“Fair trade” is a social movement that combats modern-day slavery by advocating for better trading conditions for producers in developing nations and securing better working conditions for laborers. There are several companies that are licensed to certify items or companies as fair-trade approved, such as Fairtrade International, the FLO International, the World Fair Trade Organization, and many others. A specific fair trade logo helps people identify items on the market that have been officially certified.
These organizations can help us to become better fair-trade shoppers, but there are other ways in which we can support the movement. Here are some suggestions on how to become more ethical shoppers:
1. Do your research. There are several imports that are notorious for being involved in the slave industry. This includes things like chocolate, coffee, sugar, diamonds, and clothing, just to name a few. Try researching specific items and find brands that are fair-trade friendly that you can do business with.
2. Buy locally. Fair trade doesn’t necessarily only apply to those in developing countries; it can include the workers and artisans in your own town as well. Buying locally is a great way to support the laborers in your own community.
3. Buy things second-hand. Buying electronics or clothing second-hand is a great fair-trade friendly choice to make.
4. Look for fair trade items on the internet. The internet has many great websites full of fair-trade friendly items. All it takes is a simple search on a search engine to find what you’re looking for!
5. Buy some seeds and grow your own garden. Growing your own produce is a very rewarding way to provide some of the basic, nutritious foods that you need.
Being a fair-trade shopper may take a little more thought and effort than a non-fair trade shopper. But the effort is so worth it. Knowing that you are supporting a movement that is helping people get better working conditions, more equal trading conditions, and more money for their labor, makes every bit of work on your part seem like nothing in comparison. Take some time to consider ways in which you can become a more ethical shopper in your own life. You don’t have to start big; just take things one step at a time and see where it leads you.