Why I buy fair trade

Portrait of Kirstn taken at the Montague Bookmill during a discussion on Fair TradeWhen I was thirteen, I witnessed a boat load of girls being transported upstream to service the needs of the men who were collecting gold and subsequently polluting the Amazon River with mercury. We were the same age.

Fair Trade offers communities opportunities for decent livelihoods rather than having to pollute their environment and exploit their own people in order to survive. Fair trade is a catalyst for long-lasting sustainable progress. When people are paid a fair wage, children go to school, communities are revitalized, girls are educated, and natural environments thrive.

I have a beaded necklace that was handmade by a women who had used the proceeds to purchase herself out of a life of sexual slavery. It has become my battle armor, my talisman, my rosary. Every time I put it on, I remember why I work to make our world more sustainable and why it is so important make sure others are paid a fair price for their labor.

Please understand that when you reach for a product, the implication of that decision about what you buy is so much greater than the just the sticker price.

I buy fair trade because I do not want to support injustice. I buy fair trade because I can not imagine being in that position.

With every human rights violation, I am reminded that only by changing our habits and actions will we be able to effect change worldwide.

It matters so much to me that our world be peaceful.

You see, I support Fair Trade because I must.

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