How I found fair trade
We’ve all had jobs where we felt underpaid, and undervalued for our skill, talent, or service. In the process, you feel unappreciated and unworthy.
I’ve had my share of similar experiences. When I graduated from the university, one thing was clear to me, I wanted to have a job that was of service to others. Getting paid for my passion was just going to be a bonus! But reality set in that as an adult I had responsibilities to fulfill. Having to put food on the table and a place to call home. And, all the other fun things that come with adulting, I know you know the struggle.
I will have to admit that as a fresh graduate, I was delusional about the workplace. Because of this one job really impacted my mental health. We are open about mental health over here at Fair Anita, so in full transparency, during that job, I spiraled down eventually seeking help from a professional to address my depression. I stopped working for some time to get myself back in the groove!
After some time, I got back in the swing of things, and to do so, I had to go through a process of self-introspection. I took a pause by exploring different ways to help me manage my emotional and mental state. Outside of getting professional help, I began healing myself from the inside out by practicing Raja and Ashtanga Yoga. Only when I started looking inwards was I able to change my perception of my reality— that included my viewpoint of work!
Now I find joy in the work I do and oftentimes go the extra mile, no matter how small, can contribute to the goals and advocacy of an organization. A workplace has an ecosystem of its own! The system and culture within the workplace affect you as we all know, but I think it’s about finding the right environment for you. One where you can thrive and enjoy life all while getting work done!
Work can be a place of Joy, see what I did there?? LOL but seriously, I am not saying that there’s a perfect workplace because in reality there’s none. But, a work environment can be a joyful place where a culture of holistic respect for both workers and the environment can be achieved.
Wouldn’t that be nice, if all work environments created this culture of mindfulness, fairness, and respect? Won’t one find more meaning in work than just a way to earn money? If this was the case, work becomes an extension of oneself rather than being outside of it. Fulfillment will come in the form of joy, and a sense of accomplishment while meeting one’s economic needs. To add, since a workplace is composed of others, one strengthens their connection with others and their surroundings.
Now, this framework is not new. This is what fair trade is all about– in a nutshell.
I have written numerous blog posts here on fair trade. Through research and my immersion with brands such as Fair Anita, I came to understand that this business model is more than about profiteering. It goes beyond that. Progress has its perks but along the way, the novelty had worn off. As much as progress made our lives easier, the downside of some practices became oppressive as well.
But, there is always a way to bring balance to turn the tables around. Fair Trade is one of those many ways.
At the very core of fair trade is having that sense of duty and responsibility to oneself, others, and of course the planet. All our choices have a domino effect that can be positive and negative– even without us knowing.
Whether you are new to the concept of fair trade or not, always remember that it's more than about making the right choice, but the ethical one. The first step towards living a fair life for oneself and others is understanding that our actions play a big part in the overall picture. Again, no matter how big or small.
This is why, even in a simple purchase of any Fair Anita product, you are part of changing the culture of work and bringing joy to those who made every piece of jewelry, accessory, and clothing from our shop!