Human Rights: Fair Trade Makes A Huge Difference

Human Rights Day and Human Rights Watch with a blog post by Prosperity Candle about refugees and fair trade

Sunday, December 10th is International Human Rights Day!

That may sound like an obscure event held at the UN, but it’s much bigger than that. Around the world, we see the basic rights of people stripped away… things we often take for granted like freedom from slavery and torture, and the right to free speech.

And everywhere, freedom from discrimination and the right to a fair trial is a battle we must persistently wage.

It’s often hard to imagine how one person can make a dent in helping to solve such big problems… we feel like our actions are small and insignificant. But they’re not. Collectively, we have incredible power.

And one way to wield that power is in the marketplace. This is not a pitch to buy candles or anything we make. It’s a call to action we have felt for decades working in impoverished places around the world and seeing with our own eyes how our purchasing choices can make a difference. A huge difference.

You can positively impact many lives simply by how you shop for gifts this holiday. Together, we can help communities create a brighter future for their children.

Just choose fair trade gifts. Not for everything… it’s not easy to find fair trade electronics, but there are so many great products out there that are perfect for family and friends – and were ethically made following fair trade principles.

WFTO World Fair Trade Organization fair trade principles for member Prosperity Candle

These principles are actually not that hard when businesses care as much about how something is made as they profit they earn. It’s about paying living wages, ensuring a safe workplace, doing right by the environment, and supporting basic human rights including equality and self determination.

It’s a vision of a world where farmers can afford to eat the food they produce, garment workers have decent clothing to wear, and artisans can support their families. There’s more to it, but that’s the essence. And it really does make a difference.

We know this because we’ve seen how living wages and healthy working conditions have positively impacted the women refugees here in our studio, as well as the hundreds of artisans we work with around the world. They lead better lives with more opportunities. There is equal opportunity and safer working environments for women. There is no child labor so kids are more likely to get an education.

Fair trade principles on Human Rights Day ensure children go to school

As a social enterprise, we believe in the power of fair trade and an ethical marketplace to change lives for the better.

So this year, we’re celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights by sharing this one simple way you can stand up for the rights and dignity of people around the world.

SHOP FAIR TRADE

You’ll discover there are plenty of fair trade products out there, as well as  fair trade gift guides. Click on the links above, or simply search “fair trade gifts” to find great online retailers like Fair Trade Winds, Global Goods Partners, SERRV and hundreds more.

The Little Market is one of our favorites… a fair trade nonprofit we work with that sells beautifully handmade products to empower female artisans around the world. Its co-founders Lauren Conrad and Hannah Skvarla put human rights at the core of their mission.

Not quite there yet? That’s OK! Here’s a great way to get started:  declare you want to use your purchasing power for good by signing the Fair Trade Certified pledge. It’s easy and motivating.

Then join millions in celebrating Human Rights Day by purchasing fair trade this holiday, beginning right now. Look for these logos whenever you shop:

Fair trade organizations offering ethically made fair trade products and gifts

And yes, we’d of course love for you to check out our fair trade candles and gift sets, but that’s not why we wrote this post. We’re asking you to keep this idea in mind of purchasing with purpose wherever you shop – and will encourage others to do the same.

If you’re interested in human rights and how you can get involved, please visit Human Rights Watch. You can also learn more about Human Rights Day and Fair Trade Principles.

Thank you!

“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.” – Nelson Mandela

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