October is Fair Trade Month, and that means now is the perfect time to learn about fair trade. Whether you shop fair trade exclusively, or know nothing about it at all, this is the place to be. Here are 5 things to know about shopping fair trade from Jesus’ Economy.

1. Fair Trade Improves the Global Economy

Fair trade is a way of exchanging goods for fair compensation. This means that people who make products are paid the correct amount of money for the work they’ve completed. In many of the countries Jesus’ Economy has partners in, being paid justly isn’t a normal thing. But when people aren’t paid fairly for the work they’ve done, their whole family suffers. It becomes harder to pay for food, shelter, and education, and the cycle of poverty continues.

When artisans are able to sell their products fairly, their individual finances improve. When many people in a community experience improved personal economy, their community also sees an improvement. Money is no longer just changing hands within the community, it is now coming in on a larger scale and coming from other countries. And when communities grow economically, so does the world economy.

2. Fair Trade Helps Alleviate Poverty

Jesus’ Economy partners with cooperatives around the world that create products to sell internationally. These products are sold for the fair amount of money, and the artisans who’ve made the products are better able to support their families. With more money coming in, men and women can pay for food and shelter, and even for their children to go to school. When their children go to school, the future becomes brighter for everyone.

3. Fair Trade Teaches Us about Other Cultures

International fair trade products are a great way to experience culture from around the world. Many of the cooperatives we partner with incorporate traditional designs into their products to celebrate their heritage.

The scarves from Nepal, inspired by traditional nepalese fashion, are just one of many wonderful products that are beautiful, practical, and honor the country they come from.

All of the aprons from Guatemala have colors and patterns that incorporate traditional Mayan design, helping to inspire you while you cook. 

4. Fair Trade is Environmentally Friendly

The artisans we work with responsibly use sustainable materials from around their communities. 2nd Story Goods uses recycled aluminum to create pendants for jewelry, sweet grass to weave baskets, and locally sourced goat leather to cover journals. Many retail clothing and jewelry makers use chemical dyes and non-renewable materials, but these artisans are creating goods that love the earth and eliminate waste.

 

5. Fair Trade Brings People Together

There is a real connection to be made when you shop fair trade. When you wear a scarf from Haiti, you can pray for the hands that made it and know that your purchase is helping a family gain financial stability. When you carry a goat leather wallet, you know that it was made by people who are working hard to create hope for themselves.

And when you wear your fairly traded necklace or set a fairly traded trivet on your table, you can tell the story about where it’s from and why it matters.

This October, think about shopping fair trade. And with Christmas coming up, maybe you can get ahead on some gift buying!

This post was previously published under the title "5 Things to Know about Fair Trade." 

You hear from us often, but we also want to hear from YOU.

We want to know how you feel about the products you’ve purchased from the Fair Trade Shop. We want to know if your purchases are working out well for you, or if you’re having issues. So leave a review and let us know! 

Reviews are also helpful in letting other shoppers know what they’re looking at. Having the product in your hands is different then seeing a photo on a screen, so when you share your input on a product, you’re helping positively grow the experience of shopping at Jesus’ Economy for other buyers.

 

How to Leave a Review

 

1. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the product you want to review

2. Click "Write a review" and tell us what you think!

 

Feedback is a helpful resource for us, and the more you tell us, the more we know how to help you find what you need. We care about what YOU think, so let us know!

In Terrier Rouge, a small farming community in northern Haiti, a group of teenage girls meets to make greeting cards. These cards are sold for fair wages, and the girls are able to save money for education and pursuing their dreams through their partnership with Woven Grace, a partner of Jesus’ Economy.

The Terrier Rouge Teens attend St. Barthelemy on US scholarships, but if they want to pursue jobs or further education after graduation, they have no options. There are no jobs in Terrier Rouge and no means to seek employment in Cap-Haitien, which is almost an hour away. The Woven Grace Fair Trade program provides these girls with a way to earn an income, save money for the future, and pursue their dreams.

Now, with the money they earn selling cards, these ladies have the opportunity to save money for the chance to break the cycle of poverty and give themselves a more hopeful future.

Fair Trade Greeting Cards from Haiti

Thinking of You 'Cat'

 

Thinking of You with Flower

 

Love You!

 

Happy Birthday!

 

All Occasions Card

 

Greeting Cards Box (Set of 6) 

 

We live in a fast-paced society, but that doesn’t mean we can’t shop responsibly for the things we need. Products made from plastics and other single-use resources are easy to come by, but products made with renewable and eco-friendly materials are available to you if you take the time to look. At JesusEconomy.org we have several beautiful and practical products that are made with renewable resources and these products are fairly traded—making them good for the earth, good for people, and good for the economy. Check out some of these amazing products instead of reaching for factory-made plastics.

