Fair Trade Companies: Buying Ethical Brands

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Today a lot of millennials  are concerned about buying organic and all natural products for health and environmental reasons, however another component to consider when shopping is if products are fair trade certified. Fair trade by definition means that the supplies and goods used to create a product are made in a developing country and the producer of the supply or good is paid fairly. This movement is particularly focused on supporting goods from developing countries that were made in ethical working conditions, support environmental sustainability and bought for a fair price. Here’s five brands that are committed to the global fair trade movement and are either completely fair trade or progressing to becoming a fully fair trade brand.

1. Lush

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Lush is well known for using all natural products that are animal testing free, but they also only use fair trade products when creating their body products. Their buyers personally trace the ingredients back to the suppliers and producers to find out exactly how the product is made. Their commitment to ethical buying is why they cannot offer sales or discounts, because they believe in paying fairly for all supplies used in their products. For detailed information on ethical buying check out their website’s ethical buying statement.

2. Ben and Jerry’s

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While you might feel guilty about eating an entire pint of ice cream by yourself, you can at least feel good about the fact that the ice cream you are eating has been ethically produced. Ben and Jerry’s has been completely fair trade since 2013 and their fair trade products include cocoa and vanilla beans. Their website explains the values behind Ben and Jerry’s fair trade mission here.

3. Starbucks

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Another guilt free splurge is that 3 p.m. pick-me-up from Starbucks. While they are not entirely fair trade yet, 81 percent of Starbucks coffee meets the Coffee and Farmer Equity Practices‘ standards. These means suppliers worked in humane conditions and were paid appropriately through the coffee making process.

4. Dunkin Donuts

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This New England coffee giant is not 100 percent fair trade yet, but they are in the process of becoming fair trade. Dunkin Donuts‘ menu does features a number of fair trade coffee products, including their expresso beans which are 100 percent fair trade. In 2004, they  partnered with Fair Trade USA with the goal of supporting the economic growth of coffee-farming communities. Currently their fair trade menu features espressos and lattes, but they are in the process of making their entire menu fair trade. Check out the progress they are making here.

5. prAna

prana-clothingThis online yoga company was one of the first apparel companies to become fair trade certified. While they may be pricier than their competitors, the clothing has the fair trade certification right on the tag, which can make you feel extra good about what you are wearing. Check out their online store here.

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Whether you are shopping for apparel or splurging on a latte, there are plenty of options to buy fair trade, even beyond this list. With the rise of fast fashion and rock bottom prices on goods, with less than ethical means of production, we can fight back as consumers by consciously making an effort to buy and consume fair trade brands. Sometimes you just have to be willing to spend a little more, but it’s worth it when you know you are getting quality products that were ethically made and support the global fair trade movement.

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