CFT boasts 50+ incredible business members who are bringing fair-trade goods to Chicago and all over the world. Check out their businesses below.
If you’re a business and want to get involved, go to our Become a Member page for an application.
CFT boasts 50+ incredible business members who are bringing fair-trade goods to Chicago and all over the world. Check out their businesses below.
If you’re a business and want to get involved, go to our Become a Member page for an application.
ABBY ALLEY is a people-first, planet-focused, fashion brand offering you our exclusive, high-quality designs that are brought to life through long term, mutually empowering relationships with our artisan partners in East Africa.
Aeshaane by Shilp is an award-winning slow fashion brand that celebrates the work of craftsmen from rural communities in India. The Ahimsa silk weave began with the simple thought of creating ‘cruelty-free' fabric and has grown to embrace the ancient technique of hand block printing exploring hues, pattern, color and texture. This global brand blurs the line between traditional and modern by paring artisanal techniques with striking geometrical patterns. Free from the burden of seasons and trends, these exquisite pieces include silk scarves, loungewear, and upcycled jewelry crafted from natural fibers, in designs that remain striking and relevant for years to come.
Charmed by the people on Ghana and the vibrancy of their culture while visiting the country on a mission trip, founder Terri Neil was inspired to find a way to expand the market for Ghanaian artisans so they could better support themselves and their families. Within a year, Artisans of Ghana was created with a mission to expand economic options for its artisans & to make Ghanaian products available to consumers in the United States.
Blossom Inspirations is a fair trade company working with artisans & their communities to produce toys, ornaments, and women’s fashion accessories. Each product was designed and produced in a such a way that positively affects their artisans, wholesalers, retailers, consumers, and the environment.
Bright Endeavors is a non-profit social enterprise job training program for young moms in Chicago. Bright Endeavors partners with young moms in a 2-generation approach that puts families in control of their goals and unleashes their potential. Through hand crafting home fragrance products, graduates of the job training program embark on their career and parenting journeys equipped with the skills, network, and confidence to enter into the workforce.
Canaan Fair Trade, a Palestinian commercial enterprise, enables small farmers and women organized in village cooperatives to pool their resources and have direct access to long-term global market opportunities through the sale of olive oil, almonds, and other regional delicacies. This enterprise helps to create economic stability for rural Palestinian communities caught in the midst of conflict.
Empowerment Collective is a nonprofit (501c3) organization, dedicated to ending exploited labor, forced marriage and extreme poverty. Empowerment Collective is inviting good people, businesses, governments and media to join together and invest in the 7 Keys for Global Human Rights. The 7 keys are: Protected Environment, Clean Water, Nutritious food, Safe Shelter, Quality Education, Health care and Access to Technology. The 7 Keys hold the power to unlock the door of freedom to millions of people so they can realize their full potential. Currently we are implementing 7 Keys Projects in Terai, Nepal. Terai is a highly populated area of Nepal where women frequently bear 8 – 10 children, many who do not survive infancy. It is a place where humans are trafficked for sex, labor and domestic servitude. Children are forced to work, women have no rights, and girls are forced into marriage at a young age. Through a dedicated and passionate team, we are building a society where every person is free to be a leader, change maker and problem solver.
Fair Anita is a social enterprise that exists to create opportunities for women and girls, selling cute + ethical + affordable jewelry and accessories made by over 8,000 women in 9 countries. We partner with female artisan collectives and provide them with fair wages, long-term employment, and business development opportunities. By paying artisans at two or three times the minimum wage, we generate income for women that helps them respond to violent gender dynamics in their community. By committing to reliable partnerships, we help our partners grow their businesses and provide more women with paths to economic independence. By connecting resilient and talented artisans with new markets and customers, we're helping women be leaders in their communities. We aim to create a community of women who celebrate, support, and invest in one another's success, building a world where we can all thrive-- no matter our geography.
Fairgrass brings beautiful fair trade baskets, sourced from Africa, to you for your home and gift giving. Every basket they offer is hand crafted by an artisan who is paid a living wage for their work. Whether you buy a beautiful, useful woven market basket from Ghana, a finely woven tray from Uganda or a unique, very special telephone wire basket fashioned by a Zulu master weaver, you will know that your purchase supports the artisan who created it in a fair trade fashion.
The Fair Shirt Project was born out of a desire to build awareness of fair trade among men and to give men more fair-trade clothing options. All TFSP products are made at Work+Shelter, a social-enterprise cut-and-sew manufacturer in New Delhi, India, that provides training, employment opportunities, and access to education and basic needs through its not-for-profit wing.
Global Attic LLC is a woman-owned business that sells home décor sourced from founder Kabria Cummings' travels around the world. Kabria is passionate about providing merchandise that not only beautifies the home but also helps to improve the world by helping to sustain the global community through fair pay, education, and giving back initiatives.
