Mankato First Fair Trade Town in Minnesota
World Fair Trade Day, May 8, 2021
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May 8, 2021 is World Fair Trade Day.

World Fair Trade Day is a global event that aims to draw attention to the objectives and achievements of the Fair Trade movement.

The Fair Trade movement campaigns to improve the lives of workers and small producers, especially those within developing economies, by asserting their rights and raising their visibility within international trade. The movement invites consumers to participate in its campaign by choosing Fair Trade alternatives to existing products.

Celebrate with us by supporting our area retailers who sell fair trade products. Below are links to the Mankato Fair Trade YouTube channel videos from our local retailers.

New Ulm's Own
212 N Minnesota St.
New Ulm, MN 56073
Care and Share,
Ten Thousand Villages

218 10th St N, 
Mountain Lake, MN 56159
Hilltop Hy-Vee
2010 Adams St.
Mankato, MN 56001
Sweet Alice Floral
214 S. Minnesota Ave.
St. Peter, MN 56082

The Twilight of the Ethical Consumer written by author Elizabeth L. Cline.

The Chicago Conscious Closet Club -- a part of Chicago Fair Trade -- is a community of Chicagoans with an interest in ethical clothing and fashion who learn from each other, share ideas, and have fun. We are planning to send out a quarterly newsletter to keep you informed about local happenings related to ethical fashion. Check out our page on Chicago Fair Trade’s website for more information about our leadership, resources to help build your conscious closet, and more; and scroll down to see what events we have in store for Spring!

You can shop online for some unique fair trade gifts at Intertribal Creations, an online store created by Running Strong for American Indian Youth® to celebrate and showcase Indigenous artists throughout the United States.

Running Strong for American Indian Youth was co-founded in 1986 by Billy Mills (Oglala Lakota) and Gene Krizek after the two men bonded over their mutual desire to help those impacted by generational poverty and trauma each had seen on their travels around the world. 

Billy’s dream to give back to his home community of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation — and Native communities across the country — was supported by Gene’s extensive experience in Congress, foreign service, and the US Air Force. Together, they began to forge the longstanding partnerships across Indian Country that still create sustainable change today.

Beginning with the simple act of bringing water to the people of Pine Ridge, Running Strong’s involvement now reaches dozens of Native communities in more than 30 states with focus areas including critical needs, organic gardens and food, culture and language preservation, emergency assistance, schools and youth support, and seasonal programs. Running Strong implements our own programs as well as supports independent groups who align with our mission, such as nonprofits, community centers, and grassroots projects.


The Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2021, known as the PRO Act, is the most comprehensive piece of labor legislation the U.S. has seen in years. At present, approximately 75% of large employers hire firms to stop organizing efforts, with 40% charged with violating labor law. Workers are getting outspent by massive disinformation campaigns, as was visible in California recently. Instead, we need far-reaching legislation to safeguard worker organizing in the workplace and provide legal recourse for violations of workers’ rights.

The PRO Act aims to protect workers’ basic rights by:

  1. Introducing meaningful, enforceable penalties for companies and executives that violate workers’ rights. Currently, employers who violate workers’ rights face no civil penalties and workers are barred from bringing lawsuits against employers who violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
  2. Expanding workers’ collective bargaining rights and closing loopholes that corporations use to exploit workers. Right now employers can “misclassify” workers as independent contractors, denying their right to organize.
  3. Strengthening workers’ access to fair union elections and requiring corporations to respect the results. Current laws empower employers to stall union elections and retaliate against workers organizing their workplace.

Fashion's dirty secret: how sexual assault took hold in jeans factories

 From the series: Human rights in focus by 

Compared to the multi-billion pound garment powerhouses of Bangladesh and China, the small, landlocked country of Lesotho, an enclave within South Africa, is an industry minnow, exporting just 90 million pieces of clothing a year, compared with the 10 billionn pieces of clothing exported by Bangladesh each year. Yet one thing that Lesotho specialises in is denim. More than 26 million pairs of jeans are made here every year, many of them for Levi’s, and this has become the fuel that keeps the country’s faltering economy running.

The vast majority – about 80% – of garment workers in Lesotho are female. Women are the main breadwinners for many families in Lesotho, often supporting extended families. Most of the women I interviewed in Lesotho last year were paid less per month than the cost of a single pair of Levi’s jeans – about £60. And yet, for many, it is either this or nothing.

Outside the factories, Lesotho has one of the highest rates of rape and sexual violence in the world, and most women do not trust the police. “Inside our factories women didn’t report, because the management didn’t care and the women saw what happened to people like me who did speak out,” said Mohapi. “The people from the WRC were the first to ever ask us what was really happening, and to listen to what we had to say.”

Click here to read the full story.

Need a new summer rug or doormat? Check out Fab Habitat.

14 billion pounds of trash-most of it plastic-is dumped into the world's oceans every year. Fab Habitat gives plastics that would otherwise end up in landfills and oceans a second life by turning into beautiful home decor.

Many of the products are biodegradable, or may be upcycled at the end of their lifespan.

Their GoodWeave label means that no child, forced or bonded labor was used in the making of a certified product, and that your purchase supports programs that educate children and ensure decent work for adults.

Fair Trade University at Albany

Have you heard? University at Albany became the 68th Fair Trade University in the nation last month, and the FIRST SUNY (State University of New York) Campus to achieve the designation. SUNY is the largest university system in the country, and we hope that UAlbany's campaign inspires other SUNY campuses to launch their own!

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World Fair Trade Day, May 8, 2021
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Mankato Fair Trade Town · 228 Parkway Pl · Mankato, Mn 56001 · USA

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