Hippity Hoppity, Your Fair Trade Easter’s On Its Way!

Delight your wee ones with these fabulous Fair Trade finds, including Global Exchange's Bundle of Bunnies Zippered Toy (shown above).

As our loyal readers know, we love to provide you with the inspiration and resources to Fair Trade your holiday celebrations (check out our complete guides to Fair Trading your St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, & Halloween).  If you’re new to Fair Trade or aren’t yet able to make Fair Trade part of your day-to-day purchases, holidays are a great way to support the movement and  show your family and friends you don’t just care about them, but you also care about the farmers and artisans who worked so hard to produce their treats and gifts.

We, at Fair Trade Trends, love Easter, a time of remembrance and renewal.  Whether you celebrate Easter as a religious holiday or simply enjoy the time to gather with friends and family, we’ve got some fabulous Fair Trade finds for you!

We hope you enjoy our Complete Guide to Fair Trading your Easter!

FAIR TRADE CHOCOLATE TREATS:

  • Divine Chocolate’s Milk Chocolate Speckled Eggs (Available at SERRV and Greenheart):

  • Sweat Earth Chocolates’s Decorated Chocolate Egg (Available ganache fillings: Hazelnut, Aztec, Vanilla Creme, & Classic Dark Chocolate; available vegan fillings: Peanut Butter, Coconut, & Vegan Caramel):

  • Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates’s Assorted Chocolate Filled Egg Box (“Five tantalizing filled chocolate eggs. Flavors include; Raspberry, Vanilla, Creamy caramel, Almond Butter and Peanut Butter”):

  • Coco-Zen’s Bunny Truffles – 2-Piece Tin (“Choose from: White Chocolate  with Dark Chocoloate Coconut Ganache, Milk Chocolate with Milk Chocolate Latte Ganache, & Dark Chocolate with Dark Chocolate Orange Ganache; 1-Piece Box and 6-Piece Tin with 2 Truffles of each flavor also available):

  • Sweet Earth Chocolates’s Easter Egg Gift Box (Both Classic and Vegan available: “Classic will have a milk chocolate bunny, a mixture of dark and milk chocolate eggs, a chocolate ganache egg, a vanilla creme egg and a caramel filled egg. The vegan version will have all dark chocolate bunny & eggs with a peanut butter filled egg, a caramel egg & a toasted coconut fondant egg”):

  • Theo Chocolate’s Spring Confection Collection (“This 8 piece box includes 1 each: Lime Coriander, Pearl Jasmine, Burnt Sugar, Lemon, Mint, Hazelnut Gianduja, Lavender Caramel & Ginger Rose Caramel”):

FAIR TRADE EASTER BASKETS:

“Small teal-colored Basket includes: Divine milk chocolate Easter bunnies, Divine milk chocolate speckled eggs, Women’s Bean Project jelly beans, Women’s Bean project espresso beans”:


“Medium red easter basket includes: Divine milk chocolate Easter bunnies, Divine milk chocolate speckled eggs, Women’s Bean Project jelly beans, Women’s Bean project espresso beans, chocolate chip oatmeal cookie mix”:

“Large yellow easter basket includes: Divine milk chocolate Easter bunnies, Divine milk chocolate speckled eggs, 2 Women’s Bean Project jelly beans, Women’s Bean project espresso beans, snickerdoodle cookie mix, one small Divine milk chocolate bar, one small Divine dark chocolate bar, and one super soft Alpaca stuffed bunny”:

  • Children of the World Basket (“The colorful Children of the World Garland (Sasha, India), Children of the World Ornament (Manos Amigas, Peru) and Divine Milk Chocolate Eggs packaged in a handmade basket”; available at SERRV):

  • Bird Lover’s Basket (“Homemade basket contains papier mâché Perching Dove Box (Asha Handicrafts, India), Divine Dark Chocolate Eggs and the realistic Bird’s Nest with Eggs, made with dyed tagua nuts (Camari, Ecuador)”; available at SERRV):

