Fair Trade Federation Principle #4Jane Chaffee
November 19, 2018
Promote Fair Trade.
Part of our mission is to make sure you understand the role you play in world trade and the possibility of greater justice within that global economic system. This is also the heart of the Fair Trade Federation‘s fourth principle: Promote Fair Trade.
Your purchase speaks. It tells businesses what they can and cannot do. It can be a positive force for improving living standards, health, education, distribution of power, and the environment.
Your purchase speaks, but what do you want it to say?
5 questions we want you asking before making your next purchase:
Who made this?
Fashion Revolution coined this phrase and started a conversation around it, begging people to think about the invisible makers. It’s a topic near to our mission. As simple as the question is, the answer goes deep. If a brand knows, and is willing to tell you, who made their clothes, it means there is a real relationship with their producers. We love the quote by The Good Trade, “There should be no hidden faces within the fashion industry.”
Is that a fair price?
We have come to expect cheaper and cheaper clothes. Those prices feel good, but are they fair? Unfortunately, that low price tag probably correlates with warp speed production. Your $10 dollar tee is a layer of stories — from growing the cotton, to turning it into fabric, to sewing it into a shirt, to printing the design, to a store selling it to you. All of these people are trying to make a profitable living, but it’s usually those at the bottom who are left with the least. “By asking whether a price is fair, we can begin to recognize a garment’s true value” — The Good Trade
What is the garment made of?
This is where things get murky. We don’t expect you do be a fabric connoisseur, but we hope we do our part in educating you. You first have to think about the fabric itself, and then you must consider the production process. Even with an plant base option like cotton, there can be shady practices going on behind the curtain. Choosing a natural or recycled fiber is a good first step, and then looking for Fair Trade or Organic certifications ensures you won’t be messing with those murky, big businesses practices.
Is this brand open and honest?
Ask. Ask. Ask questions. Take a minute and think about your three favorite brands. What do you know about them? Where are their clothes made? What were the conditions of the workers? How much did those employees make? Are they willing to tell you about the money? Whats the breakdown cost of each shirt? These questions matter and the power is in the consumers hands to keep brands accountable.
What is the true value of my purchase?
You benefit each time you make a purchase, that’s a given but some companies offer more. It’s a question you need to ask yourself now, “Am I willing to spend a little bit more?”. From social justice to environmental activism, there are a wide variety of causes your purchase can support. With GOEX, you are championing the family. You are giving parents the chance to support their families through the dignity of work and a living wage paycheck. Value goes beyond what it adds to your wardrobe when it positively impacts every hand involved.
Get to shopping!
With all that preparation, you are ready to shop! It can be overwhelming at first, so we made you a little cheat sheet. Here is where you can find fair trade: