February 20, 2014
Running an ethical subscription service takes a lot of care and consideration in each decision we make. Recently, we’ve received a lot of questions about our packaging– whether is recyclable, chemical free, and sustainable. We love getting these questions! It means our customers take the time to see how their actions and purchases affect people and the earth. In this two part blog series we’re going to address it all. The first blog (here) is specific to Trade as One and how we work as a sustainable company, and the second will address the products we sell from our producers. Part two (below) addresses our main producers and their sustainability.
Since 1999, Alter Eco has sourced and sold a variety of different foodstuffs of exceptional quality from around the globe, including Thailand, The Philippines, and Bolivia. They are committed to facilitating the development of independent producers as well as distributors, while ensuring good working conditions for all workers.
Sustainability is a pillar of their company. From organic farming techniques, soil erosion prevention, finding natural ways of fertilizing and protecting the crops, planting trees to offset their packaging, and reinvesting profit into better schools and healthcare, Alter Eco has thought of it all. It’s no wonder that you can feel good about their packaging too. Not only are their products packaged onsite, but all Alter Eco products sold at Trade as One are recyclable, too!
Women’s Bean Project
Women’s Bean Project employs women who come from backgrounds of chronic unemployment and poverty, and helps them develop the work and interpersonal skills needed to function independently in the workplace and community. The WBP was founded in 1989 and today functions as a stepping stone for success for more than 60 women per year. It provides a safe and accepting environment to teach women job skills and increase their chances of moving on to self-sufficiency.
Ninety percent of Women’s Bean Project packaging comes from local Colorado businesses (where WBP is based), and all paper and cardboard packaging is recyclable.
Canaan Fair Trade
Canaan Fair Trade uses the fair trade concept to empower marginalized Palestinian rural communities caught in conflict so they can sustain their livelihoods and culture. In order to do that, they have built direct working relationships with these communities, paying sustainable prices for their agricultural products to ensure fair wages for labor along the supply chain.
They support farmers in enhancing production procedures and product quality, building their capacities to work collectively, and to sell to international markets.
We purchase everything from olive oil and couscous to yogurt raisins from Canaan Fair Trade. All of the glass bottles– whether from olive oils or various spreads– are recyclable. Additionally, all cardboard is recyclable and all paper and paper labels are compostable!
Fair Trade Shea Butter from producers like Alaffia has the power to change lives of the cooperative members. Very specifically, Alaffia was formed to help West African communities become sustainable through the fair trade of indigenous resources, like shea. Women in West Africa have been excluded from the formal education sector which means they cannot read or write, making them less valuable as employees. However, a main component of the Alaffia Cooperative is empowerment so the women are acknowledged for their unique skills, traditions and knowledge and compensated accordingly. Alaffia pays 15-25% above market prices for shea nuts and the cooperative members receive a salary that is more than 4 times the average family income in Togo. Additionally, members receive full medical care, employment security and paid vacation.
Alaffia is committed to sustainability through organic farming methods and keeping their shea free of additives. Their glass containers and plastic bottles are all recyclable, as is their cardboard.