  • Global Exchange’s Easter Bunny Gift Box (Includes a handmade carrot zippered toy with three mini bunnies nestled inside and two bags of delicious milk chocolate coins):

FAIR TRADE STUFFED BUNNY RABBITS & Spring Finger PUppets:

FAIR TRADE EASTER GIFTS & CARDs:

  • The Community Crafts Association of the Philippines’s Coco Rabbit Planter (Available at SERRV):

  • The Community Crafts Association of the Philippines’s Wooly Rabbit Planter (Available at Ten Thousand Villages):

  • CORR – The Jute Works’s Bunny Lantern (Available at SERRV):

  • Salay Handmade Paper’s Bunny Love Card (Available at Ten Thousand Villages):

FAIR TRADE RELIGIOUS GIFTS & CARDS:

Hoping you have a joyful Easter!

[Update: Check out these darling Fair Trade Easter dresses for your little girl!]

Peace and Love,

Your Fair Trade Trendsters

Fair Trade Your St. Patrick’s Day!

Here at Fair Trade Trends, we strive to bring the Fair Trade love to our holiday celebrations (check out our complete guides to Fair Trading your Valentine’s Day and Halloween).  Which is why we’re super psyched to present our newest collection of fabulous Fair Trade finds that will bring you a little Luck o’ the Irish this March 17.

  • FAIR’s Quinoa Vodka (Other Fair Trade premium spirits available for responsible drinking: Goji Berry Liqueur and Coffee Liqueur):

  • Indigenous Designs’s Bon Marche Tee in Citrine (Also available in Navy, Pink, Capri, & Mulberry):

  • Indigenous Designs’s Essential Crew in Eco-Green (Also Available in Black, Plum, & Burgundy):

  • Indigenous Designs’s Cable Cardigan in Rosemary (Also available in Burgundy & Ivory; available at Revive, as well):

Happy Fair Trade St. Patrick’s Day!

Peace and Love,

Your Fair Trade Trendsters

A February Perfect Pairing!

Fill this Heart Mug from Craft Link (available at SERRV and Fair Trade Winds) with Equal Exchange's Love Buzz coffee, and you're halfway to a February perfect pairing!

We hope all of our lovely readers had a very happy Fair Trade Valentine’s Day!  Though, now that we’re past the excitement of the big day, we sure could use a perfect pairing pick-me-up.  If, like us, you are starting to feel the winter blues, try this yummy combo, which will have you celebrating the Fair Trade love despite this chilly weather.

Here’s what Theo has to say about this decadently divine treat:

“The best collaborations are simple. Theo sources and roasts the best chocolate. Caffé Vita sources and roasts the best coffee. why not combine them? coffee + chocolate = happiness.”

We couldn’t agree more.  Which is why we’ve paired these delicious coffee chocolate caramels with one of our favorite Fair Trade coffees.  Because coffee + chocolate + coffee = happiness³.  (We’ve checked this equation with Dave-the-Coffee-Guy, and he’s in absolute agreement.)


Dave’s not the only who’s head-over-heels for Equal Exchange’s Organic Love Buzz coffee.  None of the Fair Trade Trendsters can resist this “sweet, sultry and smooth coffee with an unexpected bite and lasting finish.”  Even Katy, Fair Trade Trends founder and notorious hazelnut syrup fiend, drinks this delicious, chocolately brew black.  Simply scrumptious.

So even though Punxsutawney Phil’s offered us hope for an early spring, if you still see snow on the ground (or hey, love chocolate, coffee, or helping to promote economic justice for the world’s farmers), we say treat yourself!  Because, you’ve earned it!  And because doing good tastes so right!

Stay Warm!

Peace and Love,

Your Fair Trade Trendsters

Fair Trade Your Valentine’s Day!

Fair Trade Flowers for Valentine’s Day from Organic Style.

THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO FAIR TRADING YOUR VALENTINE’S DAY!

In preparation for the mushiest, lovey dovey-est day of the year, we’ve gathered an awesome collection of our favorite Fair Trade Valentine’s Day gifts.  (BTW February 14 is also known as Singles Awareness Day.  If you find yourself flying solo on 2/14, we highly suggest you treat your beautiful, spectacular self to a fab Fair Trade present [or two, or three, or four…]).

Unfortunately, as much as we lurve the warm, fuzzy feelings of V-Day, the presents we give to announce our love often also carry unseen messages of injustice and cruelty as the farmers who grow our chocolate and flowers and the miners who unearth our diamonds are often exploited, if not enslaved, in the production of these gifts.  However, thanks to Fair Trade Certification, you can give your honey a truly sweet gift, one that protects the rights of workers, women, and children; builds up communities; and helps to sustain the environment.

OUR FAVORITE GIFT IDEAS:

FLOWERS:

While women love flowers (“over 90% of gift flowers in the US are given to women”), the flower industry, which notoriously pays its workers poverty wages, clearly doesn’t love women back.  Over half of the women working in Ecuador’s flower industry have faced sexual harassment at work. Further, The U.S./Labor Education in the Americas Project and The International Labor Rights Fund also reports that:

“66% of Colombian and Ecuadorian flower workers suffer from work-related health problems.  [Since] pesticide abuse is rampant – flower workers experience higher-than-average rates of premature births, congenital malformations, and miscarriages.”

And yet, these facts are hidden from us consumers, and we continue to give flowers as signs of our affection.  However, thanks to Fair Trade, we can give breathtaking bouquets (like those pictured at the top of this post), which empower women and protect workers and the environment.  For more information, visit Fair Trade USA’s Fair Trade Certified Flowers page.  (Fair Trade flowers can be purchased online at Organic Bouquet and Organic Style.)

Fair Trade flower worker “Elvia Almachi, 6 years working at Agrogana, Comite de Vigilancia of the Joint Body.”

DIAMONDS:

While they’re not in everyone’s price-range, if you are planning to give the gift of bling, we urge you to support companies like Brilliant Earth, which provide a Conflict-Free Guarantee.

CHOCOLATE:

While Marilyn told us that “diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” we know better.  Check out these yummy gifts that will definitely show your cutie you’re sweet on her/him.  (To learn more about the importance of buying Fair Trade chocolate, see our post on Fair Trade Films: Child Slavery in the Cocoa Industry):

  • Theo Chocolate’s Aphrodisiac Collection (“This 8 piece collection includes 1 each of the following: Dulce de Leche, Fig Fennel, Licorice, Ginger Rose Caramel, Hot Ceylon Cinnamon, Honey Saffron Caramel and Tequila Lime”):

  • Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates’s Valentine Heart Truffle Box (A handmade box “filled . . . with 20 delicious dark chocolate creamy truffles. Flavors include: Raspberry, Almond, Hazelnut, Cherry and Orange”):

  • Global Exchange’s Thinking of You Gift Box (“Chocolate covered Brazil nuts from Candela co-operative in Peru, 40 pieces of Equal Exchange mini dark chocolates, beautifully packaged in a box with a heart, Cinnamon scented heart candle, & 3 bars of Organic Chocolate from Divine, [assorted Flavors]”):

WINE:

PAMPER YOUR SWEETIE:

  • Global Exchange’s Bath and Beauty Spa Basket (“A natural hand-woven basket from Cambodia filled with: Choice Organic Chamomile Tea, 2 Organic Divine chocolate bars, Tea Infuser Mug, Citrus Blossom Bath Salts, Afghan Rock Soap (set of 5), Putumayo’s Women of Africa CD, & Pumice Baby Foot”):

JEWELRY:

GIFTS THAT SHOW YOU CARE:

  • Ruth and Nohemi’s Naomi Bear (Available at SERRV):

