What is Fair Trade?
What is Fair Trade?
The World Fair Trade Organization defines fair trade as "a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency, and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade.” Fair Trade businesses always consider the social, economic, and environmental impact of their actions.
We believe that doing so ensures better long-term sustainability, both for our business and for the artisans and co-ops that we do business with (most of which are in developing nations). We advocate paying higher prices to these exporters, as well as working to improve social and environmental standards.
The idea is that, when you buy Fair Trade products rather than shopping from a major retailer, you are helping to make the world a better place by ensuring that the people who made them earn a decent wage that helps them support their families.
What sorts of products qualify as Fair Trade?
We work with 20+ different Fair Trade artisans and co-ops from all around the world, and carry everything from clothing, jewelry, and accessories to coffee, musical instruments, and home decor.
As for how we choose our vendors and products, it's simple: We won't sell anything that we wouldn't personally want to own or buy for the people we love. Our boutique really is a reflection of our taste.
Some of our personal favorites include Encantada Pottery from Mexico, Global Mamas clothing from Ghana, Ilala Weavers baskets from South Africa, Noahs Ark wood carvings from India, and Silk Road Bazaar baby booties from Kyrgyzstan.
Why is Green Global Travel getting into Fair Trade?
Fair Trade was a natural fit for our site. One of the central themes of Ecotourism is that it should benefit local communities, and we always buy souvenirs from local artisans and co-ops when we travel.
By buying products from Fair Trade-certified exporters or buying directly from producers when we travel, we can ensure that local artists and craftsmen earn a fair wage for their work.
By giving 10% of all profits to conservation projects in developing nations, we hope to make a positive social and environment impact on these places and provide a more sustainable income source.
Where do your “Bracelets That Give Back” fit in?
We've made beaded jewelry for friends/family since we started going to Native American Pow Wows in 1990. Our “Bracelets That Give Back” collections allow us to combine 3 of our big passions: Making crafts by hand, animals, and wildlife conservation.
For the charms, we incorporated animals we've seen and passions we pursue during our travels. A trip to South Africa originally inspired our interest in ecotourism, and the animals we saw inspired our Safari Collection. We're avid Scuba divers, which inspired our Marine Life Collection. Bret's late grandmother, who was a huge influence on him, was an avid bird-lover: Our Birdwatchers Collection is a tribute to her.
Like all Fair Trade products, we make all our bracelets by hand. With Bret's 14-year-old daughter trying to save money for college, this quickly became a family effort.
You’re donating 10% of your profits to charity. How will it be used?
We're starting our own non-profit foundation, through which we'll do charitable conservation work going forward. At the end of the year we hope to do a major blogger-driven fundraiser along the lines of the ones we did for Thailand's Elephant Nature Park in 2014 and Rhinos Without Borders in 2015.
Right now Elephant Nature Park, Rhinos Without Borders, and the WILD Foundation are all key passion projects for us. But we also hope to work with local NGOs to build and fund conservation projects from the ground up, kind of like an eco-focused version of KIVA.
How is your boutique different from other Fair Trade stores?
When you buy from us, you're helping in 3 different ways– you're paying local artisans in developing nations a fair wage for their work, you're funding conservation efforts, and you're helping our family run Green Global Travel as an ad-free website.
We've searched five years for a way to monetize our site without selling our souls, and this just feels like a perfect fit for us. We're hoping people will like the boutique approach we're taking, and that they'll feel good about shopping with a company that genuinely wants to do good things for the world.
Thank you for shopping with us!
Bret Love & Mary Gabbett
Co-Founders, Green Global Travel