What is World Fair Trade Day and why does it matter?Rebecca Miller
May 7, 2020
World Fair Trade Day is an inclusive worldwide celebration of fair trade’s contribution to the fight against poverty, exploitation and climate change. This year, it takes place on Saturday, May 9.
Fair Trade matters in this moment more than ever. Why?
While many companies are cancelling orders and protecting profit margins, Fair Trade companies are doing everything they can to keep paying artisans around the world whose governments don’t have safety nets in place to provide for them. From pre-paying for orders to issuing grants or fundraising on their behalf, Fair Trade companies are caring for their makers in any way they can.
Beyond specific initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic, Fair Trade companies focus on making the world a better place every day. Today, we celebrate these three specific focus areas:
Fight against poverty
Fair Trade companies typically pay higher wages than comparable employers and offer additional social benefits such as savings plans, meals, childcare, healthcare, job training and more. These programs result in higher management and labor costs, but they empower employees to care for their families and lift them out of poverty. A strong job creates opportunities for systemic change that are never possible through traditional charity.
Fight against exploitation
Exploitation typically goes hand in hand with poverty. When people do not have their basic needs met, they are vulnerable to exploitation by those in power. Ways Fair Trade companies fight exploitation include: paying equal wages to men and women, never employing children, or rescuing women from trafficking. Overall, strong jobs provide stability to people significantly lowering the risk of exploitation.
Fight against climate change
Fair Trade companies know that caring for people means also caring for their physical surroundings. Trash clean-ups, waste elimination, tree planting, water collection plans, solar energy at production facilities, recycled raw materials – there are endless initiatives companies can implement to care for the environment while producing their goods.
While economies are shut down around the world, the need for commerce to invest in people over profits has never been more clear. The World Fair Trade Organization says this: “The pandemic has uprooted the global economy, threatened lives and livelihoods. The fundamental shakeup also means we can shape how our economies will recover. Together, we can ensure the economy that arises truly puts people and planet first.” Learn more about their #PlanetFairTrade vision.
While you’re staying home shopping online, choose fair trade and then post your favorite purchases with the hashtag #StayHomeLiveFair!
GOEX Apparel is proud to be a Fair Trade company. Thank you, our customers and friends, for all of your support which allows us to continue to pay our employees while our factory is closed and to invest in supplies and infrastructure to make sure they’re safe when they do come back to work. Learn more about the reopening plan here.
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