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Best Store for Guilt-Free Handicrafts 

Global Exchange

Each Laotian scarf, pair of Malian earrings, Indian block-print tablecloth, and bar of Bolivian chocolate has proudly come to this Noe Valley store via fair trade. Translation: They were made by artisans or farmers who received a living wage in a worker-owned co-op or farm where they have collective bargaining power. Global Exchange was cofounded in 1988 as an international human rights organization by Medea Benjamin (also the cofounder of feminist antiwar group Code Pink) and now has fair-trade stores here, Berkeley, Portland, and three others coming soon in Washington, D.C. The benefit for the artisans is a given, but there's a perk for the customer as well: Eliminating the middleman often makes for more reasonable prices, and you can walk away without the sneaking suspicion that someone in the developing world is being screwed.

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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