Sharon Vipond's Blog

Hong Kong
Sharon is Canadian, and came to Hong Kong in 2008 from “tree-hugging” Vancouver For the past 15 years, Sharon has been involved with volun-tourism and community-based projects while focusing on building networks with like-minded individuals through education and international development (ID) communities. Keeping the DIY motive at heart, Sharon is in her element when she is working “in the field,” side by side with those tackling pressing environmental and livelihood issues through the implementation of sustainable solutions. Sharon feels that spending a vast amount of her time in direct contact with those in rural villages allows her to stay connected with sustainability initiatives and complexities in those places. Through her trade and travel social enterprise, Common Connections, and her online artisan goods marketplace, Knots & Strokes, Sharon provides the Hong Kong community with true and real opportunities for those seeking meaningful travel and a marketplace for eco-friendly textile products and art. As you connect through this blog, Sharon invites you to share your ideas of new ways to increase awareness for fair trade and to develop eco-friendly alternatives for travel and fashion in Hong Kong. Favorite Quote: “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” 
--Victor Hugo

How Eco-Savvy and Fair Are You?

3 Step Approach
July 2, 2014

Look at this brand image. 
Does this brand factor into your shopping choice?  On the bag of coffee beans you just opened or
on the wrapper of the chocolate bar you just ate, were there fair trade symbols like this one? Or, did you not notice?
When you think about it, do you consider yourself an eco-savvy foodie who definitely prefers being fair?  Yes? Then all the more reason to notice this symbol and know what it really represents.  If you already know, and have foodstuff in your kitchen bearing this certification symbol, you really are taking a role in being eco‐friendly and sustainable; you are a part of the three-step approach to embracing the fairtrade movement.
First step: You are eating healthy food. The Fair Trade Foundation* (FTF) guarantees for food and health safety.
Second step: You are eco-aware. You are a member of the community consuming healthy wholesome food grown in pollution-free environments. The FTF include environmental standards and
sustainable practices as part of their certification process.
Third step: You’re fair! By choosing to buy products with the FTF symbol, you are endorsing fairness: fair trading opportunities, sustainability and ethical labor practices for farmers and producers in many developing countries. Why does this matter, you wonder?  Living here in Hong Kong, in our apartments in the sky, we often feel powerless to influence the quality of the conditions in which our food is grown. Nevertheless, we expect nutritious food from clean and natural cultivation. Choosing food with the fair trade certification symbol is a convenient and easy way to make the healthy and premium choice whilst endorsing the demand for food to be grown in clean environments and fairly traded. We need millions more like you to do the same.
Visit Fair Trade HK at
Next time you are at the store, see how many products you can find bearing this logo. Not many? Then ask the manager why more Fair Trade items are not stocked.
* The Fair Trade Foundation  This logo is on at least 4500 products in supermarkets throughout



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