In the run up to World Fair Trade Day, we are celebrating their theme, ‘Be an Agent for Change’, by profiling the independent stores who are all, in their own ways, agents of change. Each day this week, we’ll be looking at different stockists that we work with, all of who advocate and work towards a more ethical, more sustainable, and more Fair Trade world.

For our final profile before the day itself, we look to Charlotte van Waes and Marieke Vinck, aka Charlie + Mary, who are literal agents of change.

Originally just the shop they set up in 2009, they then followed with their agency for ethical fashion in 2010, which is the largest of its kind in the Netherlands. They now represent 90 brands in the region (including People Tree) and work tirelessly to push sustainable and fair trade fashion into the mainstream. They are also active supporters of events like Fashion Revolution and World Fair Trade Day, even hosting a whole celebration and fashion show yesterday! In Slow Fashion, they said:

“Ethical fashion and eco concept stores are bringing back the stories behind the clothes; stories that disappeared over 20 years ago. We’re getting greater transparency thanks to consumers, Fair Trade organisations, the media and online ranking sites. Conventional brands simply can’t live up to the claims of ethical brands.”

If you’re in Amsterdam, here are Charlotte and Marieke’s top recommendations!

  • Best coffee in town, around the corner of our shop/showroom in de hallen in Amsterdam at Lot sixty one: Kinkerstraat 112, Lot 61 promotes direct trade and their coffees are produced with respect for social and environmental conditions, ensuring transparent ethical sourcing and long-term sustainability in the supply chain
  • Restaurant Bak is best for innovative, ethical cuisine as well as stunning views:
  • A great place to visit is De Ceuvel in North Amsterdam. The Ceuval site is one of the most sustainable and unique urban developments in Europe. Cafe De Ceuvel does great parties, often live bands, bonfire, great vegetarian food and craft beers.

Charlie + Mary have two stores:

De Pijp, Gerard Doustraat 84, Amsterdam is open 13:00 – 18:00 Monday, 10:00 – 18:00 Tuesday to Saturday, and 12:00 – 18:00 Sunday.

De Hallen, Hannie Dankbaar passage 6, Amsterdam is open 11:00 – 18:00 Friday and Saturday, and 12:00 – 18:00 Sunday.