  • Putumayo’s World Music’s Tango Around the World (“Passion, style and elegance are interwoven to create this musical tapestry of international tango and tango-influenced songs”):

  • Putumayo’s World Music’s ¡Salsa! (“A hip-shaking music collection featuring many of the hottest salsa bands in North and South America”):

  • Asha Handicrafts’s Love Birds Box (Available at Ten Thousand Villages):

  • Seven Hopes United’s Hearts for Africa (“The sale of each heart helps fund the rebuilding of a primary school in war zones or conflict-ridden areas of Africa”):

CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES:

  • Fair Indigo’s Baby Alpaca Scarf in Pink (Also available in Dark Charcoal Heather, Camel, Deep Pink, Bay Blue, Burnt, Orange, and Charcoal Heather):

CARDS & GIFT WRAP:

  • Salay Handmade Paper’s Bunny Love Card (Available at Ten Thousand Villages):

We hope you’ll spread the love and fabulousness of Fair Trade this Valentine’s Day!

Peace and Love,

Your Fair Trade Trendsters

ATTENTION ALL TEACHERS: Global Exchange’s Fourth Annual “National Valentine’s Day of Action”

From Global Exchange:

“What is the National Valentine’s Day of Action?

We are inviting educators to teach Global Exchange’s Fair Trade cocoa curriculum.  Educators of any kind are eligible, from standard classrooms to after-school and faith-based programs.

What You Can Do:

Take action by contacting at least five teachers today!!!”

For a FREE cocoa curriculum for educators, an email to send out to teachers, letters and flyers to distribute in schools and places of worship, and a chance to win a FAIR TRADE PRIZE, visit Global Exchange.

Peace and Love,

Your Fair Trade Trendsters

Happy National Chocolate Day!

To celebrate National Chocolate Day (October 28), we’d like to introduce you to some of our absolute favorite bars from Theo Chocolate – “the only Organic, Fair Trade, Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Factory in the United States.”

Not only are Theo’s Fantasy Flavors bars unbelievably scrumptious, but their wrappers are outrageously cute:

“A generous combination of hazelnut brittle and milk chocolate with just the right touch of salt. Unanimously voted one of our yummiest creations ever by our Theonista tasting panel.”

“An innovative twist on a traditional pairing, featuring dark chocolate with buttery, toasted artisan breadcrumbs and the perfect amount of salt.”

“Crunchy slivered almonds, sweet chewy figs, and a touch of fennel in rich dark chocolate. Satisfyingly delicious, and a Vegan dream come true!”

“Milk chocolate with a warming blend of chai spices and black tea.”

“Dark chocolate with organic roasted cocoa nibs in sweet and crunchy brittle.”

“A harmonious blend of finely ground Madagascar vanilla bean and milk chocolate.”

“Milk chocolate with toasted coconut and savory curry spices.”

“Dark chocolate and a robust locally-roasted organic, Fair-Trade-Certified™ coffee from Caffé Vita combine to create a full-bodied flavor.”

Can’t decide which fabulous Fantasy Flavor to try?  Why not to treat yourself to the Theo Chocolate Fantasy Flavor 8 Bar Gift Set:

“Theo chocolate makers work their magic creating, these organic, Fair Trade Certified™ milk and dark chocolate bars that come in wonderfully innovative flavors. Theo takes its premium quality, delectable chocolate and combines it with some bold and some traditional ingredients to conjure the Theo fantasy flavor assortment.

This Theo Fantasy Flavor 8 pack contains one each:

MILK CHOCOLATE: Vanilla, Hazelnut Crunch, Coconut Curry, Chai

DARK CHOCOLATE: Coffee, Nib Brittle, Bread & Chocolate, Fig Fennel & Almond”

Happy National Chocolate Day!

