Fair trade-certified coffee beans, relatively rare a decade ago, are now an American coffeehouse standard. Consumer demand for tea leaves grown with environmental and socially responsibility in mind is also on the rise. As a result, it’s easier to find on grocery and supermarket shelves than it was a few years ago. But some of the best fair trade tea leaves are most affordably and conveniently purchased online. Here are nine ethical tea labels you can ship straight to your apartment.
Arbor’s organic, fair trade teas are sourced from around the world. They’re also reasonably priced, considering the quality and ethical assurance they deliver. A stalwart of environmental stewardship and industry trailblazer, Arbor Teas’ products come in compostable packaging. The company offers eco-friendly brewing tips on its website, and encourages customers to choose ground shipping over air freight. Arbor Teas also offsets its carbon emissions through CarbonFund.org. Purchase Arbor’s Fair Trade teas from its online store.
Clipper’s blends are on the pricey side, but the quality of its leaves is discerningly high-end. Clipper also invests generously in infrastructure and community projects in the regions where its tea leaves are grown. Efforts to improve roads, schools, and access to medicine, coupled with Clipper’s sustainable production practices, earn the company an outstanding Ethical Consumer score. Purchase Clipper’s Fair Trade teas from its online store, Ocado, Amazon, and other online marketplaces.
One of a handful of tea companies with an Ethical Consumer score higher than Clipper’s, Equal Exchange sells only organic and fair trade-certified products. Its tea selection is relatively small, but the black, green, rooibos, and herbal blends Equal Exchange distributes are top-notch. Browse and buy fair trade teas on Equal Exchange’s website, Amazon, Walmart, or Vitacost.
Committed to fair trade principles, this British Columbia-based company trades directly with its tea, coffee, fruit, and rice farmers. You can trust that Level Ground’s tea growers are treated well and its tea leaves grown responsibly. Level Ground offers an extensive selection of traditional teas and modern fusions, like smoked black tea and lemongrass-ginger. Level Ground’s fair trade teas are available for purchase through its online shop and on Amazon.
This family-run Maine outfit prides itself on selling pure, ethically harvested, traditional Chinese tea leaves. All blends the Little Red Cup Tea Co. sells are organic and fair trade-certified. You can order Little Red Cup tea and brewing accessories from its online store.
Mountain Rose Herbs exemplifies a next-level commitment to sustainable production. Driven by a Zero Waste philosophy, Mountain Rose cut its waste by ~98 percent between 2007 and 2017. In 2007, Mountain Rose produced up to 5,000 gallons of waste per month. By the end of last year, the company’s monthly waste averaged less than 80 gallons. That’s roughly the same volume of monthly waste generated by a two-person household. Also noteworthy is Mountain Rose Herbs’ “Good Trade Program” business model, which gives growers full negotiating rights. You can order Mountain Rose Herbs’ tea, spices, herbs, and aromatherapy products from its online shop and on Amazon.
Like Clipper, Numi invests heavily in infrastructure and community services in its growers’ local economies. Numi also partners with CarbonFund.org to offset its carbon emissions and uses eco-responsible packaging. The teas come in recyclable cardboard boxes that are made from 85 percent recycled material. Several online retailers sell Numi’s organic black, green, white, and herbal tea blends. You can also buy Numi from the company’s online store.
Rishi’s organic, Fair Trade certified tea leaves are grown throughout Asia using ancient artisanal practices and organic cultivation techniques. The trader’s inventory includes classics like Darjeeling and Earl Gray, as well as inventive blends like chocolate chai. Rishi’s Fair Trade teas are available for purchase from its website, Amazon, and The Vitamin Shoppe’s online store.
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