The Office of Community Life held a Fair Trade Christmas shop where various items and gifts were for sale from Equal Exchange and Bead for Life.

The shop was in the Mann Student Center on Dec. 3 and 4. Director of Community Life Keri Lewis said, “The Office of Community Life has been focusing for the last two years on issues of social justice, specifically in relation to human trafficking.”

Many of the goods we all purchase and consume today contribute to modern day slavery in some way and the Fair Trade shop and others like it aim to decrease harm through purchases.

“One of the ways we can actively participate in the modern abolitionist movement is to examine the supply chain of the items we use every day,” said Lewis.

When an item is fair trade, it means that the farmers and workers who are working within the supply chain of that item are fairly compensated for their work. Large quantities of the items we purchase do not fall under the category of “fair trade.”

“[The Office of Community Life] wanted to host a sale of fair trade items to help spread the word on the importance of using our money to support causes that help bring about justice,” added Lewis.

This year’s Fair Trade Christmas shop held many different types of items for sale. Equal Exchange specializes in products such as coffee, tea, chocolate, and other food, while Bead for Life specializes in jewelry, Shea products, and other household items. There was something there for everyone, with prices ranging from two dollars all the way up to $30.

Everything that was sold was completely fair trade, and the money directly supported those who made the products. The products were made by people in developing countries, and through the help of these non-profit organizations, they can build sustainable businesses and learn how to use the free market.