Peace and Love,

Your Fair Trade Trendsters

Perfect Autumn Pairing: Apple Cider Caramels & Pumpkin Spice Coffee

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”

— George Eliot

Ahh…don’t you just love the fall?  There’s a new crispness in the air, the leaves have burst into colorful flames, and the squirrels (nature’s original hoarders) are frantically scurrying to amass nuts for the winter.  We have a serious crush on autumn.

In an effort to spread our major fall love, we offer you this perfect autumn pairing: Apple Cider Caramels & Pumpkin Spice Coffee.

When the air turns a bit nippy, and you begin to wonder if winter may be just around the corner, treat yourself to some Fair Trade caramels and coffee.  Cozy up under your favorite quilt and indulge in the yummy decadence of this awesome autumn pairing.

You deserve it!

Peace and Love,

Your Fair Trade Trendsters

Fair Trade Films: Child Slavery in the Cocoa Industry

Yesterday, we had the amazing honor of being featured on WordPress’s “Freshly Pressed” (“The best of 362,560 bloggers, 897,850 new posts, 368,766 comments, & 128,970,065 words today on WordPress.com”):

Thank you so much for reading our post on how to “Fair Trade Your Halloween!” We loved all of your fabulous comments.

In case you’d like to learn more about the important (but hidden) horror of child slavery and abuses in the cocoa industry, check out these outstanding films:

Slavery: A Global Investigation:


The entire documentary, which “exposes slavery in the rug-making sector of Northwest India, the cocoa plantations in the Ivory Coast, and even the home of a World Bank official in Washington, D.C.” is excellent, but the section specifically on child slavery in the cocoa industry begins at minute 10:50.

A description from the production company True Vision:

“Slavery is officially banned internationally by all countries, yet despite this, in the world today there are more slaves now than ever before. In the four hundred years of the slave trade around 13 million people were shipped from Africa. Today there are an estimated 27 million slaves – people paid no money, locked away and controlled by violence. Multi-Award winning documentary makers Kate Blewett and Brian Woods – who produced the groundbreaking films The Dying Rooms, Innocents Lost and Eyes of a Child, saw this terrible exploitation with their own eyes. The result is an utterly devastating film.
. . .
“In the cocoa industry of Cote d’Ivoire, Brian and Kate found more slavery. The country produces nearly half the world’s supply (over 100 million tonnes) grown on thousands of small plantations – cocoa which finds its way into the newsagents and supermarkets of Britain. The young men are worked up to eighteen hours a day, unpaid and beaten if they try to escape. Kate and Brian interviewed slaves still working in the plantations, as well as a group of young men who had been rescued just days before. One boy, scarred from head to foot from brutal beatings, described how he and other boys were mistreated by their captors, if they attempted escape: “They would tie your hands behind your back. Then one person would beat your front and someone else your back”. Kate asks DRISSA an eloquent young man who worked for five and half years in the cocoa plantations what he would like to say to the rest of the world who eat chocolate: “They enjoyed something I suffered to make; I worked hard for them, but saw no benefit. They are eating my flesh”.
. . .

“This film isn’t all bad news, however. The film-makers also look at how slavery can be fought, both here and abroad, without making the poor poorer. In Brazil they meet charcoal workers who used to be enslaved but are now paid because of pressure brought to bear by the North American public after the slavery was exposed. In India they visit a school for ex-slaves funded by the Rugmark Foundation, an organisation that ensures that carpets sold in our shops have not been made by slaves – freeing the slaves, but keeping the rural Indian economy going. And Professor [Kevin] Bales [“from the UN Working Group on Contemporary Slavery”] explains how through organisations like Fair Trade, we can make sure that when we buy a chocolate bar, we’re not buying into slavery.”

“Slavery won the Peabody Award in 2001.

Run-Time: 80:00″

The Dark Side of Chocolate:


“Is the chocolate we eat produced with the use of child labour and trafficked children? The award winning Danish journalist Miki Mistrati decides to investigate the rumours.

