Creating Sustainable Positive Change

The movement of Fair Trade in an injustice world

Does fair trade really matter? Yes…maybe…maybe not…yes? I mean, when I go shopping, do I really care about who grew my bananas or who grew the coffee beans for my hubby’s morning ritual beverage (although after recently having my second child, I have s…l…o….w…l…y become somewhat of a coffee drinker – love the smell but the taste…sugar and cream please!). Does it matter who grew or picked the cotton that was used to make my shirt? Does it matter who made the necklace that matches my super fun new blouse I got for my birthday?

The Fair Trade FAQs section of our website highlights some of the general history and rationale behind Fair Trade as an economic movement to empower impoverished individuals in a variety of contexts. We love that fair trade helps to create opportunities for sustainability and provision for folks who are considered the “have nots” of this world. The convicting aspect of fair trade is that it encourages us to stop and recognize the process by which the products we consume came into our homes/lives. It calls us to live a life aware of the injustices around the globe and in our own homes. Fair trade not only has economic and social ramifications, but we believe it has deep spiritual aspects as well.

As followers of Jesus at GB, we love how the systemic framework of fair trade beautifully mirrors the Gospel. The restorative work, the reconciling of our Savior is powerfully and practically materialized in the form of a sari blanket made by an Indian woman freed from the bondage of sex trafficking. It is apparent in a paper bead necklace created by a woman living with HIV/AIDS. I love how Romans 5 speaks to this truth that through Christ’s work on our behalf, we can be a justified and reconciled people if we believe and follow Him. Our hope and prayer is that each of the artisans, suppliers, Home Experience participants, craft fair attendees, etc. will come to that knowledge and understand that Christ deeply loves them and deeply desires to restore and reconcile the broken things of our lives. And by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can live lives as a redeemed people….we can live aware.

We encourage you to grow in your knowledge of fair trade. We are still growing in our understanding. Is fair trade scandal free? No, but we really respect and admire the overall change and approach it offers in coming alongside some of the most vulnerable people in this world, specifically in the southern hemisphere. And by the grace of God, may we live our lives aware and awake to come alongside these individuals and communities in Jesus’ name.

-Jessica Zerkle – Director Global Bazaar