Wednesday, July 29, 2009

YOU are invited to join us @ OHIO FAIR TRADE EXPO

September 26, 2009

John Carroll University

Dear Fellow Fair Trade Advocates,

YOU are invited to....

The Ohio Fair Trade Expo at John Carroll University in Cleveland, OH on Saturday, September 26th 2009 from 9am-4pm.

The day will include speakers and workshops for members of faith communities, high school students, college students, fair trade advocates,those interested in social entrepreneurship, and all others who want to learn about the Fair Trade movement in Ohio and beyond. In addition to speakers and workshops, the day will feature a Fair Trade market, bringing together 20+ vendors from across Ohio with a variety of fair trade gifts, clothing, and food & drink products.

The speakers and workshops for the afternoon session were designed with students in mind, specifically those working with social justice and/or Fair Trade Initiatives in their communities.

Presenters include:

You can learn more about the Expo and pre-register at: Online registration will be available on the website during the first week in August. Pre-registration for students is $5 and Expo-Day registration for students is $9.


Solidarity Clothing will be selling products from our new GREENOLA line:


Jennifer Moran and the Solidarity Clothing team :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Another Introduction...

My name is Karina and I am so excited to be interning for Solidarity Clothing and GREENOLA this summer.
I am an undergraduate at Northwestern University studying Cultural Anthropology and International Studies with a concentration in Latin America.

Last fall, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Cochabamba, Bolivia for four months. During this amazing adventure, I became enthralled with Bolivia’s vibrant culture, its friendly people, and its complex sociopolitical landscape. While in Bolivia I saw many vivid and often heartbreaking glimpses of how poverty impacts the children, women, and men of this developing nation. Upon my return to the United States, I could not forget (nor did I want to forget) the names and faces of Bolivian children I met living on the streets, the stories of women searching for options to send their girls to school, or the conversations I had with parents discussing daily struggles to feed their children.

After returning to the states, I wanted to participate in sustainable changes in Bolivia so I searched for organizations in the U.S. that work with Bolivian people. Most of the organizations I encountered take a charity-type approach by directly giving money, food, and supplies to Bolivian people. Although this approach to poverty is valid and hugely important, I want to be part of a project that emphasizes participatory development and that recognizes the skills and abilities of Bolivian people by focusing on their assets to increase economic stability. I eagerly searched for such an avenue to stay involved in Bolivia and make a difference in communities I had grown to love.

I literally found the opportunity I was looking for on a crumpled napkin.

I was sitting at a post-study abroad dinner at Northwestern when the woman next to me suddenly handed me a paper napkin on which she had hastily scrawled the name of a local organization that does work in Bolivia: Solidarity Clothing. After this serendipitous introduction to Solidarity Clothing and GREENOLA, I became increasingly intrigued by the concept of fair trade and began to explore its goals and impact.

The more I learn about the mission of fair trade, the more I become convinced of its positive impact in developing nations like Bolivia. I am thrilled to be working with an organization that focuses on lasting, bilateral partnerships between U.S. consumers and Bolivian producers. I think fair trade has so much potential to allow people market access and economic opportunities in dignified and empowering manners.

I feel so fortunate to be working with Solidarity Clothing and GREENOLA. In the process, I am excited to learn more about fair trade, Bolivian producers, and socially conscious consumerism.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bolivia Still on Suspension :(

Esto no es bueno!! BOO! BOO! Evo Morales.. why must you act so silly? Think of your people! -Jen

Obama Continues Trade Preferences For Ecuador, Not Bolivia

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday that Ecuador would continue to enjoy trade preferences, while extending Bolivia's suspension from the program.

In reviewing the countries' eligibility for the two countries' Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act, Obama declined to determine either that Bolivia had satisfied the requirements of the act or that Ecuador failed to meet the requirements, according to the U.S. Trade Representative's office.

Thus, the suspension of Bolivia initiated by President George W. Bush last November remains in effect, while Ecuador will be able to continue getting duty- free treatment to most of its exports to the U.S. through the end of the year.

While the decision on Bolivia was expected, U.S. business groups had hoped that Ecuador would also be taken off the program due to what they consider an unfavorable investment climate in the country. Both Bolivian President Evo Morales and Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa are allies of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a constant critic of U.S. policies in the region.

The Andean trade preferences have been in place since the end of 1991 to help four South American countries, also including Colombia and Peru, combat drug trafficking. The benefits have been renewed every year.

-By Tom Barkley, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-9275;