Happy Fair Trade Month! Although we celebrate and practice fair trade every day, we are uniting with the global marketplace to highlight the importance of ethical manufacturing and consumption during the month of October.
Fair trade is a global movement made up of a diverse network of producers, companies, consumers, advocates, and organizations putting people and planet first. Ultimately everyone wants to do what’s right – for their families, fellow global citizens, and the planet. Their model is based on the concept that the products bought and sold every day are intricately connected to the livelihoods of others. Thus, buying fair trade is a way to make a conscious choice for a better world.
Seeking a label of ethical standards invites us to pause and ask questions about the products we buy. Where did they come from? Who made it? In what conditions? Does this purchase support the people who made it or perpetuate unethical practices from large corporations? Does this product support sustainable earth practices? What is the long term effect of buying this?
Ethical consumption helps us become more present and aware of the world we are simultaneously shaping and leaving behind for future generations. When we choose to buy products with the Fair Trade Certified™ logo, we are letting businesses and the world know what our values are: integrity, ethics, respect and care for humanity, sustainability, reciprocity, and equity .
The key part of this model is that it offers a minimum price to producers for their produce.
If prices in the global market drop below this level, producers selling to distributors or companies can be sure they still get a fair price for their goods and make a loss on products sold, which for many producers could lead to deeper poverty. These practices offer a pathway to sustainable livelihoods within global communities, communities often exploited for their labor.
Fair Trade Certified factories and farmers must adhere to rigorous social, environmental and economic standards to protect the health and safety of the workforce and the environment.
Additionally, with the purchase of certified items, we’re not only helping to support better working conditions for factory workers and farmers, but we are supporting the growth and stability of their communities as well. The product price includes a 'premium’, this premium is extra income given directly back to factory workers and farmers to invest in their communities. This investment in local projects, such as infrastructure, better sanitation, schools and local medical facilities, creates regenerative sustainability in areas around the world that need it most. It helps the families and communities who make our goods be able to thrive for generations to come.
The importance of ethics is a deep part of our company and the livelihood of our planet and her stewards is at the core of our business model. That being so, we are proud to consciously craft garments in a Fair Trade Certified Factory in India and employ fair labor practices with our partners in Nepal.
Fair trade practices are symbiotic. When you choose Fair Trade Certified goods, you’re voting with your dollar in the easiest way possible, supporting responsible companies, empowering workers and protecting the environment. It’s a world-changing and life affirming way of doing business. Will you join the movement by signing the #FairTrade ethical shopping pledge this month? Sign the pledge!
Theory of Change graphic courtesy of Fair Trade USA. To learn about how the strategies and activities of an organization impact the lives and livelihoods of others over time, check this out!
Written by Alexa Rae
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