Friday, September 1, 2017

Fair Trade the show!

Two seasons in a row, NY Now has provided space for a fair trade gifts display at their trade show. This display includes products from Fair Trade Federation and World Fair Trade Organization members exhibiting at the show. And of course, Dunitz & Company was part of this group. With nearly 24,000 attendees, this is such an amazing opportunity for educating buyers and consumers about our fair trade principles. Both seasons, this display has been prominently featured on Concourse Level 1 of Javits. And it is consistently staffed with managers from FTF and WFTO. I am not acquainted with those employed by WFTO. I can say that Chris, Rachel and Ann, the faces of our FTF office are absolutely the best. They definitely have the know-how to advise buyers interested in learning more about fair trade and why we, members of these groups are different. Our membership validates that we've been screened for our business practices. These days, people are more and more interested in supporting businesses that give-back and/or do good for communities near and far. The result is that many business-people use buzz words to convince buyers they're on the up and up. I've learned that many are not. I salute NY Now for creating space for this display, a display that highlights products from screened providers.

A few weeks before the show, I received an email from Allison, the manager in charge of the Handmade sections of the show.  She explained there would be a 'Fair Trade Display' and that space was limited. She asked (as she did from all FTF and WFTO members) if we wanted to be considered for this display, that we should send photos and information on the item(s) we'd want to display right away. My guess is just about everyone submitted information. I don't know how many WFTO members exhibit at NY Now. I believe we had about 60 FTF members exhibiting. That's a lot of verified fair trade gifts to choose from!

Dunitz & Company was represented in two other displays this season. Our embroidered denim necklaces were featured at the 'Sustainability Display'. (More on this for my next blog entry) And our fair trade kippot were featured in 'destination: new' - (my last blog entry.) For this reason, we submitted a fair trade fused glass and earrings set from our Joanie M Collection. And yeah! They were selected to be part of the display. I don't know another vendor at NY Now selling anything quite like our fused glass jewelry. I'm certain this is why they were the perfect choice.

If you are curious and want to learn more about fair trade, I encourage you to check out the Fair Trade Federation and WFTO websites. If you're a wholesale buyer you'll find membership lists. If you're looking to purchase fair trade gifts for yourself, you'll find FTF member stores and retail websites listed.  We appreciate the support we receive from our customers in such a big way. Without them (and you) we would not be able to sustain and support the community of artisans we've been working with since the early 90s. -ND