Image via Abe's Market
Do you ever wonder who makes the stuff you buy? Ever want that farmer's market feel, where you connect with the source of what you're buying, but for all the non-food goods in your life? That satisfaction is increasingly hard to come by, especially as we turn to the internet and major chain retailers for more and more of our shopping, but Abe's Market is changing that.
For every product that this online marketplace sells, there's a story behind the company that produces it—why the founders created the company, where the ingredients come from, etc.
From face cream to furniture polish to notepads made from elephant dung, there's plenty of great stuff to choose from here—much of it organic or planet-friendly in some way. But instead of trusting that the industrial plant that produced your moisturizer is looking out for your best interests, you can see the two women behind Stillwater Skin, for example, harvesting the cranberries that will keep your skin moist, and trust that they in fact are making good-for-you products, because they're probably using those products too.
Stories about decent, hardworking people -- people like Abe, Mr. Polin's grandfather. Abe is a throwback to a world before globalization, to a time when economies were local and transactions were slow, face-to-face and personal.
The Times quotes Richard Demb, one of Abe's two founders: "There are very few opportunities to meet the people who make your products. We look at Abe's Market as a limitless farmers' market."
And now, Abe's is giving its customers (and anyone online) a chance to join in the action: a streaming broadcast where individual sellers demonstrate their products, and where you can chat with other viewers and send questions directly to the on-air guests. It's called Abe's Live, and there's a broadcast today at 2pm—don't miss it!
More on ethical, local shopping
There Is More To The Local Movement Than Just Food
3/50: The Locavore Movement to Save Local Economies
Global Sourcing Marketplace Draws Sustainable Designers and Suppliers