Today is World Fair Trade Day and the theme this year, as decided by the World Fair Trade Organisation is Fair Trade People. It’s a day all about celebrating the producers and consumers of fair trade products. Wonderful. What a great opportunity to tell you about some of my favourite fair trade brands!
Fair trade is all about the producers, from the pickers, to the makers and the packers. Making sure that they get a fair deal, not only in terms of the money they are paid, but how they are treated in the course of their working day. We take health and safety, and basic equal and fair treatment for granted, but this is quite simply not the case in many areas of the developing world. Child labour, long hours, unfair treatment, abuse; the list goes on. But I’m not here to tell you about facts and figures, just that I think Fair Trade is an important thing to thing of and be aware of, and to share some of my favourite suppliers!
In terms of clothing, People Tree are without a doubt, utterly lovely people and a fantastic brand. With head offices here in London, I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of the people behind the brand at various sample sales, and it’s great to here the stories about how they started out at the wonderful things they do. People tree work directly with farmers and artisans – a lovely relationship which is so far removed from the world of fast fashion and disposable clothing. Have you heard that fair trade clothes are dull and dowdy, with no shape or fit? Then, my friends, People Tree have something to show you! Take a look at this gorgeous Orla Kiely dress…
Yes, Fair Trade can cost more than the high street, but I’d rather buy one lovely dress, and know that no-one suffered for it. Maybe it’s just me speaking here, but we live in the Western World; we don’t need cheap clothing so desperately that someone else has to suffer for it! I love the tags on People Tree clothing – they tell you who made your garment and a little bit about them. So lovely and personal. And look at this a this cute little sausage dog tee – simply irresistible! Oh, and there’s 20% off just for today!
Another favourite brand of mine are Braintree Clothing. They have a lovely little tag too (I promise I’m not just obsessed with the tags, I do like the clothes too)! But I love the little statement, ‘Wear What The World Can Afford’. It really sums it all up and connects with me in a way that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside! Anyway, you get the idea, they are warm and friendly, ethically minded people and they make gorgeous clothes. Here is one of the dresses which made me fall in love with them, and which I wear to death! And just proves that slow fashion doesn’t have to eat away at your bank account!
In fact, if you’d like an extra 20% off sale prices at Braintree, just click to the site through this link and use the code SPRINGCLEAN.
Now, I’ve mainly talked about clothes – I’m sorry, I got carried away with all the talk of tags and paisley – but fashion is not by any means the only place where fair trade is important. From bananas and coffee, to sugar and quinoa, we always make sure to buy the fair trade options when possible. Many of the people who produce our food are also the hungriest people in the world. This really isn’t fair. By buying fair trade, I hope to go some way towards alleviating these struggles and injustices. To name but a few, our favourite Fair Trade brands are Clipper, Pact Coffee (who source directly from farmers and give you a chance to get different coffees each month) and Biofair. Pretty much everything in our kitchen cupboard is fair trade, and the list could go on. But that’s for another day.
Fair Trade is important to me, and I’d like to think I’ve raised awareness as part of World Fair Trade Day. It’s not just about fighting poverty, but also links directly climate change and the economic crisis. Fair Trade has opened my eyes to the world and the wonders that people can create when given time, freedom and respect.
Happy World Fair Trade Day 2014!