The premise of my store was to provide a place where fair trade items from international artisans would be available. I wanted to provide a place where the "locals" could come together with some of the newcomers to our small town.
I learned that, for women and girls around the world, they don't have control over their health. What I also learned is that everything I do to optimize my health relates directly, is in fact, inextricably linked, to the health of the world's women and girls.
Next time someone says they feel guilty for owning an iPhone, ask if they were the one who decided to maintain a 73% profit margin while underpaying workers on 18-hour-shifts. To roll out new models at breakneck speed? To use conflict minerals and toxic chemicals?
Pornography is a fact of life, and parental controls and moralizing spoilsports won't make a dent in its exponential growth. But the bar needs raising. Maybe Fair Trade porn could reconnect us to a better relationship with the human body.
Debates in the United States in response to these disclosures have been how to assign blame or whether consumers can force Apple to be more ethical. This is not enough. The problems are certainly not limited to Apple or Foxconn.
Sub-Saharan Africa produces 70-74 percent of the world's cocoa beans. Should anything wipe out the cocoa crop from either of these producer nations, there is no other country that could quickly take up the slack.
Maureen McGowan is the director of Handcrafting Justice, a Sisters of Good Shepherd project that sells handmade goods made by impoverished women in the developing world. This is no mom-and-pop charity.
This Sunday, people will have the chance to hold hands surrounding the White House, and to ask President Obama to live up to his campaign promise to "end the tyranny of oil," by saying no to Tar Sands.
Many chocolate lovers consume and enjoy chocolate without ever thinking about where it comes from or how it was produced. However, there are many issues surrounding the production of chocolate that are important for consumers to be aware of.
Free trade deals have always been less about creating jobs than exporting neoliberal ideology to the Global South, thereby accelerating poor nations' cascade toward low labor standards, environmental exploitation and deregulation.
Mitt Romney has made tough statements about dealing with China which, if sincere, would not only put him beyond the other major Republican candidates on trade, but also far beyond what the Obama administration is doing.