By Safia Minney, Founder and CEO of People Tree
When I first founded World Fair Trade Day over ten years ago with the endorsement of other Fair Trade leaders in Arusha, Tanzania, we could only hope that one day the day would become truly global – and reflect the diversity of the Fair Trade movement itself.
There are now thousands of events held throughout the year, from Fair Trade breakfasts to fashion shows, knitting contests in Nepal to peaceful protests in Bangladesh, India and Peru. This year in Europe and Japan, People Tree is running a campaign called ‘Happy Life’ in collaboration with People Tree stockists.
‘Happy Life’ celebrates the difference that Fair Trade makes in doing more than just providing a fair price and work, but building on that to build and fund schools, environmental projects and cultural events. After all, sustainable development is not only about meeting basic human needs and protecting human rights, it is about strengthening communities – making them healthy, happy and vibrant places to live and work.
For each of us, being happy means something a little bit different: perhaps enjoying a great break or holiday with family and friends, the satisfaction of redecorating your home, or simply a day sitting in the garden. When I talk to the 4,000 workers who create Fair Trade products for People Tree, they say something similar. Artisans and tailors in Bangladesh, for example, often say that Fair Trade has helped them get their children through high school. They say income from Fair Trade has enabled them to celebrate, singing and dancing with family and friends. LIkewise, Fair Trade creates work in villages, where they can enjoy simple things like growing pumpkins on their rooftops!
To celebrate World Fair Trade Day, People Tree is offering our customers 20% off our fresh Spring and Summer Collection. Visit the People Tree website to shop for Fair Trade Fashion.