It is time to celebrate all the past and future accomplishments of the Fair Trade movement! October is officially Fair Trade month. This year, Fair Trade USA (formerly Transfair) and others in the fair trade world are looking to bring awareness to the labor and trade issues our world faces with the overall theme of “Every Purchase Matters.” This theme seems fitting since there are now more fair trade products than ever on the market. From clothing to rice and even olive oil, there is an abundance of fairly traded items hitting the shelves, and every single choice you make as a consumer directly affects producers lives.

So just what exactly does Fair Trade month entail? Along with providing education and bringing awareness to fair trade, there are hundreds of celebrations, giveaways, and discounts occurring across the country. Starting tomorrow, October 1st, Fair Trade USA will be launching a new website where users will be able to vote on which fair trade issues matter most: Fighting PovertyProtecting the Environment, Building Sustainable BusinessEmpowering Women or Supporting Education. Also on this website they will be featuring fair trade partners which will result in event announcements and product give-aways! And to top it all off, any donation of up to $10,000 made to Fair Trade USA during October will be matched 100% by the board of directors.

Now you may wonder, what can you do? First, vote on the importance of fair trade issues, spread the word about fair trade month to friends and family via Facebook/Twitter or traditional word of mouth, volunteer with your local Fair Trade Towns campaign (or start a new one in your neighborhood), or attend a fair trade event (or throw one yourself). And don’t forget to think consciously about your purchases and shop fair trade! A simple choice of deciding to go fair trade will impact the lives of fair trade workers and communities.

Lastly, be on the lookout for Autonomie Project’s celebrations as well. We have exciting things coming in the month of October! Happy Fair Trade Month!!!

-Team AP