A couple of Sundays ago, I went to an Alternative Gift Faire in La Mesa. I had stumbled upon this event when researching about Fair Trade after finding out that a proposal for declaring La Mesa, a Fair Trade Town was voted down. What I really enjoyed about the afternoon was everyone had a common thread- they all supported Fair Trade. All the vendors were committed to selling goods that were Fair Trade certified. What does this mean? What is Fair Trade? Well that means that the goods or the materials used to make the product were bought by a supplier that was given a fair wage, the working conditions were of ethical standard and no child labor was used in the making of the product. My favorite soap supplier Dr. Bronner was there, I swear by Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-one magic soaps. They truly are magical. My excitement went up a few notches that they had a booth at the event- I am a total evangelist of that stuff.
Dr. Bronner’s sells more than soaps, they actually weren’t selling anything that day, they were giving out samples of their soaps and coconut oil mixed with organic chocolate and flaxseed. I talked to a few San Diego Fair Trade Board Members about what Fair Trade is. The sentiment was it was all about taking care of one another, being fair, and taking pride in the products you use. I talked to the owner of franchise owner of Ben and Jerry’s in Seaport Village, He said that Ben and Jerry’s is committing to use all Fair Trade Ingredients by the year 2013.
This month is Fair Trade month, a month dedicated to promoting and celebrating the positive impact of Fair Trade. San Diego has a big Fair Trade community. There are over 100 merchants in that participate in Fair Trade in San Diego. I started thinking of all the products I buy and realized that it doesn’t take much to buy Fair Trade products. Any little contribution to the greater good and quality products, I am all for.
Check out these local San Diego-based Fair Trade products/shops:
Angell Bars are made with organic and fair trade ingredients. The Angell Crisp bars are so good. The rice crispies embedded in the chocolate create a texture that is similar to a 100 Grand candy bar. This bar is gluten free and contains no corn syrup.
Soapmaking Studio: Take soapmaking classes and attend workshops in Lemon Grove
Seven Hopes United – A pop-up shop near Sears at UTC.
Around the World Gifts – A Fair Trade and Hand-Made shop in Old Town
Giveaway – Win this really cool paper maché bowl courtesy of Ethical Ocean. All you need to do is comment below and tell me what your favorite charitable cause is, I will randomly pick a winner using Random.org on Sunday , 10/30 at 10pm. Bowl will be sent direct to winner by representatives of Ethical Ocean. CMP.LY/0
About Bowls by Bundu: Gorgeous on a coffee table or as a fruit bowl, this paper maché bowl by Bundu was made by a group of HIV positive mothers who are earning an income and health education in Southern Africa. Many of the artisans that make the Fair Trade goods have a story behind the products. I guess this what makes Fair Trade items so special, there is a face and a purpose behind the person who made the product.