Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fair Trade Market 2013

Jenn, Juliette, and I are hosting another Fair Trade Market this year at the Frame Gallery in Downtown Bryan.  Last year was our first market, and it was a lot of fun and a big success.  We were thrilled by how supportive our community was and how eager they were to support responsible consumerism.  Juliette just had a baby, and I'm barely keeping my head above water during this 18 hour semester of nursing school, but this market - these companies - what each purchase represents means so much to us that we decided to push through, beg for help from our friends, and keep this market a yearly tradition in our town.  If you live here locally, come out and see us, okay?  (Here's the Facebook link to the market - we're posting pictures over the next few days of some of the products.)

I've noticed two beautiful trends over the past few years in the circles where I find myself traveling - a move towards a more simplistic, purposeful life and a desire to empower the poor by replacing charity-type models with sustainable approaches.  I'm not sure how or if those trends are always connected, but when it comes to shopping, those two powerful ideas and passions can collide and become something powerful and vibrant.  

For too long we've been sucked into the marketing - the lies that tell us more means better.  More means happy. It's like we're waking up and realizing that more stuff usually translates into more stress and less time spent enjoying the people and moments in our life that mean the most.  We're sick of all the big. We find ourselves wondering if it was a good idea to let our mom and pop, local stores die off to the likes of the Goliath-sized super centers filled with imported, low-quality goods and underpaid/under-insured employees. Maybe we're not ready for a full-on boycott, but big business - we're on to you.  You're smelling awfully funny to us these days.

When it comes to the world, the discrepancy between those who have and those who don't, we've been told another lie - money and handouts fix poverty.  The problem is, five dollars might buy someone lunch - but it won't buy them lunch tomorrow and it certainly won't buy them dignity and self-worth.  

We're excited to feature companies at this year's market that will help each of us connect our passions and beliefs about the world with products we are purchasing for Christmas this year.  We will each have the opportunity to live out our convictions with every dollar spent.  On display at the market, you'll find a wide variety of quality, hand-made gifts but what will also be on display are big ideas like responsible consumerism, sustainable solutions for poverty, stewardship of the earth, and change that lasts and transforms entire families and communities.  Each product at the fair represents men and women who have been taught a trade and are working hard to feed and educate their children and break the chains of generational poverty.       

If we're going to shop this holiday season, why not make our money count for something bigger - something greater? Why not give a gift that gives twice?

We hope to see you at the market this year!  If you know of other people at your job, churches, or schools who would want to know about the market, will you help us spread the word?

{{Fair Trade Resources - Power of Education}}

Great everyday resource:  Better World Shopping Guide

{{Businesses Making the World a Better Place}}
some of these companies are featured at our market this year

My Shopping with Purpose board on Pinterest.


M. said...

No "Delicate Fortress"??

Hendrick Family said...

Thanks for pointing that out! I forgot them. :(

Kay said...

Just wanted to say I miss your voice on this blog!!

Hendrick Family said...

Thank you, Kay! I miss being here!

branda sicot said...

real wish: