“Where Birmingham meets the world.”
That is the best way to describe Sojourns – Fair Trade, located in downtown Birmingham at 2017 3rd Avenue North.
Alabama’s first Fair Trade Store
Established 13 years ago in the Magic City, Sojourns-Fair Trade is the first wholly fair trade store in the state of Alabama. The local independent store works with 400 artisan cooperatives in 59 countries. 60% of the artists they work with are women, who are the most marginalized in the world. About a third of those women have either been liberated or protected from sex trafficking .
None of the items are from sweat shop labor, child labor or forced labor.
“We are working with the most vulnerable, poorest populations in the world to give them hope, dignity and a better tomorrow,” said Melissa Kendrick, owner of Sojourns-Fair Trade.
10% to local non-profits
Along with its global approach to Fair Trade, Sojourns gives back locally.
One such example is its collection of Alabama ornaments.
“We had a lot of people asking for Alabama ornaments, so we first designed a Birmingham ornament with the skyline,” added Kendrick. “We give 10% of our annual profits to local non-profits, so we decided use our products to raise awareness of about certain groups. We created the Alabama watershed ornament that supports the Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Coosa Riverkeeper and Alabama Rivers Alliance. We couldn’t leave out the Cahaba, so we created the Cahaba lily ornament. Then people wanted a generic Alabama ornament, so we crafted a Sweet Home Alabama ornament that supports Alabama Arise.”
Each ornament is made by an artisan from Ecuador.
Open through Christmas Eve
Sojourns-Fair Trade will be open Saturday, December 22, 10 to 6 and on December 23-24, Sunday and Monday 11am-3pm.
Sojourns has everything, from home decor, clothing, jewelry, toys and perfect stocking stuffers.
Check out their website and journey to downtown Birmingham and “meet the world!”