Fair Trade is a Revolution

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“A bond with customers based on shared values is the strongest bond you’ll ever make,” stressed Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s and currently working with Stamp Stampede, a venture dedicated to getting the money out of politics.

Sitting in the room with over 280 other fair traders at the Fair Trade Federation Conference in Burlington, Vermont last week, I almost stood up and shouted “AMEN.”

Renee Bowers, Fair Trade Federation Executive Director, opened that morning sessions reminding us that “as fair traders, we work to give voice” to those who otherwise would not have as loud of a voice in the world.

And in this week where we celebrate World Fair Trade Day, I want to say thank you to our customers who are using their economic dollar to vote for the change they wish to see in the world.

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Fair Trade Makes Every Day Women’s Day

Celebrating first rug

Artisans go to the local sweet market and grab their favorite mithai (sweets), maybe hot gulab jamun soaking up the sugary sweet cardamon syrup or to the local jalebi vendor who is busy lifting hot, orange mini funnel-cake-like rounds out of their copper pot of bubbling oil as the jalebi head to their own bath of heavenly syrup.

One woman carries a carafe of chai made with her water buffalo’s milk. Another grabs more tea cups from her home. It’s time to celebrate.

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Truffula Trees & Whimsy in the Rug World

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Look at this rug. Really look at it. What comes to your mind?

Upon discovering this rug as he checked in the new shipment, our co-worker Doug proclaimed that he was convinced that Dr. Seuss had something to do with this rug. “Look! Look at those trees! Don’t they remind you of Truffula trees from The Lorax?”. At first, we rolled our eyes but we then saw what he meant.

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The Dougs Say Goodbye and Farewell Pakistan

Doug and master designerWe enjoyed a great time in Pakistan. Everywhere we went we met friendly, helpful and incredibly hospitable people. It seemed like everyone wanted to shake our hands and give us a hug. On Sunday afternoon, while touring the old Lahore Fort, a number of people wanted their pictures taken with us. Contrary to what we hear and read in the media about Pakistan, it’s a great place to travel – safe, friendly, hospitable and very scenic.

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