Buy Good, Feel Good Expo 2019 at Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto
By Sally Warburton
In 2014 Rafik Riad started the Buy Good, Feel Good Expo at the Gladstone Hotel. It’s now grown so much that the Buy Good, Feel Good Expo is held at a much bigger location at Enercare Centre, Toronto.
Vendors Booths are all ethically made items, supporting communities and women – from fashion, health products, food, jewellery, coffee, wine, ornaments, travel, and volunteer opportunities
The Opening Ceremony on Friday, April 12 was an extraordinary event. The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant governor of Ontario opened the BGFG event and spoke about sustainability, social issues and supporting the exhibitors along with the communities they support.
The Keynote speaker at the Opening Ceremonies was Nasreen Sheikh. Nasreen is a former child slave worker. She spoke about her experiences as a child slave worker – working from early in the day until late at night – often over 15 hours a day. She finally managed to escape an arranged marriage at the age of 21. She asked us to think about where our clothing comes from? Who has made it? Have they suffered to make it? She started her talk by having the audience close their eyes as she described traveling to her former village – taking the plane, transferring planes, taking a train, taking a very long, very bumpy bus ride for over 12 hours and then a very long walk to her isolated village. Nasreen said that her village isn’t on any map.
Nasreen concluded by telling us to travel, to travel and see the different ways people live in the world. She is now an advocate for child and adult slave workers of which there are millions around the world.
– While at the Buy Good, Feel Good Expo, she encouraged us to spend time speaking and learning from the Exhibitors. Exhibitors who have traveled to the countries and met the people who’ve made their items for sale – mostly women. Some of had the experiences of teaching the women how to make items such as beautiful bracelets and necklaces, purses, wallets, to sew clothing – so that they have a skill. The BGFG Expo was indeed an opportunity to learn about ethical products, the importance of purchasing them, of supporting the women who work so hard to make the items and to meet people who have traveled, helped people in need and had their lives changed by what they’ve learned…and certainly helped change the lives of those they’ve met. Attending the BGFG Expo opens your eyes to the world of ethical purchasing. It’s an essential start for us all.
Some tasty and healthy food options were available for purchase, as well as wine and beer. Tickets were free with registration. Enercare Centre at the Exhibition Grounds, Toronto, is easily accessible by TTC public transportation and has lots of parking spaces.