Global Elements strives to provide economic opportunities for skilled artisans in their craft as well as protect the environment. We often work directly with the artisans to make unique and fun handbags and accessories. Eco-friendly or reusable materials are used where possible and we educate consumers about the benefits. Most items are made in small quantities and some are one of a kind.
Gracia’s mission is to economically empower young women in Guatemala. Economic empowerment means young women are able to earn income, become financially literate, live independently, and stand up for themselves.
Gracias is a mobile fair trade retailer, regularly attending local craft fairs, farmers’ markets, and church or synagogue fair trade bazaars. They work to provide people living in poverty with good jobs that pay fair wages. The artisans whose crafts they sell work to make their families’ lives and their communities safer, healthier, and more economically stable.
Grain of Rice Project is a ministry that empowers artisans, families, and children in Kenya with educational and employment opportunities. We work directly with all of our artisans, who create handmade, fair trade jewelry, bags, purses, home decor, accessories, and more using paper beads, scrap fabric, and other eco-friendly materials. GORP runs a workshop in Kibera Slum in Nairobi, where many of our artisans live.
Change the world with your purchase. Greenheart Shop is Chicago’s premier eco-friendly and fair trade not-for-profit retail store. Greenheart believes that consumers have the power to affect positive change in the world by supporting sustainable and fair trade business practices. Shop sustainable jewelry, kitchen and home decor, gifts, and more.
HHPLIFT creates jobs and career paths for people in Chicago with significant life barriers to employment. They are also a direct provider of jobs to people from underserved communities in Chicago through their 1eleven® Program.
Huaywasi, a project of The Light & Leadership Initiative, works with indigenous women in Peru to provide education opportunities, job skills training, and a market for their artisan products. The Light & Leadership Initiative works with several artisans, all women, who are looking to further develop their handicraft skills while providing a steady source of economic support to their household.
ILAVA aims to become one of the leading, socially responsible fashion brands in the industry by offering the best quality attire and lifestyle items at a price point that reflects the brand's ability to give back. More importantly, ILAVA wants to create a culture where women will embrace the uniqueness and versatility of African clothes without feeling out of place in mainstream society. By celebrating women, entrepreneurship, education, and success against all odds, ILAVA will continue to grow ahead of the curve and offer unique products to service the ILAVA woman. In addition to this, ILAVA will continue to give back to the country of Tanzania and other global south countries through amazing programs, partnerships, and sponsorships. ILAVA derived from Nyamwezi, a Tanzanian tribal language which means "It Can Be Done!".
Indie-Pendant is a Chicago-based jewelry design house founded by GIA-certified graduate gemologist Anjali Raj Hansoty. She works with Fair Trade Certified companies in India to produce small-batch and one-of-a-kind designs. Women (specifically) and community empowerment are concepts she believes in and promotes. Indie-Pendant offers modern contemporary designs made with traditional workmanship. Bespoke commissions are welcome.
JUST HAITI, Inc. focuses on the poorest communities of Haiti, transforming both the consumer and producer through a just and dignified relationship. Our Fair and Direct Trade business means we purchase coffee directly from the grower associations, with no intermediary organizations. The up-front price we pay is higher and we return all profits from the sale of the coffee directly to the coffee growers and their families. This puts more money in their pockets. Drink coffee, grow justice!
Kathmandu Yogi is about unlocking your inner potential and living beyond limits. From meditation cushions, to yoga mat bags, to malas, Kathmandu Yogi products complement your lifestyle and help facilitate your daily practices to nurture your body and mind. All Kathmandu Yogi products are fairly and sustainably made, and the brand’s trading partnerships are based on dialogue, transparency, and respect.
Gorgeous, unique products handcrafted by the tenacious people of South Africa. Accessories made from Ostrich Feather & Leather, Mohair, Crocodile and Springbok. All materials used to create our products are sustainably farmed, ethically sourced and handmade using fair trade principles whilst aiming for zero-waste. We are committed to Aesthetic and Quality, bringing you a glamorous piece of Africa to wear for a lifetime.
The Little Traveler is a retail store in Geneva, IL, that sends travelers to scout throughout Europe and the Far East to bring back the most wonderful treasures. Visitors will find an ever-changing collection with new shipments arriving continuously. Be sure to check out their Fair Trade Gallery!
A project of Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program, Loom is a Chicago-based social enterprise for refugee women from Bhutan, Iraq, Congo, and Afghanistan, where women gather together weekly to produce beautiful handmade products designed in collaboration with local Chicago designers. Refugee women have the opportunity to create, market, and sell their products as a source of income for their families. As a result of this social enterprise, women who have fled war and violence from all over the world have the opportunity to work together in Chicago, learn new skills, produce beautiful handmade products, earn an income, and be a part of a community of creative and enterprising women.
