The Co-op Mercantile Presents: It’s one world
This is a season of abundance: of quality time, of meal preparation and planning, of getting caught up in the festive spirit, of community. Those aspects of the season are easy to align with the Cooperative movement and mission. We here at your Co-op also realize the importance of promoting companies and products that further support the community, whether here in the Skagit Valley, or across the globe.
Several months ago, a group of us here at the Co-op realized our 2nd floor Mercantile department carried products from a number of manufacturers that are Fair Trade Certified, and/or give back to local and international non-profit organizations. The number of charitable manufacturers has only grown, which prompted the Co-op to launch our “It’s one world.” campaign, which highlights how individual companies give back to their workforce and the global community.
Each product that is a part of the It’s One World campaign is identified throughout the Mercantile with a small square sign. Signs include our It’s One World insignia (title and green world map), the manufacturer’s logo, and a short description of what the company does to be recognized as a part of It’s One World. If a company is Fair Trade Certified, that logo is also included on the sign.
So, what does it take for a company to be included in It’s One World? (Companies within the It’s One World campaign have one of the following distinctions, or both.)
- Fair Trade Certified (26 companies under the It’s One World umbrella, and that’s just the beginning! We’ll be sure to update it as we add more and more Fair Trade Certified companies) – Fair Trade is a system that honors producers, communities, consumers, and the environment. This global economy model is rooted in people-to-people connections, justice, and sustainability. When you buy Fair Trade, you support a fair price for products, community investment, environmental sustainability, and economic empowerment of small-scale producers.More specifically, Fair Trade means that workers are paid a fair, livable wage; have safe and healthy living and work conditions; and are represented by a democratically elected worker committee. Fair Trade-certified companies build sustainable companies that will positively impact communities in developing countries. Frequently, Fair Trade also means that companies provide skilled artisan training, education opportunities, health care assistance for workers and their families, shelter, and food.
- Giving Back: It’s One World started when we first started carrying TOMS shoes last fall. TOMS One for One gives back in a big way. With every product sold, TOMS helps a person in need: the gift of shoes (for every pair of TOMS shoes sold, a pair is donated to a child in need); the gift of sight (for every pair of eyewear you purchase, TOMS will help give sign to a person in need); the gift of water (for every bag of coffee you purchase, TOMS will provide one week of clean water to a person in need through Water for People). Since its inception, TOMS has given 35 million pairs of shoes to children in need, and helped restore sight to more than 250,000 individuals.Those are BIG numbers, but it doesn’t stop there. There are dozens of companies featured in the Co-op’s Mercantile that give back. We looked specifically for companies that were outright about how they gave back: fund a school, donate a percentage to environmental causes, support clean water, promote women’s rights, fight for those at-risk for sex trafficking, etc. We strongly believe that our customers deserve to know where their dollars are going: this is one way we can illustrate the good that is being done locally and internationally by these companies.
Our intention with It’s One World is that we encourage a different type of material abundance: by being transparent about the good that is being done, we hope to influence the marketplace to encourage more and more vendors to realize that, by supporting the global economy with fair trade and community livelihood, every purchase can do some good in the world.
Click here to see a complete list of our current list of participating companies. Or, visit us in the Mercantile to see these gorgeous products first hand!