Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Great Fair Trade Boutique in San Diego!

Fair trade provides under and unemployed artisans from around the world with an opportunity to earn a livable wage and improve their quality of life by establishing a sustainable market for their products 

The Unity Center in San Diego believes in giving back to the global community and does this by selling fair trade products.  In 2007 they partnered with Exotic World Gifts so that they could provide a wide range of high quality fair trade gift items to members of their community and the public.

This partnership, combined with the congregation's passion for hand-crafted fair trade gift items, has grown into "Partners Fair Trade Boutique" one of the largest Fair Trade stores in all of San Diego.

When you purchase a beautiful product from our "Partners" not only are you helping to provide a sustainable income for these great artists, you are also helping to fund our micro-finance projects around the world.   The Unity Center's boutique is located at 8999 Activity Road San Diego 92126 and is open after the 9 & 11am services.  It is well worth the trip!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Had a great time with Fair Trade supporters at K & B Wine Cellars.  K & B offered their Fair Trade Vodka and Fair Trade liquors at 10% off that night.  Everyone sampled Fair Trade chocolate and enjoyed appetizers!

Check out:  FAIR SPIRITS at

 "FAIR is the world's first and unique Fair Trade Certified line of spirits. We respect about 200 rules to make sure that we pay the farmers at a fair price. It enables them to cover their production costs, live from farming, educate their children and build schools.
We're happy, the farmers are happy, and we're sure you'll be happy with our FAIR Spirits."

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

K'nB Wine CellarsJoin Fair Trade San Diego & La Mesa Fair Trade for a Meet & Greet opportunity!  
All are welcome! Please come!
December 5  •  5-7:30pm
6380 Del Cerro Boulevard   •   
San Diego, CA 92120
       (619) 286-0321 
Enjoy samples of Fair Trade chocolate 
while having the opportunity to purchase
Fair Trade vodka from Fair Trade Spirits.
Think Human.  Drink FAIR.  ( Carried at K&B Wine Cellars)

Consider shopping at Windmill Farms  - located next store for Fair Trade products!
Looking to purchase
Fair Trade Gifts Holiday Season? 
Check out these venues!  
Your gifts count twice!


Fair Trade Alternative Gift Fair

Sunday, Nov. 24th   
First Lutheran Church  
1420 3rd Ave. (3rd & Ash) San Diego 


Shift Your Holiday Shopping & 

Purchase with a Purpose!

Buy Great Fair Trade Gifts and Help Fight Human Trafficking
Wed., Dec.4th 5p to 8p Click here  for more details.

Wouldn’t it be cool if your holiday purchases could empower women, support locally owned and socially responsible businesses, and help fight human trafficking? Guess what...they can!You are invited to relax and mingle. Grab a snack and a drink. And of course, check out a great selection of Fair Trade, eco-friendly, and all-out awesome gifts.


Roots of Giving Fair Trade Market

Friday, Dec. 6 from 6-10p
Pt. Loma Nazarene Univ.
3900 Lomaland Dr. SD

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Oktoberfest Fair Trade 

Gift Faire was a success!

The Purpose (Around the World Gifts)
Cafe Virtuoso
It was a great event in La Mesa! on October 13th!  Over 400 people shopped for Fair Trade products at the Oktoberfest Fair Trade Gift Faire.  We thank Rigo of Cafe Virtuoso, Ephraim from Ben & Jerry's, Jeanne from Cool Beans Chocolate, Torrey & Chase of Cafe Moto, Sharry from Dr. Bronners, Lucia from Malia Designs, Antoine from VavaVida, Jude from Fair Trade Decor, Evangley from Around the World Gifts and more.  Fair Trade samples of honey sticks, bubble gum, sugar and more were up for grabs! It is exciting to see SDSU coming on board with Fair Trade and "tableing" at this event.  Check out Fair Trade SDSU, to continue the momentum of a Fair Trade campus.
Cool Beans Chocolate

Malia Designs
Also available were Fair Trade soda from Maine Root and Runa Iced Teas.  As you are "out and about" in San Diego, please  check out our local Fair Trade vendors.  They make a difference and choose "the higher road".  Products are not sourced from China, there is no middle man.  Just by a simple choice of choosing a Fair Trade coffee or tea each day,  you make a difference for a farmer or artisan and their family across the world.  Think about it.  Your dollar counts! 

Dr. Bronners

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Registration Open for New England & Southern California Gatherings

Fair Trade Campaigns is hosting two Regional Gatherings this Fall in Southern California & New England and you’re invited!

