I really don't know very much about fair trade. I know what it is in theory, but I don't know much about how it actually affects the workers overseas. I've heard some people over the years talk about how they boycott Wal-mart because of where their product comes from (which is why they can sell things for cheaper prices). I've heard some people talk about how they only buy organic/fair-trade coffee or chocolate, because the people who work on the coffee/cocoa plantations get paid and treated well. I've heard people say they only buy clothing from certain places because they come from fair-trade factories.
But if sweat shops in places like Bangladesh are continually in trouble because of the lack of fair trade, then I would say, fair trade all the way. I have actually been to a sweat shop in Bangladesh, and, although I don't think it was the worst, it was a pretty dire situation.
I am in shock of how many people have lost their lives due to the collapsed factory building of last week, but I'm sure this isn't a rare occurrence. People all over the world work in deplorable conditions and for very little pay just so that they can support their families and provide food for their children.
It's amazing how much we take for granted. I don't always like hearing news stories like that, but I think it's important to remember that here in North America, many of us are very blessed. And we aren't blessed just so that we can support our own families here. We often have extra that we spend on frivolous things. What if we use the resources we have to provide for those families in need overseas?
If that means supporting a child through Compassion or World Vision, or if it means buying Fair Trade chocolate, then I'd say that's what we can do to show our love for our fellow human beings.
Just some thoughts.