When it comes to shopping I am always looking to find the latest places. Recently I have discovered a unique store, Crossroads. And boy do they have a story to tell.
Name: Lisa Hipelius
Role: Social Media Intern, Crossroads Handcrafts of the World
College Fashionista: What is the mission of Crossroads Handcrafts for the World?
Lisa Hipelius: Crossroads is a fair trade, non-profit, volunteer-run gift shop that provides equal opportunity, living wages and sustainable living for artisans, their families and communities in poverty around the world. Our motto is, “Crossroads. A Business Valuing People and the Planet. Shop your Values.”
CF: What is fair trade?
LH: Fair trade is an approach to business and to development based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seek to create greater equity in the international trading system. Fair trade supports farmers and craftspeople in developing countries who are socially and economically marginalized. These producers lack economic opportunity and often face steep hurdles in finding markets and customers for their goods.
CF: How has the concept of fair trade come into play in the fashion industry?
LH: Today, for many apparel corporations, the most economically efficient production method often forces firms to outsource to other countries for inexpensive labor. Fair trade takes on the opposite approach by purposefully helping artisans and farmers in all areas of the world by providing them with opportunities to earn fair wages. Consumers who shop fair trade are able to buy trendy pieces, such as the jewelry photographed, while feeling confident that their purchase is truly making the difference in the lives of others. Likewise, as sustainability has gradually become a major issue in the textile industry, reusing and recycling fibers today is vital to the health of our planet. By using recycled textiles or environmentally responsible fibers, such as the organic cotton that our wrap jackets are made of, we are ensuring a healthy planet for artisans, farmers, and all people of earth to enjoy for a long future.
CF: What pieces are you wearing?
LH: The Wrap Jacket is from Maggie’s Organics and was created from 100 percent organic cotton, hand-harvested by family farmers in Peru. The metallic Double Arc necklace was hand made in India.
CF: How does Crossroads engage their customers beyond the store?
LH: Crossroads works to enthusiastically involve our customers and the community in the fair trade movement. We stay active in the Downtown Bloomington area by participating in the Downtown Bloomington Association’s First Friday Events. On the first Friday of each month, businesses in the area host a variety of events, all within the same theme. From 5-8:00 p.m. the community is invited to visit each location to see galleries, participate in activities, shop, eat and enjoy the beautiful, historic area.
Learn More: Check out Crossroadsblono. Also stay up to date on Crossroads news by Liking them on Facebook at “Crossroads Handcrafts of the World”, following us on Twitter at @Crossroadsstore and on Instagram at @CrossroadsHandcrafts.