NEW AGE RETAILER Holiday Preview 2011 : Page 17

communities. For the importers, that relationship is important as well because it allows them to share market trends, get feedback, and strengthen their relationships. Manish Gupta, founder of Handmade Expressions, knows sales of products are a big part of his business strategy in helping create real impact for his artisans in India, so he invests heavily in product development. “For us, fair trade is about being sustainable and supporting communities and their environments,” he says. “We define sustainability as providing safe working conditions, paying fair wages, providing equal opportunities for women, and ensuring there isn’t any child labor. But we also want to empower our artisans and move them from producers to traders.” Gupta says helping his arti-sans become more self-reliant creates greater impact at the ground level. “With fair trade, what we get are beau-tiful products that allow us to give back to the communities and strengthen them,” he adds. “Non-fair-trade prod-ucts are just about the product.” Misner agrees with Gupta that sustain-ability is a large part of fair trade busi-ness ethics. “I consider it my duty as a fair trader to run my business in such a way that I can continue to provide income for my trading partners for years to come,” she says. “Part of that is maintaining an ongoing dialogue with the artisans with whom I work, giving them feedback on the market here as well as design ideas, and giving them money up front so they have the ability to buy their raw materials without being taken advantage of. I also believe in especially seeking out trading partners who are in the greatest need and would have the most difficulty accessing our markets here, and then working with them to overcome those obstacles. “Fair trade is more than just paying Almanacs & Calendars LLeweLLyn’s 2012 978-07387-2565-9 978-0-7387-1212-3 978-0-7387-1202-4 978-0-7387-1213-0 978-0-7387-1205-5 978-0-7387-1208-6 978-0-7387-1207-9 978-0-7387-1498-1 Visit for a complete list of 2012 Almanacs and Calendars TM • • • 1-800-THE-MOON July | August 2011 17

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