Shameless Plug: Fair Trade

>> Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I attended college in a great place. A place where the locals are conscious of where their goods come from. Where they care about the people who harvest, toil, and otherwise make the stuff they use every day. Of course, I'm talking about the city of Ithaca, NY. For, it's in Ithaca where I first became familiar with Fair Trade items.

When the people from Equal Exchange contacted me a few weeks ago to see if we'd like to feature them on our site, we wholeheartedly accepted. We only write about products and organizations that we're passionate about. And Equal Exchange is certainly one of those organizations.

They sent us one of their gift baskets (the "Good Morning Basket," to be exact) with coffee, tea, and cookies. (More like: Yum. Yum. And More Yum.)


FAIR TRADE:

Some of you may be wondering: What on EARTH does "fair trade" even mean? Well, when you see the little label on coffee beans, baked goods, chocolates, crafts, and more -- it means that whatever you're about to buy is, well, ethical. It comes from a farm or other organization that supports fair wages and safe working conditions for its workers. The people who run these places are paid a premium to provide feel-good services (like healthcare, leadership programs, and others) to their workers.

In addition, farmers must obey certain environmental rules to be certified. And just like I mentioned above, these farmers can get their hands on some money to improve their practices.

If you're more visual, I found this supply chain chart on Green America. CRAZY. But definitely good to know . . .


WHY BUY FAIR TRADE?

Taking all of that information into consideration (and to put it extremely simply): It feels good to buy responsibly.



WHERE TO BUY:

Equal Exchange’s website offers a range of gifts that meet any budget, really. All items are Fair Trade and assembled by hand. To get all feel-good on you: These gifts are a great way to show someone special that you care, while also helping small scale farmers build a better life.
  • 100% Fair Trade selection of gifts. All of the items in gifts are Fair Trade and even the gift basket itself is Fair Trade.
  • Filled with delicious coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa or snacks that are both tasty and good for people and the planet.
  • Each gift ships in its own gift box with recycled packaging and filler.
  • Convenient online ordering at shop.equalexchange.com or order by phone if you prefer: 774-776-7333
  • Easy ordering system and discounts for those ordering ten or more gifts via the business gifts program.
  • Custom gift card with your personal message included with each order.

SPECIAL OFFERS:
  • This month Equal Exchange is offering a special coupon for free shipping for gift baskets on the online store through the end of November. Coupon code: freegiftship.
  • As well, you can visit their site and enter for a chance to win an Equal Exchange Holiday Gift Basket!!!
So, please consider buying Fair Trade items this holiday season. Or at least learning more about the process for the future. We'd push this even if Equal Exchange hadn't contacted us. Honest. And now that we know what their gift baskets are like, we're adding a few to our Nice Girls-and-Boys list.

Have you started writing up holiday gift lists yet? I'm still in shock that Thanksgiving is next week! We're giving simply this year -- not only for budget reasons, but also because simply doesn't necessarily mean less. Different, maybe. More on that soon! Just leave a comment or email us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com.

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