october is fair trade month

fair trade month graphic

October is Fair Trade Month. It’s the perfect opportunity to encourage fair trade in your life and the lives of others. Buy yourself some fair trade chocolate. Buy your friend a fair trade scarf. Read up on fair trade and the companies who support it. Boycott companies with a history of human rights violations. Buy from local, small scale farmers and artisans.

Do your part to make the world a little bit better. For everyone.

For more resources, check out Style Wise‘s Retailers and Resources tab. And don’t be afraid to Google what you want to know.

*The links above are examples of retailers and resources that can help you shop more ethically and sustainably. Don’t worry, none of the links are affiliate links.

on coffee shops

coffee shop

Coffee shops are a necessary social institution. They’re a place for meeting, reuniting, flirting, reading, studying, napping, meditating, observing, and imbibing.

I feel immensely grateful to work in one. I eavesdrop on brown-nosers, innovators, hobbyists, gossipers, and over-sharers. I see joyful reunions and daily fights between friends over who gets to pay for whose latte. I meet local business owners, professors, students, artists, volunteers, and retirees. I see kindness and generosity extended. I see community at work. And I get to be a part of it.

Today I met a new friend at a local coffee shop. Although the ambiance differed from the one where I work, the purpose was the same. Coffee shops create an open atmosphere for free expression, a safe space for complaining, intervening, and frivolous merry-making alike.

My daily work is addictive. That we can unite under the banner of espresso – republican and democrat, Christian and Atheist, heterosexual and homosexual, scholar and athlete, male and female – fills me with joy.

Diplomats should consider conducting their meetings exclusively at coffee shops.

Fair Trade Month

Happy October and joyous Fair Trade Month. If you read my last post, you’ll recall that I’m on a mission to spend my money on ethically produced products; now is the perfect time for you to join me.

You can take the Fair Trade Pledge over at Fair Trade USA. Check out their list of Products and Partners while you’re there.

I’ve compiled a mini list of ethical companies and resources for you to peruse:

Don’t forget to shop local, too. You likely have access to lots of small farmers and businesses from which you can purchase locally produced, organic products. Thrift shops and vintage stores are a great alternative to buying new. As Amy Skoczlas Cole of eBay’s Green Team says, “The greenest product is the one that already exists.”

week in a list

  1. The online business experienced a high point this week, for which I am quite thankful. If you need to update your wardrobe, you should take a look
  2. My manager asked me to take some photos of the shop for the company website. Although I didn’t get paid anything extra (apart from photographing on the clock), I’m excited that I had the opportunity to dabble in commercial photography (I have previously only done portraiture or product photos for my own business).
  3. The weather makes everything better. Today, everyone downtown whipped out their boots for their first wear of the season. A friend once told me that fragrance travels farther (or at least we can smell it better) when the humidity drops. I theorize that that’s why we’re hit by a wave of nostalgia in the fall and spring; scent is one of the strongest memory inducers. Alternately, we’re just all relieved to be able to walk outside in a single layer of clothing and feel perfectly comfortable.
  4. Daniel and I explored midtown today. It’s where all the cool people are. Charlottesville pleasantly surprised me again when we discovered they have a local food market and an organic, locally farmed butcher shop!
  5. A middle aged, male customer told me I have nice skin today. I could feel creeped out, but let’s be honest: when people say they are creeped out by compliments, they are just covering up their elation at having received one.
  6. We hung out with some of Daniel’s colleagues at Mellow Mushroom last night. It was less awkward for me than I anticipated (when you’re a non-student among students, it can be difficult to add to the conversation).