Fair-trade vendors offer wares at Black Friday market in Delmar

A Mayan Hands basket maker displays her work.

A Mayan Hands basket maker displays her work.

BETHLEHEM — The Black Friday Fair Trade Market, a two-day event in Delmar, has become a Thanksgiving weekend tradition. For the eighth time in as many years, Black Friday shoppers seeking to do good as they purchase unique, handcrafted gifts will choose to avoid the malls and instead browse the offerings of many fair-trade vendors at Delmar Presbyterian Church.  

The fair-trade movement fights worldwide poverty by providing fair, sustainable compensation and safe workplaces; by providing market opportunities for artisans and producers in developing countries.

Eleven vendors representing more than 60 fair-trade cooperatives worldwide will bring a wide array of goods to the market. Shoppers will find unique, handcrafted holiday gifts, including fair-trade coffee and chocolate, decorative items for the home, baskets, jewelry, bags, scarves and accessories, holiday decorations, personal-care items, and toys.

Most of the products are made by women in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. “Behind every product is a story of hope and a story of empowerment, change and transcending poverty,” said a release from the market. “Proceeds go directly back to the artisans and the organizations that enable them to bring their products to market.”

The market will offer activities for children. Besides participating in a Fair Trade Treasure Hunt, children will be able to learn the paper bead-making technique employed by countless African women who create jewelry from recycled paper in their homes.

The success of this annual event has, in recent years, led to the opening of several other Fair Trade Markets around the Capital District. On Dec. 2, the Saratoga Fair Trade Market Expo will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Saratoga Springs City Center, 522 Broadway, Saratoga.  And on Dec. 9, the St. Kateri Fair Trade Market will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1801 Union St., Schenectady.

Delmar’s Black Friday Fair Trade Market opens Friday and Saturday, Nov. 24 to 25, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Delmar Presbyterian Church at 585 Delaware Ave in Delmar. Admission is free and there is ample parking. Snacks, drinks, and lunch will be available.

 

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