My friend Rachel said something to me a last year that really resonated: “Don’t look for the best deals for you, but instead, the best deals for everyone.” So, yes, scoring a supercute dress for your daughter for $9.99 may be a good deal for you, but before you buy, think about who is getting hurt by your purchases. Is there a child in China who had to stitch that dress together for hours on end making pennies per hour? Or was the cotton harvested by slave labor?
Sadly many popular and thriving American companies sell products that hurt people—especially children—in other parts of the world. And while it’s easy to push the problem out of our minds as something that is too big for us to solve, I want to remind you that as Christians and citizens of the world, it’s our call to make sure that the orphans, the widows, the poor and the immigrants are treated fairly. I know I can’t change the poverty, slavery and disparity in this world singlehandedly, but I can certainly buy products that were made by people who were paid a fair wage. And who were working in fair conditions.
And so, this Christmas, I’m going to buy gifts that I know come from companies that utilize fair practices. There are hundreds of companies that do exactly that—Google “fair trade products” or you can also find a comprehensive list at www.toactjustly.com/shopping. And while it may cost me a little more, I know that shopping fair trade makes sure that I’m getting a great deal for everyone involved.