Fair Trade

I’ve been thinking a lot about the fair trade movement lately. I come from a third world country, so I’ve seen first-hand how little of the money spent gets to the vast majority of the people, and I wonder as a resident of a prosperous country, just how much responsibility do I have to question the sources of the things that I buy? Often, there is a cost to being socially conscious, which I may not be able to afford.

I read an article on this topic that led me to the website for the Fair Trade Federation , and I realized that at least with my discretionary purchases, I could make an effort to find beautiful things that are made by people getting a fair shake.

Most of my jewelry raw materials are glass beads from Czechoslovakia, which as far as I know, does not have a fair trade problem, but I do buy small amounts of other items, and I am going to make it a point to ask my vendors what they do to make sure that their items are responsibly sourced. I already know that two of them do put in a great deal of effort to do just that: Rings and Things  and Fire Mountain Gems .


5 Responses to Fair Trade

  1. globalfayre says:

    I think you’re right about the Czech Republic not having fair trade products available (though that doesn’t mean that things are great for the workers there!).
    I don’t know whether the style would work for you, but you might try the glass beads from groups like Beads for Life (http://www.beadforlife.org/) or Bead to Feed (http://nafofa.org/).
    Thank you for supporting Fair Trade!


    • beadsophisticate says:


      Thanks for those links to fair trade organizations. I found another one you might like to know about, beadsforeducation.org. They sell beads made by Kenyan women, and the profits go back to the women.



  2. Hi Bead Sophisticate,

    Thanks so much for mentioning Rings & Things. We do put a lot of thought and work into operating as fairly as possible. (You’ll also see the phrase “beads are a dirty business” on our site, LOL.) 🙂 I’m so glad you’re blogging about this, and hope you’ll keep up the good work!

    (@Rings_Things on Twitter)


  3. mzuribeads says:

    Hello, great blog. I just want to leave a note to let everyone know about our fabulous paper beads.
    Mzuribeads have been individually hand rolling beads from recycled paper to make unique beads and jewellery from the village of Ndejje in Uganda for over three years. I would like everyone interested in the art of rolling paper beads to visit our website, where you can locate a stockist near you or goto our online shop to buy our loose paper beads and paper bead jewellery. http://www.mzuribeads.com Thank you, Kirstie


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