Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Are You a Conscious Shopper...Do You Support Fair Trade?

Are you a conscious shopper? Are you always thinking of more ways to live not only a more eco-friendly life, but a more people friendly life? As a Vegan I am always conscious of the food I buy...not only for the benefit of animals but also that of local farmers and of the countries where my food comes from. So much of the stuff that we eat on a daily and drink on a daily basis comes from 3rd world countries, countries that rely on our trade for their people to merely live. And this life is not a fruitful one. Take rice for example, have you ever watched any documentaries on the Asian people who work on rice farms? It's disgusting the life that they live, they're basically slaves...they live on mere pennies and their living conditions are cramped dirty shacks! They are overworked and severely underpaid, they live a life that no human being should be subjected too...and all for us to buy cheap rice!

The rice farms are just one example of a reason to buy Fairtrade. Paying that little bit more for your rice is surely worth it, at least you can eat it knowing that the rice farmers are actually getting some money back for all their hard work.

Other examples of food and drink that we can choose to buy Fairtrade are coffee, tea, orange juice, bananas, oranges, sugar, chocolate, olive oil and wine. Personally if I can, I always choose to buy Fairtrade of these products.

It is not only food and drink that we can purchase Fairtrade, there are also fabrics, jewellery, bags, clothes, beads...the list goes on.

When it comes to making jewellery, I love buying Fairtrade beads. I find it amazing how these African women recycle bottles and magazines and much more and then turn them into gorgeous beads. Knowing that the money goes directly back to them is brilliant. It's also nice knowing that you are not buying from some big corporation that churns out millions of the things, all whilst damaging the environment at the same time.

I have met with individuals who massively support the Fairtrade fabric and jewellery trade, they go out to Africa several times a year to buy these products and meet with the women who make them.  One of my favourite companies that do this, and one that I have personally met and who are absolutely lovey are The African Fabric Shop!  I totally recommend that you check out their website, and if you love making your own blankets and clothes and jewellery, then you won't regret it, these guys are an inspiration to us all! <3

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