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Jun 08, 2017

What is Fair Trade?

A lot of people know about fair trade, but not necessarily what the overall importance is.  With the increase in awareness, more companies have either adopted or been founded on the idea of fair trade products.  We at From Our Hands Jewelry and Such offer fair trade products in our collections which include our Golden Grass, African, and Philippines lines.

Fair trade is defined as “trade in which fair prices are paid to producers in developing countries” by Google. But what does that mean? Basically, the farmers or artisans of the products that companies buy are paid and treated fairly by a certain standard.  This doesn’t just mean that the workers are paid fairly, but also means that they work in a place that is safe for them and that while the products are being made they do not harm the environment. Fair Trade started on the basis of helping farmers in developing countries, but over the years has started to adopt handmade goods and crafts under their umbrella of protection.

The World Fair Trade Organization monitors the buying and selling of items in developing countries and ensures there is fair trade.  If a company does enough fair trade, they can become Fair Trade certified and boast that they are helping people in developing countries escape poverty. In the USA there is a specific organization called Fair Trade USA that monitors the business between US companies and international companies to ensure fair trade is compliant with their regulations.

There is often the misconception that fair trade products are cheaply made and will fall apart easily.  This misconception is very often not true! The companies that buy from fair trade organizations often look for high quality products because they do not want to offer low quality to their customers.  This demand in turn results in artisans and farmers providing the best quality they can in order to work with fair trade organizations.

The overall importance of fair trade is to prevent large companies from controlling and destroying the lives of people in developing countries without the power to fight back.  When you buy fair trade items you are supporting the people’s livelihood who make those products.

In our society, it all too easy to forget that someone somewhere made everything we use and see in our everyday's lives. Do you know where most of the items you use come from? If you answered no, you are with millions of other people who buy without knowing where their purchases comes from.

We are used to buying cheap, but that means that the person at the end of the commerce chain is hurt by our choice.  By choosing fair trade, you might pay a little more, but your money is going toward building another person’s life so they can enjoy a fraction of the things we do.

So remember to buy fair trade and support the artisans making the products you buy!

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