Fair Trade at the Chicago Gift & Home Market

January 20, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
This year at the Chicago Gift & Home Market at the Merchandise Mart, from January 21-24, shoppers can get a taste of what fair trade is all about. For the first time, the Evanston-based non-profit, fair trade organization MarketPlace: Handwork of India will be exhibiting their finely crafted apparel and home décor items on the 8th floor at booth 8-3068. MarketPlace staff will be on hand to answer questions about fair trade.

MarketPlace is dedicated to increasing economic opportunities for women artisans in India and empowering them to bring about changes in their lives, the lives of their families, and their communities. The establishment of self-governed cooperatives that create the MarketPlace products has helped these women to build new lives based on a newfound self-respect and confidence. In addition to the Merchandise Mart showing, their beautiful items are sold in the through select boutiques, catalogs, and Internet sales.

At present, MarketPlace works with 14 artisan-controlled cooperatives on every aspect of production, including dyeing the fabrics, sewing the products, and choosing a theme for the catalog. These groups emphasize democratic decision-making, promotion from within and every artisan having a say and stake in the direction of the company. The finely crafted apparel and home décor items can be viewed at www.marketplaceindia.com.