Fair Trade Favs


i drank my recommended 8 glasses of water already today. yay life.

A while ago, I plugged a great organization called Kiva, a non-profit focusing on micro-finance loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries. While I really only moderately care about fair trade agreements conserving endangered plants and the environment (bad person, sorry), there’s a fire in my belly for organizations that fight for fair trade practices that help workers of under developed countries get a foot up on the economic ladder and make a better life for their families.

Large corporation tapped into the work force of these countries decades ago. I’m going to go out on a politically incorrect limb and say that while these workers made (make) pretty below-fair wages, it was a good thing at the time as these were, in many cases, the only jobs available to them – especially to women who had historically always been dependent on men, and gave them a means to support themselves. It’s no longer acceptable anymore, and we shouldn’t settle for keeping them on the bottom wrung of the ladder. Corporations may not be able to foot the bill of higher wages, but there’s a lot to be said for expanding the market for these peoples’ handmade goods, allowing them to sell to the world.

FreeSet Bags – These handcrafted and customizable bags are made from jute by Indian women trapped in an oppressive sex trade. By giving them a means to sell goods and make money, the organization helps the women buy their way out of their enslavement. Seriously, with all the girls out there that look the same with their Coach and Louis Vuitton bags, this is a way better use of your money. Shoot, you could be a whole shipment of them for what your wallet cost.  (good idea: a church up here in Minneapolis bought a bulk order of these bags and sold them to members of its congregation)

Tom’s Shoes – I covet a pair, and when I quit being such a poor pants, I’m getting them. Yes, their made in the states by Americans, but if you’ve ever seen the AT&T commercial, you know that for every pair purchased, Tom gives a pair to a kid out there who has sores all over their feet instead of shoes.

 Anni Designs – Ok, these are also made in America, but this is another great organization. They design great t-shirts to raise money to help loving families afford international adoption, giving lots of hurt kids a shot. See also: Shoahannah’s Hope


in other news, i have a new life plan: travel the world


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