Published on January 18th, 2016 | by gatsbyadmin0
Let’s Be Fair – LA
“Ethically sourced, fairly traded, and life impacting purchases.”
If we are going to come home from our workday, put on our best sweatpants, use our nicest glasses, (be it wine, eye, or both) and really dive into some serious online shopping, let’s make a difference with the dollars we spend.
As consumers, let’s support businesses and boutiques that promote fair trading, humane exporting conditions, and building up the economies of developing countries with one of a kind, beautifully crafted items that will not be found anywhere else.
Keeping these boutiques open is important, however, steady employment to the people creating these goods, that is the dream of all Fair Traders. Sustainability of people is just as important as the sustainability of our natural resources, and people are our most valuable natural resource.
After all, fair trade is about impacting lives in a positive way. It is all about the people.
Ideas that would never occur to most people, like jewelry created from the shell casings of bullets collected from fields in Ethiopia, can be purchased in a “fair trade” manner, increasing the sustainability of the people’s lives who are creating these products.
Handmade baby clothes created from fabrics and textiles woven in India, and Guatemala, or masterfully crocheted scarves, hats, and clothing made by women and children in places as far as an Ugandan village, are just a few of the fair traders highlighted on the Let’s Be Fair site.
Woven baskets from Rwanda, cookies, coffee, and sugars, sourced from ingredients grown by fair trade farmers can be delivered to your door.
In 2012, Dominique Furukawa, at a conference about human and sex trafficking, sat in a panel discussion about labor abuse. Growing up in the San Fernando Valley, twenty minutes away from the Los Angeles Garment District, it hit her hard to hear of the abuses that were occurring, many in her own backyard.
Dominique and her husband, Daniel, discussed what she had learned at length. “The orphan crisis was horrible, but I was already in the adoption process. But labor? I couldn’t escape that one. None of my usual go-to guilt erasers applied here. There was a massive element missing. A human element. I vividly remember telling my husband, ‘Someone really should start a people friendly lifestyle blog.’ Two weeks later we purchased the domain for Let’s Be Fair.”
Dominique and Daniel hit the ground running. But to where? “We didn’t exactly know what we were doing, and I assumed it meant I’d be wearing lots of ugly clothes made out of hemp.”
The mantra of Let’s Be Fair is simple. The journey to fair trade and ethical living isn’t about rules; it’s about integrity. The goal of the lifestyle and beauty blog website “Let’s Be Fair” is to create an environment, and community to do just that.
Can it really be that simple? “You don’t have to be an ‘ethically sourced martyr.’ If I NEED something and can’t find it ethically, I try to show myself grace and just buy it.”
There are so many questions to ask when they hear about this “movement”, something called fair trade? Direct trade? B Certified? Upcycle? Is that like a Unicycle? What does all this mean?!
Recently interviewed by endslaverynow.org, Dominique answers the frequently asked questions, and explains, “Integrity doesn’t categorize. If I give money and time to the work of eradicating slavery, how can I then purchase products that promote slave labor and abuse? Poverty is a major contributor to the global orphan and human trafficking crises. Poverty is also, in many ways, preventable.”
It seems she is not wearing drab clothing made only of hemp and draining her bank account either. “I have less clutter and less pressure to consume. Going to a wedding used to mean new shoes, new dress, blowing my budget, worrying about my figure, finding time to shop, etc. Now, going to a wedding means putting on my “wedding dress” (I have three go-to options) and focusing more on the celebration of the people that I love. Not only is it more convenient, it brings more peace.”
Most recently, Let’s Be Fair hosted a Holiday Market called “For Goodness Sake” in Venice, Ca on Abbott Kinney Blvd. The G2 Gallery in the heart of a city which was created by Mr. Kinney as an artistic neighborhood “artist colony” truly was the perfect place to host this event.
An impromptu performance of favorite Christmas Carols were performed by the NBC hit show “The Voice” contestant, Matt Cermanski. Operatic beauty, Alescia Penn performed with Matt, conjuring thoughts of hot chocolate, Candy Cane Lane, and how amazing the Winter season can be.
It is truly the doorway to a whole new way of thinking ethically, while shopping for one of a kind treasures.
Written & media by: Courtney Gilmore @OGofCBD