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Two Questions I’m Often Asked

Why don’t you carry hemp or bamboo clothing? The simple answer is that our artisans don’t work with these materials. It’s not a resource that is easily accessible for them. Cotton also doesn’t need high tech machinery to process, most of our artisans are using tradition techniques turning the plant into textiles. There is a lot of concern over conventional cotton, but our artisans use cotton that has been grown organically. It eliminates the use of hazardous chemicals, insures safer working conditions and ends up being a high quality product. 95% of hemp for textile is grown in China, they also grow the majority of bamboo for textiles and have many patents on the processes of turning bamboo fibre into...

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Tea, I’m In Too Steep.

  It wasn’t until my early teens (before tea became trendy) that I discovered this wonderful world of loose leaf teas. Green, white, oolong, rooibos, tisane and more. I learned about the many different ways tea leaves are processed and how the beverage is prepared. This journey of learning and experiencing the culture of tea brought me into the realization that tea production is not as pleasant as that warm soothing drink we love. There are a lot of problems with tea production, even within fair trade teas. The main problem is that very little small scale farming of tea exist, which results in tea plantations. The majority of tea we buy comes from large-scale plantations. Even 95% of tea...

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Fair Trade Kitchener

When I first began to plan my business, a goal I had in mind was to see Kitchener a designated a Fair Trade Town with Fair Trade Canada’s Fair Trade Town program. Two years into opening the store I now want to start that project and have Kitchener better support fair trade in our community. “The Fair Trade Town program recognizes municipalities demonstrating a strong commitment to fair trade from it’s community stakeholders, including local municipal authorities (such as city council), businesses, community groups and individual members. It has a long term vision of awareness and support for fair trade and has been designed to address the needs and opportunities available from a range of different communities large and small across Canada.”...

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Why I Only Eat Fair Trade Chocolate

Giving up chocolate was something on my mind for a few years. The decision to finally limit it to only Fair Trade came one day, when it finally sunk in that by consuming non fair trade cocoa products I was supporting child labour. Is chocolate that important to me that I should just abandon my moral integrity? I felt like eating chocolate had no value if a child had to be trafficked and then forced to work. It’s been 5 years now and I don’t regret it one bit. When I hear the word cocoa (or chocolate), I think of this amazing food so valuable that it was once used as currency. I think of something that has great health...

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The Toronto Fair Trade Show

Last Saturday I ventured to Toronto for the Toronto Fair Trade Show. It was held at 2nd Floor events at King and Spadina and featured about 25 Fair Trade vendors. I spent the morning talking to vendors, learning about their products and hearing their stories. It was great to connect with suppliers I was not familiar with and to realize how local they are. The one that stood out the most is called Little By Little based in London. Their focus is orphan prevention. In Haiti, 80% of the orphans actually have family but parents do not have the financial means to care for their children. This a huge problem in many countries. Their solution to the orphan crisis is...

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