Fair Trade Town and Fair Trade College & University campaign organizers and supporters will come together to establish regional support networks, build and grow our campaigns, and learn from our peers.

Mark your calendars!
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Southern California Regional Gathering -
Saturday October 5th, 2013
Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA
Hope you will consider attending!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Sustain La Mesa Environmental Festival on September 7th was a great opportunity to meet with people and spread the word about Fair Trade.  
Mayor Art Madrid lead the opening remarks and stopped by our booth to show his continued support.
We teamed up with All the Perks Expresso Cafe in La Mesa to promote their Fair Trade coffee.  Owner, Silvana gave out samples of the coffee to all that asked.
Many people stopped by and were very interested in our work and what we had accomplished with La Mesa. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sustain La Mesa Environmental Festival this Saturday!
Please stop by!
San Diego County Fair Trade • La Mesa Fair Trade • SDSU Fair Trade Student Life Organization

Join our movement as we feature Fair Trade crafts & women's accessories - including recycled jewelry, t-shirts and lots more.  Here is an opportunity to join the many thousands of today’s consumers who are inspired to add “socially responsible” to their shopping list. To purchase a Fair Trade certified product is to make a difference. The designation signifies that artisans and farmers in the poorest areas of the world have received fair, livable wages for their product or ingredients.

In addition, certain standards must be met in the production process.  These include protecting the environment, building economic sustainability, and providing opportunities for education and health care for families.  Young children are protected from forced labor.

Awareness of Fair Trade is growing in San Diego County and well as in La Mesa.  Stop by our booth and see why La Mesa is a Fair Trade Town and why SDSU is fast becoming a Fair Trade University following UCSD, USD and Pt. Loma Nazarene University. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day in La Mesa!

Happy Earth Day! My apologizes for being a day late, but I suppose one could argue that Earth Day should be every day anyway.

This year I celebrated Earth Day on lovely Mt. Helix (the views are breath taking) with our friends in La Mesa.  We were not only celebrating Earth Day but also the great achievement of becoming a Fair Trad Town!

And we happily shared the message of fair trade to many guests.  Its benefits are many and its principles are invaluable to countless women, men and children around the world.

Me letting folks that Fair Trade isn't just about coffee and tea; it's clothing and earrings too!

Explaining the benefits and values of Fair Trade

Proudly displaying several different Fair Trade items at Earth Day

Monday, April 8, 2013

Fair Trade Coffee Break: Civilization

Civilization Coffee Shop in Tremont

For me coffee isn't just about the cup of the warm drink in my hands it is also about the experience.  The smell, the mug, the coffee shop that I am sitting in, to me it all matters. So it only seems to make sense to me to share with all of you different coffee shops that sell fair trade coffee and or teas and that I feel at home at.  Now since I write for Fair Trade San Diego's blog the coffee shops will generally be in the San Diego County area but since I was back where I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio this week visiting family and friends I couldn't help but share one of my favorite coffee shops in the area that sells fair trade.

Fair Trade Coffee at Civilization

Civilization is in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland.  Tremont is an old neighborhood that has been revitalized in the last ten years or so.  It was settled by immigrants at the beginning of the last century.  Some of those immigrants were Polish and of the Polish families that lived there my paternal grandmother's family was one. As a little girl she played in the streets and parks of the neighborhood and her brother owned a bar later in the life in the same neighborhood but the best part of the story is her connection to Civilization.  

The coffee shop was once a pharmacy, the sign still resides at the top of the building, and I like to think about my grandmother as a little girl going to that pharmacy with her parents.  She was probably adorable, adorable like little girls are when dressed in dresses, gloves and hats, something they did when she was a child. And she probably asked for candy when they visited to pick up medication.  Perhaps her father would buy some for her and her siblings, perhaps not.  As it turns out I don't know a great deal about my grandmother's childhood, for years she didn't share much about it because it wasn't as charmed as I thought it might have been.  She didn't share memories of Tremont with me until just a few years before her death when I was living in the same neighborhood in my mid-20s.  

Grandma Stary on the right with Grandpa Stary and one of my uncles and his wife
Regardless of what my grandmother's story was and I probably will never know too much about it prior to her marriage to my grandfather, I truly enjoy stepping into Civilization and feeling a connection to a part of her life that I know so little about.  The dark wood, the fair trade and the memories make the place so special to me! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

La Mesa Fair Trade Towns! 

