5 Oceans Fair Trade Store Opens in Brickwalk
Handcrafted items made from artisans around the world
Photographs: Kendra Guilfoile
The Fair Trade Federation (FTF) is a trade association that strengthens and promotes North American organizations fully committed to fair trade. Members' primary purpose is to support farmers and artisans in developing countries through the practice of fair trade, in a safe, healthy working environment, free of forced labor and discrimination, while seeking to encourage environmentally sustainable practices and to create positive and equitable change while revitalizing traditions and sustaining cultures.
With a “Come see the world in the back of the Brickwalk” slogan, this unique cultural gift store does not disappoint. Products from around the globe are imported (in recycled packing) from Mexico, Vietnam, India, Nicaragua, Kenya, Peru, Chile, the United States and beyond.
Handmade one of a kind items are offered:
- Mexico’s finest coffee
- colorful scarves from India
- baskets made from telephone wire
- organic tea
- straw baskets
- reusable wine bags
- artisan chocolates
- bowls made from olive wood stumps and much more
Each is made in underdeveloped countries using recycled material.
Years ago, Owner Christine Schwartz traveled to Senegal on a mission trip with her son. As they shopped, they saw each product being made by hand right in front of them. Through continued travel with her family, “I tried to teach my children that there is a version of local no matter where you go. There are people who hand make things and this has been their tradition sometimes for centuries.” She now enthusiastically brings her favorite products from around the world to Fairfield.
This bright sun filled store’s Brickwalk location fits right in with the recycling theme, with its solar powered parking lot lights and its rain water collection bins. Saving and trading is negotiated to the last minute before you leave this store, as you are asked if you would prefer a bite of chocolate or a shopping bag!