Fair Trade LA's Summer Reading List


Summer is here and with its arrival comes long-awaited vacations, in-person hugs, and a tentative return to normal life. Whether opting for a stay-cation or cruising out of town, we’ve compiled a list of essential fair-trade reads to last you through your summer outings (and beyond).


Getting Started //
New to fair trade? Fair Trade: A Beginner's Guide and Fair Trade and How it Works each explains the principles behind fair trade and how to apply them in everyday life. 
 
Apparel //
The Conscious Closet - Written by ethical fashion expert and journalist Elizabeth Cline, The Conscious Closet is packed with vital tools to build a more ethical wardrobe. Topics range from capsule closets to tips for washing your clothes for longevity to fair trade clothing. 
 
Slave to Fashion - In 1991 Safia Minney founded People Tree, one of the first fair trade clothing brands to achieve mainstream success and build fair trade supply chains. Her book calls attention to the human impact of clothing production and offers practical steps for addressing modern-day slavery in our supply chains. 
 
Sewing Hope - The story of Alta Gracia is truly remarkable. Their factory in Guatemala pioneered an anti-sweatshop model through fair trade practices and committed principles. Dive in to learn about their struggles and their triumphs. 
 
A Harvest of Thorns - A gripping story about labor trafficking, human rights, and the fashion industry featuring courtroom dramas and fraught investigative journalism. 
 
Action //
Buy The Change You Want To See - An excellent resource that dives into the power of our buying habits to create positive change. Slowing down to thoughtfully consider what we buy and how our products are made can have a powerful impact in creating the world we want to see. 
 
Soul of a Citizen - A passionate and practical call to engage in the public sphere to shape both a better future and present. Paul Loeb describes how citizens can lead lives worthy of their convictions.
 

Business //
Honor Thy Label - This fascinating story follows the journey of Dr. Bronner’s from their origins as a small family-run soap company with counter-cultural roots into mainstream success without compromising commitments to fair trade, organic ingredients, and socially conscious business. 
 
Let My People Go Surfing - Founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard’s journey offers a compelling case for meaningful business based on consistent values and products people always want. 
 

As a bonus, we’ve got a list of documentaries for your fair trade summer movie nights!


Documentary //
Dukale's Dream - Hugh Jackman visits fair trade coffee farms with World Vision. 
 
The True Cost - A shocking look into the fast fashion system and the true cost of making our clothing. 
 
The Price of Free - Follow the thrilling story of Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s journey to liberate every child from slavery. Watch it here
 
The Dark Side of Chocolate - This deep-dive exposes the human trafficking and forced child labor in the chocolate industry. 
 
Made in LA - An Emmy award-winning documentary that follows the remarkable story of three Latina immigrants working in Los Angeles garment sweatshops as they embark on a three-year odyssey to win basic labor protections from a trendy clothing retailer.