The ways goods are traded impacts all of our lives, from the products that are available on grocery store shelves, to the environmental and social impacts on the communities that produce them. Too often, trade deals are cut with a single bottom line designed to extract as much as possible, by any means possible, and for as much profit as possible. But it is heartening to know that there are companies who are practicing trade differently.
We asked members of our staff and editorial board to share some of their favorite fairly traded products by organizations that are working to create a mutually beneficial and just global economy.
FAIR. Quinoa Vodka
I’m quite fond of a good cocktail every now and then. FAIR’s Quinoa Vodka is my go-to vodka because of its mild, pleasant nuttiness. Plus, the company emphasizes supporting small-scale farmers. When quinoa got “discovered” as a superfood a few years ago, market prices went up, and big producers entered the market to cash in, making it tough for those for whom this was a traditional staple to compete. How can fair trade support food sovereignty? That seems like a great topic to discuss with a cocktail! –
Little Green Radicals Red Classic Dungaree
As a new parent, it feels like there’s always new stuff to purchase for my growing child, and it takes extra digging to find products that I can really feel good about. One company that makes it easy is Little Green Radicals. Their supply chains are transparent, they use fair trade and organic cotton, and their fabrics range from classic solids to on-trend patterns. My only complaint is that they don’t make anything in my size! –
Mata Traders Shimmer Fan Earrings
I love Mata Trader’s beautiful pieces and unique designs. In the fashion and apparel world, it can be difficult to find fashionable pieces without an exploitative backstory. With a commitment to fair trade and gender equality, each Mata Trader’s purchase has a strong social impact. The simple and bold design of these fan earrings is sure to get compliments, and you can feel good telling your friends that you supported women’s fair trade cooperatives in India. –
Alaffia Vanilla Shea Body Lotion
I love all of Alaffia’s body care products, but my favorite is the Shea Butter and Lemon-grass Body Lotion with Vanilla. Knowing that they only use fairly sourced ingredients helps me rest at night, and I’m inspired by their dedication to empowering Togolese women and creating economically sustainable communities. –
AgroEco Coffee from Community Agroecology Network (CAN)
AgroEco Coffee is an alternative trade model developed by the Community Agroecology Network (CAN) and supported by Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting. Partnering with small-scale farmers in Mexico and Nicaragua, it emphasizes the leadership and participation of farmer families in the ecological production of coffee. What I especially like about this model is the explicit commitment to a women’s unpaid labor fund, which compensates women for their uncompensated and often overlooked contributions to childcare, eldercare, and other household activities. –
canunite.org | santacruzcoffee.com