Global Fair Trade Store in Petaluma
Here’s something unexpected to keep in mind the next time you’re in downtown Petaluma: just a quick trip around the corner can take you on a trip around the world.
At One Planet, a global fair trade store on 4th Street, owner Noelle Marshall stocks gorgeous, colorful, handcrafted products from 48 poor and developing countries across the globe.
Stepping inside the shop – a carefully arranged space full of bold colors and exotic materials – is an adventure in itself. It feels a bit like ducking in off of 4th Street and finding yourself suddenly in Africa or the Caribbean.
Inside, you’ll find contemporary hand-made blouses from Nepal, earrings woven from sustainable grass in Brazil, innovative recycled-material sculptures from Haiti, and much more.
Marshall, whose parents are from Liberia and Lebanon, was eager to combine her business background and her desire to help developing communities when she opened One Planet in Petaluma about five years ago.
Today, she works with suppliers in Central and South America, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, all of whom follow set “fair trade” practices. That means the people who make their products receive training, fair wages, safe and clean working environments, funding for education, and other assistance.
“Rather than just giving people money, we can focus on the wellbeing of people and let them help themselves,” Marshall explained. “(Fair trade) gives them a skill so they can make a good living for themselves.”
And if the exotic atmosphere, unique finds, and general feel-good-ness of One Planet aren’t enough to make you a happy shopper, there are also the price tags.
“The price in-store is comparable to the free-trade price,” Marshall says. “And the money goes back to the people who make everything.”
One Planet, 5 4th St., Petaluma, 707-766-8076