This isn't a photography post.
A couple of years ago, I began to photograph for Partners for Just Trade and was exposed to the world of fair trade products, and more specifically, the large world of unfair products. As our family learned about the high cost of our culture's lifestyle and how our desire for ever cheaper products has, in many cases, created a life of suffering for those who create much of the products we use in our lives, it became a no brainer to buy fair trade whenever we can and to limit our purchasing all together to get the things we really need. It broke my heart to know that my selfishness to want to save a few more cents made someone else have to live on only a few cents or to work in harsh conditions. I supported it.
I am still frugal. I still spend little. But I am cautious not to buy things that, even if indirectly, do not show love, do not edify God's people and his creation. I buy fair trade not as a buzz word, but out of an effort to shop with integrity.
On our trip to the UK to visit family a few weeks ago, we were in the grocery store and I was so excited that almost every product I was seeing was labeled as fair trade. And it wasn't just, oh, look, there is one brand of spices that has some fair trade cinnamon, but there were several. Many companies were making wise choices. I was also saddened that at home I have to search high and low to find companies with transparency and fair trade labels.
So this week, we made the switch to Fair Trade Chocolate.
Partners for Just Trade? Will you stop shopping at stores and buying brands that aren't making the grade?