Tag Archives: Fair trade producers

Father’s Day – Top 5 Fair Trade gifts

7 Jun

What is better than telling Dad “You are the best!” with a Fair Trade gift he will really love? Nothing!!

Here are our Top 5 Fair Trade Father’s Day Gifts:

1) Fair Trade Vodka

Award winning Fair Trade Vodka from FAIR. will make Dad’s favorite cocktails come to life. Made using Fair Trade quinoa from Bolivian farms. Buy it online, or find a distributor near you. $33 per bottle.


2). Organic and Fair Trade Certified Socks

You know he needs them, and he won’t shop for them himself. So hook him up with some sweet socks! Maggie’s provides a wide variety of Fair Trade certified socks, from dress to sport, that are perfect for any kind of Dad. Starting at $8 – easy to order on-line.


3) ReStyle recycled tire tube men’s travel kit

Made from recycled truck tire tubes, the ReStyle travel kit looks great and is super tough to take any punishment that travel (or your Dad) can dish out. Roomy enough to bring everything on the road, with interior pockets and straps to hold them in place. He will love it. $39.98 – available on-line or in stores.


4) The Supremo Basket

Fair Trade coffee, chocolate, tea and chocolate covered coffee beans? In one basket? This is almost too easy. $64.75 from the Fair Trade Coffee Company.


5) Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Fair Trade pioneers Equal Exchange have a delicious EVOO that will enhance any dish and tastes fabulous on it’s own. Whether he is manning the grill or you are cooking him a Father’s Day meal this is a great call. And at only $10.98 for a 500ml bottle it is a great deal too!


We hope you have a wonderful Father’s Day!

Fair Trade: Empowering Women Around the World

27 Mar
These women formed Arte Comasagua, an artisan group that Hope for Women is proud to work wtih

These women formed Arte Comasagua, an artisan group in El Salvador that we are proud to work with.

Poverty and gender inequality are main factors which cause women worldwide to lack employment opportunities and to struggle to support themselves without the aid of men. Engaging in trade can be especially difficult because in many societies it is considered inappropriate for women to take part in this type of work. Fair Trade promotes gender equality through imparting equal wages and providing women with economic opportunities. It also encourages women to take on leadership positions and to fully participate in discussion and decision making about business practices.

Fair Trade gives women the chance to provide for themselves and their families, which strengthens their position in society and gives them the resources and skills needed to take control of their lives and futures. Below are examples from around the world of women who have been empowered by Fair Trade and were able to create a better life for themselves.

fair+trade+logo+double

Rwanda

Fair Trade USA featured a story on Hinga Kawa, a Women’s Association, which is part of the  Abakunda Kawa cooperative and is comprised of a group of women who joined together as a community to sell their coffee. Many of these women are widows or orphans due to the genocide in their country, so they hold many responsibilities at home as well as at work in the coffee fields. By forming Hinga Kawa, these women are able to take pride in selling coffee that they have grown and also have a supportive network of women who share their hardships. Although Fair Trade has not made these women rich, it has provided them with an income that will allow them to send their children to school and still be able to feed them.

Hinga Kawa Women's Association of coffee farmers in Rwanda

Hinga Kawa Women’s Association of coffee farmers in Rwanda

Brazil

The story of one woman, Donha Conceção, also featured by Fair Trade USA exemplifies the major, life changing impact that Fair Trade can have on struggling women worldwide.  When Donha Conceção was widowed with five children to care for, she was left with only the knowledge of coffee farming as means of survival.  After a period of extremely difficult times, she decided to join the Fair Trade Certified coffee cooperative, Coocafé, where she learned to farm more sustainably.  Through their aid she was able to increase the quality and price of her coffee.  The resulting success of her coffee business enabled her to provide for her family and send all of her children to school.  She became the first woman to be elected to Coocafé’s board.

