It’s time again to pack our bags and head out West! This year’s Seattle Greenfest is taking place this weekend, March 28th and 29th. Greenfest is a joint event put on by Green America and Global Exchange to spread awareness of green and fair trade issues. We, along with Fair Trade Sports have a booth at this year’s event. And are really excited to go!

If you are in the Seattle area, please stop by and visit us and the many other green/fair trade companies and organizations exhibiting there. We will be in Booth 1217 in the Fair Trade section. Not only will you have a chance to check out great companies and do some shopping, just in time for spring, but you will have a chance to meet amazing people and hear some great speakers. This year’s line up includes Danny Glover, John Perkins, Amy Goodman, and many many more! And for the first time ever this year’s event will feature a Live Blogging Zone, where visitors are asked to tell their friends all about the events of the day!

Seriously Greenfests are amazing places to meet like minded people and discover amazing companies and products with great missions. So please come on down and check it out! Come visit us and get a special event price on sneakers or just to say hi! Hope to see you there!!!

When: March 28-29, 2009

Saturday 10AM – 7PM  and Sunday 11AM – 6PM

Where:

Washington State Convention & Trade Center
800 Convention Place
Seattle, WA

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Hello all you Northern Californians!! Come to the San Francisco Green Festival this weekend! We are sharing a booth with our friends Fair Trade Sports and are located at table 420 in the Fair Trade section! We are really excited about this event and love visiting San Francisco. The festival is occurring Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. So if you are planning on attending the National Day of Protest against Prop 8 on Saturday(which we recommend), there are still 2 more days to check out the awesome festival. Along with tables from Fair Trade and Green businesses, there will be delicious veggie food, speakers such as Chuck D, Winona LaDuke, and Greg Palast, and lot’s of interesting people to meet! Please stop by our table for a chat, just to say hi, play with Fair Trade Sports balls, or to check out our new super soft winter accessories!! We hope to see you there!

WHEN: November 14-16, 2008

WHERE: San Francisco Concourse Exhibition Center
635 8th St (at Brannan St)
San Francisco, CA 94103

TIMES: Friday – 12pm – 7pm
Saturday – 10am – 7pm
Sunday – 11am – 6pm

Earlier this year we wrote a piece on organic and vegan wine. However, we are now happy to highlight Etica Fair Trade! This is a small and new company that imports Fair Trade wines. We write this with great excitement, as an official fair trade certification for wines has been lacking! Most of their wine comes from Fair Trade wineries in Chile and South Africa. This week Co-op America has featured the owner and founder of Etica as one of their Faces of Green Pages. The company is a Co-op America Green business and is part of the Fair Trade Federation.

The wine was originally only distributed to restaurants and stores in Minnesota, but have now branched out to several states. Of course all their wine is available for sale on the website! We have yet to try the wine ourselves, as it is not yet distributed to Massachusetts and shipping wine is illegal here. But as soon as it is available in local Boston stores, you bet we will run out and support this company!

As well as providing Fair Trade wine to the US, Etica also gives back to the communities they work with and offsets their importing impact! Tiffany, the owner and founder is dedicated to the Fair Trade cause and through her interview with Co-op America states that more should be done in the wine industry to protect wokers, even here in the US.

So if you are looking for a relaxing glass of wine or night on the town, check out Etica for their Fair Trade wines. One last thing, they also have a blog: Drink Like You Give A Damn where they discuss fair trade issues as well as politics and events. We can’t wait to get our hands on our first glass of fair trade wine!!! We suggest you get some too!

It’s voting time again for Co-op America’s People’s Choice Green Business of the Year Award! Please take the time to cast your vote for your favorite nominated Green Business by October 9th. The Nominees are all Co-op America Certified Green Business that have shown exceptional commitment to the Green movement in the last year. This award is very prestigious and the company chosen will be looked at as an example to all others in the country. There are several great companies nominated and we suggest you take a look at each business as they range from Fair Trade goods to Natural Food Co-ops and even recycled pet products!


Be sure to check out their National Green Pages, a directory of Green Businesses (you’ll find Autonomie there!) and enjoy reading interviews with some of the entrepreneurs themselves. And as always, please join Co-op America if you are not already a member or donate and show your support!! On last thing, DON’T FORGET TO VOTE for this year’s People’s Choice Green Business of the Year, ballots must be in by October 9th!! Winners will be announced at GreenFest San Francisco and in the Co-op America Newsletter.

This past April 2008 a major victory in the anti-sweatshop move was completed. Congress voted in a bill to be signed into law that will extend US Federal Immigration and Labor Laws in the US territory, Mariana Islands. The Mariana Islands have been known to have some of the worst labor abuses in the world.
Location of the Mariana Islands 

The islands were used as a haven for many Chinese sweatshops to set up camp. The products produced there were used to deceive US consumers, since they carried the “Made in USA” tags. People consciously attempting to buy only US made clothing and other goods were mislead by the seemingly sweatshop free items. Throughout the 1990’s, anti-sweatshop activists and lobbyists worked to end these labor abuses and the deception of consumers but to no avail thanks to people like Jack Abramoff

However, thanks to the efforts of many anti-sweatshop groups including Co-op America the Mariana Islands’ workforce is now protected under the same laws as any of us hard working Americans. To learn more about the Mariana Island human rights movement, please check out the blog Unheard No More. For more information on ending sweatshops and how you can help, check out Co-op America’s Ending Sweatshops Guide or Sweatshop Watch.

Also, remember that many times the only way to wake a company up is by boycotting them and supporting companies that participate in fair labor and human rights. Remember Autonomie Project when you are looking for new footwear, bags, or clothing(coming soon) or any of these other wonderful companies listed on SweatFree Communities 2008 Shop with a Conscience Consumer Guide!

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