Oxfam hires Nancy Jones to create the first grassroots fair trade organization in the US with the hopes of sparking a movement.
CFT becomes an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization with 24 founding members.
The first World Fair Trade Day is held in Daley Plaza. CFT publishes its first newsletter and hosts Cecelia Appianim from Ghana.
CFT launches the Chicago Fair Trade City Campaign and gives its first ChangeMaker award at GlobalFest.
CFT City resolution is introduced in the City Council.
City Council passed Fair Trade resolution. By year’s end, CFT has 70 members.
Chicago is declared a fair trade city! CFT hosts a fair trade Valentine Chocolate bake-off.
CFT is keynote speaker national fair trade college and towns conference.
Amirul Haque Amin visits in the wake of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh that cost the lives of 1,134 apparel workers. DePaul becomes a fair trade designated university.
Chicago passes an Anti-Sweatshop ordinance spearheaded by CFT. In January 2015, the ordinance goes into effect. CFT organizes the country’s first month-long fair trade holiday pop-up shop.
Cook County passes an Anti-Sweatshop ordinance spearheaded by CFT that goes into effect in May. CFT hosts Chicago Student Summit for Fair Trade and Sweatfree.
CFT’s World Fair Trade Day celebration in Chicago has the largest market to date, with 31 business members participating.
CFT organizes Fashion Revolution Chicago, a week of activities and actions, including presentations by Kelsey Timmerman, best-selling author of Where am I Wearing? CFT meets Nasreen Sheikh who presents at Globalfest
CFT organizes 10th annual World Fair Trade Day event: A Magnificent Mile of Fair Trade.
Chicago hosts Fair Trade Campaigns national conference. CFT organizes first Fair Trade Pop-Up home and a Fair Trade Pop-Up bake shop at World Fair Trade Day event. Whitney Young is declared Chicago’s first Fair Trade School. CFT hosts Elizabeth Cline’s Conscious Closet book tour and forms a Conscious Closet Club.
CFT hosts a virtual World Fair Trade Day event. CFT’s 7th annual Holiday Pop-Up Shop adds a virtual market. CFT’s Conscious Closet Club hosts 12 virtual events.
CFT partners with After School Matters and leads a Build Your Brand program on ethical entrepreneurship to teens throughout Chicago. We establish a permanent fair trade presence at the Andersonville Galleria, providing fair trade staples throughout the year. Student interns launch a podcast, Rethink Ethical. We host our 8th annual holiday pop-up shop, the most successful to date, generating great media coverage.
In April, Chicago Fair Trade spearheads and co-sponsors a Fair Trade Fashion Forum with Fair Trade Los Angeles and New York City Fair Trade.
In May, with the ongoing COVID pandemic, CFT gets creative and hosts Open House Chicago Fair Trade: A World Fair Trade Day Celebration. On May 14, Chicago Fair Trade helped members and allies organize over two dozen events throughout the Chicagoland area, opening their doors, inviting the community in to learn more about fair trade, participate in fair trade sales and activities, and showcase the depth and strength of the fair trade community throughout Chicagoland.
In the summer of 2022, CFT focuses on garment workers, organizing actions to pressure Levis to sign the International Accord to protect garment workers’ health & safety.
CFT champions the Fabric Act, groundbreaking legislation that stands to protect nearly 100,000 American garment workers while revitalizing the garment industry in the United States. CFT is the Illinois coordinator in building support and helps secure co-sponsorship by Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth.
In September, Chicago Fair Trade hires a second full-time staff member, Nancy Demuth.