 

Banana Leaf Tapered Tray from Rwanda

A sturdy serving tray is a great thing to have when you’re entertaining guests, and if you need one, take a look at this banana leaf tray from Rwanda. It’s woven with locally-gathered banana leaves and stocks and the result is a long-lasting product that is all-natural, and the plants keep growing back.

 

Baskets from Rwanda: Tea Swirl

This all-natural basket is created from sisal fibers woven over a core of forest grasses, and the color is created by a dye made from tea leaves. These baskets make beautiful decorations, centerpieces, and even organizers for your fruits and veggies.

 

Baskets from Haiti: Casserole 14” X 10”

Shopping for a new casserole carrier? This basket is a great option because it is made from 100% sweetgrass, which is a renewable resource that is also water resistant, making it easy for you to clean up spills.

 

Trivets from Haiti: Braided Cotton 

Cotton scraps create a huge amount of waste worldwide, and this trivet makes an effort to minimize that waste. It is woven from recycled cotton fabric strips, giving extra cotton something to do rather than slowly decompose in a landfill.

 

Dish Cloths & Kitchen Towels from Guatemala: “Apricot & Lilac” Hache Weave

Everyone uses cloths and towels, so why not use these? These durable cloth and towel sets are handwoven with 100% cotton and can be washed again and again as opposed to paper towels. Cotton can be replanted and re-harvested each year, making it a renewable resource.

 

Bookends from Rwanda: Rhinos

Redecorating your library? You can’t go wrong with these stunning bookends (and they also make excellent gifts)! They are hand-carved out of a single piece of Jacaranda wood. The Jacaranda trees grow very quickly, and they grow even after they’ve been cut, so they are a great resource for wooden products.

 

Toiletry Bags from Guatemala: Carmel Wide Stripe

This fun travel bag is perfect for an on-the-go lifestyle. The inside is made from waterproof nylon, and the outside is made from 100% cotton. This is a much better option than a plastic baggie because it cuts back on plastic waste!

 

Bracelets from Brazil: Blue Rocha Golden Grass

 

Golden grass is as lovely as it is useful. In Brazil, golden grass is a protected resource, but it is also renewable. The grasses are strong and lightweight, making them perfect for jewelry. The stone in this bracelet is also a polished river stone gathered locally!

 

Earrings from Brazil: Golden Grass Ropa

 

Products made from golden grass are an excellent choice because they are natural and eco-friendly. Another bonus is that golden grass is gentle on skin, which is great for those who have sensitivities to nickel.

If you’re trying to be more considerate of what you buy, who makes it, and where it comes from, shop fair trade!

 

The Fourth of July is almost here, and we have some great red, white, and blue products to help you decorate and celebrate. Do you go all-out and dress up in festive colors? Choose from a selection of red, white, and blue jewelry. Throwing a barbecue? Check out some of our aprons. Going on a little trip? Take a look at our totes and bags. JesusEconomy.org has just what you need to make the holiday colorful!

 

 

Many of the products we use day-to-day are made from woven fabrics, and while machine-woven products are often cheaper, hand-woven products are better for job creation, better for the environment, and they tell beautiful stories.

Here are three reasons why you should consider buying hand-woven products.

1. Hand-woven products are made by real people

Machines may be quicker, but when real people use their skills to hand weave fabrics, jobs are created. Millions of people around the world live in poverty, and businesses that sell hand-woven products create hundreds of valuable jobs that make a positive impact on the global economy. Additionally, hand-woven fabrics are higher quality because mistakes can be caught and fixed easier by a person than by a machine.  

2. Hand-woven products are made with less energy

Hand-woven products don’t use heavy machinery, and because of this, these products are better for the environment. They are not made in factories that emit greenhouse gases, rather they are made carefully by people who care. Many hand-woven products are made from sustainable, renewable resources such as cotton and natural dyes, while factory-woven products are typically made from whatever is cheapest and quickest, often with no regard for the environment.

3. Hand-woven products have heart and soul

When products are handmade, they are unique and carry stories with them. When you buy hand-woven products, you get to share those stories. Many fair trade artisans around the world create their products as a source of income so they can feed and support their families, build stability, and work toward breaking the cycle of poverty. Hand-woven fair trade is vital because it strengthens families and brings hope, and when you buy the products, you become part of that story. 

Shopping responsibly means looking at the bigger picture, and the big picture reveals that buying hand-woven products instead of machine-woven products can create jobs, limit factory pollution, and share stories.

The Fair Trade Shop at Jesus’ Economy.org has several hand-woven products that are gorgeous, practical, and durable.

