Sustainable Fiber Arts (our Nov. 2011 green-biz interview)

“One company isn’t going to save the world,” says Stephanie Schiff, owner of Ecobutterfly Organics. “It has to take place in the consciousness of the people as individuals, over and over, one at a time until the ideas eventually just become part of the way we think as a society.”

Along with her online portal for purchasing super-sustainable fiber-arts supplies, Schiff provides information on the whys and hows of her business: WHY she won’t use GMO corn-based packaging, or HOW she finds suppliers that meet her green standards. She says that as people become educated to how a green and fair supply chain works, she sees them shift to support a greener economy.

Through our interview, Ecobutterfly educated us on everything from color-grown cotton to the life-cycle of the Monarch butterfly.

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Crafting Change: Our Fair Trade Tour

posted by Fair Trade coordinator, Elizabeth O’Connell

The Crafting Change crew

On May 10th 2011, I embarked on a 16-day adventure that would take me from San Francisco all the way up to Seattle and over to Spokane.  No, this was not a vacation in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, but an educational speaking tour called “Crafting Change: A Fair Trade Tour”.

I was joined by Sonia Anahue Uscamate, a Fair Trade jewelry maker from Peru, and Carrie Hawthorne, the executive director of Partners for Just Trade, a Fair Trade organization here in the US that imports Fair Trade artisan goods from Peru.

The goal of this tour was to connect American consumers with producers from around the world. These relationships are at the heart of Fair Trade.  In spite of having never visited the US before, not speaking English, and having to travel here on her own, Sonia graciously agreed to join us for almost three weeks and share her story more than twenty times.  Being able to hear Sonia’s story in her own words, from her own mouth is extremely powerful, and confirms that Fair Trade truly can be a means for sustainable economic development around the world.

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