Monday, November 17, 2008

Fair trade scarfs for sale in Scranton

A lot of fair trade stores relieve profiles in the newspapers. But we came across a unique one in the Scranton, Pennsylvania's The Times Tribune.

This store is co-owned by a very idealistic 15 year old. Amanda Fox, along with her mother Kathy, sell fair trade products from their store Fanciful Fox. Amanda says her social consciousness began to develop from a missions trip to Central America.

Her interest in fair trade took a little longer to materialize. It began when she was 11 years old and decided she would become a vegetarian. That decision, according to Amanda, more or less came to her in a dream.

“I know how weird that sounds and how much of a ditzy hippie I might sound like,” Amanda said. “But, I woke up one morning and I kind of had one of those light bulb moments where I was like ‘Oh, I don’t want to eat animals anymore.’”

Four years later, not only does Amanda not eat animals, she adheres to a strict vegan diet that she convinced her mother to adopt as well. Her father, who eats most of the same food Mrs. Fox prepares for Amanda and herself, is known by his family as the “90 percent Vegetarian.”

But Amanda’s lifestyle doesn’t stop with her eating habits, her entire mindset is tuned to the needs of the poverty-stricken and the Earth they live on.

Last summer, Amanda went to South America with 15 other students, her mother and a faculty supervisor. The trip, which took her to Panama for eight days and Costa Rica for eight days, was more a matter of education than anything else. She learned about the rain forest and the people who live in it, as a means of understanding the importance of preserving it.

It was no trip for the faint of heart, either. The group stayed in a hut with no walls, no running water and no electricity and, according to Amanda, it was the most “fantastic experience” of her life.


Fair trade is a process by which those in poverty worldwide can earn a fair wage for the products they produce. Fanciful Fox’s fair-trade offerings can be traced to locations in India, Central America and countries in Africa. Most of the fair-trade products available at Fanciful Fox are scarves, bags, jewelry or even tapestries, all of which are, of course, handmade.

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