Fair Trade Fortnight is around the corner and it is an exciting time for any Fair Trade company. More awareness of Fair Trade will only benefit the workers and human life in general!
Fair Trade Fortnight was created to help create a better understanding of what Fair Trade is and why people should really consider buying from certified companies. By choosing to buy Fair Trade products you are directly choosing to end the exploitation of workers and farmers across the world. If you are like me and love the fuzzy feeling of getting something new then you will adore the added feeling that your purchase is doing good!
So here are 10 reasons why buying Fair Trade is so important and the direct effect it has to the people behind the scenes and to you!
1. Fair Wages To Workers
When people first hear about Fair Trade it is likely their first thought is of the wages that workers get, and they are right to think that. Many workers in developing countries work extensive hours and barely make enough to feed their families. Fair Trade makes sure that artisans and farmers are making a decent wage that will help them provide for themselves and their families.
2. Helps Social Efforts
What you may not know though is that there is a premium paid to producers over the price of just the products which is used specifically for social efforts to improve the community. This money is used to improve their social, economic and environmental conditions to better improve the quality of life for the locals and workers.
Such efforts are demonstrated by our producers such as Get Paper Industry who understand the importance of education and are trying to break the stigma of young girls going to school. They have created and renovated five different primary schools. More than 200 girls are getting a scholarship every year for attending these schools. They also use the premium they receive to help with the awareness of HIV and AIDS which is common in Nepal as well as plantation efforts to help the environment.
Noah’s Ark are also a wonderful example of the great work the premium helps with. Noah’s Ark provides free schooling for the artisan’s and locals children, as well as providing free dental care. They also install water filters into the homes of locals so that they can have access to clean drinking water.
Tara Project also does fantastic work in their community by supplying scholarships for young people as well as running learning centres for underprivileged children. Currently, Tara Project provides non-formal education to more than 1000 children through 10 leaning centres in various parts of Northern India. They also give free health insurance to all their artisans and set up Medical Camps on a regular basis in the community which gives free medicines and other medical support to the locals.
3. Child Labour Is A Massive No No
Buying items off the high street can be extremely cheap but there is a very large risk that those items are made in factories where there are no rules in place for children working. It is estimated five million children are in slavery worldwide!
A lot of children will work to provide for their families in poverty-stricken areas but large companies who are more concerned about making a profit than the lives behind the money will exploit children to work. This is because in comparison to adults children are easier to control and are unlikely to demand higher wages or better working conditions.
The positive point is if you buy Fair Trade you can guarantee that no children were involved in the making of those products. Children that are under the age of 18 years old are banned from work that endangers them or their schooling. Any child that is under 15 is not in any way able to be employed by Fair Trade organisations.
4. Gender Equality
In developing countries, gender discrimination is something still being combated on a large scale. Woman in these countries are discriminated in many ways from schooling health all the way through to the workplace.
Fair Trade makes sure to protect the rights of woman and employ as many as they can. Many of our producers have just as many women employed as men.
5. Fairer For The Environment
A big problem with fast fashion is the cost to the environment. With a lot of the toxic chemicals being dumped and polluting the environment. There is also a huge amount of water being wasted to create products too, which leads to the environment suffering tremendously. According to the Institute of Sustainable Communication, the clothing industry is the second-highest polluter of clean water after agriculture.
Fair Trade companies are required to do there best to help the environment in any way they can. At Paper High, all the products we sell are made using natural, sustainable resources. These can be the waste products of larger industries, for example, our Khadda paper is made from the cotton leftover from the massive garment industry in India. Or it can be a more extreme sort of recycling like our elephant dung paper.
We minimize our carbon footprint by importing goods by sea instead of air whenever possible and we offset our carbon emissions when we visit our producers.
Here in the UK we still hold true to these values. Our brochures and stationery are made using 100% recycled post-consumer waste and you may well see that the packaging we use includes shredded junk mail.
6. Improved Working Conditions
In 2013 Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, home to many retail and high fashion factories, collapsed and killed at least 1,132 people and injured over 2,000 in one of the biggest tragedies of its kind. The incident sparked a notable amount of outrage from consumers and the general public on the conditions that the people were working in. Unfortunately, this is a very common occurrence, especially in Bangladesh.
When you purchase Fair Trade products you are not only choosing fairer income for the workers but also ensuring safe working conditions for the employees. This means that employers are required to provide employees with the right health and safety equipment, making sure they have contracts with proper leave and overtime. On top of that employers have stronger requirements to adhere to, to provide quality on-site conditions.
7. Fair Trade Products Are Natural
Many cheap clothes are dyed with chemicals such as lead which is toxic. Fair Trade products will be made with natural materials such as our leather that is vegetable dyed. All of our journals and albums are made with acid-free paper and our wrapping paper is dyed with natural methods.
8. Better Quality Products
Because everything is skillfully handmade by trained artisans you can expect the item to not only be unique but the quality of the item will be well made compared to a factory-made product that may come cheaply done or with faults. Our leather products will last for years to come and will even get better looking with age!
9. Creates Opportunities
Buying Fair Trade means you are giving more opportunities to the artisans and producers who in many cases would not normally have those chances. Fair Trade allows small producers the opportunity to expand their business and if artisans wanted to start their own business they have more of a chance to do this. It allows equal opportunities to everyone involved which is fantastic!
Fair Trade gives a voice to the people in the workplace and in the community. It gives people the chance to make decisions to better their lives and community, no matter their gender, age, status, position in society or where in the world they’re from!
I hope this has enlightened you to the benefits of purchasing Fair Trade products and how much good can come from choosing to shop Fair Trade. Everyone deserves to have an enriched life and we especially feel the importance of giving people in developing countries those opportunities. With this information, we hope you enjoy Fair Trade Fortnight! Keep a lookout as we will be offering a 10% discount to mark the occasion!
Find Out More
For more information into Fair Trade please feel free to head to WFTO (World Fair Trade Organisation) website to find out more!
Want to know more about us or our producers? Have a look at our Ethics and Story. If you have a burning question then you are more then welcome to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org where our team will respond as soon as possible. Or leave a comment below and let us know what you think!