Fair Trade promotion is on the move in La Mesa, recently declared a Fair Trade Town. Plans are in process to celebrate World Fair Trade Day at two locations in the city.  There will be a formal presentation of the Fair Trade Towns Declaration, Fair Trade vendors, samples, etc. at the May 11 celebration.  A second planning meeting will take place Thursday, April 11 @ 5.  All FT supporters are invited to join with FT San Diego County to assist with WFTD.  The meeting will be held at @Spacebar (University Blvd. in La Mesa). 


The East County Earth Day, taking place Sunday, April 14 at Mt. Helix Amphitheater, is another opportunity to spread the word about Fair Trade.  We will be getting the word out about Fair Trade in general and in La Mesa in particular at a booth at the event. And don't miss our presentation on how Fair Trade protects the environment. All are invited to attend what promises to be a fun and festive family event (11am-3pm). 

La Mesa Fair Trade Towns Committee Members

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Very Happy Fair Trade Easter

Easter is one of my favorite holidays.  In my mind it is up there with Thanksgiving an Christmas.  And I have very special memories of Easter from my childhood.  Growing up in an ethnically Slovak (as in the Czech Republic and Slovakia) Catholic community my family and I would have our Easter baskets blessed by the parish priest on the Saturday before Easter, which is known as Holy Saturday in my faith tradition.  As most of us do as young children, I assumed everyone who celebrated Easter had their baskets blessed.  I was in my 20s before I learned from other Catholic friends that they do not have their baskets blessed on Holy Saturday.  I was shocked! I asked around and it seemed we were alone in this tradition until I asked my dear friend who was born and raised as a Catholic in Poland.  She too had her baskets blessed and still does.  It seems this tradition is an Eastern European one, or perhaps other ethnic groups do it as well? (If you celebrate this tradition, please let me know.) So now my family and I join her at a local Polish church each year and have our baskets blessed. But there are two new additions to this tradition for me: one, the church we attend only offers the service in Polish, I don't speak the language but I understand the concept and two, now my chocolate bunnies and candies are fair trade and this year they were purchased locally from independent purveyors (Ocean Beach People's Coop & Open Door Books in Pacific Beach).

May you have a very Happy Easter and may it be filled with love, happiness and fair trade treats!


Friday, March 8, 2013

International Women's Day

Today, March 8th, is International Women's Day.  This is a day to inspire women and to celebrate them as well.  In college I minored in Women's Studies and wrote my undergraduate thesis on the valuable role that women play in the Catholic Church.  Perhaps it goes without saying that I am a definite supporter of the rights of women.  As it turns out I am a definite supporter of the rights of all people, but I am especially proud of being a woman and seeing the accomplishments that other women have and continue to achieve. 

It's no surprise to me that the fair trade movement fits into International Women's Day as well.  Fair trade is imbued with protections for the traditionally under-protected, the poor in general and women and children in particular fall in this category.  Gender equity is one of the ten principles of fair trade and is stated as follows:

   Gender equity: Fair Trade means that women’s work is properly valued and rewarded. Women are always paid for their contribution to the production process and are empowered in their organizations. (

So today, on International Women's Day take a moment and celebrate the women in your life and celebrate the achievements of the fair trade movement too for its success in protecting so many women in the developing world.

Have a wonderful day,

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Scotland: A Fair Trade Country!

There's some great Fair Trade news to share! Scotland has become a Fair Trade COUNTRY! Okay, Scotland is admittedly significantly smaller than these United States, but this is still a great accomplishment. 

The Background

Scotland is the second nation to achieve this auspicious status; Wales become the first Fair Trade Country in June 2008. According to the Scottish Fair Trade Forum: 'All Scottish cities have Fairtrade status and 56% of local authority areas in Scotland have Fairtrade status. Ten universities and one college have achieved Fair Trade status, with eight more universities and colleges working towards achieving it.'

And About San Diego County
Did you know that La Mesa is a Fair Trade Town and that the University of California San Diego was the second Fair Trade University in the United States and the first in California.  The University of San Diego is also a Fair Trade University.  And I have heard that San Diego State and Point Loma Nazerene are working on becoming Fair Trade Universities. 

There are a lot of cities in San Diego County and a few more colleges too but couldn't we become a Fair Trade County!?! It's a pretty cool idea and it would take a lot of time to accomplish it but still I like the idea of it.  So let's get cracking everyone!


Monday, February 25, 2013

Let Me Introduce Myself!

Howdy fellow friends of fair trade. I'm Dawn and I'm your Fair Trade San Diego blogger. I'm new to blogging but I've loved writing since I was a kid. I'm passionate about fair trade in general and the movement in particular.  I know fair trade isn't perfect, nothing is, but I believe in its principles and stand behind its cause. San Diego is my home but a bit of my heart still dwells in the Midwest where I grew up. I'm married to a nice Midwestern boy and I adore my two pups but I'm head over heels in love with my one year old son Declan, he's just precious!

