Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Golden Rule Boutique

For the first time in San Diego, we have a store dedicated to fair trade clothing!  The Golden Rule Boutique opened in April 2016 and has debuted at farmers markets, 3 Strands Global Run, and fair trade gifts fairs and at fair trade university campus events.  Owner, Jackie Bilancia brings to us the opportunity to shop ethically and still dress trendy!  

We asked Jackie to share her journey with us on why she became involved with fair trade, became an advocate and now opening a boutique.

Jackie's Story....

I am here to introduce myself, Jackie Bilancia, owner of The Golden Rule Boutique. We sell fair trade clothing and accessories based in San Diego, California. The company is working towards decreasing poverty through dignified work. Fair trade is not a charity based model- it is provides fair wages, safe and healthy working conditions and no child abuses throughout the supply chain.

As a business, I want to show people that you can shop ethically and still dress trendy.  I do the marketing, planning, budgeting, and buying and have been working hard to learn about the business world.  As a full time occupational therapist I help people get better. With the fair trade movement, I help people have better lives all over the world.  My goal is to "slow down" fashion and educate others about fair trade clothing.

My journey:

At 12 years old, I began volunteering and eventually becoming involved in my church. I went on several service trips traveling the country and the world. During some of these trips, I witnessed extreme poverty. It was heartbreaking returning home to my four bedroom house in New Jersey with constant blessings.   Most of the people I met were living on 1$ or less a day.  I felt like I was helping these orphanages, schools, building homes, but then it came the time to leave.  Sometimes our group would make trips back to the same location the next year, but that didn’t seem like enough. Nothing I could do was ever enough to change the opportunities for these people and I also realized that charity was not the answer.

Fast forward, a few years. I officially became an occupational therapist. Moved across the country. Still enjoyed volunteering and traveling for mission trips. About two years ago, I realized that the key to lift people out of poverty was opportunity. I began to learn about fair trade. Fair trade gives artisans, growers, producers the opportunity to get out of poverty without a hand out but a hand up.  I loved hearing the success stories about the differences of before and after fair trade for the individuals and communities.  As I continued on my “fair trade journey”, I began looking at how clothes were made and started researching who was making clothing that I often buy. What truly changed my perspective on clothing and why I began The Golden Rule Boutique was the documentary “The True Cost” (Netflix).  The movie discusses "fast fashion". Companies around the world are making clothing cheaply so that more people will buy them, and quickly and then dispose of them to purchase the newest fashion trend. However, when this happens someone is paying for that 3$ shirt. The true cost boils down to: increase productivity, decrease price, decrease safety, increase child labor, decrease pay.  Without a company being fair trade certified there is no way to know if there is child labor, safe working conditions, or fair wages.  Anna Lappe stated, “Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want.”  This is when I decided to give people the opportunity to shop better locally and to continue spreading the word about the difference fair trade makes.
The Golden Rule Boutique is not YET, a brick and mortar. We are at farmer’s markets, pop up events, and festivals and online.  I hope you consider giving your clothing a "trendy" lift and make this a better world for those who make our clothes.  You can always reach out to me at or visit:

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fair Trade Events in San Diego this week!

Fair Trade Events this week in San Diego!


Alternative Gifts Fair
Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 7pm

University of San Diego 

  5998 Alcalá Park  *  San Diego, CA 92110  


Holiday in the Village  
Saturday, Dec. 10 

La Mesa Downtown 10am-10pm

A Holiday Street Fair with something for everyone! A main stage with music all day long..In the kids area Santa will be visiting from noon until 8 p.m. There will be jumpies and Holiday movies, and chestnuts roasting on the open fire:) Also local vendors with great gift ideas and craft beer/ food vendors.  Look for the Fair Trade table hosted by St. Martin of Tours Academy students to support the 6th grade camp fund.  Enjoy coffee and hot chocolate and purchase fair trade chocolate bars, coffee, teas, olive oil, cocoa and lots more.   Come out and bring the family for a fun packed day!

Holiday Alternative Gifts Expo
St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral   
Sunday, Dec. 11, 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

2728 6th Ave • San Diego

Shop at our annual alternative gift expo where all sales benefit non-profits and charities. You can choose between jewelry, décor, accessories designed and crafted by Global artisans; culinary treats; Fair Trade coffee, tea, chocolate, and olive oil; and handmade clothing. Find us in the Great Hall Great Hall (entrance on 5th Ave.) 

Celebrating a great Fair Trade Event in La Mesa, California!

The La Mesa Fair Trade Gift Faire was a huge success with attendees enjoying samples of fair trade coffee from Cafe Virtuoso, ice cream from Ben & Jerry's and chocolate from Equal Exchange.  Everyone shopped!  This was truly a unique opportunity to shop for yourself or holiday gifts.  Local San Diego vendors show cased their beautiful hand made items from artisans in developing countries.
Equal Exchange Chocolate Mini's
Equal Exchange chocolates, coffee & tea

The Golden Rule Fair Trade Clothing

Fair Trade Decor
World Wide Threads

Ben & Jerry's is always a hit!

