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Fair Trade+

Largest Fair Trade Store Collection in Chicagoland

We opened our Fair Trade store (a/k/a the Fair Trade+ Gallery) in 2014. Since then, you've embraced the movement and allowed us to grow our collection into the most diverse in the area. 

Member of the Chicago Fair Trade Organization

What is Fair Trade?

fair trade store - jewelry

Fair Trade provides a sustainable market for handcrafted products made by artisans around the world. It gives artisans and farmers who would otherwise be under- or unemployed the opportunity to earn necessary income. In this way, it provides families with food, housing, and clothing. The artisans and farmers are paid a fair price to cover costs of materials and provide compensation for their labor and skill.

Fair Trade also has a mission to respect the environment. Most of the products you'll find in our galleries are made with recycled, re-purposed, or sustainable materials. Production processes are designed to reduce energy consumption, avoid pesticides, and minimize waste.

Every item in our Fair Trade store has a wonderful story behind it. Just ask one of our knowledgeable associates. Explore these beautiful handmade treasures without traveling half-way around the world to find them.


The 10 Principles of Fair Trade

fair trade store - apparel1: Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
Poverty reduction through trade. Enables marginalized small producers to move from income insecurity to economic self-sufficiency and ownership.
 
2: Transparency and Accountability
Transparency in management and commercial relations. Accountability to all stakeholders. Communication channels are open at all levels of the supply chain.

3: Fair Trading Practices
Trade with concern for the social, economic, and environmental well-being of small producers. All parties must respect contractual commitments.

4:  Payment of a Fair Price
Mutually agreed upon fair pay to producers. Costs must be market sustainable.

5:  Ensuring no Child Labor or Forced Labor
Adheres to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Also follows national and local laws regarding the employment of children. No forced labor used in production.

6:  Commitment to Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Women’s Economic Empowerment, and Freedom of Association
No discrimination in hiring, remuneration, access to training, promotion, termination, or retirement.

7:  Ensuring Good Working Conditions
Safe and healthy working environment, working hours, and working conditions.

8: Capacity Building
Development of skills and capabilities of employees. This includes management skills, production capabilities, and access to markets.

9: Promoting Fair Trade
Raising awareness of Fair Trade and its goals through honest advertising and marketing techniques.

10: Respect for the Environment
Maximize use of raw materials from sustainably managed sources. Reduce energy consumption. Use organic or low-pesticide production methods. Minimize the impact of waste.

Read detailed definitions of these ten principals at the World Fair Trade Organization.  


Philanthropic Goods

Fair trade store - philanthropy

Our Fair Trade store carries more than just Fair Trade goods. The “plus” in our Fair Trade+ Galleries is for charitable brands strive to make the world a better place. For example, the 11th Project collection from Chavez for Charity benefits Fox Valley Food for Health. This is a local organization committed to providing nutrient rich meals to locals in need who are dealing with a serious illness. Every bracelet from Chavez for Charity gives back to a specific charitable organization.

Casual style and comfort is only part of the TOMS shoes story. The company's "One for One" slogan means that for every pair of shoes sold, the company donates a pair of shoes to a child in need. TOMS works with over 100 giving partners in more than 70 countries. The company provides goods, services, and employment to areas in need.


Meet Some of Our Fair Trade Store Vendors:

fair trade store - alpaca animals
Avatar Imports

Based in Santa Cruz, California, Avatar Imports partners with Jhaindra Ghimire, a factory owner in Kathmandu, Nepal, to produce its fun, boho-chic designs. Processes are socially, environmentally, and economically responsible. The company gives Nepali workers a chance to rise out of poverty and enjoy an improved standard of living.

Belart

Belart founder, Tulianna Garcés, uses art and culture to improve the lives of displaced and impoverished communities. She believes in deep collaborative relationships with local artisans. They, in turn, create Belart's unique eco-chic jewelry. Based in Vermont, Tuliana began the Belart business by working with local artisans in Vietnam and Colombia. These artisans were displaced by violence. She now works with 12 partner communities in southeast Asia and South America. Her goal is to provide sustainable employment and viable markets for their beautiful jewelry.

