I met Roxana Mamani Santos on a trip to Peru in 2011 and was taken by her entrepreneurial zeal. Roxana designed a pair of cool knit fingerless gloves that fit seamlessly with the style worn by fashionistas thousands of miles north of her home in Puno. She designs and knits to earn income to support herself and her irresistibly adorable son.
Roxana works with Manuela Ramos, a women’s rights organization in Puno, Peru that in addition to providing education and training, employs thousands of women artisans by finding external markets for their hand-knit products. Manuela Ramos is one of 30 fair trade partners across the world that Global Goods Partners connects with the US market by selling their products on our website. We now carry Roxana’s gloves in our online store.
I know who made my gloves, and I know that she was paid fairly. But fair trade is about much more than wages. It is about fair wages AND transparent and accountable relationships with your suppliers. It is about investing in communities of producers, using our purchasing power to create economic change that we want to see. It is about connecting consumers to producers.
#FairTuesday is a movement we started to inspire conscious consumerism in response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. More and more designers are creating lines that are ethically produced in artisan communities around the world. Scores of small businesses around the country are committed to fair trade principles. At a panel with designers who focus on ethical production in Brooklyn earlier this year, I met our brilliant social media volunteer, Ksenia Avdulova, who came up with the idea of #FairTuesday as a call to action for all the amazing designers, companies, press outlets, and consumers committed to conscious consumption.
You can help us create the change in fashion that the organic movement has created in the food industry. Change doesn’t happen all at once, it can start in little ways. #FairTuesday is about making ethical consumption a daily possibility. It can be overwhelming—once you start thinking about the origins of your clothing, cosmetics, jewelry, where do you stop? We started #FairTuesday to remind you that ethical consumption can start small and have a big impact.
- Check out the participating organizations on www.fairtuesday.org.
- Make at least one gift you give this holiday season fair trade or ethically sourced.
- Buy fair trade coffee for your morning cup.
- Like #FairTuesday on Facebook and share with your friends.
- Visit the Fair Trade Federation website to learn more about fair trade and see local and online stores, like ourselves, that adhere to fair trade principles.
Jennifer Gootman is the Executive Director of Global Goods Partners
Global Goods Partners is a fair trade nonprofit that helps organized groups of women artisans from low-income communities around the world access the US market. Global Goods Partners works with nearly 40 groups around the world, selling their handmade products online at www.globalgoodspartners.org.