Posted on January 11, 2013 by greenheart_admin
Can we talk seriously for a moment my dears? Yes? Great. Many of us think of January as a month to focus on fresh new beginnings. For others, it’s the start of the school year, even long after we've graduated. But for millions of people, a new start seems inconceivable, especially for victims of human trafficking.
January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and we continue to fight to help people across the globe escape a very serious and haunting reality. Men who are trafficked rarely come forward to share their story, and most reports state at least 80% of the victims are women. As a $32 billion industry, human trafficking is the second largest illegal trade in the world (drugs being the first).
Fair trade efforts focus on prevention. People living on $1 a day (or less) can be drawn to the promise of more money to help themselves or their family by traffickers luring them into the slave trade. Fair trade (see: wages) provide a stable income that makes these promises much less attractive. And of course, this also happens right in our backyard.
The next step is preparing survivors to function on their own, and this is where fair trade plays a huge role. Not only do people receive fair pay and training, they get a start on the road to self-reliance.
What can you do to help? So many things.
- Get involved with local organizations in your area that work on human trafficking & provide services to human trafficking victims. The Polaris Project is a great start.
-There are fantastic organizations that help people learn to recognize the signs of a trafficked person, and you can report something suspicious, just by simply dialing a phone number. Truckers Against Trafficking have been making huge strides, not just with drivers, but anyone who stops at a rest stop, etc. while traveling. Victims exist here in our own neighborhoods, factories, and streets.
-Urge your legislators to provide law enforcement officials the tools to more effectively prosecute this crime.
-Look for fair trade products made by formerly trafficked people: each purchase directly benefits a victim & helps them move forward.
You can also visit the following sites for more information on national grassroots initiatives and other opportunities for community members to get involved in the anti-trafficking movement:
But please do something. No matter how small or large your effort, it will contribute to a future when we’ll no longer need only a month to shed light on inhuman abuses: we’ll have every month. And then hopefully, none at all.
Posted on March 22, 2012 by admin
The sun is shinning, a cool breeze blows, and seagulls croon in the distance.
How wonderful it would be if this was all happening on a tropical beach paradise and not the city streets of Chicago.
If only the shining sun meant warm sand, not steamy sidewalks, the breeze brought tropical scents, not empty chip bags, and the seagulls were not not the trash heap circling fiends we have here.
However, do not despair my similarly land locked friends!
The daffodils are peeping their way through the soil, and spring is nudging it's way into our hearts. Even in the city, the season tells us is time for the age old, much loved tradition of dusting of our sandals and making our way out of hibernation to purchase a new deliciously cool cotton sundress.
Preferably one with pockets.
Below are a few of my favorites from Mata Traders...
All of the above are 100% woven fair-trade cotton, use natural dyes, and have hand block printed and/or hand stitched details.
Shop these and more here
Author: Sarah Griffis.
Posted on March 13, 2012 by admin
Here is a challenge for you: Two Jute Rugs, very close in size. A 113.05 price difference. Can you, my very smart readers, figure it out?
Ex. 1 - Diamond Jute Rug 4x6
Ex. 2. Stripe Jute rug 5x8
Of the two rugs, only one is made at a fair-trade certified wage: the cheaper of the two. But, being so smart, you probably knew this was a trick from the get go.
The second rug (stripe jute) is from West Elm, and is $279.00.
The first rug, (diamond jute) is made for a fair wage by artisans in India, through Nkuku and is $165.95.
While the stripe rug is a little larger in size (don't think I am trying to pull a fast one on you), the intricacy of the pattern and colorful options is why the diamond jute rug is an all around steal for size and quality.
The hand woven rug industry is one of the worst in the business for implementing illegal child labor. On average, children of the ages 4 to 14 are kidnapped or sold and forced to work as many as 18 hours a day to weave rugs destined for export markets such as the US.
So, next time your in the market for a rug, why not throw a little ethics into the mix? It will not hurt your wallet as much as you might think.
You can check out all of Greenheart's fair trade rugs here: Fair-Trade Rugs
Author: Sarah Griffis
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