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Fair Trade Market Offers Goods For Good

MyFox Saint Louis, MO

Holiday shopping hassles don’t exist at a local Fair Trade Market where soothing music and eager volunteers greet shoppers.

The market, which runs through Saturday, November 29 at 4:00 pm at the Manchester United Methodist Church, offers a wide variety of products made by artisans who receive fair wages based on their local economies.

Organizers began the annual market six years ago.  This year they hope to sell $100,000 worth of merchandise.

Third world nation workers, often women, usually form cooperatives to market their goods.

To be certified as Fair Trade producers, they must pay fair wages, treat women equally and prohibit child labor.

The products must be made with sustainable materials.

Fair Trade advocates say purchasing these goods helps to eliminate poverty, improve health care and finance education for children.

Prices are often competitive with similar products produced in sweat shops, according to Market founder Kellee Sikes.  But the workers receive more of the profit when a “fair wage” is paid. 

Products for sale include apparel, jewelry, toys, home decor items, foodstuffs, baskets, games, sporting equipment, musical instruments and books.

Peggy Desmond is a local retailer with a booth at the market.  Her firm, The Dancing Yogi, sells bamboo fabric clothing.  It is produced from a bamboo plant that replenishes itself in a matter of days.  “It doesn’t need fertilizer; it doesn’t need pesticides; it doesn’t need chemicals of any kind,” she said.

The church is located at 129 Woods Mill Road, Manchester just north of Manchester Road.


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