Today marks World Fair Trade Day – an initiative by the World Fair Trade Organization, whose aim is to fight poverty in developing countries through trade. The movement advocates for equitable treatment, not exploitation, in international trade. Fair Trade creates opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers through fair trading practices, paying fair prices and wages, and committing to socially and environmentally conscious practices. To ensure this, transparency and accountability on behalf of the producers and buyers is also required.
The Fair Trade industry began with the sole focus of ethical coffee distribution, but has expanded to include home décor, jewelry, clothing and more. According to Fairtrade International, there are more than 30,000 fair trade products being produced in 74 countries and sold in 125 countries the globe. The United States is one of the strongest growth markets for Fair Trade sales, which is having a substantial impact on the emerging and post-conflict economies that we work in, such as India and Kenya.
At Far & Wide Collective, our goal is to elevate these artisans into the global market by connecting them to buyers looking for high quality and beautiful handmade goods. Our artisans are isolated in rural villages and towns in post-conflict and developing countries like Afghanistan and Kenya, but have unique and special skills that reflect their cultures, like woodwork, embroidery, and weaving. By creating the conditions in which we can connect these artisans to North American consumers we gain access to their incredible handiwork, in products like Afghan coats, Indian kantha scarves and African baskets.
Celebrate World Fair Trade Day today by supporting your favourite artisans!When we support and empower artisans as individuals, we support a sustainable economic future for their communities, and nations, as well. As fair trade continues to grow around the world, Far & Wide Collective looks forward to connecting even more artisans and their unique crafts to the global market.