The latest ads for No Frills claim that lowest price is the most important thing to consider when it comes to your grocery bill.
I may not have ever said I want to pay more, but I do know that there are times when I’m willing to pay more than the lowest price. When I enter the doors of a dollar store, I look at all the merchandise and wonder what was sacrificed to allow them to offer items at such a low price. Maybe quality? Maybe labour costs? It makes me uneasy to think that while I am saving a few dollars, it may mean that someone is unable to feed her children that night because of the low wages she receives, or that I may be adding something unsafe into my grandchildren’s environment because of the potentially toxic ingredients added to the toys that are sold there. http://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/advice/g1798/the-10-most-toxic-items-at-dollar-stores/?
Though it is not inexpensive, my preferred place to shop for household items, children’s books, toys and gifts is Ten Thousand Villages.
If you walk into one of these amazing stores, your initial reaction might be sticker shock, but it so important to look deeper than just the price. At a dollar store, I buy so many things that I don’t actually need that I end up wasting money. At Ten Thousand Villages, I have to choose carefully because it costs more. This means I value what I buy more, and tend to treat it more carefully so it will last longer. An unusual idea in our throw-it-away-and-buy-a-new-one society, for sure! But that’s just one reason to shop fair trade and there are so many more reasons. Here are a few: by shopping this way you invest in communities that are barely surviving by creating sustainable job opportunities, you give marginalized people an opportunity to provide for their families, you promote gender equality, safeguard against child labour, and you help reduce harmful environmental practises. (quoted from https://www.tenthousandvillages.com/about-fair-trade/)
You don’t have to go to a specific store to buy Fair Trade products, though. Increasingly, main stream stores are providing items that are labelled fair trade. From coffee to cotton, you can find the fair trade label on just about anything. Sometimes it costs a little more, but the cost of cheap items made by those who are unable to earn a living wage for their families is a far higher in the end. I love knowing that my hard-earned money can help people in developing countries around the world.
So the next time you pick up that package of cheap coffee, or the $2 t-shirt, take a moment and think about the real cost of producing that item – to our neighbours next door to us and around the world, to our earth, which is groaning under the pressure we are exerting, and to our children and grandchildren who will bear the burden of our legacy. If you need a place to begin your fair trade journey, Ten Thousand Villages says: “If just 1 in 10 North Americans purchased only fair trade coffee, it would result in $4.7 billion to build strong, healthy communities in developing countries. And that’s just coffee. When you make fair trade purchases part of your life…imagine the impact!” https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/183169909819307244/
Is there one thing in your life that you can commit to purchasing fair trade?
Fair Trade is the way to go! Find out why on my latest blog. #FairTrade #Villages Canada
Help the world by buying Fair Trade coffee. Check out why in my latest blog