I’m honored to introduce you to Annie who is guest posting today for Fair Trade Friday. She is amazing, super talented and an excellent writer. Thanks Annie for taking time to give insight into Fair Trade!

My husband has an aunt, so really I do too, who is known in our home for three things: a wildly compassionate, tender heart, a pulse for justice and equality, and a knack for sending sweet little packages.

The day we closed on our house, we left the bank, key in hand, to walk through the empty rooms together – all full of cobwebs and hope, trespassing on the future with the giddiness of kids at Christmas. When the doorbell rang we froze: our doorbell was ringing. We had a doorbell!

I opened the front door, our front door, just in time to see the mailman hopping into his truck. And there at my feet: a package from Aunt Eileen.  Dishtowels, little decorations for the girls’ room, a note full of blessing for our new home.  She couldn’t have imagined the timing, or the impact of her small gesture.

Always an outpouring of love, her gifts reflect not only her affection for the recipient, but also her respect for their maker. They’re often hand-crafted, sometimes supporting an organization she believes in, almost always fair trade. Besides the sweetness of all her warm gifts, I am deeply moved by her commitment to gift items that are enriching the lives of those who created them.

These values seep out of her, unspoken, into our lives.

For a long time, I have admired folks who shop like Aunt Eileen. I have a special pedestal in my heart for my fair trade friends, right next to the weekly bread making, 100% organic pedestal. The funny thing about pedestals, though, is that they mostly serve to create distance. As long as fair-trade purchasing folks are heroes in my mind, I am quietly excused from attempting to join their ranks.

As long as I view fair trade as something unattainable, a lofty goal, one that requires an entire life overhaul, I do nothing. But change must start somewhere, and every journey has a first step.

So, friends, if you’re like me, if you love the idea of fair trade but keep it polished on display instead of wrestling with it down here in the mess of life, might I suggest that this is our day take fair trade out of the realm of theoretical and into our actual lives?

Let’s brainstorm together. Is there one small way you could let your heartbeat for justice be heard? A gift you could be intentional about purchasing? One habit you could change – maybe just your coffee? A creative way you could partner with an organization like Freesetor Sari Bari or countless others?

Whether you’re an Aunt Eileen, already committed to fair trade lifestyle, or, like me, you’re all heart and theory, I invite you to share today in the comments one small step you’ll take to make fair trade a reality this week, this month. Let’s start today. I’ll go first.

9 thoughts on “Fair Trade Friday {For When Fair Trade is All Theory}

  1. Annie,

    So for me, it’s a baby gift that I need to buy. Just bought a beautiful one from Sari Bari. One step at a time, right?

  2. Peggy,

    I loved your description of “all heart and theory.” This would describe me. I desire but apprently not enough to make it action. I encourage others but do not act in my home. I was just talking to a friend about chocolate and that I need to do some research on my dear Dove chocolate. I will take this entry and allow it to challenge me (and all those in my wake :)).

  3. Kris,

    I loved this Annie. I love the visual of fair trade on a pedestal and then being wrestled with in ” the mess of life”. So often I have viewed it as you have, out of my reach, not within my ability, but here you have made such a beautiful point about jumping in there and just taking one step at a time. Tank you for this reminder I have been needing to stop thinking that buying fair trade is beyond me.

  4. Lindsey van Niekerk,

    Oh Annie! How funny that we often go through the same things….I have been precisely thinking about these same things….how can I make steps towards supporting this…I, who wrote an impassioned paper in college….and now what can I do to advocate myself…? You are making me think and spurring me on, friend!

  5. Cara @ WhimsySmitten,

    Yes, we don’t have to take on the whole world at once. Just one step at a time makes a lifetime of journeying in (hopefully) the right direction. Thanks for the practical inspiration, Annie, to change our world by what we support with how we spend our minutes and our dollars.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.