Brands Making a Difference

Over the weekend, the 3rd annual Fair Trade Show was held in Toronto's beautiful Heritage Court at the Canadian Exhibition Centre. Being the only Fair Trade show in all of Canada, it was an exciting opportunity to showcase the many socially responsible companies, both big and small, to a broad audience. 

With its vast amount of goods and vendors coming from different parts of the world, the show offered an exceptional array of inspiration and stories along with each beautiful product. Most notably, it was a gathering of like minded individuals who sought to share their experiences and mission to help improve the lives of others. 

Woven by Wander is one of the new members who got to experience this show as a fresh faced newcomer on the scene, amongst many returning and first time exhibitors. Being surrounded by such a rich community of changemakers made this weekend truly educational and inspirational. 

By listening and learning about how other entrepreneurs are building a foundation to better the world through a myriad of approaches, we got to see a future with so much hope and innovation. We enjoyed meeting all the vendors there and have selected a few that we felt touched by their mission and stories. 

MATANO : The World's First Fair Trade Sports Apparel

With a pretty sweet tag line "Fairly made. Fairly played", how could we not be intrigued? Matano tackles the world of sports apparel, which is one sector where consumers have seen very little advancement in fair trade or ethically produced options. By bringing Fair Trade Certified sports apparel into the scene, they are creating a new way for everyday athletes and conscious consumers to make an ethical choice when choosing their workout gear. This is something none of the giant sports labels such as Nike, Reebok, Adidas or Under Armour have successfully achieved. For this brave and avant garde new way of shopping for athletic clothing to become successful, we need to help David beat the Goliaths of sports apparel. 

Matano is currently raising money on Kickstarter to produce their first collection. You can help support this venture by backing them here

GROSCHE : To be a Source of Joy in the World

Water: one of the most essential resources for all living creatures. Water creates life and it grows it too. We are all dependant on clean water and Grosche understands this need. As a B Corp certified enterprise, Grosche lays out its plans to offer products consumers will enjoy, reduce their footprint, create a healthy and vibrant company culture and all the while helping communities have access to safe drinking water through their "Safe Water Project". Knowing full well that over 800 million people in the world are living without access to clean water, Grosche offers 5 days of safe drinking water to parts of Africa, India and Pakistan with each purchase made - to help change peoples lives, one litre at a time.

Their work is absolutely amazing and so are the people behind it. Please do check out their website to see all the creative and ethical ways they are bringing good to this world. 

Chic Made Consciously : Look Chic, Shop Consciously

There is so much to be said about fast fashion these days that we are all aware of its terrible contribution to the deteriorating state of our beautiful planet. But with smart and witty entrepreneurs such as Cassandra Ciarallo, the lady boss behind her brand "Chic Made Consciously", we have a shining light of hope to combat it. Being inspired by artisans from Bali who repurposed old inner tire tubes into beautiful works of art, she partnered with them to create a collection of pretty much the most interesting body jewelry we've seen in a long time. 

By preserving our delicate planet by using repurposed material, by using a material that is made to last, ensuring fair wages to the artisans and educating others about conscious fashion choices, we have a truly unique player in the sustainable fashion world. 

You can find out more about their slow fashion methods and see their entire collection on their website

UNIKATI & CO : Ethically Styled, Responsibly Adorned

As a curated collection of ethical items, Unikati & Co is a definite fan favourite. Working with NGO's, non-profits and artisans from over 11 different countries, their reach and selection are both generous and stunning. What really stands out for their collection is how they managed to put together such a stylish array of goods for all types of consumers and doing so by going the ethical route. This makes their appeal irresistible, because whether you're a fair trade supporter or not, you simply cannot walk away from their booth empty handed. There is definitely something there for everybody: from stuffed toys to bowties to tote bags and more! 

Ethical from the start, founders Dina and Leila have continued to expand their collection of fair trade and ethically sourced products and have also been a great influence to other start up brands, such as ourselves. Both Dina and Leila are inspirational individuals and if you ever get a chance to talk to them and hear the stories of how each item was made, you will also quickly fall for the Unikati charm. 

Visit their online shop for all kinds of goods and see which other markets they will be attending in the near future.

Sweet Leaf Bath & Co : Organic and Fair Trade Certified Body Products

Being single handedly the ONLY fair trade certified company that offers men grooming products in Canada, they are simply ahead of the game! Because let's face it, men care as much about their mane as the ladies do these days, so having a choice to buy ethically is going to be a necessary option soon. 

Besides offering fair trade and organic products for men, they also offer a great selection of body butter, body scrubs, body wash, handmade soaps and lip balms for both gender. If you like to know what goes into your body, then Sweet Leaf Bath & Co is the candidate for you. They list absolutely every single ingredient that goes into their product so that you, as a consumer, can be fully aware of what is in your purchase and going into your pores.

Being transparent with their ingredient list is purely reflective of the mother daughter duo who run the small business. Both Rose Creamer and Stacey Guymer are genuinely thoughtful, hard working and most of all entertaining ladies. It was a fun weekend to be their booth neighbour to say the least! 

Shop for some body essentials for men and women on their website

The Fair Trade Show is an annual event held in Toronto and promotes socially and environmentally driven businesses. It is a thriving market, yet still needs to fight for its fair share of the consumer market as many still cling onto goods produced cheaply and unethically for the sake of a better price tag, convenience or habit. But the good news is more and more people are starting to shift and having this type of exposure will always inspire more people to change. 

As a small business trying to better the world in our own little way, Woven by Wander was happy to partake in this event and absorb all the positive energy that flowed through the halls. 

We hope you keep an eye out for the next Fair Trade Show, there is more inspiration and innovation to be had in this ever evolving market!