Belart's stunning Eco-resin collection is made in the central mountainous Andean Region in Colombia. The brand believes here is no better chemist than Mother Nature. Eco-resins are made from upcycled or recycled materials. The process uses less energy to create than comparable materials and produces fewer harmful byproducts. 

Blossom Inspirations

Beautiful and incredibly soft stuffed animals made with recycled Alpaca fur. Crafted by artisans from the Peruvian highlands. Your purchase helps families earn economic independence, social well-being, and self-esteem. Also find gourd crafts and other natural products by Blossom Inspirations in our Fair Trade store.

Dean's Beans

Delicious organic coffee beans that are shade grown by small farmer cooperatives in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Roasted in small batches in Orange, MA for the perfect cup of Joe. Whole beans. Take them from our Fair Trade store to our Candy Room to have them fresh ground.

Gracia y Milagros

Beautiful jewelry in sterling silver, pearls, and stones. The vision of Gracia y Milagros (Grace and Miracles) is to empower girls and young women in Guatemala to become self reliant. The company provides both business and skills training through Casa Hogar, a home for abused, orphaned, and indigent girls in Jalapa, Guatemala. 

Tula Hats

Tula hats are handwoven of sustainable palm fiber in a village along a mountainous region of Mexico. The craftspeople adhere to centuries of traditions. These hats offer maximum sun protection with a UPF50+ rating.

Silk Road Bazaar

A collection of fine, handmade products from Krygystan and Central Asia. These areas have traditionally had limited market access.

Lucia's Imports

Shares the beauty of Guatemala's art and culture. Makes a difference in the lives of the Mayan artisans and their families.

Swahili African Modern

Swahili African Modern operates from a small warehouse in the Pacific Northwest, but its network spans the globe. Founded over 20 years ago by Leslie Mittelberg, the company develops long-term relationships and handcrafted products directly with artisans in Africa. Working in Africa presents challenges, but Swahili African Modern thrives on creative problem solving as well as inspired design. These gorgeous baskets are environmentally responsible, made with sustainable and recycled materials.

Mata Traders

Mata garments and accessories are made by women's cooperatives in India and Nepal. Mata purchases directly benefit the women and their families. The co-ops provide training, fair wages, and supportive benefits like healthcare and child care, literacy classes and financial education. Mata believes that empowering women is the key to ending global poverty.

Beyond Borders

Wall art by Haitian metal artists in Croix-des-Bouquets. Haitian metal art dates back to the 1950s when a patron of Haitian arts was intrigued by iron crosses marking above-ground tombs in Haiti. He discovered the blacksmith who'd fashioned the crosses. Since then, the art of metal crafting has been handed down though family and mentors. Many supplies arrive in Haiti in steel oil drums, providing a ready supply of materials to be re-purposed into these stunning pieces of art.

Sandpiper Imports

The result of the lifelong friendship of two loyal Chicagoans. The two women love traveling, social responsibility, and beautiful jewelry. They were enchanted by Bali and were inspired to turn their passions into a business. Sandpiper Imports brings unique .925 sterling silver jewelry handcrafted by artisans in Bali to our Fair Trade Gallery.

Venture Imports

Shona stone sculptures are the company’s flagship product. But Venture Imports has expanded to bring other exciting items from developing nations to North American markets. Look for recycled glass jewelry from Kenya.

fair trade store - pampeanaPampeana Glass Art and Living Tree

This company provides opportunities for individuals with low educational and economical resources. This includes people around the world and in the US. Pampeana uses recycled and renewable materials. Their lovely fused glass nightlights, tagua belts, wooden animal pens, and wavy glass art are good for the environment too.

World Finds

World Finds' mission is to make a difference in the world. Their ethical fashion provides work, not charity. Jewelry, scarves, ornaments, etc. by artisans from India, Indonesia, and Nepal.

Fair Trade

 

The purpose of Chicago Fair Trade is to increase support for fair trade in the Chicago metro area. Through our Fair Trade store, that's exactly what we aim to do.

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