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Fair trade market planned for this weekend
Jewelry, clothing, food and crafts from dozens of countries will be on display this weekend at Chase Oaks Church as part of the church's annual Trade as One weekend.
All items at the sale are classified as fair trade, meaning the people that made them in far-flung places such as Rwanda and Bangladesh were paid a fair, livable wage. Since all goods are handmade, each will have its own unique character.
"These third-world producers typically live in small villages," said Cheryl Coleman, the church's communications director. "A single mom for instance may have a business making jewelry. These people are not looking for a free handout; they are earning their money and getting a fair wage."
John Stanley, a pastor at the church, said the church has partnered with Trade as One, a nonprofit fair-trade retailer, for several years in an effort to transform lives and end the cycle of poverty in developing countries.
"Every product purchased helps sustain a developing world individual and his or her family by providing a fair income for the product they produce -- making a positive impact rather than a detrimental one such as in slave-type labor," Stanley said. "As followers of Jesus we believe this is in line with his call for injustice in the world to be righted and to restore the world to what God always intended it to be."
Plano residents who are not able to make it to Chase Oaks, but are interested in fair-trade goods, are not out of luck. In September, a store in downtown McKinney that sells only fair-trade products was opened by Plano native Kate Jones and her husband Andrew
Fair and Square Imports currently features goods from 38 separate countries, with all continents represented except for Europe, Andrew said, adding that fair-trade goods showcase the unique cultures found throughout the world.
The lack of sweatshops and forced child labor in the fair-trade community also help make sure the people who did the work are the ones who are paid, Andrew said.
"For an average product you buy at the store, you might be lucky to have pennies on the dollar go back to the worker that made the product," he said. "In this scenario it is usually around 25 percent that goes back to the worker."
While anyone can sell items and mark them as fair trade, Andrew said third-party monitors such as the World Fair Trade Organization and Fairtrade International are in place to certify products are truly fair trade. Each organization has a seal that will be attached to verified products, Andrew said.
Fair and Square Imports is located at 219 E. Louisiana Street in historic downtown McKinney. For information, visit fairandsquareimports.com.
Chase Oaks' Trade as One market runs from Friday night from 7:30-8:30. The market will also be open Sunday after each of the church's services. Sunday times are 9:30-10:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m., and 1-2 p.m. The church is located at 241 Legacy Drive, just south of Chase Oaks Golf Course.
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