Fair Trade – Where is it hiding in America?

Flag ShirtLiving in the United Kingdom, I can look around just about anywhere, and find Fair Trade products. Whether I’m shopping for clothes, grocery shopping, or getting a cup of coffee. Since coming back to America, the concept of Fair Trade seems to have stopped at the shores of the UK and Europe. I know there are Fair Trade shops in the US……but where oh where??

Fair trade is a social movement developed to help producers in emerging countries around the world sustain themselves under better trading conditions. Exporters abroad, and maybe even in the US, are paid fair prices, not undercut dramatically.

Abroad, I buy Fair Trade coffee, tea, honey, chocolate (one of my favorite Fair Trade items!) and several handicrafts. You can also find jewels and gold produced and acquired through Fair Trade. Fashion referred to as Eco, Eco-social, socially-conscious and ethically-produced are similiar to Fair Trade, as long as the producers weren’t undercut in the exchange of their goods.

Over 500 towns, 118 universities, 6,000 churches, and 4,000 UK schools are registered in what is referred to as the Fairtrade Schools Scheme. Fair Trade is big business in the UK.

So where on Earth does Fair Trade exist in the US – for those of us attempting to employ such buying decisions, we need to have sources by which to find the Fair Trade businesses.  If it’s too difficult to find, it might not even take proper root in the US. Last week, I received a cordial email from Mike Thomas in Lancaster, PA.  He was kind enough to send me a directory that lists Fair Trade businesses by US states.

So I’m passing on the link to all of you. http://supportfairtrade.com/

Take a look at the state where you plan to shop, and see what’s available. I’ll let you know when Jo’el Worldwear goes live on the web. Plus I’ll be sure to get Jo’el listed in this directory. Our shop has several neat clothing and accessories…..and everything was definitely purchased for a Fair Trade price. Enjoy your Fair Trade shopping experiences!


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