We Can #BuildBackBetter: World Fair Trade Day 2021

Written by: The Fair Shop

A cup of tea outside About Balance, in their outdoor seating space

At FAIR we select clothing suitable for a conscious lifestyle knowing that this is essential for the future of all of us. We aim to deliver Fair Trade and sustainable fashion that is stylish, functional and affordable. Of course, our producers and the creators are at the heart of what we do. We support organisations working hard to generate a livelihood through the use of traditional craft and skills or through the development of innovative sustainable materials and processes. Buying Fair Trade and responsible fashion feels fantastic, and we think everyone should be able to experience that.

May 8th is World Fair Trade Day.  The theme for 2021 is to #BuildBackFairer.  

Covid-19 has had a large impact on us all but particularly the most vulnerable in our societies. The pandemic has jeopardised livelihoods and living incomes whilst adding to the risk of child and forced labour. It has caused havoc with reduced access to food increasing hunger, poverty and deforestation. Covid-19 has sadly, negatively obstructed human rights and heightened social inequalities which is why now, more than ever, we cannot return to “normal” or resume “business as usual”.

The current crisis has shown us not only how interdependent we all are but also how the destruction of nature, the deforestation as well as the climate and health crises are all interrelated and share the exploitation of people and planet as a common root cause We can #BuildBackFairer!

WTFO, 2021

The crisis disrupted the global economy by pausing consumption and therefore production within supply chains. Interim measures adopted by large powerful companies, such as cancelling orders, devastated those within the supply chain who couldn’t access government support or be protected by human rights. Companies acted to ensure their own assets and pay-outs were to shareholders rather than for the wellbeing and safety of those most at risk: small producers, artisans and farmers. The current system is broken and continuously marginalises the most vulnerable members of our society.  The pandemic has heightened economic, racial and gender disparities as the rich continue to benefit and grow their wealth even more. The current system has been disrupted and calls for heighted governance to transform supply chains and increase equalities and sustainability in order to ensure and protect future generations.

Resilience within supply chains is needed NOW. Corporate buyers have inferred this as security for supply yet this crisis (or more how it has been handled) has highlighted that resilience should be socially and environmentally focused.  Resilience must shape the industry for the security of producers and workers to be resistant against future crisis and the vulnerability they will be exposed to as the effects of climate change become more and more severe.

Solution = Fair Trade. The Fair Trade Movement works to empower social, economic and environmental equality. Sustainable development, justice and equity drive practices and structures at the heart of their work to ensure fair labour, livelihoods and wellbeing for everyone. Buying a Fairtrade and a WTFO certified product ensures producers and businesses have met internationally agreed standards actioning change and guaranteeing your way to #buildbackfairer. At FAIR we share these values and carefully handpick some of the best brands with these credentials.

Who are the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO)? WFTO are a global community of social enterprises that fully practice Fair Trade. Their Guarantee System verifies that their members are truly Fair Trade Enterprises. This means they pioneer models of business that put people and planet first.

Fairtrade International works to share the benefits of trade more equally – through standards, certification, producer support, programmes and advocacy. As a leader in the global movement to make trade fair, Fairtrade supports and challenges businesses and governments and connects farmers and workers with the people who buy their products.

Meet the Fair Trade brands at The Fair Shop

People Tree

People Tree designs ‘truly conscious clothing’ working with 12 international Fair Trade producers. For example their excellent essentials range is made by Rajlakshmi, Indian organic garment manufacturer whom combine high-quality tailoring with a fair deal for farmers and workers, whilst supporting local environmental and social projects.

People Tree Clothing

People Tree have pioneered and developed Fair Trade fashion since 1991 working in close partnerships on projects to support producers, this includes hand skills training, the development of natural and low-impact dyes and organic cotton farming. Their products that have the Fairtrade mark are certified throughout the whole supply chain.  “We have a vision: a world in which all producers can enjoy secure and sustainable livelihoods, fulfil their potential and decide on their future”.

Bibico

Based in Bath, Bibico designs elegant easy-to-wear clothing made from quality natural, organic and Fair Trade fabrics since 2007. Designed by Snow and made ethically by producers they know and trust. Bibico ensures the people who made our clothes are paid a fair price for the work they do whilst working in a safe and healthy environment.

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Bibico’s producers include two women’s cooperatives: one whom handknit jumpers in Nepal; and the other whom hand embroider clothing in India. The Fair Trade cooperatives are certified by the WFTO, provide women with training, education and work, empowering them to move themselves and their children forward and out of the world of poverty. 

Egos

Egos Copenhagen live up to the ten Fair Trade standards and have been certified by WTFO since 2009. Their 100% handmade slippers are they are manufactured in Nepal striving to create opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers. The raw wool is dyed with environmentally friendly colours and the felt is made by the other company Én Gry & Sif, ensuring supply chain resilience and sustainability.

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‘Made with Soul’, Ego’s respect both the environment and people and their simple and comfortable design shape perfectly to your feet.   They continue to drive development in local partnerships with NGOs, such as the TEWA women organization, DANIDA, and financial aid to orphanage in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, as well as to workers and their families.  

Quazi (FT SA)

Quazi Designs is based in Mbabane, the capital of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland). They partner with a local magazine distributor using 100% waste as a raw material into everything from a paper bead to an growing innovative paper range of  design-led wearable pieces. A founding member of SWIFT, Swaziland Fair Trade – we are an active advocate for Fair Trade principles.

Every piece is made by hand from start to finish in their workshop by an individual from their small team who you can see on their website. Quazi believe in sustainable design; craft that has a positive social impact, is good for the environment and is beautiful.

Love That Stuff

Love That Stuff is a registered not-for-profit company who helps producer groups earn a better and more sustainable living through Fair Trade. They use natural materials and work in partnership with the producers to bring you great quality goods. They are based in Brighton.

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Some of their gorgeous jewellery which we sell is made by producers Bombolulu formed in 1969 in Mombasa, Kenya as a rehabilitation project sponsored by the Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya. The artisans make every detail of the jewellery manually – even the link of each chain is made by hand.  Join them on May 20th as they join Bombolulu on a live link from Brighton.  Watch our social media to find out more.

Paper High

Yet another local Brighton brand, Paper High, make lovely notebooks, stationery and have worked in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka over the past couple of decades

Paper High - Sari Journals

They “only work with small family businesses, community incentives, charities and accredited Fair Trade organisations and our promise is that every product on this site is Fair Trade as set out by the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO). All our products are handmade by skilled artisans using sustainable or recycled materials wherever possible.”

Find out more about the fair shop

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