Join me for a special edition of the podcast as we feature exciting moments from the Fair Trade Federation Conference in Austin, Texas. I’ll recap my favorite stories, brands, and personalities from the week.
(Click the featured times below to jump forward in the episode)
Things You Don’t Want To Miss:
- 2:41 – Llenay Ferretti has been involved in fair trade for years. She gave a presentation outlining the research surrounding consumer markets as well as the information gap between the consumer’s understanding of fair trade and what they value.
Reshaping The Story.
- 3:28 – Llenay discuses Ten Thousand Villages’ efforts to bring its mission into the modern age. They created the Maker to Market Movement, and they now encourage consumers to connect to ten thousand villages around the world.
The Myth Of Preparation.
- 5:56 – The idea that we can perfectly design a product is a myth. Every solution we have is simply a stepping stone to a more relevant, more robust solution. If you want to improve your ideas, get them out into the marketplace.
Working With Influencer Marketing.
- 8:50 – Kirsten Dickerson, founder of Raven + Lily, hosted a panel on partnering with influencers who will leverage their status for the good of your fair trade brand. The panel spoke on finding the right influencer for your brand and how to find influencers who are more relational with their followers.
Catching Up With Shannon Riesenfeld.
- 12:22 – Shannon Riesenfeld is the founder of Mango + Main. Her company works with artisans in Rwanda, Haiti, and Peru to develop and distribute their products around the U.S. We caught up to discuss her journey into the world of fair trade and her recent jump into the Fair Trade Federation.
Alice Grau, Global Mamas.
- 18:24 – Global Mamas seeks to create prosperity for African women and their families by selling their beautifully hand-crafted jewelry, apparel, and soaps. Alice Grau is the organization’s creative marketing director, and she shared Global Mamas’ mission to create prosperity and enable their producers to buy a car, build their own home, and educate their children.
Charlie Brandes, Equal Exchange
- 23:55 – Equal Exchange is a producer of fair trade coffee, chocolate, and tea. Charlie Brandes works in their sales department. He spoke about Equal Exchange’s goal of connecting consumers with the farmers who grow their food and the challenges or partnering with big box stores.
- 28:28 – Lucia’s Imports is a wholesale business that sells handmade imports from Guatemala. They design jewelry, ceramics, purses, and other products as they seek to preserve Mayan culture.
Marita Miller, Pebblechild.
- 30:58 – Pebblechild is a fair trade organization that makes baby products while providing opportunities for employment to women in Bangladesh. It wants to enable women to work while continuing to care for their own children. Pebblechild works with about 12,000 women and keeps them from working in hazardous inner city factories.
The Grain Of Rice Project.
- 34:28 – The Grain Of Rice Project is a non-profit ministry, which seeks to empower Kenyan people with the love of Christ by helping them become self-sufficient through employment, education, and skills training. It works within one of the largest slums in Kenya, generating income for locals by selling handmade jewelry, accessories, housewares, and decorations.
Rover And Kin.
- 37:34 – Rover & Kin is a newly-minted fair trade fashion company. All of its clothing comes from a small, women’s cooperative in West Bengal, and it centers its style around minimalist designs.
- 40:55 –Mayamam Weavers is a brand I’ve often talked about. Mayamam Weavers make beautiful handwoven textiles, and they seek to preserve Mayan culture while empowering women from a small cooperative in Cajolá, Guatemala.
Katie Schmidt, Passion Lilie.
- 45:15 – Passion Lilie is a fair trade clothing line that utilizes artisanal fabrics manufactured in India. Katie Schmidt is the founder, and she leveraged her background in fashion, sewing, and textile design to provide fair wages and employment opportunities to women in India.
Joy McBrien, Fair Anita.
- 47:57 – Fair Anita is a beautiful line of ethical jewelry and accessories. Fair Anita seeks to make ethical brands more affordable. Joy McBrien is the founder and CEO, and she wants to appeal to the average consumer. She wants to feature designs that fit into your everyday closet.
Campbell Plowden, Center For Amazon Community Ecology.
- 50:57 – Campbell Plowden is the executive director of the Center for Amazon Community Ecology. He started the organization in an effort to help people make a living in the rainforest without cutting it down. The organization works with 15 communities as they develop and market innovative fair trade handicrafts and essential oils.
A Snippet From My Talk.
- 54:22 – I was honored to be featured as a plenary speaker at the Fair Trade Federation Conference. I wanted to inspire fair trade warriors to continue to innovate as the Fair Trade Federation turns 25. My hope is that fair trade will one day become business as usual.
Jessica Honegger, Noonday Collection.
- 1:00:43 – Jessica Honegger is the founder and CEO of Noonday Collection. She encouraged fair trade warriors at the conference to continue striving toward their vision of eradicating poverty and promoting fair trade principles in industries worldwide.
A Memorable Moment:
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Your Host: Molly Stillman
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