Fair Trade’s Growing Influence


Today’s gift shoppers are as esthetically conscious as they are globally minded. So, it’s no surprise that the ‘Fair Trade’ movement has emerged from a trend to a sustainable purchasing habit. First on the scene were chocolate and coffee brands that elevated ethical production to the ‘Fair Trade’ standard. Then, special certification began to appear on gift items, as shoppers became willing to pay a premium to ensure that product craftsmen received both fair pay and fair labor conditions. Currently, the ‘Fair Trade’ influence continues to spread across more categories into accessories, home décor, and bath/body, infusing greater substance with style.


At the NY NOW Gift Show in early 2016, ‘Fair Trade’ gifts were present at nearly every corner of the trade show floor with a high concentration in fashion accessories. This should come as no surprise, since elaborate beading, knit work, handbag, and toiletry production need highly skilled handiwork frequently produced overseas in developing economies. ‘Fair Trade’ companies have created brands that at their core empower local populations around the globe and engender good will. They create a statement that ‘looking good’ should also encompass ‘doing good’ in the greater world.

EverThread Spring 2016


‘Fair Trade’ Vendor Highlights Spring 2016:


Aid Through Trade, a fashion jewelry line and creator of the famous Roll-On® Bracelet, is featured in a myriad of vibrant colors and intricately beaded designs. The company was founded in 1993 by former Peace Corps Volunteer and teacher Damian Jones. During his time in the Peace Corps, he became inspired by Kathmandu artisans and their use of glass beads in the Nepalese culture. Soon after, Damien started the ‘Fair Trade Federation’ and started his company that currently employs over 75 women artisans in Nepal who have their own exclusive studio and office in Nepal where they enjoy prestige, sisterhood, dignity, fair remuneration, a retirement account and other benefits. It is both a member of ‘Green America’ and is regarded as a pioneer in the ‘Fair Trade’ movement.


While buyers appreciate Aid Through Trade’s commitment to ethical labor standards, they place reorders based on shoppers’ continuing demand. The accessory collection provides a compelling story that converts initial interest to loyalty.



One key buyer, Anastasia, from Nest Natural Home Store, in Clarksville MD, says that Aid Through Trade’s Roll-On™ bracelets are consistently the best-selling item in our store. Customers are drawn to their vibrant colors, and then are delighted to learn the beautiful story behind them. It’s great to have a product of such quality and integrity.”



Hand In Hand features a bath and body product line that is as inviting to the senses as is their social commitment. During its infancy in 2011, Hand in Hand Soap was developed by two social entrepreneurs with the common belief that business should create more than just profit. This married couple, Courtney Apple and Bill Glaab, recognized that many non-profits experience challenges to gain funding, promoting their decision to set out on their own model of sustainable giving fueled by product sales.


“The goal was to come up with a household product people use every day, that had the power to save lives.  After 3 years of brainstorming, we came across an article reporting that each year over 5 million people die of diseases caused by poor water quality and lack of proper hygiene. After further research, we discovered that those deaths could be prevented by hand washing and clean water. It was at that moment that Hand in Hand was conceived,” says Bill Glaab, co-founder of the company and cause.



The product solution was simple; why not make soap with a charitable donation that was 1 for 1, coined Buy a Bar Give a Bar. Today, Hand in Hand continues to mark the sale of each of their everyday products by giving a bar of soap and a month of clean water to children in need. With the resources secured, the company drilled its first well in Haiti, providing water to 240 families for the next decade, saving lives without dependence on a single donation. In sync with its ethical appeal, the line has signature collections named Clean Water and Espere (meaning hope in Haitian Creole). All product formulas are developed with eco-friendly ingredients derived from intentionally cleared rainforests. From its honest start with just soap, Hand in Hand has grown to include scrubs, lotions, bath preparations, lip balms, and home scents available in 10 delightful fragrances ranging from Orange Blossom to Wild Flower and Fern.





Lou Harvey features a colorful collection of laminated bags (for the whole family, beach, cooler totes, mom’s and children’s) and accessories in eye-catching, vibrant prints with a modern twist on classic styles. Lou Harvey’s popular range grew our out of her simple desire to fulfill a need for trendy, and equally important, functional carry accessories for Moms. The collection has since grown both in variety acquiring a real following for its signature styles..


Founded in 2002, in Durban, South Africa, the brand built its household name and reputation for its fashion forward spirit and its ethically conscious soul. Its laminate designs perfectly blend femininity with edge and advance the principles of social responsibility.


Lou Harvey’s signature accessories are now sold in the USA, UAE, Canada, Africa, and are soon-to-be in Australia. Over a decade after the collection’s inception, it maintains the same production standards. All accessories are manufactured with an eye on high quality in the rural outskirts of Durban, South Africa, under the supervision of Lou Harvey, the company’s founder. Growing her local production, she has propelled those who demonstrate a passion for entrepreneurship into positions of leadership. The result is a longstanding commitment to developing and nurturing less fortunate people from her community, which has significantly and permanently changed both the local and international

About author

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *