Nestled in among the quiet streets of Northcote is The Fair Trader, one of two stores owned and operated by John and Bronwyn Newnham.
Stepping into The Fair Trader is like entering a treasure-chest. The air is faintly, deliciously perfumed, the shelves tastefully arranged with curiosities. Some are decorative, some useful, some frivolous; all are ethically sourced. It feels, well, special.
Bronwyn and John opened their Ringwood store a few years ago after John retired from working as a paramedic.
“Bron and John have massive hearts and are passionate about making a difference by supporting disadvantaged communities.”
- Joanne Bowers
“The Fair Trader was born from my husband’s deep desire to address poverty in a sustained and meaningful way,” explains Bronwyn.
“He was born in Bangladesh, and lived there until he was thirteen years old. He has such a clear image of what poverty looks like and the anxiety and stress and social problems it causes… And so we began, with no knowledge of business, and no knowledge of logistics.”
Some of their stocked items include women’s fair trade clothing that supports women in Ghana, handmade baby blankets from Bangladesh, artisan jewellery that finances the removal of landmines in Laos, cashmere scarves from Nepal and homewares from Zimbabwe.
“I love having a local shop where I can go to for guilt free gift buying.”
- Andrea North
“Our goal is to give the Melbourne and Australian community an opportunity to purchase beautiful artisan products which give the gift of regular and sustained employment for the producers, a wage which enables them to survive and thrive and is an investment into the producer's local community. The people who make our products teach John and I that no matter how hard your circumstances, great things are possible, and we are inspired.”
Bronwyn and John are two extraordinary people who are working hard to bring about positive change. We’ve been so honoured to be a part of their journey by supplying Wild Timor Coffee products for The Fair Trader’s fair shelves.
You can be a part of the journey, too! While the physical stores are temporarily closed to the public due to COVID-19, you can still browse ethically traded goods on their website.
After all, we’re all in this together.