Father’s Day is getting closer, and maybe you’ve had that perfect gift planned since January, or maybe you’re drawing a blank on what to get your dad. But don’t worry, we can help! JesusEconomy.org has many great gifts your dad will love because they are made ethically, fairly traded, and the gift will come from you—his favorite child, obviously.

Wallets from Haiti: Goat Leather

All wallets wear out eventually, and maybe your dad is in need of a new wallet with that new leather smell. This leather wallet from Haiti is standard size and has pockets for cash and credit cards, including a photo window  so he can include that photo of his favorite child. 

Leather Luggage Tags from Haiti

Everyone needs a vacation every now and then, but especially parents. Give your dad a luggage tag he can use when he takes a much-needed break. Or buy a few tags because, let’s face it, your dad will probably want to take his family along.

 Journals from Haiti: Saddleback Leather

Does your dad need a new, sturdy journal for business meetings or jotting down his classic dad jokes? This handmade journal from Haiti comes in several sizes and is perfect for anything he might want to take note of.

Aprons from Guatemala: Black and White Stripe

Picture this: it’s a typical Sunday barbecue, and your dad gets a stain on his Sunday shirt—what else is new? But if you give him an apron from Guatemala, he can avoid the stain remover and continue to barbecue in style.

 Men’s Logo T-Shirt from Uganda

Dads never run out of T-shirts, yet they always seem to need more. Add one to his collection with this T-shirt from Uganda featuring the Jesus’ Economy logo. This shirt represents the global focus of fair trade, and you can tell him about where the shirt came from and what it stands for.

Gift Card

Hopefully we gave you some ideas for what to get your dad to say "thank you" for all he’s done. But if you’re stumped, get a gift card so he can pick out exactly what he wants.

 Everything in our fair trade store is created ethically and fairly traded. Your purchases will support artisans around the world as you thank your dad for supporting you.

Every Sunday, we will be featuring products from the Fair Trade Shop selected by a member of the Jesus' Economy team. Every product selected is one they've personally bought, used, and fallen in love with. 

This week's pick was selected by Rachel Thompson, executive assistant and manager of our Instagram page. 

The JE Women's Cotton Tee From Uganda

You can now proudly wear the Jesus’ Economy logo, our pinpoint. Like how a pinpoint on a map represents a location, our pinpoint represents our destination as an organization: wrapping the entire world in Jesus Christ's economy of generosity through job and church creation, and the meeting of basic needs. This shirt reflects our desire to stimulate economic growth through partnering with entrepreneurs. 

"The JE logo t-shirt is comfortable and eye catching. I love the pin graphic centered on the side, and the JE logo on the sleeve. I often get questions or compliments when wearing the shirt, and have the opportunity to share the good things JE is accomplishing around the world. It’s a stylish, comfortable way to support an org I wholeheartedly support!" - Rachel

The tee comes in several different sizes, and there's a men's tee as well. Select your comfy tee today!

Every Sunday, we will be featuring products from the Fair Trade Shop selected by a member of the Jesus' Economy team. Every product selected is one they've personally bought, used, and fallen in love with. 

This week's pick was selected by Charlotte Van Werven, intern in content production, producing one fabulous blog post after another. 

Kitchen Gift Set from Guatemala: "Stormy Blues" Pot Holder and Towel

 

Mayamam weavers are bringing intricate, handwoven pieces of Mayan culture to your home. This pot holder and towel set from Guatemala is made of sturdy, handwoven 100% cotton while incorporating traditional Mayan design. The pot holder features grippers and an insulbrite lining and the towel has a hanging loop. Plus, they're both machine washable and dryable. 

Charlotte is a a recent college graduate who is getting ready to go to grad school. She doesn't have time for hand wash items or products that won't hold up in her kitchen. Plus, since she's on a tight college budget, she can't afford to keep buying new ones after cheap quality ones fall apart. 

"The pot holder and towel set from Guatemala are some of my favorite things in my kitchen. They hold up in the wash, and they look really nice. To me, fair trade kitchen items are a no-brainer because I need and use them daily. I try to be responsible with my shopping, and that includes shopping fair trade and eliminating waste. These items let me do both!" - Charlotte 

Check out all the colors we offer in the pot holder and towel sets, plus all the kitchen towels and cloth napkins we have!

The weather is trying to warm up a bit, and now is the time to get out and about! Whether you’re heading to the beach or heading to the park to do a little reading, we have just the tote to carry everything you need. Each of these totes is sturdy, intricately designed, and fairly traded, making it the perfect practical bag for any occasion. There are several options, so find the one that best suits your spring style. And if you’re thinking about upcoming graduations, totes make fantastic and useful gifts!

 

 

Enjoy the outdoors with one of these beautiful totes!

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