In light of last week’s disaster in Bangladesh killing hundreds of factory workers, socially conscious shoppers find it nearly impossible to buy clothing from factories with safe working condition. Ethically made clothing make up a tiny fraction of 1 percent of the overall $1 trillion global fashion industry. Shops and online stores that source ethically made clothing are rare. We've worked hard to bring the widest selection available Alternatives Global Marketplace is a locally owned business located in Gainesville that carries a unique selection of men and women’s clothing from several countries including Ghana, Peru, India and Nepal. These are made under fair trade practices where artisans receive fair wages, work under healthy and safe conditions and create one of-a-kind pieces. Each group has a unique story of how it originated and how it helps enrich the lives of the workers.
Global Mamas, for example, has transformed the lives of women in Africa by creating sustainable income opportunities which lead to financial independence. This organization teaches women in Africa how to access global markets and manage their growing business, improving their standard of living for themselves, their families and their communities. Another example is our line by Cheppu Himal, who pays a living wage, and provides a safe working environment to the artisans, as well as opportunities for advancement for the artisans and their families. These workers voluntarily participate in a savings/retirement program where their funds are matched by Cheppu. Fair trade financial programs such as this are unfortunately rare in Nepal, especially in the garment and handicraft sectors. Alternatives is committed to maintaining the highest standards in the selection of products that we sell, including our clothing. In a market where shoppers are having difficulty finding options for ethically made clothing, we feel it is important to highlight the options we do have. Together we can create more awareness of international consumer power and the need to make responsible consumer choices through supporting the sustainable alternative of Fair Trade.