Sweat-Free Austin

Texas Fair Trade Coalition

Fairly-traded coffee and chocolate are two consumerables that are relatively mainstream. Fair trade, or sweat free, clothing does not, by far, enjoy the same amount of attention.

Texas Fair Trade Coalition is a local coalition that “promotes democratic control over fiscal and social policies, social justice, workers’ rights and livable wages, and sustainable development in trade policy.” That’s a lot to bite off.

One current initiative in particular is worthy of note. The Make Texas Sweat Free! effort is lobbying the City of Austin to “not purchase goods or services from suppliers who benefit from practices that exploit workers.”

I’ve met the folks spearheading this effort. They are earnest but, alas, like many activist groups, lacking the manpower and resource to keep the pressure on the City of Austin. I gave them my best and offered Ten Thousand Villages’ assistance, where appropriate if they ever need it.