October is Fair Trade Month! We’re so happy to bring awareness to something we honor every month, every week, and every day of the year.
While we’re all advocates of fair trade at the Threads Home Office, we all look to Founder Angela Melfi for inspiration. She’s been wearing only fair trade and secondhand clothing for the past 3+ years, and when she had her daughter Kenna a little over a year ago, she knew she would dress her in ethical clothing as well.
When baby Kenna was first born, Angela was set: she had bins and bins of hand-me-down clothes from friends and family.
After a few months though, Kenna was starting to grow out of the hand-me-downs, and Angela’s mother-in-law asked if she could now start shopping for her itty bitty granddaughter. Angela was instantly grateful for the thought, but also immediately nervous.
She wanted to stay true to her principles of shopping fair, but felt like it would be imposing to ask for certain requirements of a gift. Fair trade clothing can be harder to find and is generally more expensive. Angela didn’t want to react to generosity by being difficult.
She was nervous about the conversation, but knew that a potentially uncomfortable moment would alleviate years of discomfort to come. “It is really important to me that the things that I wear and the things that Kenna wears are secondhand or fair trade,” she said, so she knew she had to say something.
Kenna in her fair trade outfit with her mom, Angela
Luckily, Angela’s mother-in-law instantly understood — she was even excited! She asked for recommendations of fair trade stores and brands and did a ton of research herself. And next time she came to visit, she had bags of tiny fair trade outfits in tow.
Angela was not only grateful for the gifts, but was also moved by her mother-in-law’s gesture. “I was so touched that she took the effort to seek out these companies to buy for her baby granddaughter,” she said. “She was honoring what I had asked and put me at ease.” Plus, the outfits Kenna’s grandmother bought for her were adorable, and since many were made of organic cotton, they were also incredibly soft! It was easy for Angela to show her genuine enthusiasm.
And of course, when it comes time to accessorize, Kenna Baby is set!