“His hunt for answers brings him to Mali in West Africa, where hidden footage reveals illegal trafficking of small children to the cocoa fields in neighboring Ivory Coast. Kids as young as seven years old work . . . in the plantations where they face a dangerous job cutting down the cocoa and carrying heavy loads. Some are the victims of trafficking and most of the kids are never paid.

“Does your favourite chocolate have a bitter taste? Follow Miki Mistrati into the bush of Africa to expose; The Dark Side of Chocolate.”

Thanks again for your support and for spreading the word about Fair Trade – the sweet solution for justice in the cocoa industry.

Peace and Love,

Your Fair Trade Trendsters

Fair Trade Your Halloween!

In yesterday’s post, we encouraged you to consider Reverse Trick-or-Treating this year to raise awareness about child slavery in the cocoa industry.

[UPDATE: To learn more about the important (but hidden) horror of child slavery and abuses in the chocolate industry, check out Fair Trade Films: Child Slavery in the Cocoa Industry.]

However, if you’re planning to stay home to pass out candy, don’t worry; you can join in the Fair Trade love, too!  Make your Halloween sweet for the kids in your neighborhood (and the kids in cocoa producing countries) by passing out Fair Trade chocolate.

Check out these fun options:

  • Global Exchange’s Fair Trade Trick-or-Treat Action Pack – $17.50  (40 chocolate minis, a stack of kid-friendly info postcards, traditional Papel Picado Mexican party streamers, a 100% Eco-friendly mulberry paper Trick-or-Treat bag from Thailand, and a “Fair Trade is Boo-tiful” poster to hang on your door):

Like to keep candy on your desk for your co-workers?  Why not put out this darling, “fairly traded smoked bamboo [basket . . .] sourced from Craft Link, a non-profit that works with artisans in an effort to generate income, with a focus on ethnic minorities, street children, and artisans with disabilities.”  “Filled with 12 ounces of Equal Exchange Organic Dark Chocolate Minis,” this cute basket will sweeten up your desk with style (Available at Equal Exchange):

Thanks for making this Halloween Fair Trade!

Peace and Love,

Your Fair Trade Trendsters

Reverse Trick-or-Treating: Order Your Supplies Today!

 

Fair Trade Trends hopes you’ll consider Reverse Trick-or-Treating this year to raise awareness about child slavery in the cocoa industry.  We’ve joined in this campaign for the past three years and are always amazed that giving back can feel so good.

A description of RTT from Equal Exchange, which partners with Global Exchange to organize Reverse Trick-or-Treating:

The goal of the campaign is for trick-or-treaters nationwide to distribute informational cards, each with a piece of Fair Trade chocolate, to as many households as possible. Last year we were able to reach over 200,000 households. This year we think we can, with your help, reach even more.

You can Reverse Trick-or-Treat as an individual, family, small group, organization, school, or congregation.  The more, the merrier!

Top Reasons to Go Reverse Trick-or-Treating:

1) This is the only night of the year when it’s not super weird to go door-to-door talking about your love for chocolate.  People are expecting visitors and will most likely welcome you and your message.  Plus, you’ll be giving them a free gift of delicious chocolate – a fun surprise on a night when the wee ones demand treats and threaten tricks.

2) If you’re a parent, you might already be out trick or treating.  Social Justice Activism + Quality Time with the Kiddos = Two Stellar Birds, Baby.  If you’re not a parent but you’re also not really a kid anymore, come on, don’t you want to relive the rush of Trick-or-Treat night?  Don a pair of cat ears or an awesome cardboard robot suit? (Costumes are absolutely fabulous optional.)

3) Reverse Trick-or-Treating gives you that warm, glowy feeling inside.  (Not unlike a jack-o-lantern.)  That feeling like you’re part of something bigger than yourself and that you really have done something to make the world a better and more just place.

Sign up for supplies SOON (before Friday, October 8!) at Global Exchange or Equal Exchange.