The hardest part of making a billion wedding planning decisions is the near constant worry that every decision should be the best decision you could possibly make. Does it fit your values? Will everyone else like it too? And while there’s no magic formula to make everyone approve of your wedding, there are lots of ways to shop your values in wedding planning. Which is why today we’ve partnered up with Green Mountain Coffee (one of the largest roasters of Fair Trade Certified coffee) to share nine Fair Trade wedding brands that make shopping your values a little easier.
Okay, but what is Fair Trade? We asked Marcie Muehlke, owner of Fair Trade wedding dress makers Celia Grace, to break it down for us in layman’s terms and share some of her favorite Fair Trade wedding companies:
Fair Trade is a global social movement to end poverty through trade rather than aid. The idea is to pay farmers and workers a fair price or wage and then let those farmers and workers invest in themselves and their families how they see fit. So basically, if a wedding is a celebration of love, family, and community, then including Fair Trade products in your celebration allows you to widen the circle of love, support, and community your wedding creates. Plus, choosing Fair Trade products is an easy way to give back through your wedding (and even your pickiest relatives can’t complain about that).
There are a range of governing bodies of Fair Trade, including FLO (dominant in Europe), The Fair Trade Federation, and Fair Trade USA in the States, and more. The Fair Trade Federation has nine principles of Fair Trade:
- Create Opportunities for Economically and Socially Marginalized Producers
- Develop Transparent and Accountable Relationships
- Build Capacity
- Promote Fair Trade
- Pay Promptly and Fairly
- Support Safe and Empowering Working Conditions
- Ensure the Rights of Children
- Cultivate Environmental Stewardship
- Respect Cultural Identity
Fair Trade Engagement rings and bands
1. Fair Trade jewelry and gold have been exploding in popularity recently more in Europe but spilling over into the US and Canada. Companies like Fair Trade Jewellery Co. have everything from modern, minimal wedding jewelry, to more traditional engagement rings. Featured: Custom rings from Fair Trade Jewellery Co.
2. Some companies, like Brilliant Earth, go beyond just Fair Trade jewelry. They are actively working toward reducing the impact of other, non-responsible jewelry practices through initiatives like a 5 percent donation of profits to help communities who have suffered from unethical practices in the jewelry industry and providing educational opportunities to children exploited by unethical mining. Featured: Alvadora Diamond Ring (starts at $1,450)
Fair Trade ACCENT JEWELRY
3. If you’re looking for a place with lots and lots of options, Overstock started their Fair Trade market, Worldstock, in 2001 to help small-lot producers residing in remote regions of the world access the US market. And now they have literally thousands of handmade jewelry, home goods, and other Fair Trade options to choose from. And Overstock ensures that 60 to 70 percent of sales are returned to artisans and suppliers in these emerging economies. Featured: Novica Orchid Purple Teardrop Earrings ($18.17)
Fair Trade Food & Drink
4. Maybe I’m getting old, but the coffee bar is usually where I find myself at the end of the reception these days, and it is about as easy as it gets to swap out your standard reception coffee for Fair Trade coffee. All Green Mountain Coffee is Fair Trade Certified, which means you can serve a better cup of coffee to your guests while promoting a better quality of life for coffee farmers. (And Green Mountain Coffee offers over fifty varieties of Fair Trade coffee, so you’re not short on options.)
Fair Trade Wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses
6. Of course, I would be remiss not to mention that you can also buy Fair Trade wedding dresses. As part of their commitment to Fair Trade, Celia Grace only employs adults (never allowing sub-contracting) and they source handmade silk woven on traditional wooden looms whenever possible. Plus the dresses are hella pretty. Featured: The Diana Dress ($2,150. Image by Matoli Keely.)
7. While there aren’t any exclusively Fair Trade bridesmaid dress lines yet (someone get on that?), both Mata Traders and People Tree make Fair Trade dresses that could totally work for your wedding party, and as a bonus most of them are under $100 and are way more re-wearable than traditional bridesmaid dresses. Score. Featured: Highland Park Maxi Dress ($84)
Fair Trade Wedding Decor
8. If you’re looking for those annoying last-minute decor pieces you forgot to buy (like a cake plate, whoops), you’re in luck. There are a handful of stores online that specialize in only Fair Trade goods, from clothing to jewelry to home decor. So chances are that Ten Thousand Villages and Serrv will have exactly you’re looking for. Featured: Industrial Chic Cake Stand ($29)
Fair Trade wedding registries
9. Yes, big box store registries are super convenient for you and your guests, but did you know there are a growing number of alternative registries, like the So Kind Registry from the nonprofit The New American Dream Foundation? Their motto is “more fun, less stuff.” With this fully customizable registry you can list whatever you want—from help with tasks for/at the wedding, items from your favorite local store or artists, and Fair Trade items, too.
This post was sponsored by Keurig Green Mountain.
All Green Mountain Coffee is Fair Trade Certified, which means a better cup of coffee for consumers and a better quality of life for farmers. Fair Trade helps small farmers improve their business practices, gain access to the global marketplace, and receive higher payment for their coffee. Green Mountain Coffee offers over 50 coffee choices sourced from 28 regions around the globe. Let your guests serve themselves when you create a coffee bar featuring Keurig brewers and Green Mountain Coffee. You can read more about Keurig Green Mountain and their commitment to Fair Trade practices here and here or shop for Fair Trade Certified coffee here.