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The biggest Geldof fan in the world, bar none!

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Fair Trade products
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The Red Campaign is a great idea. It's good to know that busineses are putting their products up for this. However, I'm not actually interested in any of the products or find them affordable. So for me just giving a donation would be a better option than buying something I don't need, can't afford just because it's been made and traded fairly. Not that that is actually the point. Hopefully, more companies will jump on the bandwagon and offer a wider range of goods.

My main problem with fair trade is getting hold of cosmetics and toiletries, now that the Body Shop has sold out. Somehow they made good quality products at very affordable prices. Not all were fair trade but those which were were marked up accordingly, so it was possible to make the right choices. They were also kind to the environment and animals. Now that they are owned by L'Oreal I have no interest in buying anything from them.

So how easy has it been for me to find an alternative? Not at all. Even with a number of fair trade outlets locally getting hold of makeup or toiletries seems an impossibility. I can get shower gel which is kind the to environment and animals but it isn't fair trade (Ecover). So having failed there I did a thorough search on the web. There are a few companies, but I have to do it mail order. Which means that there is postage. Well I'd rather donate the money wasted on postage if I could. Some have reasonably priced goods, others have silly prices - 15 for small shower gel???!! And the range is very limited for each company - one variety or two different products. The Body Shop always produced a reasonably wide range with lovely fragrances and around 5 for a shower gel - at least under 10 for shower gel, shampoo, conditioner etc. Why is it so difficult for other companies to do this? And why do they only have one or two products which are fairly traded? It seems that they are doing it as a token gesture rather than really wanting to be involved. I only want ordinary every day products which I can afford.

I even thought about being a fair trade agent myself, but how do you go about it and how would I source the products? Where on earth do I begin?

Has anyone else had such difficulties or any thoughts on this? I would love to know.

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Tonight

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Jules, here in the US it is also difficult and expensive to find Fair Trade merchandise. Accidentally this morning while waiting in line to buy a phone card at a local store, I happened upon a reduced-price (April issue so allegedly out of date) American monthly magazine called Natural Health with an article on green buying and a heading called "Fair Traders". It says :


Purchasing fair trade products is an efficient way to support stuggling communities across the globe. You get premium goods while workers get a guarantee of adequate wages. Look for TransFair USA's "fair trade certified" seal on coffe, tea, rice, sugar, and fresh fruit--or find listings online at http://www.transfairusa.org and http://www.fairtradefederation.com. To better protect the rights of workers, seek out sweatshop-free products through suppliers like No Sweat (http://www.nosweatapparel.com) and Justice Clothing (http://www.justiceclothing.com). Consider these companies your partners in social consciousness.


GREEN MOUNTAIN COFFEE ROASTERS (http://www.greenmountaincoffee.com) serves up more than 20 fair-trade brews. Last fall this winner of the EPS's Green Power Leadership Award brought the movement further into the mainstream, partnering with Newman's Own Organics to roast and package a fair-trade java for McDonald's.


EQUAL EXCHANGE (http://www.equalexchange.com) has dealt exclusively in fair trade products like coffee, tea, sugar, cocoa, and chocolate since 1986, making it America's oldest for-profit fair trade company. Currently working with about 30 small farm organizations in 14 developing countries, Equal Exchange has helped fund ecotourism in Nicaragua, gender equality programs in Guatemala, and initiatives in Bolivia, El Salvador, Mexico.


CHOICE ORGANIC TEAS (http://www.choiceorganicteas.com) has helped Indian & African tea farmers attain everything from college scholarships to propane stovetops....


ZHENA'S GYPSY TEA (http://www.gypsytea.com) sends all profits from Zhena's CodePink Raspberry Earl Grey tea to CodePink, a winen-initiated peace activist group. Its essential-oil-based fair trade and organic blends earned co-founder Zhena Muzyka the 2003 Socially Responsible Business Award presented at the Natural Products Expo.


AMERICA APPAREL (http://www.americanapparel.net) produces snug and stylish T-shirts in what's now the largest garment factory in the country. The company does not outsource to seatshops and pays the highest wages in its industry, offering emplyess benefits ranging from free ESL classes to onsite massage sessions.


 


All the above is from page 80 of the April 2006 issue of Natural Health. I


've not checked the sites yet.


It is really difficult to find fair trade products easily and they are expensive.


 


I am interested to see how the Red apparel plan will work because so far nobody's really got it right!! We want to support fair trade but what a struggle it is!! Evidently it's not easy in Britain either. Aaarghhhh!!!!!!! I think a store would be hard to run profitably. One would need a secondary income. I actually tried it in 1993 - 1996 and could not sustain it, went back to a "regular" job, as some days my "profits" were only my busfare.


 


 


 


 



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The biggest Geldof fan in the world, bar none!

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I don't mind paying a bit more, I already do for tea and coffee etc. But the prices are within a fairly reasonable and affordable limit. Many people seem to agree as they vote with their wallet. It is 15 for a small bottle of shower gel I can't manage, but when I do find a product for under 10 there is no variety and the flavour on offer isn't very 'appetising'. The Body Shop seemed to manage it, so it must be possible.

I don't mind paying a bit extra or clothes too - although not a ridiculous price. We have a fair trade shop here in Oxford which sells a variety of products including clothes - but not toiletries and cosmetics and they don't know where I can might be able to get them either.

It will be interesting to see what the RED campaign comes up with, given there are only a few products which are incredibly expensive and not necessarily accessible to the ordinary person.

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The biggest Geldof fan in the world, bar none!

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Well I've ordered shower gel which is kind to the environment and animals, but it seems to forget about people. Why can't it be kind to all three.

I've emailed various fair trade manufacturers and outlets and none have come up with anything positive. One says they know of no-one who does toiletries or make-up!!

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In the Long Grass

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dont't forget Hug.very good fairtrade clothing

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The biggest Geldof fan in the world, bar none!

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Clothes aren't a problem, we have a fair trade shop locally and another shop which sells fairly traded clothes (lovely ones too) and there's a good place online The Naked Monkey.

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