Month: May 2011

1000 Fair Trade Towns

A few weeks after Chicago was declared a Fair Trade City, several more towns will reach that milestone.  Enough to make 1000 fair trade towns in the world!!!!  Fair Trade is clearly a strong and growing movement, as more people shop for fair trade products and demand fair trade options in their towns.  The fair trade towns campaign really epitomizes that expression, “Think Globally, Act Locally.”

On Saturday, June 4th, 11 more Fair Trade Towns will announce their new status bringing the grand global total to 1000!  Those places are Whitehorse City, Australia; Kumamoto, Japan; Herne, Germany; Kontich, Belgium; Bilzen, Belgium; Delft, the Netherlands; Madrid, Spain; Witney, England; Rutherglen & Cambuslang, Scotland; Aberaeron, Wales; and Greenwich, Connecticut, USA.

To accompany the 1000th Fair Trade Town declarations, a policy statement will be presented on behalf of the international Fair Trade Towns movement at the G20 Agricultural Ministerial meeting in Paris to be held June 22nd and 23rd.  Please show your support of fair trade by signing your name onto the statement at the Fairtrade Towns website.


Chicago is a Fair Trade City!!

Chicago celebrated World Fair Trade Day with an exciting announcement.  After a 2-year campaign of outreach to residents and businesses, Chicago was declared a Fair Trade City!  That means that Chicago reached the five goals of Fair Trade Towns USA, which are:

  1. Formation of a local fair trade steering group
  2. A city council resolution (passed February 2010) READ THE RESOLUTION
  3. Media attention
  4. 300 fair trade outlets:  Retail stores or restaurants making fair trade products available RETAIL LIST
  5. 260 fair trade institutions:  Work places, schools, faith based institutions, and community organizations serving and promoting fair trade. INSTITUTIONS LIST

Chicago is the largest fair trade city in the U.S. and the 2nd largest in the world (after London).  On a national level, there are 22 fair trade cities and towns, and there are almost 1000 globally (across 18 countries).

Want to find fair trade coffee and tea options for your institution, school or office?  Make the Switch!  See list of FT Coffee/Tea Options

Here are a few pics by Ervin Lopez from the World Fair Trade Day festivities in Chicago’s Daley Plaza…

Mata's booth looking busy

Holly from Fair Earth


5 Accessories


Win a $250 Fair Trade Shopping Spree is giving away a $250 shopping spree this World Fair Trade Day – May 14th.  All you need  to do to have a chance of winning is register between now and May 13th 2011.

The prize is in the form of a gift certificate for your local Fair Trade store or a participating Fair Trade online retailer of your choice.  Visit to enter!


World Fair Trade Day

If you are in the Chicago area, head over to Daley Plaza on Friday, May 6th to celebrate World Fair Trade Day!

The event will feature a global marketplace of fair trade vendors (including Mata Traders, of course) from 9am to 6pm, but the best time to stop by will surely be at noon when Jerome McDonnell, host of WBEZ’s World View, will announce that Chicago has become the nation’s most recent and largest Fair Trade City!


A very Mata wedding shower

Yesterday was Michelle’s wedding shower, and as you can see, Mata Traders was very well represented!  Here we are all decked out in our Mata fashions.  One of the co-ops we work with is making the bridesmaids’ dresses, which will be a similar design to the Gold Coast dress – seen below on Michelle and Andrea (Michelle’s sister and maid of honor).

L to R: Nora in the A-line dress, Macrame necklace and Snail earrings; Maureen in the Windy City Romper dress and New fan earrings; Andrea in the Gold Coast dress denim; Michelle in the Gold Coast dress purple; Jonit in the Skylark skirt blue and Clef earrings silver; Kristin in the Windy City Romper dress teal and Bouquet necklace; and Taylor in the Edgewater dress blue