Did you know that October is officially National Fair Trade Month? You’ve likely seen the little green fair trade certified stamp on your bag of coffee from the grocery store, but do you really know what fair trade means? It’s an important guiding principle for us at Simply Inspired. So today, we’re going to give you the 101 on fair trade so you can consciously support this global movement for a better, more sustainable world this October, and beyond.

What is Fair Trade?

Put simply, as described by Fair Trade USA, fair trade is the movement “ensuring products grown, harvested, or made with care by farmers and workers according to rigorous social, environmental, and economic standards.” It’s a movement based on supporting equality and safety for global citizens, as well as a deep respect for the environment and Mother Nature.

Now there are a couple of ways you can look at fair trade products. 

You’ll find fair trade certified products which are products that go through rigorous certification with organizations like Fair Trade USA or Fairtrade America. They evaluate products on factors like traceability of the product, paying minimum Fairtrade-certified pricing, no exploitative child labor, suitable working conditions, protection of natural resources, eco-friendly cultivation, and more. 

Then, you have others, especially small producers and companies, who can’t necessarily afford the certification but still thoroughly implement the same ethical values in production. Both are equally as important to create a brighter future for underprivileged individuals and protect the environment! We carry both of these fair trade products at Simply Inspired.

How You Can Support Fair Trade Daily

Here are just a few ways you can support fair trade with your daily practices!

Shop Consciously to Support Fair Trade
Now, this may rule out your weekly Target run when you’re in need of a quick product fix. But being more conscious about the products you buy is the first step to supporting fair trade. There are over 27,000 fair trade certified products sold in over 120 countries, as well as likely hundreds of thousands more that are ethically made with these fair trade principles at the forefront of their production. Read labels, educate yourself on brands you support, order fair trade labeled food and drink when you’re at a café, gift fair trade items—you get the idea! 

Spread Awareness About Fair Trade & What it Is with Your Circle
When sporting your fair-trade bags or serving up fair trade coffee at your weekly book club, start a conversation about it. Tell the story of your unique products and share why conscious consumption through purchasing fair trade products is best for the future of our world. Many don’t know the impact they can make with where they spend their hard-earned dollars! 
Small changes can create a huge impact, so even the littlest change in your daily habits can make a difference. Remember that!

Why We Support Fair Trade at Simply Inspired

At Simply Inspired, we support fair trade because we believe that everyone deserves equitable opportunities in life. Furthermore, it’s our job to cherish the environment to preserve it for future generations.

And when we’re in a privileged situation, it is important that we do everything in our power to support those values and give back. It’s the only way we will create a better world for the future! 

We’ve gotten to meet some of the most beautiful people from across the globe through our fair trade and equitable product sourcing and they are moments we will cherish for a lifetime. It’s magnificent to see just how much love, care, and intention is put into every product by these incredible global artisans. They deserve to be paid fairly for their craft. 

On the environmental impact side of fair trade, no animals deserve to be harmed for our consumer benefit, and we support eco-friendly practices that will help salvage our environment and the beings that call this place home—humans or animals.

Shop Our Simply Inspired Fair Trade Partners This October

There is no better way to support fair trade than to shop sweet gifts that are either fair trade certified or made with fair trade practices! At Simply Inspired, we carry both with incredible brand partners who put people first and profit second. Here are a few of our favorite fair trade products, with more on our site!

Felted Wool Flower Bag - Handcrafted Fair Trade

Sweet, felted wool zipper bags that are perfect for gifting, especially because you can add a few little gifts to personalize inside! These beauties are all handmade with love by our talented Nepali artisan partners, a group of women who are paid fair wages to build a better life for their families.

Handwoven African Navy + Silver Blue Jua Coasters (4)

Crafted in Africa with timeless tradition, this beautiful set of handwoven coasters is a stunning housewarming gift or stocking stuffer that tells a unique story. The company we work with to source these handwoven coasters made with organic dyes measures their success on by how the lives of their artisans improve over time, and that is the type of relationship we strive to have at Simply Inspired.

Handcrafted Kantha Makeup Bag

Designed with upcycled Indian saris and handcrafted by talented women artisans in East India, each bag provides needed income for these strong and powerful women. The bag is made with traditional Kantha stitching by craft producers from a cooperative that was established to help at-risk artisan communities. Not only can you hold makeup, but it’s also a great pencil case, or just carry all for all your most cherished items you need with you on the daily.

Alpaca Liviano Scarf - Marine Blue

These stunning Alpaca Liviano scarves are made with the first shear of wool from Ecuadorian alpacas. These special animals are cared for with love by their owners and no alpacas are ever harmed by their annual shearing. The shearing provides the bountiful production of wool to craft these scarves and other beautiful, handcrafted products. Each scarf is handwoven using generations-old weaving traditions! This is only one of the stunning colors available for multi-season wear.

Now, these are only a very small selection of the over one hundred fair trade products we carry at Simply Inspired. Transparency is one of our key values, so you can also always find a note on the product description that notes fairly traded when applicable. We are also always adding new fair trade products, so you never know what you’ll find! Happy fair trade shopping, friends. 

Let’s support fair trade together this month and all year round!

October 13, 2021 — Darlene Hancox