shop review

shop local: Latitudes in Staunton, VA

Latitudes Fair Trade Staunton

Finally, a fair trade boutique that carries a variety of fair trade brands and products within driving distance of Charlottesville! 


Don't get me wrong, the local Ten Thousand Villages is amazing and the staff is kind and knowledgeable, but Ten Thousand Villages' products tend to be seasonal or gift items - it's not a one stop shop for ethically produced goods.

fair trade jewelry Thistle Farms display

Daniel and I decided to spend the afternoon in nearby Staunton last Saturday, because it has a charming, historic downtown and I swore I saw a shop that carried fair trade goods last time we were there. Funnily enough, Latitudes just opened, so I wasn't thinking about this particular store (there are a couple other shops that carry Made in USA and fair trade stuff, so I was probably thinking of one of them).


It was clearly fate.


There was a Mata Traders dress on the mannequin in the front window and a huge Thistle Farms selection on display as soon as I walked in the door. I felt like a kid in a candy shop, gushing and pointing at all the familiar labels.

Manos Zapotecasstriped socks fair tradeLatitudes Fair Trade Shop

Latitudes carries Greenola Style, Matr Boomie, Manos Zapotecas, Serrv, Mata Traders, Maggie's Organics, Thistle Farms, Level Ground, Equal Exchange, and lots of other reputable fair trade brands.

They've got clothing, home goods, accessories, jewelry, food, cards, and gift items, plus lots of free literature on the fair trade movement. 


I bought a pound of Level Ground coffee and a Thistle Farms candle, which I am happily burning as I write this post.

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If you're in the Charlottesville/Staunton area, make sure to check out Latitudes at 16 East Beverly Street. You can shop some of their selection online, too. 



Learn about other local shops:
Ten Thousand Villages
Betsey Boutique
Low Vintage

tradesy: secondhand shoes galore


I know that the thought of wearing used shoes makes some people nauseous, but I've never taken issue with it. In fact, probably 1/3 of the shoes I own are secondhand. In a consumer culture dominated by 5-week trend cycles, people are doomed to impulse buy, which leaves a lot of gently used stuff on the secondhand market to trawl through.

I've typically thrifted or searched ebay to find secondhand shoes, but the popularity of online shopping has resulted in all sorts of new places to shop for secondhand goods.

I discovered Tradesy over the weekend. It's a mashup between the Ebay/Etsy, direct-from-the-seller approach and more curated sites like thredup and Twice. Basically, an individual lists items, which are placed both within their personal shop and within the larger marketplace. Once an item sells, the Tradesy team processes the order and sends the seller packaging materials, which the seller then uses to ship the item to the customer. Items ship free and returns are free, as well.

Tradesy's setup isn't perfect. Items that sell out are delayed from removal while the site waits to confirm the order with the seller, which means the customer has to scroll through a lot of extraneous listings to find something she can actually buy. But they're the best I've found when it comes to shoes. Prices tend to fall in ebay ranges with the advantage of avoiding the auction and having your item ship free.