Sail Trade Movement Represents a Trans-Atlantic Collaboration

“If the shipping industry were a single country it would be the ranked 6th amongst the most polluting nations” – SailTrade Co.

Sometimes you have to take a step backwards in order to move forward. The need to develop greener shipping methods is clear. Fortunately, there is an emerging sail trade movement that is demonstrating the viability of sustainable alternatives based on successful models from the past.

Grow Purpose is excited to be collaborating with a number of good folks in support the emerging sail trade movement.

  • The Tres Hombres, a 32 meter schooner, is a commercially operated engine-less cargo ship that has been plying trade for the last decade at ports throughout the Atlantic. They transport select goods, including Caribbean rum, fair-trade chocolate, and coffee.
  • SailTrade is developing a unique brand designation for commodities, similar to Fair Trade and Organic certifications.
  • We are actively bringing in more local partners in preparation for a series of Charleston events…

The Tres Hombres will be arriving in Charleston in late February so stay tuned for more info on rum-tasting, boat tours and other educational and community events.



Tres Hombres and their allies in sail have co-founded an international sail cargo alliance, and a trading company called FairTransport— creating a network and institutional framework for the emerging Sail trade movement. Whereas in the past, the tea, spices, opium, rum and other commodities came from exploitative and extractive economies, today’s traders are focused on fair wages, organic production and heritage varieties. All the products carried aboard Tres Hombres and sister vessels are carefully selected, with partnership from Slow Food and Fair Trade certifiers— to ensure that this new phase of trade is fair, clean and generative for everyone along the supply chain.  This is the future of trade, more direct, more accountable, more personable and more precise— following the winds, retracing a new logic and building good markets for small island agricultural economies made marginal by globalization.


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