Malia Designs is a socially responsible fair trade brand that designs and sells handbags and accessories. The company was formed to increase economic opportunity for women in Cambodia and to support organizations that fight human trafficking in Southeast Asia.
Marketplace: Handwork of India is a pioneering non-profit that empowers women in India to break the cycle of poverty as they become leaders in their work, their homes, and their neighborhoods, and affect lasting change in their communities. Marketplace works with over 400 artisans in 11 cooperatives that produce high-quality women’s apparel and home decor. They learn skills such as sewing and embroidery and participate in all aspects of running their cooperatives. In addition, programs offer educational and enrichment opportunities designed to help the artisans overcome personal, cultural, and financial obstacles.
Mata Traders is a Chicago-based fair trade apparel and accessories brand. Their products are handmade using artistic traditions such as block-printing and embroidery, combined with flattering design and a flair for color. That’s just half the story – Mata provides fashion with impact. For their producers, it’s an opportunity to make a better life for their families.
Metropolis Coffee is one of Chicago’s most well-known coffee brands, and several of their beans are certified fair trade and sold in local coffee shops and grocery stores. Metropolis is committed to building community & investing in Chicago-area employees, including a partnership with Aspire Coffeeworks, providing jobs roasting their coffee beans for Chicagoans with disabilities.
Milagros envisions a better world for girls and young women: a future in which each woman has economic opportunity and a recognized voice in her home, her workplace, and her community. Milagros jewelry and crafts are completely hand-made by young women in the Gracia program. All profits are directed back to the girls, helping to meet their daily needs, funding the training program, and providing emergency funds for special needs.
Motif is a friendly business that connects the amazing artisans of Bangladesh with fair trade buyers worldwide since 1998. Their on-trend lines of accessories and home decor are made from local materials using only traditional techniques, which ensures many livelihoods are benefitted in the making of each product. Now available to retailers in the US via Minga Fair Trade Imports.
Omolaso Designs was created out of a void in the children’s market. A fashion line specializing in contemporary ready-to-wear pieces for boys and girls, Omolaso Designs combines the bold and vibrant African prints of the past with modern designs for a stylish yet affordable clothing line. Ranging from active wear to formal wear, Omolaso Designs are colorful, durable, and fun.
Production Mode, a Chicago-made line of apparel and accessories, draws on the strengths of the art, design, and activist communities in Chicago and beyond. Featured on the cover of Billboard Magazine, their collection is made to order at their Chicago studio, which allows them to minimize ecological and financial waste. Production Mode is committed to fair trade practices, including transparency through their supply chain, paying living wages to the weavers, tanners, cutters, and stitchers who produce their pieces, and reducing their environmental impact. Production Mode’s showroom and production space is open to the public.
RefuSHE is a nonprofit organization that protects, educates, and empowers orphaned, unaccompanied, and separated refugee girls and young women in Nairobi, Kenya. The Artisan Collective is RefuSHE’s peer-driven social enterprise program that empowers refugee women with the education and opportunities they need to become skilled, confident, and economically independent entrepreneurs. The collaborative arts-based curriculum allows members to express themselves creatively through the design and production of hand-dyed scarves and textiles, acquire transferrable leadership and business management skills, and earn an income to support themselves and their families.
Re:new Project exists to provide employment in a safe space for refugee women to thrive. Through our free sewing class, we hire Artisans to sew and create beautiful one-of-a-kind goods. All products are made from upcycled materials locally in the Chicago suburbs by refugee women who have resettled in our community.
Soko Space is a fair trade, woman-owned company based in the Chicago area that specializes in personal, home, and garden items from Africa. They purchase directly from producers and provide small grants to expand businesses in producer communities. With their profits, they help to fund Global Alliance for Africa’s therapeutic arts program and community library.
Extreme poverty in the Philippines affects about 19% of the population or 18.4 million people. SORA Products is empowering talented women by providing markets for their hand woven products so they can provide sustainable income for their families and experience holistic transformation through this missional business partnership.
I am a new entrepreneur and want to surround myself with like minded people. I have a mission to give back and empowering women in less fortuant situations. Being a women, I feel it is important to show little girls and women worldwide how powerful they are by gaining independence. My mission is to Soothe Souls Globally One Enevelop at at Time by giving back to communities in need and offering sewing lessons to women in order to gain employment, financial freedom & power to rise up and support themselves.
Promoting natural products on the current market is a difficult task. We have to compete with a lot of products from multinational vertically integrated companies, so in this task having any kind of support from like minded activists is always a good push not to give up. At Super Slippers, we truly believe in sustainable consumption and natural products, especially when they are made with great craftsmanship. We are happy to be a part of this local family of fair trade companies, so we support independent and entrepreneur women in Central Asia.
