World Fair Trade Day celebrates food, art and fair trade for all, and all are welcome Saturday, May 10, at Made By Hand, South Bethany’s international cooperative that sells fair-trade craft pieces from around the world.
Owner Kimberly Grimes compared the event to Earth Day, where “you pay respect to the environment,” but on World Fair Trade Day, “we pay respect to people, … paying fair wages.”
With free samples and giveaways, people can sample food, such as fair-trade snacks and chocolate. Grimes said McCabe’s gourmet market next door also has several fair-trade items in their line-up, including coffee and nut butters.
People can trade culture at the event, too, with Native American storytelling and a drumming circle. Folks can even borrow a drum or bring their own to participate.
“Each year we’ve had different kinds of music, which I think has always been fun,” Grimes said.
Grimes said she wants people to have fun while learning something new.
“Everybody’s welcome,” Grimes emphasized. “It’s a fun day.”
Items at Made By Hand are just that — handmade by people in distant lands who are earning a living through their crafts. The goal is “getting people to realize there are hands attached to every single thing you buy,” said Grimes. “We are 100 percent fair-trade.”
Travelling the globe as an anthropologist, and her husband as a musician, Grimes said she “came to realize the benefits that free trade was giving to people all around the world.” Fair wages mean better nutrition, and kids going to school instead of working or scavenging garbage dumps for food.
“Shopping isn’t a neutral process,” Grimes said. “Where you buy can have a positive impact on the world. It can reduce poverty. … It’s a good thing.”
Made By Hand doesn’t just follow the fair-trade mission in South Bethany. It reaches across the globe. Grimes’ husband, Marco Hernandez, is helping a village in the Amazon rainforest to export sacha inchi, a peanut-like plant that Grimes said is rich in omega-3 oils and the sale of which pays for the village’s imported salt.
Meanwhile, the women create “beautiful baskets … that they use to carry everything.” Grimes helped them with the dying process.
“We help groups with infrastructural needs. They needed little two-burner stove” to boil dye at a steady temperature, she noted, as well as gas, pots and utensils. “We’ve helped other groups, too, when we’ve gone to visit,” such as giving three sewing machines to a Cambodian village. “It doesn’t seem like a lot, but for them, they would never be able to raise all the money…”
“It’s the little things,” Grimes added. “We go out and buy a latté for five bucks. In some countries, that means a family can have milk for two weeks.”
Made By Hand works with the 65-year-old SERRV International, which gives business grants, teaches new craft skills, guides sustainable development, pays fair wages and more.
“We are a global family. That’s the world we live in,” Grimes said. “Our relationships with one another are really important.”
World Fair Trade Day runs from noon to 5 p.m., rain or shine. For more information, contact Made By Hand at (302) 539-6335 in York Beach Mall.