I love Fairtrade Shops. It's not about charity, it's more of a selfish desire to have unique jewellery, homeware and objects around me. I like stuff that's made with love. I like stuff that no one else has (and my friends wonder where I got it). I love objects of beauty, which carry a positive story of the person who made it.
With online Fairtrade stores you can choose from an exotic range of cultures and artisans from around the world. You can travel in a shopping cart; jewellery and sculptures from Africa, hand woven silks and hand embroidered cushions and homeware from India, Bangledash and Nepal, woven wools blankets and brightly painted ceramics from Mexico and Guatemala and baskets and silk from Cambodia.
Fair trade" and "Fairtrade" (two words and one word) have different legal meanings;
Fair Trade" is more descriptive and is open to abuse.
To avoid scammers, just use your common senses and eyes and question whether the product looks like it was slow made with care or fast made under pressure. The difference in quality between say, handmade silks and factory made silks is very obvious when you get the hang of it.
So, why isn't every good Samaritan certified? Well, certification costs money and takes time with a lot of applications. Many of these groups have enough problems without paper work and extra fees holding up their ability to support themselves.
Here are a few of my favourite websites specialising in Fairtrade and Fair Trade:
Sankofa: A Melbourne based website/store with great homeware.
Set up by a social entrepreneur in NSW's Hunter Valley, this has some unique items and gifts.
This is the website to the brilliant organisation of the same name (set up by a Canadian but with a lot of support from Australia).
And if you want to touch and feel the objects before you purchase them, I recommend an Oxfam Store, which is located in many Westfield and commercial shopping areas. I love that Westfield tag the items with a story about where they came from.
In Adelaide, there's a store at Westfield Marion (Shop 1026A Level 1, Westfield Shopping Town Marion) and the CBD (Shop 24, Charles Street Plaza, Charles St., Adelaide ).
and fantastically, Oxfam fair trade tea is now available at Woolies and IGA (check stores for product lines) which is great because it's THAT must easier to pick up in a lunch break or as a last minute after work shopping dash.
By Anonymous Wednesday, 20th of July @ 06:45 am
Yes, actually there's no excuse not to buy only Fairtrade teas and coffee these days. They are perfect crops for organics and fairtrade.
By Justine Kelly - senior reviewer Wednesday, 20th of July @ 06:55 am