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Are there any items that you prefer to buy fair trade?

Asked at The Merc, 901 Iowa Street Lawrence on January 13, 2013

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Photo of Eric Anderson

“I guess the answer is yes, but it depends on when I see it. I don’t go out of my way, but I agree with the concept. ”

Photo of Hannah Wilson

“Not actively, but we just bought fair trade tea.”

Photo of Garth Atchison

“I like coffee and chocolate.”

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 3 months ago

Such lazy commenters, so content in their ignorant sarcasm--tsk, tsk.

Ten Thousand Villages is a fantastic store that just opened up in downtown Lawrence. It's in the direct line of a continuously growing project of the Mennonite folks who started the movement in the '40s, looking for rewarding folks directly for their hard labor typically done in a cottage industry-style/scale instead of dealing with all of the middlemen who usually get all of the money, thereby helping sustain the little guy along with his and her communities wherever they may be found. It's evolved into a global movement that has a really good track record for helping local small businesses, particularly in third world countries, and has particularly focused on women in those countries who are generally oppressed but turn out to be the most committed and competent businesspeople when given the opportunity.

For more information on this laudable and important movement, check out what they have to say about it--make sure to also check out their history page:

And yes, the Merc also carries Fair Trade items as do any number of other stores in town as they have bothered to actually find out what it is all about and rightfully are supporting it.



Liberty275 1 year, 3 months ago

If "fair trade" meant actual fair trade, I would buy such items. Unfortunately "fair-trade" means lots of bureaucratic hoops that sellers must jump through, giving larger and more established firms a mandated advantage.

There really isn't much that is fair about that. If it makes you feel good, the buy some extra and give it to your friends.


Caz Snwot 1 year, 3 months ago

Everything I buy I try to make sure it's fair trade. I've seen some of the work practices in a couple different "third world" countries.... I'd rather spend more and buy american made items that someone was at least paid a minimum wage for.... and never are my items bought from wal-mart.


Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 3 months ago

I do search out and buy fair trade. Few people know or care to know how much work goes into producing the textiles and foods that they use. For example, in this country it takes an enormous amount of time and work to produce a quilt totally from scratch, not to mention the creativity needed to craft the design. Everything that is created by a person has a bit of that person in it, by which I mean spiritual not material.

Think about planting coffee, waiting for it to mature and produce beans, then pick the beans, and that is just the start. Then think about how much you would like to get paid by the time the coffee is ready to be shipped. Oh, and don't forget the shipping costs, the cost of the bags to put the coffee beans in to ship, etc.

Think, Babboy and Rara_Avis i, I implore you. Ask yourself, what would Charlie do?


Antonym 1 year, 3 months ago

Only if the item comes with a certified video of the actual manufacture, and a certified statement from the person making it saying they were not tortured or treated inhumanely according to standards set forth by authorized persons from Lawrence. Otherwise, it's only more eyewash designed to sell stuff to unsuspecting dupes for high prices.


Rara_Avis 1 year, 3 months ago

Babboy, you're just not exploring the right avenues. I know plenty of lawyers who take stereos and stuff in lieu of payment. I was in jail with this guy who pretty much gave his lawyer his entire living room as payment.


Rara_Avis 1 year, 3 months ago

I'm with Babboy for once. Are we talking the barter system or something? Is this another stupid Merc idea? Hippies.....It's funny. Hippies were all so anti-material but they ended up owning most of Old West Lawrence. I bet the Merc won't do the fair trade thing. Their stuff is really expensive and they still don't sell cigarettes.


BABBOY 1 year, 3 months ago

I am not even sure what the flip that is man. I am assuming you mean trading for goods in which case I am not even sure where that comes up in my dealings…..


psycho_theclown 1 year, 3 months ago

Ivory, shark fins, baby seal pelts...


Andini 1 year, 3 months ago

Yes. Turkey legs and funnel cakes but I always thought the fair was in August?


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