Thanks for coming along with me on this journey and I look forward to many more posts ahead!

Have a happy fair trade day.

Friday, February 22, 2013

End Modern Slavery!

This week, Lincoln is up for an Academy Award because he moved Congress to act on slavery. We know there are more slaves today than at any other time in history, but Congress isn’t stepping up. We’re celebrating an ideal we’re not living up to. In fact, we spend more on the war on drugs in ONE week than we have fighting slavery over the past TEN years. 

#ImWithLincoln is a campaign to ask our Senators to make freedom a priority by doubling annual funding spent to address this crime. This isn’t about more spending; it’s about better spending.

We made this video to give Americans an understanding of the issue and to connect us all to one of our most cherished ideals: Freedom. Please share it far and wide, visit, and tell Congress you’re with Lincoln and they should be, too.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fair Trade Fashion is Quite Fashionable!

 Blogger October Rebel creates a beautiful look with Mata Trader's Edie Dress.

Have you been paying attention to fashion week? It was in New York last week and now we head to London for fall's fabulous frocks. To be honest I only partially pay attention, getting all of my information from the New York Times Fashion section's feed on my personal instagram account.  I love seeing the beautiful clothing.  It is fun and exciting to think about new clothes, new outfits and wonderful new places to wear all of what I am devouring with my eyes. Of course, this makes me think about fair trade fashion as well!

When I first learned about fair trade years ago in college I recall there being very few fashion items to choose from.  But I am so happy to say that things have changed.  Fair Trade clothing, jewelry, accessories and shoes abound.

 Sseko sandals can be found on Seven Hopes United's website. While you are there check out their other great fashion items.

Fashioning Change has a great "Where This, Not That" campaign.  Some of there clothing is fair trade but all of it what they feature as what to wear is definitely ethically made.  I would love to see all clothing labeled fair trade but knowing items are ethically made is so very important too!

 Check out these other sites selling Fair Trade Fashion:

These are just a few of your fair trade fashion options. Google fair trade clothing and see all of the places carrying fair trade fashion that you will find! 


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Another Fabulous Fair Trade Happy Hour!

For about a year now Fair Trade San Diego has been hosting Fair Trade Happy Hours around the city of San Diego.  Yesterday, February 13th, we had one at Rebecca's Coffee House in South Park.  The turn out was great and the atmosphere was so much fun! Rebecca's was so generous with their delicious, complementary, spread of food and of course their drinks are great too.  I personally had Fair Trade hazelnut coffee provided by Cafe Moto.

Another fun part about the Fair Trade Happy Hours are all the opportunities to meet others in the community who care about Fair Trade! Folks from the University of San Diego, San Diego State University, La Mesa Fair Trade Towns, Fair Trade Decor in Del Mar and many others showed up to share food, drink ad merriment last night.

 Items from Fair Trade Decor

We haven't decided the spot for our next Happy Hour but when we do we will let all of you know and we really hope that you can join us!

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Fair Trade Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day is just around the corner.  Perhaps you are looking for some last Valentine's Day gifts to get your loved ones.  Though there are a lot of wonderful fair trade gifts online that would make nice presents, it may be too late to buy online.  If that is the case then perhaps pick up something locally.  

Fair Trade Chocolate - You can find fair trade Chocolates at Open Door Books in Pacific Beach (4761 Cass Street, San Diego 92109) and at Ocean Beach People's Coop (4765 Voltaire Street, San Diego 92107).
Fair Trade Flowers - San Diego Rose Company sells fair trade roses! Click the link or call San Diego Rose Company at 858.273.5902 to learn how you can send flowers on Valentine's Day.  

Fair Trade Wine - Several Sprouts and Whole Foods locations sell fair trade wine.  While you are Sprouts or Whole Foods picking up wine for your favorite someone you can even pick up some groceries and make him or her a meal to go along with the wine.  Maybe some fair trade quinoa and locally grown veggies? Just a thought!

Fair Trade Gifts - Around the World Gifts in Old Town (2611 Congress Street, San Diego 92110) and Bazaar del Mundo (4133 Taylor Street, San Diego 92110) also in Old Town have a wide variety of fair trade gifts that you can pick from.  There's jewelry, bags, baskets, what beautiful fair trade item might you find at one of this spots?

These are just a few of our last minute Valentine's Day gift ideas. We hope that these suggestions help. And have a very Happy Valentine's Day!