I commend you for last week's article on the opening of Global Awakenings ("Radical Retail" by Stratton Lawrence, Oct. 31). This is truly a newsworthy event as it seems Global Awakenings is the only store in Charleston devoted to carrying almost exclusively fair trade products. As pointed out in your excellent article, most of the products in the store have been purchased directly from co-ops of farmers, artisans, and craftsmen so as to ensure that they receive a much larger share of the revenues. This matters in a world where most of what we consume is made or harvested by unseen men, women, and children laboring in deplorable third world conditions.
Equally as newsworthy as the store's opening, however, is the store's owner — Maren Anderson. She is an unconventional entrepreneur who, in the cut-throat world of retail, has done something very radical — she has opened a store with the sole mission of starting a conversation. Anderson, while very serious about her retail endeavor, is primarily interested in simply having us begin to think about where what we buy comes from. Her mission, it seems, is born from a personal commitment to those unseen and unknown people who labor tirelessly for what we consume.
It is a beautiful thing to see someone who has crafted a life and a business from which they can give generously to their community and the world. Few in the modern workplace are able to do that. But imagine what it would be like if more could.
Maybe there is some hope for this awkward and beautiful planet of ours.