At the Global Exchange Stores in San Francisco and Berkeley we have boxes and boxes of new products arriving daily for the new fall season.

Jocelyn Boreta, buyer for the Global Exchange Fair Trade Stores, with artisan partners in Guatemala

Jocelyn Boreta, buyer for the Global Exchange Fair Trade Stores, with artisan partners in Guatemala

Wondering how we choose our Fair Trade products for fall?

Fall is the special time of year when our partners in Fair Trade introduce their new collections, and every year, as the buyer for the Global Exchange Fair Trade Stores, I attend the New York International Gift Show where I can see, touch, and sometimes try on what’s new in Fair Trade. A growing number of Fair Trade businesses have booths at this show, which is great to see.

Here are a few of my favorite finds from this year’s show:

Coming Soon!
photo credit: Mercado Global

Weekender Bag Hand-Loomed in Guatemala by the Mayan Women of Mercado Global

I love the rich color and texture of this bag.  A beautiful example of the combination of Mayan craftsmanship with modern design.

Mercado Global is a social enterprise which builds change from the ground up in rural Guatemala: providing education, tools, and access to international markets so that women can build their own businesses and invest in their own communities.

“Through my work, I see that women do have the power to transform their communities, even the world” said Santa Aju, a Mercado Global Artisan Partner.

From one of the most marginalized populations in the world, their artisan partners are rising to become leaders in their communities and a source of change in global sourcing practices.


Coming Soon!
photo credit: Handmade Expressions

Vintage Journal Handmade from Recycled Cotton Rags in India by the artisans of Handmade Expressions

I love these journals for their smart design, cute line drawings and soft cotton paper.

They are made by a man named Wasim and his family in Sanganer village, in west Rajasthan, India. His family has been in the paper making industry for over 80 years, an artistic tradition passed down from one generation to the next. The raw paper is made from recycled cotton rags and the exquisitely crafted journals are bound by hand.

Wasim’s workmanship is excellent and he earns a lot of respect in the community for his art. He mentions that it is hard work, but he enjoys the satisfaction of creating something so beautiful and the opportunity to express himself creatively. He hopes that this art stays

alive in times to come.

Handmade Expressions works with over 5,000 artisans like Wasim in the production of Fair Trade products.

100% Alpaca Poncho hand knit in Peru by the artisans of Indigenous Designsponcho_4

This piece is simply incredible.  The 100% alpaca knit is soft and light, for beautiful movement during wear.  It’s design is bold, functional and from the heart.  I ordered an extra one for myself, and another for the manager of our stores.

For 20 years, Indigenous Designs has been committed to:

  • Supporting and preserving fair trade wages and artisan cooperatives
  • Investing in natural and organic fibers and environmentally-friendly dyes
  • Spreading the beauty of handmade, eco fashion.

They work with over 300 knitting and hand-looming artisan groups in rural South America, mostly in the areas surrounding the Pampa Canahuas Reserve in the South of Peru.

Mario and Maria Huisa, two of Indigenous Designs’ many artisan partners, started with only one knitting machine and the passion to make a difference in their community.  Today, Mario and Maria have built a new home, own ten knitting machines, four linking machines and provide work for up to 40 artisan knitters within their community.

 Take-ActionTAKE ACTION!

Come see for yourself all the new Fair Trade products we have rolling in. The Global Exchange Stores are located in San Francisco and Berkeley, so stop by and check out our new fall selection!

And while supplies last……enjoy a FREE 12 oz bag of Fair Trade Peace Coffee with your purchase of $20 or more!