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What is Fair Trade?

Posted on October 24, 2016 by Amanda Brown | 0 comments

Recognition, appreciation, and respect for local artisans are at the heart of Fair Trade organizations. Fair trade organizations work to establish more equitable international trading practices that support the makers who create the goods sold, as well as the communities in which these products are made. Fair Trade organizations are all about putting people-first, and this is why we are proud to carry Fair Trade products here at Sweet Lupine.

Fair Trade Principles

Image Credit: Fair Trade Federation 

The World Fair Trade Organization has established ten guiding principles of Fair Trade. These principles provide a solid overview of Fair Trade; they are:

  1. Opportunities for Disadvantaged Makers

Fair Trade organizations work to contribute to poverty alleviation through the fair employment of historically disadvantaged or marginalized groups. Often this means working with small, family-run businesses, and/or groups of women in co-operatives. The goal is employ to empower these artisans out of poverty and towards self-sufficiency.

  1. Transparency and Accountability

Fair Trade practices are predicated on trusting relationships built on open lines of communication. Fair Trade organizations include employees, makers, and other stakeholders in their decision-making processes.

  1. Fair Trading Practices

Fair trade companies and suppliers maintain a professional, respectful working relationship, in which profits are not maximized at the expense of the suppliers and/or their communities. Orders are paid on time and in accordance with Fair Trade practices, and suppliers deliver the appropriate goods on time.

The cultural identity and local skills are valued, protected, and included in design specifications.

  1. Payment of a Fair Price

Producers and makers are fairly compensated for their work. Pay is determined through conversation with local makers and is based on locally acceptable remuneration. Pay is equitable across gender.

  1. No Child or Forced Labor

None. Ever.

  1. Non-Discrimination

Fair Trade organizations do not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political affiliation, gender, union membership, age, or HIV/Aids status.

  1. Fair Working Conditions

Fair Trade organizations must adhere to local laws, and to the International Labor Organization’s standards for a safe working environment and safe working standards.

  1. Capacity Building

Fair Trade organizations support the development of their employees or members through business and production training, as well as access to markets.

  1. Promoting Fair Trade

Fair Trade organizations work to educate others about Fair Trade. Honest marketing and advertising is required.

  1. Respect for the Environment

Fair Trade organizations maximize the use of locally grown and sustainable raw materials. These organizations are structured to limit energy consumption and to limit the waste stream on the environment. Additionally, recyclable, biodegradable packaging is used to the greatest extent possible.

You can learn more about Fair Trade at the World Fair Trade Organization, and check out their great list of resources pertaining to Fair Trade Fashion here.


Shop our Fair Trade collection here.

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