Everyday should be a day to celebrate fair trade! Today is World Fair Trade Day a day of heightened awareness and education surrounding fair trade. So I’m going to chat fair trade for a bit and answer some common questions!
What is World Fair Trade Day?
To quote the source directly, “World Fair Trade Day is an initiative of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) that takes place on the second Saturday of May each year. It is an inclusive worldwide festival of events celebrating Fair Trade as a tangible contribution to sustainable development, especially the economic empowerment of small producers, gender equality in workplaces and responsible production practices.” -WFTO
What does fair trade mean?
To put it simply, fair trades values people, economic empowerment, and the environment. Businesses, farms, factories, and producers are able to apply for fair trade certification which allows a third party to verify their dedication to these values and fair trade principals. A few organizations that provide fair trade verification in include World Fair Trade, Fairtrade America, Fair Trade USA, Fair for Life, and the Fair Trade Federation. Consumers can look for their logos to recognize fair trade products in grocery stores, on clothing, and more. There are quite a few ethical brands that practice fair trade principles, but are not certified by third parties. Learn more about this here.
Why is Fair Trade Important?
Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of modern day slavery that is being overlooked in industries including fashion, farming, and more. Fair trade is important to me because I feel that people matter! And I don’t think it is right that our Western world consumer demands is allowing companies to take advantage of developing communities by paying unfair wages, treating employees with disrespect, practicing child labor, and other unfair practices found in many supply chains today.
How can I take action?
Support brands that value people and the planet! You can find plenty of responsible brands in our Ethical Brand Directory and guides. While not all of these brands are specifically certified by a third party, they do value people and the planet.
WFTO is having campaigns and contests consumers are able to take part of. Click here for more details.
Check out Fashion Revolution for resources. They have templates to write to brands and demand transparent supply chains. Their Fashion Transparency Index is an interesting read with lots of informative information of big name brands.