Friday, May 12, 2023

Why is Supporting Fair Trade Important to You?

It dawned on me that Dunitz & Company fair trade jewelry is sold in many stores that are not specifically and exclusively fair trade stores. Yet, many of our customers clearly support fair trade and ethically run small businesses. I wanted to give some of these buyers and store owners I know an opportunity to tell us why they support fair trade. I asked the question and here is what some of my retail partners had to say.


Lyn Cooperman, North Fork Craft Gallery - Wading River, NY says "Supporting Fair Trade is important to me because I feel my customers and I are helping artisans in developing countries break the cycle of poverty. One of my favorite experiences with a Fair Trade wholesaler was soon after I was able to reopen after the pandemic. I placed a large order and the owner of the company called to personally thank me and shared that because of that order 3 women were able to provide food for their families.  It goes without saying that the goods I purchase from Fair Trade vendors are unique, well made, beautiful and representative of their unique cultures."


Susan Hayes
, Lima Bean Glassworks & Gifts - Danville, IL says  "It is very important for us to support fair trade organizations to ensure we’re engaged with those who share our goal of ensuring people in every aspect of the creative and manufacturing process receive fair and appropriate compensation for their contributions."




Jennifer Scott, Eclectic Calico - Madison, NC says "Supporting fair trade is very important to me and to my small business.  First and foremost, I love people, ALL of them.  I can't think of a  better way to show that love than to purchase products that are made by people around the world.  The fair trade requirements help ensure that these artisans are treated fairly and earn a fair wage.  Secondly, it is important that we reach outside of the day to day world we know.  Most Americans have all their needs and many of their wants met and have little idea of how the rest of the world lives.  It is important to me to have these products in my small business in small town America.  I enjoy sharing about these products and the artisans that craft them.  I hope what my customers hear, see, and purchase makes a lasting impression on how they view others."


Patti Opel, Kook's Eye Gallery - Pentwater, MI says "I came about owning a business because ultimately personal responsibility is a keystone to my personal philosophy.  With that comes making good choices for myself, my customers and the globe.  The more ethically a product is produced everyone involved in the process benefits.  Ultimately, I place a high value on handmade hand crafted products.  There is a strong humanitarian appeal to hold on to an object that someone has spent time and energy to produce. Knowing that fair wages, good working conditions and a sustainable future are part of that is why fair trade is important to me.  Supporting fair trade simply is the right thing to do." 



Lea Osby, Animas Trading Company - Durango, CO says "We always jump at the opportunity to work with vendors that support and provide for struggling communities. So many corporate companies today turn a blind eye to developing countries' struggles and how they are contributing to those struggles. We have always believed that a lot of small steps taken by small businesses can make a world of a difference. At Animas Trading, we pride ourselves on carrying fair trade products because we believe it is incredibly important to source from and support ethical and sustainably run businesses. No community should be exploited and businesses should hold themselves accountable for the environmental and ethical effect small decisions can make. We believe that fair trade is an amazing way to start affecting positive change in the world!"


Bernadette Goudelock, Virginia Museum of Fine Art Shop - Richmond VA says "The Virginia Museum of Fine Art Shop searches the world to provide a diverse selection of merchandise including unique jewelry. Fair trade vendors like Dunitz & Company fill the niche of handmade pieces that are unique and it provides our customers a selection of well-crafted jewelry that is not commonplace or can be found just about anywhere. The VMFA Shop strives to support fair trade vendors and artisans. By promoting their jewelry and sustainable material used we provide opportunities that artisans may not have had otherwise. We hope to gain a wider awareness for these artists that are creating great wearable art. 

Amy Scipioni
, Floral & Hardy - Skippack PA says "I purchase from Fair Trade sources because I believe in ethical business practices that take into account the environment and at the same time support the actual  producers whose hands create the  wonderful products."

Dan Ayers-Price, Key West Art & Historical Society - Key West, FL says "In the world of museum stores, we want our merchandise offerings to represent our mission, exhibits and artifacts as best we can in order to extend the guests experience from the museum into the museum store.  While this often includes a lot of custom made/bespoke items, I have always felt that Fair Trade, in all forms, is equally as representable within our offerings.  The trend of shopping smarter, shopping American made and shopping Fair Trade is something that everyone is embracing and seeking out, especially the younger generations, and will continue to grow as we embrace a global mindset.  The sheer creativity and resourcefulness of Fair Trade items is art within itself."  


Kathy LaCorte
, Kathy's Kove & Kafe - Washington, NJ says "
After seeing first hand how people who are living in poverty try so hard to earn money, I felt the need for an organized and cooperative effort to give these people an opportunity to earn money by providing their crafts to people who appreciate them.  In this way, they feel pride in a job well done, are working in a safe environment and earn a living to provide housing and education to their families. Through fair trade they see real possibilities for their future."

I know the Dunitz & Company collection is pretty and well made, and for that alone, many stores will sell our designs. For me, it is just as important that our jewelry is verified fair trade by Fair Trade Federation. In my eyes and heart, this is the only combination that works. I am so thankful for my retail partners who share the same beliefs we do at Dunitz & Company. Together we all make a big difference. Tell me. Why do you support fair trade? -ND