambassadors in their homes and communities.   Click here to read a great story about one such project at a school in New York City.


Letter I received from a 1st grade class after donating products for their fair trade sale. 

Promoting fair trade is all about spreading the word about how your shopping decision can be a positive force for improving living standards, health, education, the distribution of power, and the environment of so many impoverished people around the world.


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