Four Reasons To Support Fair Trade - Saltbox Sash

Four Reasons To Support Fair Trade

My first fair trade purchase was a handmade jewelry box, and at first, I wasn't quite sure how to identify what I was feeling, but inside, I knew it was special. Don't get me wrong, I've been excited about other purchases before; however, there isn't a single mass-produced item that has impacted me this way. Once I learned what fair trade meant to people and the planet, I realized that this jewelry box represented so much more than a beautiful piece to display on my dresser. Today, I'm sharing my top four reasons to support fair trade. 

pivot heart jewelry box

1. Someone Made That: What struck me the most was that I've never considered WHO or WHAT made anything I purchased before. With this jewelry box, I learned that it was hand-carved out of sustainable mango wood in a small village in India by skilled artisans who'd been practicing the art form of wood carving for generations. I found myself admiring the hard-carved details and appreciating that the person who had created this piece was paid and treated fairly, without exploitation, forced labor, or child labor. This is the moment I turned into a conscious consumer that started turning over labels, asking questions, and tried to refrain from mindless consumption.  

Acacia creations artisans

2. Lighter Environmental Footprint:  I mentioned above that the jewelry box was hand-carved from mango wood, but did you know that mango wood is a popular choice for artisans in India because of its abundance and sustainability? This is also true for olive wood and kisii soapstone in Kenya. Artisans adhere to the tenth principle of fair trade by tapping into their creativity and resourcefulness to create products with as little impact on the environment as possible. Again, until now, I never considered how my purchases could impact the planet, my health, and that of the artisan. 

dragon fly luminary

3. One-Of-A-Kind: There's simply no comparison to a mass-produced item purchased from a big box store to a handmade piece created in a fair trade environment. Most fair trade products are created with natural materials and as such no two pieces will be exactly the same. There may be variations in texture, color, wood grain, and veining found in natural stone. Some may call these imperfections, but I believe these details are what add to the charm and character each piece brings to your home. 

serrv artisan

4. The Story: Right now, there is a major imbalance in trade that only looks after contributing to the wealth of the planet's 1%, while, according to the World Bank, "648 million people in the world, about eight percent of the global population, live in extreme poverty which means they subsist on less than US $2.15 per day." Fair trade is a movement that envisions making the world a better and more equitable place in which all people have the chance to support themselves and their families. When you support fair trade, you are providing fair, sustainable work to global artisans and that intimately connects you to their story and impacts their future. 

 We hope you enjoyed this post and feel inspired to support fair trade. Leave us your thoughts below. If you'd like to learn more about fair trade check out this blog post "What Is Fair Trade."

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