Shop with a conscience this holiday season


The day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 25, marks the busiest shopping day of the year. The Wake Up Wal-Mart campaign is encouraging people to bypass Wal-Mart and send the giant retailer a message.

But where can you shop if you want to buy products that weren’t made in overseas sweatshops, or provide profits for huge corporations? Here are a few ideas:

If you live in the Twin Cities area, consider the Annual Fair Trade Craft Sale running now through Dec. 30 at the Resource Center of the Americas, 3019 Minnehaha Ave., in south Minneapolis.

Buy fair-trade items produced by artisans and cooperatives throughout the Americas and your holiday gifts will benefit more than your family and friends. Purchase ornaments, pottery, toys, bags, jewelry, scarves, wood and metal carvings, wall hangings, and more from countries throughout the Americas.

Find out more at the Resource Center’s website:

Resource Center of the Americas
The Resource Center’s Bookstore of the Americas offers a broad variety of books and resource that can be ordered on line. The website also lists upcoming sales and events.

Find out which products are union-made through these websites:
The AFL-CIO Union Shop
Includes union-made gift cards, clothing, posters, music and more.

Union Label Department
Has a searchable database for union products and services, ranging from tools and hardware to toys, books, clothing and computers.

Consider buying from a cooperative store, which often distributes products directly from farmers and other producers.

The Cooperative Directory
This directory provides a listing of co-ops in Minnesota and other states.

For more on the Wal-Mart campaign, visit