I have a big event (Kalaghoda and launching of India’s 1st online Fair Trade Shop) coming up soon for which I required assistance at various levels like content writing, banner designing and SEO optimization etc. My search was going on in different directions to get my work done through various sources as soon as possible. During this search I got to know about this social enterprise known as iVolunteer, which promotes volunteering. Their mission is to bring volunteers and organizations together to share time, skills and passion to promote India’s social development.  I thought to give it a try and I have to say my try was a real success. 

I contacted, Shruti (Mumbai Office Representative) from the team of iVolunteer and to my surprise, never saw such a quick response. They were there in my office, within a week’s time to get started with the work. WoW! This was unbelievable. Wait, but  this doesn’t stop here, they soon invited me to their event known as Skill Marathon which was organized on 23rd January 2016. It’s a platform where volunteer’s showcase their talent on various projects that contribute towards resolving social problems.

I was so impressed by their first step which they showcased towards my project, that I was totally inclined to go to their event. I was not dependent on them, but yes I was looking forward for this event. Till 22nd January, their team was putting efforts to gather volunteers and keep working for my big day event assignments.

On 23rd, as per the invitation I reached the venue sharp at 10:00 am and was again surprised to see, one of the volunteer assigned to my project Mr. Manoranjan Tiwari was ready present at the Skill Marathon event, before me. I remember the day when Shruti had come to my office and had taken all my requirements. Based on the requirements given, they had send their volunteer’s to work on my project. Amazing!


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Their team was giving me surprises through out the day. I shared 5 projects and all 5 were completed on that day itself. The entire event was managed with simplicity yet with commitment towards achieving the goal which was set by NGO’s.

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I would like to thank all volunteers who, with their skills supported a cause and allowed us to take Fair Trade moment ahead!

Rudra Biswas, Saheli Chaterjee, Walter D’souza, Arunava Basu and Manoranjan Tiwari

Last but not least special thanks to team iVolunteer Shalabh Sahai (Co-founder), Shrutee Limaye, Thryza Dow, Jayita Naha and all other team members.


Saameer Ravindra Athavale

fight poverty via trade  not aid!





trade vs fair trade

January 9, 2016

In my school days, I heard about Indian trade concept where people use to do business/trade with commodities. e.g. farmer will buy potteries by giving rice to potter-man and so on.

I believe, that was a start of fair trade where people just tried to full-fill our needs by compensating with the things they have in excess and helping each other.

“The day when trade changed from need base to profit base, fair trade practices started vanishing and greed took over the need.”

Here, take a look into previous and current scenario:

Previous Scenario:

  • why trade got evolved – to help each other
  • who are the beneficiaries –  producers and consumerstradeindia.jpg

Current Scenario:

  • what is the meaning of trade in current era – earn money
  • who are beneficiary – middle manconventional.png

Future Scenario:

Its time to challenge the current trade and move on to concept of Fair Trade which will benefit producer and consumers.faitrade.jpg

To know more about Fair Trade in India please visit http://www.shopforchange.in

or what’s app on +91 93200 32675


Saameer Ravindra Athavale

Fair Trade Activist and Social Entrepreneur


Shop for Change has entered Mahindra’s ‘Spark the Rise’ social change competition.  Our entry will be evaluated on two fronts – review by an expert jury and votes for our project received from the public. Will you show your support for fair trade by voting for us?

There are three easy ways to vote:

  1. Give a missed call from your Indian mobile to +912261850314.  You’ll get a confirmation sms.
  2. Send an sms to 54646.  Key in MHRISE<SPACE>P08457
  3. Register and vote online here: http://bit.ly/Vuhizy

To learn more about our project submission and Spark the Rise visit www.sparktherise.com/projectdetails.php?pId=8457

We need as many votes as possible so please tell your friends to to visit this blog post and vote.  Thanks so much for your support!

