About Chicago Fair Trade

Chicago Fair Trade (CFT) is the largest fair trade coalition in the USA, comprised of a dedicated base of member businesses, educational institutions, congregations, non-profit organizations, and individual activists. CFT increases support for economic and environmental justice through consumer education, advocacy, and promotion of local fair trade businesses. CFT is proud to be a local and national leader in raising awareness about and building support for fair trade and its principles of environmental sustainability, ethical production methods, fair wages, and safe working conditions.

About Fair Trade

Fair trade is an alternative business model that focuses on the triple bottom line: people, the planet, and profits. More than 1 billion of the world’s population survive on less than $1 per day. Fair trade aims to combat this widespread poverty by providing opportunity for economically disadvantaged producers, cultivating transparent trade partnerships, ensuring safe working conditions and the rights of women and children, and focusing on environmental sustainability through all stages of production.

If you’d like to learn more about fair trade, visit the World Fair Trade Organization’s website.

The Chicago area has a thriving fair trade economy, which is unmatched anywhere in the United States. We boast more than thirty fair trade businesses, and our numbers are growing every day. By partnering with entrepreneurs, consumers, and activists, we can use our buying power for good and help this economy of empowerment continue to grow and thrive.

Not sure how to spot fair trade products? Look for these logos when shopping:

all fairtrade logos

Our History

Chicago Fair Trade was formed in 2006 by a small, dedicated group of activists and volunteers. Over the years, our coalition has grown to more than 70 business, institutional, and individual members. We are proud to have been the driving force behind Chicago being named a Fair Trade City in 2011, and a Sweatshop-Free City in 2014, and Cook County becoming the largest Sweatfree Municipality in the US in 2015.

Our Board of Directors

Business Members: Erika Herrera (Sandpiper Imports), Jonit Bookheim (Mata Traders)
Faith-based Members: Maggie Tobin (St. Clement), Joanna Arellano (Office for Peace & Justice)
Non-profit Members: Andrea Dennis (CCI-Greenheart), Jan Rodriguez  (North Suburban Fair Trade Network)
Individual Members: Shelly Ruzicka, Angie Powell, Stephanie Cummings Collins, Dean Hadjian, Stephanie Ochoa