It's hard for a lot of us to admit, but a lot of our material goods are imported from countries where the labor conditions are sub-par. Child labor, compound factories, and unfair market prices are effects of our economic structure that need to be moderated. It's hard to pin point where our part comes in, but shopping fair trade or local is a small part of what every individual can do to make a difference. Here are a couple of fair trade products you can buy in Montreal!
Cosmetics are usually full of seriously harmful chemicals we aren't even aware of. To think that we put these toxic ingredients all over ourselves on a daily basis is insanity. Luckily, Druide Bio is a local company that offers organic, fair trade, cosmetic products. What could be better? Their head-quarters are even located in Montreal!
2. Jewellery And Accessories
Ten Thousand Villages is an amazing store with all kinds of hand crafted wood-workings, ceramics, wire, leather and metal artisanal goods. Ten Thousand Villages is actually part of a non-profit coalition of fair trade companies created in 1946, and was one of the first companies to start the "Fair Trade" movement. In purchasing some of their products, you're also provided with a brief bio on the creator of the product! There are 3 stores in Montreal which you should definitely check out.
Café Rico, located on Mont-Royal is deemed a city-wide landmark. This Plateau based shop not only sells fair trade, organic coffees but their lunch specials feature local farming goods. You can buy their coffee beans by weight and they're even kind enough to grind them for you.
4. Sugar/ Chocolate
Camino this was established in the Ottawa/Gatineau area, starting from the humble beginnings of a church basement . They now offer a ton of their sugar and chocolate based products in major grocery stores. Check out their website to learn more about their story.
When it comes to clothes, there really isn't a clear-cut fair trade alternative. The best option is to buy locally. Even if the clothing is produced locally the fabrics themselves usually come from big textile exporting countries like India and China. Atelier B offers "socially and ecologically responsible" clothing, run by a team of two bad ass Montreal designers. Also check out Belle et Rebelle which is a whole store dedicated to Quebec-based designers.