Looking for a fast-paced, exciting opportunity to make your mark on the world?  Shop for Change is hiring new members of its food and textile business development teams, as well as our marketing and finance/operations teams.  For more details download the job descriptions: 1)  Business Leader – Food, 2) Business Leader – Textiles, 3) Head Marketing, and 4) Finance Controller.


Listen to Nonchalant Gourmand aka Nikhil Merchant -Food Product Manager @Shop for Change talk about food, fair trade, farmers and much more with RJ Hrishi K on his morning show.

Fair Trade Recipe for Gajak

Last week we had some of the very versatile food bloggers- Amrita aka lifekirecipe, Kriti aka food mantra, Shirin aka Food chant, Shivani aka yellow butterfly dish out some mouth watering fair trade recipes- by that we mean they used some our fair trade certified ingredients like herbs, chutneys etc sourced from various farmer groups.

So check out this yummylicious fair trade recipe for baked potatoes with plum chutney and homemade herbed ricotta courtesy Food Chant. Here she has used fair trade certified Herb Blend sourced from our farmer group Kumaon Grameen Udyog and fair trade certified Plum Chutney sourced from Mahila Umang Producers Company.


Now, for those with a sweet tooth, we have fair trade recipe for Malai Barfi and Almond Gajak courtesy Food Mnatra. Herefor Malai Barfi, she has used Shop for Change Fair Trade certified nut meg sourced from Varanashi Organic Farmers Society as one of the ingredients and for Almond Gajak, fair trade certified mace sourced from Varanashi Organic Farmers Society has been used.



Also check out the fair trade recipe for Smoky Potato and Herb Donut


Now, the next recipe is for all non-veg food lovers courtesy lifekirecipe who made Plum Glazed Chicken with fair trade ingredients like fair trade herbs, fair trade Plum Chutney..Enjoy the recipe http://lifekirecipe.com/?p=930

We also had Yellow Butterfly dishing out Green Pea Soup made from fair trade certified ingredients like fair trade  pepper corns sourced from one of our certified farmer groups Varanashi Farmers Society.


To all our fair trade supporters, fair trade certified food products will be soon available with select retailers. Will keep you all updated as soon as they are up on the retailer shelves.

We are excited. Last year we took the first step towards

Fair trade certified exotic food products

extending our footprint to food via a pilot project in the Diwali Gifting segment. We enabled VAPCOL (BAIF) to sell 2000 gift boxes comprising of fair trade certified food products (e.g. cashews) to DHL.

This year we are going a step further. Working closely with 6 farmer groups across India- Mahila Umang Producers Comapny ( Anita Paul-Founder of Umang has been featured in the August issue of  BBC Good Food India), Kumaon Grameen Udyog, Varanashi, Nageshwara Charitable Trust, Sahaja Aharam Cooperative (CSA of Satyamev Jayate fame), Varanashi Organic Farmers Society we are trying to create a market for fair trade food products like cashews, walnuts, wild forest honey, vanilla powder (which is anything but plain!), chamomile tea etc. We are now targeting not only in the corporate gifting segment but various other channels such as luxury hotels, specialized online and mainstream food retailers.

The entire range of products is tasty, healthy, well packaged and absolute value for money. Yet our Diwali gift packs targeted at businesses ensure that 20% of the price goes back to farmers as a fair trade premium ensuring at least 50% additional income for them. This means a lot to a small farming family which barely earns INR 2500 p.m. otherwise.

Fair trade food products such as fruit, chocolate, confectionery, yoghurt, honey, herbs, spices, nuts, preserves and rice are widely available in a no. of countries across the world like UK. Consumers in India will soon have an opportunity to ‘Shop for Change’ when they buy fair trade food products.

To get the entire list of fair trade food products click here.

