6 fair trade retailers in Birmingham you should check out

fair trade
The boutique in Sozo in Avondale. (Sozo Trading Co.)

Did you know October is fair trade month? Shopping at fair trade stores is a great way to engage in the community and support local businesses. We’re celebrating by highlighting some of our favorite shops here in The Magic City.

What is fair trade?

The idea behind fair trade is that products are being made ethically while also paying the producers of the products fairly.

Fair trade companies must abide by stringent rules in order to qualify and obtain certification through certain organizations, such as the Fair Trade FederationFair Trade USA and Fairtrade America.

1. Sojourns

the goods at soujourns
Sojourns Fair Trade opens in Crestwood. (Pat Byington / Bham Now)

Located in Crestwood, Sojourns is a staple when it comes to shopping locally. They work with over 400 artisan cooperatives in 60 countries and 60% of the partners are women. You can find colorful woven baskets, hand-painted glass and Birmingham-themed goods.

2. Golden Temple Health Foods

Golden Temple
Golden Temple, Birmingham’s first exclusive vegetarian restaurant. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

Nestled away in Five Points South, you’ll find this mini oasis of a shop that smells exactly what peace feels like. This mini grocer has unique and natural finds, including secondhand clothing, jewelry, essential oils, books, journals and more. There is also a restaurant connected that serves some of the best plant-based food in town.

3. Sozo Trading Co.

For upscale thrifted items and vendors that support children in Uganda, Sozo Trading Co. is where you should be. Sozo also dedicates their time to reducing waste by recycling unwanted clothing and fabrics.

4. UAB Fair Trade Campaigns

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has many sectors that participate in the fair trade market, such as:

  • Black Catering Company
  • Fair trade chocolate and Vega coffee at the C-Store
  • Commons on the Green
  • And more

By selling products that focus on the environment, UAB is making Birmingham more sustainable one product at a time.

5. Filter Coffee Parlor

FILTER Coffee Parlor PC + bagel
Have you been? (Pat Byington / Bham Now)

Filter is one of Alabama Environmental Council’s Gold Partner, which means they focus on sourcing seasonally and locally. They get their coffee from Alabama roasters, including Prevail Union (Montgomery) and Red Bike Coffee (Birmingham). Even their retail section offers goods made in Alabama like ceramics, glassware, leather and paper goods.

6. Chocolata Chocolate

Chocolata Chocolate gets most of their chocolate from South American companies that work with sustainable farms. One of their larger supplies, Republica Del Cacao, is dedicated to providing positive relationships with farmers and providing education on sustainability practices. Currently, they don’t have a storefront, but they deliver.

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Summer Guffey
Summer Guffey

Art enthusiast and expert on all things tea.

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