Some gifts go farther than others. This weekend marks the Grand Opening of the Seven Hopes United Online Fair Trade store. Join the festivities by visiting sevenhopesunited.com, where all products are Fair Trade Certified. Fair Trade guarantees that artisans and farmers receive a fair wage for their goods, and provides the opportunity for a better quality of life. The demand for Fair Trade products has never been higher, and during the Grand Opening celebration, August 21st - 23rd, Seven Hopes United customers will receive 10% off every item in the store. The Seven Hopes United store features a wide selection of fairly traded crafts, jewelry, coffee, and housewares from disadvantaged artisans and farmers around the world.
"We are so excited about the possibilities this endeavor holds, and the potential impact it can have in disadvantaged communities around the world. Buying Fair Trade products is such an easy way that we can all help make a real difference and give hope to those who are really struggling," said Seven Hopes United President Ashley Shilts. "Each product has a story to tell, and every purchase enriches the lives of artisans, farmers, and communities worldwide." Mai Neil, a seamstress and artist from Harare Zimbabwe, whose work is supported by Seven Hopes United, describes the impact Fair Trade has had on her family: "Unfortunately the pay for the work on the flower farm here where my husband works is too low. We get at most one million five hundred thousand Zimbabwe dollars ($3 USD) per month. But this month they only gave me five hundred thousand ($1 USD), because they say they have to keep some for electricity. I now get around twenty million dollars making handicrafts ($40 USD) if I work hard every day. It really is such a good help to our family, and it enables us to give food to our children."
A global research study released in April, 2009, shows that interest in Fair Trade Certified in particular, and ethical consumerism in general, is on the rise. The study, conducted by global research group GlobeScan, comes on the heels of the recent release of 2008 U.S. Fair Trade sales figures. Those figures showed that despite a deepening recession and a slowing economy, Fair Trade Certified sales remained strong last year, growing by 10 percent in 2008. Powering that growth was another strong year for Fair Trade Certified coffee, which now accounts for nearly 20 percent of the specialty coffee category. Paul Rice, the chief executive of TransFair USA, the nonprofit organization responsible for Fair Trade certification in the United States said, “Today, consumers want to know a product’s history, from farm to shelf. In the midst of the deepest recession of our generation, this sentiment is stronger than ever – it’s proof that we’ve entered a new era of ethical consumerism.”
As one of the first online retailers dealing exclusively in Fair Trade Certified products, Seven Hopes United is encouraging social development and helping to build a globally conscious market. Revenues from Fair Trade cooperatives help to build clean water wells, fund education, provide health care, and give hope to thousands of artisan communities. In addition, 10% of the proceeds from Seven Hopes United's online retail sales are donated to aid community development efforts around the world.
About Seven Hopes United
Based in San Diego, California, Seven Hopes United (sevenhopesunited.com) specializes in marketing fairly-traded coffee, handmade gifts, jewelry, home decor and personal accessories from producers around the globe. Seven Hopes United supports a trading partnership aimed at obtaining sustainable development for excluded and disadvantaged producers by operating according to Fair Trade criteria, and investing a portion of their proceeds back into artisan communities. Founded in 2009, the company's mission is to enrich lives through providing a globally conscious alternative.