When the owner of Fair Trade Décor, Elizabeth Paganelli, wanted to showcase the importance of selling eco-friendly products found in her store, she came up with a creative idea for the holiday season and put out a call for people to drop off empty plastic water bottles. With the help of her husband Jude, they used those bottles to create both a recycled plastic bottle Christmas tree and a Menorah. Their neighbor Kristin Volkman also helped to decorate the many bottles.
“People are coming in just to take pictures of the tree, or themselves in front of the tree,” explained Paganelli. “It’s so cool to see how much people appreciate the recycled bottle project.”
Not only is the decorated and colorfully lit tree beautiful, but it shines a light on the importance of eliminating single-use plastics. Fair Trade Décor is an Emerald Green, Ocean Blue Business, following a list of guidelines set forth by Emerald Keepers.
As a fair trade store, Fair Trade Décor works with artisans in developing countries and underserved communities. All of their products are sourced through the U.S. Fair Trade Federation, European Fair Trade Organization, World Fair Trade Organization and other Fair Trade sources that require eco-friendly practices to serve the best interests of both the artisans and their communities. Everything in the story is eco-friendly.
Paganelli is proud of the principles they follow which help alleviate poverty and prioritize sustainable social and economic development. Safe working conditions and children’s rights, prompt and fair pay, respect for cultural identity, and environmental stewardship are among the principals to which they adhere. Paganelli said, “We work with partners and organizations in approximately 40 developing countries.”
Paganelli is passionate about the unique handcrafted decorative arts she sells, as well as human rights for those making the products. She opened her fair trade store in Coronado in December of 2017, just five years after opening a similar store in Del Mar, which she has since closed. This year, Fair Trade Décor has added some U.S.-based, eco-friendly, sustainable products to the inventory.
Emerald Keepers is pleased to congratulate Fair Trade Décor as our Emerald Keeper of the Month for December, as they remind everyone to Reduce, Reuse, and Rejoice this holiday season.