• James Armstrong

Celebrating World Fair Trade in Hudson


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Fair trade principles provide sustainable employment opportunities for a collective of women textile weavers in Chinchero, Peru who preserve traditional methods of dyeing and weaving llama and alpaca wool.

Hudson is Canada’s 21st Fair Trade Town and May is Fair Trade month in Canada. To mark the national and international occasion, Pure Art Boutique is holding a celebration event on Saturday, May 11 at the Hudson Mews, 422 Main Road, Hudson from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Potential fair trade Mother’s Day gifts

“It’s a day of music, activities and events for everyone,” said spokesperson Robert McKinnon. The celebration coincides with 2,000 Fair Trade Towns around the world. Participants will have the opportunity to create bracelets or necklaces from ethically sourced handmade African beads and charms at an affordable price. “It could be a handmade Mother’s Day Gift,” McKinnon noted. Fair trade coffee and chocolate treats will also be available.

Music and ice cream

Members of the local group, El Proyecto Colectivo will be on hand to provide musical entertainment. According to their Facebook page, the group energetically covers danceable grooves ranging from classic reggae to the Latin-tinged ska of Manu Chao. Ice cream is also on the menu as McGill College Ben & Jerry’s will be serving their Fair Trade Certified products.

Regional impact

“Hudson is also showing great example in our area, as it takes a leadership role among the 23 municipalities in the MRC Vaudreuil So,” said McKinnon. “A resolution has recently been passed by the Municipalité régionale de comté Vaudreuil-Soulanges (MRC-VS) to begin this "first of its kind" initiative and collaborate together to deepen education, inform global citizens and lead by example, to help save people, and our planet,” he added.

PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Shipibo mother and daughter fair trade entrepreneurs can be found in Pucallpa, Peru taking part in the Pure Art Sewing Co-op.

Nine principles of Fair Trade

It’s an event based on the nine principles of fair trade the Town of Hudson officially resolved to develop in May 2015. Fair trade is dedicated to a business and development model based on creating opportunities for economically and socially marginalized producers such as farmers and craftspeople in developing countries. The goal is to create transparent and accountable relationships, build capacity for the producer’s independence, promote fair trade and raise awareness. Unsafe working conditions, poverty level wages and child labour exist in many countries. Fair trade promotes paying promptly and fairly for labour and supports safe and empowering working conditions. It also seeks to ensure the rights of children to security, education and play. Fair trade intentionally cultivates environmental stewardship and sustainable practices. In putting these principles into practice, fair trade emphasizes respect for cultural identity and indigenous traditions.

Shopping with a purpose

Pure Art Boutique encapsulates and stands as an example of the nine principles of fair trade as do other business in Hudson, across Canada and around the world. It operates as a non-profit boutique, covering the expenses of the Pure Art Foundation so that 100 per cent of donations received are applied directly to community initiatives in Peru, Tanzania and Nepal.

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