A Better Option for the Impoverished Farmer

The fair trade movement has grown exponentially in recent years thanks to large corporate partnerships and more global awareness. It’s arguably made a difference for many tradespeople on whom wealthy countries depend. But it’s not the only option out there if you’re interested in ethical consumerism – there are alternatives to fair trade that can … Continue reading

Victoria’s Secret and the Fairness of Fair Trade

If there’s anything in this world that grosses me out, it’s slavery and the word “panties.” Maybe that’s why I’ve avoided discussing the recent news that a Fairtrade-certified cotton distributor allegedly sold products tainted with forced child labor to the lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret. (Oh yeah, I also hate the word “tainted.”) No one has … Continue reading

Thank Dad for Home

On Mother’s Day I sent out some gift ideas for Mom that would honor her while caring for some of the people who have not had the gift of stable home. Now it’s Dad’s turn, and in the same spirit, here are some gifts he just might love. Oh, and a few are perfect last-minute … Continue reading

Found in Translation

Recently my husband went with Refugee Services to pick up a refugee from the airport and help him get to his new home. Usually this involves showing the individual or family around their new apartment, helping them understand what food is on their shelves, and then leaving them alone so that they can sleep for … Continue reading

Faith-Based and Slave-Free

Many churches, temples and other faith-based organizations serve coffee, tea and cocoa to their attendants. Increasingly these groups want to see their consumer choices reflect a heart for justice and compassion, so many are turning to Fair Trade and other ethically grown products. Why the switch? Cocoa farms in West Africa grow most of the … Continue reading

Consumerism and the Marginalized

Yesterday a fellow blogger made it to WordPress’ “Freshly Pressed” page with a post on Fairtrade and how it does very little good for the world except alleviate guilt. I first want to offer some publicity to the piece because it is a thought-provoking write-up about a controversial topic that we’ve recently discussed on this … Continue reading

In Action for the Marginalized

First off, a huge thank you to International Justice Mission (IJM) and their 5 Weeks for Freedom (5WFF) campaign for allowing TheMarginalized.com to be a stop on their blog tour last Friday! It is an honor to work with all those crazies as they bike the entire route of the Underground Railroad and advocate for … Continue reading

To Know Thirst

We Westerners rarely die of thirst. But unlike food, water also does not easily serve as an addiction. So, in typical Western fashion, we take it for granted. (No, by water I don’t mean coffee, tea, or soda or even flavored water drinks. Yes, they all have a lot of water in them, but so … Continue reading

Chocolate Resources

This has been a great week, and I hope everyone has learned something, because I certainly have. Be sure to catch up on the comments for ideas and suggestions. If anyone sends me good resources, I’ll include them on the front page, even in later weeks. To make a few things clear, there are a … Continue reading

“Why I Don’t Want to Become a Coffee Farmer”

Coffee is grown in over seventy countries, employing tens of millions of people just in the farming process. It is a bohemoth industry, and impossible to cover in its entirety in one week. The farmers simply must be discussed, though, and so we will focus today on one country whose workers exemplify the condition of many coffee … Continue reading

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