Local materials, recycled goods and repurposed items make unique fair trade goods for the marketplace. No rain forests decimated to plant palm trees, no chemical plants to pollute water supplies, no mining roads through fragile ecosystems--and the money earned remains in the community.
Did you know that worldwide 70 percent of the 1.3 billion people surviving on less than a $1 a day are women? Research has shown that when women earn money, they are more likely to reinvest in themselves and the health, education and nutrition of their children. These results in improved communities, enhanced by better schools, fortified by healthier food and uplifted by improved health care for families.
There are many different fair trade products. Coffee and chocolate were some of the first fair trade goods you may remember in the marketplace. Now, there are handicrafts, clothing, jewelry, purses, religious items, toys, garden accessories and household items, just to name a few, In fact, The Hunger Site has pages of fair trade goods.
Global Girlfriend(tm) is a fair-trade boutique that offers women-made, fair-trade products. In addition to providing a marketplace for fair trade goods, a portion of each purchase funds a seed money micro-grant and micro-credit program. These funds launch small businesses that benefit the women, their family and their communities.
A new player in the fair trade goods marketplace is Ethical Ocean. This organization hopes to increase the awareness and consumption of ethical products and services in North America.
Ethical Ocean fills a niche that was empty for too long. When we think of the "poor," we often think of Haiti, Africa or other developing countries.
In the United States, more than one in eight people, one in five children, live below the poverty line, Nearly one in four children is at risk of hunger. Among African-Americans and Latinos, one in three children is at risk of hunger (Income, Earnings and Poverty data from the 2008 American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2009).
In Canada, one in nine children, more than a million, live below the poverty line (2008 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Canada). There are several groups excluded from the overall affluence of residents of Canada: native people, recent immigrants, women and the disabled. Women head over 85 percent of single-parent households and these households have a higher level of poverty than traditional two-parent households (Encyclopedia of the Nations » Americas » Canada - Poverty and wealth).
Empower the poor, the women and the children--buy fair trade goods and support the shops that bring these ethical products to you.