India and Nepal

The World Fair Trade Organization conducted research on the role of women in the market and what benefits they receive from group membership and Fair Trade.  They looked the Artisans Association, ACP (Association for Craft Producers) and WIEGO (Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing), which are Fair Trade working projects for impoverished women in India and Nepal. The women involved were able to earn their own income in a society where women face many restrictions such as the inability to receive higher education and a lack of resources or employment options. They reported that the rare opportunity they were given allowed them to become skilled, capable craftswomen in a safe environment.  Also, the contribution they made to their household income changed their husband’s attitudes towards them, causing them to be treated with with more respect and to be given more authority.

oct_women_cw

Photo: Carol Wills

In numerous other countries around the world women are benefiting from the increase in Fair Trade initiatives.  What could be better motivation to support Fair Trade than to know that your purchases are ethical and are contributing to the ability of women worldwide to take control of their lives.

Sources:

Barrow, Katie. 2010. Women, Coffee & Hope: Fair Trade is Blossoming in the Hills of Rwanda. Fair Trade USA.

FairtradeUSA. 2010. Grandmother, Coffee Farmer, Leader: Meet Donha Conceção.

Jones, Elaine. 2012. Women’s Economic Empowerment Through Fair Trade: Case Studies from India and Nepal. World Fair Trade Organization.

Photo: “Women Coffee farmers in Rwanda” from Fair Trade USA.

How to have a Fair Trade friendly Valentines Day!

6 Feb

Looking for an original way to show appreciation for your valentine this year? Commit to Fair Trade!

Here are some ideas on creative and socially responsible alternatives to the average Valentines Day gift:

1. Fair Trade Chocolate– Chocolate is an essential part of every Valentines Day, but this year consider options such as the Valentines products from Divine Chocolate, the only Fair Trade chocolate company which is 45% owned by the farmers. Company ownership gives the farmers a share of Divine’s profits and a stronger voice in the cocoa industry.  Another option, which comes in wide array of unique flavors is Alter Eco chocolate. They offer 10 different types of chocolate bars such as dark coconut toffee, dark quinoa, dark mint, and dark with crystallized orange peel. A third Fair Trade, organic option is Equal Exchange chocolate, which comes in a variety of forms and flavors, each as delicious as the next!

alt-chocgiftdiv-001248candybars_03

2. Fair Trade Flowers Many people are not aware of the exploitation that occurs within the cut flower business in order to keep costs low.  Commit to buying Fair Trade flowers this Valentines Day in order to insure that you are not contributing to the mistreatment and abuse of workers.  One wonderful option is One World Flowers, an organization that sells all Fair Trade roses and has a large selection of Valentines Day bouquets.  One of the arrangements in particular, the Helping Haiti bouquet allows you to contribute to a cause while showing appreciation for your valentine because 10% of the purchase price is given as a donation to Samaritan’s Purse relief efforts in Haiti.  Another great option if there is a Whole Foods near you is to buy their Whole Trade Guaranteed or certified organic flower arrangements.  These floral products are grown according to strict criteria for ethical trade and earth-friendly farming.

Whole Foods Whole Trade Guaranteed Flower Selection

Whole Foods Whole Trade Guaranteed Flower Selection

One World Flowers Fair Trade Bouquet

One World Flowers Fair Trade Bouquet

3. Fair Trade Wine–  A bottle of wine is another essential component of most Valentines Day celebrations, so why not make it Fair Trade? There are now Fair trade wineries in Argentina, Chile and South Africa.  Here is a list of the the Top 10 Fair Trade Wines to help you make the best selection.

4. Fair Trade Jewelry & Accessories– At Hope For Women we are offering a Valentines Day special of 15% off select purple, red and pink products, which would make perfect gifts for your valentine! If you are looking to buy specifically gold jewelry for your special someone, check out Fair Trade and Fair Mined gold from the Fairtrade Foundation.

Tagua Twigs Cuff Bracelet - Fire -

Tagua Twigs Cuff Bracelet – Fire –

Fair Trade & Fair Mined Gold

Fair Trade & Fair Mined Gold

ReStyle Men's Wallet - Red -
ReStyle Men’s Wallet – Red –

Go Fair Trade for 2013!

16 Jan

Its Not too Late to Start a New’s Years Resolution

2d8f30a338

A Hope For Women artisan from India who helps to create our beautiful handmade cards.

