Panel and Networking: Empowering Women through Fair Trade

Fair Trade is as much about Social Change

    as it is about Empowering Producers.

Women consist of 51% of the global population and represent an even greater percentage of Fair Trade producers, yet women are often discriminated against and not treated with equality. Unfortunately, women in Fair Trade businesses and organizations are often unaware of their power.

Come join us for a lively discussion of women empowerment’s through Fair Trade. RSVP at

6:00pm Networking

6:30 -7:30pm Panel discussion and Q&A

7:30pm -8:30pm More networking

***Enjoy Stellar Organics fair trade wine, Runa fair trade tea, Madecasse and Kopali Organics chocolates, and fair trade vendor displays. 


Benita Singh,

Zolaykha Sherzad,
Video presentations

Bob Bland by ManufactureNY,  Indiegogo Campaign

Wishwas, a local nonprofit that empowers Bangladeshi women in NYC through fashion.

Hosted by NYC Fair Trade Coalition

Nimet Degirmencioglu,

Becky Bavinger

Fair Trade Vendors

Friends of Fresh and Green Academy (hand woven scarves)

Destiny Foundation (reclaimed sari bags),

Madecasse Chocolates,

Runa Tea,

Stellar Organics Wine,

Kopali Organic Chocolates,

Special thanks to for event space.

NYC Fair Trade Coalition seeks to educate consumers about fair trade and promote fair trade businesses in NYC. We partner with ethically-aligned businesses, NGOs, and individuals to organize NYC events and engage the public in dialogue. We offer social media advertising support, sales event opportunities, and community networking with ethical and fair trade businesses through our Business Membership program.

Benita Singh,

Benita Singh

Benita is the Co-Founder & CEO of Source4Style. Source4Style is the first online tradeshow for materials sourcing and global design inspiration. The global sourcing platform has attracted designers from 71 countries and suppliers from 24 countries.

Benita started her career while a senior at Yale University, when she co-founded and served as the President of Mercado Global – a fair trade social enterprise connecting women artisans in Guatemala to expanded markets in the US. She went on to serve as the Director of Marketing for League of Artisans, a program of the American India Foundation connecting artisans across the country to wholesale markets.

An expert in branding, communications and social business models, Benita also served as a Brand Strategist and consultant at BBMG, a New York-based Brand Innovation Agency.

Benita has been named among the World’s Best Emerging Social Entrepreneurs by Echoing Green and the 2011 North American Laureate by the Cartier Women’s Initiative along with her Source4Style co-founder Summer Rayne Oakes. Her work has also been recognized by media outlets from Newsweek to VOGUE.


Zolaykha Sherzad,


Zolaykha born in Kabul, Afghanistan. At the age of 10 she had to leave Afghanistan and became a political refugee in Switzerland. She graduated in 1994 from the School of Architecture in Lausanne. She practiced as an architect for different companies in Switzerland, Japan and New York, taught Design Studio at Pratt Institute School of Architecture (1998 – 2004).

In 2000, founded “School of Hope – SoH” a not- for-profit organization sponsoring education in Afghanistan. SoH is now merged with School of Leadership for Afghanistan – SOLA:

In 2005, she initiated Zarif Design, working with Afghan women in reviving the traditional textile into a modern design, working in Kabul with a group of 36 women and 16 men on developing the Zarif Design Center.

Zolaykha participated in several shows representing Afghanistan through its label. Zarif Design has presented its collection at Agnes b” stores, a well-established French designer in Paris 2009, London 2010 and New York 2011. In 2009 participated at the Biennale of Venice presented her work at the Afghan, Iranian and Pakistani Pavilion “East – West Divan”. In 2012 participated at one of the major international shows, dOCUMENTA 13, in Kassel – Germany and Kabul. Zarif Design has participated in the designs of the costumes for two major shows, “One Thousand nights” in Toronto in 2011 and “The Comedy of Errors” by Shakespeare in 2012 at the Globe in London which received the first price. On October 18th 2012 received the TIWA (The International Women Alliance) Award, the World of Difference.

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