08 January 2013

Fair Trade Shopping Guide

We are starting the Go out of your comfort zone month with an inspiring  post by our contributing author Paige Ronchetti.

I'm going to be honest with you: I'm not always the most ethically-minded shopper. Yes, I support independent and handmade businesses, and I like to buy things secondhand instead of new, but there are other times that I hit the mall just like everybody else. I know it's not the best (in fact, I know it's bad; children really do work in factories to make our clothes), but sometimes I feel too rushed and just want to get stuff done. I don't think I'm alone in this, either.

My little sister is the only person I know who has totally stepped out of her comfort zone and has changed the way she shops. Now she won't buy a single thing from a major clothing retailer, and I think that's awesome. Her passion for fair trade began while she was in college, and she recently turned what once was a step out of her comfort zone into an awesome new resource for ethical shopping:

When she was telling me about it a few months ago, she said, "I know more people would be into fair trade if items were easier to find." And I was like, "YES." So now that the list has been made and the site is ready, it's time to spread the word.

You may only know the term "fair trade" in relation to coffee or chocolate, but a ton of things fall into that category now, including jewelry, clothes, and home decor. The Fair for All Shopping Guide lists websites that provide all of those items and more. The sites have been thoroughly researched by my sister and one of her friends, and all of them meet a set of rules that include fair wages and safe working conditions.

grass tote bag, $34.95

I'm totally proud of her not only because this project is awesome but also she is a great example for stepping out of your comfort zone, turning it into a passion and now inspiring others.

Pop on over and see for yourself! If the marketplace is going to change for the better, consumers need to make the first move.

Do you do any fair trade shopping? What's your favorite place to go? Have you heard of any other ethical shopping guides?

Paige Ronchetti lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband. They have no kids and no pets, which gives them a lot of time for eating spicy food and looking for bargains. Paige's blog is Little Nostalgia is a collection of projects and pretty things. There you can find DIY tutorials, home decor inspiration, and affordable fashion ideas. When she is not blogging, Paige is working on her vintage-inspired jewelry lines, Little White Chapel and Oh Nostalgia. Connect to Paige via twitter or pinterest.