Fair Trade products are becoming more commonplace in our shops and online retailers. It’s now easy to purchase fair trade items of all types. But are there online retailers that sell truly upscale fair trade products? Yes!
Are you familiar with the online retailer Made Trade?
If not – it’s high time I shared this remarkable company with you. They specialize in representing small artisan groups that create the most stunning clothing and home goods around. AND, they focus on all things ethical and fair trade. What’s not to love?
Tomorrow – the second Saturday in the month of May – is World Fair Trade Day. It’s a day set aside for a worldwide celebration of fair trade’s contribution to the fight against poverty, exploitation, and climate change.
Seems like this is the perfect time to share these gorgeous products with you!
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What Is a Fair Trade Company?
Fair trade is a global movement made up of a diverse network of producers, companies, shoppers, advocates, and organizations putting people and planet first.
As stated by the World Fair Trade Organization (WTFO), fair trade can be defined by certain guiding principles, including:
Trade as a Force for Positive Change
We value trading relationships that distribute power, risks and rewards equitably.
Our belief is that trade should be a tool to eliminate inequality and create self-determination for all people.
We are committed to trade that includes fair compensation, safe and healthy working conditions, direct and long-term relationships, transparent business practices, and workplaces free from discrimination and forced child labor.
Fullest Commitment to Fair and Sustainable Practices
We believe that credibility comes through open and transparent interactions.
Our belief is that we have a responsibility to maintain the highest standards and expectations of ourselves.
We value organizations that aspire to fully embrace fair trade principles, including the application of economic, social, cultural, and environmentally sustainable practices.
We celebrate the contribution and value of all people in the supply chain. Also, we recognize the dignity of each person and organization in our interactions and relationships.
We believe that people have a right to participate in the decisions that affect their lives based on open sharing of information.
Solidarity in a Global Community
We believe that communities grounded in trust, moral support, cooperation, and a sense of belonging make us stronger individually and as a whole.
We value the impact that comes from empowering consumers with knowledge and believe that our unified voices convey a powerful message.
Such a powerful and inspiring vision! If you’d like to explore further, take a look at the World Fair Trade Organization (WTFO) website.
Fair Trade Artisan Products That Make Great Gifts
I chose to highlight the brands at Made Trade because they are so much more than just fair trade businesses.
So often, fair trade products are small trinkets, inexpensive decor, or jewelry and other accessories. Without compromising quality, they are designed to be produced quickly and efficiently in large quantities.
The products I’ve listed here are truly artisan, unique, and top-of-the-line in terms of quality and craftsmanship.
Upscale, Artisanal Products from Made Trade:
Home & Loft
“Home & Loft is a women-owned and run brand. We partner with artisans in developing areas to invest in and support the ancient weaving tradition.
We seek out unique fabrics, soft textures, and lasting materials while creating sustainable partnerships that empower both artisan and consumer.
With each piece made and sold, we stay true to our core values: ethical, sustainable, and authentic craft.”
“Passion Lilie is a fair trade and sustainable apparel brand. Our mission is to empower artisans across the world by creating dignified employment opportunities.
By offering fair wages, safe and healthy working conditions, and long-term employment to artisans in India, these job opportunities lead to sustainable societies and a better world.
We are also committed to using eco-friendly materials throughout the supply chain and preserving the artistic and cultural talents of our craftspeople.”
“Zuahaza means “my sister” in the Muisca language of the people who lived in the Cundiboyacense mountain region of Colombia.
As a social enterprise, Zuahaza strives to embody collective sisterhood between women in Colombia, and to create unique products that reflect our diversity, history and dreams as statements of the unity and peace to come from Colombia.
This is what sisterhood means to us.”
Middle Kingdom Porcelain
“Minzuu is a social enterprise connecting you to globally curated, ethically made home goods rooted in artisanal craft traditions. This includes Middle Kingdom Porcelain.
We believe the quintessential beauty of a culture embeds in its handicrafts. The wisdom contained in centuries-old techniques is worth celebrating.
Working directly with artisan cooperatives around the world, we ensure heritage craft practices continue in a responsible way. This benefits both the people and the nature.”
Soil to Studio
“The soul of India lives in its villages,” said Mahatma Gandhi.
At Soil to Studio, we strive to offer the world a window into India’s rich culture and access to its skilled artisans. We accomplish this through our textiles and weaves that are an intrinsic part of India’s heritage.
These gifted artisans, who live in India’s numerous little villages, are known to create masterpieces by their hands.
We see our approach to production as a direct investment in the lives of the artisans we work with.
At Soil to Studio, our mission is to empower the families behind the craft, preserve local craftsmanship and continue to create sustainable livelihoods.
The artisans set their own wages. We are committed to following fair trade practices in all aspects of our business.”
“ABBY ALLEY is an independent design brand that creates fashion collections in East Africa. Our purpose is to give back to initiatives in the region that provide access to education, basic needs, and employment opportunities.”
“We are a social impact company creating fashion that empowers women and restores the earth.
Our goal is to intercept unrecyclable materials before they can pollute the land and oceans. We then work with a team of incredible artisan moms to create one-of-a-kind pieces of art.
We work with artisan mothers in the Philipines and we pay them fairly for every item.
When mothers become financially independent they have the will and the power to lift up the next generation.”
Read More About Social Good:
- How to Make a Switch to Fair Trade Products: Brands You’ll Feel Good About Buying
- Little Luxuries for the Bath: A Fair Trade Gift Guide
- Why We All Need More Kindness in Our Lives
- 50 Ways You Can Make the World a Better Place (It’s All About Kindness)
Final Thoughts on Upscale Fair Trade Products (and Where to Find Them Online)
I hope you have come to realize that fair trade products can be found in almost any retail category. They may range from small, inexpensive items to true designer creations.
The brands I have highlighted here are just a few of the many fair trade organizations.
These groups focus on fair and sustainable business practices, respectful partnerships, and solidarity in a global community. All the while, they provide true artisan craftsmanship in their products.
I encourage you to seek out fair trade products. Whenever possible, give the gift of fair trade!