Some people might think of fair trade as simply a marketing ploy used to sell more products, but we know that when we buy fair trade products from fully committed fair trade organizations, they truly have a positive impact on the people who make them and their families and communities. In case you need a reminder, here are 10 reasons to shop fair trade you might not have thought of. We could have listed 50 or 100 reasons, but these are our favorites!
1. Shop the Globe
Fair trade is the next best thing to traveling around the world and shopping at all the amazing bazaars and markets. Where else can you find products from over 60 countries, all handcrafted using techniques passed down from generation to generation!
2. Protect the Globe
Lots of fair trade products are made from recycled, upcycled or sustainable materials. Things like bicycle chains, oil drums, fabric, glass and paper that would otherwise be trash get repurposed and given new life as fun products that have a story.
3. Connect Around the Globe
When you buy fair trade products you know that another human being put hard work and concentration into the product you are wearing, using or eating rather than just a machine or some vague corporate entity. A real person spent lots of time growing or crafting that product with care and this should be celebrated!
4. Your Tastebuds will Thank You
Have you ever tried Canaan Infused Olive Oil or Fair Trade Vodka made from Quinoa? You’ve probably had some fair trade coffee (there are tons of great brands) and maybe some Theo Chocolate. And you’ve definitely had Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, but might not have known it had fair trade ingredients inside! Well keep seeking out fair trade food because it’s all delicious and well-made using quality ingredients. No shortcuts or fake flavors, just all-natural products that taste great!
5. Be Different!
Often fair trade products are unique, one-of-a-kind products made from recycled materials making no two products alike. Or they are exclusive designs that you just won’t find anywhere else. If you want to be different and stand out among the crowd of mass-produced, fast fashion, then fair trade is the way to go!
6. Alleviate Poverty
We’ve talked about how fair trade products are good for the environment and made from quality materials meant to last, but an important reason to shop fair trade is that your purchase supports the livelihood of talented artisans. People often ask us in our stores, “How much of this product’s price goes back to the artisan?” We always answer that it’s not that the money goes back, but that the artisan already has the money. Artisans are paid fairly AND promptly and often receive loans upfront to expand their future projects. All of this aims to help especially those artisans who might not otherwise have access to markets and distribution.
7. Vote With Your Money
Every time you buy a fair trade product, you tell the world that you want people to be treated with fairness and equality. The more people buy fair trade products, the more awareness grows and demand increases. Vote with your dollars and shop fair trade!
If you didn’t know it already, dark chocolate has some great health benefits, besides being super tasty. When buying chocolate, look for higher percentages of cocoa, that’s where the antioxidants come from. Most fair trade dark chocolate has at least 70% cocoa and milk chocolate has usually around 45%. In addition, many fair trade food companies grow using organic practices and use GMO-free ingredients. And what’s even more, while fair trade products are better for your health, they are also better for the people growing them as they don’t have to deal with pesticides and chemicals and work in safe conditions and receive access to healthcare.
9. Find Meaning
One of the most important reasons to shop fair trade is the fact that your purchase has meaning for you and the person who made or grew it. The simple act of buying something can have a direct impact on the lives and livelihoods of people around the world. Fair trade lifts the mundane act of buying things into a realm of meaning and purpose, which is a very powerful tool.
10. Spread the Love
One of our favorite reasons for buying fair trade products is to give them as gifts. Finding gifts that mean something to you and the person receiving them can be hard sometimes. Some people are difficult to shop for and with endless options out there it can be kind of daunting. We love giving fair trade products because we always get to tell the person the story of the product and why we thought they would appreciate it. Fair trade spreads the love!