For the past six years, Plowshare Fair Trade Marketplace in Waukesha has been putting on one of the most chic events in town, but its goal isn't strictly about fine fashion.

The annual fair trade fashion show, this year set for Sept. 22 and titled “Fashionably Fair in Fall,” will showcase some of the best autumnal looks from around the world.

It will also promote the organization's "fair trade" goals.

Plowshare's purpose

Plowshare was founded in 1989 with a mission of “creating a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world through socially responsible shopping and transformative educational experiences.” Its market place is filled with a variety of items from around the globe, including clothing, coffee, tea, jewelry, baskets and pottery.

“Our organization is great because we are providing a marketplace for artisans (mostly women) from all over the globe to continue their traditional crafts and support their families and in turn their communities,” said Sara Allison, director of retail marketing at Plowshare.

Every gift from Plowshare comes with added benefit of providing sustainable support of each artisan and their family, Allison explained.

Plowshare was the first Fair Trade store in Wisconsin. They also offer community forums, speakers, book discussions, and more.  For more information about Plowshare, please visit or call 262-547-5188.

Pageantry and more

As in years past, the event will be held at Southminster Presbyterian Church, 200 S. Richard St. in Waukesha. Guests are invited to arrive between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. to shop the international market place, explore silent auction items, and sample some snacks.

“Our mini marketplace at the fashion show is a great opportunity to get some early holiday shopping done,” Allison said.

A traditional Latin American meal, complete with dessert, will be served from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. Food will be prepared by Café Esperanza. Meals will include salad, Mexican rice with tomatoes, onion, garlic, peas and carrots, Puerto Rican rice with pork, garlic, onions, sweet peppers, beans and pigeon peas. Entrée options include carne con hongos – pot roast with mushrooms, Pollo con Rajas de Chile Poblano – chicken breasts with julienne poblano peppers, or a vegetarian option of chile relleno – cheese stuffed poblano pepper. The vegetarian entrée must be pre-ordered. For dessert, there's choco flan – layered creamy flan and moist chocolate cake drizzled with dark chocolate sauce.

Then, at 7:45 p.m., the fashion show begins. New this year, the show will feature fall fashions, including designs from Mata Traders, Bohemian staples from Venus Imports, and a funky collection from Avatar, Allison said. During the show, Allison will explain the process that went into making each handmade piece.

Tickets are $50 each with $25 of each purchase being a charitable donation to Plowshare. Deadline to purchase tickets is Sept. 9. Tickets can be purchased at Plowshare, 219 W. Main St. or via mail. Pre-paid tickets via mail order may be picked up at will call at the show.

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