Hard to believe it is over two weeks into the new year!  Are you still struggling to decide on a New Year’s Resolution? We have a great suggestion for you that will positively impact many other lives as well as your own.  Why not make the commitment to buying Fair Trade products whenever possible? By making this resolution, you will be insuring that the products you purchase are created by people who are earning a fair, livable wage for their hard work.  With Fair Trade products, everyone wins; workers are empowered, lives are improved, and consumers are able to buy amazing products that are produced in a way that is line with their values and beliefs.  Here are a few ideas on how you can begin acting on this New Year’s resolution:

1. Give a Fair Trade Gift EarthLover is a Fair Trade,  Eco Friendly retailer that sells beautiful, handmade goods from around the world. They carry a wide variety of bags, shoes, wallets and other accessories for men, women and babies as well as home goods and body products. http://www.earthlovershopping.com/

Gifts with Humanity is another business that sells hand-crafted, Fair Trade products from various regions across the globe.  They have a diverse assortment of tableware and home decor, which could be given as the perfect hostess gift. http://www.giftswithhumanity.com/

images-3

Hope for Women carries a large selection of unique jewelry and accessories to choose from, which are made from innovative recycled materials such as tire tube and Eco leather. http://www.hopeforwomen.com/lifestyle/products/

2. Send a Fair Trade Card Hope for Women carries beautiful, handmade, “tree-free” paper cards.  These artistic cards are perfect for any occasion.  Valentine’s Day, for example is just around the corner and our gracefully designed cards created with pressed wild flowers would make the perfect valentine!  http://www.hopeforwomen.com/lifestyle/products/indianotecardcollection/

3. Drink Fair Trade Coffee An alternative goal to reducing your coffee consumption could be to instead commit to buying it responsibly by finding Fair Trade certified options. This allows you to support coffee farmers and eco-friendly farming methods while continuing to satiate your caffeine addiction.  Grounds for Change for example is a certified organic coffee roaster, which specializes in 100% Fair Trade coffee and also sells Fair Trade organic tea, hot chocolate and chocolate bars.  http://www.groundsforchange.com/index.php?

images-1

4. Start Buying More Fair Trade Foods Equal Exchange is a co-op that sells not only Fair Trade coffee, but also numerous other Fair Trade products from farmers worldwide such as tea, almonds, chocolate, sugar, olive oil, and bananas. This co-op can help you to purchase many of the foods that you buy on a regular basis, in a way that empowers small farmers and encourages sustainable farming methods! http://www.equalexchange.coop/index.php

images-2

Who made that cool ReStyle tire tube bracelet? Meet Milena from Colombia

2 Apr

Just two weeks ago we introduced you to Yolanda – one of the women that creates our ReStyle recycled tire tube products – and this week we would like you to meet Milena! Milena is a single mother of three children and has been creating handmade products in Colombia for over four years.

•What do you find most fun or rewarding about making the recycled tire tube products? What do you enjoy most about your work?

Milena-I like the design process, especially the small pieces like wallets or so. That’s what I enjoy the most because that’s what I studied and love to design.

•What is your favorite tire tube product to make, and why is it your favorite?

MilenaThere’s not a specific product, I just like to suggest solutions to make a product even better – that gives me great satisfaction.

•The tire tube bracelets are being sold in Aveda salons in the USA to raise money for Earth Month – making people aware about issues like access to clean water and stopping pollution –  what issues are important to you and your family that you want people to be aware of?

MelinaI’d like people to campaign to get money for poor people and those who have no access to health insurance or proper nutrition.

•How has your life changed since you started working with our partner group Sapia in Bogota  – what positive improvements have happened to you??

Milena– Thanks to this job I’m paying for my first computer, that way my kids can do their homework and can learn to use the internet. I have also learned to work with tire tube and that’s a good skill to have to help further my career since not many people work with this material.

I hope you have enjoyed meeting Milena and Yolanda! Both of these women work underDona Rosa who is also a single mother that started out just like Milena and Yolanda as an artisan many years ago. Dona Rosa has taken the initiative to learn many business management skills in order to oversee the management and production of the ReStyle recycled tire tube products. It is very important to us that the women we partner with have the chance to empower themselves and have the opportunity for upward mobility within the company.

Written by, Mary Mathias