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Season of Creation 2022: Fair Trade and Climate Change

Note: We are celebrating the Season of Creation (Sept. 1, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation through Oct. 4, the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi). The Sisters of Providence Climate Change Task Force will share 10 blogs throughout this time. We hope you enjoy them.

Fair Trade and Environmental Sustainability: We Can’t Have One Without The Other

Fair Trade and Environmental Sustainability advocates have the same goal: Work toward a safer environment for workers and protect the environment. They both focus on a healthy planet for all.

What is Fair Trade?

Fair Trade is a set of business principles that prioritize the health, economic stability, human rights, environmental sustainability and independence of disadvantaged producers all over the world. Ten Thousand Villages opened as the first Fair Trade shop in 1958 and is the largest fair trade retailer in North America.

Fair Trade and Environmental Sustainability

“By paying farmers and producers fair wagers, Fair Trade provides financial security and stability in an ever-changing environment. This increased security, combined with standards and incentives for environmental stewardship, enables workers to consider how they can help conserve the environment and make their communities more sustainable, all while maintaining a sustainable livelihood.” To educate yourself and help others understand how Fair Trade helps the environment, click here.

Fair Trade farmers are making a difference as they work to protect the environment. Many choose to be involved with reforestation projects as they plant trees on land that has been cleared and degraded in order to prevent soil erosion. Fair Trade provides education to farmers about environmentally friendly practices that enable farmers to develop nutrient-rich soils that nourish healthy plants. Fair Trade alerts farmers to certain agrochemicals that harm the environment and cautions farmers on the use of pesticides.

Further ways in which Fair Trade farmers protect the environment may be accessed here.

What are some Fair Trade items?

Food: Bananas, Cereals, Cocoa, Coffee, Fruit/Juices, Herbs/Spices, Honey, Ice Cream, Nuts, Oils, Quinoa, Rice, Sugar, Tea, Vegetables, Wine

Other: Apparel, Cookware, Cotton items, Dryer sheets, Flowers, Gold, Holiday items, Home goods, Jewelry, Soap, Sports balls, Skin care, Table linens, Textiles and more.

What are some stores that carry Fair Trade items?

Aldi, Ben & Jerry’s, Dillard’s, Equal Exchange, Lidle, Linden Leaf Gifts, Pottery Barn, Starbucks, Target, Trader Joes, Ten Thousand Villages, West Elm, Whole Foods. Some items to look for include apparel, DIVINE Chocolate, KIND bark bars, coffee, tea, oils, veggies, wine and more. Check out your local Farmer’s Markets for Fair Trade items.

Note: Not all the individual, local stores carry Fair Trade items. If you don’t find them at your store, ask your manager to please carry Fair Trade items. If you do find them, thank the manager.

Some online stores include Linden Leaf Gifts, Fair Trade Winds, SERVE, Ten Thousand Villages.

For additional markets, click here.

Fair Trade and the Fashion Industry

Consider buying second hand clothing, repairing and repurposing clothing, participating in a clothing swap, etc. Some stores that sell Fair Trade clothing include Athleta, Linden Leaf Gifts, Mata Traders, and MarketPlace: Handwork of India, Patagonia. Some brands such as Patagonia have a second-hand label – theirs is Worn Well. Check other stores and buy second hand through them.

For tips on being fashionable inexpensively, click here.

Read The Conscious Closet: A Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good by Elizabeth Cline.

Additional Resources

Pray, Reflect, Act:

Prayerfully consider the life of workers making about $2 each day. Reflect on what we buy. Do we know the background of the group producing the item, how they treat their workers and the environment? Support Fair Trade Markets. Hold a Fair Trade Alternative or Solidarity Market in your church or community. Invite Fair Trade entrepreneurs to participate and work together to support the event. Look for Fair Trade items in your local stores. Buy and gift Fair Trade items from Linden Leaf Gifts, online Fair Trade stores, as well as your local retail stores. Advocate for Fair Trade issues.

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Climate Change Task Force

The Climate Change Task Force consists of Sisters of Providence Barbara Battista, Cathy Campbell, Jeanne Hagelskamp, Marilyn Kofler, Barbara Sheehan and Mary Tomlinson in addition to Providence Associates Marilyn Antonik, Jessi Blessinger, Gene Majewski, Lynda Parker, Jan Showalter and Jeannie Smith.

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