In this busy, busy world it is easy to find ourselves wondering how we can live the way our faith calls us to live. Young parents are especially busy with family, work and children but whether old or young we all have many demands tugging on us each day. So how do we live out our faith in our everyday world? Fair Trade can help you!
According to the United Nations 215 million children are in the labor force and more than half of them are working in the worst types of child labor - forced labor, hazardous jobs, slavery, drug trafficking and prostitution. One of the principals of Fair Trade is no child exploitation in the making of products. When we look to follow God’s call to us to care for the little children we need remember our everyday purchases should be ethically sourced with no child labor involved. Children should be nourished, cared for and allowed to be children.
Matthew 10:42 ‘And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."
When we purchase products that come from factories that use unethical labor practices we are not helping workers earn a fair wage. A little research online will help us learn what countries have unfair labor practices and remember the oppression that workers are under in those conditions. Conversely when we purchase from Fair Trade companies we can be assured of the ethical and fair labor practices that the artisans receive. Our faith calls us to help the poor and not oppress them. Live your faith everyday by searching for Fair Trade ethical products. Every purchase matters to the artisans that earn a fair living through Fair Trade.
Proverbs 14:31 Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.
Preserving and caring for the environment is caring for God’s creation. Respecting the environment is a tenet of Fair Trade and organizations use many environmentally sustainable practices. Products are not crafted in large factories but are typically crafted by hand using simple methods and tools. When products are purchased you are making the statement that you care for God’s world and all that is in it.
Psalms 24:1-2 The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.
To love our neighbors means to find ways to help them and do what is best for them whether they are neighbors next door or around the world. A principal of Fair Trade is developing long term, caring relationships with the producer artisan groups. Respectful, caring and helping in all aspects of working with the artisans is what Fair Trade organizations strive for, so you can be assured when you buy Fair Trade articles the welfare of the artisan is first and foremost.
Galatians 5:14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
Fair Trade helps you share your faith through daily interactions with friends, family, co-workers simply by sharing Fair Trade products in all your gifting and including a note about the Fair Trade aspects or ask the company to include information about the artisans with your gift. By sharing Fair Trade gifts with friends and family and using Fair Trade products in your own home you will be showing the people around you a faith that is lived everyday.
Taking a stand against sweatshops, against the oppression of people in developing countries, against child labor, respecting the environment and loving your neighbor are actions you take when you purchase Fair Trade products.
There are many products produced under Fair Trade guidelines such as: tea, jewelry, clothing, home decor, kitchen and home linens, bananas, many food products, coffee, purses, women’s accessories, clothing and so much more! Do a little investigating before your next purchase.