Does Membership REALLY Matter?

This is a guest post by CFT board member Andrea Dennis. Andrea has been serving on the board of Chicago Fair Trade since 2013. She is a longtime individual member and the Outreach Director at Greenheart International. I often wonder what happens when I join an organization. Surely, my monthly or annual payment is put toward good use, I think, as I sign the dotted line. Months later I receive the annual report sharing projects, latest crises, followed by the request to continue and increase my membership contribution. It is cycle that even the most…Read more
2nd Student Summit Invigorates Leaders of Fair Trade & Sweatfree Movements at Area Universities

2nd Student Summit Invigorates Leaders of Fair Trade & Sweatfree Movements at Area Universities

This is a guest post written by CFT volunteer Anne Debertin. All photos were also taken by Ann Debertin. On a mild January afternoon, I joined 20 students from Chicago-area Universities in the cozy Greenheart Center basement for an afternoon of discussion about how we can contribute to the fair trade movement as consumers, advocates, and students. Students often charge in pursuit of their degree with blinders to the surrounding world, gunning for the top job in the industry, but this summit brought together a community of students who had refused these blinders and instead use their…Read more
An Insider’s Look at Fair Trade Textiles Offered in Chicago

An Insider’s Look at Fair Trade Textiles Offered in Chicago

This is a guest post written by CFT volunteer Whitney Richardson.  The ties between sustainability, preservation of cultural heritage, and fair trade are innumerable. The cycle often looks like this: natural fibers are grown or raised carefully, harvested and hand-processed by artisans, created using skill and precision thoughtfully (often by hand) using techniques passed down from generations, the items are then sold at market for an honorable price that accounts for time and skill put in by the creator that goes back into generating an ethical system of production, providing livable income and an…Read more

How does my donation at Globalfest affect artisans & producers in Asia?

If you follow us on Instagram or Facebook, you might have noticed that we’ve been sharing photos and stories of a few of the talented artisans working with our member businesses to craft their product lines. Supporting artisans and makers is at the heart of what we do here at CFT. We are always working to find new ways to support our business members - sharing their stories with our networks, giving them opportunities to sell their products at markets & our holiday pop-up shop, connecting them with mentors, business consultants, and services which…Read more

6 Reasons You Don’t Want to Miss Globalfest

Chicago Fair Trade’s annual fundraiser, Globalfest, is coming up on Friday, October 16th, at Open Secret Studio (401 N Racine). On the fence about whether or not you’ll attend? We think this list will convince you to buy a ticket.   Fair Spirits will be there, serving exclusive signature fair trade cocktails created by our Instagram followers! Keep an eye on our Instagram page to see whose drinks will be chosen! (Plus: fair trade and organic wine and local beer, fresh squeezed juices from Belli's Juicebar, and sparkling honey water from WestSide Bee…Read more
The True Cost: Fashion in the Developing World

The True Cost: Fashion in the Developing World

The True Cost was premiered at The Patio Theater in Chicago on June 3, 2015, preceded by time to visit vendors selling Fair Trade merchandise and followed by a short Q&A with Director Andrew Morgan and local ethical fashion designers. Guest blogger Christina Como, a sophomore at University of Illinois, reviews the film below.  In the 1960s, 90% of American clothing was manufactured in the United States. Today, only 3% of our clothing is made in the USA; most of the clothes we buy have been outsourced. We buy 400% more clothes and…Read more