Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Fair Trade

Economic action to create a just global economy for farmers and artisans


Fair Trade Apparel, Home Décor, Jewelry, Crafts, and More

Unique, handmade, artisan crafts like jewelry, baskets, and textiles can also be fairly traded! The artisans are paid a living wage in local context for producing in safe and clean conditions.  Purchasing Fair Trade crafts supports artisans from all over the world.  Everything from t-shirts made in Nicaragua, notecards made in Africa, to handmade earrings from South Asia can be purchased through business belonging to the the Fair Trade Federation.


Fair Trade Apparel Cooperative

Maquiladora Dignidad y Justica

Piedras Negras, Mexico

Photo and profile provided by North Country Fair Trade

Maquiladora Dignidad y Justicia was established in 2004 to provide employment to women in Piedras Negras, Mexico. The founding members of Dignidad y Justicia previously produced brand name products for corporate apparel manufacturing plants along the U.S./Mexican border. When cuts in wages and benefits were instituted by plant owners, they initiated an independent labor movement in the factories.  Several organizers were fired and black-listed, and eventually the apparel manufacturing companies moved production to Central America and China, where wages were even lower, leaving thousands of unemployed women in Piedras Negras. 

A group of these women formed their own apparel-production business, based on Fair Trade principles, in partnership with Comite Fronterizo de Obrer@as, a Mexican non-profit, and North Country Fair Trade, a Minnesota-based wholesaler.

Dignidad y Justicia produces a line of t-shirts in both conventional and organic cotton, hemp/organic cotton sweatshirts, and canvas tote bags in conventional and organic cotton.  These products are sold to schools, churches, and small businesses, primarily in bulk orders of blank shirts and bags.  North Country Fair Trade, a member of Green America and the Fair Trade Federation, is the marketing partner and distributor of the apparel in the United States.


More about crafts:

  • Supporting Fair Trade craft goods often helps to protect long-established techniques that have been passed down through generations.
  • By working with Fair Trade certified organizations, small and rural artisans are able to offer their goods on a global level that would otherwise be inaccessible. 

The Fair Trade Federation (FTF) is the trade association that strengthens and promotes North American organizations fully committed to fair trade. Members have demonstrated their commitment to the principles of Fair Trade, which include providing fair wages to economically disadvantaged artisans and farmers worldwide.

FTF-member businesses offer products like jewelry, baskets, clothing , textiles, musical instruments, toys, home furnishings, and other crafts. Others offer accessories like handbags and scarves, paper products like stationery and notecards, or food products like coffee, chocolate and olive oil.

Find where to purchase Fair Trade Crafts near you!


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