 Shop for Change Fair Trade,

Actor, director Parvin Dabas @ LFW in a fair trade t-shirt

took its call to support India’s cotton farmers to top designers and their fans at the recent  Lakme Fashion Week. Among the Winter/Festive collections on display, those attending the renowned fashion event will find ranges of designer t-shirts and casual wear from Shop for Change partner labels I Wear Me, Do U Speak Green, and No Nasties, along with home textiles and stylish cotton bags from WIT. All of the ranges are made with Shop for Change Fair Trade certified cotton grown by farmers from Chetna Organic Agriculture Producer Company, ensuring that small-scale cotton farmers receive a fairer deal so they can care for their families and the environment.
While India’s fascination with high fashion continues to surge, the country’s cotton farmers struggle to make ends meet. Shop for Change partners with designers and brands that source cotton in a way that ensures small-scale farmers earn more and grow more sustainably. Shop for Change Fair Trade certified products carry the Shop for Change Mark, letting consumers know that by choosing a fair trade garment they are making a difference to poor cotton farmers. In addition to the companies with fair trade collections on display at Lakme Fashion Week, Shop for Change has also partnered with designer Anita Dongre, as well as Shoppers Stop and Raymond owned ColorPlus.

Seth Petchers, CEO of Shop for Change Fair Trade, says, “While fair trade cotton farmers are sowing seeds for next year’s harvest, it’s a perfect time for the design fraternity and fashion conscious consumers to make a commitment to fair trade. With stunning Shop for Change certified styles becoming more and more accessible in shops and online, it’s never been easier and more fashionable to make a difference.”

Hina Palkar, CEO of I Wear Me, says, “Our designer t-shirts let consumers make a statement about who they are – creative, free thinking, and trendy. And when they choose from our Shop for Change Fair Trade certified range they’re also making a statement – changing the world is in vogue.”

Kishore Kukade, cotton farmer and Vice Chairman of COAPCL says, “Seeing Shop for Change certified products made with my organisation’s cotton in a prestigious event like this gives hope. If the support that Chetna Organic lends to farmers is met with consumers who choose Shop for Change Fair Trade products, I have no doubt we’ll be able to improve the lives of farming families.”


Last week, our CEO Seth Petchers, had an interesting Thursday morning as he was being interviewed live on Radio One by RJ Hrihikesh Kannan.

Click the below links to listen to the entire interview.


We even ran a live contest where three lucky winners were given No Nasties t shirts which are made with Shop for Change Fair Trade certified cotton.

Overall it was a great platform to propagate and reach out to consumers about fair trade considering Radio One has around 8 million listeners in Mumbai and Delhi combined. However the icing on the cake was when Anita Naidu – Programming Head @ Radio One told Mr. Petchers that she is a fair trade consumer. She had read about Shop for Change and the work we do in some newspaper which led her to visit one of the AND stores to buy a Shop for Change Fair Trade certified dress. You really made our day Anita.

Click here to check out some snaps from that day.



Beautiful Kurti from Shoppers Stop in-house brand STOP made with Shop for Chnage Fair Trade certified cotton



Shoppers Stop has launched a vibrant range of women’s ethnic wear under its in-house label STOP, made from Shop for Change Fair Trade certified cotton produced by small-scale farmers from our partner Chetna Organic. Through this association, Shoppers Stop and Shop for Change Fair Trade guarantee that the farming families behind the collection receive a fairer deal for their hard work.

Speaking about Shoppers Stop’s partnership with Shop for Change, Vinay Bhatia, Customer Care Associate & Senior Vice President, Marketing & Loyalty at Shoppers Stop said,”It’s a matter of great pride and pleasure that Shoppers Stop is the first large-format retailer to join hands with the Shop for Change Fair Trade movement. We have launched an extensive Shop for Change women’s ethnic-wear collection under our popular, exclusive brand STOP. This collection is made entirely from Shop for Change Fair Trade certified cotton. The social implications of using Shop for Change fair trade certified cotton are truly phenomenal. It allows farmers to receive 15% additional income and at the same time makes customers feel good about making a difference. We are already seeing a great response to the Shop for Change collection from our customers.”  

This collection is retailled out of  select Shoppers Stop stores in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, and Hyderabad. As always, you’ll recognise Shop for Change certified products by looking for the Shop for Change Fair Trade hangtag on the garments. And yes, do spread the word around in your  neighbourhood about Shop for Change.