With Thanksgiving behind us and the holidays rapidly approaching it is impossible to avoid the constant stream of deals, gift guides and “must haves” filling our inbox and social media feeds. In an effort to raise my personal awareness as well as our collective consciousness as a community, I have begun to think more about where the items I am purchasing are coming from. How and where were they made? Who is the face behind the product and what were the conditions they worked in? Who am I supporting? Was this made with integrity and compassion?
I have mentioned this many times before but I think it is worth reiterating, we vote with our dollar and it doesn’t matter how big or small the purchase is, that vote counts. When we make purchases that support communities and future generations, it changes lives. That is something to be proud of.
This is one of the many reasons I was thrilled to come across #FairTuesday. In response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday friends Ksenia Avdulova, Jennifer Gootman and Kelly Jackson created this movement to bring awareness to ethical shopping and purchasing with a conscious.
I am thrilled to have Ksenia, one of the founders of #FairTuesday as well as Breakfast Criminals with us today to share more about what makes a company fair trade, how we can support this cause and a few of her favorite brands.
What is #FairTuesday and how did it get started?
#FairTuesday was founded in October 2012 to inspire conscious consumerism in response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday and provide an ethical alternative to holiday shopping and beyond. More and more brands are creating lines that are ethically produced in artisan communities around the world, and #FairTuesday aims to use social media to raise awareness about shopping that positively impacts lives of whole communities.
How can people get involved and show support?
You can create change simply by making shopping decisions (not just around the Holidays, but every day!) from the place of awareness of where the goods you’re purchasing come from. Shopping for tea, coffee or bananas? Pick fair trade. Looking for a unique Holiday gift? Buy handmade, artisanal gifts made by marginalized communities around the world.
Commit to buying at least one conscientious gift this Holiday season—for example, something from a small, independent business, or with a sustainable supply chain, rather than from big-name retailers.
Another way to support the movement is to spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest using #FairTuesday.
What makes a company fair trade?
According to Fair Trade USA, fair trade organizations are those that work with farmers and artisans in developing communities to build sustainable businesses to influence their communities. Instead of getting direct financial support, the disadvantaged communities get education, tools and most importantly access to use the free market to their advantage.
How does making fair trade, eco-friendly and sustainable purchases inspire change?
By shopping fair trade, eco-friendly and sustainable, you’re casting a vote with your dollar: a vote that directly impacts day-to-day lives of whole communities, as well as creates a healthy eco-system that supports our planet.
What standards do you look for in brands to include them in #FairTuesday?
Any organizations globally that operate from the principles of fair trade, eco-friendly, and sustainability are invited to become #FairTuesday partners. #FairTuesday is simply an umbrella and a social media force that brings together like-minded individuals and organizations seeking to create change.
What are a few of your favorite companies to shop on #FairTuesday and throughout the year?
There are so many! As founder of Breakfast Criminals, I’m big into finding Earth-friendly and fair trade ingredients for my superfood breakfast bowls. Some go-tos are fair trade acai from Sambazon, fair trade spices from Frontier Co-op, raw probiotic superfood chocolate from Rawmio and one-for-one vitamins from Life Equals. I also love my Mata Traders dresses made by artisans in India, handmade bracelets from Global Goods Partners, FEED totes that feed the hungry, and THINX high-tech underwear that turns women in Uganda into empowered entrepreneurs.
What do you see for the future of conscious and sustainable shopping?
The world is rapidly awakening to the fact that in order to thrive on this planet Earth, we need to be more conscious about the ways we live, work, shop and give back. The thing is, not everyone is aware of the fact that by simply making more aware everyday shopping choices, we create huge impact. But with great organizations pioneering ethical shopping and movements like #FairTuesday, it’s easy to remember that as consumers, we have a huge power to make change, and together, we can make ethical shopping an everyday norm!
Photo Credits: All photos sent by Ksenia of Breakfast Criminals