Can you have a fair trade "Black Friday?"
"Black Friday" is one of those strange American traditions which is gradually seeping into the UK (they'll have us celebrating Independence Day next!). Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, which falls on the fourth Thursday of November. In the US it's a feeding frenzy of 5am openings, crazy deals, mad consumerism and the start of the Christmas rush.
Doesn't sound like there would be a lot in common with the ethics and ideals of fair trade, does it? We try to run our business in a way that encourages our customers to think about the people behind their purchases, and a mad supermarket sweep doesn't quite fit with that approach. Nevertheless, as a retailer we have to see Black Friday as an opportunity to spread our message that fair trade is a better way of doing business.
We are always clear to our customers that we are not a charity - we are not here with a begging bowl looking for donations. We are simply a platform that allows incredibly talented artists, producers and creatives from around the world to sell their products at a price that makes sense for them. The producers we represent aren't necessarily poor souls who need our help - they're entrepreneurs, business people, the future of their nations. They don't want a free pass - they just want a level playing field.
By choosing fair trade products this Christmas you can help make life fairer and more equitable for people around the world. Better than another electric toothbrush, right?!