Why Does Ethical Trade Matter?

posted by Bethel Women | Oct 6, 2020

Why Does Ethical Trade Matter?

by Rachal Carr

Micah 6:8 -- Mankind, he has told each of you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.

There is someone waiting - expectantly - for you to show up in their lives.  They are asking, begging, waiting on God to send you to interrupt their story, to show extra kindness, to share what you have, to notice them.  (K. Welch, Mercy House Global)

Why does Ethical Trade Matter?  I'm so glad you asked!  Here are five reasons:
  1. There are more than 40 million slaves worldwide; there are more slaves now than at any other point in history.  An estimated 25% of the slave market consists of children.
  2. Slavery has been linked to a large number of different products including coffee, chocolate, soy beans, clothing, sugar, nuts, footwear, toys, electronics, gold, and diamonds.  Annually, the slave market brings in $150 billion.
  3. We can help change this by being conscious consumers - we can choose to buy ethical trade products produced under fair social and environmental standards without slave or child labor.  Our imperfect, small steps towards purposeful purchases will make a difference.
  4. Fair and ethical trade does what we like to assume all businesses do - it ensures fair wages, child rights and humane working conditions for families in developing countries.  Some organizations, both locally and globally, are what we call "for cause".  They actually go much further with the hope of the gospel.
  5. We have purchasing power; consider our shopping as voting.  The more we shop ethically, the more it is evident to companies that this is where we are committing to spend our money.
Why do we host a local Ethical Trade Marketplace?
  1. The Bible speaks to a broadness in God's justice, repeatedly calling His people to seek it for the marginalized and overlooked.
  2. There are no Ethical Trade Marketplaces within a 100 mile radius of our location.  In addition, many of our vulnerable locally and globally have been most greatly affected by the pandemic.
  3. The Marketplace is strategically positioned during holiday shopping, so that our gift-giving purchases can be a double blessing.
  4. The Marketplace exists solely for our community and artisans around the world.  We do not charge our vendors any fees for their space at the Market.  All vendor proceeds go directly to the artisans and/or the associated non-profit.
  5. As those who know that our worth comes from God alone, we can choose to use our purchasing power differently - we can use it to help end human trafficking, to aid in orphan prevention and to restore dignity and hope to the vulnerable.
So, how do we host an Ethical Trade Marketplace this year?
  1. We have received approval from our local health district to operate under current retail guidelines for our community .  We will follow all protocols.
  2. All vendors and attendees will wear masks; social distancing procedures will be in place.
  3. Feel free to come anytime between 10A and 3P.  There is no need to register, but we will monitor occupancy to ensure safety.
  4. Please do not attend if you feel ill or have been recently exposed to Covid-19.
  5. The Marketplace is for our entire Tri-Cities community.  There will be products for men, women and children - all are welcome!
Please visit our webpage for more information and to learn about our vendors: bethel.ch/ethicaltrade.
We are looking forward to seeing you on November 14th in the Richland Campus Gym!

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