The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Leslie Anderson, (703) 276-3256 or

Is There a Sweatshop in Your Home? Hundreds of Events Planned Nationwide to Encourage Americans to "Fair Trade Your Home"

Events to Provide Simple But Effective Tips For Creating a Fair Trade Home; Common Household Sweatshop Items That Can Be Fairly Traded Are Clothing, Home Goods and Chocolate.


Is there a sweatshop in your home?For
millions of Americans, the answer is an unwitting yes.Americans
across the country can find out how to replace goods made in sweatshops
with Fair Trade products at hundreds of events taking place across the
U.S. over the course of the next two weeks to mark World Fair Trade
Day on May 8th
They can also win great Fair Trade prizes by submitting pictures of
fairly traded goods in their homes (

Most Americans would be appalled to learn
of the extent to which the everyday items that they use in their homes
are produced in sweatshops or even by slave labor. Widely used
household items that fall into this category are all forms of clothing -
from t-shirts to dress clothes to jewelry, home goods - including
furniture and decorative items, and foods - including chocolate, coffee,
sugar and spices. World Fair Trade Day organizers are calling on
Americans to get those sweatshop items out of their home and to instead
"Fair Trade your home" to support farmers and artisans worldwide.

World Fair Trade Day national campaign
coordinator, and Executive Director, Fair Trade Resource Network Jeff
Goldman, said: "There are lots of reasons to celebrate Fair
Trade as we bring dignity and justice to millions of vulnerable farmers
and artisans around the world. By committing to use Fair Trade goods at
home, we can enjoy high quality and take action to improve our world.

The Fair Trade system helps producers and
suppliers earn a living wage and take steps to protect the environment.
It also serves to empower individuals and communities, support women's
and children's rights, promote dignity and respect, and connect
developing nations with developed nations and markets.

World Fair Trade Day is the largest Fair
Trade event in North America, with over 65,000 people having
participated in 2009. In the U.S., small businesses, high schools,
universities, churches, groups and individuals will be raising awareness
about the benefits of buying Fair Trade products. The theme of this
year's events is "Fair Trade My Home". Events across the country
include: scavenger hunts, coffee tastings, dinner parties, arts and
crafts festivals, and so much more.

Major co-sponsors of World Fair Trade Day
include nonprofit and faith-based organizations, such as Green America,
Catholic Relief Services, Fair Trade Towns and Fair for Life, as well as
retail companies, such as Ben and Jerry's, Wholesome Sweeteners, Dr.
Bronner's Magic Soaps, and Anti-Body.


Some of the best ways to get rid of
sweatshop items in your home and to go Fair Trade are as follows:

  • Purchase Fair Trade
    coffee, tea, sugar, and cocoa
    - When conventionally
    purchased, these popular food items are often grown in "sweatshops in
    the fields." Buying them Fair Trade CertifiedTM means that farmers are
    being paid a fair wage and communities are being supported.
  • Purchase Fair Trade
    - from t-shirts, to shoes to dresses, there is
    beautiful Fair Trade clothing from all over the world made by artisans
    who are paid a living wage.
  • Buy Fair Trade home
    - plates, tablecloths, and even furniture can be
    purchased Fair Trade.
  • Buy Fair Trade
    - from vases to sculptures to rugs - Fair Trade
    artisans produce beautiful crafts. And, when you purchase them from Fair
    Trade organizations, you know that no child labor or sweatshops were
  • Gift Fair Trade
    - You can purchase Fair Trade toys for kids, sculptures for adults, and
    chocolate for everyone on your list. When you gift Fair Trade, you are
    giving a high quality product and introducing someone to the value of
    purchasing Fair Trade every day.

About World Fair Trade Day

On and around May 8th, people in 80
countries worldwide will hold events to mark World Fair Trade Day in
order to highlight the importance and benefits of Fair Trade. Across
North America, participants are entering "Fair Trade My Home" contests.
Both individuals, as well as organizations, will win Fair Trade prizes
for bringing Fair Trade, or deepening Fair Trade, in their homes. Fair
Trade supporters will host hundreds of events to encourage the public to
take home many Fair Trade items, and enter the contests. Events such as
festivals, fashion shows, speeches, food and drink tastings, film
showings, sports games, neighborhood crawls, and concerts are being
planned to help celebrate the day from May 1-15.

Green America is a not-for-profit membership organization founded in 1982 and known until January 1, 2009 as "Co-op America." Green America's mission is to harness economic power--the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace--to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.