Sometimes it seems tough trying to be a conscious consumer in 2019, balancing concerns about sustainability with the desire to help people who are less fortunate.
If you're journeying into minimalism but also want to do your bit to help reduce poverty, then keep reading! There are some easy swaps you can make of day-to-day items that you already buy that will help empower people rather exploit them. It's not about buying more, it's about substituting the things you already purchase for more ethical alternatives.
Seemingly small acts go a long way in the world of Fairtrade.
[Image: Wild Timor Coffee]
Change the world before you've even finished your morning coffee! You can help fight poverty simply by swapping out your regular coffee for ethically grown, organic Wild Timor Coffee. Sourced directly from coffee farmers in Timor-Leste, Wild Timor ensures the farmers they work with are paid fairly and treated with respect. Timor-Leste is the third closest country to Australia, being 461 km away (by comparison, New Zealand is 1303 km away), so you'd be helping out our neighbours!
Now available to purchase online. Shop here
A cup of tea is like a warm, cosy hug. And when you switch your regular tea brand for Fairtrade alternatives like Tradewinds, you send hugs (and also much needed funds) across the ocean to tea growers in places like Sri Lanka.
3. Chocolate – Seed and Bean
If you're anything like us, then you probably buy more chocolate than you'd willingly admit. When you buy Fairtrade chocolate, you support cocoa farmers and their communities and ensure that no child or slave labour has taken place. So there's really not a good reason NOT to buy more chocolate if it's Fairtrade. Our studies at The Fair Trader (consisting of eating lots of chocolate) have even shown that ethical chocolate really does taste better. Come visit us in store and try Seed and Bean chocolate for yourselves!
4. Lip balm – Coco Khmer
[Image: Coco Khmer]
You probably find yourself reaching for your lip balm several times a day to fight the ever-drying winter air, but have you ever thought about where your lip balm came from and who made it? Make the switch to Coco Khmer lip balm, and you'll know that you're helping fight poverty in Cambodia. You can also be assured that what you're putting on your lips is made from natural ingredients like virgin coconut oil, beeswax and essential oils like rosemary and mint oils. This product comes in a plastic free tin option.
Even the most diehard minimalists need to clean their tiny homes. The next time you need new cleaning brushes, look no further than Eco Max brushes, which are made of all natural coconut fibre. Made in line with Fair Trade principles in Sri Lanka, these brushes will keep your home sparkling clean while ensuring the makers can financially support themselves and their families.
6. Soap / washcloths – Mulberries Laos
Support Lao village silk producers while you keep your skin clean, soft and smooth with Mulberries Silk Soap, exfoliating Silk Washcloths and Loofahs. Each dollar spent on Mulberries products helps sustain livelihoods in rural Laos and ensures the rich culture of traditional weaving thrives. Click here to learn more about the sustainable practice of silk production in Laos.
Have you ever wondered if your toilet paper aligns with your values? Neither had we, until Who Gives A Crap came along. This cheeky social enterprise ensures that you can be conscious about even the most mindless daily tasks. Your purchase helps build toilets for communities in developing regions to ensure improved sanitation.
[Image: Palestine Fair Trade]
Olive trees have been grown in Palestine for thousands of years, and today they represent not only a connection to the land for local people, but also one of the few sources of economic security. Simply by using Fairtrade olive oil in your kitchen or olive oil soap on your skin, you can help empower and generate much needed funds for Palestinian rural communities that are surrounded by conflict. The Fair Trader stocks a range of delicious infused olive oil including Basil and Thyme infusions.
Are your thongs on their last legs (or should we say feet)? When you're looking for your next pair, shop Etiko thongs. These thongs are certified Fairtrade, made by people in Sri Lanka. Not only are they made ethically, but they are also made of natural rubber latex, which means you're protecting the planet with every step! Most thongs are made of synthetic rubber, which is derived from petroleum. Over time as you wear synthetic rubber thongs, little particles come off the bottom, polluting the environment. This is especially worrisome considering thongs are the footwear of choice for seaside strolling. When you wear Etiko thongs, you know that you're helping fight poverty and reducing your environmental footprint – two compelling reasons to make the switch.
10. Conscious step socks
[Image: Conscious Step]
While we're on the topic of feet, let's talk socks! We're all for mending socks, but there comes a time when you've sewn up the same hole for the third time and you come to accept that maybe some new socks are in order. Thankfully, Conscious Step are here to put an ethical spring back in your step. Conscious Step socks are made from certified Fairtrade and GOTS certified organic cotton. Plus, each one of their fun, colourful designs helps fund a different cause, from feeding children in need to protecting the ocean and marine life.
"How wonderful it is that no one need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
- Anne Frank
Written by Bec Sykes