Tricks and Fair Trade Treats

Since childhood, the holiday season spanning from October 1-January 1 has been an intricate part of my life. My parents portrayed the holidays in such a way that my sister and I now believe them to be vital to our very existence. When I came to college two years ago, I almost went into full-fledged cardiac arrest because I didn’t know if my residence hall was going to put up a Christmas tree. However, this holiday season is different because it is … (drum-roll, please) … my first Fair Trade holiday season! Since I am a “go big or go home” kind of girl, I have been envisioning various ways to incorporate Fair Trade principles into my holiday jubilation, starting with Halloween.

As an avid Halloween fan — it is arguably my favorite holiday, tied only with Christmas — I have been scheming (everyone knows how scary that can be) ways to include Fair Trade from Ten Thousand Villages. In order to have a scary good time (see what I did there?), I decided to ask some of our wonderful staff members and volunteers about their ideas for a Fair Trade Halloween. Here are some of our ghoulish creations:

1) Giving Fair Trade candy to trick-or-treaters: Equal Exchange makes DELICIOUS chocolate, as we all know, including Dark Chocolate Minis. The minis are the perfect size for trick-or-treaters and are very inexpensive ($35 for a box of 150 at our store). This way, you can buy a large quantity for Halloween night for cheap while also pleasing all of the neighborhood kids and making a difference.









2) Adopt a Monster: Our Nepal monsters are super adorable and come in different colors. In Nepal, they are used to scare away bad spirits. You could buy them for the little monsters in your life like younger siblings, nephews or neices, cousins, children you babysit, or even yourself (if you are ridiculous like me and live alone, yet love to watch horror movies into the wee hours of the morning thus scaring yourself silly). Since All Hallow’s Eve is rapidly approaching, you can help to ward off all of the ghouls and goblins without enlisting the help of Ghostbusters for all your undead needs.

3) Fair Trade Scary Movie Marathon: I am a horror film fiend! I can’t get enough gore, chills or thrills when it comes to the cinematic department. However, nothing completes a movie night without snacks. That’s where Fair Trade comes in. One of the staples of ANY movie night is food, so why not pick up some Fair Trade Equal Exchange Geobars, chocolate, or coffee? You can even go the extra mile and make a yummy dessert out of Equal Exchange chocolate for everyone to enjoy when they aren’t screaming their lungs out during a high-paced thriller or shocking scary scene. (And if you want to see something really frightening, watch the 2010 documentary The Dark Side of Chocolate, which investigates child labor and trafficking in West African cocoa fields.)

4) Reverse Trick-or-Treating: I can honestly say I wish that this had taken place when I was a kid. Global Exchange started the Reverse Trick-or-Treating movement last year. The idea is that instead of ringing the doorbell to get candy from adults, trick-or-treaters rang the doorbell and gave adults Fair Trade chocolates with informative cards about the concept of Fair Trade attached to them. How cool is that?! There are even pre-made cards available on Global Exchange’s website to put on the chocolate! This way, everyone gets a treat.

5) Homemade Costumes: One of the pillars of Fair Trade involves sustainability. Although store-bought costumes are awesome, you can make equally or more awesome costumes yourself. How, you might ask? By simply visiting your local thrift store or Goodwill! Since second-hand clothing stores have so many different types of clothing and accessories, you can mix and match a million different pieces to transform yourself into whatever your heart desires. You can alter the clothing in every way imaginable by sewing, cutting, painting, and much, much more. To be perfectly honest, I haven’t bought a store-made costume in years, and I usually get a lot of compliments on mine. Plus, you can even have costume-making parties with your friends and family in which everybody brings different pieces, accessories and craft supplies. As a Pinterest fanatic, this idea warms my heart.

So, there you have it. It is possible to have a spooktacular Halloween while also making a difference. Although I’ve listed five ways to incorporate Fair Trade Month into your Halloween festivities, there are still lots more — like going to an organic pumpkin farm or even using Fair Trade drinks for cocktails at your Halloween extravaganza. The possibilities are virtually endless because it is what you make it. Tell us some of your ideas in the Comments below!

Baillee Macloud Perkins is the Communication Intern at Ten Thousand Villages and majors in Communication with a specialization in Public Relations and Advertising.