Lumily Fair Trade
Dr. Bronners donated a great basket of products!
Around the World Gifts

Everyone enjoyed the samples from Equal Exchange!
Fair Trade shoes from The Golden Rule

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Fair Trade Shopping Event in La Mesa!

We invite you to shop at the La Mesa Fair Trade Gift Faire where a wide variety of high quality, fairly traded items will be for sale.   Enjoy samples of fair trade coffee, ice cream (Ben & Jerry's) and chocolate while perusing gift items such as hand made baskets, jewelry, clothing, home decor, and so much more.  There will be lots of vendors with products from around the world. Here is an opportunity to join the many thousands of today's consumers who are inspired to add "social responsibility" to their shopping list.  

St. Martin of Tours Parish Hall

7710 El Cajon Blvd.  •  La Mesa

October 16, 2016  •  8am -1pm

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Southern California Regional Fair Trade Conference

Fair Trade Campaigns is excited to announce their 2016 Southern California Regional Conference and Fair Trade San Diego will be there!  All are welcome to attend.

Fair Trade advocates from communities, campuses, organizations and businesses across the region will be in attendance.  There will be workshops, seminars, and networking, to gain a deeper understanding of the Fair Trade movement, learn from fellow organizers, and swap stories over a cup of Fair Trade coffee.
Saturday, September 10 at 9 AM - 5:30 PM
Loyola Marymount University
1 Lmu Dr, Los Angeles, California 90045
We hope to see you there!

Reserve your tickets by August 12 to get an early registration discount:

Questions? Contact National Organizer Kylie Nealis at

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Morena's Moment at USD
Fair Trade Fashion Show and More
It was a wonderful event to showcase Fair Trade vendors, enjoy a live band, great food and a Fair Trade fashion show.  Thank you USD for this fun and informative event.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Morena's Moment at USD
& San Diego County Fair Trade
World Fair Trade Day Event 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 
 6pm - 9pm
 USD E-Recycling Center  
5330 Linda Vista Rd - 92110

Next Wednesday (4/13) from 6pm - 9pm, The Mulvaney Center, The Changemaker Hub, Center for Inclusion and Diversity, the Office of Sustainability, and Students for Fair Trade are putting on a event called Morena's Moment designed to activate energy around "Community & Commerce", and to showcase organizations and programs that are practicing ethical creation and consumption.  

SD Fair Trade County is promoting Morena's Moment as the main event for World Fair Trade Day, traditionally held in May. 

The event is primarily an opportunity to showcase the great things happening with "community and commerce" in San Diego, and will feature a Fair Trade Fashion Show.  It will be a casual, dynamic, fun event that you don't want to miss!

Join Fair Trade San Diego County and many Fair Trade local vendors as we grow and celebrate the good that Fair Trade accomplishes.

Please Join Us!! There will be LIVE MUSIC AND FREE FOOD!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

San Diego County Fair Trade Meeting 
welcomed Charlotte Instone on March 31, 2016.

Special Guest, Charlotte Stone, is one of the co-founders of Know The Origin. KTO is a startup fair trade clothing brand that reconnects customers with those working in all areas of the supply chain, cotton farmer to the tailor. Charlotte was here in San Diego from London.  We had the chance to hear about her experiences as she shared stores about the people, process and purpose of our clothing and suppliers, as well as full cost breakdown of all products. An important award she had received for her work is the Green Gown 2015 Winner! Charlotte Instone wins Student Sustainability Champion.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

General Meeting 

Fair Trade San Diego County

Join Fair Trade supporters who work together to promote 
Fair Trade in San Diego and beyond! 
Join us on Thursday, March 31st at the 
Diocese of San Diego Pastoral Center  at 5pm.  
All are welcome!

Help us make World Fair Trade Day 
a great event in San Diego! 

Diocesan Pastoral Center
3888 Paducah Drive
San Diego, CA 92117

Diocesan Pastoral Center September 2015
Represented:   Rosalie, USD - Students for Fair Trade, Andrew-PLNU, Kent-Social Justice/Fair Trade, Sue- Peace Advocate and Partners Fair Trade Boutique, Jude - Fair Trade Decor, Ephrain - Ben & Jerry's, Seaport Village,  Dennis- Fair Trade San Diego Co., Antoine - Vavavida,
 Evangley- Around the World Gifts, Anne, Midge,  Christina, and Carolyn- Fair Trade San Diego Co., Rigo-Cafe Virtuoso

Monday, February 8, 2016

A morning coffee social at Cafe Virtuoso proved to be a great start to our day!  Fresh roasted coffee and pastries were waiting for us on Sat. 1/30/16.  Rigo Hernandez explained the process of their coffee, the special blends and the reason they carry and support Fair Trade. We were impressed that Cafe Virtuoso is served at some of the finest restaurants in San Diego.  Click here for locations!   His coffee is even shipped to a B&B in New Hampshire.  Rigo also gave us a tour of the warehouse.  The warehouse was immaculate, organized and the coffee roaster was state of the art! We encourage everyone to stop by Cafe Virtuoso and try their extraordinary coffee!