Most of my travels are done by motorcycle; nearly all of my purchasing is done in this way.
Although we are not fair trade under the guise of any organisation we do try to source our products in an ethical manner.
Usually I come across a product scouring the bazaars of Asia.
On returning, if a product sells, I will take the time to hunt out where the product is manufactured, it usually takes a bit of ‘investigative sourcing’ this will take me to some very surprising places, – a slum in the north of Delhi where in amidst the chaos a small cottage industry syndicate are weaving their way out of poverty, or an almost forgotten village on an island in the Indonesian archipelago where they are keeping a potter’s tradition alive.
By going and meeting we gain great respect for each other and an understanding of each other’s needs, and also of course they receive a better price than dealing with the middle man, I don’t ask them to change the way they do business their world is very different from ours, if I like them we do business, the thing I have learnt from my 20 years doing this is that the extra money they earn is generally spent on improving their environment and educating their kids.