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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Leeds chapter.

This year, Fairtrade Fortnight starts on the 23rd of February. It’s time to exercise your right to choose.  It’s fair, it’s ethical and it’s good quality too!  Buying Fairtrade ensures you know the producer is getting a fair price for their work. And Fairtrade isn’t just about bananas and chocolate anymore!

Over recent years, the sales of Fairtrade goods have soared and there is now a wide range of products carrying the Fairtrade logo. You’ll be amazed at everything available. From spices and rices to cosmetics and condoms…read on!

1. Spices and rice

Spices are a necessary item in any student cupboard.  You can pick up anything from cinnamon to mixed spices. It’s also possible to buy Fairtrade rice, and the range of rice dishes is limitless. So cook someone up a treat this Fairtrade Fortnight!

2. Lip balm

In winter it’s so easy to get chapped, dry lips. And Vaseline tins don’t always help – sometimes making the condition worse. But don’t worry, because you can buy a Fairtrade lip balm this year; they come in a variety of flavours, including pomegranate and honey. As an added bonus you can also buy Fairtrade vegan lip balm.

3. Condoms

Looking for a special night in with a certain someone? Don’t worry, now you can enjoy a night of passion knowing that whoever made the condoms is getting a fair deal. What’s sexier than that?

4. Rubber gloves

Protect your hands during any spring-cleaning this year and buy a pair of Fairtrade rubber gloves. They’ll save your hands from dirty dishes in a completely ethical way.

5. Flowers

There’s always a reason for flowers: whether it’s to brighten up your uni room or house, as a gift for a flat mate, or even your mum! Make sure to pick up a Fairtrade bunch this year. Fairtrade roses and lilies are available at all major supermarkets.

6. Clothes

Nowadays, it gets harder and harder to trust retailers like Primark and Topshop to be treating their producers ethically. But don’t worry, you can buy any cotton clothing Fairtrade. Pants to Poverty have a fun range of ethical underwear. There are now lots of retailers offering Fairtrade clothing so treat yourself to a new outfit this spring.

7. Wine

Who doesn’t love wine? Especially as the second semester gets underway, we’re all in need of a glass or two after a few too many lectures. So put down the Lambrini and buy a bottle of Fairtrade wine. No one can tell you off – as after all you’re just being ethical.

8. Gold

Do you have a special person to propose to this spring? Or someone (you) who needs spoiling? Treat yourself to some ethical jewellery this year – knowing it’s worth what you paid for it.

9. Peanuts and nut products

Given up chocolate for Lent? Harry Hill has his own brand of nut products such as peanut butter and cashews. Have a healthy snack this year with the added bonus of knowing that it’s ethical.

10. Honey and jam

Start the day feeling good with an ethical breakfast. You can buy Fairtrade honey and jam at most major retailers, which makes for a great breakfast.  You can get most flavours of jam, so your favourite is sure to be available.

11. Cosmetics

Boots do their own range of Fairtrade products, such as body butter and shower gel. They smell really nice and as they’re Boots’ own range they won’t break the bank. Treat your body well as well as looking after producers’ rights.

12. Ice cream

Suffered a bad breakup recently? There’s no reason to feel guilty about eating a whole tub of ice cream if it’s Fairtrade. Ben and Jerry’s is one example, but there are other brands available as well.

13. Chocolate, bananas and tea

Of course, all the old favourites are still Fairtrade. Have a healthy fruit salad with Fairtrade banana, mango and pineapple. Or a naughty snack with Fairtrade Maltesers or a Dairy Milk. Have a Fairtrade tea or coffee with a helping of Fairtrade sugar!

Fairtrade may have a reputation for being more expensive than normal items, but this isn’t always the case. Aldi, Lidl and the Co-op all have a large range of their own Fairtrade items. It’s completely possible to choose Fairtrade on a student budget this year – so get involved this Fairtrade Fortnight and choose ethical.

By Esther Marshall

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