Susan Wheeler uses fairmined 18 karat gold and recycled platinum to create unique and timeless jewelry. Handmade right here in Chicago, Susan Wheeler Designs melds modern and traditional design qualities, creating the highest quality jewelry and accessories with a truly unique texture.
SUSU Accessories is a fashion accessories brand whose products are handcrafted by the indigenous Wayúu people of the Guajira peninsula, divided between Colombia and Venezuela. “We want to be part of a new fashion paradigm. We choose to deal with clients and distributors who identify with our Fair Trade philosophy and who value our ancestral roots. We want to be recognized as “The Thread Between Two Worlds”; the Arijuna (modern) world, and the traditional Wayúu world. We are the brand that creates new, high fashion designs that are compatible with contemporary fashion trends, without losing its Wayúu ancestral essence.”
Sweet Beginnings LLC makes the family of beelove products, an all-natural line of raw honey and honey-infused body care products. They extract their honey from their all-natural urban apiary in the heart of the North Lawndale Community in Chicago. Not only do they resepect the earth in the production of their products, but they also provide importation transitional job opportunities for area residents who struggle with barriers to employment.
Taylor Tall is founded by Taylor and Nathaniel, a couple on a mission to change the fashion experience for tall women. Creating garments that accommodate a wide range of tall figures is challenging, but their strong sense of curiosity spurred the creation of a new approach to garment production. At Taylor Tall, our work is fueled by our passion for understanding the intricacies of how clothing fits. We strive to improve every aspect of the clothing you wear from the fit and construction to the fabric and finish. We believe your Taylor Tall garment should feel different than every other piece in your closet. We hope to make shopping for your true fit effortless
Ten Thousand Villages in Oak Park, IL, is a fair trade retailer of artisan-crafted home decor, personal accessories and gift items from across the globe. Featuring products from more than 130 artisan groups in some 38 countries, they are part of a network of over 390 retail outlets throughout the United States selling Ten Thousand Villages products.
Terra Experience was started in 1999 as a very small, socially responsible business to help Mayan friends in Guatemala earn some additional income for school supplies and other needs of their families. They sell handmade doll clothes that are just the right size for American Girl dolls, which look similar to traditional Guatemalan huipiles, but take much less time to make.
TerraKlay is a social enterprise, committed to connecting entrepreneurial-minded artisans, with limited resources, from small communities in India to a more vibrant global market. Working directly with artisans, TerraKlay brings a curated line of home goods and decor that are elegant, sustainable, ethical. It is built on the idea that refined living does not have to come at the cost of hurting the people or the planet.
Tree of Life Imports was founded in 1989 during El Salvador's civil war as a means to bring the art of la palma to the American market. Since then, we have focused our attention on several Latin American communities to help provide equal opportunity for all to work, including women and the rural poor. All of our products are handmade by artisans in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico. Tree of life imports is committed to fair trade and economic justice. We pay a fair price that has allowed our producers to greatly increase their standard of living.
Tulia’s Artisan Gallery seeks the finest accessories and home décor handcrafted in Colombia. As the country recovers from generations of violence and internal displacement, Tulia’s mission is to show that art is the other Colombian export, and works to source this art directly from artisans working to preserve ancestral lands, culture, and traditions.
Venture Imports supplies beautiful and unique gifts from Kenya. Venture Imports is a company dedicated to providing employment to people in developing countries by giving them access to North American markets.
The Winding Road features collections of beautiful handmade scarves, shawls, handbags, and children’s toys from around the world. They seek out small, fair trade compliant suppliers who use eco-friendly fabrics to provide ethical and sustainable accessories and gifts. The Winding Road also participates in several markets and trade shows in the Chicago area and provides wholesale product options to retail stores and museum shops.
WORK+SHELTER’s mission is to make it easy for organizations and consumers to purchase wholesale quantities of high quality, ethically made, customized sewn goods. In pursuit of a more just world, we employ women in need and when possible use other social enterprises, natural fibers, recycled, organic, or otherwise eco-friendly inputs.
WorldFinds is a design-driven brand of jewelry and accessories that empowers women through fair trade. Our sustainable styles transcend all seasons, and collections range from minimalist to statement pieces. A large part of our collection includes designs handmade from repurposed textiles. Our colorful jewelry uses upcycled Kantha and Sari textiles, so they are one-of-a-kind and incredibly kind to the Earth. These handmade designs create dignified work for our artisan partners in India, and support education projects to provide impact in their communities.
Y’abal Handicrafts is a Guatemalan artisan organization that supports indigenous women’s weaving cooperatives, providing them with local and international markets. Y’abal seeks to increase the opportunities and quality of life for women in the Western Highlands of Guatemala while preserving the traditional art of back-strap weaving. Mixing the traditional with the contemporary, Y’abal creates modern and stylish products that maintain centuries-old cultural symbols and weaving techniques.